A final table
I just made the final table in the $20+2 rebuy on ladbrokes. We were ten at the final table when it started, and I was chip leader with over $100k in chips and the blinds at 2k/4k. Then it all went wrong ! I wasn't over aggressive, i didn't make any dumb plays, but I did have some rotten luck. First a shortish stack who'd been going allin a lot pushed from the cutoff with $32k, I was in the SB with pocket 5's. The hand Dan got me to fold at the final table earlier in the week. Figuring the guy for any ace, and thinking the BB who was also a short stack with $30k would be unlikely to call if I did, I called. The BB called instantly behind me ! First pusher showed A8off, and the BB had pocket Kings which held. I was down to $95k, no biggie.
I stole a few blinds and got my stack back up to $110k when I was dealt Ad10d on the button. I raised to $12k again and the BB with $40k pushed allin. I figured that he was fed up losing his blinds to me and it was another coinflip I could afford to take. I called and he showed 77. Just what I was hoping for, until the 676 flop gave him the nuts and me a kick in the nuts. Down to $70k.
The blinds went up to 3k/6k and I was dealt 10h10d in the cutoff. A player in middle position with $48k pushed allin, I called and he showed AdJc, surely this coinflip would go my way ? All was good when the flop came all rags with two diamonds and a club. The turn brought another rag diamond. Then I stopped breathing for a second and the Queen of Diamonds landed with a thump on the river, giving us both a flush, but his was A high and won the pot. 3 people have busted, but I've now gone from chip leader to short stack in about 30 hands. Still I am not tilting, I remember Raymer's comment when Matusow did the same at the WSOP 2005. He said in the commentary "If it was me I'd try and think like I'd just doubled up"
So I continued to wait for a big hand or blind stealing opportunity, a couple of orbits later it's folded to me in the SB with Ks10s, I push my last $18k into the pot and hope for at least a think delay from the BB who easily has me covered. He called in a heartbeat with AdKc and neither of us improved.
TanOrpheus has left the tournament in 7th place, winning $251.30
It's still satisfying to have got to a final table in a money game for a change rather than a satellite, and I think I played pretty good throughout, including those calls, they were coinflips I thought I could afford to take when I made the decisions and if they had gone the other way this would have been a different post. I had some lucky moments for sure, but you need them during a tourney and most of them came at times when I could afford to push my luck a bit against shorter stacks. I didn't rebuy, as there were only 167 entrants and no one else on my table rebought unless they busted. So my $22 got me $251, which is nice.
It was a good experience for me too, perhaps I'll think twice before taking decisions like those at a final table again when I'm chip leader, I guess I'll find out next time I get there cause so many of these choices are made in the heat of the moment based on all the factors that give you a read on the other guy.
I said earlier this week that I'd hook up 3 posts together, so what follows is like a weekly summary of what turned out to be good times...
Monday - Dog Tired
I'm absolutely knackered ! I got hardly any sleep last night and had a really tough time at work today. You know you're having a bad monday when before lunch you've spilt not one, but two coffee's across your desk and all your papers. A quick nap at lunchtime kinda did the trick and gave me enough energy to make it through this afternoon. When I got home I decided it was time for a tourney - note to self (again) - this is not clever when you are totally drained. I donked my way out of two $4 180's quite quickly and got sucked out on in two 40FPP EPT Barcelona satellites. That was my warm up I guess. I knocked back a strong coffee and signed up for a $27R satellite to the $450 EPT London Open sat which will be played Saturday. I took 2 rebuys and the add-on so my outlay was $102, and thankfully after 2hrs 45mins I finished with a seat. It was good value really, only 63 entrants and 8 seats given out.
As far as I can remember there was only one really 'critical' point in this tourney and that was with 12 left, when the SB, who just about had me covered raised my BB. We were both close to the stage where it would be push or risk blinding out and I went allin with 66. To my surprise he called quickly and turned over Q5 off. Fortunately the only card he hit was the 5 on the river and it pushed me into 3rd place and left him with just 2BB's. I also made a couple of good laydowns quite late on, in 3 consecutive hands I was dealt great starting hands. The first time I was dealt JJ in middling position, action folded to me so I raised 3x the BB and was reraised 5x more by the button, who was a strong player that I'd made a note to watch out for. I flat called his reraise looking to see if any overcards hit the flop. The flop came 2,4,5 rainbow. Perfect. I bet out around half the pot, the button reraised me allin ! Now there are many times I'll call people who I think are idiots in this spot. A great deal of the time players will think a hand like 88 is good for a push in this spot, even when they don't need to risk all their chips, either that or they convince themselves that your preflop action says you have AK and missed. This guy was smart though, he was tight when it came to risking a lot of chips and I used some time bank, figured him for a higher pocket pair than me and then folded. He showed me Ad3d for a wheel ! I dunno why he reraised preflop, but it sure worked out for him, I was pleased with that fold and typed in the chat "JJ"
The very next hand I get hooks again, and raise 3x preflop again. A different player calls me this time, one who I have less respect for, but the flop comes AK6 rainbow and he bets out 2/3 pot. I have to respect that bet with two overs on the board and when I fold he showed me Kc6c, giving him two pair. I guess he called the PF raise because he thought I might be tilting. This time I typed in the chat "JJ AGAIN!... so bad!"
That must have made the table think I was on tilt, cause the very next hand I got two beautiful black aces and raised 4x BB. One shortish stack player pushed Js10s, and a guy behind him reraised with AdQs, obviously I called, it held up and I gained more chips than I'd had before the two hooks hands, in fact after that hand I was in 3rd place.
So I'm pretty chuffed with that, and feeling both lucky and stupid for playing while I was so tired.
Tuesday - Tourney Time Two
I just finished 10th / 448 in the $18 20k GTD rebuy at Doyles Room, busting on the final table bubble, though i didnt realise it because there list of entrants left is a bit slow to update. I rebought at the start and took the addon so my outlay was $54. I hit a huge double up when there were 7 tables left when UTG slowplayed AA and allowed my 88 to trip the flop. Then with 3 tables left I took a fairly big hit when I layed down Ad Jd on a Ac-10h-8h flop after showing strength preflop and on the flop and still getting a check-raise push by the big blind who was playing tight. My read was that he had me beat, at best he had a big draw and I didnt feel I needed to risk everything at that stage.
Later on, with around 8 BB's left I made one of those moves thats on the fine line between brilliance and stupidty, 6 handed the button raised my BB, which he'd done the last 3 orbits. I picked up Kc6c and thought by pushing could get him to fold. He didn't even think about it and called me with Ah9s, the first card down gave him a pair of aces and I was busted for a score of $328.59. Not a bad tourney, I'm content but not over the moon about my play, there will always be room for improvement.
Wednesday - I'll be in the monthly million on Sunday
Played a $5 rebuy to get a seat in sunday's million on stars. I rebought at the start and everything went swimmingly, so after the addon at the first break I had a decent stack of 12k. My outlay was $15, and now thanks to some good play and luck I have a $530 seat in the big one :o) The result was thanks in large part to winning 4 or 5 coinflips at critical times, my 88 beating AQ, my 77 beating AK... that sort of thing. Obviously I'd rather avoid the 50/50's if I can but these were at fairly critical spots where I had to my chances and hope for the best. I also owe a big thank you to Hurricane Dan who popped round and railed. He advised me to fold pocket 5's preflop at the final table when a short stack pushed for around a third of my stack when we were 7 handed, it turned out to be a critical moment as another player behind me also pushed and the big blind busted them both when his pocket queens tripped the flop.
So four of us progressed out of 134 starters and I'm feeling pleased that I played better than last night and will be having fun in some big prize tourneys this weekend.
- Back to the present -
That's all folks! I'm stating to believe it's possible to go deep in tourneys on a regular basis. If you can evaluate risk successfully, get some cards to fall your way and get solid reads on your opponents it might even be possible to aspire to be 10% as good as Phil Ivey.
Hope this good run continues through the weekend !