Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Two Final Tables

The only tournaments I've played since the WCOOP have been a handful of freerolls. But today with the plan of taking it easy I jumped into two multitables: a $109 no limit hold'em and a $5 with rebuys with one $25 add on no limit Omaha-8 (yes that is a wacky format).

The Omaha had 179 players and a first place prize of $800 and change. The only thing worth mentioning about this tournament was with 13 players left I was down to 129 chips. Though an insane series of double ups, triple ups and quadruple ups I got my stack all the say back up to 27,000 which still had me in last place! I increased my stack by a factor of 209 and was still in dead last! But while I was winning all of those pots other people were going broke and I went from 13th to 9th which made me a whopping extra $33. There was still a little satisfaction in making the final table and the monster turnaround. I'll try to remember it the next time I'm somewhat short chipped.

The final table of the $109 NLH was much more significant. I got off to a good start early with a double up holding AJ vs QQ. I have to think about that hand when I get pissed about the hand that I lost in the end. I also beat JJ with AKs with all of my chips at risk early.

Much, much later when the blinds were 2,000/4,000 (we each started the tournament with 3,000 chips and blinds of 10/20) I made two strong plays, but still got a little lucky.

On the first occasion, I was in the big blind with 130,000 chips or so and the player in the cutoff who had about 160,000 raised to 9,000. Every time without exception that the action had been folded to him on my big blind he'd raised (at least 10 times) and he always made it between 2X and 2.5X the big blind. I'm not sure why he kept doing it since I called at least half time time and every time I called I took the pot away from him.

The second to last time he made this play (there's a little hint about what he has coming to him) I had 97 of hearts and decided to call the extra 5,000 and see the flop. It came down T 8 5 with one heart giving me an open ended straight draw. I checked my opponent bet 10,000 and I check raised him to 30,000.

He thought for 30 seconds or so and I was trying to decide if I should go for it if he moved all in. Instead of going all in he made it 60,000 and I opted to call and see the next card before committing all of my chips. The turn was the 8 of hearts which meant I now had a flush draw to go along with my hand. It also looked like kind of a scary card for my opponent since I could easily have an 8. I figured I had enough to go for it since there was 140,000 in the pot and I only had 60,000 left so I bet out. After some thought my opponent folded and I was up to 200,000. In retrospect I think he thought that I was check raise bluffing the flop and he put in one more raise to try and resteal.

On the next round we got into it again. This time I had K5 of clubs and decided to take a flop after the villain min raised to 8,000. The flop came down 8 6 4 with one club. I checked and my opponent bet out 12,000. I decided to get aggressive. We were down to 20 players and the prize jumps were starting to get significant so I was hoping he'd be careful and bail out if I pushed him. Since his range was VERY broad, I figured I could blow him off his hand with a big raise. Also working for me was the fact that I had him covered by a lot, and a 7 or a king would likely make me the best hand even if I got called. I moved all in and he instantly called me with 89. Happily the turn was a 7, I made a straight and took down a huge pot. I had 280,000 chips and was in first place.

By the time we made the final table I was in 4th place and liking my chances. 9th place was only $900 or so and first place was $12,500 so it was nice that a few players dropped out quickly and I moved up the money ranks a bet before I got involved in any big hands.

When we got down to 5 handed, four of us had 300,000 or more and one player had 80,000 or so. I was guessing that if we could drop that one guy we could make a deal and split the remaining prize money. While 90% of the time playing it out is going to be in my favor in a tournament of this size and significance, given my recent struggles locking up some big bucks was my first priority. But the stupid Q6 of hearts got in the way of this glorious plan!

Playing 5 handed the blinds were 4K/8K with an ante, Mr. 80K folded and the next player made it 19K to go. The other two players called and it was on me with Q6 of hearts in the big blind. I had 400,000 chips and part of me said "what's the point of playing a hand here? Just wait until Mr. 80K is gone before you do anything fancy."

The other part of me said "You only have to put in another 11K to see a flop, there's already 68K in the pot and if you hit it hard you could bust someone." I decided the pot odds were too good to pass up. The flop came down Q 5 3 with two hearts.

"What the hell do I do now?" I thought. That was a strong flop for my hand, but I could easily be behind (this is why it's not good to get in there with Q6). I decided it would be best to check, see what everyone else did and go from there. To my great surprise everyone checked and the turn came out a non heart jack. Based on the flop action it looked like I had way the best hand.

The small blind bet out 28K which I knew was bullshit. That looked like a jack at best or more likely a total bluff. I thought about popping it, but I decided I'd try to get to showdown as cheaply and risk free as possible. Then the God damned button moved all in for 325K!

The small blind folded and it was back to me. My first thought was "this guys is full of shit too." I knew this was not a monster hand. First of all he checked last to act on the flop vs 3 opponents on a somewhat dangerous board and second of all it was a massive overbet. If he had a set he would have made it 100K or so, not 325K.

But, there was still Mr. 80K waiting to go broke and upon his or anyone else's exit I'd instantly pick up another $1,500. Did I really want to take this chance? There were close to 2,000,000 chips in play and if I called and won I'd have 40% of them and be in total command. If I lost I'd have 50K and one foot out the door.

After 15 seconds I trusted my read, put my balls on the chopping block, and called. My opponent had KJ and I made my flush on the river. Unfortunately it was KJ of hearts and he made a flush too! Bastard! For the record I was a 73% favorite when all of the money went in.

My remaining chips went out the window a few hands later when I lost KQ to AJ and that was it. 5th place paid $3,531! Less that I'd have had with one more break, but I caught my share of breaks already and $3,500 is still some nice bucks!

I'm on a nice little roll here. I've had five winning days in a row and picked up a little over $10,000 during that stretch. I have to admit that the me of 6 days ago would barely have believed that I could go on a run like this at such an opportune time. It's been well into the top 1% of my expectations. All of a sudden everything is back to good.

Now it's cruise time bitches!

No comments: