No chicken dinner here, but we do have a winnner...
The tourney started at 11am. I was staying at Two Trees, which isn't far but somehow I was running a little late. I got to my table right before the first hand was dealt but that left me no time to find Hoy, who I knew was there. I looked around but didn't really know who I was looking for.
The game started four handed. Although I planned on not limping or playing many pots, because of the short table I just had to. First few hands I limped into resulted in folding after the flop. Blah. Exactly what I didn't want to do. Soon enough the table filled up though.
There was one woman who played extremely tight but hit a few monsters and she was the early chip leader at my table. She was a clapper. She'd clap in delight every time she won a pot. And she won alot of them. Play was pretty uneventful until I limped with 3-6 sooted hearts. Flop had a 2 hearts, 4 hearts and a picture card. Guy to my left bet min and I called with my flush and inside straight draw. I did also have a straight flush draw. Turn was a blank so this time I bet out a little short of the pot just to see his reaction.
Fuck, his reaction was a call. Didn't I say I wasn't going to limp in alot of pots? What was I doing in this hand?
River was a 5 of hearts. Bing! Straight flush baby! I didn't want to scare the fishie away so I bet 1,200 which was less than my previous bet. I was trying to convey "I have crap but want to appear that I'm throwing out a value bet." His response?
I couldn't believe my luck, but then I thought "This is really a straight flush isn't it? I don't like to check my cards after I'm in a hand but in this case I did. I did a quick double check and yep, I had it.
"I call!" I sung out and turned over my straight flush. He had the K-10 of hearts for a nice flush, but not as nice as my hand so I doubled up. I went into the first break with 28K in chips. (we started with 15k) I went over to chat with Hoy who was doing okay but not great. He wasn't short stacked by any means but said he just wasn't feeling it today. He felt a bit rusty from not playing online.
Back to the action. I taking down my share of pots with my usual MO until I decided to limp with crap again. I limped with 4-6 this time.
Flop was 4-4-2. Bing! I checked, check, check and then the clapper who only played with a good hand bet out. Of course I called and we were heads up. Turn brought a jack and I made a big bet, more than the pot. I think about 2,500.
Not good. I hadn't seen her call and lose yet but we'd only been playing a couple of hours and she hadn't played many pots. River was a 5. Just to be safe I checked - I had trips and all but I had a bad feeling. She, however didn't. She bet out 1,500. What to do? I called with my 4-6 and she turned over 4-5 for a full house. Fucking river! I just lost about 20% of my stack! I then clamped down and all the limping and looking were over. I played Josie Poker. I tightened up, put my head phones and sunglasses on and just watched. When I had a hand there was no checking or calling.
I won most of my chips back and by the 2nd break I 25K. Not as much as at the first break but well above average which was 20K at that time. I used the 10 minute breaks and the average stack posting to my advantage. Instead of trying to win the tourney I tried to meet small goals by each break. I exceeded these goals at every break, I'm happy to say. I was never shortstacked and never had less than the average stack. NEVER. Pretty amazing if you ask me.
Hoy was out of the tourney before the third break and at dinner break he was heading home. He's such a sweet guy, it's hard to believe he's an attorney! I spent half my dinner break chatting with him and then the second half trying to eat quickly and get back to the poker room on time.
Back to the play. The biggest part of my game play and the most successful part was stealing the dead money in the pot. Antes started pretty early and there were lots of chips up for grabs. Someone had to get them so why not me? At this point I was a bit of a force to be reckoned with and I could tell who was trying to avoid the big stack (me). Those people got their blinds raised ad nauseum. 80% of the time it worked, which means SUCCESS!
I got moved from table 2 seat 1 to table 5 seat 1. Except for the final table, I spent the entire tournament at seat 1. At my new table the guys in seats 2 and 3 were instantly in love (and a bit of fear), as were the guys in seats 6 and 7. The others hated me. Too bad the shorties were the nice guys. I took their blinds as I gave them compliments. :) The guy in seat 3 was from Virginia and he was a sweetheart. I decided to raise with the grump (2-4) and for the first time he defended his blind. Flop missed me but I bet out. He called. We both checked the turn and I bet the river hard.
He thought for a long while and finally he said "Just this once. Please! I'm going to fold but please, PLEASE, can I see what you have?" He'd been so nice to me for hours...showing me pictures of his dogs and offering me jewelry when I complimented him on his 8 DIAMOND RINGS AND 4 THICK GOLD CHAINS. "I'll buy one for you little lady if you stick with me." Apparently he's loaded as he said he's won 750K in casinos this year.
"I'll just win them off you" was my response. He kept telling me how nice I was and I kept telling him that I wasn't nice, I was mean, he should be running in the opposite direction. Later on he whispered to me "You're lying about not being a nice person, even if you try to cover it up."
Anyway, we'd bonded and as much as I hated to, I showed him my 4 high winner. Of course once you show a hand like that, making those kinds of plays are over. I couldn't do it again....for a few hours anyway. It worked to my advantage though because I got a little action, which was AWESOME.
The dude in seat 4 was a sour puss. I flopped a nut flush draw, bet out and he called. Turn was another heart for my nut flush. I bet a huge bet - 150K. He thought for a looooooong time and called. River was harmless enough and I had the nuts. What to do? Value bet, check or all in?
The pot was humungous. I was tempted to check the river, act weak and disgusted to see if he'd try to buy the pot. I was leaning toward that but the guy was such an idiot I decided ALL IN!
He thought for a long time but folded. The hand was over and I'd won AGAIN. Now my chip stack was sooo much bigger than everyone elses it was ridiculous. The guy in seat 10 motioned to me behind the dealers back. (I was in seat 1) He said "I just want you to know that I informed the floor about your play and they're coming over."
"You have your cards to the right of your chips, they need to be in front of your chips. You can get a penalty for that."
Wtf? "Will they spank me?" I asked
Now here's what was going on....see the chips below?
I kept my cards to the right of this stack but that's a no no.
He wanted my cards in front of my stack but see how close the play line is to my stack? Plus as I explained to the guy, my arms are short, I could barely reach the cards and they'd be almost in the muck there. (Not to mention that I had to stay out of the dealer's way who didn't leave me alot of room.)
"That's your problem" was his answer.
Plus I had the seat 2 guy all up against me. It was a crowded 10 man table. Of course the floor guy came over and explained my offense and suggested I protect my cards very carefully because I was playing so close to the dealer as well as so close to the play line.
I had to then keep my cards where I couldn't really reach them. Fucker. The floor guy came back soon enough and brought 25K chips just for me to reduce the size of my stack and make it easier to play around. But you know, the guy that complained about me wasn't even in a hand with me, which I pointed out to him.
"Yes, but at some point I will be in a hand with you and your cards have to be in front of your chips or I'll say you're all in."
"Too bad you can't win by playing good poker huh?"
Mind you every exchange we had was YELLED to me. He yelled and screamed and yelled again, yet I never raised my voice. I couldn't understand why he was so angry. I kept joking and he kept yelling. Ironically, he and I were NEVER in a hand together. Any pot I was in, I raised and he never played along.
30 peeps were itm and we getting close. We were down to 34 peeps with huge blinds and antes and no one was playing. No one except me. I was using the opportunity to pick up tons of chips until the bubble broke. I knew the shorties were trying to last itm so of course I jammed all in against a shortie in the BB. I don't remember what I had but it wasn't great. He went in the tank for a loooong time and finally decided to fold his Q-Q face up. The table (and me) was shocked. The guy in seat 10 yelled "If you have QQ and you're short you go all in. There's nothing to think about!" I tend to agree....yet, the same shortie got AA a couple hands later, jammed with it and won. Actually, the shortie made it to the final table as well, so conservative worked for him.
When the bubble finally broke, I think the average stack was about 130K. I had about 500K.
Let's stop for a moment and talk about bounties. This was a bounty tournament. Knock a donkey out and get $50 for your trouble. I got precious few bounties which is totally unlike me. The thing is, the chips were alot more valuable that fifty bucks and whenever one person was all in 5 or 6 would call him in the hope of picking up his bounty. I just don't like those odds for a substantial amount of chips so I didn't join them, and then I'd watch the flop and think "Fuck, why didn't I call too?" What can you do? I was there for alot more than $50. Plus my unspoken rule for this particular game was "Push all in as much as you want but DO NOT CALL ALL IN."
If you're the one doing the jamming you can win two ways...everyone folds and you win, or someone calls and you win with the best hand. If you're calling an all in the first way is out the window, plus you never know what you're up against. I kept to that rule until the last half hour of the game.
The other rule I stuck to was to only play against stacks shorter than me. Early on this was key to staying in and amassing a stack. If you have a pistol do you want to fight against a guy with pocket knife or a guy with a machine gun? I'm not saying the pocket knife won't hurt but the machine gun can blow you to hell!
Listen to Auntie Josie!
I have two more posts in me....one about the final table and one about my lovely sister who was with me. Any preference on which comes next?