I get lucky and win Binion’s Poker Author’s Challenge

by Lou on January 23, 2007

I got lucky on a couple of hands and managed to win the Poker Author’s Tournament at Binion’s on Sunday, January 21. After knocking out well-known tournament pro and author of No-Limit Life, Charlie Shoten I had the chip lead at the final table and managed to eliminate all four of the remaining competitors to capture the championship.

Shoten had reached a point at the final table where his play was either to fold or go all-in and steal the blinds. He had been able to take the blinds a few times and was slowly building up his stack of chips when he pushed all-in on my big blind with Q-J. But I woke up with pocket kings and Shoten needed to make at least two pair to stay alive. He wasn’t that lucky and I won all the chips he managed to accumulate with his all-in maneuvers.

The two key hands of the tournament for me came much earlier. At one point I was down to about ten times the big blind, and my blinds were only two hands away. I found A-8 suited and raised all-in, trying to steal the blinds and survive another orbit of play in an attempt to find a real hand.

To my dismay, I was called in four places – there was a bounty on each author in this event, so that might have been the reason everyone jumped at the chance to get in on the action – but I’m not sure. The flop was ragged and missed me completely. But with four others in the pot, any flop has the look of one that’s going to help someone.

The turn was an ace, pairing me. I had no idea if my ace was any good, because if anyone else had an ace, there was a good chance that their kicker was better than mine.

The river was another rag, and my pair of aces held up to win the pot. I had quadrupled-up and now had 40 times the big blind and was in decent shape.

Sometime later I was in a pot with Richard Sparks, who wrote Diary of a Mad Poker Player. Sparks was in the cut-off seat and I was on the button. Richard was first one in and made a raise of about four times the big blind. This had all the earmarks of a steal, so I came over the top for all my chips, attempting to steal the blinds and Richard’s chips too.

He had a few more chips than I did, though he would be circling the drain if he called and lost. To my shock he called. We both turned over A-K. I had the king of hearts, and was unbelievably lucky when two hearts flopped and I proceeded to catch running hearts for a flush that allowed me to double through Richard Sparks, leaving him near elimination.

The rest of the tournament was really more of an effort to stay out of my own way, not play hands I didn’t need to play, and lose chips in circumstances where I didn’t have to gamble. I had about the third highest chip count at the final table. The two shortest stacks were eliminated in relatively short order and I became chip leader when I KO’d Charley Shoten.

Nothing dramatic happened after that, and once I had the lead, I never relinquished it. I ground down the short stacks and finally won when I flopped a flush with 6c-2c in the big blind and was smooth called by the small blind on the button. He flopped top pair, hand no draws to beat me and it was all over by the turn when he lost any chance of filling up to beat me.

I think all of the authors in attendance had a good time. We signed books at the portable book store the Gambler’s Book Shop set up in Binion’s poker room and we all took turns being interviewed on www.holdemradio.com.

Many of the players came down to meet their favorite poker authors, buy books, play some poker and have a good time at Binion’s. I look forward to this event again next year. It was sweet, and getting lucky and winning it was sweeter still.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: