IN THE POCKET: 10-10
Those huge wins have inflated our stack from 12,000 chips at the one-hour break to more than 120,000. Three tables remain in action, and now we see another pocket pair in the Big Blind. No one raises ahead of us, making it tempting to raise -- but we choose to check and watch.
ON THE FLOP: 10-8-6
These "three ten-ors" are ready to perform for us. And remembering what happened online the night before with Q-Q, we don't hesitate to use our big stack. It's a privilege we haven't had often lately at Lil Kim's, so we bet 20,000. A man across from us calls; everyone else folds.
ON THE TURN: 5
With the blinds getting high, we doubt this card helped our opponent. So we don't slow down; we bet 20,000 more.
"He's making it tough for me," our opponent admits. Yet he calls, which makes us wonder why. Players at this table have been chasing straights and flushes with large bets all night, but our guess at this point is that our challenger has an "overpair" -- maybe pocket Queens?!
"Nine!" our opponent calls as the card before the river is burned....
ON THE RIVER: 7
Aha! He must have been on a straight draw, and missed it. Or maybe.... well, what maybe? We're not sure, so we check.
"I'm all in," our opponent says quietly -- counting out 39,500 chips. He's talked a bit about "going home" during the game, and then he called for a card which didn't come. We conclude this is an "I dare you" bluff. OK, we'll dare....
"Since you didn't get a 9, I'll call."
"I've got a big straight," he reveals. Our opponent has 9-6. He had the 9! "I lied," he confesses.
"I could have told you he does that," a player out of the hand confirms. A misleading word combines with our opponent's stubbornness to gain him more than 80,000 chips -- and in one hand, we lose about two-thirds of our huge stack.
We played cautiously with our remaining 45,000 chips after that. And as other players pushed in vain, we advanced to the final table. Once there, we pushed on the flop with a low pair -- but it persuaded the table to fold, giving us a nice rebound to the 70,000 range. With four players to go, we folded 9-9 when a man went all-in on the flop. He was eliminated by the chip leader -- but in the process, a 9 came on the turn which would have brought us a big win.
That left three players in the tournament -- and the chip leader had another man and we incredibly dominated. That other man proposed a split of the prizes. After a moment of thought, the leader graciously accepted it! He won $50 and the "bucket of beers" coupon awarded for second place; we took away $20 along with the third player.
So we played two live tournaments this week, and cashed in both of them! Our records show that's only happened once before -- two years ago this week. That's a summer "heat wave" we don't mind at all.
"I have Jesus in my heart," the man quietly said -- indicating he preferred to leave the discussion at that. But it wound up being mentioned around the table moments later.
The phrase "Christ in your heart" is the stuff of hymns, and sometimes can sound like a church cliche. You may be surprised to learn that exact phrase is not in the King James Bible. But the concept is there....
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.... - Ephesians 3:16-17 (NIV)Did you notice there are two "outside influences" which can come into you? There's not only Jesus, but the Holy Spirit of God. If you'd like to know more about bringing these blessings of God into your being and life, leave a comment with an e-mail address and we'll explain more to you.
UPDATED POKER SCOREBOARD: 117 final tables in 327 nights (35.8%) - 19 cashes. By the way, tonight marked our first final table at Lil Kim's since 1 March.
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF POKER TOTAL: Full tournaments - 242 point wins in 1,016 games (23.8%), 77 final tables, 7 cashes plus 2 other wins. No-River Hold 'em - 6 point wins in 35 games (17.1%), 5 final tables, 1 win.
We nearly scored a win at NLOP this week, too -- finishing second out of 63 players in a Wednesday qualifying tournament.
POKER STARS.NET TOTAL: Pretend cash games -- $79,444, up $870.