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Poker :: And now for something a little different...
  submitted on April 8, 2007, 11:13 PM

Ah, finally, an update with some pokah content. I've been on a poker sabbatical for the past few months. Is sabbatical the right word? I guess someone smart like this guy might know. Anyways, my results had been pretty frustrating, I hadn't been playing profitably, and just overall I had been pretty disappointed with my play. Well, I decided to end my break when the Battle of the Blogger Tournaments was announced. I thought it would be a good way to get back into the game, as well as get me to play some more blogger tourneys, as I don't play as many as I'd like.

Well, I was out of town on business last week, and had trouble getting the internet in my hotel room set up, so I missed the MATH tourney, and ended up being out on Wednesday, so I missed the Mookie as well. However, as Thursday rolled around, I found myself available for the Riverchasers Event.

84 people were on hand, but it was a pretty strict payout structure, and only the top 9 finished in the money. I started out pretty well, chipping up to around 2400. I ended up losing about half of it on a poorly played bluff that I had to ditch when I got re-raised all-in. I doubled up a little later in the first hour when my two pair held up against a flush draw. That moved me up to the top 5 or so on the leaderboard, and I stayed in the top 12 or so for the rest of the tournament. In the second hour I was pretty card dead as the field dwindled. Actually, I wasn't completely card dead, but any time I had a premium hand at all, Aces, Kings, whatever, I couldn't get action to save my life. Towards the end of the second hour and the beginning of the third hour I got a couple of good hands and jumped back up into the top 5. When we got down to 2 or 3 tables, I was the big stack at my table, and I actually played some pretty successful big stack poker, raising a ton preflop, taking down a lot of blinds/antes, and chipping up nicely until I was about second in chips, which is where I was when the bubble finally broke and we got to the final table.

I don't think I've ever been this high going into the final table of a MTT before. I played smart poker at the final table, not getting to aggressive, but taking down pots at the appropriate times. When we were down to six I finally got some action on a premium hand when the shorty in the CO pushed and I woke up with pocket Kings in the SB and took him out. As we played on, I found myself in second, distancing myself from everyone else below me. Pattakake had taken a clear chip lead from everyone else in first, and eventually I knocked out the third place chipstack when his Q8 failed to improve against my A4. Heads up started, and I was down about 75,000 to 45,000 in chips. I managed to make some headway, and actually had a slight chip advantage when big hand #1 hit. I was raised preflop with J8s, and made the call. There were a couple hearts, a spade, and a ten and seven on the flop, giving me a gutshot. I check-called the flop, and the turn gave me another spade, giving me a flush draw as well. Well, the 9h hit on the river, giving me my straight. At this point I had about 75% of my stack in, so I pushed, and pattakake called and showed me two hearts, besting my straight and leaving me with about 9,000 left in chips. I chipped back up to about 40,000 or so, but after getting re-raised pre-flop three straight hands, I pushed with Q10, only to run into Kings. Awesome timing.

Still, overall I was pretty happy with my play. I was very patient, and I did get some cards at good times, which was nice. The thing I was pleased with the most was that I didn't suck out on anyone. Anytime I put someone all-in, I was ahead or even, which is important for me. I don't expect to continue to have this kind of success for the rest of the BotBT, but I'll take a finish like this any time.

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