Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Columbus, OH-- What a day it was. My wife and I returned home on Saturday from our family vacation. Twice during our vacation last week, I set my alarm to wake me up at 2 am to play in Full Tilt's 2:05 AM 24+2 tournament where it usually got about 27 people and the winner was assured a seat in Full Tilt's 150 SEAT GUARANTEED qualifier.

We got home on Saturday and went over to my sister's house and had dinner and played in the daily dollar tournament. I took two or three bad beats in the tournaments that I played in there, so I decided to pack up the computer and head home in frustration.

I had a $26 token, so I told my brother n law to call me at 2:00 and I would play again in the 2:05 if he wanted to. Well, when the alarm went off at 1:55, the dogs went crazy barking and I saw that my wife and brother n law were still in the $1 rebuy tournament they started a few hours prior. She asked me to take out the dogs and have them go potty, so by the time I got back upstairs, it was already 2:07 and I couldn't play in the tournament. So I just finished watching my wife and brother n law in their tournaments.

Today's Event #1
At about 3:00, I decided that I couldn't sleep so I opened the laptop and played in a $8+.80 to try and stockpile my $26 tokens. After about an hour and a half (4:30 a.m.), I added a second token to my account. I noticed there was a $69+6 non-turbo event that you could play in to get qualify for the Main Event 150 Seat Guaranteed sometime after 4 pm. I went to bed shortly after the tournament and had the plans to sleep in.

I woke up around 9:30 after my wife brought us home Burger King breakfast, and I had the duty of mowing the lawn since we just got back and their were weeds higher than my shins. So I went to Kroger and filled up the gas can and came back and mowed the lawn. While I was mowing, I thought about that $69+6 tournament that I saw the previous night online and thought if I finished the lawn in time, I could try and get a $75 token in an 18-person $24+2 tournament.

Today's Event #2
I signed up for the tournament as the 11th person of 18 with the hopes it would quickly fill up while I was in the shower. Just as I was finishing up the shower, the table popped up on my laptop for the first hand of the tournament. I quickly rinsed the hair and hopped out to fold the first hand and play the AK I got dealt in hand #2.

A few hands later, everyone limped to me in the big blind. I checked my option as I only had 6-3o. The flop was 2h-5d-6h, I bet out the flop and got everyone but one guy to fold and I bet slightly more than the pot and got one guy to call. Very suspicious with this guy as he just called the BB in the cutoff.

The turn came a 3c, giving me two pair, but filled a straight if someone was holding a 4. Deciding to play it aggressively, I went All-in only to have the cut-off surprisingly call me and he turned over a flush draw with Qh 10h. The river was a blank and I doubled up on the 5th or 6th hand. VERY CRUCIAL double-up as I like to have chips early on so I can be selective with my starting hands and be patient.

As the tournament went on, I had enough chips that I was comfortable folding hand after hand after hand-- not bad when I am watching other players be aggressive and dispose of other players. When it got down to the final five-- only four got $75 tokens, I decided I was going to fold every hand possible.

After several hands, I began to get a bit anxious as I noticed that the break was approaching in one minute... Here I am 2 minutes for leaving to my niece's third birthday party and we're getting ready to go on a four minute break.

After the "After this hand, we'll be going on break" message appeared, I peered down to find AA in the big blind for me. The short stack that was UTG went All-in and I had to play this hand. He turned over JJ and my aces held up to win the $75 token and get to my sister's in time for the party!

Today's Event #3
I had my focus on this tournament since I first looked it up the night before. This was the $69+6 buy-in that would guarantee at least two people seats in the 150 SEAT GUARANTEED Main Event Qualifier.

I had a strategy to play tight and go with big hands. 27 ended up registering for the event so the prize package included four spots with the top 3 getting the $500+35 buy-in for the 150 Seat tournament and fourth place taking home $258.

In the third hand of the game, I was on the button with KK. With the blinds at 15-30, a guy in the cutoff accidently fat-fingered his raise amount and keyed in 1053 instead of 105. I raised him All-in to my delight to see he had QQ. My kings held up and I doubled up.

A couple hands later, I made a 200 raise with AA and only the BB came along for the ride. After the flop, I made a 200 follow-up bet and the BB folded. Another hand I lucked out on.. the guy to my right raised to 200, and I reraised to 600 with QQ. One guy called near the button and this guy reraised me to 1000, both me and the other caller came along for the ride.
Yes, I was worried about AA, AK, KK, but I figured I'd see a flop. Well, the flop was 8 high and the original getter went all-in for his remaining 600 in chips.. There was 3,000 in the pot!!! I had 1,000 leftover and had both guys covered if I made the call. I called and so did the guy behind me. When a 6 paired the board on the turn, I checked and so did the other guy who had 453 chips remaining. To my delight, the river gave me a full board with another Q! I bet 453 and the other guy went away. When I looked up the last hand, it showed the guy to my right had AA and I cracked him on the river. What a lucky river, but I'll take it.

The next hour or so was not very fun. I literally folded 97 of my next 100 hands-- and that is including my BB hands that people raised pre-flop on them and I tossed away my 2-9o with no hesitation. Two of the three hands I did play were pocket 7s and got no callers. The other hand I played was a limp from the small blind and I had J4s. The board was J36 and he bet out 135 and I raised him to 270 and he quickly folded.

As the blinds were going up, my starting hands remained questionable so my stack began dwindling. I went from chipleader at one point early on to last place with six people go. The good news was one double-up when my stack was at about 1800 and I'd be in fourth place again because the two players above me were 3200 and 3400. The chipleader made a 1200 raise UTG on the 200-400 blinds and I went all-in for the other 600 with my KK. The chipleader turned over A8o and my Kings held up, which was the second of a continuing trend (You'll see why in a couple minutes).

So here I was in fourth place again with just over 4700 chips, but I still needed to pick up some hands. This was probably the hand of the tournament for me when you think about it. After a time around the table, I picked up JQo on the button and made a raise on the chip-leader to 1000, 2.5x the BB. The chipleader called and the flop was a bunch of blanks with 7 high showing on the board. The chipleader in the BB acted first and placed out what I deemed a feeler/stab bet at 1200 into my 3700 stack. Without hesistation, I moved all-in. I big time gamble at this stage of the tournament, but I felt like the chipleader didn't want that much damage done to his stack and I would be showing great strength with such a move and would have possibly two overs if he or she hit that ugly flop. Quickly, the chipleader folded and here I was with 6800 chips!!! Breathing room. Now lets fold unless we pick up a huge hand.

After 3/4 of the way around the table, one person was eliminated leading us to our bubble. Here I was with 5 people remaining wanting to stay clear and let people duke it out and I'll have time to continue the tight play while other aggressors eliminate themselves. At this time, the second highest stack raised UTG and I decided to get out of the way with my QQ, so I didn't repeat last week's bubble disaster where they gave me QQ in the BB and a guy that had me covered AA in the SB-- Totally rude.

So I currently have 6800 chips and only had one person covered and that was the guy to my left who had 6600 chips. UTG, I picked up KK and made a raise to 1000, which was just another 2.5x the BB raise. The guy I had covered to my left went all-in for his remaining chips. It got back to me after everyone folded up shop and I had a decision to make. Best case scenario is this guys has QQ or below. But I feared the worst case scenario that they actually were holding AA. Either way, I had him covered. Even if he had an Ace high, he had just three outs in the deck if no draws came on the board. After asking the Lord to allow this to hold up, I made the call to see him turn over AQo. The flop of course was A78! NO! NO! NO! NO! The turn was a miracle K!! One of two left in the deck. I screamed like Jerry Yang as he mowed down the final table a couple of years ago. Literally two minutes of yelling "YEA! YEA! YEA! YES! YES! YES!" came out of my mouth. Once again, KK didn't let me down in the tournament and I moved my chip count to just over 13000 and a comfortable chiplead. More importantly, I eliminated the other guy and I was assured of at least $258. My body was in a big sweat as I was full of energy after winning that hand.

I decided I was going to fold from here on out unless I picked up a QQ or above.. Two hands later, I raised to 1000 with QQ and everyone folded and I showed.

That would be the last hand I needed to play in the tournament as I waited for the others to duke it out. The guy that I bluffed out with the JQ took a huge hit to his stack and he went on tilt, putting his chips on the line everytime he played a pot. All-in, All-in-- picking up blinds and antes at will. No one wanted to lose 6000 chips. So a couple hands later, he made the same move and was called by the SB who had him covered by a couple of thousand chips. The SB had him dominated as the blind was given AK against the agressor's KJ. The AK held up and I was on my way to the $500+35 150 SEAT GUARANTEED tournament on June 21st!!!

I was SOOOOOOOOOOOO incredibly happy; I've been waiting for a shot at redemption for three years now!

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