Buy-in was $30+3, 666 entrants; the whole thing took 7.5 hours and 1st place was $3,746.
When the final table eventually comes together I am fifth in chips with the line-up looking as follows:
Seat 1: 441,800, came from the other table. Very aggressive, likes to see flops but also 3-bets quite a bit.
Seat 2: 196,736, came from the other table. No reads.
Seat 3: 53,451, came from the other table. No reads.
Seat 4: 115,538, from my table. Good TAG player, but not tricky.
Seat 5: 283,323, from my table. Tricky player – the guy who I beat with AQ vs 66 two hands before FT.
Seat 6: 212,697, from my table. On the tight side, but competent.
Seat 7: 56729, came from the other table. No reads.
Seat 8: YOURS TRULY.
Seat 9: 440,778, came from other table. Seems very competent – has been in in-fight with Seat 1, before FT assembled.
Seat4 busts Seat7 when KJ hits a J on the river and beats AT. 9th place paid 282 dollars. Down to 8.
Seat3 busts Seat5 when 55 holds up against AK. Seat5 had however brought it on himself, when he bluffed off most of his stack, by check-raising with QT on a A7K board and getting snapped off by AT. 8th place paid 449 dollars.
Incidentally, the first 20 hands of the final table have now been played and the best I’ve seen is AT in early position, which I folded. I do however still find myself playing a bit scared, as the jumps in money become bigger and bigger. As a result, I’ve almost certainly missed out on a few 3-betting opportunities, when others were opening light.
Hand #406 – Stack 168748, blinds 3500/7000/a700
-and my 20-hand sit-out is probably why I thought I’d be able to pick up blinds/antes with the very mediocre 9c7h. Unfortunately it was not to be. In the CO, I open to 16500 and get called by both SB (Seat1) and BB (Seat2).
(Pot 54400) FLOP: 2h Ks Qd
What a horrible board. They both check and I check behind. No way I’m c-betting air into two guys and especially not Seat1, whom I had already deemed tricky.
(Pot 54400) TURN: 6s
The SB bets 29200 and we both fold.
Hand #409 – Stack 150148, blinds 3500/7000/a700
UTG I open Ah9c to 16500 and finally get some respect. I pick up blinds/antes.
Hand #412 – Stack 152948, blinds 3500/7000/a700
UTG (Seat2) opens to 21000 and I’m a little perplexed by the large raise-size. The table has been content to open anywhere from 2.3x-2.6x, so 3x seems a little excessive. Because of that and because of my position, I elect to call on the button with QhJs. We see a flop:
(Pot 57400) FLOP: 8s Jh 3s
He bets 21000 and I just call. I like my hand, but don’t love it yet.
(Pot 99400) TURN: 3c
He checks to me and I think for a few seconds before betting 56000. He folds.
Hand #418 – Stack 199148, blinds 3500/7000/a700
The table is still very active and I’m just biding my time. This hand it folds to me in the SB and I feel Jd8h is good enough to open with, so I make it 21000. The BB (Seat9) calls.
(Pot 46900) FLOP: 7s 2h As
I like that flop a lot as I feel like my image is tight enough for him to consider Ax a huge part of my range. I bet 28000 and he folds.
Hand #427 – Stack 208248, blinds 3500/7000/a700
On the CO I find acey-deucey of hearts and open to 16500. My smile is turned upside down, when both blinds decide to call (Seat1 and 2).
(Pot 54400) FLOP: Qd Ts 4d
Another ‘great’ flop. *sigh*. Doesn’t matter though as the BB leads 21000 into the flop and I fold. Interestingly enough, the SB check-raises to 59800 and the BB gives it up.
Hand #430 – Stack 189548, blinds 4K/8K/a800
UTG I decide to open Kc5c to 18500, because… well, hey it worked well the last time I opened UTG. Again, everyone folds and I pick up blinds/antes. It’s not a standard play, but I did it deliberately, because at the time all the opens were coming from the CO/button and I figured I’d get a huge amount of respect.
Hand #443 – Stack 172748, blinds 4K/8K/a800
Almost two full orbits and not a single playable hand in sight. That is, until I find KcKd in MP. I open to 24000 and pick up blinds/antes.
Hand #444 – Stack 189548, blinds 4K/8K/a800
When it rains, it pours. Not that Ad6s is as pretty as KK, but I elect to open anyway (this time from UTG) and I pick up blinds/antes.
Hand #446 – Stack 197548, blinds 4K/8K/a800
In the SB I hold 5c8d. So? – you’re probably thinking. Yeah, well – I figured it was time for me to get into the 3-betting dynamic that dominated this table and I figured my overall image was good for re-stealing. UTG (Seat1) opens for 18512, which he had been doing quite a bit. It folds to me and I make it 48800. He considers briefly, but folds. Much needed chips and a warm fuzzy feeling is what that kind of a move will get you!
Hand #448 – Stack 228060, blinds 4K/8K/a800
On the CO I open JhJd to 20000 and pick up blinds/antes. You might have noticed different raise sizes during this level and I can’t really explain it. Think I opened to 24K with KK earlier because I was still a bit timid, but was back in my comfort zone and therefore made it a more ‘normal’ 20K with JJ this time.
Hand #452 – Stack 242460, blinds 4K/8K/a800
Think this is pretty standard, but I’ll mention it nonetheless. UTG opens to 20K, CO re-pops to 56K and in the BB I fold 55. UTG folds as well. Maybe a shove is in order with 99+? Not entirely sure.
Hand #455 – Stack 228060, blinds 5K/10K/a1000
On the CO I open 6h6d to 22500 and it folds to the BB (Seat2, stack 321015) who calls.
(Pot 57000) FLOP: Th Tc Qd
He leads 30000 and I call. At a different point in the tournament, some people might (!) lead into this board with a ten in their hand, but it’s still a very unusual play. At a final table, I don’t ever see it happening. If he has a queen, I think he’s fairly happy to check-call or check-raise even, which is why I called. I wasn’t ready to give up just yet. Plus – my flatcall can mean almost anything to him, so I’m not giving away much by choosing the passive route.
(Pot 117000) TURN: 7h
He bets 30000 again on what I can only perceive as a MAJOR BRICK. The 7 shouldn’t change much. I consider raising here, but I felt like a) his bet exuded weakness, b) another smooth call would look even stronger and c) I might still have the best hand.
(Pot 177000) RIVER: 4c
Another brick and this time he checks. I decide my sixes are good and I shove for value. Well, I shove MAINLY for value. I couldn’t help wondering about the 7 on the turn. A7 hit that? Would’ve been so gross to lose the pot that way, so I factored that in before I shoved. He folded pretty quickly and I felt like I was on top of the world.
Hand #456 – Stack 321560, blinds 5K/10K/a1000
Again, things seem to be going my way as I once again find AsAc – this time in the HJ. I open for 22500 and once again both blinds (SB stack 237515, Seat2) (BB stack 252287, Seat3) come along. Three players.
(Pot 74500) FLOP: 6h 7d Jc
The SB leads for 30K and the BB calls him pretty quickly. I consider my options. There’s now 135K in the middle, I’ve got 298K behind, the SB has 184K and the BB 200K. Against effective stacks any raise will be committing. Folding is not an option… I mean, I have AA. Apparently, a very good hand. Calling just seems pretty weak and there are a lot of ugly turn cards that will put me in a really difficult spot. Actually, getting it in is my only option, but I am genuinely concerned about the BB smooth call, as it could easily be a set. The one thing that leads me to believe it’s not, is the fact that he called really quickly. A set might need a bit of time to consider as well…? Anyway, I shove it in and the SB tanks.
He uses quite a bit of his time bank, but finally calls. The BB gets out of the way pretty quickly and I’m delighted to see the SB turn over AdJd. The 5h on the turn seals the deal and I move into the chip-lead after that pot! Seat2 took home 649 bucks for 7th place. Down to six players.
Hand #459 – Stack 604575, blinds 5K/10K/a1000
When it folds to me in the SB, I decide to take a different line than usual and limp my As2h. The BB (stack 177327, Seat9) checks.
(Pot 26000) FLOP: Td Ad Th
I check and he checks. Don’t think there’s much value in leading this flop.
(Pot 26000) TURN: 9c
Now another draw is out there and I bet 14500. He folds.
Hand #466 – Stack 598575, blinds 5K/10K/a1000
I get a little frisky here with my big-stack-status and open 8h6h to 22500 from the button. Seat1 (stack 536978) calls from the BB.
(Pot 56000) FLOP: 2h Kc Jd
He checks and I bet 28K. He calls. Oh well. A heart for a flush draw?
(Pot 112000) TURN: Tc
Hmmm, guess not. He checks, I check.
(Pot 112000) RIVER: 4h
He checks and I guess I could try to bluff at this, but elect not to and check. He shows QJ and takes it down.
Hand #468 – Stack 546075, blinds 5K/10K/a1000
I open QhQd to 22500 from the HJ and take blinds/antes.
Hand #469 – Stack 566075, blinds 5K/10K/a1000
I open KhQh from UTG to 22500 and take blinds/antes.
Seat9 had become pretty short and shoved 117K from the button. The SB (Seat1) called immediately with AK and beat As4s. Seat9 out in 6th place, which earned him 849 dollars.
Seat3 decides to shove 152K (still 5K/10K/a1000) from the button and gets looked up by the SB (Seat4) who shows AcQd. Seat3 only has Kc5d (hmmm?) and fails to improve. He’s out in 5th and takes home 1048 bucks.
Hand #476 – Stack 565075, blinds 5K/10K/a1000
Seat1 (stack 789805) opens to 22805 from UTG and I call from the BB with Ah2h.
(Pot 54610) FLOP: Qd Ac 5c
I check and he bets 31000. I call.
(Pot 116610) TURN: 8h
I lead 58000 into him – as a probing bet and he folds immediately. Wasn’t very well thought through, cause I have to fold to a raise and check to him on the river, if he just calls. Anyway, I saw a safe card and decided he didn’t have it.
Seat4 busts another player when it goes raise, shove, call and 55 is enough to beat KJ. Seat6 departs in 4th place and picks up 1498 dollars for his efforts (I sound like Vince van Patten, don’t I? LOL).
SIDENOTE: AS WE GET TO THREE-HANDED PLAY NOBODY IS REALLY SHORT AND TO BE HONEST, I KIND OF FELT LIKE I WAS THE LEAST PROFICIENT PLAYER OF THE THREE, EVEN THOUGH I DIDN’T THINK EITHER OF THEIR EDGE ON ME WAS HUGE. CHIPCOUNTS:
Seat8: 596,880 (yours truly)
Hand #482 – blinds 6K/12K/a1200
On the button I open Qh8d for 26500 and Seat1 3-bets me to 67400. I fold.
Hand #484 – Stack 577580, blinds 6K/12K/a1200
I limp the SB with As2h and fold to a bet on the J-high flop.
At this time however, Seat4 asks in the chat, whether we’d be up for a chop. I quiz him a little bit as to what kind of chop (cause I felt like I would have the most to gain from chopping at least some of the pool), but before we get into it, Seat1 politely declines and says he wants to play it out. Fair enough – so we do.
The remaining prizes were:
3rd - $1,998
2nd - $2,697
1st - $3,746
Hand #488 – Stack 542780, blinds 6K/12K/a1200
I open Ac7h from the button to 26500 and take blind antes.
Hand #489 – Stack 563180, blinds 6K/12K/a1200
Seat1 opens to 26600 and when it gets to me in the BB I 3-bet to 69500 with 9s5s. ;-) He folds.
Hand #494 – Stack 569380, blinds 6K/12K/a1200
I open Qc9s from the button to 26500 and take blind antes.
Hands #497 – Stack 590980, blinds 6K/12K/a1200
I open ThTd from the button to 26500 and both players call. First 3-way flop, since 4th busted:
(Pot 83100) FLOP: 2h Ad Ts
I am almost literally drooling. They both check to me and I bet 48K. Seat1 calls.
(Pot 179100) TURN: Jd
He checks again and I bet 96K. He calls.
(Pot 371100) RIVER: 6s
GREAT card. He checks a third time and I figure my best bet is to continue my bet-sizing line and just double my last bet again. I bet 192K and he calls. It turns out he made two pair on the river with Ah6h. Biggest pot of the tournament so far and I move into the chip-lead!
Hand #501 – Stack 960780, blinds 6K/12K/a1200
I hold Jd8c in the BB and when Seat8 opens to 34000 from the SB I decide to call.
(Pot 71600) FLOP: Jc 6s 7c
He bets and I of course bet it, considering the numerous draws. I make it 38000 and he folds.
Hand #502 – Stack 997980, blinds 6K/12K/a1200
I open 9d8h from the SB to 35500 and Seat1 folds. I primarily did this to reach the 1million chip mark! First time! LOL.
Hand #503 – Stack 1017180, blinds 6K/12K/a1200
Now on the button I hold AcQs and I open to 36500. Seat1 shoves on me for a total of 325701 and I figure I have the stack to take a gamble with his range, which hardly ever is QQ/KK/AA – so I can’t be in horrible shape, unless he has AK. He shows 6c6h and it’s a classic.
FLOP: Qh 7h Ad – BOOYAH!!!!
TURN: 7d – ONE TIME DEALER!!!!!!
RIVER: 4c – HEADS UP, HERE I COME!!!
Seat1 busts in 3rd and now only two are left.
SIDENOTE: AS WE BEGIN HEADS-UP PLAY I HAVE A 2:1 CHIPLEAD OVER SEAT8, BUT IT WASN’T THAT COMMANDING, CONSIDERING HE WAS STILL WORKING WITH ALMOST 55 BIG BLINDS. AS A RESULT, I ASKED HIM ABOUT A CHOP ONCE MORE TO WHICH HE AGREED. THE DEAL WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE SEEN HIM TAKING 3000 DOLLARS AND ME THE REST (3450), BUT WHEN THE POKERSTARS MODERATOR GOT TO THE TABLE, SOMEHOW IT BECAME 3K EACH AND PLAY OUT THE TOURNAMENT FOR THE REMAINING 450. I SHOULDN’T HAVE TAKEN THAT DEAL, BUT ENDED UP NOT SAYING ANYTHING. I SUPPOSE I WAS A LITTLE SHELL-SHOCKED AND JUST WANTED TO SECURE A 3K PAYDAY. WITH THAT TAKEN CARE OF WE WENT INTO HEADS-UP PLAY FOR THE LAST 450 BUCKS.
The heads-up portion lasted for about 85 hands, but was fairly uneventful. I basically made sure I maintained my chip-edge over him and in the end we got it in, him coming over the top of my raise with QTo and me calling with 99.
The fat lady started to sing and I pocketed a total of 3450 dollars for my largest tournament win to date! Dear God, please don’t let it be the last – that feeling is simply too awesome, not to experience again!
Thanks all for reading – hope it was as enjoyable for you as it was for me. Later.
Buy-in was $30+3, 666 entrants; the whole thing took 7.5 hours and 1st place was $3,746.