Yesterday’s excellent BBQ party turned into a poker game. This was not a surprise, as ten out ten attendees were players!
We were playing with 3,500 in chips. One player had boasted how he always plays and wins the first hand. On that first hand, I had a pair of 5s and another came up on the board. I sucked 2,000 even from him and another player as well as some blinds. I was already up 7,700 or so. I played fairly tight by my standards. (Sorry Pete, I know you want me to push push push!) I bullied people out of the occasional pot, played the occasional one straight up, but mostly waited for the blinds to kill everyone. There was so much talking that each round was less than one time around the table.
This succeeded. We got down to five players. I was still big stack and started playing more aggressively. Whenever I went in, I went in big. I was making everyone else pay if they wanted to face me down.
At four players with blinds at 500-1000, one player had only 400 in chips. In four out of the next five hands we went all-in against each other. Each one turned out to be a coin flip. I lost every one. Arrgh! What are you gonna do, that’s poker.
Now down at three players, I was slightly short stacked. In dealer position I had A-3. I raised to 5,000 – a bit over half my money. Small blind instantly went all-in. What do I do? I am fairly confident he does have a decent hand. On the other hand, K-J suited is considered a decent hand here, I at least have a high card. And if I fold, I’m effectively out – I would need to play every hand because of the blinds and would need to double up twice to get back in contention. What the heck, I’m in. He had a pair of 10s. Pretty much what I figured. I had a lot of outs. By the river, I had four to the nut flush, four to a straight, and an ace would win it for me. It was not to be, I took 3rd place. I’m still not sure if that was the right call. Maybe the mistake was putting the first 5,000 in, but you also want to play aggressive at 3-handed, having an ace is a good hand.