This is my first chance to discuss my 3rd place finish at the WSOP Circuit Event in New Orleans, LA.
I took Monday off work to fly to NOLA and play in the tournament. I registered when the desk opened, played a little video roulette and stopped by my work's office in NOLA which is a few blocks from Harrah's.
You start with 1500 chips and blinds of 25/25. I was a little nervous being my first large live tourney but I settled in quick. Within an hour I busted a short stack when KK > JJ and I built up to 3000 chips. Over the next hour I got back down to 2000 or so.
First hand in the second hour everyone folds to me in the SB with K
. I raise to 300 and BB calls. Flop comes J
. I bet 500 on the flop and he calls with no hesitation. The turn comes the 10
giving me the straight (and possibly filling out a flush draw). I have only 1200 behind so I push all in and BB calls showing A
. Nice. I dodge a diamond on the river and have a nice stack.
I played ABC poker and stayed pretty even until right before the dinner break, when we were down to 80 or so players (from 380). I had a flight scheduled to leave for home 7:30, so I decided that I would play aggressive and either build a big stack to make a serious run at the final table (and have to stay overnight) or be busted out to catch my flight. Blinds were near 150 at this point if I recall. A short stack goes all in for 1400 or so and a MP reraises all in for his last 3000 after some thought. I look down and see A
so I push all in as well. EP shows K
and MP shows K
. No one hits anything and I go to dinner break with more than double average chips.
During the dinner break I find a hotel room for the night and eat a Harrah's buffet (terrible, BTW). I return to the tournament and don't play many hands before the bubble breaks @ 36 players. Yay! I still have about double average stack. Then I run into trouble...First hand at a new table I raise K
4BB from the cutoff. Big blind thinks and calls. Flop comes K
. Pretty safe flop, I think. BB checks. I bet pot. He raises to double. I should have thought about it, but I was confident I was ahead here. I pushed all in. He insta calls and shows 4
and I don't hit a king. I go from about 34k chips to 7k and am about to go on tilt bad. Next hand I get k
and look at my watch to see if I can still make my flight. I push all in and am called by 9
. I hit a king and double up. Next hand, K
(yes KQ 3 hands in a row). Push again, this time to be called by K
. I suckout after hitting an open ended straight flush draw on the flop. I was back to where I started after the dinner break. I was in such a tilt fog I didn't even realize I had won the hand until the dealer shipped the chips. I was ready to collect my $1,000 payout and leave.
Fortunately I regained my senses and played ABC poker for the rest of the night. When we reached the final table I had 36,000 chips, about 15,000 less than average although I was 6th of the 10 remaining.
The next day I was bored so I went to work and played some slots. I didn't want to play any poker because I wanted to only be thinking about being a short stack at a final table. When play started at 4PM on the main stage I was definitely ready. I made the decision to put my chips in play and make a run for first.
I got a chance when the second hand of the final table I was dealt A
and called an all-in by one of the shorter stacks who had K
. I knocked him out and got about 25,000 chips out of it. The final table was extremely aggressive, and within half an hour we were down to only 4 players and I had about 40,000 chips. I pushed with 3
but was called by Tuan Tran with 10
. I hit the 3
on the river for my second suckout of the tournament. Tran gets knocked out a few hands later when his AK < 55 when the eventual winner hits a set on the turn.
At the final 3 I was severely short stacked. I basically pushed every unopened pot to prevent being blinded away. Eventually I was called by A
x when I had 5
, and he hit trip aces on the flop to send me home. I cashed out my $8800 payday, my largest ever, and caught a southwest flight home. I can't believe I ran so good at just the right time. There were definitely some hands I could have played better, but I continue to learn the game.