Bubble Trouble

Encore Club $10,000 Guarantee (T10,000)

I hadn’t had a chance to play the Encore $10K for more than a month and I was eager to get back to where I’d made my biggest-ever cash.

I got in a little late and ran into a couple of aggressive players to my right who were stomping on pots, even at 50/100, which lost me a few hundred the first couple of hands. On the fourth hand I played, I made a small raise UTG with 7?7? from early position and hit middle set. I made a continuation bet, got a couple callers, and true to form, the guy in BB raised to 2,000. I snapped all-in. Everyone folded around to him and he sat and faux thought about it for a while, then folded and I took my chips.

I wasn’t taking notes of my hands, but the first big jump in my stack came 45 minutes into the game with a knockout of seat 1 that put me up to T23,000. I took another player out ten minutes later, and was over T30,000.

Had a couple of setbacks after that. Played A?K? and totally missed the flop, folded, then watched the hand contested by A?J? and A?T?, neither of which made a pair. Preflop-folded one of those SB hands for a call of 150 that would have turned into a very deceptive full house with a lot of chips in contention. Then, when I did call down a hand, I had the weaker ace and was down to T27,000.

Got an add-on at the break and Q?Q? for the first hand, which won and put me over T40,000. Than a call of an all-in took me down to T32,000, but that wasn’t the bottom, because I fell to T24,400 before I began a recovery.

One of the pot-stompers mentioned above had been showing a number of bluffs (although he hadn’t been showing good hands). I had AQ? when three clubs hit the flop and I followed him all the way down to the river as he poured chips into the pot. I had him slightly out-chipped, and when that last club showed up I forced him all-in to call, which he did. He looked pretty disgusted with me. I was up over T58,000.

By three-and-a-half hours in, I was up to T75,000 after another knockout. Fifteen minutes later, with just over half the field of 96 gone, I had an even T84000; more than twice the chip average and a little more than half what I figured the average chip stack would be at the 12-player payout level.

A big knockout right around midnight (five hours in) put me at T135,000, more than 60 big blinds. I was moved to a new table, with a player on my left who was sitting on an increasingly short stack. I made change twice for him for T5,000 chips, then he managed to triple up to around T20,000 after catching two nines on the board with A?9? against two aces with better kickers. Shortly after that, he doubled up and then some with K?K? in BB. I was BTN the hand after that, action folded to me, and I put out a raise with A9 to T13,000, which he kicked up with an all-in for over T30,000 more from SB. I thought about it for a little bit and called, but he had K?K? a second hand in a row, which actually doubled him up past my chip count, once I’d paid him off. At the third break, I was down to T85,000, below chip average with nine players between me and the money.

A table change when we consolidated to two and another hour and I’d managed to recover a bit. Six hours and twenty minutes into the game, I had T123,000—about T20,000 more than average. 20 big blinds.

I was moved to the other table to balance, and had the tournament chip leader on my left. I made another mistake, simply calling an UTG raise to T17,000 from BB with A?K?. He exploited my T15,000 donk bet on the Q?Q?9? flop and shoved. I didn’t want to go out before the money; I had to lay it down. If I was going to play it, I should have shoved pre-flop.

I’d had the 4,000/8,000/1,000 blinds sweep through me at the other table before I moved in front of the blinds at the new table, so I was down to T58,000. We were down to 14 players, there had been an ongoing discussion about paying a double bubble, but the big stack was refusing. Then he lost more than half of his stack on a semi-bluff just as I picked up 6?6? in middle position. I probably should have re-proposed the double bubble before I shoved. I was called by SB with 9?9? and he caught a nine on the flop. Unless I’d had A?A?, I would have been a goner even with kings. I could hear the bubble discussion re-opening as I walked away from the table.

Six hours and ten minutes. 14th of 96 players. Top prize was scheduled for +2850% of buyin+addon+door.

That’s Why It’s Called the Better Hand

Lock Poker $1,500 Guaranteed Deepstack Turbo (T5,000)

Another tournament where I held the chip lead—for quite a while, in internet time—before dropping down. Still managed to grab a little profit, but not the big payout.

Hand 1. T4 UTG
Came in at the 50/100 level. Only seven-handed, but I wasn’t playing it.

Hand 2. 2Q BB
Button and SB limped in. The flop was 743, we all checked. 6 on the turn gave the board better straight potential than my hand, and I folded to a pot-sized bet from SB.

Hand 3. JK SB
CO and BTN limped in and I just came along for the ride; BB checked to the T76 flop. Everyone checked and a 7 hit the turn. I checked here along with BB, CO made a small bet of 100 and everyone folded.

Hand 4. 3Q BTN
UTG2 raised to 300 and everyone folded.

Hand 5. 56 CO
Folded.

Hand 6. J7 HJ
Folded.

Hand 7. J6 UTG2
Blinds at 75/150. Folded. As the hand played out, I would have won against the only two players who stayed in: BB with 66 and UTG with 45 on a board of 4JQ8T.

Hand 8. Q7 UTG1
Folded.

Hand 9. TJ UTG
Limped into the pot, then BTN raised to 413. SB called and so did I. Flop dropped 8KA, it was checked through to BTN and he bet half the pot, which took it down.

Hand 10. 62 BB
Down about 15% from the starting stack after one-and-a-half rounds. This gets min-raised by UTG1 and nobody contests it.

Hand 11. 63 SB
I fold.

Hand 12. 59 BTN
A walk for BB.

Hand 13. QA CO
One limper ahead of me and I just call. SB calls and BB checks. Flop’s 663 and the blinds check to UTG2 who min-bets 150. I call it and the blinds fold. T on the turn and 900 in the pot. Another min-bet from UTG2 and I call him again. The river is 7. He shoves. A call would leave me 500, and I fold.

Hand 14. KK HJ
Blinds are up to 100/200. I open with a raise to 400; SB is my only caller. A safe-looking J63 on the flop. He checks and I check to hopefully represent an ace. The turn is 7and he bets 610. I counter with 1,500 and he calls. The 5 on the river complicates things a bit but when he checks I shove for 1,800. He owns almost half the 4,000 pot, but a loss would leave him with less than 5bb. He folds.

Hand 15. 3T UTG2
Fold.

Hand 16. Q2 UTG1
Fold.

Hand 17. TJ UTG
I min-raise with this hand and am heads-up with the largest stack at the table as BTN. I get an open-ended straight draw on the 5KQ flop and bet 750 into an 1,100 pot. BTN probably sees it as a c-bet and calls. There’s a useless (to me) 2 on the turn, but I shoot a second barrel, for 1,000. UTG calls again. The straight comes through with a river A. I check to see if he’ll stick something in without any prodding, and he shoves his entire stack of nearly 6,000, with is great. I call and he’s got a good pair with a busted flush: 8K. Fortunately, the right black ace came out. I pop up to nearly 12,000.

Hand 18. 86 BB
Blinds are 125/250/20. My stack is nearly double the size of anyone else at the table; three of the eight players have less than 3,000. I fold to a UTG1 min-raise.

Hand 19. Q2 SB
The first of the small stacks in order (UTG1) goes all-in, the other two (HJ and CO) follow, and BTN shoves for 4,000+. I’m not getting involved with this, and neither is BB. It’s (in order) TA v 99 v 55 v 77. I can maybe understand the short stacks with 10bb getting involved but not BTN with the sevens and 16bb. Then again, the board runs out T3T72 and a full house means the sevens are now the big stack at the table by 1,000 chips. Results-oriented!

Hand 20. 43 BTN
We’re only five-handed but I fold to an UTG min-raise.

Hand 21 3Q CO
We pick up some new players to fill the holes the massacre left behind and get another stack with nearly 14,000 in BB. Everyone folds for a walk.

Hand 22. 65 HJ
Fold.

Hand 23. QK UTG2
I open for 600 and everyone folds.

Hand 24. KK UTG
Just ten hands later, and kings again. I decide to do it traditional this time with a full table. HJ shoves for 4,350, with what I assume is a (probably lower) pair. Everyone folds and I unleash my kings on 64. He’s dead by the turn of the 9Q774 board, and I’m table leader with 16.8K.

Hand 25. 93 BB
Blinds to 150/300/30. Nobody challenges my blind and I walk.

Hand 26. J2 UTG
Fold. This hand saw another questionable shove. BTN shoved over a min-raise with 4,120 and 87, which seems like a maybe, but BB called with 2T and less than 3bb behind. Both were in trouble when the original raiser put them all-in to call with AA and took them both out.

Hand 27. 89 BB
No SB because of the previous hand’s action and I got another walk for the antes.

Hand 28. Q4 SB
I called a min-raise from HJ and was HU to the flop. The cards were 3AJ and I put the other stack at risk with a bet that put him all-in to win a pot half the size of what he had left (or double up). He called with AK, which held out, dropping me back down to 12.9K.

Hand 29. 29 BTN
Folded.

Hand 30. J3 CO
Uncharacteristically, I limped in with this after everyone else folded. I shouldn’t have. SB called but BB bet 1,000 and I folded.

Hand 31. K5 HJ
Folded.

Hand 32. 6J UTG2
Blinds to 200/400/40. Folded.

Hand 33. 5J UTG1
Folded.

Hand 34. K8 UTG
Opened with a min-raise to 800 and took the pot.

Hand 35. A3 UTG (moved to new table)
Folded.

Hand 36. AJ BB
Of the nine players at the table, six were at or below the starting stack (12bb or less), one had 11,000, I had 13.2K, and the biggest was 15K. The big stack in UTG2 min-raised, SB called, and I went along. The flop was a truly horrible 322 and everyone checked. There was a 4 on the turn; everyone checked that, too. 9 on the river. SB bet half the 2,760 pot, but I didn’t believe him and called. UTG2 dropped out. Each of us had the other end of the straight, but his K5 didn’t give his pair of deuces the better kicker and I took the pot.

Hand 37. 73 SB
I folded. UTG min-raised to 800 with 4K back, the guy who’d just lost to me shoved for 2,300 and it was JQ (UTG) v 4Q in another one of those “position” moves I don’t quite understand. The better hand won, as usual. That’s why it’s called the better hand.

Hand 38. JA BTN
Ace-jack again? It’s not suited this time. Blinds to 250/500/50. Action folds to CO with just 6.5bb, who shoves. I call, and SB calles for 25 more, which I put in. It’s me v 44 v TA. The flop pairs my ace with 86A. The club flush isn’t coming, I’m a favorite to win and the 5 turn and 2 river make it so. I’m up over 23K.

Hand 30. 48 BTN
BB gets a walk.

Hand 31. 23 CO
Fold.

Hand 32. 7K HJ
Fold.

Hand 33. 95 UTG2
Fold.

Hand 34. JT UTG1
Uncharacteristically folded. but as it turned out, BB shoved over small blind’s call, SB called, and it was 47 v 2Q, with SB doubling up with a flopped four for a pair, and I wouldn’t have won.

Hand 35. 8T UTG
Blinds are 300/600/60. I fold!

Hand 36. 47 BB
What am I? A short stack? Fold to min-raise and call pre-flop.

Hand 37. 92 SB
BTN goes all-in. I fold. BB calls with A4 and wins with ace high. My hand would have won with a pair of deuces!

Hand 38. 2J BTN
An all-in from UTG1 for 3,700 and a call from HJ. I fold, along with other prudent players.

Hand 29. TJ CO
HJ goes all-in for 5,577. I fold, but SB calls and ends up HU with QK v 22. THe deuces stand up, but my jack would have won it on the 669JA board.

Hand 30. K3 CO
HJ is the only limper ahead of me but I decide to fold. There’s a king on the flop.

Hand 31. T4 HJ
Fold.

Hand 32. 22 UTG1
Fold.

Hand 33. 3Q UTG
Fold.

Hand 34. 46 BB
Blinds are up to 400/800/80. There’s a min-raise and a call. 5,000 in the pot, I’m nearly 10K over the other two in the hand, and with 6:1 pot odds I call. I get incredibly lucky with a 66K flop. I check it to see who will run with it. UTG1 checks, but HJ decides to put out 2,400. I call and UTG1 folds. The turn is T. I go all-in pre-maturely, and HJ folds. Still, I win some chips and I’m up to 28K.

Hand 35. JA SB
The other players at the table range from 5K to 16.4K, with the median about 11K. Action folds to me, BB has 11.8K and I just call. With 6A2 on the flop, I check and he checks behind. The turn pairs the board with 2, I bet 2,000 and take the pot.

Hand 36. 6Q BTN
With a raise UTG and 3-bet from middle position, I fold this. The original raiser goes all-in and gets a fold (and would eventually go on to win the tournament).

Hand 37. 49 CO
Folded.

Hand 38. 4T HJ
Folded. Blinds are 500/1,000/100.

Hand 39. 28 UTG3
Folded.

Hand 40. 32 UTG2
Much as I might love deuce-three,  I wasn’t opening it for at least two-thirtieths of my stack from middle position. Folded.

Hand 41. 7K UTG3
Fold.

Hand 42. 95 UTG2
Fold.

Hand 43. JT UTG1
Fold.

Hand 44. 8T UTG
Fold.

Hand 45. 47 BB
Fold to UTG raise and UTG1 call.

Hand 46. 92 SB
Fold.

Hand 47. 2J BTN
Fold.

Hand 48. TJ CO
Fold.

Hand 49. K3 HJ
Fold.

Hand 50. T4 HJ
Fold.

Hand 51. 22 UTG1
Fold.

Hand 52. 3Q UTG
Fold.

Hand 53. 46 BB
UTG1 min-raised and HJ called and I was in on a lark. The flop was perfect for me: 66K. I checked, UTG1 checked, and HJ bet 2,400. I just called, then UTG1 bowed out. T on the turn. I tried to make it look desperate by going all-in but HJ was too smart to fall for it and folded. O profited over 6,500.

Hand 54. JA SB
Action folded to me as the biggest stack at the table (and near the top of the leaderboard). I just called and BB checked. I checked the 6A2 flop and so did BB. After the 2 on the turn, I bet 2.,000 and got a fold.

Hand 55. 6Q BTN
Fold.

Hand 56. 49 CO
Fold.

Hand 57. 4T CO
Fold.

Hand 58. 28 UTG1
Fold.

Hand 59. 32 UTG2
Fold.

Hand 60. KQ UTG1
I opened for 2,250 and everyone folded. It put me over 30,000.

Hand 61. 98 UTG
Might have played it elsewhere; glad I didn’t. BB was very short, with only 3,365 left after paying blinds and antes. UTG2 (the eventual tournament winner) min-raised, getting a call only from BB. The flop was 73K, so that would have been 2K down the tibes for me. BB went all-in and UTG called with AA. BB just had 3A. 8 on the turn and 7 for the river and SB was gone.

Hand 62. 37 BB
An all-in from the shortest stack left at the table (7,600) won my big blind and a limper’s thou.

Hand 63. KJ SB
Normally, I’d like to see a flop with these, but an all-in bet of 12.5K from BTN put a brake on that. Fold.

Hand 64. 7A BTN
Two limps and I put my kicker issues aside to call. Four players seeing the flop of 84A, BB and UTG checked, then UTG1 bet 2,000 with just under 10K behind. I had almost 29K left to call with. so I did, and the checkers folded. The turn was 3 and didn’t change my plans. UTG1 bet what I think was supposed to be a suspicious-looking 1,000 into a pot of 9,300, and I called. J on the river could have made any number of things possible—all anyone needed was an ace and a higher kicker—but UTG1 put another 1,000 into the pot and I had to call it at 12:1. He only had JK, and ended the hand with just 8K.

Hand 65. 4A CO
Blinds were 600/1,200/120. I folded to a min-raise by tens who were eliminated by the king-queen of the tournament winner, which put his stack on par with mine.

Hand 66. 2A HJ
Fold.

Hand 67. KA UTG2
UTG raises to 2,525 with 12.6K behind. I re-raise all-in and everyone folds. Over 43K.

Hand 68. A7 UTG1
I call on the high from the previous hand. Action folds to SB, who calls, and BB checks. The flop is 58T, BB bets half the pot and I don’t want to play any more.

Hand 69. TT UTG1 (table balancing)
UTG shoves for 8.4K. I call from my stack of 41.6K and we’re HU. He has KA. The flop is bad: 56K. Then the turn is great: T and the river is irrelevant. 52.9K.

Hand 70. 26 BB
Blinds up to 800/1,600/150. UTG2 limps, HJ shoves for just 2,995, and I have to call. So does UTG2. The flop’s out of my range: T95 and I check it to UTG2 who does the same. The turn 6 gives me some hope and I check it to UTG2 again. Q on the river doesn’t do me any good. I check to UTG2 again and he does the same. Three players and nobody had a spade (apparently they were all on the board), it’s my 26 v short-stack’s A3 and tournament champ’s [two-pair][with][9Q. The other big stack at the table is pacing me.

Hand 71. T3 SB
Folded. BB shoved with sevens for 8K, got called by tourney winner who’d limped with J9, and a jack on the flop did in the short stack.

Hand 72. Q8 BTN
No SB. Action folded to me and I made it 5,000 to take the blind away.

Hand 73. T2 BTN
Things were looking ugly as they got around to me. UTG went all-in for 6,630, UTG1 called with only 8K behind, and CO shoved for 27K. I’m not playing the Brunson hand under those circumstances. Then the BB (tourney winner) called with half his stack (his knockout two hands earlier had put him ahead of me, finally). UTG1 folded out to fight another day, and it was UTG’s QJ v CO’s 44 v BB’s AK. It was nearly settled on the flop with JK5, then 3 for the turn. The 2 river sealed BB as the tournament chip leader, with a 42K profit on the hand and nearly twice my healthy 51K.

Hand 74. A3 HJ
Some table balancing moved people around but I ended up with the chip leader, in more or less the same relative position. There were eight at the table, with three in the 10K range, one about 23K and two more around 35K. I folded this hand. Three players went to the river, one was knocked out with sixes and the tournament leader lost a chunk with a set of queens against a 68 flush.

Hand 75. 86 UTG1
Blinds to 1,000/2,000/200. I have 25bb. Despite the success of a suited 8?6? on the previous hand, I folded this to a 5,200 raise from UTG.

Hand 76. 3A UTG
Really? Again? Fold.

Hand 77. Q2 BB
Fold.

Hand 78. A8 SB
Big stack min-raises. I call. BB shoves for 9,200, and we both call. T72 on the flop does nothing for me; big stack and I both check. 9 turn, check-check. 6 for the river makes me a straight, I miss it and fail to bet; I’m probably lucky because I don’t know if I would have noticed if the big stack had bet. He rolls 33, the short stack has KJ and I take a pot that puts me up to 68K.

Hand 79. 3Q BTN
We’ve picked up a third large stack at the table who’s got something between my stack and the tournament winner’s 77.5K. Three other players with 30-40K, one with 19K, ann one with just a BB. I fold this.

Hand 80. 7Q BTN
Blinds to 1,250/2,500/500. I have 27bb. Fold. We lose the small stack on this hand, and tournament winner’s stack drops below mine.

Hand 81. 36 CO
Fold.

Hand 82. 5T HJ
Fold.

Hand 83. [qh4c] UTG1
Fold.

Hand 84. 92 UTG
Fold.

Hand 85. 8J BB
Fold to an all-in from SB.

Hand 86. 7J SB
Fold.

Hand 87. J4 BTN
Could this run of cards have any less suck? Fold.

Hand 88. 94 CO
Fold.

Hand 89. T8 HJ
Blinds to 1,500/3,000/300. I have 21bb. Fold.

Hand 90. T8 UTG1
Deja vu. Fold.

Hand 91. 78 UTG
Fold.

Hand 92. J6 BB
Tourney winner limps in, SB comes along and I check. The flop is nothing I want to see: KA3. I check, tourney winner makes a min-bet and takes the pot.

Hand 93. T4 SB
Fold. Two stacks in the mid-20K range go up against each other with AT against A7. Neither pairs up and my four would have won it.

Hand 94. 59 BB
Yay! The action on the table’s resulted in me being moved into the big blind on another table with the current chip leader. The new makeup has the chip leader with 114K, two stacks in the mid-50s (including me), two in the low 40s, two at 30K and one with 23K. Chip leader raises min-plus from UTG2 and everyone folds.

Hand 95. 79 SB
Another min-raise from chip leader, and I fold these out of position.

Hand 96. 77 BTN
How cool is it to get sevens on my seventy-seventh hand? Cool enough to call a 12.5K raise from UTG2. We’re heads-up, the flop is 4AJ, he bets 18K and I fold. I’m down to 38K. Not cool.

Hand 97. 23 CO
Fold. SB tries to raise chip leader’s BB and gets faced with an all-in.

Hand 98. 58 HJ
Blinds to 2,000/4,000/400. I have 9bb. Fold. CO goes all-in with A9 and gets called by chip leader in SB with KQ to make a double-up.

Hand 99. J4 UTG3
Fold.

Hand 100. Q7 UTG2
Fold.

Hand 101. Q5 UTG1
Fold.

Hand 102. Q3 UTG
Fold.

Hand 103. 2K BB
CO raises to 12,000 and wins the pot.

Hand 104. 58 SB
Big stack (UTG1) raises just enough to leave themselves with exactly 100,000. CO calls, I fold. Flop is 4T5 and UTG1 bets 16K to win.

Hand 105. JA BTN
Blinds are 2,500/5,000/500. I have just under 6bb. I go all-on over an 11K raise by the big stack. I’m heads-up to the flop against 99. The flop is JK7, putting me in the lead. J on the turn solidifies my chance for a double-up and a chance at the big money. But I’m two-outed with 9 on the river.

VPIP for this game: 23%. Five pairs. I saw 20 flops and won ten of them.

Ninety minutes, 105 hands. 16th of 169 entries. +92% ROI. (Top prize was +3200%)

My Own Worst Enemy

Lock Poker $750 Guarantee Deepstack Turbo (T5,000)

I can really screw things up for myself. I hadn’t played much online lately, but dropped some money into the Lock box and played a couple of games, including this one where I totally screw myself at the end. Follow along and see!

Hand 1. A7 UTG2
I open-raise from 10/20 to 65, getting calls from HJ and CO. The flop is an unsatisfactory 8TQ and I c-bet 125. Both call. 9 on the turn gives me the bottom end of an up-and-down straight draw, but any jack’s already there and there’s still the possibility of a four-flush, so I check. HJ shoves and takes the pot of 600.

Hand 2. 3K HJ (table refactor)
Fold.

Hand 3. 85 UTG3
Folded. Blinds 15/30.

Hand 4. KK UTG2
Open-raise 75; CO calls. 62K flop, check-check. Turn is 9, I bet 100 and get a call. 7 on the river, I bet 300, CO folds.

Hand 5. 84 UTG1
Fold.

Hand 6. Q4 HJ (table refactor)
Fold.

Hand 7. T4 UTG3
Fold.

Hand 8. 24 UTG2
Fold. Blinds 25/50.

Hand 9. 66 UTG1
Lower than my preferred range for 9-handed. Fold. As it ended up, two players hit two pair: jacks and queens beating jacks and nines on the river.

Hand 10. 89 UTG
Fold.

Hand 11. 64 BB
Fold to SB raise of 300. Blinds 50/100.

Hand 12. TJ SB
UTG and UTG1 limp in, I raise to 275. BB folds, UTG and UTG1 call. Flop is Q6Q. I check, UTG bets 400, UTG1 raises to 800, and I get out of the way. UTG re-raises to 1,600 and takes the pot.

Hand 13. 9T BTN
UTG1 min-raises to 200, CO min-raises to 300, and I call. BB and UTG1 call. Flop is 7JA giving me a gut-shot straight.BB and UTUG1 check to CO who bets 100 into a pot of 1,250.  I’m more than willing to call that; UTG1 comes along. 8 makes my straight but puts a potential flush out. Action checks to me and I bet about a third of the 1,550 pot. UTG1 folds but CO calls. 4 on the river doesn’t change a thing. I’m either still good or I’m beat. CO checks and I check. He has a busted higher straight with QK. I’m up to 6,305.

Hand 14. 34 CO
Fold.

Hand 15. A4 HJ
Fold. Blinds at 75/150.

Hand 16. K8 HJ (dead button)
Fold.

Hand 17. 89 UTG2
Fold.

Hand 18. Q2 UTG1
Fold.

Hand 19. 94 UTG
Fold.

Hand 20. AK BB
UTG1 calls and everyone else folds. I raise to 450; UTG1 calls. The flop is A2J, I’ve got top pair and top kicker, with nut flush draw. I check to see what he’s going to do, and he puts in 450, about half the pot. I pot it to 1,500 and he calls. Regardless, I’m feeling pretty confident. K makes me top two pair. I’ve still got my flush draw, but a different flush is possible. Only a slim chance he’s got two clubs, but it could work to my advantage. We’re roughly even in chips: I’ve got a couple hundred more than him, but we both have more than 27bb behind, with nearly the same in the pot. I raise all-in and he calls with 9J. The river is Q and my two pair holds, putting me up to T12,435  and vaulting me into the top ranks in the tournament twenty minutes in.

Hand 21. 74 UTG4
Folded.

Hand 22. Q7 UTG3
Folded. Blinds at 100/200.

Hand 23. 42 UTG1
Fold.

Hand 24. 3J UTG
Fold.

Hand 25. 57 BB
I get a walk.

Hand 26. 32 SB
Fold.

Hand 27. A6 BTN
Blinds are 125/250/20. UTG2—with 30K the only other player at the table with more than 7,000 chips—limps and I fold.

Hand 28. 35 CO
Fold.

Hand 27. AJ UTG1 (moved to new table)
I’m the biggest stack at the new table, with about 2.5K more than anyone else. I’m in seat 9, there are three stacks between 9K and 10K in seats 4, 6, and 8, a 6K stack in seat 3, and the other have less than 5K. UTG opens with a min-raise to 500 and I announce my presence at the new digs with a three-bet to 1,250. Everyone folds but UTG, he calls. The flop is 29A and he checks. I check behind. J on the river makes me very happy. UTG checks. THere’s 3K in the pot, I bet just another 1,250 and he folds.

Hand 28. A7 UTG
Fold.

Hand 29. AT BB
Blinds are 150/300/30. UTG raises to 600, BTN goes all-in for 3,220, and I fold. UTG calls with KA v. BTN’s 6T and two kings on the board make his set. He’s not the big dog on the table with 22K.

Hand 30. 89 SB
Fold.

Hand 31. QT BTN
Everyone ahead of me folds and I raise to 700. SB folds, BB shoves for 2,775. I call against 4s 3h] and he makes a pair of treys on the turn.

Hand 32. 76 CO
Fold.

Hand 33. 34 HJ
Fold.

Hand 34. 8K UTG3
Fold.

Hand 35. Q7 UTG1
Blinds at 200/400/40. Fold.

Hand 36. 4Q UTG
Fold.

Hand 37. J4 BB
Folded to 6,650 all-in from SB.

Hand 38. 8K SB
UTG min-raises to 800, which I would have called, but BTN goes all-in (second hand in a row) for 7,330. I fold and  UTG calls, with 8,343 behind. It’s HU with KK (BTN) against TT (UTG). The board rolls out QJJ7J and the kings double up.

Hand 39. 3K BTN
Fold. I drop below T10,000.

Hand 40. 54 CO
Fold.

Hand 41. T7 HJ
Fold.

Hand 42. K9 UTG1 (7-handed due to table balancing)
Blinds are 250/500/50. UTG, with the largest stack at the table (18K), min-raises to 1,000, I fold, BB calls. They raise after the 533 flop, with BB at risk with JA against UTG’s 66. A J hits on the river, doubling BB.

Hand 43. K4 UTG
Fold.

Hand 44. T9 BB
UTG is all-in for just 1,202 but nobody else calls. When he opens up, he has 3J. He’s lucky with the 434 flop; the 6 turn gives me a few more outs, but I make one of my pairs with 9 on the river and knock him out.

Hand 45. 89 SB
Fold.

Hand 46. TJ BTN
No SB, since the player was knocked out the hand before. CO raises to 1,050 and I call, BB comes along. CO’s smaller than me by 1,500, BB has a 5,000 chip advantage. THe flop is 779, making me a gut-shot straight draw, but I fold to a bet of 1,750 from CO.

Hand 47. 24 CO
Blinds are 300/600/60. Fold.

Hand 48. 72 HJ
Fold.

Hand 49. 2Q UTG2
Fold.

Hand 50. TT UTG1
I raise to 2,000 and everyone folds.

Hand 51. 2Q UTG
Fold.

Hand 52. 4J BB
Fold to a min-raise and call.

Hand 53. 4T SB
Blinds are 400/800/75. Fold.

Hand 54. 9T BTN
UTG min-raises and I call the 1,600. Both blinds come along. The flop is 684 and I’ve got another gut-shot straight draw. UTG (the tournament leader with 40K) bets 1,875 into the pot of 7,000 and I bail along with everyone else.

Hand 55. 2Q CO
Fold.

Hand 56. 78 HJ
Fold.

Hand 57. T3 UTG3
Fold.

Hand 58. K5 UTG2
Fold.

Hand 59. Q7 UTG1
Blinds are 500/1,000/100. I open with a min-raise to 2,000 and everyone folds.

Hand 60. 8A UTG
Fold.

Hand 61. 57 BB
BTN opens with a min-raise from a stack of 24K and I fold my big blind, leaving me just 9,275.

Hand 62. KA SB
The hand I’ve been waiting for. Action folds around to BTN (with 15.25K), who shoves. I’m behind and at rise, but go all-in to call. BB (with a stack smaller than mine) folds. BTN shows JJ.  The flop is good to me: Q2A. Top pair and top kicker with a flush draw, leaving the jacks drawing very thin. An 8 on the turn seals the deal, and I’m over T20,000.

Hand 63. 35 BTN
Fold.

Hand 64. K9 CO
Hearts again. The big blind has a third of his chips in the pot already. Action folds around to HJ, the player I beat with jacks two hands earlier. He raises to 3,000, leaving less than that behind. I call, BTN and SB fold, then BB goes all-in for just another 50 chips. Both HJ and I call. The flop is 75K. I only have naked kings, but when HJ pushes his last chips in the pot to make it a total of 13.25K, the pot odds of calling another 2,800 are too good. He has just A5; BB has A2. I’m the heavy favorite. Nothing happens to change that by the river, both players are eliminated, and I’m over T30,000 and second in chips at the table.

Hand 65. 4Q UTG2
Blinds are now 600/1,200/120. Fold.

Hand 66. 2T UTG1
Fold.

Hand 67. 85 UTG
Fold.

Hand 68. JJ BB
Action folded all the way to SB, who tried to steal my big blind and ante with a raise to 2,400. We were relatively evenly-matched in chips, with me about 3K ahead. I re-raised him to 5,000 and he called. There was almost 11K in the pot with a flop of 75K. We both checked. 9 on the turn. So many possibilities for jacks to go wrong. He bet 7,300 and I called. A 7 on the turn and he shoved the last 14.6K of his stack in the middle. I wasn’t buying that he had a seven, and I was pretty certain he though I’d missed the board, which was essentially true. I called and he showed 2A for a pure bluff. Now I was on top of the leader board, with 57.5K.

I’d figured out that with 15 places paying, at T5,000 and 131 entries, the chip average at the time we hit the money bubble was going to be 43.7K. All I needed to do was maintain, stay around that number, and I was going to be make it into the cash. We wstill had a way to go, with about 40 players left, but I had almost 9% of the chips in play. Blinds were moving up fairly aggressively, however, so I wouldn’t be able to just glide.

Hand 69. 75 SB
Fold.

Hand 70. KK BTN
Where else do you want this hand? Big blind? Could I not play it just so there was no chance of losing chips? HJ went all-in with a raise of more than 10x: 13,015, about 23% f my stack. I was an overwhelming favorite against all but one card combination. I re-raised all-in over the top; the blinds had less than 2,000 between them. BB pushed in the last 345 in a desperation move and turned over 47. HJ had TT. Naturally, the flop was 42T and the entire 29K pot went to HJ. But hey, I still had almost exactly the average I’d figured for the bubble.

Hand 71. K7 CO
This got folded.

Hand 72. JT BTN
Only one other stack at the table had me out-chipped and that was by less than 1K. Everyone left was fairly healthy, however, with between 19K and 33.5K. The big stack was in SB. A low-20s stack in UTG1 min-plus-raised to 2,555 and I called. SB three-bet to 5,995. UTG1 folded, but I called to see a flop of 7TA. Both of us checked to see a 6 on the turn. SB bet 2,400 and I called, hoping for another ten or club. What I got was a 6, however. SB bet 3,600 and I paid him off, to see KK. Now I was down to 31.5K, but I could thank the ace on the flop that I wasn’t worse off.

Hand 73. J9 CO
Fold.

Hand 74. KJ HJ
Tangled again with the big stack. I opened to 4,000, big stack CO three-bet to 9,995, and BTN went all-in for 2,766. I called the three-bet, then we saw a flop of 493. CO bet 7,075 and I folded. It was QQ against 35 and the pocket pair held. Now I was down to just 21K.

Hand 75. 88 UTG1
We picked up a couple of new players—with roughly the same stack as I had—between me and the big stack (now 76.5K). I raised with my eights to 4,000 and was re-raised all-in. I sort of felt I was beat when it came my turn to call, and boy was I ever right: KK. I was behind and out chipped. K on the turn sealed my fate and I was busted from the tournament in 26th place, 11 places short of the money.

VPIP for the session was 25%. Six pairs in the hole. I won eleven hands, including six showdowns.

Seventy-five minutes, 75 hands. 26th of 131 players.

Hand by Hand

The Final Table Poker Club Fifth Friday $20K Guarantee (T10,000)

It’s been a little while since my last post. Lots of roofing going on the past month-and-a-half, not nearly as much poker. Both pursuits can be costly.

Met up with BP before this event at Ringside East, and things got off to a rocky start right away when I walked through the bar where I knew BP had a table, didn’t spot him, then IMed him to get him to tell me where he was (in the bar) and his response to my query was:

Bar
Bar
Bar
B
A
R
Guess where I am?

We eventually got things straighted out, had some food and drinks, then headed over to Final Table.

I’m experimenting with recording every hand I’m dealt—at least for some tournaments—so here’s the record, with a nod to Gus Hansen’s Every Hand Revealed. I don’t have his talent for recording action and flops, but this is what I’ve got.

Hand 1. AQ UTG1
I’m in seat 8 on table 2. We’re ten-seated, but not all the seats are filled yet, I open-bet to 175 and win.

Hand 2. A4 UTG
I open with a bet to 150, everyone folds.

Hand 3. 95 BB
Fold to a raise.

Hand 4. K?J? SB
Called a raise of 150; folded post-flop when I didn’t connect.

Hand 5. 3J BTN
Folded.

Hand 6. T3 CO
Folded.

Hand 7. J7 HJ
Folded. Ten minutes into the game, T11,650.

Hand 8. Q4 UTG2
Folded.

Hand 9. 9T UTG1
Folded.

Hand 10. AK UTG
Raised to 125, both blinds called. Folded to a bet on a 395 flop.

Hand 11. KT BB
Re-raised from 250 to 450 and was HU with original raiser. Flop was a promising K?JK?. We checked to a turn of Q. I bet 800 with my made set, flush draw, and straight draw and got a call. A on the river made my straight but put a lot of ugly full house potential out there. Original raiser bet 1,300. We were using a variety of chip colors because of the size of the tournament and I bungled my call, ending up re-raising to 2,600. He thought about it, then called the raise and turned over A?T? and we split the pot.

Hand 12. 7?9? SB
Folded.

Hand 13. Q?7? BTN
Folded.

Hand 14. J4 CO
Folded. Blinds were now 50/100.

Hand 15. K6 HJ
Folded.

Hand 16. 57 UTG3
Folded.

Hand 17. 72 UTG2
Folded.

Hand 18. 97 UTG1
Folded.

Hand 19. Q4 UTG
Folded.

Hand 20. 83 BB
Folded. Stack is T11,525.

Hand 21. A7 SB
Folded.

Hand 22. 83 BTN
Folded.

Hand 23. T6 CO
Folded.

Hand 24. AJ HJ
PL, sitting three positions to my right raised to 225 and I re-raised to 450. Action folded back to him and he shoved. I folded. Mutant Jack fails me.

Hand 25. J2 UTG2
Fold.

Hand 26. AK UTG1
Opened to 250 and was re-raised to 700. Completely missed the flop and folded to a bet.

Hand 27. 49 BB
Folded. Down to T10,525.

Hand 28. QJ SB
Called a raise and missed the flop.

Hand 29. K2 BTN
Folded. Blinds go up to 75/150.

Hand 30. A3 CO
Fold.

Hand 31. QT HJ
Called a raise to 325 then folded to a bet on a flop of 852.

Hand 32. 78 UTG3
Called raise to 375 and saw the flop HU. Three overs with no spades and a bet and I folded.

Hand 33. Q8 UTG2
Folded.

Hand 34. 95 UTG1
Folded. About an hour into the tournament, down to T9,775.

Hand 35. A6 UTG
I raised to 400, getting two calls. The flop was 9Q6, I checked, then folded to a raise and re-raise, thinking perhaps bottom pair wasn’t where I wanted to be in this situation.

Hand 36. Q2 UTG3
Folded. Blinds now at 100/200.

Hand 37. A3 UTG2
Folded.

Hand 38. UTG1
Missed recording this hand, but something happened that cost me chips.

Hand 39. J7 UTG
Folded.

Hand 40. 89 BB
Called a late raise to 800, but folded when an early limper re-raised to 2,200.

Hand 41. 53 SB
Folded. Stack sitting at T6,300.

Hand 42. 39 BTN
Folded.

Hand 43. CO
With the break coming up in a couple of minutes, I used this hand to beat the other 200 people in to room to one of the two bathrooms. It was probably A?A?.

Hand 44. K?9 HJ
Folded.

Hand 45. 79 UTG4
Just outside the range of what I want to play ten-handed but I shoved and won with a pair of nines to put me up to T9,300.

Hand 46. T9 UTG3
Folded my last hand before the break.

With the add-on, I went into the next segment of the tournament with T14,300: 35bb or an M of ~17 (blinds 200/400/25). “Must take on more risk.” Easy to say when you don’t have the biggest stacks at the table on either side of you.

Hand 47. 59 UTG2
Too much risk for me. Folded.

Hand 48. Q6 UTG1
Folded.

Hand 49. 33 UTG
My first pocket pair of the evening, But not ten-handed with a short stack.

Hand 50. 75 BB
If I’d stayed in the hand, I would have won it with a flush, even with the 7.

Hand 51. 75 SB
Folded.

Hand 52. A2 BTN
Folded.

Hand 53. AT CO
Called raise to 400. Folded on K?7?2? flop.

Hand 54. J2 HJ
Folded.

Hand 55. QT UTG3
Normally, I’d play it, but not short-stacked and ten-handed after a raise.

Hand 56. 62 UTG2
Folded.

Hand 57. 7T UTG1
Folded. Blinds now at  300/600/50.

Hand 58. 29 UTG
Folded. Stack standing at T12,950, down 6,000 from starting stack, bonus, and add-on.

Hand 59. AJ BB
Called raise to 2,250, folded on a 357 flop. T?T? took the pot after going all-in, I would have missed.

Hand 60. 42 SB
Folded.

Hand 61. 9J BTN
Folded.

Hand 62. J3 CO
Folded.

Hand 63. A9 HJ
Folded.

Hand 64. Q8 UTG3
Folded.

Hand 65. KQ UTG2
I opened to 2,000. PL called me and shoved on an ace-high flop that I didn’t connect with.

Hand 66. 28 UTG1
Folded.

Hand 67. 79 UTG
Folded.

Hand 68. 34 BB
Folded. T12,050.

Hand 69. 58 SB
Folded.

Hand 70. JQ BTN
Raised over a limp to 2,400 and the limper shoved for 5,850. I thought about it for a minute, then called. Limper’s 7?7? won.

Hand 71. 84 CO
Not a chance in hell.

Hand 72. K8 HJ
Folded. Blinds up to 400/800/75. I have T5,625 (7bb, M=~3).

Hand 73. T8 UTG3
Folded.

Hand 74. AT UTG2
I shove over limps, the biggest stack at the table with more than T50,000 calls with A7. The board runs out with a pair and an ace and a jack to make it another split pot. T6,200 for my trouble.

Hand 75. 76 UTG1
Folded.

Hand 76. 75 UTG
Folded.

Hand 77. A8 BB
Folded.

Hand 78. TT SB
I shove over a limp and get called by Q?Q?.

VPIP for the session: 26%, a little higher than I thought while I was playing it. Just two pocket pairs: the treys I didn’t play and the tens in my last hand. The average would have been between four and five (someone else was getting my pairs!) Only went to showdown six times, two of them ended in split pots with minimal profit, I won one, and lost three (including my final hand).

76 Known Hands by Pre-Flop Strength (Win/Chop) Percentile at 10 Players

  • Top 10% [A8s-AA]: 8 hands (10%)
  • 2nd Decile [J8s-Q9s]: 10 hands (13%)
  • 3rd Decile: 7 hands (9%)
  • 4th Decile: 6 hands (8%)
  • 5th Decile: 10 hands (13%)
  • 6th Decile: 7 hands (9%)
  • 7th Decile: 9 hands (12%)
  • 8th Decile: 5 hands (7%)
  • 9th Decile: 7 hands (9%)
  • Bottom 10% [72o-84o]: 7 hands (9%)

Three hours and twenty minutes, 78 hands. 144th of 204 players.