A week ago, I posted a tourney played by Otis that was a bit of a roller coaster. Shortly before that, I played a tourney that was more of a steady climb to the edge of a cliff. I made it to the final table and faced a crucial decision.
My patience paid off over slothoki about 200 hands, and then in a moment I would rally or crumble. There’s a fine line there when you’re sitting at the final table.
There were 136 players and the entry fee was $5. Enjoy. (Feel free to skip to Break 1, Break 2 or the Final Table, all are in bold.)
I’ve sat for 21 hands without even getting a look. I’m at 940 chips and in an early position when I see cowboys.
I raise the big blind of 20 to 50 and get two callers. The flop comes 3s, 2d, Kd. I really couldn’t ask for a better flop, except for the two diamonds.
I decide to check-raise, it’s early and I’ve demonstrated I’m a tight player, maybe someone will try to buy it.
Shahshank42 bets 180 and amazingly, ajperez78 raises to 720. I’ve got the nuts, so I raise all-in. ajperez78 calls.
Showdown time and he shows just Ah-Ks. Only running aces will beat me, and instead it’s running 8’s. I’m up to 2140.
A few hands later I’m a middle position with Ac-Tc. I raise again to 50 and get one caller.
The flop is 7c, 7d, Ad. If he stayed in with a 7 on that raise, he’s going to get my money. I bet 130, he calls.
The turn fills me up when the Ah falls. I go all-in and when he calls, I know he’s got the other ace. The pot is split and I’m at 2035.
I took another 34 hands off and I’m down to 1770. I’m probably playing too tight, especially with the stack I earned early.
I’m in the big blind of 40 when I get a pair of sixes in my pocket. Two players call me and I simply check. I’ve never been good with middle pairs.
The flop comes Kh, 5h, 3c. We all check. Either no one has the King or someone is slow-playing.
The turn is a beauty, the 6c. Even the minimum bet may have forced me out before the turn, instead I have a set and bet 120. mrmax calls.
The river is another 3 and I’m full. Even if he has the miracle 2-4 (and who would?), I still beat him. I bet 360 and he folds. I’m up to 1970.
A few hands later, I’m at 1990 and UTG when I get Ah-Qd. I raise to 80 and only the small blind calls.
The flop is 8c, Kc, 3h. He checks and I decided to try and buy it. I bet 200. Unfortunately he calls.
The turn is the Ks. He checks and I throw more money into the deep well of “maybe I can bluff him.”
This time it’s 150, and this time he goes all-in. I quickly fold and I’m down to 1530.
I’m in the small blind of 30 when I get one of my favorite hands, pocket tens. I’m gun-shy from two hands ago and just call, four of us are in the hand.
The flop is 7h, 7s, Ah. Ugh. I check, but so does everyone else.
The turn is the Ks. I check, and so does everyone else. I’m starting to think maybe I should bet. However, there’s been a lot of slow-playing so far.
The river is the As. I bet 60 and get one caller. He’s got the K and it beats my tens. I’m down to 1380.
Way back at hand #22, I was at 2140. Now I’m down to 1230 on the button when I get a pair of jacks. I raise to 210 but get no callers. Maybe I should have raised a little less.
Three hands later I’m in a late position with 1320 when I get cowboys again. However, I didn’t learn my lesson, because the raise to 270 forced everyone out. I am up to 1470 now.
I’m in an early position at 1470 when I get Ad-8d. This time I do a minimum raise to 120 and everyone still folds. I’m up to 1560.
During the first hour, I made 560 chips, but I was up to 2140 rather early and squandered that. Those late blinds I grabbed helped a bit.
The blinds are up to 50-100 and I’m on the button when a pair of pretty ladies come calling. An early bettor raises to 350, I call, and a short stack goes all-in for 290.
The flop is 9d, 8c, Js. I like it. My pair is bigger than anything on the board. I go all-in, forcing the other player out. It’s showdown time with the other all-in player.
He shows just a pair of 5’s, and with just two outs, I’m feeling good. The 4s on the turn and 7h on the river don’t help him. I’m back up to 2100.
It’s big blind time (100) when I get rags, 5c-7s. With three callers, I just check. I’ll see a flop.
When it comes 7h, 7d, 6d, I silently thank the other players for just calling the blind!
Even with two diamonds on the board, I decide to slow-play. I’m not sure why, there’s already 400 in the pot. Everyone checks.
The turn is the Td. That makes the flush for anyone with two diamonds. Ugh. Time to see if anyone’s got it. I bet 400 and get one caller.
The river is the 9c. I’m paranoid. I see a flush and I figure I was lucky to be in the hand anyway. I just check and so does he.
My fear was unfounded because he just has Kd-Th. I take 1200 to get to 2750.
I’m on the button with 2600 when I see my second pair of sixes of the tourney. A small stack goes all-in for 625 and I put him on Ax. I call.
Showdown time and he’s got Ac-4d. That gives him just three outs, unless he gets real lucky.
The board comes 5d, Qs, Js, 7h, 2h and I take another 1400 to get to 3375, my high water mark so far.
The blinds are up to 75-150 and I’m in a middle position with 3000 when those pretty ladies come back. I raise to 525 and everyone folds. Do I play my big pairs to big? I should probably just keep my raises to the standard 3 times the big blind.
I’m still at 3000 on the button when cowboys come for the third time. I do just the minimum raise and everyone folds.
Next hand and it’s sixes once again. I call the big blind and three of us will see a flop.
It comes 8d, Qs, 3d. It’s checked to me. I bet the minimum 150 and I get raised to 300. He’s probably got a Q, but I’ll call the minimum raise to see if I get lucky.
When the turn brings my third 6 I think back to hand #64. He goes all-in for 700 and I gladly call.
It’s showdown time and he’s got just Qh-Jh. When the river brings the 3c, I take 2525 to move up to 4600.