Sunday, January 13, 2008

January Bourbonators - A state tournament warm up?

Last night we had our monthly home game for the Bourbonators. 11 people showed for this home game. A nice number. Bodie25 was our gracious host and put together a fantastic spread.

Bourbonators is mostly about sitting around and having a good time, and that was accomplished. A lot of our discussion was focused around the coming Whiskey Fest in Chicago. The group is trying to see who can get hall passes from the wives to go away for a weekend and sample lots of good booze. I think my chances would be better going to the Great American Beer Festival. Not because it was closer, but because I actually am a bigger fan of fine beers than I am of fine spirits.

Jon also recounted the Regional Tournament for the Minnesota Poker League. He had finished 3rd, I think, on the leader board for the regular season. 3 people from my bar qualified for the state tournament bringing the number of us that will be there to 5.

Last night, the poker started with a big pot and never really let up. Lots of crazy action. I took the opportunity to reflect and practice my folding techniques. In the first game, I voluntarily put money into the pot only once in the first hour. When we were down to 5 handed, I played my first hand. A very loose player had raised the flop. His range of hands is the entire deck. I pushed all my chips in to put him to the test. He called. He had A♣Q♣ and I found myself only holding K♣J♣. I've been farther behind, but in this case, I hit a K to stay in the lead a double up.

I focused on cleaning up the dead money from here on out. I found that several of the players give off enough information to know when they've missed the flop. I built my stack up slow and methodically. I stayed out of the big pots and cleaned up the little ones. Worked well. I stayed alive until I got heads up. It was yours truly vs. Marshall. Marshall is one of our looser players, but seems to be learning with each month. He's still very aggressive, but seems to understand the game a bit better than he used to. When we got heads up, I finally started seeing some cards. I doubled through him a couple of times and won the first sit n go.

I approached the second game the same as the first. I played one hand early and tried to be tricky. Thankfully I bailed before it got to be too much of my stack. Folding the rest of the way, I got my self into the short table again and it pretty well played out like before. I cleaned up the dead money using my stack size, a nice medium stack, I pushed people out of the way and just took the chips. I got up against the head bourbonator and fellow poker leaguer John heads up. Again, I got cards when I needed them and turned John's big stack into my stack. Wow, I won both games tonight! Sweet! I think this is the first time I've won both.

Last night was a blast. Good times with good friends and a little poker makes for a fantastic night out with the guys!