Life Shouldn't Be A Fuckin' Grind

I will never be a poker pro, but my lifetime poker ledger is positive and I think that's something to be proud of.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Back to a Final Table at last

The last couple of months have been frustrating for me in tournaments, as I'd come close to the final table 3 times only to take tough beats at the next to last table missing out on the real money by just a smidgen. Last night though I finally broke through and made a run to the final table in the FullTilt 17k guaranteed. Over 800 players entered and the prize pool was around 20k, with first getting almost 5k and I really had my eyes on that prize the whole way. I felt like I played a very good tournament the entire way. I made moves at the right times and I didn't take any big beats, which is always key.

I don't remember a lot of specific hands, but I do remember one important sequence when we were down to 30 or so players. I had a slightly above average stack, and I tried to steal from the chipleader with 45s, I ended up going all the way to the river as he checked out of the BB, then called my continuation bet on the flop. On the turn I picked up a flush draw and a gutshot and I called his smallish bet, but missed the river and had to fold. This had me down to a stack of about half the average, but I didn't get discouraged. I hung tough and a few hands later I picked up AA in the SB, the CO raised and I re-raised and ended up taking down the pot pre-flop and I had a little more wiggle room. Then, a few hands after that I open-raised with 66 from MP and only the BB called. The flop came 66Q with 2 spades, a gin flop for me. The BB checked and I checked behind hoping the turn would improve her hand. It did...the turn came the Ace of spades and she pushed all her chips to the center of the pot, I insta-called with my quads and beat her AJ. That got me up over 60k and into the top 10 in chips. From there I ran my stack up to 100k pretty quickly with a series of pre-flop raises with decent hands, mostly taking down blinds, and one pretty good sized one where I raised in MP with 77 and the big stack BB re-raised me, I'd raised about 3 in a row and I put him on a re-steal so I shoved all my chips into the center and he folded like a littel girl. I really like the way I played that hand, because it's one of the first times I've really just put a read on a player in a tourney and acted on that read with a somewhat less than optimal hand. Let's face it, I really don't want to get called there with 77.

At any rate, as things got down to 2 tables I started getting some FCPers to the rail and I want to definitely thank all those who watched. Especially HoosierAlum who gave me some great pointers on late tourney play and Actuary who always seems to be there to cheer me on when I get going deep. The end result, was not quite what I'd have liked it to be, but I still feel like I played pretty well. At the final 2 tables with about 10 left, everyone was really refusing to go broke and my chipstack was hovering around 100k. I wasn't really in a position to win if the FT started right then, and I needed chips. 5-handed, it folded around to the SB who jammed for about half of my stack, I had A3o. The blinds/antes were pretty big at this point and the SB couldn't really afford to make a raise without jamming, hence he makes this play with many hands that A3 is ahead. If I want to win I can't be folding Aces in blind battles when it's 5-handed, so I called him. Unfortunately in this instance he had 66 and it held up.

From there, I went pretty card dead. I didn't pick up any hands, but somebody else went bust and the FT started with me as the low man on the totem pole. One guy went broke right away on the first or second hand, then with 8 left and my stack slowly being anted off I picked up the only decent hand I'd see at the final table, AQo in UTG+1. Naturally I shoved all my chips in, the BB called with KJo and my hand held up. Unfortunately, I couldn't pick up anymore hands. The only non garbage hands I got after that were hands like A8 and A9 and by the time the action got to me someone had already raised forcing me to fold. With 7 people left and the antes eating me alive I finally jammed UTG with K2s. Unfortunately I ran into AA and JJ and my tourney was over.

I cashed $630 for my $26 buy-in, which ain't bad considering. Not near as nice as the 5k woulda been, but it was still great to finally be back at the final table. Hopefully this will be the start of a run and not the beginning of another drought.


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