I have so much floating around in my head right now, it’s time to get some of it down before it gets lost in the deep recesses of my brain.

Black Friday

First off, a little about Black Friday. There’s not much to say that hasn’t been said before about it. For me personally, I really hadn’t been playing too much in 2011. Mostly just the blogger tournaments, a few HORSE tournaments, and a little bit of bonus chasing.

I don’t miss playing too much, but I do miss The Dank (formerly The Mookie). This was our home game. Our weekly bring-your-beer gathering. It was so much fun to chat on BuddyDank Radio, sling some chips, make fun of people, get drunk, and just have a great time. Someday we’ll have our online poker again in the United States, but it probably will never be the same.

I miss playing HORSE online (and 8-game and 10-game). HORSE became my bread-and-butter game online. I managed to post a tremendous ROI playing HORSE online which more than made up for my sloppy NLHE play.

Live Poker – HORSE Wins

I Like HorseSince moving to Las Vegas, I’ve been playing some live HORSE tournaments, and the ROI continues to spike the more I play mixed games. It doesn’t seem to matter if its live play, or online play either.

I wrote about my second win in The weekly Orleans HORSE tournament last month, and I’ve played a couple of times since.

Yesterday, I posted another victory in the tournament. Only this time the victory was much sweeter. Rather than a three-way chop at the end, I won the thing outright. There was brief talk of a chop when we were four handed, but one gentleman made it clear that he had no interest in a chop. He insisted on playing it out, which was fine by me.

Guess who happened to be the next player to bust out? Mr. NoChop of course. Funny how that works.

Before I get into some details on my play in the tournament, I’ll give you a quick rundown of the tournament structure, and how my chipstack went from 2 big blinds four-handed, to eventually winning the tournament.

* $75 buy-in

* 44 players

* 330,000 total chips in play (7,500 starting stacks)

* Top five places cashed

* Can’t remember the exact payouts, but it was something like this.

1 – $900
2 – $600
3 – $350
4 – $220
5 – $100

* When we were 7-handed at the final table, we agreed to a save for 6th and 7th place of $100 each.

FuckIt (Pushmonkey) Mode

Late registration runs for the first five levels of the tournament, which means if you bust out before that time, you can buy back in if you wish. With about 6 minutes left before late registration ended, I had dug myself a pretty deep hole, and found myself with about 3K in chips. The game was Stud8, and I made the decision to start ramming and jamming like mad with the idea that I would either bust out, and buy back in with a fresh stack, or pick up a few chips so as not to be so short once we returned from the break.

I picked up a pair of buried 8’s, with a Jack up top, and raised it up every street. I missed everything, and ended up with nothing more than my 8’s by seventh street. I did have four clubs showing, but I thought I was dead, and had most of my stack in the middle.

I fired out on 7th, cause I’m a donkey like that, and to my surprise, the two other people in the hand folded. I didn’t even have a low, and I quietly mucked my hand after the pot was pushed to me, even though I was elated to have over 8K back in front of me.

So it was apparent that a rebuy wouldn’t be necessary at this point, and I turned off my FuckIt mode and went back to normal play.

Rise, Fall, and Rise Again

Just two hands later, I had (3-6) 7, and raised it up with only one other low card showing for anyone at the table. 4 people called me, and I picked up a 5 and an 8 on the next two streets, giving me what I felt was about an 85% chance at the low based on everyone’s boards. Time to ram and jam with 3 people in the hand still.

Useless Jack on sixth street, and one of the other players picked up a low card, making me a little less confident about my low chances. Wasn’t crazy about the fact that two fours were already dead, giving me 2 outs for a straight.

Down and dirty on 7th Street, and lo and behold, I pick up one of the two remaining 4’s, and scoop a nice sized pot, giving me over 18K as we went to break. The average stack was about 9K at this point. Go me.

My table broke before we even started up after the break, and I drew the 8 seat again at another table. My favorite seats (8 handed) are the 1 and 8. Not much happened during the HE level, but I managed to decimate my 18K stack during Omaha8, and once again found myself extremely short, with about 6K left as we hit Razz.

Oh Razz, I love you so. After the 20 minute Razz level, and midway though the next level (Stud High) I managed to chip up to about 28K. That my friends, is a nice run. I played 30 minutes of perfect poker, and caught some key cards. Just a beautiful site to behold.

Another table break, and I end up in the 4 seat, and we’re down to two tables (16 players).

Stretch Run and the Final Table

On my right was a 21 year old that I sat with at my first table. Nice kid who’s name was also Ian. He was rocking a pretty large stack, and had a pretty good grasp of all the games. He claimed to have final tabled the 2-7 lowball event during last years SCOOP series on PokerStars. I didn’t ask him if it was the low, medium, or high event though. He missed playing online mixed games, much like myself.

My stack stayed between 25K and 35K until we hit the final table. They always take 9 people to the final table in this tournament, even though everything else is 8 handed up to that point. The idea is to avoid any table that is 4-handed.

I had the 1 seat at the Final Table, and about 40K in chips I think. Didn’t get involved in too many pots, and watched the field get thinned a bit. Once we were seven handed, and the save deal was made, it wasn’t long before we were 4 handed. I had about 40K in chips still, another guy had a little less than me, and the two other stacks were considerably larger, with over 100K each.

One of those large stacks was Mr. NoChop (see above), and it took him about 15 minutes of shitty Stud play to dust off his 120K stack.

This left three of us, and here’s the stacks.

Seat 1 – 50K – Me
Seat 2 – 210K – Ian, the 21 year old
Seat 3 – 40K – Middle aged regular in the tournament

Blinds are at 7K/15K and we just started a HE level. I’m just looking to outlast Seat 3 and move up a spot on the pay ladder (about a $250 difference).

Me and the other shorty tried our best to stack off against each other and the big stack…eventually I felted him when my A-10 held against his Q-J.


This left me heads-up with Ian. How about that, two Ians in the final two.

I had about 70K to his 260K when we started heads up, and he ground me down to a low of about 30K, which was just two BB’s.

Let’s pause here, and take a look at the chipcounts.

Me – 30K
Him – 300K

I’ve already spoiled it by telling you earlier that I won the thing, but coming back from a 10-1 deficit heads-up is one of the more impressive things I’ve done at the poker table. I know a comeback like that, with the blinds as high as they are, is more of a function of luck than anything else, but dammit, it felt NICE!!!!

I honestly don’t recall many of the hands that got me back into good shape. I remember jamming A-J offsuit with just 2 BB and having it hold up against 2 undercards.

I had A-10 flop a 10 against pocket 8’s.

I killed the guy in Omaha8 though, scooping a couple of consecutive pots, And all of a sudden he was down to about 100K to my 230K.

Blinds were 10K/20K at this point, and we both limped. I had 6-9-9-8, the flop came 6-7-K, and we both checked. Fourth street brought me a 10 and I turned a straight. I bet and got called, and we got it all in the middle on 5th street, which was a 2. I showed my cards, and he stood up, looked at his cards for about 20 seconds, and mucked them facedown. Guess he didn’t have a low. Not sure what he had there. I’m thinking a set of nines that didn’t fill up with no low, maybe with a flush draw mixed in there, but I can’t remember the suits on board right now.

He wasn’t mad or anything, I think he was just shocked that he couldn’t close the deal after having a 10-1 chip lead. We shook hands, Marlon (the TD) came over and paid us off, I left a nice tip for the dealers and TD, and headed for the doors so I could get a whiff of that lovely sewer odor that lingers in the part of town that The Orleans is in.

There was considerable crowd around the table watching us at the end, and I got a few handshakes on the way out, and one guy who I sat with for a good portion of the tournament even told me that he was very impressed with my play.

I made three mistakes that I could have avoided during the course of the tournament, two were for minimal losses that didn’t hurt me too bad. The third was bluffing in Stud HL with only a pair of kings, and the other Ian making a hero call with a weak two-pair and no low. He had shown a pretty impressive bluff with total air a few hands before and I thought I could push him off a weak two=pair, but he made a nice call and set me back early on. Of course, I recovered nicely from the deficit though.

To say I’m happy with this win would be a major understatement. I’ve proven I can win at HORSE in online play, but I’m glad that I’ve extended that success to live play. I’m looking at a few HORSE tourneys that take place around town during the Series (Binions and the Golden Nugget), and quite possibly playing the $1500 HORSE event at the Series.

I may look to obtain a few backers for the event, we’ll see. It would be a deal similar to what CK and Snuffy have done in the past. Stay tuned for more information.