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2.20.2006

Bad beats (or, how Tom Osborne cost me $25) 

Okay, so I'm playing in a hold 'em tournament with a few church folks. Nine players, entry fee is $5, prizes are $30-$10-$5.

We start playing at 9:15 pm. I play tight and win some big pots with pocket aces, Aces-Queens and later push some other players out of draws with strong betting. I only make one major mistake all evening, losing a king-high flush to the nuts. At one point, the guy to my right (Kevin M.) says "what happened to all my black chips?". I rustle my stack of black chips in my hand and nonchalantly hold them out for him.

It comes down to a three-person game at around 12:15 am. Like all three-person games, it takes forever. Eventually the hosts (Winnie and Emi) decide to timecap the game at 1 am.

At 12:59 am, the last hand is dealt. I'm the chip leader, 3000-2000-800 or thereabouts. (Don't ask me why we used such a high denomination.) I'm in the small blind and I get dealt A7. Everyone limps into the blinds, and the flop comes: Q68. I make a small bet, and 500 (Leslie, who was subbing for Salome) folds. The button (Larry, subbing for Deborah) then moves all-in, as he had been doing on many hands (stealing blinds) during the three-person game. At this point I can just stall out this hand, fold, and claim 1st place. But instead, I choose to go for the win in regulation and the undisputed title, like Tom Osborne did 22 years ago. Or maybe I was channeling my inner Lindsey Jacobellis.

Larry turns over A5. I'm in good shape.

Turn card comes: 2. He's down to three outs.

River comes: 5. I finish in third place.

Oh well. I still have the best verbal game of anyone there, just like Mike Vanderjagt and Mike Matusow.

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