Full Tilt Midnight Madness (1,500 chips)
Three hands in and there are four after the flop with 390 chips in the pot. I have 8♣A♣, there’s 2♣Q♥J♣ on the board and I’m first to act in the small blind. I bet 200, there’s a fold and two calls. The turn’s 4♦ and I push out another 200. UTG+1 calls and UTG+3 goes all-in for 1,180. Everyone calls. The last card’s 8♥ and UTG+3 with Q♦T♣ loses to UTG’s straight made with T♥9♥ (as do I).
Full Tilt $2,500 KO Guarantee (2,000 chips)
I win exactly one hand during my four minutes in this match and it does not come with a knockout bounty.
Full Tilt $10,000 Rush Guarantee (1,500 chips)
Ten minutes in and I get J♥K♥ as UTG+1. I raise to 120 (4xBB) and get a re-raise to 405 from a stack with twice my chips in the hijack. I call. The flop is 5♥2♠A♥ and I check, then he bets 625. I call and the turn’s 7♠. I’ve got nine possible draws to an ace-high flush, just like I did in Midnight madness. I bet 120 with 865 behind and he raises all-in. I call. The river is T♦. He’s got K♠A♦ and I’m out.
Full Tilt Step 1 Turbo 6-Max (1,500 chips)
I did a little better here than in my last attempt. I managed to get up to 4K, then was busted back to 1.5K, with a last-minute double-up before I busted out in third place. No step up but I didn’t lose any ground.
Full Tilt $10,000 Rush Guarantee (1,500 chips)
A slightly longer run into the $10K than the one above but nothing to be proud of. I got beat down on a couple of hands where T♥A♠ and K♠T♣ failed to connect, then managed to pull off a triple up. I was in the big blind at 20/40 when I picked up A♦A♠. UTG raised to 155, action folded to the button, who called, the small blind folded and I raised to 640. Both of the others came along and the pot had over 1,900. After the flop of Q♥6♠7♠ I went all-in for 1,270. UTG called. The button went all-in for 2,525 and UTG gave up. There was 5,750 in the pot, the button flipped over Q♣8♣ and with T♠ on the turn and 4♣ on the river it was mine. I managed to blow it with another ten combo—T♦K♣—just seven hands later when trip sixes beat my pair of kings and straight draw, taking 4,630 off of me. I lasted about 20 minutes after that but never made it back over 1,200 chips.
Full Tilt Step 1 Turbo 18 Players (1,500 chips)
I had a couple near-fatal setbacks in this tournament, but in the 18-player Sit & Gos Steps the top four spots all step up. I’d been up over 3K, then back down to just over 2K when I played 9♣A♠ from the small blind. There were four to the flop, which was an intriguing 7♠T♠2♠. I made a pot-sized bet of 800 after the flop and the button raised all-in to 1,240. After my call, the turn made my nut flush with 3♠. Then the whole thing fell apart with a 2♣ on the river and a T♥T♣ in my opponent’s hand. I managed to build up to 5K by the end of the tournament, about 75 minutes after the first hand.
Full Tilt Rush Flash
It had been a while since I sat down at a ring game and even longer since I hit the Rush tables. I played for about half an hour, losing my entire first stake on the second hand with pocket 9s against pocket kings. I bought back in and rebuilt, eventually coming out ahead with a BB/100 hands of 11.
Cake $1,000 Guarantee (1,500 chips)
Stupid moves on my part knocked me out here in 106th place out of 161 players. Another ATo I shouldn’t have played, and an obvious pair of kings on the board that beat my pocket 9s, even without another king in my opponent’s hand.
Full Tilt Rush Mach 10
A quarter hour at a slightly higher stake, I managed to pull out of a trough and make it into profitability before the end with a ten combination but only because my cards were higher than the other player who followed the trip sevens on the board. BB/100 of 3.5.
Full Tilt Rush Mach 10
This 77-minute excursion managed to eradicate the gains of the earlier sessions. After the seventh minute, I was never in the black. A Q♠K♠ made it to four spades by the turn but no flush. T♦J♥ paired the ten on the flop for both myself and the guy holding Q♣T♥. K♥A♣ paired but couldn’t beat trip fives. BB/100 of -15.5.
Full Tilt Step 2 Turbo (1,500 chips)
Turbo it was. Thirty minutes from start to finish—even with only nine people—is pretty fast. I got knocked down to 1K fairly quickly but managed to double up after a dozen minutes with an all-in move and K♥A♦ that matched the king on the turn. Another lucky A♥K♣ only ten hands later breathed some more life into my stack. I ended up going out in third place with a K♠9♠ that failed to connect with anything. Didn’t lose ground but no step up.
Puffmammy Tournament 18 (1,500 chips)
Lost a couple of early pots that hindered my play in the first rounds. Managed to build things back up but had a huge chip stack on my right for most of my night. I was in decent shape going into the break but just didn’t get the right cards at the right time as I was trying to outlast D. Didn’t work. Lost the POY point lead for the first time since mid-October, going out 6th of 8. Only down by a point, though, since D went out on the bubble (4th).
Cake $1,000 Guarantee – Bounty (3,000 chips)
Took two bounties in a three-way ace-off three-quarters of an hour into the match. I had A♥Q♥ on the button at 75/150. UTG+3 goes all in for 1,959. Cutoff is all-in for 1,123. I’ve got 4,560 and call, the blinds fold. The cards go over 9♦A♣ for UTG+3 and A♦7♦ for the cutoff. The board delivers K♦5♣Q♠ A♠ T♣ and I’m up to almost 8K. I lose most of that running pocket queens into pocket aces a few minutes later, build back up to more than 5K, then end up with less than 2 big blinds when my A♥Q♣ is beat by A♦4♥. Someone takes my bounty on the next hand when I go out 37th of 96.
Full Tilt Step 2 (1,500 chips)
Nine players in another Steps outing, hoping to get far enough during FTOPS to play a game. J♦J♥ in the big blind puts me over 2,500 chips and into first position a dozen minutes in when the chip leader and I play chicken with our pocket pairs. It’s a scary board for me with 4♥9♥A♣Q♣5♦ but I would have assumed it was even more so for his 7♥7♣. I mostly rest and slide (with a couple of wins) down to 1,950 when I get A♦T♣ in the big blind. There are seven players left, the hijack raises to 300, and the button foes all-in for 1,385. I call and so does the hijack. A tantalizing 2♦4♦7♦ shows on the flop, I check, and hijack raises to put me all-in. There’s nearly 5K in the pot; I’ve got nine outs to the nut flush; I call and each of my opponents turn over a pair of queens. Their hands aren’t going to improve. Mine doesn’t with a J♣ on the turn, but the river is 6♦. At 40 minutes in I’m back in first place (top two win Step 3 tickets).
I take a flier on K♦T♦ a few hands later and lose 1,000 so I decide I’d better cool it. Ten minutes later we’re down to five players and I get A♥5♥ on the button. I’m down to 3,830 chips, the blinds are 80/160. I call after two folds and the small blind is in. Three to the flop of 3♥4♦3♦. Once again, very tantalizing. Everyone checks for another card, the 2♥ which makes my straight and gives me a flush draw. Not to mention a straight flush draw. The big blind bets 160 when it’s his time and I raise the 640 chip pot to 1,600. Big blind goes all-in and there’s 4,860 in the pot when the Q♥ shows on the river. He’s got J♠3♠ for trip threes but no 2, 3, 4, or jack shows to save him from fifth place.
I clamp down hard on myself. With 6,100 chips, I have twice what any of the other three players do. I do push an A♥T♦ hard on a 2♦8♣7♦9♥ turn to push two players off and pick up 1,200 but mostly I let the rest of the players fight amongst themselves. The final hand I get 5♦5♣ in the small blind and follow the short stack all-in for about 2K. I have enough behind that I’m still the chip leader if I lose. He has A♥K♥ but the flop is 4♦5♥Q♣. Even A♠ on the turn doesn’t help him.
I guess I do flush once in a while.