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NLHE at Canterbury

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  • NLHE at Canterbury

    Well here is my account of the first live action No-Limit Hold ‘em tournament I played on Sunday December 1st.
    It didn’t take much to commit myself to going. I have played plenty of live action limit poker at Canterbury Park as well as a Limit Tournament there. I didn’t do well playing limit, so sticking to our roots of our weekly game and my online stuff, I decided to focus on strictly No-Limit Hold ‘em.
    When I saw that Canterbury had their December No-Limit Hold ‘em tournament on the 1st I asked if anyone wanted to join me. Hind site probably saw me going anyway even if I had to do it alone, BUT, the Januaryman and Dawg32 were very into it and we set off on Sunday Morning for Shakopee.
    The drive down was nerve racking as we listened to the Vikes lose again, and we shared or concerns over the tournament that we were about to tackle. “What were the denominations of the chips”, and “when do we have to rebuy”, were some of the concerns.
    Alas we made it and quickly made our way to the casino cage under a big gold sign that said ‘Tournament”. Lay down $60 and you get your entry receipt, a small green ticket for one “Re-Buy”(I’ll explain that in a little bit), and your plastic coated seating assignment. My seating assignment for my first Canterbury No-Limit Hold ‘em tournament was Table #3, Seat #1. Which basically meant that I sat right next to the dealer on his right and would have the small blind to begin the tournament.
    So, with a half-hour to kill before the tourney dealt we ordered up a round of beers to relax. Dawg32 got Table 6 and Januaryman got table 1, I believe. So we were not to be starting at the same tables. Later on we heard the overhead page “Tournament players, please find your seats as we are about to start!”
    I stood by my table and a rather large lady standing next to me leaned over to the dealer and loudly asked what the denomination was of the chips. He laughed and said “you get eight green chips which are $25, eight black chips that are $100, and two purple chips that are $500.” Ah HA! I didn’t have to be the dumb one and ask! We started with $2000, and at any time within the first Hour of the tournament, we could trade in our green ticket, plus another $50 for an additional $2000 in tournament chips, which is known as the “Re-Buy”. So for $100 I could start the tourney with $4000 in tournament money. I opted to wait, to see how I was gonna do.
    My nerves sub-sided as the dealer dealt the first hand. I was back in my element, I knew how much money I had, I had my first hand, and I was feeling relaxed. Blinds started at $25-$50. I watched the table as they looked at their two “hole” cards. To my left was a real young kid, maybe 20. Then the large lady I told you about, and then some others, young and old. Then I noticed, sitting in seat 8, was a guy that I had seen playing the Top limit games and I had also seen him at the final table in other tournaments I had seen at Canterbury. So, obviously he was no slouch, and probably made pretty good money playing cards. I dubbed him “the rock” at my table. The one guy who is hard to move and will probably not go anywhere for a while. The rest I had never seen before.
    I had my $25 small blind in and “the rock” raised it to $300. Fold, fold, fold, and then to me. I looked at my cards and folded my J6 off-suit, and the big blind, who had $50 in, folded as well. There it was, the first hand. I was down $25, “the rock” was up $75, and we never saw the flop.
    The game was much like that for the first three tiers of blinds. A lot of raising before the flop, and a lot of folding. Once and awhile you would get a caller and then your would see the flop and someone would get paid off. I didn’t get started until the blinds went up to $50-$100. I did a lot of folding. I raised with good cards like A10 or higher and never got called.
    Then I hit AQ on the big blind. The large lady raised it to $300. One guy called, then fold, fold, fold, and then to me. I called.
    The flop came Ac 6d 10s. I had a pair of Aces and I checked. The large lady bet $500. The guy folded and it was to me. I thought for a while and called $500. The fourth card was a Qc. I had top two pair. The large lady bet $500. I called.
    The river card was a 3d. The large lady bet $500. I looked at the flop. No straight possibility, no flush possibility, and unless she had a pocket pair that made into 3 of a kind, I had her beat. I started to count out my chips. Uh-oh, I only have $425 left, I am going all in and I still am not sure of what she has. So I asked out loud if I could buy my $50 “Re-Buy”. Several people said no, and the dealer said I can’t do that in the middle of a hand. Not until the hand is over. So finally I said, “Alright, I call. I’m all-in.”
    The large lady took her extra $75 out of the pot and turned her cards up.
    A7 off-suit. She kept betting at me with a pair?! I calmly tossed my AQ face up on the pile of chips and took down my first big pot. I was up to $3700.
    Another hand came around when I got pocket J’s and raised $500 before the flop. One old guy called in seat 10. He was on the other side of the dealer from me, so I could not watch him. The flop came A J 7. I had 3 J’s! so I bet $600 at him and he thought for a long time before he called. The turn was another 7, I had a full house, so I went all-in. He mucked rather quickly, and just like that I am up to $5100.
    Then came “the rock”.
    The blinds had doubled again so it was $100-$200. It was getting close to the first break, so I had to decide if I wanted to spend another $50 to get my $2000 in tourney chips. I was thinking about that when “the rock” raised $1000. Fold, fold, fold, and then to me. I looked at him, I looked at his chips, and then I looked at my cards.
    I was really excited and nervous. Was I really gonna play against this guy? I looked at him(he was staring me down), I looked at his chips(a little over $2000), and I looked at mine. Then I grabbed a stack of purple chips and threw them onto the table. I said “Re-raise! $3000!” He looked at my chips(at least I thought he did, though he may have been looking at my trembling hands) then he grabbed the rest of his chips and stacked them up and said “Call.”
    He turns over his AK, and I tossed over my KK. He stood up and a few others leaned over as the flop came out A K 3 10 9. He slapped his hands together in disgust when the last card fell and he quickly turned and walked away. I had just busted “the rock” out of the tournament!
    I stacked my chips up, I had over $7500, by far the chip leader at the table. I was still glowing when the over head page notified us that it was time to break.
    I met up with Dawg32 and Januaryman and they each had a little over $3000, so the three of us were doing quite well. I decided I did not need to do the “Re-buy” and after my quick nic-hit, I sat back down and waited.
    It happened like that a lot, I only stayed in on A10 or a high pocket pair and began to amass more chips. People busted out left and right, the large lady had to go all in 4 times after I had taken it to her and she was moving pretty good too.
    My table got busted down when the blinds were $500-$1000 and I had over thirty thousand and had been pretty close to the tournament chip leader for a good portion of the tournament. Dawg32 and Januaryman had busted out 28th and 30th respectively. Now we had only 20 people left and I got seated at a new table.
    This was not a good table. I recognized half of them as players of very high limits and a few from previous tourneys I had watched from afar. I’m sure they had names like Slim, and Johnny and the like, but my first foray into a pot on this table, I ran into Jerry.
    Jerry was a large, robust, 70-ish man that looked a lot like Wilford Brimley from Cocoon and the Quaker Oats commercials. He had on a full brim hat and dark glasses. Jerry went all in on the first hand he played. He had about $20,000. I had a $2,000 big blind. Fold, fold, fold, and then to me.
    This is where I made the first mistake of the tournament. I had KQ off-suit. Not a monster hand, but large enough to play against one other person, otherwise known as “heads up”. I have no clue why I called, all odds say not to, but for some reason I did not want to see this guy at my table any longer and decided that I was gonna be the one to do it. I called.
    He had, of course, pocket Aces.
    I caught a Q on the flop, but it did not help. I just lost my first hand of the entire tournament, and it cost me $20,000! Luckily, after sitting down with over $30,000, I had enough left to not panic and go back to my game plan. This time it was more or less that someone was all-in almost every hand. So there were a lot of folds and a few bust outs. I bought a few pots by going all-in myself.
    We were down to about 15 players when I went up against a man I will call “Smitty”. Smitty was an old codger that looked more like a slot machine player than a poker player and he went all in before the flop with about $10,000. Fold, fold, fold, and then to me. I looked at my chips(about $18,000), then I looked at my cards.
    I called, hoping to boost my stack and bust another player. He turned over AQ. At pretty even odds, I still felt confident. After all I already had a high pair, and he only had a high card.
    The flop came 7 6 10. I am gonna win, baby!
    Then a 3 hit. I am gonna win, baby!
    Then…..a queen. I lost on the last card. My stacks were back down to $8,000. Which meant nothing when the blinds were gonna be $6,000 in about 10 mins.
    BUT, I kept on. I bought a couple pots and went all in with KK again and worked my stack back up to about $16,000. Then one guy got up from the other table and stormed off and the overhead said, “Okay players that’s it, lets draw your seats for the final table.”
    What? Did she say that right? I am gonna be at the Final Table?!
    Damn skippy!
    I drew, low and behold, the #1 seat, and here I was right back where I began, sittin right next to the dealer and starin at the ugly mugs of the best the night had to offer.(even the large lady had made it).
    Well one guy busted out right away. And then another later on. There were 8 people left. I had bought a couple blinds and survived a few blinds myself, when I had the big blind once again. At $6,000 the big blind crippled me down to only $8500 left and I had a good feeling I would be all in on this hand. A young guy, at about 300lbs raised me $7000. Fold, fold, fold, and then to me. I looked at him, I looked at his chips, and then I looked at my cards.
    77. Thank gosh I had at least a playable hand, AND I already had a pair. So I raised him my whole stack and he called the extra $1500. I had $14,500 in the pot and a pair of 7’s and what did he flip up?
    Needless to say, I did not win the hand and busted out at 8th place. They only paid to 1st-5th so all I had to show for it was this story.
    Who won you ask?
    Smitty did.
    Who kept him in the game?
    I did.
    I want my $50 back. Smitty!

  • #2

    Hello, Chrisinger,

    Good report. Good lesson on the play of the K,Qo (remember it). Be the winner next time.

    Good tournament finish for your first live action T. May you have many final tables and money finishes


    • #3
      I'm sorry I missed meeting you guy's! I wanted to go but I had tickets to see Vick run all over the vikes! Well next month mabey. Do you play In the limit turnys on the other sundays? congrats on the final table. hope to see you around.



      • #4
        Well, I can't stand Limit, or I'm not very good at it, or sumthin like that, so the Once a month No limit is where you'll see me most often now.

        Jan 5th, BABY!!!!!
        I'll be the one wearing a black Minnesota Wild hat.(never leaves my head, unless I'm bluffing....LOL)