As the name would imply, I made the final table at the WWDN last night. It was an uphill battle for sure, since my starting table had Smokkee, Hoyazo, Iakaris, and a couple of other people (whose names I can’t look up because I just now realized that I was playing with the beta version of pokerstars and it is set by default to not log history. A value that I had neglected to change). At any rate, Smokkee is the one I was really scared of. For some reason Hoyazo doesn’t scare me as much as he should -it probably has something to do with that cute little smiling avatar, so harmless…
I almost went out of the tournament extremely early. If you read my site, you may remember that S.t.B. once said that they way I played a good hand almost got me in trouble. Such was the case last night, only I didn’t really have a good hand. I was in one of the blinds with a Q-6, and had to call some kind of a raise to see the flop. The flop was Q-6-4 (I think, might have been Q-6-7) Giving me two pair, which really should put me ahead at this point, barring someone else having a pair of Queens. I checked it, then called whatever the bet was to see the turn -what I should have done was pushed right there. I don’t remember exactly what the turn card was, I think it might have paired the low card, at any rate, I was still ahead and should have pushed, instead I called the bet to let everyone see the river relatively cheap. The river left two one-card straight possibilities on the board, which, of course, someone had. The someone who made the straight would have likely folded if I would have pushed earlier, and the other guy would probably have called with his pair of kings and I would have won with two pair. Ahh, hindsight. Instead, I was left with a pretty short stack.
I was able to keep from doing anything horribly stupid for a good while after that (at least I think it was, it is probably open to debate though). Sometime later in the tournament, as we were nearing the bubble, I was to the point where I was just hoping that if I was going to bust it was at least going to be on a good hand. I was tied with Kat for the short stack at the table when I found myself with A-J in early position. I raised it 5x the BB (thus proving that I am trying to teach myself to bet pre-flop so that I can try to limit my horrible beatdowns later in the hand), which was folded around to Shane in the Big Blind. He didn’t even seem to think about, just pushed. While I have played with most of the other people in the tournament before, I really haven’t ever played with Shane. I don’t think that he actually knows how tight I play, and as such I thought that he saw my huge raise as a steal attempt. I thought about this one for a long time before I eventually called it. A-J is really not an ideal hand to be putting your tournament life on the line with. This late in the game it is fair to assume that if the reraise was not just to stop me from stealing the pot, it must be either a pocket pair or two faces. In this case, it happened to be a pair of 8’s. The flop missed us both, but the turn paired my Jack. Then the river gave me a set. I will take luck any day.
I managed to bust out Smokkee when we were down to 6 players when my A-10 outran his K-J. (I bring that up only because I am sure it will never happen again). But either my luck, my logic, or more likely both failed me a short time later. With a suited A-3, I decided I wanted to see a flop bad enough to call a 2,500 bet (I had about 16,000 at that point). The flop was a rainbow, but I did hit bottom pair. My boy Mungo (I should say Guin, but Mungo makes me think of a St. Bernard for some reason, and so does his avatar, which is actually a penguin. Did I ever mention I smoked a lot of weed in the 80’s…and 90’s) Hoyed me. The board was showing 3-10-J at that point, and I really didn’t think any of those had hit him. His big bet pre-flop made me think he had A-K or A-Q, I don’t think he bets that much with anything lower than that, and I think he bets more if he has a pair. Since he is pushing now, I am putting him on K-Q, giving him the OESD. I tell myself that fifth place is still pretty good, and call, pretty sure that I was actually ahead at this point. When the turn brought up a Queen, I knew I was beat. Mungo told me I should fold, but it isn’t as if I am really going to be able to battle my way back from one chip, so I had to call. He did have the K-Q, so the only thing that can help me on the river is an Ace or 3, neither of which hits. See, in order for me to win, I have to get all of my chips in when I am behind. This time I was ahead when the chips went in, so really I never stood a chance.
So, IGH in 5th. Which was at least a $52 payday. And which brings my average finish in this tournament to the high teens. And heck, I was able to repay Mungo for doubling me up so many times the last time I was able to make it to the final table. Of course now I think I owe Shane and Smokkee some chips. Damn, I may never win this thing.