poker bubble bursting

I’m Forever Bursting Bubbles

Getting back playing poker regularly was one of the goals I set myself for 2019 and yesterday I played my first online poker tournament in as long as I can remember.

The tournament was never going to make me rich, a small $3.30 progressive knockout mix-max tournament at partypoker. I had a few quid in my partypoker account and thought I’d fire up a quick MTT to have on in the background while I worked.

Playing poker while working isn’t the best way to make money or to bring your A-game to the table because there are too many distractions. I wasn’t even using a HUD because I’ve not got around to setting Poker Tracker 4 up on my machine, so I was essentially flying blind.

Sucking Out On The River

I didn’t enjoy the best of starts. Being card dead is shit but being card dead and not being able to make many moves because you don’t have any reads on opponents is even worse. With my stack having dwindled to 18 big blinds, I three-bet shoved all-in over the top of a button raise with As8d from the small blind and found myself up against the dominating AsKs.

“FFS, Pud. Great timing,” I thought to myself, only to be redeemed by a beautiful snowman on the river.

That hand gave me some breathing room before I managed to improve to the nut flush and got my stack in against a guy holding two pair. They missed their full house and suddenly I’m sat with almost 100 big blinds and cruising along.

Late registration closed with 384-etries processed and, as it was a mix-max tournament, play switched from eight-handed tables to six-handed. Again, it’s not ideal playing six-max poker tournaments when you’re busy doing other shit.

First hand back after the break I found pocket kings. I won the blinds and antes. A pair of aces in the hole resulted in the same blinds and aces being won a few hands later.

Ace-king was then dealt to me and I bet you can guess what happened. That’s right, I won the blinds and antes.

Three powerhouse hands and I won the total of 14.4 big blinds and that included my own fucking raise!

Here Comes the Money Bubble

The bubble was now approaching, and I looked on course to sneak into the to 48 places where the prize money was divided up; I’d not managed to bust anyone so hadn’t picked up any bounty payments. A few hands cost me some chips and the rising blinds were eating into my stack. Something had to give eventually.

My exit hand was pretty straightforward, as they usually are in tournament poker. Down to around 26 big blinds, I opened to 2.3 big blinds with KcQc from middle position and the big stack to my immediate left flat-called. This guy was running hotter than the sun and had made some weird plays – I’d started paying a little more attention with the bubble looming – including isolating an all-in player with jack-four offsuit and getting there.

Anyway, it was heads-up to the 2hQs7d flop, a pretty good set of community cards for my hand. I bet around half-pot to leave myself a shade under 20 big blinds. Dude face to my left then clicked it back before insta-calling when I jammed all-in, as would you if you were sat there with AsAc! No king or queen on the turn or river and my run came to an end in 51st place with 48 spots paid. FFS.

It’s obviously disappointing not to cash when I was flying high for so long, but then again, I can’t be too pissed about it because I had next to no reads on anyone and my game is rustier than a 1970s Lada at the minute. Was good fun though and I still got that buzz of going deep in a tournament, even in a $3.30 bowl comp. I’ll definitely be playing some more tournaments when I get the chance, maybe this time I’ll try doing so without a raft of distractions.

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