Thursday, April 08, 2010

posted by James - 11:47 PM

Made a deep run in a $20k guarantee on PowerPoker. Out in 11th on the final table bubble. Really big ouch. I saw two all ins at second table... mid stack had AK, short stack had K7... so I pushed from sb with J8s to pick up blinds and antes (5k pot=more than 1/7th of my stack)... didn't think I'd get a caller. Big Blind had me covered by about 12k and woke up with 66, which I'm still even against. K7 pulled it out with 77 on flop and Ak caught his A too to stay in against big stack (didn't see what he had).

Still $360 is my biggest online score to date... for a tournament I got in at last second. Logged in to PowerPoker and saw I had a ticket for some tournament starting in 30 mins. Don't know where it came from or how I ended up with it. I wasn't really in the mood to play anymore after having just a breakeven session of rush poker on FTP, but I wasn't sure the ticket would be good for another time either. Then, I saw the value of the ticket was $162! I can't pass up a chance to play in a tournament like that. So, I bit the bullet and got in.

When I got in, it was a few short of the minimum to start, but it filled up a couple minutes before it started. Late Registration continued until the player pool swelled to 126, with a generous 25 players getting a payout.

I played really well early on, just keeping it very tight, since it was a deep stack starting at 5k in chips with 250 bb stacks. Now, they said it was a slow structure, but that was pretty much bupkus early on. It was the same jacked up structure every PowerPoker/Cake tournament has. I'm sorry, but going from 50 to 100 to 150 to 200 to 250 to 300 does not constitute a slow structure no matter how many blinds you give me to start. Methinks there's a few levels missing in there... I will say though the structure did get better later, which probably contributed quite a lot to my ability to stay patient through the middle stages.

After hovering around 8k or so, I dropped down to about 5k after getting value-towned when a big stack minraised my bb with AA and I had KQo, with a caller inbetween. The flop came Q-high with 2 clubs, and he curiously never raised me when I bet out on the flop, nor did he bet when I checked the turn, which completed the flush draw and paired the board. I had no idea what he had, but I didn't want him to just bluff me off the hand, so I made a smallish bet of 1200 into a 3300 chip pot. I'm pretty proud of that play, since I highly doubt he would have made it less than 1200. However, it is possible he might have not bet at all on a board with so many possibilities. I'm not sure I could have bet him off the hand with a bigger bet, but it's possible.

With blinds at 125/250 and the antes kicking in, I then started my string of double ups with, shall we say, less-than-premium holdings. I open raised to 750 from the button with A7s. The big blind reraised me to 2150, which I then shoved the rest of my 5k. He had plenty of chips to fold, but still decided to call with Q10d. An A on the turn ended any drama about my first double up to 10k.

I was moving my chips around pretty well at this point to keep myself afloat, but was still hovering around that 10k or just below. At 400/800 with a 75 ante, that meant going all in to have any chance at picking up chips. When I found 97h in the hijack, I pushed my 11 bbs in the middle. When the chip leader min raised from the button, I knew I was in trouble. However, I was relieved when he flipped over just AKo. lol Even though he had a heart, at least I was live and not up against a made hand. Of course a 7 came right on the flop with a 4 on the turn (THE JAMES!!!) to move me up to 19k.

Yeah, I can't say I really kept those long. Two hands later, I had A10o on the big blind, and the button shoved for just over 10 bbs. That could have easily been a steal with a weaker ace or two face cards, so I called it. He had 77, and I lost that race. I probably could have folded there, but I can't really say it's that bad of a call, even if the result knocked me back down to 10k.

Even though I was sure my image was shot by now, I just couldn't help myself. A few hands later, I had A3o and shoved my chips in from the hijack once again. The cutoff pretty much snap called me for half of his stack and everyone else folded.

If he was going to have a pair, he had the only one (other than deuces) I'd want him to have as he turns over pocket threes. The flop came down great for me with a pair of Kings and a 5, giving me 3 fives to go with my 3 aces. The A on the turn left him with only the one out to catch up to me, and up to 20k I went again! My opponent would lose the rest of his chips on the next hand with AJs against QQ, sealed by a Q on the flop.

The money bubble was fast approaching as the blinds went up to 500/1000 with a 100 ante.

As tight as I was playing and wanting so badly to cash, I still couldn't help but fast-play a couple of cowboys from the small blind even though the big stack at the table raised from the cutoff. I popped him up 3x his raise, and he folded. I picked up a nice 7100 chip pot for my efforts, while wondering if I could have extracted a little more value from my 17 bb stack.

With the bubble burst a few hands later, the push to solidify my stack into a final table possibility began. Picking up JJ from the big blind with no small blind didn't hurt... and a button 3x raise from the preceding blind stealer was superb medicine. I popped him another 3x up to 9k, which he then shoved over for 34k. With half of my stack already in, it was an easy call, and a delight when he turned over AJo. The board came out no sweat, and a 42k pot came my way.

Play really slowed down after that as there were mostly big stacks on my table and small stacks on our adjacent table. I think I played two hands until my eventual bust hand. I take absolutely no solace in the fact that my conqueror ended up winning the whole shebang. That's just not how I roll.

I am however pleased to continue my success and know if I keep getting this far, my big score will come.

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