In my second round I busted someone early and then sat on my 10,000 chip stack for a long time. The other players gradually busted one another and soon enough we were playing 4 handed. I caught a big break at this point. I've forgotten the precise action, but I think it went like this. I raised before the flop with 67 suited on the button and got reraised by the big blind. I called and the flop came down 6 9 T with one of my suit. My opponent made a substantial bet and I moved all in. He had AA, but I made a straight on the river and sent him packing.
At that point we were three handed. I could tell both of my opponents were nervous and neither wanted to take any big risks without a major made hand. Since I wasn't nervous at all and I had a slight chip lead I kept my foot on the gas. In fact I put the pedal to the metal! I raised almost every hand regardless of what I had. If I got reraised I usually took a flop and looked to out play my opponents. Sometimes I just hit them with a massive preflop re-reraise and blew them off whatever they had.
I think we played 3 handed for 30-45 minutes which seemed like forever. Even though the blinds were VERY small compared to our stacks (they were 75/150 with 45,000 chips in play!) I was chipping away at my opponents nicely.
Then I caught another nice break. Again I'm not sure if this is exactly how it went down, but it's close enough. I raised to 450 from the small blind with A6 and my opponent reraised to 1,350 as he had done many times before. The flop came down T 5 4 which missed me completely. I checked and my opponent checked behind me. On several previous hands anytime he'd raised or reraised before the flop and then checked it meant he missed. Then I'd bet the turn and take the pot. I guessed that was what was going to happen here too. The turn came a 6 and I bet out about 2,000. To my surprise my opponent went all in for about 9,500.
I didn't think he was capable of a slowplay or a big bluff at this stage in the tournament, but I thought this had to be one or the other. I decided it was much more likely to be a big bluff with a hand like AK, AQ or KQ so I called and my opponent showed 88! ACK! I was is such a state of shock that it took me 2 or 3 seconds to realize that I'd hit an ace on the river and had won the pot!
Now I was in total command. I had 35,000 chips or so to my opponent's 10,000. I'd actually played with this guy in maybe 100 or so SNGs, but he wasn't playing his normal game. I guess it's a little different playing the second round of a $530 triple shootout compared to $60 SNGs!
I kept on the major offensive. It wasn't unusual for me to win 6, 7 or even 10 pots in a row. But they were all small and whenever I got resistance I never had the best hand. The blinds had gone up a little bit to 100/200 and then to 125/250, but I wanted them to be at something like 500/1000. If they were bigger I could really make some progress, but with the small blinds I just couldn't chip away fast enough. With 30 mintues limits it's not like I could stall and wait for them to go up either! While I was winning tons of blinds and small pots, I wasn't getting paid off on my made hands.
I started to get really frustrated as my opponent made a slow comeback. He got it back to where we were all square and then I took him back down to 10,000 when I made trips vs his pair and straight draw.
Then a major turning point came up. I had QT and came in for a raise. My opponent reraised, I called and the flop came down AK4 with two clubs. When my opponent bet, it just felt like he had and ace. Even though I wasn't quite getting the right pot odds, I decided to call thinking if I could hit a jack I could end it. The turn was a Q and now I thought a Q, T or J all might make me the best hand so I called another big bet. The river was the jack of clubs. AH HA! I blew all in hoping it would look like a bluff and my opponent called. I thought it was over. I thought I'd done it. My opponent did have an ace, but it was the ace of clubs. He had another club too and when I made my straight, he made a flush. SHIT!
He had a small chip lead at that point, but I never recovered. I had been over an hour (maybe as long as 90 minutes) playing heads up which is the longest I've ever played heads up. It had been hundreds of hands and even though I was certain I was the better player I just felt like I was never going to beat him.
Then I did something really stupid. I had J9 on a flop of QT2 There were a few thousand chips in the pot, but it wasn't huge. My opponent made a massive over bet and put me all in for about 18,000. Without really thinking I called. I had an open ended straight draw which is great to bet with or call small bets with, but not what you want to risk all of your chips with. My opponent had QT, I missed and that was it.
I never would have made that call if it wasn't for the frustration that had built up over the past hour plus of play. It was a total amateur mistake and I'm pissed at myself for getting rattled.
With a 3.5 to 1 chip lead like that I should have won AT LEAST 80% of the time.
This WCOOP has been great and horrible at the same time. For the most part I've been playing great and I'm happy with my results, but these close calls are really hard to swallow.