Played at the dealer’s choice cash game again, but without the saving coup at the end. My worst beat of the night came on a 7-card stud variation I can’t remember the name of that had wild queens. I got two queens down and a king up, I’d been pushing the pot incrementally, and got another queen up on the last card. Then the queen of spades came as an up card, which killed the hand and broke my quad kings.
This game started off with a great overlay of only about 175 players but it was clearly going to meet its guarantee by the time I was eliminated. I’d won nothing larger than 100 chips, waiting for my spot for almost half an hour and dropping about 400 chips when I got [5s ac] in my hand on the button at the 20/40 level. There was a limp and a min-raise, which I called. The blinds dropped out and the limper called.
The flop gave me a straight: [4s 3d 2s]. The raiser bet 120, I re-raised to 300, and the limper folded. There was a three-bet to 720 and I raised all-in to 2,550. He called and showed his flush draw: [as ts]. The turn [jc] was safe but [9s] on the river put me out and gave him my bounty.
Kind of rocky for the first twenty minutes: meaning I was flirting with the 1,500-chip starting position most of the time. A couple good hands bumped me up to 2K for a few minutes but then a nut flush draw bottomed out and I lost 500.
Then I caught a batch of good hands, starting with [ts tc] and a double-up. We were already down to six players and two of us went to the flop after a raise to 300 (at 50/100). The flop was an unpromising [qs ks 3d], but I called the bet of 700 with most of my stack to be rewarded with [th] on the turn. I checked again and was put all-in to call. He turned over [kh ah], the river was a [5c] and I was up to 2,820. I picked up the blinds on the next two hands with raises holding aces, got a straight on the river with [9d tc], and extracted a little bit more with [4s as].
Ten minutes more and [kh kd] made me another 1,800 chips, even without the help of [ks] on the river. That put me up at 5,400 and I managed not to blow it, going out in second place—which was enough to win a Step 2 ticket.
I built up to a nearly 2:1 lead over the other stacks by the 40-minute mark with four players eliminated, and over 45% of the chips in play in my stack. We were competing for two Step 3 tickets. Did I get one? No. I risked nearly 2K on a [jc qc] and got knocked down to a minimal lead, then slowly slipped into third place, which is where I went out, earning another Step 2 ticket.
Made it to almost 6K in chips before the tables consolidated but won just a single hand after that point, going out in sixth place, and getting yet another chance for Step 2.
Took a couple of early hits that nearly chopped my stack in half by the 40-minute mark, but shortly before the first break I caught a double-up with a flush through SeÃ±or Frog, a player two seats to my right who had a sparkly amphibian statuette for a card protector who was sucking down chips like they were flies. Didn’t quite make it to the second break, though, when I had [qx qx]. The flop was [7x 9x tx], there was a (shorter-than-me) stack all-in, an all-in by the Frog, and even though I was virtually certain that the Frog had pocket [9x 9x], I went all-in to call. Hey! I was right! The initial all-in had [ax kx] and the Frog ate our chips.
I hate to even admit this but this blog does not lie. The late-night table was exceedingly wild, with two all-ins and rebuys within the first six hands. I’m playing cautiously, I think. I’ve still got most of my stack left twenty minutes in when I get to the flop with [kh th] in my hand and two hearts on the flop. The lady across the table goes all-in. I call—which means I’m all-in—and another player follows. The lady flips [jh jx]. The other caller flips [kh td]. I look back down at my cards and what I see is [kd th]. Not good. The jacks win. I decide my eyes need some rest but instead I play some poker.
Everything’s peachy until the last hand. Bleed some chips looking for a good hand, win a chunk of chips, repeat. It doesn’t work when my [ac 9s] runs into [8h 8c], though. Four players go to the flop: me, in the big blind, and three limpers. I make top pair on the [2h 8d 9c] board, make a pot-sized raise that gets one call, and a player on the button raises to 450, which I call. Then the player who’d called my bet goes all-in for more than either of the other two of us in the hand. Mr. raise-to-450 gets out of the way and I stupidcall. Trips end my tournament.
I’m above the starting stack for less than 20% of this tournament. My last hand is [ah ad]. The flop is [ac js 7s]. [9h 8h] calls my 628 all-in pre-flop, just from a starting stack. The turn of [6s] and river [th] make his straight and my trip aces are no good.
More textbook tournament stack building ruined by stupidcalling. Forty minutes in, I’d quadrupled my stack. I got [jc 8c], min-raised at the 40/80 level, got a call from the small blind, a raise from the big blind, and calls all around. The flop is [jh 8d td]. Top pair and an open-ended straight draw. I raise 500, small blind folds and big blind calls. The river’s just [2c] but [qs] shows on the river. I have a chance to bail when a 1,400 chip bet is raised but I go all-in with my Q-high straight. It’s called immediately by [ks ad]. Wouldn’t you?