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Poker :: Going Deep...
  submitted on July 16, 2007, 1:33 PM

I know it hasn't even been a week, but I really feel like my post where I criticized my play overall has already helped out a lot. I think I needed to get all of that out so I could help find my focus. I know I sat down for about an hour or so after work the day I posted that and ended up half a buy-in, and I didn't even get a chance to end up in any notable pots. I just felt very focused and in tune with my game while I was playing. I was in that 'zone' that I had trouble getting in in the weeks prior.

So I really think that carried over into Friday, where I decided to sit down and play some Friday night poker. Melissa was going out to a concert with friends, and I didn't really have any plans, so I thought I would use the opportunity to get some poker in. I really don't get much flack from Melissa on my poker playing, as long as I'm not playing for hours every night of the week, but even still, it's nice to have a night to yourself to play without worrying about what your better half is thinking or wants to do with you instead of you playing poker.

I signed up for what is becoming my regular tournaments when I sit down to play for a period of time. First up was the $14+1 sattelite into the 50-50. I also had some Token tournies up so I could sign up for the $24k guarantee that started at 7:00. I wasn't having much luck, however, and ended up just sitting down in a heads up match and won my token in about five or ten minutes. Geez, might have to try those out more often. This guy was a total donk who raised 3x in the SB on every hand, and was one of the easiest players to read ever. So I signed up for the $24k and once that started I was reminded by IronGirl that Kat's donkament was starting at 8:00. I of course signed up for that, and also signed up for the $75 Token Frenzy at 8:45.

Not too much to report in the Token Frenzy. I don't remember a whole lot, mostly because by the time that started, I had all four tournaments going at the same time, so it was a pretty hectic situation. I know I ended up getting sucked out on at the end, just don't remember how it happened.

The 50-50 was also fairly uneventful. I chipped up a bit to 2500 early on, but I ended up running my Queens into Aces and was crippled to 350 chips or so. Fortunately for me, I pushed my 10 6 sooooted and found two callers, so when I flopped my set of sixes I tripled up and was back up to 1500 or so and in good shape to get back into things. Unfortunately I really didn't get much going after that, but I lasted a really long time thanks to the awesomely long levels. However, I ended up busting out at some point, short of the money. However, I wasn't giving this tourney my full attention towards the end because of the $24k.

Kat's donkament was a blast, as always. I probably ended up dropping $10-15 on rebuys when it was all said and done, which is expected when I play. After the rebuy period I was probably around middle of the pack with 10,000 in chips (Might have been 8,000, I don't remember). Since the chip stacks were so large in relation to the blinds, the tournament ended up going 4 hours, which is crazy for a 17-person tourney. I donked off some chips, I donked some back, check-raised some people off their bluffs, etc. until we got down to the final table. The blinds were still in pretty good shape, so I didn't feel rushed to do a whole lot. I was a little short-stacked at the time, and with 8 left I laid a brutally sick beat on Kat to knock her out. I had pocket 7s and limped UTG. It was folded around to Kat in the BB who checked. Flop came 4 4 5. I bet out, Kat pushed, and I called. It wasn't a great call, but Kat and I had a similar hand before where she raised me big and I folded, so I thought maybe she was doing that here. I also was paying more attention to the $24k and made an 'awfuckit' call, because I knew there was a good chance I was behind to a set. Sure enough, Kat flips over 6 4, but I turn a 7 like the luckbox I am and send Kat packing.

After that, I hung with the big stacks the rest of the way, and let people donk off their chips as they saw fit. Once the money bubble broke, the three of us played for effing forever. Seriously, I don't know how many hands we played three-handed, but it had to have been a lot. I went from last in chips to convincing chipleader as we played on, and I had a bit of a chiplead going into heads up once we finally got there. Heads up didn't last too long, and in the end I caught some hands that where slightly better than the hands DDionysus caught, and that made the difference. I really think the reason I won was because I was so preoccupied in the $24k. I guarantee you I would have just lost my patience and donked out (Like I did with Kat) much earlier if I had given it more of my attention. Cool win for me, though, and I like the idea of getting $100 for winning a $1 rebuy tourney.

But the big story for me, obviously, was the $24k. I jumped in this one because A) It started earlier than the $28k and B) It was a double stack, the $28k was not. It's blatantly obvious to me how much better I run in tournaments that either are double stacked or have longer levels, so if I have a choice, I'm playing in those. The earlier start time was nice, too, although it was Friday, not a school night (Yeah, even though I work I like calling them school nights), so it didn't matter too much.

So we started playing, and I started out pretty well. The skill level in these is just absolutely awful, and if you can get some cards to take advantage of it, it's a beautiful thing. I won some big pots, and eventually was up to around 30,000 in chips, and in the top 10. I guess I should preface this by saying I'm really only going to go into detail about 4 hands, 2 hands that I got sucked out on, and 2 hands that I sucked out on someone else. So hand #1 comes around, and I have AK in MP. I raise it up, one of the blinds ends up pushing, I think about it because it's a lot of chips, but I have to call. I do, and he flips over...A 9. Way to go, buddy. He flops his 9, and I lose about a third of my stack and am down to about 19,000. I win that pot, I'm up over 40,000, closer to 45,000 and the chip leader. After the hand, this jackass at the table starts berating me about how it 'serves me right' because I've been catching more hands than Jamie Gold. L. O. L. He then asks me if I'm related to him. Quality stuff. Yeah, I've been winning pots, but that's mostly because I know enough to know when I'm ahead and know when I'm not, unlike the idiot fish who are donating their chips. Moron.

Hand #2 came much later. We're down to the final two tables, well into the money (180 spots or so). One of the things I'm most proud of in this tournament was my ability to reach the top in chips, and stay there for most of the tournament. I bullied some, but not a lot, enough to pick up chips from weaker players who didn't want to play back. So anyways, at this point I'm top 5 in chips, I have around 400,000. I'll have to check the HH because my mind is fuzzy, but I believe I lost to an all-in preflop with a higher PP vs. a lower PP, which cost me half my stack and I dropped to 190,000. I was pissed after that, because I was a clear favorite, and if I win that hand I'm almost the chip leader with about 16 left. Instead I get knocked down to 13th or 14th in chips.

Fortunately for me, hand #3 comes a few hands later. I have J10 sooooted in the cutoff, and I just open push, as the blinds and antes are about 35,000. SB wakes up with Kings, and I'm ready to head on out, but I river a straight and end up crippling the SB to the point where he had about 25,000 left in chips. I legit felt bad for the guy, because you sit and play through 1100 people, only to take a brutal beat with two tables left and really missing out on the big money after coming so close. I told him I'd send him some money, and I did end up transferring $100 to him. I was under no obligation to do so, and maybe it's soft of me to do so, but whatever, it's the least I could do.

So, at this point, I'm back in the Top 5 or so in chips, and I end up building it to the Top 3 or so when we hit the final table. Now, this is the furthest I've ever made it in a tournament this large. I finished 16th once in a $10 tournament back on PokerRoom with about 2,000 runners. For me, with a tournament like this, a cash in the triple digits is usually the minimum I'd like to win. I mean, cashing in general is nice, but I don't really want to win $45 on a $26 buy-in. So I think at the FT we were at $200 or so for the 9th place finisher, so I was already pretty happy with the cash I would be getting. But I also knew that I had a fairly big stack, and could make it deep if I played well.

Hand #4 came at the FT, and I laid a beat on someone. It was pretty rough. I think he had me dominated and I flopped a pair for my kicker and sent him to the rail. He was a short stack, so it wasn't the worst thing ever, but still. As the tournament played on, I stuck around, was patient, and let the donkeys knock themselves out. I was the chipleader for a brief time, as well. The further we went, the bigger the cashouts became. Once we got down to 5 I knew my payday had just jumped from 3 to 4 digits, marking my largest cash ever. And once the 4th place guy busted, I knew we had crossed the $2k mark. However, I was also in trouble, because the other two guys still in both had three times as many chips as I did.

We were sitting at about $1.4 million vs. $1.5 million vs. $450,000. To be honest, I don't think I played this situation very well, now that I've had time to look back and reflect. My M at this point was probably around 8 or 9. Now, I know what it's like to go card dead, but I don't think I've ever had to deal with being so card dead in this type of situation. I think the whole time I lasted, I had JJ once (Which of course was folded around to me in the BB), AQ once (Which I pushed with no action), A7 once (Which I doubled up with against J10)...and that's probably about it. I had a ton of K-rag, Q-rag, J-rag, and a bunch of crap like 6-2, 8-4, etc. Just awful, awful cards. I couldn't even get any sooooted connectors to push with. Now, despite all this, the mistake I made was not using my fold equity. I folded a ton of hands, because they were really, really bad. By the time I saw my first playable hand, the A7 I doubled up with, I was down to about 180,000 in chips. I should have pushed a lot more. Considering the other two were relatively even in chips, if I push with 400,000 chips, that's a good chunk of their stack that they're putting at risk, especially considering what it will mean given their opponent's stck. So it would have been in my best interest to push a lot more and just take my chances with getting called instead of effictively letting myself get blinded out to he point that I lost my fold equity. I ended up busting out when I had to push with K6 and was called with K9, which he had to make considering he was in the BB and had great odds due to my short stack.

Very happy with the finish. Obviously I hate to leave $3k on the table like that, especially considering I knew how my opponents played, and I have little doubt in my mind that if we had even chipstacks I would have taken both of them to the shed. That being said, you are not going to hear me complain about a $2,200 cash, which seriously expands my bankroll, and really gives me a lot of confidence in my MTT game. Hopefully I can find more success in these donkaments, because there are just hundreds and hundreds of these guys in every tournament just waiting to donate their chips to you.

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