Full Tilt $2,500 Guarantee (1,500 chips)
Nothing to see here. There were almost 3,700 entrants at the time I busted out. I took an early hit with a A♦6♦ that didn’t pan out. An 8♠7♠ paired the eight on the flop to put me back over the starting stack. I more than doubled up with T♥T♣, beating a pair of nines to make it to nearly 4,000 chips twenty minutes into the game. Twenty minutes later, a different suited ace combination (A♠8♠) flushed through on the turn to beat a pair of kings.
I was mostly quiet after that, staying between 4,000 and 5,000 chips until just after the first hour of play, when a far weaker A♦3♦ combo lost out to A♠9♣ that got four clubs on the board. All-in against a larger stack with three clubs on the flop? What was I thinking? Out in 794th place.
Full Tilt Midnight Madness! (1,500 chips)
Very quiet for the first quarter-hour. I get a couple walks for 15 chips apiece but give it away. A couple of small opening raises go bye-bye when the flop fails to cooperate. Then I get 6♥6♦ in the small blind (at 20/40) with action folded around to me and only seven seated at the table. I min-raise and get a call from the big blind. The board has three over cards—including a king and queen—to my pair and the big blind keeps firing off small bets but I take the 480 in the pot when he has a pair of twos. The next hand I eliminate a player and make a profit of 1,460 when the bottom end of my A♣Q♦ pairs on the flop. Q♦A♠ on the very next hand only makes me 40. Then it’s quiet until about the 50-minute mark when I have A♦K♠. I min-raise to 200 from UTG+2 (with eight players), getting calls from both blinds. The flop is A♣4♠9♣, the blinds check and I open with 600. Small blind raises to 1,200, big folds, and I three-bet all-in. Big mistake. Small blind not only has me covered but he’s got 9♦A♥. two more clubs show on the board, and if that king had been a club it would have been real nice, but I’m out in 1,703rd place out of 2,016. Pathetic showing.
Full Tilt Step 0 Super Turbo (300 chips)
When I said I would never play another Super Turbo so long as I lived, I should have specified that only idiots play Super Turbos. I am an idiot. Five hands. I’m in my first big blind (there’s 10% of my starting stack right there). I’ve got a wretched J♣4♥ but lo and behold the flop is Q♣2♣3♣. I know that if I can double up or just grab some chips in this early stage I’ll be a lot better off when the blinds go up on the next hand. I bet the pot to open (90), get re-raised by UTG+1 (the only other player in except for the small blind) and the small blind folds. I shove and UTG+1—who’s already taken out one of the players at the table so he has the bog stack— calls, showing K♣9♣. Finished 82 of 99.
Full Tilt $2,500 KO Guarantee (2,000 chips)
I’ve taken a run at this low buy-in event a few times in the past without any luck. Bustouts in just four and six hands, half an hour at the best. Last night things clicked—at least for a while.
I was below the starting stack for most of the first ten minutes then managed to avoid having a pair of sevens suck out with a flush on my pair of queens and picked up 900 chips.
My first big win was pushing all-in with A♦3♦. Action had folded around to the button, who raised to 480 at the 80/160 level. Small blind folded. I had the button covered by 900 chips (out of 3,200) and my all-in was called. Up against K♥Q♣ and an A♥ came on the flop. Things were a little worrisome with a turned J♠ but the river was safe and I got my first bounty. I picked up another 960 on the next hand with Q♣9♣ that made it to a king-high straight on the turn.
I made a move about 25 minutes later holding Q♣A♦ on the button at 80/160/25. Two players ahead of me were in for 480 and I called, with the big blind following along. The flop was 4♠A♥J♥. The big blind checked, the next player (UTG+3) bet 755 and the hijack called. I went all-in for 3,875. All thee following players had me covered by 500 to 9,000 chips but everyone folded and I picked up 3,270 to put me over 7,500.
An hour-and-a-half into the game and I’d lost several hands, dropping down to 4,500 with blinds at 200/400/50. My hand on the button was a somewhat less-than-sterling K♣T♥. UTG+1 limped, UTG+2 raised to 800, hijack called, I called, as did the blinds, and UTG+1 matched the raise, so the pot held 5,250 prior to the flop. The flop was 9♥5♠7♥. Nobody had put in 800 with 68, apparently, because everyone checked to the turn, which was 8♦. UTG+2 bet 1,200 with the hijack calling and I took a stab at it with my four-card straight, raising all-in for 3,655. Everyone folded and I built up to 11,300.
I got knocked down to 5,300 with another KT combo. It was suited (K♥T♥) but slightly behind the J♦K♠ at the end of a board that didn’t connect with either of us.
The same player gave most of the chips back on the next hand. Five players went to the flop, limping in at the 300/600/75 level. My hand was K♣5♣ and the flop was A♠4♦2♠. UTG+2 bet 1,200, UTG+2 raised to 2,400, and once again on the button I re-raised all-in to 4,620. The blinds and UTG+2 folded, UTG+3 called, showing 9♦A♣, and the turn dropped a 3♥, completing the straight and putting me over 14,000.
The humdinger hand of the night was my second bounty. I had about 13,700 chips in UTG+1 and was dealt Q♥A♠. We were still at 300/600/75; I raised to 1,200. UTG+3 went all-in for 11,460. Everyone folded to me and I called with him flipping over T♣T♦. Things were just about over with a Q♣5♦Q♥ flop but 6♣Q♠ on the river sealed the deal for a 13,000 profit.
I was the big stack at the table for the moment but lost my next five entries into the pot, losing between 1,000 and 4,000 each try until I was down to 8,400. Blinds were nipping at everyone’s heels, at 600/1,200/150. K♣K♥ fell into my hand in UTG+1. I raised to 3,000. The huge stack with 90K re-raised to 12,600. The button three-bet all-in to 28,297. Action folded to me and I called all-in for 8,259. The big stack called the three-bet. Big stack had K♠A♥, the other all-in (the same player I’d traded chips with above) had J♦J♥. The board ran out T♣Q♥6♣7♣3♦ and I took just about 28K of the 68K pot. Two hands later I lost everything to the big stack, going out with a small cash in 207th place out of 3,401 entries after 150 minutes.
Full Tilt Super Satellite to FTOPS Event #44 (1,500 chips)
Sunday was the last day of the FTOPS tournaments, and early in the morning fresh off the KO tournament above I took a shot at a super satellite to the next-to-last event, a 6-max bounty tournament. The field grew to 61 entries by the end of registration, with five entries to the satellite, worth $55 each and two smaller cash awards.
Twenty minutes in I got my first break with K♣K♦ in the cutoff. UTG picked up a ten on the flop to match their T♣8♠ for top pair and went all-in and I picked up the KO and 830 chips. I wiped out another small stack of 720 shortly after with Q♦A♣ vs. A♦T♦. A♠A♣ against T♠T♦ shortly thereafter made another bounty and put me over 4,000 chips. I took out two players (one with only 25 chips in the big blind) holding 8♣8♥ when the board showed Q♠K♦Q♦8♦Q♣.
Forty minutes in, I’d been knocked down to only about 2,500 chips again, losing 600-900 chips on hands like A6s and A9o. Kings served me well again when I doubled up through the big stack at the table to 7,700. Another bounty and 1,495 came my way with T♦T♠ a few hands after that. I got a couple thousand more holding K♣6♣ when the board gave me a 9-high straight on the river and nobody contested my 1,000-chip bet into a pot of 3,270.
A key mistake came when the field was down to about ten players. The cutoff raised from 200/400/50 all-in to 4,105 and I was the only caller, holding Q♣K♦ and 6,200 chips behind. The all-in showed K♥A♣ and he got aces full of kings by the end of the hand.
Still, I was in the top five, on track to get a ticket to the satellite until I called another all-in by the same player five minutes later. My 6♠6♦ against his Q♠Q♥. Out in 7th place with an award about 1.5 times the buy-in and seven bounties, bringing the ROI to 169%.