I have to admit that while I made copious notes about specific hands in this tournament, the details of pot limit Omaha hands don't stick in my brain quite as well as hold'em hands do.
What I can tell you is that I had all of my chips at risk several times early in the tournament. In one instance I got it all in with 9743 vs QJxx (The xx denotes two cards which are irrelevant) with the QJ both being diamonds on a flop of 974 all diamonds. Happily the turn was a 7 and I won a major pot with a full house vs a flush.
In another instance I was all in with AA67 vs KK55 and vs a short stack with J966. The flop came with a K, but I turned an A and rived a flush to boot! That pot put me in first place with about 30,000 chips and roughly a third of the starting field left. I wouldn't drop out of the top 3 chip positions until we were down to two tables!
The edge of the money was 135 players and paid a little over $300. But by the time we were down to that many players I'd already busted 8 opponents netting me $320 in knockout dollars. Since I was in such good shape I kept the pressure on by raising often and following through with big bets on the flop regardless of what type of hand I made.
Experience was key in this tournament. Not in Omaha, (I've played maybe 15 PLO multitables in my life), but in tournaments where it's a big deal to just about everyone who is playing, but me. At one point with around 60 players left I had close to 250,000 chips and 6 of the other players at my table had 30,000-50,000. They all knew that if they confronted me and won they'd double up but I'd still be in great shape so they couldn't hurt me. But if they tangled with me and lost, then they'd be done. Even if they go in with the best hand they could still go broke. Whereas if they just fold they can't go broke. Meanwhile, I'm building my stack vs scared opponents who don't want to go broke.
18th-16th place paid a little over $1,000, 15th-13th paid $1,444 and 12th-10th paid $1,980. I felt like if I could make it into the top 12 I'd be somewhat satisfied with my result. Adding in all the knockouts it would be a fair payoff.
When we got down to 15 players or so I stared to slip. I found myself with only an average stack for the first time since the early minutes of the tournament.
But I still had fearlessness on my side! I put my head on the chopping block more than a few times, but my opponents either folded or I had the best hand and ended up dragging big pots.
There wasn't much suspense as we went from 15 to 12 to 9 players quicker than I expected. I had about an average stack as we reached the final table. On the first hand after losing player number 10 I got dealt KK52 double suited and raised about 2.5 times the big blind from early position. I got called in two places. ACK!
While this was an OK hand it was not great and as the flop came down I couldn't help but think of my 9th place finish at my last significant final table in the $215 with rebuys event in this year's WCOOP.
The flop came garbage and I bet half the pot. After agonizing thought my opponents both folded. 9th place was worth $3,495 and when the first player went broke at the final table I was guaranteed at least $4,893.
Oddly there was one significant chip leader who had 1.6 million chips while every other player was between 500k and 750K (I had about 600K)
Again my aggressiveness worked to my advantage as I ran my stack up to 900K through blind steals, preflop reraises and small pokes at small pots.
With 7 players left I took a major sting. I was dealt Q965 in the big blind and after the button limped in for 50K and the small blind called we took the flop 3 way. I bet the pot and called a big raise with top pair and and open ended straight draw when the flop came down Q74. But I was up against JT77 and after a Q on the turn and a 3 on the river I was down to 300K. DOUBLE ACK!
I picked up a few small pots and then I caught a big break. I got it all in preflop with AK76 vs AK97. Notice that the only card that is different in our hands is the 6 and the 9. Well the flop came with not one, but TWO sixes and I was back up to 900K! AH HA!
The 7th place player went broke and took home $6,757 and all of a sudden a calm came over me. 6th place paid $10,485 and once I had that locked up I knew I'd feel fine about whatever happened.
Playing a final table with tens of thousands on the line is exhilarating, exciting, terrifying, tiring, miserable and wonderful all at the same time. I'd been tense ever since we got down to about 20 players. If I'd been in last with 20 left I would have felt totally normal knowing that I did my best and the breaks just didn't fall my way. Being in the top 3 with 20 left I knew that it would be a major disappointment to not win some big cash. So when we got down to 6 and it was an assured $10,000+ payday I felt like I was freerolling from that point on.
The 6th place player went broke and was quickly followed by the 5th place finisher who made $14,282 for his efforts.
Then the tournament became a bit of a struggle. I was all over the place. I started 4 handed play with about a million chips. We all sparred a little for a dozen hands and then I made a move. I got almost all of my chips in vs an opponent I barely had covered with AQJ8 vs AK83. The flop came with an A and an 8 on it and I was focused on the fact that we were both probably going to have the same hand. As the turn came a T and the river a 9, it took me until just before the chips came my way to see that I'd made a straight! BOOM! 2 million chips baby!
Then I totally tanked! I dropped 200K here and 300K there and before I knew it I was down to 500K facing 3 opponents who each had more than a million chips!
At this point my notes and my memory have failed me a little. But I can tell you that I came back! I can also tell you that the player who went broke in 4th took home $18,931 and that he was quickly joined in the land of the busted by the player who took down $23,591 for 3rd place!
And then there were just two of us. My opponent had about 4 million chips to my 2 million and I can say for sure that while I felt great about how I'd played up until that point, I don't know a damn thing about playing heads up PLO. I decided to just get crazy aggressive and let the chips fall where they may. Almost immediately I flipped the stacks and had him 4 million to 2 million. In fact I actually had him all in and was ahead on the turn, but he had a ton of outs and connected on the river. I went broke a few hands later.
But (and it's a BIG but) 2nd place paid $32,620!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As a little cherry on top I busted 16 players which at $40 a player is another $640. Subtract the buy in and it was a net profit of $33,004!
The good news and the bad news is that I've sold an even 50% of my action for the FTOPS. It's bad news in the sense that it's only (HA HA, only!) $16,500 for me. It's good news in the sense that the 50% is split amongst about 10 family members and friends and I'm thrilled to bring home the bacon for my backers. I feel even better since if I had all of my own action I almost certainly wouldn't have played this event. First place was a little over $50,000 and while it would have been nothing short of wonderful to had the title and the extra money, in conclusion I have to say, THIRTY THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS BABY!!!!!