The format with these guys is different from my old game at Shrek's. Here, we do two back-to-back hold 'em tourneys with limited rebuys, and then a dealer's choice cash game. I prefer Omaha, but since I need practice with hold 'em, it's still pretty fun.
I placed ... 6th? 7th? ... in the first tourney. Here's an example of the hands I was getting:
Second tourney, my cards heated up a bit and I started paying more attention to the bets.
The top three places pay, so the dynamic changes when about 4-5 people are left: whether you stay in the hand or not is as much a function of your cards as it is of who else is playing against each other. Often you can lay low, watch the battles get fought, and back yourself into the final four, or three, or even two.
My pile was pretty big, though, so I took a chance when there were four guys left. I can't remember what I was dealt, but as big blind, I was in the hand automatically since no one raised. However, the flop paired up both of my cards, and also included a couple of spades. I put a bet down that chased two guys off, but Victor called me.
I figured he was chasing a flush ... and became sure of it when the turn came up another spade and he bet after I checked.
I called him, even though I probably shouldn't have, for two reasons: 1) I only had two pair, and 2) because I couldn't for the life of me remember whether, if I made a full house, it would beat a flush. I've been playing poker for 20 years, and I still mix up the order of those two hands.
The river made my full house, and I made a modest bet. Victor pushed all in. I had him covered and then some, but I still couldn't remember the damn hand order.
Maybe it was a breach of etiquette, but I asked the table to confirm the hand order before I bet. Of course, a boat beats a flush. So I called, and won the hand, leaving three of us.
I think Victor was a little pissed -- probably thinking I was showboating by pretending to forget the order.
Crappy cards for a few more hands, so I folded a few times because although the blinds were increasing fast, they hadn't yet risen to the point where it was costing me a lot of chips just to watch. Roger pushed all in on one hand and Eric called him, so I folded, hoping that Eric would knock Roger out to put me in at least second place.
He did. Eric and I were left. We traded chips back and forth a few hands because I wasn't getting anything I wanted to make a last stand on. But the blinds were getting crazy, so it had to be soon.
I got dealt a 10-2 offsuit. I was big blind, which was a little less than half my chips. He pushed all in. I barely had him covered at this point, but if I folded, I would have to beat him at least two hands in a row to win because the blinds were so high. I called.
Since there was no more betting, we both flipped our hands face-up.
He had a K-Q offsuit, a mixed marriage, as polarbear calls it. I figured I was toast.
The flop was 2-2-J, giving me an awesome lead with a set of dueces.
The turn was a 10, giving me a boat. Eric was drawing dead.
I won. First place was about $120. :)