I feel like I played just about every hand of this torunament well, but I made one play that was pretty thin that did me in in the end. But before I get to that let me share a few other interesting hands.
With about 120 players left I had a big hand come up against another player who had a big stack. In fact he was one of the top ten chip stacks in the tournament and I was somewhere around 20th with a little over 60,000 chips. The blinds were 600/1200 and he opened for 3,600 from the button. I was in the big blind with KK84 and decided to call. The flop came down Q84 giving me bottom two pair. I checked and my opponent bet half the pot.
His bet didn't really tell me anything about his hand since I figured he could bet half the pot with top set or total garbage. I decided to call and see what developed. The turn was a 5 which looked like a brick. I checked, again my opponent bet half the pot and again I decided to just call. I thought my two pair might be good an I figured an 8, 4 or K on the river would make me the best hand.
I got one of the cards I wanted on the river - a king. I checked hoping to get a worse hand to bet or perhaps induce a bluff. My opponent bet 14,000 which was again about half the pot. I was getting ready to move in for 45,000 when I stopped to think.
There weren't 3 of any suit out there so the only think I couldn't beat with top set was 57 which would make a straight. There was no reason to think that my opponent would have 57 in his hand, but I decided there wasn't much he could have that could call a big check raise on the river.
If he was bluffing or betting a marginal hand the whole way I wasn't going to make any more by raising and there was some non zero value in getting to see his hand. So I just called with the thought that I'd really be kicking myself for just calling if he showed me QQ. Amazingly he had 57 in his hand! If I'd raised I would have gone broke and while I was sad to lose that pot I was happy to still be alive with an average stack of around 30,000.
I built my chips back up to about 50,000 when I had a hand that made me extremely nervous. We were down to about 90 players, 6 players from the edge of the money when the playing under the gun made the minimum raise to 3,000 (the big blind was up to 1,500). I was next to act and decided to call with A8xx with the A8 of spades. Three other players called and the flop came down jack high with all spades! BINGO!
I had the total nuts, but all four other players in the pot had me covered and I could still lose to a full house. It got checked to me and I bet 13,000 which was the size of the pot. No way was I messing around versus four opponents this close to the bubble!
Everyone folded to the original raiser who reraised the pot! Like I said, I had the nuts and the logical part of me was thinking "Great! I'm getting action! The rest of me was thinking "AHHHHHHHHHH I'm going to go broke 6 spots short of the money! AHHHHHHHHHHH! I'm going to kill this guy if he beats me! AHHHHHHHHHH!"
I was hoping that he was just trying to push me off the pot. Given that we were so close to the money it would be hard for me to call with anything but the nuts or close to it. Once all the chips went in I was hoping to see total garbage or a smaller flush and dreading the possibility of a set...which is just what he had with JJ! "AHHHHHHHHHH I'm going to go broke 6 spots short of the money! AHHHHHHHHHHH! I'm going to kill this guy if he beats me! AHHHHHHHHHH!"
Amazingly the turn and the river (It felt like it took about 5 minutes for them to come out) were both bricks an I was up close to 100,000 chips!
But it was all down hill from there. I gave back about 15,000 to the same guy on the very next hand. Then I lost about 70,000 more soon after.
I got dealt 8853 in the big blind and called a small raise from the button. The flop came down 762 with two diamonds, I checked, my opponent bet the pot, I raised the pot hoping to blow him off the hand. We were exactly 1 spot short of the money and I figured he'd have a hard time calling without a set. To my shock and surprise he reraised me the pot! At this point I was faced with a big decision. His bet was something like 40,000 at this point so if I was calling I was going all the way. I'd started the hand with about 85,000 chips and my opponent had about 75,000 so even if I got it all in and missed I'd still be all but certain to make the money.
I had an open ended straight draw and an overpair so it was likely that a 4, 8 or 9 would make me the best hand. I'm not sure I was getting the right odds to draw, but in the end I decided to just go for it, because that's how I roll! It turned out he had KT66 with the KT of diamonds and I missed.
This was a bit of a questionable play, but I think it was OK. I could have folded and continued with something like 50,000 chips, but it wasn't crazy to call. Even moving up another 50 places would have only been worth about $500 more. All the money is at the final table and you're never going to get there if you don't take some big risks!
Once we made the money I went broke right away. 78th place (I think that's where I finished) paid $910 gross. I'm happy to have another PLO cash under my belt and I had fun playing this tournament. I also picked up about $700 playing cash games on pokerstars today so all in all I'm feeling pretty good.
Hopefully I can take one of the zillion tournaments I'm going to play tomorrow to the house!