$500 Limit Hold-em Bike tourney
I played my first tournament in a month at The Bike in LA today. A $500 Limit Hold-em event. I love Limit Hold-em and enjoy the subtle nuances of the game. We started with 4500 in chips and I never got my stack above 7,000 in the four hours that I played. I made a couple of successful moves to maintain my stack but never had enough premium hands or caught a run of cards to gain a release point in which to make a deep run.
One of the moves I made to stay afloat in this fast paced blind structure turned out quite lucky for me. I was in the BB with T/3 and everyone folded to the cut-off who just limped in. The small blind called and the three of us took the flop. The flop was 8/4/2 rainbow. It got checked to the position player who bet and when the SB folded I saw an opening much like a running back who sees a seam of daylight in an otherwise crowded line of scrimmage. So I pealed off a card looking to make a move at the pot on a later street.
Since I wasn’t getting any cards and we were already in round four, I decided to make a calculated play for the pot. That opening came when an Ace hit the turn. Surely my opponent couldn’t have limped in back position with an Ace, could he? I thought it would appear stronger if I check-raised and so that is exactly what happened. However, instead of my opponent tossing his cards to the muck as I had anticipated he made the call. The river card was a miracle 5, giving me the wheel. I led out, my opponent called and when I flipped over my hand the table just shook their head in befuddlement. That’s not a word I use often but it seems appropriate here. If in fact it is a word. Lost in vocabulary and in this hand I somehow still managed to drag home the pot.
Other key hands didn’t go my way. I moved to a table with Vince Burgio who is normally a very tight and conservative player. But after taking a pretty bad beat to a lady on my left I got caught in the cross-fire. Vince opened raised the very next hand from the cut-off. I three bet him from the button with AQ of diamonds. The BB called and we took the flop three ways. The flop fell A/Q/T with two spades. Checked to me I bet, the BB folded and Vinnie called. The turn was a 7 of spades. Again I bet and he called. The river was a 3 of spades making it a four flush on board. It went check-check and Vince showed me K9 off-suit but with the 9 of spades giving him a flush and the pot. Ironically I flopped top pair a few hands later with AT, and again was run down by two sixes who with four to a flush on board made a six high flush and I was out.
Walking around befuddled and not wanting to go home just yet I decided to play a No Limit one table satellite. I played one hand. About 15 minutes into the satellite I picked up pocket 99’s. Blinds were 25-25. One limper, I limped and the player directly on my left made it 125. It folded around to the initial limper who called and I decided to back-raise and shove all-in. I was called in both spots. The player on my left had AJ and the limper for 25 and then over caller for 1000! Had K/T! This is what I was talking about in my last blog. How do you overcome this type of deviation? A king flopped and the limp-caller eliminated both of us with this rag hand. The positive is that it allowed me to get back to my hotel room and watch a very interesting documentary which I will fill y’all in on another time. So, with the bad taste of the WSOP freshly revised on my pallet I’m thinking about giving the Bike WPT main event a miss this year and instead play the side action cash games. Ironic since I finished 2nd in this event a few years ago, but you can’t fight a phantom and that’s what this run feels like to me.
I’m past the frustrating stage now or as Mike Caro aptly describes it, “the threshold of pain.” I am content to just watch in bewilderment as pots that I should be dragging avoid me like the plague. I am doing pretty well in detaching myself from the result knowing that things will eventually turn my way. So for now, it is back to the cash games to try and make some bread for the butter. In lean times you still have to eat. Hope to see you across the felt. Till then-
Enjoy the Journey,
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