Sunday, December 11, 2005

Detour on the Road to a Championship

This afternoon I was as close as I have ever been to scoring a big payday in a NL tournament. I entered the Full Tilt $10+1 with 267 entrants.

I started the tournament at 2:00 PM, fully expecting to bust out in time to clean the bathroom and make it to my parents by 5:00 PM. If it goes well, I might be able to skip the cleaning.

I slowly built my stack, but I never really got the lead at my table. For the longest time, I was just about average. Then with about 35 players left, I hit a couple of big hands and built up my chipstack to where I would easily cruise into the money. The problem was time was running out.

Eventually I made it to the final table, but it was 4:30 and I needed to shower and drive to my parents by 5:00 PM. I called and told them, I had a chance to win $700 so I was going to be late. I told them I would meet them at the restaurant instead of their house. The problem is, that the dinner is to celebrate my Mom and Michele's birthdays. I cannot leave them hanging.

It was now past 5:30 and I am meeting them at 6:00 PM. I had earlier taken a 4 minute shower during one of the tournament breaks and only lost a couple of blinds and antes. I was in 5th place and still had about 10x the bigblind. I called a 2x big blind raise from my blind with crap. The flop was very ragged so I lead out for 1/2 the pot. The big stack with 5x as many chips as me, doubles my bet and I fold. So now I am in desperation mode.

Next hand, is folded to me and I raise all in to get the blinds. I win. Now I'm on the button and it's folded to me again. This time I push with 10-8 offsuit. I get called by the big blind with Ace Jack. For the first time in the entire tournament, I win a race where I was an underdog and spike a 10 on the river. Then I get pocket Kings and win a nice pot. So now I am in 3rd place with 5 left and I have to leave for dinner.

Dammit this sucks! I relent to my familiy's wishes and set the computer for autofold. I come back from a great dinner at the Cheesecake Factory to find out I had managed to fold my way into 3rd place. That is a win of $333.75 so it still is a great finish and probably where I would have finished if I had actually been playing.

It was interesting that I never really sucked out on anyone until the very end. I only made one really good play where I recognized a player's stop n go move and I called with 2nd pair and bad kicker. I had tried to steal the blind with absolute crap and he had called and then pushed in after the flop. I had plenty of chips so I figured I would gamble a little.

The rest of the time, I just took advantage of my stealing opportunities and no one ever really played back at me. It definitely seems like the Full Tilt players are tighter and definitely not as aggressive.

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