MY POKER JOURNEY - TOURNEY #1 ($20 - 10 Players)

in gaming •  2 years ago

To be successful at Steemit... you need to write about YOUR PASSION!  After taking a break from the game, I've returned to one of my ultimate passions, Texas Hold'em!  I think this amazing Steemit platform will give me an incredible opportunity to have insightful conversations about different strategies and to get some quality feedback from some like-minded new friends! Most of all, I just want to improve my game!  


I am almost exclusively a tournament player.  I have never had much success in a cash game, as the bankroll of most players gives them an "unfair" advantage, and causes me to play scared.  

While living in New Orleans, I got my first opportunity to play in 1-2 tournaments ($100 + $30) a week at Harrah's Casino.  With 50 - 90 players every time, I started winning some very large payouts.  I outright won the tournament 3 times, and had a stretch of 12 tourneys where I made the final table 10 times.

Unfortunately, I got overconfident and drove to California and Las Vegas to play in some bigger tournaments.  While I made a couple final tables and finished in the money a few times, I had relatively little success.  I also bubbled a few times with extremely bad luck.  Most notably, in a $260 game at the Bellagio, I finished 6th while only the top 5 paid.  I had POCKET KINGS, went all-in pre flop, and lost to a Ace-Queen (Ace on the river).  I also finished 16th with POCKET QUEENS, in a $360 game at Pechanga in Cali, when the top 14 paid.

After some bad beats and some bad plays, I decided to take a break from the game I love.  WELL, BREAK TIME IS OVER!  I'll be keeping a journal of my tournament experiences from now on and sharing them on Steemit!  I'm starting small, but if I have some success, I'll be moving up to bigger tournaments quickly!

MY FIRST TOURNAMENT ($20 Buy-In - 10 Players - 8,000 Starting Chips - 20 Minute Blinds)

First Round ($50 - $100 Blinds)

First hand = Pocket 9's!  I'm one off the dealer and facing two limpers.  I put in a raise of $600, the blinds fold, and the limpers call.  Pot is $1950.  Flop comes 10 3 7, and they both check to me.  I bet $1000 and they both fold!  Off to a great start!

A few hands later = K J Suited (spades), I throw in a raise to 400 after the first folder.  This is reckless, but I still have a few extra chips from the first hand, and I want an aggressive reputation at the table.  After a middle caller, the small blind re-raises to 1100.  I call 700, and so does the middle caller.  Pot is $3400.  Flop comes 4 9 7 (two spades), and the small blind goes all-in $2100.  I call the $2100 hoping the other player would fold (giving myself good odds of hitting my flush).  Instead, the third player also re-raises all-in, another $6000.  I was still getting great odds, so I made the call!  The small blind showed POCKET ACES, I showed my FLUSH DRAW, and the middle player showed POCKET 7's with TRIPS ON THE FLOP.  What a hand!  The turn was an ACE of clubs, but the river was a magical 10 OF SPADES!!!  Both players complain about me being in the hand with a draw, call ME a DONK, and buy back in :)

Second Round ($100 - $200 Blinds) (I have 25,000 chips)

Two hands in = K 7 offsuit in middle position.  No raisers yet, so I decide to use my stack to push some people around.  That never works out for me.  I raise to $600, but get re-raised to $1500.  I called to save face and try to catch a lucky flop, which comes 3 J 9.  He bets $1500 and I fold.  He showed a 2 3!  Maybe he got a read on me pre-flop?

I fold A2, and A5 in early position, get a 4 2 in the big blind, and 10 7 in the small...

Now I get POCKET 9's in the dealer position.  I see a middle raise to $600, and 1 caller.  This is an interesting position.  Calling the $600 and hoping to hit another 9 in a 3+ player pot is tempting, but I chose to make the re-raise pre-flop to $2100.  Both players called, probably not good news for me.  Pot is $6600.  The flop is 8 J A, and the first player makes a decent sized bet.  I have to fold.

Very next hand = A J offsuit. A middle player (they call him Taco) raised to $600, and I re-raise to $1600.  An uncharacteristic raise, but I wanted to isolate Taco and I know he overvalues a pair :)  To my surprise, the big blind called along with Taco.  The flop comes 3 4 3, both players go all-in, and I promptly fold.  They both show middle pocket pairs.  Taco wins with 8's.

Third Round ($200 - $400 Blinds) (I have 19,300 chips)

The first hand = A K offsuit, and I'm in early position.  I raise to $1500, but I'm quickly re-raised by a middle position player to $3200.  I smelled donkey breath, so I was about to re-raise all-in once the other players folded, but ultimately I only made the call, as his stack was almost the same size as mine.  The pot is $7000, the flop comes A J 3, and I'm first to act.  Normally, I'd be very confident with my AK, but I sensed great danger, so I check. He goes all-in $12500.  WTF.  I am afraid I am beat, but I make the call, as I did not think the player was very good based on some of the previous hands.  He flips A J offsuit, two pair.  Getting no miracle King on the turn or river, my chip stack was quickly reduced to a measly $2800.  :(

Embracing the tilt, I went all-in next hand with J 9 offsuit and doubled up!  Got called by a 10 9 suited!

A couple hands later, I got Q J suited in the big blind with $5600 behind.  With two limpers, and the small blind making a call, the pot was at $1600.  I went all-in, hoping to steal some blinds, but got called by K Q.  No Jacks, straights, or flushes would save my stack, and I busted out in 9th place...


OH well, I think I played well, but got donked by a guy re-raising A J offsuit from middle position...

In the words of O.A.R,



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Crazy hands :)


Indeed! Thanks for the follow! I sent you a bit of Steem and upvoted your posts! Good luck on Steemit!

hehe nice Story man, I played 5k tourney in Sochi PokerStars Main Event, busted. Poker is all about distance because variance is crazy for 1 single tournament


I busted out of the biggest tourney I ever played in under 30 minutes.. Gotta have patience! Thanks for the comment!

I love the game of poker as well and use to play in online tournaments a lot. I also use to play down in Biloxi, Ms at they cash game tables. It seem sometimes when u have those hands with nice face cards or pocket pairs, folding them are hard to do. These be the exact hands that wash away our bankrolls every time because someone decided to play a 3, 7 offsuit and hit a straight on the flop. The game itself will forever have moy love. Have you tried the poker games they have on steem? I want to check tem out and see what the hype is about with them. I wish you the best of luck


I played in the 2nd 200 SBD Guaranteed Tourney and got 4th place! Unfortunately, I'm low on money and have to spend most of my time working right now, so I don't get to play very often. Hopefully that changes soon!

I drove to Biloxi to play in a $200 tourney and had A9 with a 9 9 2 flop. After calling an all-in, my opponent showed 10 9 and rivered the 10 :( Knocked me out one spot before the money. SO frustrating, but I'll always love it!


i know the feeling of having a hand worth playing , going all in with it and losing it all. Most times you run across players who are what we call river rats. They play crap cards and always seem to get lucky 🍀 at the river to make they crap cards an actual hand. I have not played in a tournament or even a cash game in a while and need to start back playing. Now that I'm trying to make a full time job from this blogging platform, hopefully soon I will be able to go back to the things I once enjoyed doing every weekend. I wish you the best brother and hopefully one day we can be sitting at a poker table together playing a few hands. Thanks for the love. 👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

Interesting, skycornish.
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Sounded like a fun tournament. I too am mostly a tournament player but don't have any casinos nearby. I played in a weekly home game that mostly had some pretty decent players. Played almost every Friday for over 15 years. I moved away to Long Island NY a few months ago and I'm trying to get a game going with my Fiancee (@recoveryroader) as soon as possible. Good luck!