I drove up to AC this weekend (shocker!!!) with a pit stop in Delaware to play the 10:00 pm Friday tournament at Del Park. I busted out of the Friday night deepstack turbo in such an unremarkable fashion that I don't even recall how it happened. In fact, I barely even remember playing. And, I was stone-cold-sober . . .
Saturday morning, I made the quick drive up Route 40 to AC. After a few hours of video poker (a/k/a "Satan's Game") at Borgata, I drove over to Showboat for the 2:00 donkfest. An awful tournament. With awful players. But, it's usually a lot of fun. $20,000 chips, 20 minute levels, no antes (as a sidebar, I use to HATE antes. Now, I've come around and heavily prefer tournaments with antes. It increases the skill level and makes the late stages of tournament play lot more interesting). I busted out of the afternoon tournament in the fourth level with J9. I was in position after a raise and a call. I thought about mucking. I knew I should muck. But, I thought, let me see if I hit a monster. So, I called. The flop came down 98T rainbow. I flopped middle pair and an up-and-down str8t draw. It checks around and I bet $5,500. The initial raiser calls, and we go heads up to the turn. Turn is another 9. Trip 9's and up-and-down. It checks to me and I bet out $7,500. Half my stack is in the middle. Villain shoves. I call. He flips QJ and I don't fill up. Booo. Still not sure if I played the hand poorly or just ran into a cooler.
I shook off the loss, played an hour of cash at Revel, and made back $100 or so. I decided to grab dinner and "free-roll" the 7:00 pm tournament at The Boat. The 7:00 had the same structure as the afternoon event. 63 runner, with 6 paid. I never got much of anything going, and never built up much of a stack. However, I was lucky enough to pull some monster hands when my chip stack reached critical levels, and doubled up a few times to stay alive. Before I knew it, we were down to two tables, and then one table . . .
I reached the final table with about $80,000. With blinds at $8,000 / $16,000, I was in deep shit from the get-go. And, I was card dead. At least there were no antes (have I mentioned how much I HATE antes?). Two people busted out, and we were two from the money. I was down to $60,000 with blinds at $10,000 / $20,000, and the big blind was two seats away. I had to shove before the blinds hit. I looked down at KJ -- an easy shove given the circumstances. But, UTG shoved first. Clearly, this is not a good spot to get my chips in. I know I'm likely behind, perhaps CRUSHED. Nevertheless, I figure this is as good as it's going to get. And, maybe I'm racing against 88 to TT . . . Nope. AQ. I hit my K on the flop, but Villain hits his A, and I'm donzo. Barely out of my seat, in 8th place, as the table collects the bubble money for victim number 7.
I'm still happy with my play. That makes 4 final tables in 10 tournaments this month. Definitely improving my MTT game. And, I'm finding the late-stage experience invaluable. No longer do I face the hesitancy to try and "wait it out" until the money. My instinct is to attack whenever position presents an opportunity to take the blinds/antes. At this point, I'd have to say I'm enjoying tournament play more than cash games - a definite flip-flop from a year ago. Already looking forward to next weekend . . .