Sunday, July 31

Cowboy Up

Are There Cowboys In New Jersey?

(This entry crossposted at Steal The Blinds.)

Because I'm a masochist, I'm again trying to get into the WPT Borgata Poker Open. I skipped one of my usual steps, though, and actually ponied up the $26 for the minisatellite instead of winning a $4.40 miniminisatellite to get there.

I had outrageously good cards and was the tournament chip leader for a while. In the 2½ hours I was playing, I caught A/A twice and K/K several times. This post concerns my adventures with them cowboys in the stretch of 30 minutes.

K/K is a powerful hand, the second strongest hand in Hold'em. Unfortunately, it is often a vulnerable hand.

With the blinds at 60/120, I found Kª/K¨ under the gun. At the time I'd just been knocked off the chip lead because I couldn't make my flush in a previous hand. But I still had over 3500 chips. I raised with my cowboys, to an even 300. Everyone folded to the big blind (who I'll call "Roy Rogers"), who called.

The flop came 9¨/Q¨/Q©. A good flop for my hand: I'm behind only a queen or A/A, and even if Roy had me beat I can still catch a king or two running cards to fill a straight or flush. He checked and I made a pot-size bet of 660. Although I figured I was ahead in the hand, if Roy had a one-card draw, I didn't want him to see it for cheap.

He raised all-in, for 2329 more. I called instantly, because anyone with a Q would slowplay it, definitely, for sure, absolutely . . . right?

He had Q§/8©. Ouch. Guess not. The turn and river were 2© and 5© respectively and suddenly I was short-stacked. If I had raised more before the flop, I might have pushed him off his marginal hand, but I couldn't worry about that now.

Six hands later, I had 8§/8¨ in middle position. In between, I got lucky enough to save my ass by splitting a pot I was dominated in (K/J vs. K/Q, the board showed two pair), then suck out and double up. In this hand, the player two seats to my right raised to 420, then Roy Rogers, who was on my immediate right, reraised to 720, and I pushed all of my 1500+ chips in. I was hoping they both had big cards so I would have a solid chance of tripling up (near 50% if one had A/K and the other A/Q), or that one of them would have pocket 9s or 10s and would give it up.

Not so lucky. The first raiser folded, but Roy called and turned over K§/Kª. Uh-oh.

The flop came Qª/2ª/8ª. I caught the card I needed, but I was still in danger, because he now had a flush draw; I was slightly less than a 2-1 favorite. The turn was 4§. The river was 5¨ and I doubled up.

The rollercoaster continued three hands later, when I found 9¨/9ª under the gun. I decided to just call the big blind in the hopes of flopping a set. The table short-stack, in middle position (whom I'll call . . . uh . . . I'm not big on famous cowboys, I can't think of another one . . . I got it: "Troy Aikman"), raised all-in for 1200. I called. He had K¨/K§. I couldn't beat the odds again and I was back down to the low-2000s.

Following that hand, this is what I typed in the chat window:

marchron: well, let's see, i've lost with kings
marchron: i've beaten someone holding kings
marchron: then i lost to someone holding kings
marchron: all i have to do is win with kings now and the cycle is complete

It was prescient. Ten hands later, after the blinds went up to 80/160, I found K©/K¨ in the big blind. Troy Aikman limped in. Roy Rogers limped in from the small blind. I raised to 700. They both folded.

It wasn't a big pot, but I did win. The cycle was complete.

As for the rest of the tourney, I got shafted by the table balance process, being placed at a table with the four biggest stacks while the table with six of the seven smallest stacks got some respite with each other and no whales around. The tournament leader made a very dumb call when I had a pair, and sucked out for a bigger pair to bust me. The top 9 made the main satellite, the next three cashed for a slight profit, and I finished in 14th, winning nothing but a good pokerblog post. Bastard.

I'll write a new essay tomorrow. I swear. Okay, I know I've let you down before, but I'm serious this time. With the help of a pamphlet I read about blog depression, I'm ready to conquer my malaise.

After all, admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery.

(Edit 8/1 11:16 PM to add the Steal The Blinds link.)


Location: Mishawaka, Indiana, United States

I graduated with an English degree from the University Of Notre Dame in 2001, and in 2008 I have a day job that has nothing to do with my degree but gets the bills paid in a semi-regular fashion. (I have running water five days a week!) The idea is that once I get turned around on my bills, I go to grad school. I also have an idea for cold fusion. Anyone's guess which will be feasible first. In non-work mode, I'm usually reading columns by famous and well-read thinkers, blogs by critically praised writers, or sometimes blogs by overzealous cranks who make me laugh. I yearn to be all three at once; until then I'll settle for being the third. I also have an undying love for the Chicago Cubs and Notre Dame football. Praise them and I'll buy you a beer; curse them and I'll dump it over your head. If that's not enough, I'm becoming quite the fan of no-limit Texas Hold'em. My games have one of two results: I either win all the money or whine because I didn't win all the money.

marchandchronicles -at-

Fair warning: I reserve the right to post any and all criticisms and flames, in their entirety. Seriously. Just ask this guy.

July 2006
May 2006
April 2006
January 2006

January | February | March | April
May | June | July | August
September | October | November | December

Essays on whatever I feel like writing about.

August 8, 2005: High Gas Prices
August 1, 2005: Judge Roberts' Hearings
June 20, 2005: Senator Durbin's Comments
May 23, 2005: Newsweek & Pepsi
May 2, 2005: Al Gore's MoveOn Speech
April 25, 2005: Lebanon
April 18, 2005: The Nuclear Option
April 11, 2005: Pope John Paul II
March 5, 2005: The Domino Effect
January 31, 2005: Iraqi Elections
January 24, 2005: Bush's Inaugural
January 17, 2005: Roemer, Dean & The DNC

WARNING: links, comments & trackbacks may contain profanities or other items of unscruples. marchand chronicles does not endorse any comment/opinion expressed in any such addendum.

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Contributor to Steal The Blinds


marchand chronicles has such massive readership and influence that it makes me weep.
—Glenn Reynolds


Damn right.


What's Your Line?


I absolutely love the name of your site.

Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson, Power Line
Just the name? Not the content? . . . I'll take it.

You have something in common with Dave Barry, Hemingway, and Mark Steyn: I'm not linking to them, either.


That's good stuff there Mark.

Dean Barnett, Soxblog
Psst, it's "Mike."

(click to buy)

St. Elsewhere
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All text and original images © MMVI by Mike Marchand/Marchand Chronicles.

Okay, so I don't really have a copyright. But I still don't want you ripping me off. Reprint it all over the Internet if you like, but give me proper credit and link back to me. Besides, if you're going to plagiarize, steal from someone with some talent.

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