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Trip And A Chair

Trip And A Chair

This is about poker, but some set up is in order. As a young TripJax I was pretty heavy into sports, but my only team sport was little league baseball. In my first year playing our team was pretty talented...for a bunch of kids. However, we started the season abysmal. We couldn't win a game if summer school vacation depended on it. As I mentioned, we were a pretty talented team, but at the core our biggest problem was pitching. We sucked. I was an infielder, outfielder and catcher, but at one point we even tried letting me pitch eventhough I had never pitched a game in my life. It's one thing to pretend you're Nolan Ryan in your backyard while throwing the ball up against a fence. It's another to be asked to pitch in front of a crowd. I was horrible. The game I pitched I think they stopped the game early. It was that bad.

After losing for the umpteenth time in a row, and having still not won a game, we got to the point where we needed to win every single remaining game if we wanted to even remotely have a chance at the playoffs. And then it happened. During one of our practices the coaches started "trying out" every single kid on the team to see if they could pitch. There was this one kid - the smallest kid on the team - who had been playing second base the whole season. When it came time for him to step up to the mound, no one even gave him a second look. That is until he threw the first pitch. It was like a freaking bullet coming out of his hands. I'll cut to the chase to keep this from becoming a book. Rallying around him, and with a few other kids stepping up to become pretty good pitchers, we won every single remaining regular season game and ended up making it to the playoffs. In fact, we made it to the final game for our region, but lost in the finals. It was my childhood chip and a chair story that came oh so close.

Fast forward to last night...

I'm over at a buddies house for a little home game hold'em action. We were supposed to be around 7 or 8 strong, but after some no shows, we ended up only having 5 for the first game. 2nd place got there money back and 1st took home the rest. After some decent play and a little luck I ended up coming in 2nd and got my money back.

The second game I was free rolling as one of the guys owed me a buy-in from the last time we played. And this is the game where things got interesting for me. We decided to switch it up a bit and played Omaha (High). It was getting late and typically our Omaha games go pretty fast as pots build quick and people tend to see hands down to the end. After losing a couple people it got down to 3 of us remaining. Someone was going to bubble. We were all relatively even in chips when I got into a big hand with one of the other guys. His hand prevailed and when the chips were counted out I had one white chip left. At a whopping 25 it was the lowest denomination chip available (we started with 3000 in chips with values of...whites 25, reds 100, greens 500).

At this point the blinds were 200-400 and with 15000 chips in play my single 25 chip was a joke. I was ready to head home anyway so it was no big deal. I could see the happiness on the 2 remaining guys faces as they new they were gonna be in the money with a chance for 1st place cash. Then it happened. I won my first all-in and doubled up to 50. Woot! Still I was no where near even the small blind. Then I won another all-in and tripled up to 150. And it seemed to work out that every time I was the dealer, my hand was quite mediocre and I could fold without having to relinquesh any chips. But when it came time to put any money into the pot, I was tossing my chips in ready to gamble. Eventually I had more than the big blind even though it had moved up to 300-600 and 400-800. I ended up winning 7 straight all-ins and amazingly became the chip leader. Our gracious host, who became the not-so-proud owner of the shortstack while I made my run, was speechless as this whole scenario transpired.

On the hand that ended up deciding the bubble boy, I had raised pretty big with AcKcKs7s trying to isolate the small stack with a great chance to take him out. After the blinds he only had 250 left in chips so I figured this would do it for me. Instead of getting out of the way, the chipleader at that point went over the top all-in on me. At that time I wish shortstack would have called as I would have called and if we both got knocked out, I would at least get 2nd place money since I had more chips. Instead, figuring I would make the all-in call since a lot of my chips went into the middle, he folded with his remaining 250 in chips. After some thought about what might happen, I decided to make the call. Get busy living or get busy dying. My hand was pretty damn solid against the chipleaders and I ended up taking down the hand. On the very next hand the small stack went out after not being able to meet the small blind and not improving with his all in hand. It was a pretty strange moment because I had truly taken a chip and a chair and turned it into at a minimum a 2nd place win.

Our gracious host was still speechless for the next 15 minutes as the other guy and I played out the game. He just kept nodding his head and occasionally mumbled something about I can't believe that just happened. In the end, I lost the final hand when I was leading preflop, behind on the flop, leading on turn and lost on the river. Don't you just love those? Now this was clearly not for huge money and was just a few guys sitting around a table having some fun with poker, but it was pretty amazing to be a part of a true chip and a chair story like that. I only wish that last hand could have gone my way so I could say I ended up winning the damn thing.

Well, I had planned on writing up my Gus Hansen story as mentioned in the previous post, but this came up so I had to write about it. Sorry it was so long and the set up was a bit excessive, but hey, like I always say, it's my blog...

posted by TripJax @ 12:58 PM,

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