Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Biggest Payday Ever! Almost a WSOP seat.

When I last left this humble blog I had mentioned that I was having a lucky day on Monday. I really did not have any comprehension of how lucky I was about to get.

After qualifying in the $55 satellite, I played in the $215 WSOP satellite on Party Poker.

In the early rounds I played a little loose and aggressive when in position. I wasn't doing much until I managed to double up when I flopped a set of 8's over my opponent's set of 5's.

For the next 3 or 4 levels, I really did not play very many hands but I managed to keep my chip stack between 8 and 12 BB by restealing a few times from the tight passive guy on my right. I was really happy with my play, because this was something I wanted to concentrate on after reading numerous posts on 2+2 about restealing and how vital it is to last in tournaments when you go card dead.

Finally, I had a big hand to give me some breathing room. After folding for what seemed like 3 rounds of blinds, I found myself with Ah Ks in the small blind. The blinds were 300-600 and I started with 4,310 in chips. Our starting stacks were 3,000 so as you can see, I really had not done much yet.

Rosieace, one of 3 stacks over 12,000 at the table open raised in middle position to 1925. My best friend, TlewA, who I had survived 3 blind levels by stealing liberally from, raised all in on the button. I of course moved my 4,310 into the middle. The big blind folded and Rosieace called.

Rosieace turns over Kc Qs and TLewA turns over Ac 3s. Huh??? I can understand the call by Rosie, since she's getting good odds and can afford to gamble. I guess TLewA had somewhere else to be.

The flop was Tc 9c 4s. The turn is 4c. So now TLewA has the nut flush draw. I need to dodge 4 jacks, 8 clubs, 3 threes, and 3 Queens. 18 bad cards and 26 good cards. The river was a harmless 8s and I triple up!

I am at 12,931 in chips and only 2700 chips behind the chip leader at my table.

Soon after, the blinds moved up to 400-800 with 25 antes. So once again, my stack is not all that large. I steal the blinds once. I miss stealing the blinds and lose it right back. Then I steal again, but now I need to move all in for around 10,000 each time.

Time for another rush. I am dealt Tc 9h on the button. It's folded to me and with a starting stack of 12,306, I raise to 2400. The small blind pushes all in for 3037. Luckily the big blind folds so I don't have to make a real decision. I call the other 600 and the flop comes down
Ac 9s Kd. My opponent has Ks Jc so he is ahead. My good fortune strikes again and I turn a 3rd nine. The very next hand on the button I receive Jd Jc. Rosieace with 6200 in chips raises to 2600 under the gun. It's folded to me and I raise all in to protect my hand. Rosie calls. My Jacks hold up against her KQ. Now I am up to 23,905 and almost leading my table again.

I bled off a few chips after calling a short stack's all in with pocket 5's and losing the race. Then I got caught in fancy play syndrome. With the blinds at 600-1200 and 50 antes we are playing 7 handed. I am one off the button with As 9h. Utg folds and eagerearl limps in. Eagerearl has been tagged as a fish by me. It will be very easy to get some chips off of him if I hit a hand. I raise to 3600 to isolate him, which works. He calls as expected so now there is 9,350 in the pot and I have 17,266 left. Eagerearl has 17,522 left.

The flop is Js Qd Qh. This is a decent board to bluff at, except that Eagerearl loves to call and I bet he has flopped at least a drawing hand. He checks and I check behind. The turn is a 3h. It's checked through again. The river is the Jc. We check it down. Luckily Eagerearl has Ace 6 and we chop the pot. Wow he's even worse than I thought.

I float through a few more rounds staying around 25k. We are at the final 2 tables. Finally on the big blind I am dealt Qh Qc. Bajawa with 51,115 raises to 4050 in middle position. It's folded to me and I push all in. For some strange reason, he calls and flips over Ah 9h. "It was sooooted!" I can hear him saying as he prays for an Ace he doesn't get. Now I am pumped up to 52,982 and I officially have a big stack.

I go card dead for a little while, but I do get a chuckle from one hand. Mr. Uni Q has been raising all in for 2 or 3 levels now. It's his only move even though he has 30,000 chips and the blinds are 1000-2000 with 75 antes. So it's folded to him on the button and of course he raises all in. I am in the small blind with Ah 9h. Luckily if he had just put in a small raise, I may have tried to resteal. Instead I fold, but the big blind ishosta with 57,172 in chips calls with his pocket 9's. Mr Uni Q turns over QQ and it looks like he will double up and cause me trouble for a while. Instead, ishosta hits the last and only 9 in the deck to eliminate Mr Uni Q and make the table 6 handed.

Eventually I make the final table with 48,807 in chips. I am in 4th place. The chip leader has 96,247 and it's eagerearl so I figure those chips are in play. The top 2 places receive the WSOP tickets and 3rd, 4th, and 5th split up the rest of the money in a 50-30-20 split.

With 9 left and I am on the big blind, I am dealt TT. Eagerearl min raises at UTG+1. So now I am licking my chops. It's folded to nikzad who min raises again to 3x the blind or 6000. I don't want to play a pot with nikzad out of position because he seems like a decent player. I decide to fold. Eagerearl then pushes all in. Did I avoid pocket Aces? Nikzad folds so I'll never know.

I am UTG + 1 with Kh Jc and 50,257. The blinds are 1000-2000 with 75 antes and we are 9 handed. I raise to 5000 hoping to steal. It's folded to Nikzad who pushes in his last 8481. It's 4500 more to call into a 16,000 pot, so I have to call. He turns over Ks Qc and turns a straight. Now I am down to 40,776.

The blinds go up to 1500-3000 with 75 antes now. I lose some chips trying to defend my blind against a min raise. I call preflop and lead out on the ragged flop. Nikzad raises all in and I fold like a little girl.

Later I have raised three different times all in preflop to steal and have yet to be called. My chips are back up to 42,000.

On the button with Kd Js and the blinds are now 2000-4000 with 100 antes. 8 players left. The short stack with 12,619 goes all in. It's folded to me and I figure he could have a pretty wide range of hands. I don't think Kd Js is a good enough hand to protect so I just call. Maybe the others will join in to try and eliminate a player? Sure enough, Eagerearl in the big blind with 57,847 behind him joins in the fun. The pot is 40,657 and comes down Kh 9s 2s. Eagerearl checks and I push. I did not want to get out drawn, but maybe I should have bet less to see if Eagerearl would call with a worse hand? Eventually my hand holds up and now I have 69,239 in chips.

I hold steady and finally with 6 players left, Eagerearl makes a really dumb move and busts himself and now we've all made money. 5th place pays $1,360. I HAVE NOW WON MORE MONEY IN THIS TOURNAMENT THEN I EVER HAVE BEFORE!!!! I have 74,639 in chips and the blinds are 3000-6000. I am in 3rd place.

It all goes bad in a hurry. I have 76off in the small blind. It's folded to me and I raise to 18k. Ishosta who has me covered moves all in to defend and I have to lay down. Now I am down to 50,400. The next hand on the button I am dealt pocket 5's. Olijenab with 90,000 in chips limps in under the gun. I don't want to see a flop, but I don't want to go broke either. I raise to 25,000 figuring that should be good enough to get a fold if he's fooling around.

Instead of the hoped for fold, he raises me all in. FUCK!!!! I lay it down and he's nice enough to show me the pocket Aces. I fold until it gets to me in the small blind. I am dealt Q5 suited and I raise all in after it's folded to me. Ishosta makes a good call with 89 of diamonds. I am ahead, but not by much. He turns the 9 and rivers an 8 to eliminate me 5th.

I was really happy with the way I played. I was very patient and picked my spots at the right times. I hope this is a springboard to bigger and better things.

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