Posted by RoninHarper
I have decided to once again start writing in "The Bluff - A Poker
I will re-post the entire story here in this new blog area along with a new section in the next few hours.
I apologize to Steve's fans for the long wait.
I hope you enjoy the new blog area.
So until Later.
Sweat beaded along Steve's forehead as he looked at his dwindling chip stack. He knew that MTT's were marathons and not sprints and God knows he had played his share of tournaments lately, but damn this one had been one hell of a monster roller coaster ride. Everything started out so well, and it went to crap so fast is all he could think to himself.
Steve had been card dead for the last 40 minutes and the blinds after 3.5 hours of play had grown to 5K/10k with a 1K anti every hand and the last 40 minutes had seen his beautiful chip stack get reduced down to just over 13500 chips. The blinds were going to increase again soon and he was getting so close to the money if only he could hold on to at least get his $22 buy in back.
Slow playing every hand by running every second of his decision clock for the last twenty minutes slowed the bleeding down to a trickle. Now with just 6 places to go until the money he wakes up with pocket kings, knowing the blinds will take him out in two hands if he folds he has no choice but to play the kings and hope for the best. The first to act is a Russian moron who loves to play every hand and almost never folds, and Steve can't understand how this suck out king even lasted to this point in the tournament.
The damned Russian bastard shoves all in pre-flop for $136564 chips, Oh God damn it Steve is unable to keep himself from cursing out load, He knows he has to call this moron who is probably bluffing, even though the bastard has been caught shoving with any two freaking cards there is a sick feeling in Steve's stomach as he runs his clock and then calls, much to his relief everyone else folds and the cards are flipped over to be seen.
Steve's heart begins to soar when he sees the Russians hole cards are a Queen diamonds and a 8 of clubs, so his two red Kings are a huge favorite to win. The flop comes out 9c 10c 7c, Steve's heart begins to sink as he realizes the Russian now has a straight flush draw, a flush draw and an open ended straight draw. So many ways for him to lose he does not even bother to count all the damned outs.
The turn come out and it is a 10h and Steve sees a little hope as he begins screaming,
"King 10, King 10, King 10" at his monitor screen begging, no pleading for a boat.
The river card comes down and it is an Ace of Spades.
"Damn it" Steve shoats, but then realizes it not a club so his kings just held up.
Steve throws his arms up and yells,
"Yes! Oh thank you God, I'm going to make the money",
With a tremendous sense of relief he watches the chips slide across his screen and into his chip stack. His next two cards get dealt to him and he is looking down at Ace of spades and 9 of hearts which he runs his clock on before folding.
(What do you think Mobsters shall I continue?)
Steve was somewhat antsy as he looked at his two new hold cards. they were the Ace & King of hearts. The tournament was still literally on the button. The last eight hands had all been hand for hand play as they were exactly one away from the money, several players were desperately trying to hold out to get their buy-ins back. Steve could not remember the last time he played in a tournament which had gone so long on the button. He was in good shape to make the money if he just was patient. He was in middle position with four hands to go before the big blind cost him 12K in chips, and although the ante was currently 1.5K each hand, he felt ok considering.
He breathed deeply and started talking things through to help himself make a decision. He did keep his voice lowered as to not wake up his girlfriend Amber who was asleep and needed to work in the morning. The First player to act was a really nice player from the United Kingdom, he had a note on him about being a solid player and a great fellow at a table, and he opened with a standard 3 bet.
Steve spoke "Ok buddy, nice standard raise there so not a lot of info to be gained there, but you did stay in the hand so I'm going to put you on a pair of 10's or better or big suited connectors."
The next player was new to the table last hand and he knew nothing about this guy. The UTG+1 re-raised to six big blinds very fast it might have been hot keyed.
" Well that sucks, I wish I knew something about you, but I got nothing on you. Where you from bud?"
Sliding his mouse pointer over top the player told him the new player was from Canada, which really did not set off major alarms. The next to act was Steve's favorite moron at the table, the Russian whom he just loved to hate. The Russian shoved all in pre flop for the 5th straight hand which was a bet of $112674 chips. It was Steve's turn to act and he spoke to himself quickly as his clocked ticked down.
"Ok well I got great cards but we are on the button, and how many times have I lost on the button with these kinds of cards? Too many times to count, all I got in the pot is the ante, Oh s**t the tournament lobby is showing the smallest stack is $0 chips so someone has busted out. If I fold I am guaranteed to money. If I risk it all and lose I might still miss out. screw it I'm going to play it safe and at least get my buy-in back with a small profit."
Having thought things through Steve folded his Ace King and watched the hand. The hand ended up having 4 players involved.
The flop came down and Steve had to smile to himself it was the 6c 7d 4s
The turn was the 7s
The river was the Jh
of the had was the player from the United Kingdom with pocket Jacks, Which turned into a nice little boat. A boat that cracked the Canadian's pocket Aces wide open. The truly great thing was the Russian was just eliminated which just made Steve's night.
(Ok Mobster's let us do part 3)
Steve folded the next 3 hands after running his clock to the very last second which was a winning technique which he learned playing in the Poker
stars online poker
school. He had been reading a lot of poker
books and forums lately however and people general seemed to think it was a bad idea to play in this kind of passive way in an multi table tournament. Regardless it had got him to the money several times and even to a final table twice this month. The continued slow play seemed to frustrate some players to no end, and they would often call him with weaker hands just to try and knock him out of the tournament.
The big blind arrived and Steve looked at his cards with mixed delight. The pocket Kings were looking pretty, but he knew even with a shove from him people would call, because of his stack size and position. He could have such a huge shove range the players would call him with almost any two cards. If the kings managed to hold up he would make much needed chips for sure.
The first three players to act all folded and then finally the player from the United Kingdom made a standard 3-bet which got a re-raise from a new player from France. The next player to call was the small blind and Steve shoved all his chips into the middle. He was all in with his very tournament life on the line. He spoke to himself,
"Well Steve my son there's a lot worse cards to make a stand with then pocket Kings. May the Gods be kind."
It was a four handed pot which was going to increase Steve's stack size by five times if he managed to win. He was holding his breath. The cards began to hit the table, and the flop was not very helpful to Steve it was Ace of diamonds, 5 of hearts, 5 of clubs.
The player from the UK just checked but the dude from France bet 30K in chips which the small blind called instantly, as the Uk player folded. Steve exhaled heavily and said to himself,
"Well damn, I guess I am toast now, one of them definitely has an Ace and my Kings are now smoked."
The turn card came out and it was a 8 of clubs, which was no help to any buddy. The guy from France bet 50K and the small blind who was the largest stack at the table shoved all in. The guy from France hesitated for about 8 seconds before calling.
The river card hit the table and Steve nearly fell out of his chair, It was the most beautiful King of spades he had ever seen. He just got a river boat and most likely a huge ass suck out along with it. He was speechless as he watched with glee as the cards were all revealed. Looking at the cards he could not believe what he was seeing.
Steve had to blink twice and take a breath, it was a royal reaming in the extreme which he could hardly believe. The dude from France had turned over an Ace and Queen of Clubs, so his read on him was correct about having an Ace. The small blind however had a pocket pair. Thank God they were 8's and not 5's. The small blind had a full house, Eights over fives.
Steve's Pocket Kings had turned into a full house of Kings over fives. It was with a huge grin that he watched his winnings from the main pot slid his way, and he was chuckling at seeing the side pot slide to the small blind. The guy from France called Steve a damn luck box just before he got booted from the table. This made Steve smile all the brighter. The $146860 chips which just slid his way made him feel great, He was still short stacked, but this tournament was just what the doctor ordered in terms of a nice calm relaxing beginning to his two weeks leave time. Tomorrow afternoon he was supposed to meet the guys from his unit for a few beers and a bar-b-que but that was not until 4pm. There was only 118 players left in the tournament and he was currently ranked in 83rd place. He was already in the money and he felt relaxed and was having a great time.
The small blind was dealt to him and he woke up with pocket red Aces. The smile on his face got even wider as he seen the short stack at the table who was first to act shove all-in with his 43K in chips and the next three guys folded. The Button then called as well and Steve shoved his entire stack into the pot. The big blind folded as did the fellow from Canada, but the button called his shove and he had Steve's chip stack covered completely so his tournament was once again at risk.
The cards were then flipped over for all to see. The first guy who shove all-in for 43K was from Mexico and he was bluffing with a Jack of hearts and the 5 of spades. The small blind turned over a pair of jacks a diamond and a club, which totally delighted Steve since there was now only one out for him, because one of his jacks was already dead.
The flop came out 3 hearts, 8 spades, Queen clubs.
The turn card was a Ace spades and Steve was instantly out of his chair and dancing a little happy dance.
He stopped after the river card was dealt.
The River was a 2 of hearts.
Steve sat back down and gave the button player the finger, as his new chips slid into his stack he said,
"Yea baby, who's your daddy now?"
He laughed and reach for his beer fridge to grab himself a nice cold beer to drink.
The sound which the beer made when he opened the cap was heavenly to his ears. The first real cold beer to cross his lips in three weeks was about to grace him with its caress. It was proving to be a wonderful start to a two week vacation which he had been really looking forward too. His poker
tournament had completely turned around, and he was truly hoping to go deep into the money, and with the poker
Gods willing he might even make a final table. The lobby told Steve that the blinds just increased to level 33. The blinds were now going to be 8K/16K with a 2K ante.
Steve was now in great shape with $327720 in chips. The tournament had 938 entrants, but there was now only 74 left. The average chip stack was just $38027 which meant his $327720 in chips put him in 12th place over all. The next hour of game play had not exactly gone as planned, and Steve's attempt to loosen up his game play and steal some blinds by bullying the table only resulted in his splashing hard won chips away needlessly. His chip stack had fallen from its former height of glory down to $216592. He had lost with both pocket Aces and Kings when lesser pairs hit trips, and he even had a boat lose to quads but thankfully that time the player only had 27K in chips, so it was a very small loss of chips to a short stacked player who was now long gone. 38 players remained and he was now in 19th place over all. The one beer which he had allowed himself to enjoy might have helped him to loosen up to much, so he was not allowing himself another till the tournament was over.
The new hole cards which he was just dealt were a pair of 7's and he decided it was time to make a move again, so since he was in late position if the action in front of him was not to crazy he was going to 4-bet the sevens.
The fist to act was a Ukrainian player who did his standard 3 bet raise, he was then re-raised all-in by the chip leader a Canadian with $689756 chips, when it came for him to call, it was all Steve could do to fold immediately, or risk a foolish call on a whim. The sound of his unit beeper going off jarred him from the game. Looking quickly at the thing he reached for his phone and dialed the command team hot line. The line as always was answered on the first ring by the communications officer on duty.
Steve spoke into the phone receiver,
"Lt. Steve Cole you beeped me."
The reply drained the blood from his face as he know his tournament just ended.
( To be continued in Part 6)
Steve walked over to his computer and looked at his screen, then just shut it off with a regretful sigh. Turning unhappily he walked over to his closet and reached inside to grab his go bag which was always packed at the ready. He then stepped into his walk in closet and keyed his personal security code into his wall safe door. The familiar beep-click sounded, he opened the door to reach inside and retrieve his personal weapon and some cash, along with two spare clips of ammunition. He closed the safe and was headed to the door to pick up his bag along with his personal laptop computer when his beeper went off a second time and his heart leaped. He rushed to his phone filled with hope that it had just been a contact response readiness test.
The unit command line was again answered on the first ring, and he spoke into the phone,
"Lt. Steve Cole you just beeped me again, I was about out the door."
The smile was back on his face as he was told to stand down, the assembly order had just been a communications test and now that everyone had checked in it was over. The watch commander wished him a good night and hung up. Steve happily replaced his go bag back into his closet and replaced his sidearm inside his wall safe. Once these two things were both accomplished he returned to his computer and turned it on and while it was starting up he grabbed himself another beer.
He spoke to himself,
"Steve ole buddy you just dodged a bullet there and now the tournament is back on, clearly the poker
Gods are on your side so you are meant to make the final table. You better not screw this one up as these types of gifts a rare."
Logging back into his account he took a deep haul off the beer and calmed himself as the tournament table reopened and he clicked that he was back. It appeared that six hands had gone by and he was now posting the big blind. He looked at his hole cards which were a Queen 5 off suit which he of course folded.
( Part 7 )
Steve was very satisfied with his current position in the tournament. There was only 14 players left now and he was sitting pretty in the 3rd place spot because of his sweet chip stack of $465232. The average chip stack of $201000 was a joke at this point because only four players had at least 200K or more in chips. The fact that six players could not afford the next round of blinds meant they were going to be making all in shoves with a very wide range of hands.
The final two tables both had seven players each on them. Steve was currently on the button and his holes cards were a nice looking pair of red queens. The first player to act moved all in with $37651 in chips and UTG+1 called with the minimum bet. The next players all folded around to Steve who decided to slow play his Queens and just flat called. The small blind folded and the big blind shoved all in for $97652 in chips. The player in the UTG+1 position ran his clock timer for a bit and then shoved in the last of his chips pre flop for $145231. Steve spoke to himself in order to process what he was thinking,
"Well this is interesting indeed all I got invested in this hand is the $40K big blind. There is three players all in pre flop and I got pocket Queens. I think at least one of them must have pocket Aces or maybe Kings. Well I did not get this far by acting as a table sheriff. I guess I will fold these queens and let them take each other out this time."
The decision having been made Steve folded his pocket queens, he then waited to see everyone's hole cards, and then the flop. The blinds were currently at level 40 and was as follows. The big blind was 40K, The small blind was 20K, with the antes of 5K.
It was going to be a three way pot and the players cards got turned over, Steve seen his read was spot on this time. The first player in the hand shoved with 9s 10s, while the play in UTG+! showed a pocket pair 6h 6c, The big blind turned over a pocket pair as well King h & King c. So Steve was correct that his Queens would have been behind.
The Flop was 3h 8h Queen s, The Turn card was Ace h, The River card was a 10h
The big blind won the hand with a King high flush which would have beaten his Queen high flush. He was pleased to see that he had indeed made the proper read and fold which saved him chips. The next cards got dealt out and this time he was looking at a pair of pocket Queens again, a Queen clubs and a diamond.
(to be continued)
( part 8)
Back to back pocket queens was a rarity for any player to get and he did not like the idea of folding them pre-flop twice in a row.
Looking at the lobby he could see that they were down to eleven players. There was five on his table and the first player to act was the Canadian who folded his cards then it was Steve's turn and he made a 160K bet in order to represent strength and hopefully to only get one caller if any. The button and small blind both folded and the big blind went all in for $216324 in chips, which the pocket queens he was holding demanded he snap call with. He listened to the ladies and waited to see the results.
The cards for both himself and his opponent were turned over and Steve was ahead pre-flop, since the big blind had Ace diamonds, 10 Diamonds
The flop came out Five spades, Jack clubs, seven hearts.
The Turn was a King Clubs
The River was a pretty 10 hearts
Steve's ladies were good and held up fine. He was smiling to himself as he watched the chips slid into his stack and the table seen a new player get moved over from the other table. The lobby showed ten players left and he knew he was going to make the final table for sure. His chip stack of $706556 chips put him in 2nd place for chips over all.
Steve's unit beeper sounded and he instantly reached for his phone.
Steve's blood ran cold the moment he heard the noise in the background of the communication officer. The unit contact number was as always answered on the first ring, and he gave his standard greeting. The response he received was as follows,
"Sandstorm 2nd down and long, I repeat, Sandstorm 2nd down and long"
The immediate click and the phone line going dead told Steve Cole that this was no damned drill. He never ever expected to receive that message when he called the unit command line. He immediately called the line back and an automated operator message told him,
"that the line he was dialing was no longer in service." He gently hung up his phone as to not make a sound.
Looking at his computer laptop he folded his new hole cards which was 9 2 off suit. He looked at the lobby display and seeing that the tournament went on break in 6 minutes he just clicked the sit out next hand button. He had to move quickly now, but without making noise and without making any mistakes now. The first thing he did was very carefully walk over to his closet beside the door and grab his go bag and sit it out beside the door, then he turned off the light which plunged his apartment into darkness, with the exception of the light which was coming in from outside sources. He gave his eyes a minute to adjust to the new light levels then he began moving again. He entered his bedroom and turned right stepping into the walk-in closet, he closed the door behind him before turning on the light. The light was only a 20 watt red bulb like you would find in a photographers dark room, but it was enough for him to see for what he had to do.
"Sandstorm 2nd down and long", the voice had told him.
Steve knew want the coded message meant and he tried not to think about it on an emotional level, there would be plenty of time for that later. Now he had to stay alive and to do that he needed to focus on the immediate task at hand. The first attempt to code in his security code into the safe was a failure, because partway through his hand was shaking and he misclicked a number. He took a deep breath and softly spoke to himself.
"Steve old buddy just relax. You always knew this could happen someday, and the others knew it too. Take a deep breath and slowly exhale, good now calm your fear. Do not let it control you, use it to hone your skills and help sharpen your senses, the immediate goal is to stay alive. You will have time later to figure out what the f**k went wrong and punish whoever is to blame."
Having taken control of himself he re-entered the safe security code and opened up his wall safe. First he retrieved his sidearm and slid in a full clip of ammo then he inserted its silencer into place. He then took its shoulder harness from its spot off the wall and put the weapon on and secured it properly in place. Turning slightly more to the right he reached up and removed a sports bag from the top shelf. It was the kind of bag that football or hockey players always used to carry their shoulder pads and other gear around in because it had plenty of room and could hold a lot of gear. He turned back around and removed the entire contents from his safe quickly without a sound, after placing them into the gear bag he closed the safe. He stepped to the rear of his closet and unlocked the gun case which ran along the entire rear wall.
The first weapon he grabbed was an MP-5 which was already loaded and silenced, he placed it on a small table immediately to his right for easy access. The second weapon was an M16A2 which he also loaded before placing it into the bag, then it was the pump action shot gun which could hold 14 rounds which he loaded with high impact shedder rounds. You open up on a room with this bad boy and you could clear it very fast indeed. Two colt .45 pythons were loaded and packed next and then he took out the spare clips which were always loaded for each of his weapons and placed them into his bag. then making sure the bag was properly positioned and completely open, he used his arm to make a long sweeping motion to just knock all the boxes of ammunition into his bag. He then stuffed three pairs of black pants and three black shirts into the bag along with two sweaters and six pairs of clean socks. The bag packed he closed it and placed it beside the table as well. He then put on his entire unit assault gear and over top put on his long black leather looking Kevlar trench coat.
He was suited up and armed to fight a small scale war and he knew exactly how he looked, it was almost 03:00 hours and he should not encounter anyone on his way to the underground garage where he kept his car. It was now time to get the hell out of here and find a safe place to hold up for a few days, he knew exactly what he was going to do in order to improve his odds of survival over the next three days. Retrieving his bags and weapons he turned off the light and with the MP-5 ready for use he listened before opening his closet door then reentered his darkened apartment. He crossed over to the laptop and seen the tournament was on break for 3 minutes and it looked like it was the final table. He closed the cover and then placed it into its laptop carrying bag along with the rest of its gear. He crossed over to his door and added his primary go bag to his collection of equipment, he was now prepared to leave into the night never to return.
Softly he spoke to no one in particular, "Sandstorm 2nd down and long"
(to be continued)
Slipping out into the hallway with all his senses alert for any sign of trouble he briskly moved down the hallway until he reached the stairwell door across from the elevators. The moment he slid inside he swung out the MP-5 and flicked off its safety, the round indicator switch was set to semi-auto so he would only fire one bullet with each pull of the trigger. Quickly and quietly he began descending the stairs downward. He was heading for the underground garage where on sub level two he kept his 2011 Ford Taurus which was Kodiak Brown in color and fully loaded. He paused at the entrance door of the garage level and looked and listened, something felt wrong and he was not about to make a stupid mistake now. Deciding to trust his instincts he went back up one level, he slipped out into garage level one and he immediately broke hard to the left and took up a defensive crouch between the concrete wall and a SUV which was parked in a handicap slot. He was prepared for an assault. The moment he heard the engine of an idling vehicle within the garage he knew his instincts had been right. The sound was coming from his right, and it was echoing gently which told him it was on the level below him.
The vehicle was parked on Sublevel two which is where his car was parked, and from his current location his car was also to his right. This meant whoever was parked down below most likely was waiting for him to approach his car. Steve slid quietly along the front of the SUV moving left away from the direction of both his car and the vehicle with the engine running. He moved four vehicles down and then slid in between a mini-van and another SUV, He carefully put his bags down on the ground and slipped them under the SUV because it had the higher ground clearance.
Steve was now completely unencumbered and very quickly crossed over to the other side of the parking garage. Once there he rapidly moved right until his ears told him the running vehicle was directly in front of his current position one level down. There were still six more vehicles along this wall and so he moved past his location down three more positions, he then slipped in between the two parked cars. Steve did this so that he would be able to cross back across the garage at a diagonal while using a Dodge Caravan as cover to shield him from the view of anyone within the car who's engine was running. He was certain now that it was a car. He silently slid over to the edge of the garage parking level and confirmed his position in relation to the car which he could now see was a black 2012 Lincoln Town Car.
Steve silently dropped down over the edge and landed on the lower level without a sound, and was moving instantly towards the Lincoln which was parked with its trunk facing inward. Positioning himself at the rear of the vehicle next to the Lincoln he reached into his pocket and hit the button for his automatic car starter to start his vehicles engine. The Taurus started without hesitation and as soon as it did he moved from his position very rapidly to stand behind the Lincoln, he switched the selector switch to full auto and raised up his MP-5. Steve seeing the four men were all looking at his car and one of them was holding a pistol he opened fire and the rear window exploded as he swept his weapon from left to right and then back again. Ejecting his clip and slamming another into its place he once again flicked the selector switch back to semi-auto.
(To be Continued)
Stepping to the rear window on the driver's side he fired another round into the heads of each of the four men, from his current position he was now able to see that both men in the rear seat had Uzi sub-machine guns and that the passenger appeared to have an AK-47 with a barrel drum clip in place. The targets without a doubt had been there to kill him. Steve reached into the rear passenger window and opened door and hauled the man outside onto the ground, he then stripped the man of all weapons, jewelry, and cash, the man carried no identification. The same procedure was quickly repeated for the other three men as well. Steve was amused to find two grenades among the four assassins possessions.
Steve thought quickly and then smiled, he just had an idea which might buy him a little time. He slid behind the wheel of the Lincoln and eased it into drive. He pulled out and drove up one level to where he had left his equipment and gear bags. He slid out of the passengers side door after flicking the trunk release, quickly retrieving his things he placed them into the Lincoln's rear trunk. He then drove back down to where his Taurus was still patiently idling and pulled the pin on one of the grenades. He tossed it under his car then tramped the accelerator. The Lincoln had traveled almost five car lengths before the explosion behind him erupted, and car alarms and sirens began to sound. He maneuvered the Lincoln up and onto the street and drove just one block, he turned onto the first left and drove three blocks then pulled into a parking garage and parked the Lincoln trunk first in the rear corner which had the added advantage of placing the driver's side along the wall. Stepping out of the vehicle he surveyed the area the popped the trunk release for the second time tonight. He retrieved his things and placed them on the ground arranging them neatly. He then very quickly searched the car for anything he deemed of value, and of course he took the things the four men had been carrying. He packed them away into his gear bag which was getting both full and heavy.
He then popped open the gas tank cover latch and opened the cover, he placed the grenade into the opening and using a piece of duct tape from his go bag secured it into place. He then used some fishing line from a spoil he also had in the bag to tie around the pin which he would now be able to spring from a distance. Steve simply picked up his things and calmly walked away from the vehicle allowing the line to quietly spoil out until he was one hundred feet away and stepping out onto the sidewalk, he then turn the spoil around which stopped it from allowing more line to roll off, It did not take long before he felt the line go very tight and then release as he continued to walk calmly away. There was an explosion from inside the parking structure and a car alarm sounded from behind him as he simply turned the corner. Three blocks down on the right he found a restaurant which stayed open all night, he entered and took a set in the rear corner with his back to the wall and a view of the entrance. He placed his bags on the inside between him and the side wall with his laptop case on the table to his left. He opened the case and then got out his laptop computer.
The waitress brought him a menu and he ordered a coffee to start along with a steak (well done), with a baked potatoes and carrots on the side, he also added a side of fried onions for his steak. The meal ordered he opened the laptop and placed his personal internet wireless connect card into its USB port then logged online. The entire ordeal which he just went through only took him 25 minutes and there was a five minute break in there so he could very easily still be in the tournament. He logged into his poker
account and the tournament table immediately opened up with just 5 players left, his chip stack had been blinded down to $283578 chips. He smiled however because he was back in the game.
(to be continued)
Steve was the big blind and looking at his two new hole cards. He had a suited King and Queen of spades. There was only five players left and he wanted to make a move at rebuilding some lost chips. The first player to act made a 3bet of 240K the next player folded and the small blind shoved all in for $1 325 214 in chips. The blinds of 40k/80k with 10k antes it would require him to push his last $203578 chips into the pot and hope for the best. His suited King and Queen in a three way pot would not be so bad, but he decided to fold. He hoped the two were going to fight each other, and if they did he wanted the chip leader to win.
Steve liked that the difference between 5th place and 4th place was an increase of almost $500 US. The Canadian player did call the chip leader and their cards were shown. The chip leader in the small blind position showed an Ace of hearts, 10 clubs. The Canadian in the UTG position showed pocket 9's a spade and diamond, the hand played itself out as follows.
The flop was 7 diamond, 3 clubs, Jack of diamonds
The Turn was a Ace of spades
The River popped a 9 of clubs
The Canadian just took a huge chunk out of the chip leader and as Steve watched the 967K in chips slid across his screen he was pleased that he avoided that freight train, as it would have just cost him the tournament, if had he tried to protect his big blind. The small blind was dealt out and he was looking at 8c, 2s which he folded just as his steak arrived and he asked the waitress for another coffee. He had less then 200K in chips now, he decided that he was going to shove all in with his next legitimate hand.
(to be continued)
Exploding window glass scared the hell out of the four officers working in the outer office of Gen. Craig Mathews, The coffee cup which just shattered against the wall opposite the generals door was the least of their concerns. The general was heard slamming down the telephone receiver and was bellowing for his personal aide Maj. Anderson. The major jumped up and rushed into the lion's den prepared to weather a real s**t storm, the moment Gen. Mathews laid eyes on his subordinate he started in on the man and giving orders. He spoke,
"Clear that f**king room out Major our conversation is nobody else's damned business!"
Maj. Anderson stepped into the room and could see the other three officers were already evacuating the area and wasting no time at all. The door closed behind the third man and the Major turned back around and stood at attention and saluted to Gen. Mathews who immediately restarted speaking,
"Grenades Major, Who the f**k told them God damned morons that they could use grenades while trying to eliminate the f**king target. Holy s**t do you have any idea the position this puts us in now. The God damned press is all over this now claiming it is everything from a terrorist attack, to a full blown drug war taking place in our streets. The stupid sons of bitches did not even kill their target. Do you have any idea how bad this makes us look? Well Major don't just stand there like a damn idiot answer me."
The Major Cleared his throat before speaking softly,
"General might I presume sir, that I have your permission to speak freely?"
Anderson did not continue until Gen. Mathews nodded his affirmative response and returned his salute. The general also ordered him to stand at ease. The Major continued softly speaking,
"Sir might I suggest that we keep our voices down when discussing this matter. I am certain you would not want unknown soldiers who are not trustworthy to overhear something they might misunderstand. The four dead men can't be traced back to us sir. They were company boys before they got themselves killed. In their defense they did terminate three of the four targets before everything went wrong."
General Mathews held up a hand and then began to speak in a calm but angry voice.
"James we need to get this situation under control fast. There are already powerful people asking questions, and they are the kinds of questions that we do not want to need answer. I thought this was going to be a simple operation to take out some assets which were deemed too dangerous to be allowed to continue onward. You told me killing them was going to be a simple matter easily explained away as random acts of gang violence or accidents. Now we got all hell breaking loose, and the press is all over the terrorism story like it is Christmas in July."
Major Anderson nodded understandingly then spoke again.
"Well general, We could leek the story that all four men were part of a drug cartel. We could say they attempted to muscle in on local criminal elements and got more than they bargained for from the locals. This might buy us some time to find Lt. Cole and get him dealt with permanently."
General Mathews held up a hand again,
"James I want to see this man's dossier. I want to know everything about him possible. We need to know exactly what he can and or might be able to do. I want to know just how badly he can hurt us."
Steve Cole finished off his forth cup of coffee and then ordered a piece of triple layer chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cr� on top as desert for his meal. He knew that he had to go to ground and hide someplace for a few days, but his training told him that, the best thing he could do right now, was wait until things calmed down over the next few hours. The members of his unit where trained to be ghosts. He was taught about escape and evasion from the best the company had to offer. His military training before that had also prepared him well. He know that the natural instinct to run had to be suppressed. The police and intelligence agency's would be looking for anyone trying to flee the area, and by doing nothing at all, and looking seeming uninterested in anything around him, he was staying off their radar.
Sitting in this restaurant like a he did not have a care in the world was the safest thing for him until mornings first light. He would be polite and soft spoken and completely undemanding, the perfect late night customer, and when the sun came up he was going to pay his bill and leave a good tip. He would politely request the staff call him a taxi to take him to the airport, but until then he would just trust his training and stay calm.
(to be continued)
Steve Cole looked at his new hole cards which was a pair of queens. This had certainly been his tournament for getting pocket queens and right now they looked damn nice to him. There was still five players left and he was the short stack at the table and since he was first to act he just shoved the chips all-in. He felt confident that he would get at least one caller but everyone at the table called him. The other four players all had his chip stack covered and to Steve's surprise they all just check all the way to the river, They where all trying to get him eliminated to increase their own payouts and being gentlemen about their attempt.
The long and the short of it was simple his queens died a horrid little death to two pair and he was out of the tournament in 5th place for a nice little cash payout of $1834.60 USD. All things considered, he just could not see how to be anything but pleased with the result, especially since he almost did not even make the money. The amount of everything else that went wrong during this tournament made the result even more amazing.
Steve closed his laptop and put it away before finishing his chocolate desert and getting one more coffee refill. Once the waitress once again refilled his cup and went to see to another table which was out of direct view he carefully reached his hand inside he overcoat and retrieved his wallet and placed it in his outside pocket where he could get to it without having to open his Kevlar trench coat again. The sun was just coming up and when he finished his cup of coffee he asked the pretty waitress for his bill which came to $36.45 so he took out $50 and waited for the waitress to return.
The young women smiled when he passed her the bill along with the money and told her to please keep the change as her tip. He then asked her if she would be able to call him a taxi to go to the airport because he had to catch a flight. She immediately agreed to call him a taxi and thanked him for being such a pleasant and generous customer. She turned and walked happily away and then he stood up and collected his things and started towards the door to wait outside for the taxi.
Steve was just about to the door when the two law enforcement officers walked inside the restaurant,
(to be continued)
Steve and the two officers both stopped moving at the same time. In his black Kevlar trench he looked like a cast extra from the movie the matrix. The two police officers looked like they had a long night, now they walked into the path of a killing machine ready to fire on all cylinders. He was just about to move forward when his waitress came flying around the corner and said in an excited voice while throwing herself into the older cops arms,
"Daddy! Damn you look more tired than usual. So you teaching this young pup the ropes or just telling him old war stories?"
She hugged him and kissed his cheek.
The younger officer never took his eyes from Steve who did not want to harm anyone in this restaurant if it could be helped. He decided on a more passive action and spoke to the waitress in the soft voice he had used with her for the last hour.
"Excuse me miss, I do not mean to be a bother to you or interrupt you. I was just wondering if you remembered to call my taxi?"
The waitress turn from her embrace with her father and smiled at him pleasantly and answered,
"I must certainly did, I told the dispatcher the nicest and best customer I have had in three months needed a taxi to go to the airport. and they told me they would be here in five minutes. I think I can see it coming up the street now. However, I am not letting you leave until you promise to come back and see us again next time you are back in town,"
Steve nodded then softly spoke,
"Thank you for being so nice. I promise I will return next time I am in the area. Please thank the chef for the perfect steak. It was worth every second of the wait while it was prepared to perfection. Well I see you were correct, it does appear my taxi has arrived. Thank you again, I do hope you have a great day."
Steve began to move towards the entrance and the young officer stepped sideways into his path, he then stepped through the doorway to hold it open for Steve. He thanked the officer as he walked through the opened doorway and headed towards the waiting taxi. The driver opened the side door and said you can just put your thing right here in back sir if you like, He did as was suggested then walked calmly around and sat in the passenger seat of the Caravan. Noting the younger officer was still outside watching him Steve made sure to say load enough for him to hear the words the airport please.
(to be continued)
Steve just had a bad feeling about his current situation. Something just felt off about the driver he was far too damned quite and he kept looking at his mirror and then his watch. The man also kept swallowing like his throat was dry but he had a coffee mug in the cup tray which looked half full. Steve said,
"If you do not mind, I would like to add a stop at the next 24 hour convenience store please. I need to pick up some smokes and a bottle of water and a bag of jerky for the trip. I will pay you for the stop."
The driver looked at his watch and said,
"I do not think that is a good idea sir. If you are to catch the first flight out you need to get to the airport as soon as possible. You would not want to miss your flight."
Steve answered him as follows,
" Oh is that why you keep looking at your watch. No need to worry on my account friend, my flight does not leave until 10am so I will have a few hours to kill at the airport terminal, I just like to get my baggage all checked and cleared early before a flight. I just hate to be rushed at the airport. Please stop at the store which is two blocks up on the right, I know they have exactly the brands I like because I shop the regularly."
The driver exhaled and in a frustrated tone answered back,
"Sir you are my last run of the day and I would really just like to get you to the airport so I can go home to bed it has been a long night. So please if you can make this a very quick stop."
The driver did as he was told and pulled into the all night store, as soon as he had stopped the Caravan and placed it into park Steve spoke again,
"I have a friend who drives taxi and he told me how he never seems to get the chance to get out to piss enough. Why not take this chance to jump out to the washroom while I get my things. I will even buy you a fresh coffee if you like, and a muffin as well as part of your tip. I should also get some money from this ATM just to make sure I have enough cash to cover the taxi fare to the airport, It is normally $20 right, but hey I had a great night at the tables playing poker
against the guys, so with the ride and stop what do you say we just call it $40. I mean it is not costing me anything really, I won over a grand from the boys."
The driver looked at Steve and smiled, then nodded and started to step out of the taxi. Steve did the same and they entered the store to take care of their business. The driver went straight to the washroom the ATM was the first stop for Steve, He then grabbed two 1.5L bottles of water,3 large bags of Beef Jerky which was one of each flavor, 3 large bags of Pork Jerky again one of each flavors., 12 large oh Henry bars, 4 cans lays stackers, 12 caramel block boxes, 2 boxes of wooden matches, 2 packs of Old Port cigars and two packs of cigarettes, 2 cans of butane lighter fluid for his Zippo, and 6 new disposable lighters. He dropped just under a $100. He also purchase coffees for both himself and the driver along with two blueberry muffins.
The two of them walked back out and entered the taxi and Steve passed the driver the agreed upon $40. The driver happily took the cash and seemed much more relaxed now. Perhaps the man just needed a washroom break thought Steve, who took note of the black Escalade which fell silently in behind them, perhaps he just feels better because he has some friends behind us now.
(to be continued)
The driver had driven about a block when he spoke to Steve,
"Pardon my language bud, but that bastard in the Escalade behind us is one ignorant prick. I mean, it is not bad enough that he has had his damn high beams on trying to blind me, but the bastard is staying right on my tail. It's a damn two lane one way street, I wish he would just pass us and piss off."
Steve looked at the driver and then over his right shoulder before he spoke in reply,
" I do think you are right, he has been behind us since the store. I wonder what his problem is, did we cut him off when we pulled out onto the street?"
The taxi driver replied,
"I assure you that I did not cut him off when we left the store. I am going to remain on the far right side and slow down slightly. The next light will be turning red soon, I could make it through on the yellow, but I am going to stop in hopes that the jerk will run on through and get off our tail. The headlights are not my idea of a good time."
Steve only nodded and reached forward to pick up his coffee which allowed him to covertly retrieve his silenced MP-5 and prepare for the assault he suspected was about to come from the driver and his friends in the Escalade. The hot coffee was going to go into the drivers face at the first instance of the attack.
Stopping at the red light did partially work since the Escalade pulled up next to the taxi on the driver's side. The cabby gave the finger outside his window just before his face came off and his brains splattered all over his front windshield as the bullet holes tore through the glass. Steve recognized the sounds of suppressed gun fire and he threw his left arm upwards. He pulled the door lever to fall out of the passenger side door and roll back up to his feet ready to fight. He opened fire threw the side windows of the taxi into the other vehicle. The battle engaged with the enemy now meant he was all in and the only option was to win or die. He had no intention of dying now before he had avenged his fellow unit members deaths.
(to be continued)
The windows in the Escalade erupted inward as the bullets tore through them. The driver was the first one killed because Steve wanted to make damn sure the bastard did not shot forward and then reposition to give his buddy's a better firing arc. Three other men exited the vehicle firing somewhat blindly while they took cover and maneuvered themselves around forward and back. Realizing his poor position Steve did the unexpected and dropped flat to the ground in order to see the men's feet. The two men moving around the front of the taxi was his biggest threat, so he flicked the selector switch to full auto and opened fire into the feet and legs. The two men both screamed in agony and feel to the ground which is exactly what was wanted by their intended target.
Steve emptied the entire clip into the two men and killed them both. Looking the other direction as he slid another clip into place told him the third man was better trained then the first two since he had removed his feet from view. Seeing the grenade come rolling under the taxi caused Steve to curse out load. In a desperate move he grabbed the side of the taxi and swung his arm as hard and fast under the taxi as possible and managed to hit the grenade with his MP-5 causing it to very quickly fly off in the opposite direction. He rolled forward to try and get the wheel and passenger side of the cab to give him cover for the damn explosion which was about to awaken the entire street. The shocked assassin barely had time to think once the grenade he had thrown came back out from under the Escalade almost at his feet before it went off. Steve heard the man's cry and knew he had be caught in the blast. He then realized that the taxi was actually moving forward into the intersection so he jumped into the vehicle again. It did not take him long to figure out the drivers foot had fallen of the break which allowed the taxi's idling engine to begin moving it forward. Steve reached across the driver and open his door then simply shoved him out the door as he slid into the driver seat himself and floored the accelerator. It was going to be a very cold trip to the airport with the windows blow out and it being winter time. He turned the heat up on high and tried to position the vents to blow as much warm air onto him as possible.
The trip to the private terminal at the airport took fifteen minutes. Steve wasted no time at all getting all his thing loaded into the helicopter which he and a couple of unit member had purchased together under various aliases. The moment he was load he fired up the copter at request clearance from the tower to go skyward to fly to training area three to practice emergency landing procedures to prepare for an upcoming flight recertification. The tower kept him waiting 5 minutes so an inbound jet could land before granting him flight clearance and wishing him a safe flight. Taking to the air he could see the flashing light of police cars as he flew eastward low over the tree tops. Once he arrived at his destination he would pass a few days just playing online poker
(to be continued)
Steve Cole flew the Bell 430 Helicopter 300 miles north before landing to refuel and take a break for a couple hours. He used the time to go into the local town and purchase more supply's which he wanted for his trip. The entire layover lasted two and one half hours. The next leg of his flight would have him arriving at his destination by 17:00h and he was looking forward to getting to the remote cabin location. The helicopter would be refueled again once he landed before it was placed inside the onsite hanger.
The Hanger was large enough to house 3 helicopters along with 2 Jeeps, 6 Dirt Bikes, 6 ATV's. and 6 Snowmobiles. The entire structure was attached to the cabin area which had sleeping quarters for up to 12 people via an underground tunnel. Once he arrived and landed safely he would be completely off the grid in every way. The land was owned by a privately listed company and it was in no way linked to any member of the unit although it was owned 100% by him under a totally clean identity.
Every member of his unit had several disposable identity's which they could use to travel around the world with and effectively disappear. Steve Cole was his favorite identity but it would now need to be burned and purged, He would think about his options over the next three days and just play poker
to relax while he thought about things.
If he arrived on time he would be able to play in the nightly Big $11 on poker
stars, just the idea of it made him smile. Steve landed the helo and then moved it into the hanger in order to get it under cover so that it could not be located from the air of with satellite recognizance. He checked the generator and fired it up in order to power the electricity. In the morning he would dismount the wind turbines airfoils so that that the wind will start providing him with power, He will also get the Solar cells up and running to get power from the sun as well. This facility had both power and wood heat sources, it was also well stocked with supply's and since he also brought extra supplies and equipment along with him he know he would be fine even if he stayed here for the next six months and just played poker
He smiled and thought to himself that maybe he should do just that, he could just lay low and then when we made his move it would totally take them by surprise. Tonight though he was just going to get the wood stove fired up for heat and to boil water for coffee and just use his laptop with its wifi uplink card to play poker
and relax his tired body. The next hour passed quickly and after he sat down and fired up his laptop he took a drink of his coffee and looked at the screen in order to decide which game to play.
Steve took fifteen minutes to study the information then made his choice about which tournament to play first. With any luck and a blessing for the poker
Gods he would have a deep run and finish deep in the money.
The table opened up and his first two hole cards arrived 9 clubs, 3 hearts, which he folded instantly.
(to be continued)