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My 1st no-limit tourney @ B&M.

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  • My 1st no-limit tourney @ B&M.

    Tonight, was my 2nd time ever playing live poker.

    I was so giddy & excited, that I couldn't eat dinner. I drank a double tall hazlenut latte, about an hour before it was time to leave. I was flyin' high! However, as had been recommended, I made sure to shove an Advantage bar in my coat pocket. I knew I would need the energy & food, later.

    As was suggested, I arrived at 5:30 pm. Check-in was at 5:45pm, the tourney was scheduled to begin at 6 pm. I was 2nd to arrive. Wow, I felt early. I confirmed that the tourney was, in fact, full. 66 players & a waiting list, to boot. (Top 7 pay out.) I checked in, & picked my random seat assignment. (In all, there were maybe 5-6 women in the tournament.)

    While waiting, I asked the assistant (Not pit boss & not a dealer. *shrugs* I don't know who he was.) for a blinds structure sheet. He searched high & low, but didn't have an extra. So, he took to me to the one posted on the wall, and proceeded to read the sheet to me, like I was completely new to poker. Mind you, this is the first appearance, at this casino. I committed the structure to memory, and went on my merry way.

    Not long later, I noticed the info posted for an upcoming Canadian Poker Tour (CPT) event. $400 + $30 buy-in. Maximum of 66 players. 1st place wins $10,000. Yes, that's real dollars!!

    After previously perusing the CPT webpage, I knew there was some kind of registration process. So, again, I approached the assistant and asked him about it. He kinda scoffed & said in disbelief, "You wanna register for the CPT?!" "Yeah," I said. Kinda shrugging my shoulders. What could it hurt? It didn't commit me to paying the buy-in or playing. Might as well be prepared, just in case. Ya know? Still not taking me seriously, he told me that registration wasn't even open yet, but I could sign up online. "Okay, cool, I'll do that." He still didn't believe me. Aw, well, what did I care.

    I sat at my first table. Table 1, seat 9. It was perfect! I love sitting in the corner of a room! I can watch everyone come & go. I get a feel for who was a regular, who wasn't; who was serious, who wasn't.

    I also took another suggested tip, & made friendly with my neighbour on my left. Unfortunately, the poor guy didn't last long. I knew he wasn't destined to be there long, when he had no idea who Phil Helmuth was. *smirks* So, I soon became friendly with the next guy.

    I quickly learned who were the rocks, who were the loose callers. This table was riddled with the typical poker players. I got a few hands. When I raised or re-raised, everyone folded. I rarely saw a flop.

    I was just getting really comfortable with the my read on my foes, when they broke the table. (Shipped us off to empty seats at other tables, & closed this table down.) Aw well, if I run into the original players again later, I already had a good read on them.

    This table, was a whole new ball of wax. There were some decent players here; you could see it in their eyes. Not to mention, the mean age had suddenly jumped up dramatically. The experience was beautiful!! Shortly after arriving, I made a raise. The response? "Wellhell, ...welcome to the table." All girly, complete with head bob, I cheerfully said, "Thank you!" And they all folded. *winks*

    At the opposite end of the table was tame but very friendly, Dick Van Dyke. (For ease, that's what I'm calling him. He seemed awfully familiar to me. Hmm...) I spotted him as a decent player, even before the tourney began. Dick was sure to repeatedly tell the table that with all my action, they hadn't seen my cards yet. *winks* "She sure don't limp, do she?"

    I raised again. A short stacked called to be all-in. Finally, the table was about to see my cards. Unfortunately, Dick had stepped away to the washroom. I turned over Ac Qc. Needless to say, I won & took out the short stack. The hand was through before Dick returned. However, everyone was sure to tell him what my cards had been, even before he was sitting down again. *laughs*

    When arriving at a new table, my first raise always spooked my opponents. I was aggressive, & it took them off guard. *laughs* Even some of the dealers would say, "Wow, the raise is x!" Like it was unheard of!

    Soon after, this table was busted. The tournament started at 6 tables; we were now at 3. Only this time, I was no longer in the smoke-free portion of the casin0. Now, we were on the fringe of the noisy slot machines, & in the middle of the clouds of smoke. Surprisingly, neither seemed to phase me much.

    I was surprised that we were suddenly down to 3 tables, yet not. So far, the competition had not been tough, but not bad. Far superior to what I ran into in Washington. (Even the dealers far out performed the dealers from Washington!! They could count!! They respected & listened to the pit boss. They announced a player's action for the rest of the table. It was wonderful!

    Okay, so third table. Pretty unventful. You could tell who was miffed 'cause they were getting crappy cards, and you could tell when someone had a hand, by one tell or another.

    Suddenly, we're down to 2 tables. Wow! How did that happen?! I'm shorter stacked than I'd like; have been for a while. But now, I'm sitting at roughly 6 x BB (big blind).

    Aaron would tell me to wait for a decent hand then move all-in pre-flop. So, in the SB (small blind), I caught pocket pair (pp) Q with a limper or two. I moved all-in. One of the limpers had an A rag, and decided to call. *winks* He doubled me up! Whew!! I needed that. I was now comfortably back in the game. I was now sitting at 11k, with the blinds at 400/800.

    There was one young guy, in particular. I'll call him Googly-Eyes. If I raised against his blind, he would look at me, unsure. All I had to do was smile & do the 'double-wink.' (Semi-slow wink with both eyes.) Then, I would look away, as if uninterested. *grins mischeviously* It made him all giggly-silly, and within seconds he would fold. It was a riot!! Next time I did it, he yelled at me for hammering at his blinds. "It's nothing personal!!," I'd giggle, throwing my hands in the air. I'd wait a beat or two, look at him, smile, & 'double-wink.' He'd fold. *laughs*

    Somewhere in here, with one limper, I raised in late position with Kc Tc. I received multiple calls. Flop came, K T x, rainbow. I made a standard 1/2 pot bet. All three, had somehow caught a draw off that flop. Before I knew it, they were throwing in the dregs of their chips to be all-in. By that point, even if I was beat, pot odds said I had to call! I took the pot, & booted all three!! The uproar was amazing! The 3 players were in shock. They couldn't believe it, when I turned over my cards. When their draws didn't hit, they were even more dumbfounded. A decent player, who I'll call SquintyEyes, then dubbed me, "The Destroyer!" *laughs out loud* Woohoo!! I got a nickname!!!

    The female dealer instaneously took an affinity to me. *grins* (There was only 1 other female left in the tournament, by this time.) She told me I was making her job easy; knocking 3 out in one blow. *winks* She dealt another 2 hands, before the pit boss declared break. Once everyone had left the table & I was still piling up the chips from my latest win, she leaned over & told me that I was playing great.

    End of break, we received new seating assignments for the final table. This, was the final 11!! Wow! Walking in, I said if I made it to the final table, that would rock. But I wasn't aiming for it, I wasn't even anticipating it. But here I was!

    When we sat down, I realized I was either chip leader or 2nd for chips; it was hard to tell. Surprisingly, the table was not full of large stacks, as I anticipated. There were a bunch of small stacks; waiting to make it into the money. (Again, top 7 paid.)

    I made a few well-timed steals, against short stacks. No one was being aggressive, so my bets were intimidating. I didn't have to have crap. When I'd start to get too excited, I'd remind myself "play smart."

    Just after I had taken down another large pot, one of the women I had been keeping an eye on throughout the tourney had returned. (She was booted early.) She was so excited to see a woman in the lead at the final table, that she let out a huge squeal & attacked the person standing next to her. Then, she carefully caught my eye, and mouthed "play smart." She was beaming proud. *grins*

    About that time, Mr SquintyEyes made some comment or another about me being lucky. That was his favourite adjective, when it came to me & my 'ability.' The woman wandered over, hugged him, & warned me that he was "really, really good." I told her that I knew, & had been keeping an eye on him. *winks*

    It's now down to roughly 6 players. There are multiple short stacks to my left, plus the 2 better players and larger stacks - SquintyEyes and CheekSpasms. I was dealt ppK, under the gun. I knew if I raised, I'd get no action. So, I limped. Sure enough, the 2 better players got in. *grins mischeviously*

    Flop comes J T x, rainbow. My foes were in the blinds & had to act first. CheekSpasms bet weak, SquintyEyes folded. I re-raised 1/2 the pot. CheekSpasms called. It's now just he & I, in the hand. Turn = 9. He bet weak, I re-raised again. He called. River = K. He checked, immediately. I knew he didn't have the Q, so I moved all-in. He waited & waited. Then, folded. I flipped over the trip Kings, & the whole table & crowd was in an uproar of groans. I had him severely beat.

    GooglyEyes was once again sitting 2 seats to my left. He says, "Wow, last time I saw you, you had 2k in chips. Now, look at you!" I was, now, the table chip leader. "So, what's the best hand you've had so far, today?" "Two pair," I said. "No," he says, "like a str8 or a flush or a full house or something." I laughed and said, "nope, 2 pair. Oh, wait!! There was that hand where I had trips (not 2 hands earlier)." He was dumbfounded.

    Ol' SquintyEyes had been consistently folding, shaking his head at me, and repeatedly calling me lucky. Out of the blue, he decided to make a raise. It struck me as strange. Despite the fact that the table was now short handed, I decided to fold. I winked at him. & told him that he'd been awful quiet lately. That, I'd respect his raise. He didn't get any callers. *giggles* MIL & FIL saw his cards as he disgustedly flashed them to those standing behind him. Pocket Aces. *laughs*

    He was getting really miffed. Finally he decided to move all-in and made it 11k to go. I re-raised to 22k, to force out any additional foes. I had pp8. The guy to my left, decides to call. Woah! I didn't like that. Flop = 3d 7d 8d I move all-in. Guy to my left calls, he flips over ppQ. My trip 8s stood & I booted 2 more. Sweet!!! Mr SquintyEyes was not very happy.

    MIL & FIL have been standing around for hours now. I thought they would have left long ago. Especially, when I was transferred out into the smoking room. Nope, they stayed the entire time, & were sure to stay out of my line of site. They were so considerate! Apparently, they were listening to the chatter of the outside rings of the crowd.

    There was such a stir, that the staff throughout the casino were talking about me. The pit boss was not only watching me for signs of cheating, but he was scoping the room for someone signalling me. (I took a tip from Jennifer Harman. She said when she's bluffing, she doesn't even think about poker. She fills her mind with random things like baseball or the weather. Well, I did the same regardless of whether I was bluffing or not. I looked about the place, completely uninterested. *winks*) Man, was that guy watching me. I thought it was all natural, but MIL, FIL, & Jay got the full scoop. (When it was down to "6 baseball caps & Seeking," FIL called Jay to tell him to come down.)

    Suddenly it was heads up. CheekSpasms & me. We played 2, maybe 3 hands. I raised pre-flop with KT offsuit. My foe called. Flop = Q J x. I bet the flop, my foe weakly re-raised me. I called. Turn = Q He moved all-in with 14k. Compared to the pot, it was a pittance. I figured I had to call, and said just that. He tells me, "good call." Even before I turned my cards over. He had T8 offsuit. I don't even remember what the river card was, and then they were congratulating me! It didn't register. I just kinda sat there trying to confirm he didn't have a pair. But uh... I'd won!!!! I'd frellin' won!!!!!

    The initial congratulations were not even out their mouths, when the assistant asked me if I wanted to reserve my seat in the CPT event. *laughs* He wasn't scoffing, anymore! And so much for registration not being open, yet! *laughs* Wow, what a turn around!! I learned the details & told him I would think on it. That, I wanted to relish this win, first, but that I would definitely be back!!

    He teased me a bit & then starting counting out the money. I was now shaking uncontrollably. I'm dumbfounded. All I could say was, "this is my first live no-limit tournament. I've only played live once before." I was just staring .

    Family was soon offering hugs, congratulations, and telling me how proud they were. It was so surreal. All I could think was that I had wished Hubby had been there to see this, and that Aaron (my mentor) would be so proud!

    As we slowly made our way toward the front door, I was suddenly swarmed by female staff. Those who couldn't swarm me, had stopped dealing their games & were waving at me from across the casino. I kid you not! They were all asking, "did you win, did you win?!" When I told them I had, another round of cheers when up. I threw my fists in the air & yelled, "for womankind!" (*laughs at self* Hey, I was flying high on adrenaline!!) They cheered right back at me!

    Even those at the slots in their mind-numbing daze, started asking what I did. When I said, I won. "Won what?" "The poker tournament." As if that wasn't enough, "well, how much did you win?" *laughs* I honestly wasn't even sure. On top of that, I wasn't sure I wanted to tell a stranger about the wad in my pocket!

    It's still not real... On the other hand, why am I surprised? I had a talented & gifted mentor, classmates & Shades that helped and help to hone my game.

    You reminded to pay attention to betting patterns moreso than physical tells. This was hugely helpful/relevant.

    Playing live, there is so much more information to work with! I never really played the doe-eyed ditzy little girl. Oh, I fumbled & made a mess of my chips. I made regular blunders, but nothing that affected my game. I just looked clutzy. *laughs*

    Oh! Betting & raising was easier than I had anticipated. I have been fretting about being able to do the math on the fly. About doing it quickly enough to keep the game moving, & to not annoy my neighbours. The coloured chips make it a slam bang. 'Oh, there are 5 of those & 7 of those, that means there is roughly this much in the pot. That means, I want to bet this much.'

    I saw SquintyEYes in the parking lot, afterward. He said, "well played." I said, "great game," in reply. He just smirked & walked off. Um... I don't think he's a big fan. *laughs*

    Umm... I won!!!! I have a great stack to fuel my poker purse!! Hey!?!! It's my biggest cash win, yet!!!!

    I'm still flippin' flyin'!!! It doesn't seem real!! It really doesn't! Wow...

    A huge thank you, Aaron!!!!! I couldn't have done this without you. *a bit shmeepy* Thank you...

  • #2
    I've been here in PSO since the beginning. I enjoyed this post more than any I have ever read.

    I'm happy for your success Christina. The second one will be easier. WTG girl.


    • #3


      • #4
        Congrats Christina! Had tears of joy reading the post. We are proud of you.
        2 Time Bracelet Winner


        • #5
          Way to take it down! Great job! :P


          • #6
            WOOHOOO!!!!!!!!!!! I am smilin and dancin around...I am so very proud of you .. wish I could have been there to cheer for you.

            please post is delightful to read and the visuals are awesome. CheekSpasms- that is classic. It might even pre-empt WildBill's phrase "a**hat" ! LOL !!!!!


            • #7
              Way to Go!!! I knew it would only be a matter of time. Maybe us 'hazy-ettes' need to start comparing schedules before we conquer the poker world...I think I'm heading to New Orleans next week. :wink:


              • #8
                What fun reading your post! I smiled all the way through it... Thank you for sharing. You played a great game.


                • #9
                  way to go, girl!!!! awesome job!! wohoooooo!!!


                  • #10
                    Great Post Chris,

                    I have some very funny visual images of the poker players in Canada. Enjoyed reading the post and all of the descriptors. Cannt wait til your next tourny. BTW, wonderful job in the tournament.



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kaelaine
                      Way to Go!!! I knew it would only be a matter of time. Maybe us 'hazy-ettes' need to start comparing schedules before we conquer the poker world...I think I'm heading to New Orleans next week. :wink:
                      LOL No worries, there. For now, at least. I'll get out every now & then & take down the locals; you go out & conquer the world!

                      Since I wrote the post in the wee hours of the morn, I neglected to remember a portion of a major hand. So, here it is again - some of it recapped to make more sense.

                      He was getting really miffed. Finally he decided to move all-in and made it 11k to go. I re-raised to 22k, to force out any additional foes. I had pp8. The guy to my left, decides to call. Woah! I didn't like that. Flop = 3d 7d 8d I move all-in. Guy to my left calls to be all-in. He flips over ppQ, no diamonds. Mr SquintyEyes had Ad rag. The river brought a 4th diamond to the board, giving SquintyEyes the nut flush. He was out of his seat, cheering that he had finally beaten my luck. He failed to recognize that that particular diamond, had sealed his fate. It paired the board & gave me a full house. Sweet!!! Mr SquintyEyes was booted 4th & was not very happy.


                      • #12
                        Great report Christina,
                        Alot of heart went into that post (your writing is equal to your poker skills) and I hope that will inspire alot of other Ladies and gents at PSO to play some live tournys this year!! (Check out the dates for PSO live tour and meet your E-buddies for real)


                        Congratulations and best of luck in future games.

                        PPLewis :P


                        • #13
                          Thank you, all!!! It's still too surreal.


                          • #14
                            Right on. Keep it up!!!!


                            • #15
                              Great story (loved your descriptions and nicknames for players :lol: )and very inspiring. Just signed up for some lessons from Hazy--congrats from a future Hazyette!



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