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!
MY POKER BACKSTORY
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,