Thursday, September 16, 2004

This is a new one on me. Five guys left in a 20-seat Pacific Poker SnG. Play loosened up a bit when we lost the sixth guy, since we knew we had cashed, but I have never seen such lunacy in my life. Typically, I’m shooting for a minimum of 4th place because of the payout structure ($16 for 5th vs. $48 for 4th), so I was playing tight with my stack. One guy was dominating the table with around 10K chips with the rest of us all hovering around 1200-1800 chips. Blinds were exorbitantly high at 250/500 and I had already folded UTG. Guy to the left of me raises all-in with around 1400. Not entirely unexpected since we were pretty much at the All-in-or-fold stage. Next guy calls with his entire stack of 1200. Ok, cool, I could lock up 4th right here. Big stack is in SB and calls. BB calls and has a few hundred chips left. Ooooooh, more drama.

Flop was garbage: 854 with two of a suit. SB bets out, BB calls all-in.

Let me recap that. I’ve folded. UTG+1 pushed all-in, button called all-in, SB with big stack called, BB called. Crappy flop. SB pushes, BB calls all-in. Three guys. All-in. With only five guys left. I’m sitting on the sidelines with my thumb up my butt.

Here’s where Pacific Poker’s all-in dealing software really ruins the suspense because I have no idea what anyone had. The turn (another 5) and the river (an off-suit Ace) rolled off immediately, killing any additional drama. The cards of the SB were shown first… A9o. (WTF?) BB’s hand was mucked, meaning he couldn’t beat the Aces up, two pair. One down, now I’m guaranteed 4th. UTG+1’s timer ticked down… and mucked his cards. Cooool, now I’m guaranteed 3rd. Button’s cards are mucked immediately and all of the chips are slid in front of the big stack. Hey, I’m in 2nd now! And laughing. And down by a 10-1 ratio. I lost two hands later, but pocketed $80 for my time.

But it got me thinking… Just what in the hell could these guys have had to push all-in if they couldn’t beat A9 at the showdown? Nobody could have had Ace-face, so theoretically, I have to put them on pocket pairs, but I’ll never know. And why did the big stack call the dual all-in’s preflop and then push with just A9? Didn’t he think that any of them had AK, AQ, AJ, AT, or high pockets? With three other players, I would’ve put at least ONE of them on a hand that had him dominated. Even if they have small pockets, he’s a BIG underdog with three others in the pot. He just got lucky with the river Ace. Oh, and I’m lucky that he got lucky.

But it’s my $80 now. And that’s all that’s important.


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