Sunday, July 23, 2006

Australian Poker League

When you think of poker you think of gambling, am I right?? Well how about a way of playing poker and not gambling, what would poker be then?

It would be just like every other hobbie/sport out there and it is simple fun that everyone can do.

The other night I ventured out into the cold Melbourne night to try my hand at playing poker in the Australian Poker League. There are tournaments held every night of the week and guess what? They are free to enter.

So being a poker league virgin I joined some seasoned pro's in Chips, Short Stack, Kings and Aces at this event. It was held at 'The Meeting Place' in Elizabeth Street in the city, a pokie place and cheap eatery. I arrived to find Chips, Short Stack and Kings already there. I filled in a simple registration form, got my league identity tag and I was now part of the league, simple.

'The Meeting Place' was rather basic inside but a word to the beer lovers, $3 Crownies from 5pm onwards. I dont really drink beer but hey $3 is cheap so I had one. Thanks for the shout Chips!!

The game started shortly after and I was on table 4 with some fellow newbies and some guys that play around 8-10 times a week. Oh boy I was out of my depth.

Everyone started with 2000 worth of chips, which was about 15 chips in total, not that big a stack in anyones language. The first hand was dealt and I had an average hand. I called. I lost about 100. I thought I had to play smarter. So conservative Texas (Onski's Poker name) came to the table. I got quite low in chips though playing conservative as you cant win if you dont bet. Then I was dealt Ace in the hole (Two aces). I didnt want to scare anyone off so I didnt really bet, then a guy went all in. Lucky for me he had 2 Queens. I won!!! I went into the break with a kitty of 2750.

Kings and Aces went out of the tournament within the first 10 minutes. Chips was on about 2000 chips, Short Stack had a large stack on 2775 (he always has to be that little bit better) :).

After the break I continued seeing people drop off here there and everywhere and my chips rose and sunk, sunk and rose. Chips and Short Stack both bowed out about 30 minutes after the break, they had some bad breaks.

Eventually I found myself with 3300 chips and into the final table of 8. Dont ask me how that happened.

I was starting the final table with the second smallest stack, ouch. But after tripling my money in the first hand I was sitting pretty. Not leading but sitting pretty. A few guys dropped out of the table with wild bets, for the hell of it. I played conservative as I wanted a prize. 1st to 3rd gets a prize, whatever that may be.

The girl that finished 6th was a newbie and was on my original table. She did really well for a first timer. The final 5 seemed like seasoned players. The guy to my left was fairly agressive and was also from my original table. He plays quite a bit at around a tournament a day. He was pretty good. His agressive nature cut him short and he left in 5th place, I was glad he left as he scared me.

The final Four was close. I was short stack once again but playing conservative to get third. Two guys went all in, they had the same size stack meaning whoever lost would finish 4th, leaving me in 3rd at least. I had a decent hand and decided it would be best to let them battle it out. I folded. Unfortunately for me I would have won that hand and had the biggest pot, but it also meant I would have still had 3 other compeditors in the game.

It was down to the final 3. I held on for a couple of hands, but the stack got so small I had to go all in with a King Hearts, 6 Hearts. The flop came down and gave my opponent 2 pair to my King high. The next card was a King, meaning I had a pair of Kings. Final card I needed a King to win. It wasnt and I lost. I had finished 3rd, I was very happy with that.

I waited for the final 2 to battle it out for my prize. They took their sweet time in finalising the game and eventually they did. My prize was a $5 pokie voucher. Oh well, it was a free night and I had a bit of fun. I also mixed it with some regulars which was nice to know. World Poker Tour, I think not, but who knows if it is free I might give it a shot.

No comments: