Tuesday Night Finale
The poker table was angry that day my friends...
There were 20 available slots for tonight's final game at Startime in Roswell. Three were no shows and were not chipped in. They thought one person was going to be late so they had his chips on table 3 and we put them in for the blinds when it was his turn.
I started out on tear. For about 5 hands I was unbeatable and either got great starting cards or limped in and hit some great flops. We started with 10k in chips and I very quickly moved up to about 30k, causing much bitching and moaning at the table. This was a great thing, since people ahead of me stopped to think before they even called the big blind and they were quick to check to me when I was in a hand. Our table started out with 6 and the first two people out of the tournament were bounced off that table, so we got merged into the other two tables.
I won a few small pots at the new table by continuing my strategy of aggressive play, taking advantage of everyone else playing very tight. Time after time it was folded around to where just the blinds were left, so if I was in late position I raised large a few times and pushed the blinds out. I did get busted once however.
There were 8 of us at the table and 4 people folded in front of me. I pushed in 3k in chips, which was about 5 times the big blind. The guy on the button to my left thought about it a few seconds and pushed in with about 7800 total. The blinds folded quickly. I gave him a grin and said "You busted me dude, I was just bluffing my ass off" and flipped up my lame duck Hammer. I got some pretty amazed looks from the rest of the table though. Heh.
My first disastrous hand happened a short time later. I was the chip leader at the table still, and limped in with suited connectors of hearts. By the time the turn came, I had two pair and was on a flush draw. The small blind pushed his chips in at that point. I made a mistake of not realizing that he was the small blind, so I put him having two pair. I honestly didn't stop and think about it enough and called too quickly. He flipped up an 84o and had flopped a straight. I had about 13 outs, but the river was no help, and it cost me about half my chips.
I was a little upset about it, but got my composure back quickly. I started building my chips back up by taking a few small hands, but disaster was looming on the horizon.
I limped in UTG with 910c. The flop was 99J. Rick, who is a regular player, and one of the players I really respect in these tournaments, bet a thousand. I reraised another 1000 and he called. Everyone else was out by this point. The turn was garbage and we both threw another 2k or so in. The river was some other card that I don't even remember, but there was no flush possible and no obvious straights. I thought about it and pushed all my chips in. This was the only time tonight I had risked all my chips. I had called a few all ins when I had them covered, but I was sure I had the nuts this time so I laid it all on the line.
Rick called pretty quickly. I showed my 9. He showed the other 9 with a King kicker. Out in eleventh place. Sigh.
I have another chance at a trip this Thursday night, so all is not lost. I don't think I really made too many mistakes tonight, but I need to make myself stop and think a little more about situations where there are a lot of chips at stake. I don't see myself playing that final hand any other way, but the hand where I threw half my chips away should have been laid down. I didn't consider what I knew about the player or what position he was playing from.