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 7x7x 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 AxKx and totally missed the flop, folded, then watched the hand contested by AxJx and AxTx, 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 QxQx 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 AQx 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 Ax9x against two aces with better kickers. Shortly after that, he doubled up and then some with KxKx 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 KxKx 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 AxKx. He exploited my T15,000 donk bet on the QxQx9x 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 6x6x in middle position. I probably should have re-proposed the double bubble before I shoved. I was called by SB with 9x9x and he caught a nine on the flop. Unless I’d had AxAx, 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.