Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fish Trumps Shark! (This Is About Poker, Not Seafood)

Ok, so it's early in a $25 multi-table tournament on PokerStars. It's been about an hour; in fact, it's the last hand before the first 5 minute break. I started with 3,000 chips and got crippled early on, sliding down to about 700. I worked my way back up to my current stack of 3,516. I didn't really notice my chip count at the time though, because sitting about 5 seats away from me was a notable online poker player.

But my attention was quickly drawn back to poker when I was dealt this hand:

That would be pocket aces, the best starting hand in Hold 'Em for you laymen. I was in first position and I opened for 350(the blinds were 50/100). A couple hands before I had raised to 350 with AQ, and I was hoping someone at the table would think I had a similar hand. Lo and behold, I got re-raised before the flop, always a good feeling when you're holding AA. Guess who it was:

Here's the link to Official Poker Rankings, a huge online poker database. It tracks multi-table tournaments on PokerStars and Full Tilt, among other sites. It doesn't track cash games or single table tournaments(also called sit-n-go's). Take note of who the #2 player(he's been the #1 ranked player for a bulk of the last year) on PokerStars is at the moment. That's right, it's the very same guy who raised my bet of 350 to an even 1,000 before the flop.

His career stats? Well, he's made a PROFIT of over $1.1 million on PokerStars alone. His biggest cash in a single PStars tournament was in a $320 dollar rebuy event that played an Omaha/Hold 'Em mix. He won the tournament and took $144,113. Decent payday for 10 hours' work.

As for Full Tilt, he's only made a profit of $438,000 in his career. He won a $535 Hold 'Em event for his biggest cash on Full Tilt, $115,000. I have no clue what his success rate is like in cash and live games, but it's safe to say he's a pretty solid online tournament player with a profit of over $1.5M on PStars and FT alone.

Needless to say, he was slumming a bit playing a $25 dollar tournament, but he likes to mix it up. Instead of re-raising him before the flop and possibly scaring him away from his hand, I elected to simply call and check the flop. He bet 900 after the flop, and I pushed my remaining chips with these cards on the board:

I had about 300 more chips than him, so I just had to hope my hand would hold up against his. If it did, I'd knock him out of the tournament and win the 6,500 chip pot. Here's how the final two cards fell:

I'd love to say I outplayed him, but we both had monsters and it turns out mine was better. Still, it felt pretty effing great to KO a guy that's made 7 figures in profit on PokerStars alone. It makes me think I can hang with the big boys. You know, as long as I get dealt pocket rockets every time.

Note: I wrote this while the tournament was still going on. I may not even cash in it, but I just had to record the moment. And Deeb, if you're reading this(and you probably are), UP YOURS MAN I TOTALLY OUTPLAYED YOU! YOU DON'T TANGLE WITH NOSE KNOWS!

I'm kidding of course. Please don't have me killed, sir.


  1. me = proudest mother ever. that's why we spent > 50,000 sending Luke to he could bluff pocket aces to a millionaire.

    Luke...did I say this right?


  2. Almost. When you hold pocket aces there's typically no need to bluff, your hand is already made.

    However, I did disguise my hand's strength before the flop by calling and not reraising. There are some definite bluff-like activities there. It's not quite a bluff, but it's close.