Of all the words I dread seeing in an online poker chat box, the three that drive me the most crazy are, “I’ve gotta go.” When someone types those in, you know that you are in for a barrage of all-in bets that will completely skew the results of whatever game or tournament you are playing. It doesn’t matter that, if he really does have to go, he could just hit the “sit out next hand” button and be blinded off. No, this guy’s ego won’t allow that. Instead, he keeps pushing until the odds catch up with him and he is eliminated. Or not……..
Our story begins with those dreaded words appearing during an 18-person turbo sit ‘n go on PokerStars. Unfortunately, the player decided he had to go one hand AFTER I picked up pocket aces. Another player pushed against me with top pair, and my over pair held up. And now, things started to get a little strange, as the lead character in the story, “masterwill89,” began to go all-in every hand. On his first push, he won an uncontested pot, but on the very next hand, his Q-3 offsuit flopped a pair of threes and held up against K-Q and A-5 to triple up to 2,470.
Two hands later, I put my short stack all-in with K-Q, and he re-raised with 3-2. I flopped queens and took the hand to double up to 1,780. On the next hand, masterwill pushed again, and was called by Q-Q. His 5-6 offsuit looked to be in desperate shape, but an A-2-4 flop, followed by a 3 on the river, straightened his opponent right out of the tournament. Masterwill now had 2,165, and the other players at the table had definitely taken notice.
After taking two more uncontested pots, masterwill lost to a shorter stack with A-7 suited, leaving him with just 895. There were five players left at our table, and blinds were now 50-100. I raised under the gun with K-Q offsuit, was called by one player, and masterwill went all-in. I went over the top to isolate, and the third player folded. Masterwill showed 10-7 offsuit. I flopped a queen, but an ace and jack also appeared, and the river king gave him a straight and kept him in it. I was left with 785 and he was back up to 2,190.
The next deal saw “Bruno Nero” raising the 150 big blind to 375, followed by the inevitable push from masterwill. Bruno Nero had a pair of kings, and masterwill was far behind with Q-4 offsuit. No problem! Four on the flop, queen on the river and Nero burned while masterwill fiddled all the way up to 4,010 chips.
At this point, masterwill began to question whether or not he should leave. It turned out he was late for, of all things, A LIVE POKER GAME! I doubled through him when my pocket sixes held up against his king-rag, and doubled up again when neither of us caught anything, and my K-10 beat out his J-9. I was now in third place with 10 left.
Masterwill continued on his merry way, collecting two uncontested pots, and then pushing with 8-3 offsuit. He was called by a player with K-7. Masterwill turned an 8, and we were off to the final table, sitting down with five others who had no idea what Masterwill was doing. I thought to myself, “This should be fun!”
As we began the final table, Masterwill was the chip leader with 4,260 and I was fifth with 3,290. Two hands into it, the short stack pushed with 8-8, and Masterwill went over the top with J-7 offsuit. A flopped two pair for him crushed the snowmen, and we were down to eight.
At this point, Masterwill seemed to decide to try and win the tournament, and started making some more “normal” bets. He took out another player when his K-Q held up against K-9, and then there were seven. Masterwill now had twice as many chips as any other player at the table. Meanwhile, I hadn’t seen a playable hand since the final table began, and the ante levels were about to begin.
The rest of the final table played out much more like a “regular” game. What was interesting was that, once Masterwill began to play a more legitimate game, he allowed the other players to get back into their comfort zones. While he did eliminate some risk for himself, he also stopped picking up the uncontested pots that he was taking down by being super-aggressive. This was likely not the best approach for him as chip leader. Ironically, the pushing strategy that inadvertently worked for him during his “I’ve gotta go” phase would probably have been very successful for him had he applied it as table captain when we got to seven players. Instead, he pulled on the reins and started playing more conservatively, and then lost some hands to better cards and better flops.
Masterwill did wind up cashing, in fourth place, while I came in third when my A-8 lost to a dominated K-8. What other kind of outcome could there really have been for such a strange game? Yes, it’s poker, where even the most skillful play can be crushed against the vagaries of luck.
See you at the tables! Please make sure you can stay for a while before you jump into a tourney in which I am entered. Please???????