Sunday, February 26

Poker Blog # 3: Boxing & Farce Poker

We would've set up a Saturday night Poker for the Paquiao-Morales fight if we were in town. The boys and i were in our Annual Mammoth trip (usually Feb but this year due to weather was Jan). Jee suggested that i should listen to my own advise in Boxing & Football betting. My last 5 picks in boxing have gone undefeated. I even advised Jee to bet on Morales in the first Paquiao-Morales fight, keep in mind Paquio was the favored fighter because he beat Barrera convincingly who beat Morales two out of their last three bouts. But Manny had to fight in the heavier 128 weight division and i just coudn't see him beating Morales then. In the rematch Paquiao was once again favored, but on the contrary, you'd expect Eric Morales who is one of the best fighters i have ever seen and a tremendous counter puncher to train hard, hungry for more, but instead he faltered under Manny's heavy body punches and better defense. I advised Jee to bet on Manny this time while i tinkered betting myself. But of course being the frugal gambler that i am i retreated my bet the last minute. I even went undefeated all throughout the NFL playoffs and won a measly $20 betting only 1 game, arghh!

Last Saturday was the Mosley-Vargas fight. This was not a title fight nor it was billed a big fight at all. Mosley as we know it has been on a decline and trying desperately for a reprieve while Vargas has not been the top-notch fighter he's been hyped up to be. Mosley was a slight favorite 3-2 but in my eyes he was a sure winner. So i finally wagered some money... $100 to be exact, if i was so sure why not $300?... well just in case, we've seen strange things happen in boxing. However Mosley disposed of Vargas early on and continued with a barrage of combinations to the head in the later rounds. The fight was eventually stopped by the referee, i thought it was a good call by the ref, continuing the fight could've caused possible brain damage for the weakening Vargas.

Poker yielded 12 players with a $20 2RB+1AO set up. We also had a couple of guest who just came for Boxing, Jeff, Jeremy and his GF (but of course i charged their asses for the fight). As Marco predicted, Randy and Allan tripled up early in the tournament. Randy simply got called a lot by reputation. He knocked out Conrad 3 times and Dennis twice and several other players. When a final table was set Randy had an unnerving 30K+ in chips followed closely by Hana who took over 12K in chips from Josh who held the chip lead early in the tournament in table 1. The tournament totalled 10 RB's and 10 more AO's that built a $460 game pot after deducting the fight fees, not bad huh?

As you'd expect with a RB+AO set up and so much chips in play the tournament turns into a grind around 5-7 players remaining. This night with 6 players remaining, Allan and i were the short stacks each holding on to under 5 K in chips, and with over 85K in play we were all but knocked out.

Luckily for me, Allan was knocked out shortly giving me a speck of hope. I was looking around at peoples stacks and felt almost invisible. Of course in situations like this, when knocking out the last short stack means finishing in the money, theres an unspoken rule to conspire against the short stack. And conspired they did, these guys had monster hands and they all played it slow waiting for me to ostracize myself. Inevitably i was going to finish in the bubble, my stack hovered around 4K-6K which was significantly smaller than the rest of the stacks on the table that averaged around 27K. I asked for a money-back deal for 4th place and the greedy bastards disagreed. To put it in perspective, money-back deal for 4th place meant $6.66 less for the top three finishers (1st place=$250 2nd place=$150 and an oblique $57 for 3rd place). For the record Marco said he would have agreed to the deal but the two other players disagreed ruling out his decision. I was sort of taken aback, but hell they paid to play, so they're entitled.

As Mike Sexon likes to put it the price of poker have gone up, blinds are now 500-1000. I was still at a stagnant 5800 in chips and without a money-back deal i had to make moves. And so i moved ALL IN under the gun with a "K J" off suit. Marco called me from the Big Blind with an Ace 8 (or ace 9 don't remember), he flops an Ace and i a Jack and as soon as i got up off my seat to relinquish my tournament hopes the river presented another Jack to keep me alive with now more than 9K in the tank. It's a new day boys... Ala Hoyt Corkins.

No more than 10 minutes later i was able to double my chip stack, now around 19K but still trailing the other 3 players, but a far cry from short stack. My resurrection prompted a deal which i denounced as quickly as they denied my money-back deal initially... beyoootch!!!!! The tides have changed and i took down a few more relatively big pots putting me 2nd in chip count and a good position to possibly win the tournament. Hana went over the top from the Big Blind position after i had raised from the Button with an "AK" offsuit against his "A 8" also offsuit which i called. AK held up (wheww...). After this hand the chip count was as follows, Randy=37K Marc=27K and Marco at 17K... roughly.

The 3 handed game was short lived. Randy knocked out Marco in less than 5 hands guaranteeing me 2nd place money, a nice $150, a far cry from finishing in the bubble and begging for money back haha. Before starting heads up play Randy offered me a ridiculous $155 to chop... thats a whopping $5 more than the guaranteed 2nd place purse. I wasn't sure if he was being frivolous or mathematically stupid because his 60K+ in chips was only and slightly 2-1, right? And so i refused to deal and announced i would only deal if 50-50. Of course at that stage of the match with better than a 2-1 chip advantage Randy was not ready to concede, and so play resumes.

In less than 5 hands i was nearing 40K in chips. Chop it 50-50 ?? Randy asked sheepishly yea fuck it lets get some breakfast i said, and off to Denny's we go with Marco. Hey how about that, the top three in the money sharing a celebratory breakfast and i get $200 instead of money-back, not bad..........


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