Sunday, May 16, 2004

Lame Attempt at a Write Up

I entered this tournament figuring that I'd just be happy to not come in last. I realized early on that due to the structure of the tournament (800 chips, blinds go up every 10 minutes) that it could easily happen if I play a bit too tight. Well the cards that I got really didn't let me play tight so I just went with it.

First hand of the tourney is AJ clubs. I raise pre-flop and get 2 callers. The flop comes 622. I figure that nobody in this tourney is calling raises with garbage so I bet out for about the size of the pot and everyone folds. Woohoo, I won a hand!!!

Second hand is also AJ, but off suit. Mean Gene throws out a big raise and I'm thinking that my AJ ain't so good right now so I fold it. A few hands later I'm dealt AT spades and once again Mean Gene throws a big re-raise in my face so I muck those cards.

I'm dealt AK diamonds and just smooth call the flop. The flop had two diamonds so I bet out a decent bet and everyone folded to me. Then comes AK off right afterwards. Two limpers into the pot and I say to myself "No way," and bump it up about 3x the big blind. Everyone folds and I think Mean Gene was a bit miffed he couldn't limp in with his Hammer :)

I'm dealt 77 on the button and raise it only to win the blinds. I call a bet with JT diamonds and when two diamonds hit the flop, smooth call the bet again. A ten comes on the turn and is the highest card out there. With top pair and a flush draw I bet out and get folds all around.

At this point I'm doing pretty well, but really don't want to just sit on my chips and get blinded back down to an average stack. I try a blind steal attempt with K9 diamonds on the button, but an A hits the flop and my bet out is raised. Gotta fold that puppy. Then I'm dealt KK and simply smooth call. Mean Gene raises and I reraise. Mean Gene raises again post flop and I go all in. He had QQ and doubles me up. If only I had more chips I could have busted him which would have turned out to be nice since he finished 2nd.

Not much later I'm dealt KK again on the button. I put MaudieB all in and win. I think that's the first player I eliminate. Later on I'm dealt TT UTG and raise to win the blinds. Again, I'm trying to play my stack to its advantage, so when I get A2 diamonds, I am raising. Now I'm winning some blinds with this strategy and when I get decent cards, it's tough not to feel confident.

Two hands in the next ten or so, I'm dealt QQ and just win the blinds. Holding AJo, I folded to a pre-flop raise. Turned out the raiser had 77 and I could have won, but AJ is not a Hellmuth top ten hand, so it's easy to fold that one. :)

I don't really win any major pots but am dealt some decent cards and we finally arrive at the final table. I'm either first or second in chips to Otis from Up For Poker. I have a decent feeling, but I know everyone here is a quality player so I'm not getting too cocky as Han Solo would say.

I am able to eliminate Mashashi when I get dealt KJ diamonds and see a K on the flop. Mashashi goes all in and I call, getting a J on 4th street to complete my 2-pair. My raises are right about the 3x BB level and usually are able to get weak hands out of the way, but Boy Genius and Otis are easily able to call if they want to.

After it gets down to four players, with 3 places paying, I get an ominous feeling. I call a bet with A2 off and flop two pair. Not wanting to mess with Boy Genius, I go all in and he folds.

Then it happens. I'm dealt AQ and raise it up. Otis re-raises and I go all in. He's holding QQ and there is no help in the form of an A on the board. So I'm out in fourth. Oh well, I can honestly say it was a huge amount of fun to play in this tourney and make it to the final table. I had no idea what the playing styles would be, but I definitely have to attribute my success to the cards I was getting. The hands held up, just until the last one so the poker gods were kind to me tonight.

I'd like to mention the superb short-stacked play of Mean Gene at the final table. He was severely short-stacked as we got down to four players and played an all or nothing style. It worked out great and he finished in second place overall. Truly well done and my kudos go out to him, Otis, and Boy Genius for finishing in the money.

The only issue I had was that I thought the tourney moved a bit too fast. If I didn't get the cards I got early on, I'm sure I'd have busted out earlier. I'm definitely looking forward to the next one. Special thanks go to Iggy for setting this up.

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