The Best Night of My Poker Life-Part 2

published on 06/19/07 at 10:05 am

[Editor's Note: This is a 3 part series, part 1 can be read here.]

The tournament started with 1265 players, which is an average field for the tournament, with cashing starting at 180th place. The first three hours of the tournament were really uneventful. I won a few hands and made the right folds when needed. I started to get a good feel about the tournament, but quickly dismissed it.

After the third break I moved tables. I took a timid approach for the first 10 hands, feeling out the table and the players at it. My stack was at about 20,000 chips, with about 250 players left. I proceeded to go on the best run of cards I have ever had. For the next hour I saw the following hands: A’s, K’s, Q’s, J’s, 10′s, 9′s, 7′s, 4′s, and AK all twice, and 5′s once. With that run of cards I went from middle of the field to 1st place with 175 players left. After that moment I never dropped below 6th place.

I tightened way up and started to fold a lot of hands. One hand sticks out to show the hour run I was on. The blinds were 1500/3000 and I was in the big blind. A player 2 to my left went all in for 9400 chips and the table folded around to me. I had 2/3 suited hearts and about 250,000 chips. I typed to the player that I had no choice but to call, too little of my stack vs. the chance of knocking someone out. I called and he turned over QQ against my 2/3 suited. I typed “nh” (nice hand) and figured on losing. Flop came 2 10 7 rainbow, turn was a 2, with the river being a 3. I won the hand with a boat to his 2 pair. What happened next shocked me. The player I just took out stated something about his luck and wished me more luck in the tournament. I was expecting him to go into a tirade about me calling with 2/3 suited and catching a miracle hand. After that hand another player jokingly offered to buy my seat from me. He offered $400 cash.

I continued down to the final 18 and the payouts started get bigger. I was sitting either 2nd or 3rd at that point so I continued to play a semi tight game. I’m going to jump from the story for a second to touch on a bit of tourney strategy for a second. When you get to the last table or two in a big tourney the blinds and antes start making for some large pots. If you catch a playable hand pre-flop you need to raise the pot to make the odds less favorable for the remaining players, especially if you are the first to enter the hand. Usually the only caller you will get is the big blind, which usually is calling with a weaker hand. After the flop, if the pot is checked to you (and it usually is), you need to make a continuation bet to drive the big blind out of the pot. With that said, back to the story.

When we got to the top 9 the stress level started to climb. I was sitting in 3rd with about 400,000 in chips and had the big stack 2 to my right and 3 to my left. Between one of the big stacks and myself was one of the 2 short stacks, with the other being 4 to my left. 9th paid about $170 with first being about $2360. With every player that went out, my stress level went up. I continued playing tight and only raising with my big hands. The 3 big stacks rotated between 1st and 3rd until the final 4. At this point the least I could make was about $700. I tightened my game up a little bit more to try to help ensure I made the top 3, 3rd paid $1000 and 2nd was $1400. I took the 4th place finisher out giving me a sizable stack advantage going into the final 3. The two short stacks started ganging up on me and actually knocked me down to 3rd. I got really short stacked, around 250,000 chips. I resided to finishing 3rd and making $1000 when I pushed all in after the big stack to my right pushed on me. I had 2 face cards, I honestly can’t tell you what they were, and the big stack had 5/9 off. The board missed us both and I doubled up with high card, which pushed me to 2nd. The same big stack that doubled me up tried to push me around again and paid the price. The player pushed all in after I raised the pot from the button with a pocket pair. The board tripped me and missed the other player completely.

…to be continued.

Stud Cowboy is a consistent online winner in Stud and is always interested in discussing the game as well as finding those tables/sites that are especially ripe.

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