Friday, 8 November 2013

Dirty Dozen Jackpot?

Recently I have dropped down to the lowest value Jackpot games, the $2 Dirty Dozen version in which twelve players start on two tables of six. Win four consecutive games and you get a $2000 Jackpot. Following a three game winning sequence I had a big opportunity to win it. This significant event for me coincided on 5th November with the World Series Of Poker Main Event coming to its exciting conclusion. Congratulations to Ryan Riess on his $8 million dollar haul. I watched a lot of the ESPN coverage, both highlights and live which I really enjoyed. I think he was one of quite a few potentially credible champions and I hope he does poker proud over the next twelve months.

Meanwhile in my more mundane poker world I had to defeat eleven opponents to have my own more modest jackpot payday. As I began I was focused and determined to get to the final table and at least give myself a chance. I had done all the right things in terms of preparation, some of which I have learned from my previous attempts. My internet browser was off, I was focusing on just this one game and I was avoiding any known good regulars. Everyone else in the house was asleep and my wife knew nothing of my opportunity. I had just won two consecutive heads up games on Full Tilt and had stable confidence. I was ready.

Early on things did not go to plan as I sought out an early double up. Then some good progress was quickly reversed with a blind on blind battle, my AJ losing to AK. Now I was short stacked and looking for a good spot to shove whilst playing four handed on this first table. With the final table bubble about to burst I made my move with A6 and was called by pocket tens. I spiked an ace on the turn to give me a workable but lowish stack as the final table began. Luck was massively on my side in this hand but I was happy with both the move I made and obviously the luck I enjoyed. This luck would continue at the final table with an early double up my AJ beating AQ following a JKJ flop. I was running good, playing controlled sit n go poker. Could this be it. Finally a jackpot win? I was making some strong moves including the odd bluff when I sensed weakness to build up my stack without risking my tournament life. The defining hand occurred three handed, the chip leader having roughly 7000 chips, me with 3000 and the short stack with roughly 2000. With blinds approaching 200-400 there would not be a lot more action. The short stack limped when first to act. Instinctively in the small blind I shoved my A5. A move I have made a thousand times and will a thousand more. In these circumstances his hand is medium strength almost all the time. Too weak to shove, too good to fold. The big stack in the big blind folded and after a short dwell the short stack called with his QJ. A jack on the flop left me with less than ten percent of the overall chips and struggling. Had I won the hand I would have been heads up for $2000. I fought on valiantly for a few more hands but eventually my K8 shove lost to A3 for a return of $3.60!

Having missed out once again I was disappointed for sure but the overwhelming feeling was one of satisfaction. Firstly that I had got into this position and secondly that I had given it a really good go. That's all you can do. Despite my failure to win I was happy with my play, felt I had not made any mistakes and had played aggressive enough to give myself a chance. Jared Tendler would be proud.

Hopefully I won't have to wait eighteen months for the next Jackpot opportunity.