Last night I played in my first WWdN poker tournament, and had a lot of fun. "WWdN" stands for Wil Wheaton dot Net, and Wil is the host for these tourneys on PokerStars. He started them a few weeks ago on Friday nights, but I have been busy on Fridays doing "pit dad" duty (see my post "It's OK, I'm with the band..." in my personal blog for background). Last night was the first Thursday night game, created for west coast players with a later start time. I decided to play in this one because I expect to be tied up again tonight, and I had the day off from work today so staying up late wasn't a problem. Here is a recap of how the game went for me, with my memory ably assisted by the PokerStars transcript.
9:30 PM (CT) - Cards are in the air, as the saying goes. There are only seven players at my table. My first hand is 9-6s. Easy fold. Over the next several hands, I get a lot of trash for starting cards, and fold just about eveything coming my way. There isn't a whole lot of action; lots of folds around to the blinds, and some raises that aren't called.
9:36 PM - "I wish I could have limped in" hand: I'm UTG with 32o. No-brainer fold. The flop comes 2-2-3.
More junk hands follow. I manage to steal a few blinds when in position. Considering how tight everyone is playing, I'm thinking I should be a bit more aggressive and try to pick up a few more pots. But I decide to stick with my conservative plan and bet any good hands I get aggressively.
9:47 PM - I finally get KK, but only one caller to my raise, who then folds on the flop. Hey, at least they didn't get cracked.
More crap. A few more steals.
9:57 PM - My first stone cold bluff. I get Jd-7d in the BB. It's folded around, Oolon in the SB min raises, I call. Flop is 4c-9h-6c. Check, check. Turn is 6s. I have no pair and no draw, but Oolon checks again. I bet 90, Oolon folds. Whaddya know, it actually works sometimes!
10:00 PM - I finally win a decent sized pot. I get Ac-2d in middle position. I open with a 3X BB raise. CW21 in the BB calls. Flop is 5d-3c-9c. CW21 bets 200, I call with my Ace, gutshot straight draw and backdoor flush draw. Turn is Ah. CW21 bets another 200. I figure if he has paired an Ace, he would bet bigger, so my top pair is probably good. I raise it to 500; CW21 folds. I pick up 1125 in chips, almost doubling up on that hand. Feels good.
I win another nice pot a couple hands later when my A5s flops two pair and I get chased to the river.
10:16 PM - After a lot of worthless hands, I get As-Qs UTG and raise to 400 (blinds are 50/100). ZowieZ on the short stack on my left raises all-in to 505. Oolon in the BB calls, and so do I. Flop is 7d-2s-8s. Nut flush draw for me, not looking like much for anyone else. Oolon checks; I check, although I should have bet to avoid giving Oolon the free card. Turn is 9d. Oolon checks again. With a straight draw out there now, I bet 300 (not enough) and Oolon calls. River is 7h. No flush for me, but possible trips or boat elsewhere. Oolon checks again, so I figure he hasn't made his hand, or he's thinking of check-raising. In case of the latter, I check also, and Oolon shows Kh-Jc. ZowieZ had Ah-6h. I take it all, putting me at 4895 and the chip lead at my table.
I fold a lot and hang on to the table chip lead for a while, but I get overtaken by people who get cards to play while the junk keeps landing in front of me. Meanwhile the blinds keep going up and are gnawing away at my stack.
10:53 PM - Some excitement at my table: Wil has just been moved to it, and is seated directly to my right. Just where I want him, as long as he doesn't kick me under the table. At this point I am short stack at my table with 2145 and terrymr is leader with 8545, some of which he won from me earlier when I folded my AQo to his raise on a flop with a pair of nines in it.
11:01 PM - My stack is dwindling fast: 1545 with blinds at 100/200. I can last for a while but don't want to waste any chances. I'm dealt As-8s in the SB. It's folded to me, and I raise to 800. terrymr in the BB calls. Flop Ts-5s-Td. With my nut flush draw, I decide to push; terrymr folds. I heave a sigh of relief.
11:14 PM - Boredom has nearly set in. Fold, fold, fold. I remember the second of the six principles at the martial arts school I go to: Be Patient. I get moved to another table. This fails to change my luck, since I am still getting dung like 82o.
11:20 PM - I manage to steal a pot by pushing with A5o and getting no callers. I'm still alive, but still second-shortest stack at my table.
11:22 PM - My table is turning into the second TV table. Card Squad blogger Joanne has just been moved in, two seats to my left. Shane Nickerson, friend of Wil, is here too, between Joanne and me.
11:24 PM - I push with A-8 again and get one caller. Big D Fan26 shows A-T; I'm a dog. Flop is 2-K-4, turn is 8c giving me a pair, river is a K. My eights win. Another big sigh of relief.
11:31 PM - A hand that turned out well for me, even if I may have played it wrong. Joanne limps in for 400, everyone else folds, I have JJ in the BB. I raise it to 1200, Joanne calls. Flop is 7-7-3 rainbow. I make a continuation bet of 1200, Joanne raises it to 2400. She's probably representing a 7 for trips, or maybe she has a 3, or a pair of them. Would she have limped from early position with an unpaired 7? Seems unlikely, but the 3s would have made sense. I didn't think of it at the time, so I called her raise. Turn is a 2h. I check, Joanne raises all-in. By this point I feel committed to this pot, and I don't think the 2 helped her, unless she was dropping The Hammer. But I doubt she would have limped with 7-2; she would have raised with it if she was going to play it. I decide to take a risk, and I call her all-in with my remaining chips. I turn over my Jacks; she shows 6-6. I double up, and Joanne is crippled with only 425 left and blinds and antes at 200/400/25.
Next hand: I get Ac-Kc in the small blind. Joanne calls the big blind all-in with her last 400. Euclides also calls, and I raise but Euclides folds, so it's Joanne and me again. She shows Ks-Qs. I'm ahead, but the flop is Q-T-8, all diamonds. Joanne jumps ahead with the pair. Turn is Tc; river is Js, giving me the straight and knocking Joanne out. I've never sighed with relief so much in one night before. My chip count at this point is 12,030. It's all downhill from here.
11:42 PM - Blinds are 300/600/50. I'm in the small blind and get Ad-5d. It's folded to me. I raise to 1800; Mourn in the the BB reraises to 5400, which is over half my stack. I chicken out and fold. Mourn shows J-6o. I know I can't wait for pocket aces forever, but I'm not ready to stake it all on A-small. Not yet.
Next hand: I'm on the button and get Ah-Qs. BigBry UTG goes all-in for 4965. I've got 8665 in chips, but I have to like my chances with AQ, so I call. BigBry shows Ts-Jc. I've got him dominated, big time. But wait; the flop comes Tc-2d-9d. To add insult to injury, the turn is Jd, for two pair. I need a K to make the straight, but the river is the 7c. Now I'm down to 3640. Things are looking kinda discouraging, having dumped about 9K chips in ten minutes.
11:43 PM - very next hand, I'm in the cutoff with Qh-Kh. One raiser in front of me, and I push. Shane, in the SB, pushes also with his last 1810 chips. The original raiser folds. Shane shows Ks-6s. The board comes Jh-4h-9d-2s-As. My Q wins and Shane is busted out. I'm back up to 7950.
I go card dead and the blinds are taking chunks out of my stack. I try a couple of hands but have to fold when the flops miss me by miles.
11:53 PM - I have 4150 in chips. In middle position, I get Ac-Jc. redrebel in front of me calls 600; I bump it to 2400. Mourn reraises to 6000. Everyone else folds, and I push in my last 1750. AJ suited isn't a bad hand to take a stand with heads-up, right? Mourn shows Ad-Kd. Also not a bad hand to play. The board comes Qd-7s-Ts-9h-6c, and I'm out in 13th place.
I don't feel like I made any really boneheaded errors (although some may disagree, and I'd be grateful to hear where I really blew it). I did have a great time, and was pretty well pleased with my decisions most of the way. I'd be very happy to have any feedback anyone cares to leave!