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HAPPY HOLIDAYS
by Kenna James   
Wednesday, 21 November 2007


Relaxing Poolside

Here's an interesting hand I played during the $300 multi-rebuy no limit event on Full Tilt. I went from last to first in chips at my table and was sitting on a stack of about 25,000 with the blinds 600-1200 and a 100 ante. An early position raiser makes it $3800 and I decide to make a defensive call with .

The flop fell       The raiser started the hand with 14,000 and I had him well covered but decided to proceed passively and flat call his $3400 flop bet. The turn card came the  and now I returned my opponents check with a $3500 volley which he called. Now when an insignificant  falls on the river my opponents suddenly moves all-in for his last 8,000. I have the  and knowing that my opponent can't hold the nut flush find his all-in bet perplexing. Why would he put his tournament life at risk when I've played the hand like I could have the nut flush myself.? I decide to make the call and find that I am right in that my opponent doesn't hold a flush. Unfortunately he still has the best hand by making a straight with . This is one of the problems of soft playing the best hand, your opponent can catch up rather quickly. My passive play of AQ here cost me nearly half my stack , put me in reverse and was the catalyst of sending me to the cyber rail.

As the holidays are announced with the arrival of Thanksgiving I would like to wish all of you a great holiday season and share a warm story with you that happened this morning up here in Pendleton.  I was awakened by cries from the pool area to come and watch what has evidently beccome an annual event. Howard Andrew, or simply "Tahoe" as he is known is an old timer that I've enjoyed playing with for many years. "Tahoe" is a self-deprecating kind man and when I heard he was down at the pool taking part in a swimming race I thought I would bring my computer down to report the event live as it happened. So here we go;

In lane 4 from Wallnut Creek, California, at the self proclaimed age of "older then dirt" is Howard Andrew "Tahoe."  Even though he often quips and pokes fun of how old he is I'm quite sure that he is not a day over 90 and is just seeking sympathy from anyone who will listen.

In lane 2 is Jennifer Keffer, she is ten years old and is from Emmett, Idaho. She is quick to point out that she is the defending champion of this event which started last year at the challenge of the older statesman and now has become an annul event.  She is splashing around anxious for the event to start.

Susie Isaacs is quick to point out that Tahoe looks like he's put on ten pounds since last years competition and although the buoyancy is a nice safety measure she has made him a heavy underdog going into this mornings competition. Spectators (okay, one named Nigel) from as far away as the south of France have come to watch the competition. Tahoe has just announced that he's about worn out from his warm up as they take their marks.

The flag is up. As they make the first turn it is clear to see that the "old man" has lost a step, or should I say a stroke. No, not stroke, that's a bad word to use with someone like Tahoe in the race. They are in a dead heat (oops) however, because Jennifer has literally swam out of her suit and has to make some adjustments. As they come down the stretch I see Tahoe's head turn and his steely hazel eyes take a peek above the water line to see his fierce 10 year old competitor at his shoulder and losing ground. It is at this point that either Tahoe pulled a muscle or perhaps it was a stroke of his sympathetic soul that held him up just enough for Jennifer to win a photo finish. There is no evidence or proof to indicate which won out but one thing is for sure, Jennifer is grinning ear to ear as she accepts the cheers of onlookers having won the gold medal once again.

I remember the days growing up and swimming at the Holliday Inn and staying in hotels as a young kid. I loved those days which left me with many fond memories such as this will for Jennifer I'm sure. A fun and relaxing morning before heading into today's event, a No Limit Hold-em shoot out.

Enjoy the journey,

Kenna James



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