It’s been a while since I had time to play in a small poker tournament in Atlantic City, and while this seems like an odd time of year for it, today I found I was caught up with everything: work, Christmas stuff, even in good shape with my next Logo Study, so I went to the Taj Mahal to play.
The Sunday morning $60 tourney was a small one, 38 players. Guess most people had other places to be. The top five players would finish in the money, and I thought a smaller field might be good for me, as I get tired of sitting there after a while, and this one shouldn’t go too long. I started out well, winning one big hand with Ace-Queen and a flop of Ace-Ace-Eight against a man with the other ace but a lower kicker. Won a few other small pots, and by the end of the first hour had doubled up my starting chips. The second hour didn’t go as well. I was getting nothing good to play with, and got caught in a semi-bluff attempt when the player I was up against raised me all in. I couldn’t call. By the end of the second hour my stack was dwindling, but so were the players. I went all in with King-Queen of diamonds, was called by two players with better hands, and lucked out by pulling in a straight, so that tripled me up and kept me good for a while.
In the third hour we got down to the final table, then things really slowed down, and I was getting nowhere. Finally I was dealt a pair of Kings. I called, and the guy to my left raised enough to put me all in, which I was happy to do. And his raise chased out the other players, so it was heads-up, usually good when you’re short-stacked, as I was. He turned over a pair of sevens, and I doubled up again, but even so was still the short stack. The guy on my left went out, leaving six players, with me as the shortest stack. Again, I was getting nothing worth playing, but did pull off one bluff to keep me going.
Finally I was down to six big blinds, time to go all-in for the last time. I was in on the big blind already when someone raised enough to put me all-in. I had King-seven of spades, and I decided to go for it. Unfortunately, the other guy showed pocket Aces, and I was soon out of the game in sixth place, just off the money. That’s called being “on the bubble,” I was the Bubble Boy today. Ah well, so it goes. I think I played well, just ran out of luck at the wrong time. There’s always next year…