Greece 2024 Travelogue!

One rainy evening… (part I)

***Warning: Heavy Poker Content***

It’s been ages since I’ve played any poker, either live or online, but I had a rainy evening free this week and fired up my laptop for a little fix. Browsing the tables I found a reasonably small scale SNG that like wouldn’t keep me up too late if I went deep. Little did I know it was going to turn into a roller coaster ride.

The opening few minutes were the usual explosion of push and whiffers. For those who don’t play tourneys online I should explain. In the opening few minutes of these low denomination tournaments(which is all I let myself play online til I’m done school), there is a decent chance you’ll have one or more people who will go All-In on one of their first hands if it’s half decent. These people are either hoping to show early aggression, or in many cases they’re hoping for a call or two and a win in order to start the the tourney off with a decent chip lead at their table. If they lose, they’re only out the buy in. There are a lot of reasons why people think this is a good idea, but I won’t go into them. Suffice it to say that if you’re a normal player, it’s a good idea to stay out of any hands for the first orbit or two unless you’ve got a monster hand. Even by normal standards, this particular tourney was lousy in the opening minutes.

In the first hand across the 10 table tourney, 9 players busted. Within the first 4 hands at my table, 6 people busted including a 4 way all in where the winning hand was a pair of queens. My best hand for the first few orbits was a J-10 suited so I didn’t mind sitting back for a bit. Still it was definitely the fastest I’d ever been moved tables in an online tourney when we were split up after a single orbit. Thankfully things became a little less mental at this point as the more insane among us were weeded out. Over the next few hands I won a few small pots without going to a showdown and made one pretty decent laydown with trip jacks when the opponent in question tabled a straight flush to cripple the former chipleader.

Click onward for the rest of the post…

The first really interesting hand came for me after about 45 minutes. I’d been holding steady at the top of the bottom third of the field and was feeling a little card dead when I found As-Qs as Big Blind. First to act was a guy I’d been calling the plumber since he had Mario as an icon, he simply called and was followed by a few folds. Unsurprisingly, the guy sitting in the 3 seat (who’d been incredibly aggressive since I joined the table) raised to 3x the big blind. The scandi sitting next to him tanked for a moment before folding, as did the table chiplead sitting on his left. The girl sitting in seat 6 was the player I was most worried about. Though I hadn’t played in ages and didn’t remember her, I’d obviously faced her before as I’d put a note on her that said: “Not afraid to bluff, but often has the cards to back up her stuff. Ice Queen” What I’d seen in the previous hands had only backed up that impression and I’d been trying to avoid her. Unfortunately she called, as did the total donkey in the small blind. Since it was the best hand I’d seen in forever, I called as well.

The flop came out Qd 10s 9s and I smiled, I had to be worried about the straight but I was fairly certain that the pre-flop action precluded anyone having trips. Action checked to me and I passed as well, knowing that the aggressive twit would probably raise despite probably having King-rag suited. First though, the plumber threw in a small bet, predictably the twit doubled the bet and sent it on to the Ice Queen. Thankfully she must have missed the flop and folded. The donkey on my right (apparently from Romania) called for a significant chunk of what he had left. If he had anything at all he should have been pushing all-in in hopes of doubling up and extending his misery by scaring us out. Since the plumber had been fairly timid and was already fingering his cards I guessed he was folding, I also knew the twit would call regardless. I figured I had him beat, and even if I didn’t I had a lot of outs including the nut flush draw. I didn’t want the Eurodonk to stick around and luck something out unless he committed all his chips so I raised double again. Unsurprisingly I got two folds and a call from the twit.

The turn was the queen of clubs. I pretending to think for a second before pushing all-in and leaving it to him. Surprisingly he took a while to think about things, actually calling for time. That made me fairly confident that he didn’t have the last queen and a boat with it. When he did call after about 30 seconds I was pleased to see that I’d pegged him exactly. He had Ks 7s for two inside straight draws and a lesser flush draw. As both sets of cards went face up for the showdown he swore, then oddly begged for the Js. Somewhere someone was listening and he got the Js for his flush but still lost to my flush just as I managed to type “Uh…”. I doubled up (and then some) on the hand.

A couple hands later after the twit had handed the rest of his stack around the table I questioned in chat how he’d managed to get the chip lead. The Ice queen responded that he’d busted someone on a coinflip then managed to get into a four-way all in just before I’d joined the table. Apparently he won on a runner runner straight.

To be continued…