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 Ax8x, 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 2x2x 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 Qx9x but folded to an all-in war that ended up with KxKx drawing a set against AxAx. T7,500 now.
UTG again with 8♦T♦ and I check-called a 300 raise. Flop of Ax4x5x and I was out of there. Forty-five minutes in: T7,050.
QxTx as CO and I called a big pre-flop raise but folded to an all-in after a flop of JxTx8x 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 A♥K♥, I raised to 2,000 and was re-raised all-in. I called against A♠T♠ 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 Qx7x2x and I bet 1,000 to take the pot. Back over starting: T11,275.
Raised UTG with JxTx to 500 getting two calls half-an-hour later. The flop was a beautiful KxQx9x 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 AxKx. My straight held.
Tx4x in BB ten minutes later and I see the flop of QxTx4x. 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 8x2x I call to see 4x2x2x 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 9x8x after calling 800 pre-flop. The board is QxJx8x 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 Ax8x, then taking a pot atay from several callers with a post-flop raise with QxJx on a jack-high flop that put me up to T41,625.
In SB with 3♠4♠ I called a raise to 1,700 from BB. The Qx2x5x gave me an open-ended straight draw and I bet 2,000 into it. BB tossed his cards and said he had AxJx. 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 8x8x 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 TxTx. 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 6x6♣ and laid in wait to see a flop of 6x4x2x. 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 3x5x, 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 KxKx. 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 QxJxTx flop. What premium hand isn’t beating me here? AxKx has the straight and my only hope against it is some sort of backdoor full house (or another ace to chop). QxQxJxJx, or TxTx 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 8x9x 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 Q♠T♣ over two calls, the flop is K♠T♠8♠. I try to get another spade but I’m lucky and don’t, losing to A♠Tx.
Coming up on the end of the fourth hour of play as SB with 2x2x and I call an all-in of 4,700. He has QxTx and hits two pair on the flop. I start the next hour down to T50,600 with the chip average at T33,000.
With AxAx in CO I raise to 8,000 and get a call. The flop is 9x6x4x and I’m all-in over a raise, getting a call from JxJx for a win.
In UTG1, I call 4,600 with 9♣T♣. The flop is 7x9xJx 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 2♥3♥ and take the blinds and antes.
UTG1 again. I call 3,600 with Q♠9♠ and fold to UTG’s 10,000 bet after the Kx8x5x bet.
In my SB, I raise to 11,000 with J♣Q♠. BB calls and the flop is KxJx9x This time it’s me who throws the 10,000 continuation and the guy to my left folds.
Raised 7,000 with QxJx and called an all-in who showed AxKx. 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 QxTx beating a nominally better hand on a 8xTx8x flop and bringing in 20,000.
Raised 10,000 a couple minutes later with 6x6x and lost to an all-in. Back down to T54000 by five hours and thirty minutes, with 28 players left.
I shoved with KxKx 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 Ax9x over two calls and managed to win a pot that put me up to T40,600. Then, on my BB with TxTx I shoved over three calls and took another one down. Right after that I raised UTG with JxTx 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 KxQx 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 Kx9x2x and I bet into it, hoping that nobody had AxKx. 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 JxTx to make the straight. The small stack had QxTx. 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 J♦9♦, getting several calls. The flop was a perfect Tx8x7x 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 JxTx, 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 Q♣3♣ against UTG’s AxJx. and was down to T18,925 at fifteen minutes in. Missed an opportunity by folding Tx3x in SB when I didn’t call the 25 extra and the flop was Tx7x3x.
Raised to 225 with KxQx in CO, go two calls, then got a flop of 2x3x4x. 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 4♠6♠ and got one call. Bet 500 after the 8x7x4x flop and took it down.
A couple hands later I called 350 in a 3-way hand with Q♦5♦ in BB but had to fold after whiffing the flop.
SB on the next hand with K♣J♣ and three limpers. I raised to 55o and won. A couple hands later as CO I raised to 250 with Ax3x 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 8♠4♠, 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 2x3x, but missed on the river and had to fold to a bet, losing 800 chips in the encounter.
Opened to 575 with 8♥9♥ and got two calls. The flop was T♦6♦3♦, 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 T♣6x on BTN and saw a Tx7x2x 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 A♥Q♦ and three-bet from 1,200 to 3,000. SB called and the flop hit as 8x7x8x. I folded to a bet of 4,000. That cut me down to T9,300 eighty minutes into the game.
Raised UTG2 with JxTx 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 J♦9♦ again and I raised to 600 to see a flop heads-up: Kx4x5x. We checked to the turn, he bet 700, I folded, and he flipped KxTx. No need.
In HJ, called an 800 raise in a three-way hand with 3♣4♣. Flop was Ax5xTx 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 K♠T♠. 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 K♠Q♠ (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 Q♣6♣ as SB and I bought the barest of fingernails on a Jx8x6x flop. I bet 800 and got two calls then folded to a turn bet. Jx5x made the best hand by catching the low end of a nine-high straight on the river.
Raised with K♦9♦ and got a call. The flop was Ax9x6x 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 J♣T♣ to see a flop of A♠Q♠Jx. Everyone checked. 5♠ 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 Kx6x and got called by a shorter stack. The flop was KxTx9x 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 KxTx 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 JxJx 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 A♦8♦ when an all-in came after me.
Pulled another fast one with A♦T♦ when I raised to 2,700, got two calls, and saw a flop of 7xJx7x. My shove won.
Moved again after just twenty minutes.
UTG with Q♥T♠ and I called a raise of 2,500 to of heads-up to a flop of A♠5♠J♠. 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 AxQx but got called by a smaller stack holding J♥9♥. 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 JxTx my all-in was called by KxJx and I was out.
Three hours and fifty minutes. 44th of 99 players.