Saturday, August 6, 2005


Well I didn't win anything playing poker. I played in the charity tournament on the 3rd and only had two hands that were even remotely playable so my stack of chips was just gently eroded by the blinds. Still, I lasted longer than John McRirrick and was still playing when the three tables were broken down to two. The next day saw the start of the tournament proper.

Your seat is drawn at random so I was a little perturbed to find myself sitting at a table with 7 big name pros and a PE teacher called Rob. I got some good hands early on and was briefly the chip leader - is there another sport where a rank amateur can take on world champions and spend 20 minutes ahead? They were playing for 90 minute sessions with 10 minute breaks and at the end of the first session I had turned my $20,000 stake into $26,000 and was feeling pretty good about myself. But then I had been gifted some amazing cards having been dealt AA once and KK twice. There's something ridiculously satisfying about taking a pot from Gus Hanson or Scott Fischman.

In the second session I lost around $15,000 and then in the third, with my stack dwindling it was getting too easy to bully me out of a pot. In the end with a 10J suited I flopped top pair (10s) stayed in the hand and then was given two pairs when a Jack came down on the river card and decided that it was time to go all in. If I won the hand I'd be back with enough chips to compete properly and if I didn't I'd be out but I hadn't had many opportunities and if I folded I was pretty sure that I was just delaying the inevitable and committing myself to a slower and more painful demise. I lost. Heigh ho.

A lot of players had bought their way into the tournament and I'd been given a free-roll so I had nothing to lose and enjoyed myself hugely. If only it was possible to cash-out part way through a tournament. As with the charity tournament at least I lasted longer than McRirrick. J. which means nothing but as randomly assigned benchmarks go it's good enough for me.

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