The Final Table Third Friday $10,000 Guarantee (T10,000 + T1,000 early registration bonus)
Got a copy of Gus Hansen’s Every Hand Revealed, his (almost) hand-by-hand account of winning an Aussie Millions tournament. Whatever you might think about Hansen’s style of play (and despite the fact that things may have changed a lot since he wrote the book) it’s a very interesting read and incredibly thoughtful and I don’t think I could possibly recreate hands as well even if I was using his tape recorder transcription method. Sorry. Also picked up Arnold Snyder’s The Poker Tournament Formula (volumes 1 and 2) and I’m hoping to pick out nuggets of useful info from there.
Met up at the Eastside Ringside before the 10K with BP, a Mutant Poker reader (I guess there are a couple) who recognized me at a Friday Encore game a couple weeks back. Had a great time talking poker, had a drink or two (which I almost never do before a game), and then headed down the street.
I started off in BB and folded a couple hands, then raised to 125 on BTN with [ax 8x], calling a re-raise to 325. The turn was Q-high and I bet out for 700 but folded to a re-raise.
UTG with [2x 2x] and I was drawing the low end of a straight on the flop, but BB flopped the nuts. and half an hour in I was down to T8,200.
Called 350 with [qx 9x] but folded to an all-in war that ended up with [kx kx] drawing a set against [ax ax]. T7,500 now.
UTG again with [8d td] and I check-called a 300 raise. Flop of [ax 4x 5x] and I was out of there. Forty-five minutes in: T7,050.
[qx tx] as CO and I called a big pre-flop raise but folded to an all-in after a flop of [jx tx 8x] and a bet on the [ax] turn.
Fifty minutes in and I’d lost more than half my starting chips: T5,250.
In BB with [ah kh], I raised to 2,000 and was re-raised all-in. I called against [as ts] and doubled up to almost where I’d begun: T10,650.
Back on BTN, I raised to 400 and got one call. The flop was [qx 7x 2x] and I bet 1,000 to take the pot. Back over starting: T11,275.
Raised UTG with [jx tx] to 500 getting two calls half-an-hour later. The flop was a beautiful [kx qx 9x] and it was checked around. The turn was a non-threatening [ax], it was checked to me and there was a bet of 3,000. I shoved over the top and was called by [ax kx]. My straight held.
[tx 4x] in BB ten minutes later and I see the flop of [qx tx 4x]. A guy who’s been going all-in throughout the game bets into it and I re-raise. As I expect, he shoves and I call because I’m pretty sure he’s not holding The Butcher, and my two pair knocks him out. He doesn’t show.
Next hand in SB with [8x 2x] I call to see [4x 2x 2x] on the flop and check. BB bets out 600, UTG calls, and I raise to 2,000 getting both of them to fold. I show the hand.
A couple minutes later it’s my turn to fold [9x 8x] after calling 800 pre-flop. The board is [qx jx 8x] but my bottom pair and low-end gut-shot isn’t good enough to call the 2,000 bet.
One hour and forty-five minute into the game and I’m up to a healthy T30,575, more than 40% above the chip average. Five minutes later, I’m buying the add-on of T8,000 chips. There are 84 entries, with 18 re-buys. The break sees 69 add-ons and the pot’s $13,650, with 13 places paying. 77 players left at the break.
After the break, I get to work, raising and taking the blinds and antes with [ax 8x], then taking a pot atay from several callers with a post-flop raise with [qx jx] on a jack-high flop that put me up to T41,625.
In SB with [3s 4s] I called a raise to 1,700 from BB. The [qx 2x 5x] gave me an open-ended straight draw and I bet 2,000 into it. BB tossed his cards and said he had [ax jx]. According to the odds calculators, if that was the case, we were almost exactly 50%-50%.
I re-raised to 7,000 over a 2,400 raise with [8x 8x] and a small stack shoved for 6,950 more. Was my pair good? Was it a desperate move to steal 10,000 chips? It was going to cost me about 3.5:1 to find out. I called, was up against queens and lost.
Pretty quickly I was back on track with [tx tx]. I raised over two calls to 4,000 and took the pot. One of the guys muttered he’d folded jacks. I was down to T32,000 but near chip average.
Then in my BB I picked up [6x 6c] and laid in wait to see a flop of [6x 4x 2x]. I’ve learned my lesson about being shy with flopped sets. I pulled the trigger and didn’t worry about the possibility that someone might have come along with [3x 5x], I bet 2,000 and got a call, then bet 7,000 after the [tx] turn card and cracked some aces. I was back up to T43,400 at the end of three hours.
UTG fifteen minutes later with [kx kx]. I keep losing with kings, often by simply walking away from the board after a horrible flop. I raised to 2,700, getting three calls and a rather ominous [qx jx tx] flop. What premium hand isn’t beating me here? [ax kx] has the straight and my only hope against it is some sort of backdoor full house (or another ace to chop). [qx qx] [jx jx], or [tx tx] has a set already and I need that ace or backdoor full house again. Any multitude of two pair hands in there that are playable by someone in a $10K tournament. Even [8x 9x] has me beat. So naturally when the player on my right goes all-in for more than 30,000 chips, I call. He has The Butcher, for two pair, but a miraculous [9x] shows on the turn and I knock him out with the straight.
Two hundred minutes into the game I’m up to T71,875. The chip average is T27,081. Twenty minutes later, there are 55 players left and the chip average is just over T30,000.
I raise with [qs tc] over two calls, the flop is [ks ts 8s]. I try to get another spade but I’m lucky and don’t, losing to [as tx].
Coming up on the end of the fourth hour of play as SB with [2x 2x] and I call an all-in of 4,700. He has [qx tx] and hits two pair on the flop. I start the next hour down to T50,600 with the chip average at T33,000.
With [ax ax] in CO I raise to 8,000 and get a call. The flop is [9x 6x 4x] and I’m all-in over a raise, getting a call from [jx jx] for a win.
In UTG1, I call 4,600 with [9c tc]. The flop is [7x 9x Jx] and UTG bets 10,000 (a pattern his big stack will repeat throughout the rest of the night) and I have to fold my middle pair and gunshot. Still, I’m back up to T72800.
I open from the CO with [2h 3h] and take the blinds and antes.
UTG1 again. I call 3,600 with [qs 9s] and fold to UTG’s 10,000 bet after the [kx 8x 5x] bet.
In my SB, I raise to 11,000 with [jc qs]. BB calls and the flop is [kx jx 9x] This time it’s me who throws the 10,000 continuation and the guy to my left folds.
Raised 7,000 with [qx jx] and called an all-in who showed [ax kx]. I stayed behind as my chips raced to the other end of the table.
Hitting midnight after five hours of play, I was a little over the chip average, with T54,500.
The Butcher came through, with [qx tx] beating a nominally better hand on a [8x tx 8x] flop and bringing in 20,000.
Raised 10,000 a couple minutes later with [6x 6x] and lost to an all-in. Back down to T54000 by five hours and thirty minutes, with 28 players left.
I shoved with [kx kx] from BTN sort of hoping to double up if someone thought it was a position play but just won the blinds and antes. Even so, by the time the I’d made it through the blinds, I was down to T50,300, more than 10,000 below average.
Just twenty minutes later, that had dwindled to half the average, at T34,700, with only 22 players left. Just nine before the money bubble.
As we approached the end of the sixth hour, I shoved with [ax 9x] over two calls and managed to win a pot that put me up to T40,600. Then, on my BB with [tx tx] I shoved over three calls and took another one down. Right after that I raised UTG with [jx tx] and won again. In twenty minutes I doubled my stack to T71,000 without a showdown. I was still below the T76,666 average.
As quick as it came, though, it went away. I picked up [kx qx] mid-position and raised to 10,000 from the 4,000 big blind. I got two callers, including the big stack on my immediate right. The flop was [kx 9x 2x] and I bet into it, hoping that nobody had [ax kx]. Both of them came along. The [qx] on the turn put me all-in, the first call was from the a smaller stack, the second was from the mega-stack, who’d snuck in there with [jx tx] to make the straight. The small stack had [qx tx]. No king or queen for me on the river and I was out short of the money. BP went on to a 4-way chop at 5:30! Congrats!
Six hours. 19th of 84 entries.
Encore Club $10,000 Guarantee (T10,000)
This was one of those up-and-down rides.
I folded my first two hands from seat 10, then raised over a couple of limpers to 125 with a nice little [jd 9d], getting several calls. The flop was a perfect [tx 8x 7x] and I bet 300. Seat 2 raised me to 600, the players between us folded, and I three-bet 2,300. He called and the turn put out [jx]. I go all-in with the rest of my full stack, he calls with [jx tx], and my straight holds through the river. I’ve got him covered by a quarter because he was SB in the first hand.
I lost a little ground raising UTG1 with [qc 3c] against UTG’s [ax jx]. and was down to T18,925 at fifteen minutes in. Missed an opportunity by folding [tx 3x] in SB when I didn’t call the 25 extra and the flop was [tx 7x 3x].
Raised to 225 with [kx qx] in CO, go two calls, then got a flop of [2x 3x 4x]. It was checked around. With a [5x] on the turn, I folded to a bet.
Half an hour in and my excursions had cut me down to T17750.
Raised from UTG1 to 225 with [4s 6s] and got one call. Bet 500 after the [8x 7x 4x] flop and took it down.
A couple hands later I called 350 in a 3-way hand with [qd 5d] in BB but had to fold after whiffing the flop.
SB on the next hand with [kc jc] and three limpers. I raised to 55o and won. A couple hands later as CO I raised to 250 with [ax 3x] but folded to a bet of 800 on a king-high flop.
In the twenty minutes leading into the end of the first hour, I went from T17,775 to 17,575.
At the stroke of the hour, I played [8s 4s], and made a straight to the eight by the river, but the guy I’d busted on my first hand had a straight to the 9 and knocked me almost back to the starting stack. T10,875.
Not one to sit around dejected, I had a wheel draw with [2x 3x], but missed on the river and had to fold to a bet, losing 800 chips in the encounter.
Opened to 575 with [8h 9h] and got two calls. The flop was [td 6d 3d], which got checked around. Another [tx] on the turn and I folded to a bet. Right color but too diamondy for me.
Limped in with [tc 6x] on BTN and saw a [tx 7x 2x] flop. SB opened with a 1,000 bet, mid-position called, and I re-raised to 3,000 to take the pot. Much speculation about my hand. I feel pretty proud of that play and a couple of others in this game.
CO with [ah qd] and three-bet from 1,200 to 3,000. SB called and the flop hit as [8x 7x 8x]. I folded to a bet of 4,000. That cut me down to T9,300 eighty minutes into the game.
Raised UTG2 with [jx tx] to 750 and got 2 calls. A shove on the jack-high flop and I won my way back up to T10,950.
On BTN with [jd 9d] again and I raised to 600 to see a flop heads-up: [kx 4x 5x]. We checked to the turn, he bet 700, I folded, and he flipped [kx tx]. No need.
In HJ, called an 800 raise in a three-way hand with [3c 4c]. Flop was [ax 5x tx] and I bet 1,200 with my gut-shot straight draw. I won.
At the first break I had T12,550, the average was T15,833 before the T7,000 add-ons.
At the end of the second hour of play, I called 400 UTG1 with [ks ts]. The blinds came along and the flop was ten-high. SB bet 500, I raised to 1,500 and took it.
Called 1,100 from BB with [ks qs] (variations of that hand kept cropping up the night after it put me out of the Friday game), but had to fold after I didn’t connect.
Next hand it was [qc 6c] as SB and I bought the barest of fingernails on a [jx 8x 6x] flop. I bet 800 and got two calls then folded to a turn bet. [jx 5x] made the best hand by catching the low end of a nine-high straight on the river.
Raised with [kd 9d] and got a call. The flop was [ax 9x 6x] and I bet 1,000. My opponent must not have had an ace!
Called 1,200 with four others in the hand before me holding [jc tc] to see a flop of [as qs jx]. Everyone checked. [5s] on the turn didn’t make my straight but I (and nobody else) could call the 3,000 to see the river so I don’t know if it or the flush would have come in. Still, I was up to T24,000.
Raised to 1,300 with [kx 6x] and got called by a shorter stack. The flop was [kx tx 9x] and we checked to the [kx] turn. I raised to 7,000. He hemmed and hawed and dawdled then shoved for 1,800 more. I figured he had to have the better kicker and called for what was less than 10% of the pot. He turned over [kx tx] for the nuts. I felt kind of annoyed about the way he’d slow-rolled the nuts. Was it all about getting me to call the other 1,800?
I was back down to T12,900 two and three-quarters of an hour in. Naturally, I got moved to a new table into the BB just a couple hands after paying the last time.
Fortunately, in SB I picked up [jx jx] and shoved over three limpets to take a hand that put me up to T15,900.
Had to fold a call of 2,700 with [ad 8d] when an all-in came after me.
Pulled another fast one with [ad td] when I raised to 2,700, got two calls, and saw a flop of [7x jx 7x]. My shove won.
Moved again after just twenty minutes.
UTG with [qh ts] and I called a raise of 2,500 to of heads-up to a flop of [as 5s js]. My opponent bet 5,000 and I raised all-in. At least I had the ten of spades! He folded.
Up to T28,000 but below the T35,836 average.
55 players left at three hours and twenty minutes.
I went all-in over two limps with [ax qx] but got called by a smaller stack holding [jh 9h]. He double-paired by the river and chopped me in almost in half. Down to T19225.
When they chipped up the 25 pieces, the average stack with 45 players left was T43,800. I had just T16,625.
Second hand after the break on BTN with [jx tx] my all-in was called by [kx jx] and I was out.
Three hours and fifty minutes. 44th of 99 players.