My growing stack disappeared in two ugly hands, one I clearly misplayed, and the other subject to argument, but I in retrospect, I don’t think I’d play it any differently under the circumstances. The first, I had A-K, raised preflop, and got one caller, a tight player on my left from New Orleans. The flop came A-8-5, and I fired $800. He called. A 4 on the turn, and I bet, he called. The pot now had over $5,000 in it, and the river came a 2 with no flush possibilities. I checked, hoping to win a very nice medium-sized pot. He thought for awhile and bet $5,500. He could have had a 3, but that didn’t make any sense given his call of my raise preflop, and his calls on subsequent cards. Either he was slow-playing a set of 8s or 5s, or he was on a bluff to steal the pot. I knew I was making a poor call as I tossed my chips in. Turned out, he had two-pair, aces and eights. That brought me down significantly.
I built back to about $12,000, again through small pots, and then tangled with my friend from New Orleans again on the first hand back from a break. I had 5-5 and it was folded around to me on the cut-off. I raised to $600, in an effort to isolate the hand to one other person, or perhaps take the pot there. New Orleans called on the button and the blinds both folded. The flop hit my fives, with K-5-4, all spades. I bet $2,000, hoping he wasn’t on a flush draw and, if he was, that he’d have the good sense to dump it given the pot odds. He called. The turn was a benign jack of hearts. Still scared of a potential fourth spade on the river, I bet my last $7,000+. He called instantly, and I knew I was in bad shape. He had hit the nut flush, turning over A-6 of spades. I still had some outs on the river. If a king, five, four, or jack hit, I’d have a full house or quad fives. Still a 4:1 underdog, but at least there was a chance. Alas, the 9 of spades ended my main event.
Disappointing not to go deeper, but I left this morning resolved to play my game and not tighten up too much because of the stakes. In retrospect, although I misplayed the A-K hand, I probably would have lost most of it on the set of 5s anyway. A combination of his strong play and some great cards at the wrong time would have done me in either way.
Per my post yesterday, I still feel the trip was a success. I’m not ready to give up everything to go on tour, but it was a really fun ride.
Thanks for reading and the kind wishes. Now for the long drive home ….