My head still hurts even though my wallet is a little more fat

Well in my previous post I mentioned that if play well after slaming my head into a wall I’ll have to do that before every tournament. Well last night at the penbrook fire company there was a $25 buy in tournament with 145 players, 6 of which were FNFers. The max payout to any one person is $500 and with 18 places paying my goal was just to make the money and let luck dictate where I finish. I had used this same strategy last week at creekside where I finished 8th out of 101 and took home $110. In this tournament 9th place paid $145.

I’ll pull a reverse T-Mace and make this story short. I won the whole thing and took home $500. This also means that I’m going to have to slam my head into a wall before every tournament.

So here is a play by play (abridged version) of the tournament.

  • Blinds have just gone up to 20/40 and I am in the big blind. We are playing 9 handed and I have not played a hand yet. Each person starts with 1000 and I’m a little over 900. Four people call the big blind. I look down and find QQ. I raise the bet to 160 and everyone folds except for one guy who I played with last week. The flop comes down j 9 2 all diamonds. I have the queen of diamonds so the chances of my opponent having the flush allready is a little less likely, but there is a chance he at lest has the draw. I bet 320 and get a quick call. The turn is the Q of spades giving me trips and maybe giving this guy a straight draw. I go all in with my last 400 something, and after a little thought the guys calls. He has me covered by 100 or so, and I ask if he has the flush already and he says “No, do you.” I turn over my queens and he turns over AJ off with no diamond. He is drawing dead and I double up plus 120 extra chps. This puts me close to two thousands in chips and puts me 2nd in chips at the table.
  • I’ve stolen two blinds since my double up and from two off the button i’m dealt k 10 of diamonds, so i raise to 300 since the blinds were 50 and 100. Since everyone to act after me had already looked at their hands I could tell none of them were very sure about their hand by the way they had thrown their cards down in front of them before they had to act. After my raise everyone folds except for the big blind who seems reluctant to call. The flop comes down 9 5 2, two clubs and one spade. I missed the flop but I have position. Dude with glasses checks and I bet 300. He thinks for a while and tosses his chips into the pot. This guy never places the bet, call, or raise in front of him. Instead this guy would splash the pot and toss the chips directly into the middle. 1. Thats stupid from a chip count perspective cause if someone reraises you have to try and remember what you already put in. 2. this means that person probably likes to gamble and is a little more reckless. The turn is the king of clubs. I’m positive I have the best hand, but like a moron I check after his check. The river is a 3 of hearts. He checks, I check and he shows A 6 of hearts. I take down a 1250 pot. It’s possible the guy had a read on me but when he showed the cards he said “I was drawing the whole way.” What the hell was he drawing to? Aside from an Ace he would have been drawing to runner runner. This puts me a little over 3000 chips.

At this point Kevin stops by to let me know he busted out when his full house was beaten by a higher full house on the river. I wanted to see kevin play once he gets ahold of some chips since he is so aggressive, but unfortunatley he was taken out some where about 90th place. Kevin also tells me that Six busted out very early on, and was so heated he just took off to the bar. Later on I found out that Six was in the big blind with AJ when one guy called and he got to see the flop for free. The flop was J J 7, giving six trips with best kicker. the next two cards were unimportant but six ended up all in on the river and was called by a guy with pocket 77. The problem with this isn’t that six lost but the fact that the guy thought he only had three sevens and missed the fact he had a full house. He thought six had won. I’m sure six was frustrated mostly because how do you play with people who don’t even understand what kind of hand they have. After Kevin leaves i knock out two very small stacks who only had 100 or so and my table gets broken up. This sucks cause I had almost 3 times as many chips as anyone else so I could have pushed them around.

The table i’m moved to has four players with stacks larger than mine. Worse yet they are all super aggressive. This blows since the average chip stack is probably only 1500 at this point. This also blows because I can’t push people around at this point. After a couple of blind increase, a break, and not getting any playable hands for over an hour I’m down to 1900 chips when i’m moved to a new table.There are still 35 people left in the tournament, and Ray, Rocco and very recently Tom have become rail birds. I was hoping to have at least 2 or 3 FNF ers in the money but at this point it didn’t look very likely that anyone from FNF would end up in the money. Espeically now that blinds were 200 – 400. I know that I need to double up in order to survive to the money which starts at 18th place.

  • I’m in the small blind when first position calls the big blind and action gets folded around to the button who plays very loose. He calls. The big blind has already looked at his hand and I could tell it wasn’t a monster although it could have been a middle pocket pair. I look at my hole cards and see A3 of clubs. Normally I would fold this espeically with two callers, but at this stage in the tournament I need to double up if I am to have any chance of making it to the cut off. I go all in. Big blind thinks about it and folds, as does the big chip stack that had called in first position. The loose player from my previous table calls and shows KJ off. This is better than I thougt. In fact I’m ahead already. Actually including the previous event in creekside I had never gone all in at any stage without the best hand at the time. I end up rivering the flush although the other guy never caught a king or a jack.

This brings my stack up to 4600. I’m able to steal the blinds two hands latter with A9, and then I call the loose guys all in raise with A9 of hearts when I was in the big blind. He had 4 9 and loss. With people droping out left and right it’s not long till it’s down to two tables of 9 and everyone is in the money. The next table has the chip leader. The chips are colored up and I’m sitting there with 8000. The chip leader has 42000. Because people were playing so tight hoping to get into the money three or four people have less than three thousands. With the blinds at 1000/2000 they drop out quickly. As does 6 other players who play ultra loose now that they are in the money and don’t care if they bust out. So I loose 3000 in blinds, and then win 3000 with a blind steal and end up at the final table right before i’m about to hit the blinds again.

With 8000 in chips i’m middle/low stack but I know that with one double up i’m right back in it. There are two people with smaller stacks, three people with stacks about my size and three people with more than double what I have. Two of the short stacks bust out and i’m now gauranted $160 for 7th if I bust out at that point.

  • With blinds at 1 and 2 thousand i’m in the big blind. The guy to my right that looks like a short version of pope calls the 2000. he has about 15000 in chips at this point. It is folded around to the small blind who calls. I look down and find AK off and decided it’s time to go all in. The guy who just called from first position either had a monster or a drawing hand like suited connectors or low pocket pair. Small Pope thinks and then calls all in. The small blind folds and I show AK. SP says he has live cards and shows 89 of diamonds. I catch an Ace on the flop and increase my stack to 18000.
  • This puts me in position to try and steal some blinds. Which I do once and then get caught and have to showdown at the river that i bet at a straight draw. No one believes my raises at this point when I get AA in late position. The small blind calls the extra 2 thousand and the big blind checks. I was hoping for a re-raise but I decided to go all in after the flop which comes down Q K 5 rainbow. I move all in for 14000 more and get called by a guy with Q 6. The turn and river are uneventfull and I double up again. Everyone at the table acts like their in shock when I showed the Aces, but it was pretty apparant to Mace what I had.

I’m now the chip leader with 40,000 chips and the previous chip leader starts making jokes about how he is a lot more nervous now that I have the chips. So I knock him out next with a King 6 isolation raise when he is in the big blind and is basically forced to call with 7 9 off. I catch a King and it’s over. I knock out the last guy remaining from my original table when I raise UTG with A7 off in hope of picking up blinds and he calls all in with 99. I catch an ace on the flop, and we are down to 4 handed. The next two players are knocked out by small pope which allows him to build his chip stack so that he has the slight edge now that heads up action has started.

The first hand he folds. with blinds now at 8000/16,000 blind steals are very important. The next hand i’m dealt 49 and I move all in. He says that he knows I don’t have anything but that it’s not worth risking that much just for 16,000. The next hand he calls and I move all in with KQ. He thinks some more and folds. This has given me about a 10,000 chip lead.

  • I’m in the big blind and small pope has 8,000 in the small blind. He calls another 8,000 to see the flop. I have just raise almost every single pot in heads up so I feel I need to slow down. I look at my hole cards and I find 23 off suit. This also makes me think I need to slow down. I check. Flop comes down A 4 5. I double check to make sure I have the straight… which is a terrible tell on my part. Small pope doesn’t pick up on it and bets 16000. I do a little hollywooding and smooth call. The pot is not 64,000. The ace and 4 were both diamonds so I was kind of worried about flush draws. I thought about reraising after the flop so I could force out the draws, but I thought that the odds of him having it vs. the potential for ending the match right now tilted me in favor of risking the slow play. The turn is the Queen of diamonds. Fuck. This card double fucks me. One if this guy now has the flush I’m done. Plus any moves I make will be interpreted as having the flush. A straight is a lot easier to disguise than a flush. So if I still have the best hand a bet right now will make the person think I have a flush as opposed to a bluff or pair of queens. Small pope bets another 16,000. I raise all in which would cost another 35,000. Small pope counts his chips which total 20,000 more and calls. I ask if he has flush allready since I put him either on a flush or a nut flush draw. He says no and shows q 9 off, with no diamond. I show the straight and he says that he’s drawing dead. I still wait to see the river before I believe it and rake in the 151,000 chips and the win.

I shake hands with small pope and tell him great job. He says the usual “nice playing with you” I should have won that last hand ass clown goodbye as he leaves and collects his $300. MAce and Rock try to convince me to go to a strip club but instead we settle for taco bell….. holy christ that’s sad. The only thing sadder than that is the picture they took of me to put on the wall of champions or whatever they call it there.

Obviously I got very lucky along the way to win this. All of the FNFers played well but just got put in unlucky situations. Mace for example had a hand almost exactly like my 23 hand at the end of the tournament. The only difference is that his opponent did catch the flush on the turn and knocked mace out in the mid 30s. I think Ray lost to a runner runner straight and I think Rock lost when his opponent rivered a flush. In the last two tournaments I have been ahead in the hand every time I’ve had to go all in. In total that’s 8 all ins with 7 wins. In two of the instances I had the opponenet drawing dead, and in two others I had the opponent drawing to 3 and 6 outs. The other three that I won were basicaly coin flips. So just the odds of winning the coin flips would have been 15.16323 percent (thanks to card player).

Those numbers don’t exactly make me feel great about my luck holding up at the next couple of tournaments. Then again since i’m up $560 I can stand to play 22 more tournaments without finishing in the money before I would be in danger of showing a net loss.

Mike “Bang the drum slowly” Johnson


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