Behold, your new lord and master!

Played a game (a real game, 1000 chips and 13 minute blinds) after work today. It was me, Jane, Justin, Ben, Chris and Mike.

Great fun, as our games have been fairly forced and quick lately. Tonight, we each had a lot of chips, and a lot of time to try different things. To be honest, it was a big back and forth game, with no one clear-cut winner. We started out with some big pots early on, and the lead shifted from person to person with great frequency.

I was down for a good part of the first half, but then won a few strong hands towards the end. I got to the point where I was among the last three at the table, and ended up losing an all-in bet to Mike.

Valuable lesson tonight. I had Kings and Two’s, and got blinded by my mediocre two pair. I tried slow-playing things and checked on the Turn (Mike checked as well). The River card came up as a 4 of Clubs or something like that… and I checked again, hoping to trap Mike. He bets a small 300 (blinds were around 75/150 at the time). Figuring I’ve got him beat, I then go over the top and move all-in.

At this point, I figure I’ve got the best hand and have cinched the win. Mike could fold or call – I felt like I had the better hand. In my blindness, I didn’t realize that the 4 of Clubs on the River put three clubs out there… and Mike turned over his hole cards: two clubs, giving him the Flush.

I lost on that hand, but felt good about how I played. Ben told me that he no longer had me figured out, which was a great compliment. I feel like I’ve improved my game and am changing things up more… but whether I’m doing so wrecklessly or strategically, time will tell.

Again – valuable lesson tonight. Getting beat is fine, so long as I walk away from the game having learned something. Tonight’s lesson: beware of overconfidence, and watch for the possible Flush.

Ben and Mike went heads up for several hands, and both of them played quite well. Seriously, the chip lead moved around from person to person tonight, and people didn’t get knocked out until maybe the last 30 minutes or so. I think we’re all getting better.
Despite Ben’s strong comeback at the end, it wasn’t enough for him to overthrow Mike’s lead. This is Mike, posing with the Lord and Master Stein™, in all his Lordly glory.

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