IN THE POCKET: A-10 of diamonds
We were part of a three-way split of a pot earlier in the game with a straight. So we have 6,000 chips to work with, and we try to get in small. But as we say, it's a table of big spenders -- so a man to our left raises 1,000. We join several players in calling.
ON THE FLOP: A-Q-3
Top pair looks nice, and being first to act works to our advantage. We bet 1,000 to send a statement to the table. Three players are undaunted and call. At this point, we will quote the regular blog reader who wanted to make a statement in our recorder -- that we were lucky:
"I had trip threes on the flop. I flopped the trips, and he only had a raggedy-a** Ace...."
ON THE TURN: Ac
"He turned an Ace...."
"And what was my bet on the turn?" we ask.
"His bet on the turn was all in, and I was still winning." [He had a full house, you see.] But he left out one fun detail -- what we said when we pushed.
"3,800 - 38 special."
"I know he's got an Ace," the pre-flop raiser to the left correctly guesses --then folds.
"Could he be more transparent than that?" a man out of the hand adds. We say nothing, but recall one or two players calling.
ON THE RIVER: Q
Our regular reader comments: "And then he rivered another Queen." Two pair on the table gives us a superior full house. Perhaps we escaped, but we certainly jumped to more than 15,000 chips.
We took a couple more fairly nice pots after that -- then benefited at the semifinal table from a man with a huge stack who bet two players out of the game at once. That gained us a seat at the final table for the third week in a row!
Once there, we won a pot with 10-10 which combined with a pair on the board. But with blinds rising, we were forced to go all-in with K-Q and 15,000 left in the big blind. The regular reader showed A-6, but he paired that 6 to knock us out. A fifth-place finish felt good, considering all the action around us.
MINISTRY MOMENT: "You brought a battery today?" a man across from us asked as play began. Yes -- our little nine-volt.
"I brought this to remind me that I receive power from the Holy Spirit," we noted. "Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?"
"I sure do," the man answered.
"What's the Holy Spirit been doing for you?"
"He gets me up every morning, starts me on my way...." Those indeed are good blessings, and we should thank God for every day of life we have. But God provides that power to do much more than that:
But you shall receive power, after that Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. - Acts 1:8Those words of the resurrected Jesus should be a challenge to anyone who believes in the Holy Spirit. As the Spirit dwells in you, are you being a witness to others of what God and that Spirit can do? Don't be afraid, as a saint of old once said, to "preach the gospel - and use words, if necessary."
UPDATED POKER SCOREBOARD: 105 final tables in 285 nights (36.8%) - 17 cashes.
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF POKER TOTAL: Full tournaments - 184 point wins in 796 games (23.1%), 63 final tables, 7 cashes. We fell two spots short of the money Wednesday night, finishing sixth in a tournament with 824 players.
POKER STARS.NET TOTAL: Pretend cash games - $62,644, down $1,135.