Thursday, September 01, 2005

Boathouse Freeroll

Now that I've proven that I should never, EVER talk about anything remotely dealing with politics or government policy, I'm going to find a much less controversial subject. Free poker. Ok, yeah, there's debate over that, but not in this blog. I like free poker. Every bar has free poker tourneys around here. That's the way it should be!

As usual, we headed over to the Boathouse on Tuesday for the weekly free tourney. In general, the people who play are lots of fun and don't start flipping out when they lose since they know that it is a free tourney. (I've heard from other players that it's not usually the case in many of the bars. They all like the BH tourneys best.) We all sit down and start shuffling up to play. The seat to my right was empty, but at the last minute a woman comes over and takes the chair. She admits to the table immediately that she's never played anything like this before.

I feel sorry for her and take her under my wing. We introduced ourselves, and she told me her name was Sheryl. I did a quick explanation of how things would go and confirmed she knew what the order of winning hands were. I also ended up having to explain about blinds and how to deal properly. Without telling her how to play any hands, I gave her an idea of the strategy as we went through several more rounds. Sheryl is a very social person like me, and we had a great amount of fun while we played. She played like you'd expect any new person to play - playing a few more hands than she should and slowly losing her money.

I got moved to another table, and I was able to pick up a decent amount of chips. I'm feeling really good about my play and I'm actually catching a few cards! Some of the other tables got broken up, and Sheryl gets put to my right. She's drinking wine and has had a couple by this time. She's still in a good mood, since she wasn't even expecting to play. This is where things get interesting...

Sheryl is low in chips - about 35 out of the starting 100 with blinds at 4/8. She goes on one of those amazing streaks of luck a player always dreams about but dreads when they see someone else on. She begins amassing chips at an alarming rate. Some of the hands she played well, but there were some card catching plays you wouldn't believe.

Sheryl is in late position - one before the button. She calls the blinds, and the semi short-stacked button goes all in. The big blind calls, and so does Sheryl. The flop comes out - J T 2, rainbow. At this point, BB goes all in. BB has more chips than Sheryl, but she calls anyways. Everyone flips up their cards. The button has J 9 for top pair decent kicker. BB has J T for top two pair. Sheryl flips up A 2 for bottom pair. Everyone figured she was gone... until a 2 hit the river for trips. The BB was shaking his head in disbelief.

Everyone on the table's in shock. She'd had a few lucky catches, but that was by far the most amazing one that night. The guys don't want to be in a hand with her. Two hands later, Sheryl actually raises - she's just called all night. She min-raises, and everyone folds including Louie. Her cards get turned over, and she's got pocket As. We rabbit-hunted, and the flop would have been A Q x - a pair of queens for Louie but trips for Sheryl. He was very happy he'd folded his KQ.

We're almost down to the final table (out of 50). I'm getting short-stacked by this time, since Sheryl seems to be taking all my luck. Blinds are 20/40 and I'm down to 140 on the big blind. I get KJo, and I figure this is it. Sheryl had called the big blind, but the small blind goes all in ahead of me. I've played with the SB before, and I put him on a small to medium pocket pair. I figure it's a race at best and I don't have much of a choice. SB has me covered for chips, but I still go all in. We were both in shock when Sheryl calls both of us. She really liked her cards. SB flips up pocket 8s, and Sheryl turns over 45o. SB and I both dismiss Sheryl's hand, thinking it would just be the race. Wrong. Flop comes 6 7 8 with 2 spades - SB is cheering because he has trips, but he doesn't realize Sheryl already has the straight. I didn't have much of a chance since I didn't even have a spade. SB doesn't improve and she takes both of us out.

It was something to watch. I told her I was taking her to AC that night. When everyone moved to the final table, she went out on the second or third hand. She told me later that she was enjoying playing with everyone at our table before, but the new group didn't look like they were any fun and she was tired. I saw the hand that she went out on, and I could believe that. She called a big all in with A4o when there were two 8s on the board, and she told the guy that he had a third 8 (which he did). We sat and had a few more beers outside while we waited for them to finish.

I would love to have luck like that playing in a major tourney. I think with a little bit of study, we'll have Sheryl ready for next year's WSOP - as long as the luck holds out. She'll be back next week since she had so much fun. I'll see how lucky she really is then.


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