Valentine's Day Score
I was fortunate enough to score on Valentine's Day...by making the final table of the $10.50 Super-Knockout! Unfortunately, I also had a date planned with my girlfriend at the same time.
It was your typical poker-life balance dilemma, one that full-time players are often faced with. In this case I had to make a choice between going out with my girlfriend on Valentine's Day and playing out the tournament for a top prize of over $1,300.
Or did I?
Even though seemingly impossible to pull off, I thought that maybe there was a way to win both the tournament and the date.
My Valentine's plans involved dinner at a nearby upscale pizza parlor followed by a comedy show that a friend was involved in. Reservations were set for 6:30pm and the comedy show started at 8:30pm.
I wasn't even going to play tournaments at all that day to avoid any potential conflicts. But after my girlfriend pointed out that I had yet to reach a final table all year, I agreed the chances of my making a super deep run appeared slim (funny how things work out). Plus, I wanted to play cash games either way.
It didn't take long before I had busted most of my tournaments, except for the $10.50 SKO. Included in those bust-outs was a very frustrating bad beat in a $5.1 hyper-turbo with around 60 players remaining for basically all of the chips. After that, I figured I'd be booking a small losing day in tournaments, but would continue playing cash games until I busted the SKO.
I continued treading water in the SKO for a while. Before I knew it, the breaks started to pass me by...2:55pm, 3:55pm, 4:55pm and suddenly it was 5:55pm and my girlfriend had long started to get ready for our date. She knew that I was still in the tournament and asked if we were going to have to cancel dinner - she's very supportive of the poker lifestyle and understands how all of the big money in tournaments is made at the final table.
The thought of cancelling our date never seriously crossed my mind. Had I been playing down to the final table in the Sunday Million then it would be a different story, but we were hardly talking about life-changing money and with 4-5 tables still remaining cancelling dinner and busting shortly after would probably put me on tilt for the rest of the month!
Still, I didn't really know what to do and joked about bringing my phone to the restaurant and playing out the tournament on the mobile app. Somewhat surprisingly my girlfriend didn't seem opposed to the idea. All of a sudden the app became my backup plan if I didn't bust over the next half an hour.
I showered during the break and spent the next 25 minutes getting dressed in between hands. I was looking hard for spots to either double-up or bust, but as 6:30pm approached the situation had not really changed. There was no more time left to play the tournament at home without missing dinner, so despite being reluctant about the plan, I closed the client and logged into the mobile app and we walked out the door.
The restaurant was nearby but it was raining. My multi-tasking skills were put to the test as I tried to hold up an umbrella, the phone, and dodge traffic along the way. We arrived at the restaurant with three tables remaining in the tournament. My girlfriend assured me that it was fine to put the phone on the table, but I did not want to be "that guy" on his phone during a Valentine's date. So I did what I could to hide it on my leg.
Playing on the app, having grinded all day on my desktop, was difficult in its own right. Being short stacked for most of the final few tables worked out well because my decisions were limited and I didn't have to worry about typing in custom bet sizes. I found myself in a lot of "all-in or fold" situations and by the time drinks arrived we were down to the final two tables.
There was more of the same at the final two tables. The greatest difficulty came when the table became short-handed, because there was less time between hands. On the date side of things, we had successfully managed to order dinner and keep up a conversation despite the obvious distraction. I would try to show my girlfriend every time I was all-in or a big pot happened. It didn't take long before the final table hit and we cheers'ed to that!
Coming into the final table I remained short in chips, so my hopes at a top three finish were not very high. Given my situation I felt like I was freerolling anyway and was content with whatever happened.
I was surprised when a few players busted before me. Then I won a coin flip with 7-7 to put me back in the middle of the pack with around five remaining. Things continued to go my way and after doubling-up with A-K vs. K-J on a K-K-X-X board, I was actually the chip leader three-handed!
At this point we had finished dinner and had asked for the bill. Conveniently it was around 7:55pm and there was a break in the tournament. I thought that it would be way too difficult to play out the tourney three-handed on the app, especially while searching for a cab to take us to the comedy club, but I had a plan to make everything work.
I figured that my best chance of making the comedy show, and banking a four-figure score, was to convince the other two players to make a deal. I was in a good position as the chip leader and to my great relief both players agreed to look at numbers!
I agreed with the numbers quickly and sweated it out to see if the others would follow suit. One player was soon on board with the deal and it didn't take much longer for the other player to accept. We had a clean deal!
Since the break the whole ordeal had taken about ten minutes. With that, I said "good game" to the players and was out the door and into a cab on the way to the comedy show.
We ended up arriving with plenty of time and had a great night. It was incredibly difficult but thanks to an understanding girlfriend and some serious poker run-good, I managed to succeed in the tournament and more importantly, on the date as well.
Tyler "Frosty012" Frost is a member of Team PokerStars Pro Online