Saturday, February 4

Poker Blog # 1: Straight on the river

Its been quite a while since my last poker blog so i thought i might do one and start a series (since i poker blog sometimes anyway... so why the hell not...) We started this KPT thing only two years ago, but yet were already quite storied... well in our eyes anyways.

Our newest players in KPT are Big Guy Rolland and his brother in-law Dennis. These guys are action guys and are not easily raised out of a pot if the raise is not ridiculously prodigious. But these are the kind of players we want because the KPT Gods know we've got enough tight players to go around. These two who are only in their first month in KPT have already won one tournament each breaking the stigma of new players inability to win along the way. Mike and Sara went through that interminable wait before winning their first... and Scott is still on that undesirable journey.

So on to our story. On Wednesday February 2nd we had a short game of 7 players and 2 phantom stacks. We've seen this kind of night before when one player can do no wrong no matter what he did. The unique part of this tournament is, the one player who dominated the game knocked out every single player in the same fashion... a straight on the river. That player is Mr. Action, Rolland. Rolland, much like his brother in-law Dennis likes to play a lot of hands at any position on the table.

The first victim was Hana losing to a straight on the river. After an animated reaction he purchased one of the phantom stacks only to get knocked out again with another straight on the river... oddly enough he had the bottom straight. Next up was Josh, he also was knocked out twice with a straight on the river both times with Pocket Jacks. He too had an animated exit putting his hands up in the air in surrender. Soon after this Luis, Jerome and Jee were knocked out with, yes, a straight on the river.

And all along there was me witnessing the debacle... or dumb luck which ever you prefer. Not to take anything away from Rolland's win, he is not by any means a rookie or a dumb player but witnessing the game was awfully stupefying. I felt sort of like an innocent bystander after everyone succumbed to Rolland's strange mystique. When it was only Rolland and me left, i vowed with Josh as my witness that i wouldn't lose with a straight, especially not on the river. I played the heads up cautiously. And if you are familiar with KPT history then you know that i have never lost heads up against a new player, not a new player per se but a new KPT player (lol i don't think anyone pays much attention to such a trivial thing, maybe its just me...). Given the fact that Rolland knocked out 7 out of 9 players its obvious that he had an enormous chip lead and i had my work cut out for me. I worked my way into a 2-1 chip deficit after a long 30 minutes when i was faced with this tough decision. I was holding a "3 2" of spades on an unraised pot on the big blind. The Flop was "2 5 10" rainbow which we both checked, the turn was a 6 of hearts and i decided to make a potsize bet which Rolland called. The river was the unwanted 3 which gives a possible straight on the board with any of the 4's while giving me my second pair. Despite a possible straight i decided to fire another potsize bet (at this point a pretty big bet), i did this to close the window of opportunity of an ALL IN bluff if he didn't have the nuts. To my surprise Rolland announced "ALL IN bro". After a long and arduous contemplation i decided not to risk it all in that hand. Rolland then smugly showed a 9 high bluff LOL. I had a feeling he was using the fact that i vowed not to lose with a straight on the river, but i gave in. Good play Rolland.

That was my chance to double up and take the lead. However i did fight my way back to an almost 3-1 chip lead making Rolland uncomfortably uneasy having never trailed in chip count all throughout the night forcing him to make desperate pre-flop ALL IN moves which he used frequently. When i finally got a hand i could call with "pocket 3's against K 9" the flop was an unfavorable "10 10 7 7" and a meaningless 9 on the river. After a few more hands the tables turned giving Rolland the 3-1 chip lead... and when i finally went ALL IN he had the top pair against my mid pair. Ironically this was the only time he was ahead on an ALL IN hand, all night.


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