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Borgata Poker Open

2004 Borgata Poker Open

A great river card propes Danie to a position among the chip leaders

My plan when traveling cross-country to play a tournament is always to get plenty of rest and make sure that I arrive at the facility early enough so that I can get acclimated.

So, I booked my flight at the last minute and arrived in Atlantic City just prior to midnight on the evening before the tournament; so much for planning.

When I went to tournament registration, the line was about three and a half miles long, and suddenly panic set in: This thing wasn't going to sell out, was it? I was genuinely worried that my dog, Mushu, and I had traveled all that way and wouldn't get a seat. You know, it's funny; I hadn't had a dog since I was a little kid, and never really understood why people get so attached. Jennifer (Harman) used to tell me things like, "Oh, I can't play too late; the dogs are at home alone."

I'd respond, "So what? They are just dogs. They'll be fine on their own". Then, I bought Mushu, my 5-pound Chihuahua. Now, I fully understand what Jennifer was going through when she said she had to quit to go home and take care of her dogs. I'm fully sucked in. I just can't go anywhere without my little buddy. I called the Borgata in advance to make sure that Mushu could join me, and they obliged. He's a good boy, and doesn't bark much or soil the carpets.

Finally, after a nerve-racking wait, I made it to the front of the line, ensuring myself of one of the remaining seats in the tournament. All told, there would be 302 entrants and a prize pool of more than million. I took Mushu for a walk in the park, so he could do his business, and finally got to bed at around 4 a.m.; so much for being well-rested.

The one drawback to bringing my dog was that I'd have to wake up earlier. The tournament started at noon, but I'd have to get up earlier to take Mushu out for a walk. Strangely enough, I was able to wake up at 10:30 am., take the dog for a walk, have breakfast, and get to the Hold'em poker tournament on time. Sweet!The Borgata gave us ,000 in chips to start, and I had my stack up to about ,000 about halfway through the day. I took a tough beat for a small pot and had ,500 when the following key hand came up:

With the blinds at 0-0 and a ante, I limped in from first position with the 8+ 7+. Everyone folded to the button, who made it a total of ,000 to go.

I didn't know the poker player well, but I was pretty sure that his raise meant that he had a couple of high cards -- either A-K or A-Q, or maybe even A-A, K-K, or Q-Q. The price seemed reasonable, so I called his raise, and took the flop heads up from out of position: 5+ 3 2+.

That was a decent flop for me, and I had lots of options at my disposal. I could try a semibluff on the flop or I could try to win a big pot if I hit my flush. Assuming that my opponent had a big pair or an ace-high hand, I decided to check. He bet another ,000, which made it an easy call for me. At this point, I wasn't sure if I was looking at an overpair or ace high.

The turn brought the 6. That was a great card for me. Not only did it give me a straight and a flush draw, it also was a scare card to my opponent's hand. If he had no pair, he couldn't call, and if he had an overpair, he would be in a difficult spot.

I decided to use the "weak lead" and bet ,500. If I checked texas holde poker. I would have to worry that my opponent would bet too much for me to call. By betting a smallish amount, I got a good price on my draw in a situation in which I simply couldn't be raised. Since my opponent had raised from the button, that board was unlikely to have helped him.

I was a little surprised when he called. I had a new dilemma: Should I continue with the bluff if I miss, or just give up? The turn card may have given my opponent a spade draw, which seemed like the most likely hand. Usually, I have a game plan for what I'll do on the river, but in this case, I had no idea how to proceed.

The river was the OK, there was no need to worry, because I had the nuts now! I had ,000 left and there was already more than ,000 in the pot. My opponent seemed to be a little stubborn, so I decided to make it look like I was.

About the Author: We have compiled information about tips, tricks and everything regarding Hold'em. So feel free to read our reviews to feel a little less intimidated. We've also added important articles about our all-time classical Poker Choice, No Limit Texas Hold'em. Good luck!

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