Monday, October 1, 2012

From Last to Cash

Sunday afternoon was a home Jets game . . . or, at least it was suppose to be (you might be fooled by the sea of 49er red):

 . . . so, I drove up to AC for the weekend. 

After an uneventful Friday evening and an early Saturday morning jog on the boardwalk, I drove over to the Golden Nugget for the Noon tournament.  I know I've mentioned it before, but it warrants repeating -- The Best value tournament in AC, by far.  $120+40 gets you $25,000 in chips, 30-minute levels starting at $25/$50.  $10,000 guaranteed.

This Saturday drew 89 runners.  Now that I'm on the wagon, and in no rush to degen it up at the bars, I had no where to go all day and vowed to play patient.  A mere 10 hours later, I was at the final table...   

My tournament really game down to patience, smart play, and a few key hands.  Early on, the only playable hands I found were AK.  I had big slick three times, whiffed the flop on each, but took down the pot with a well-sized C-Bet.  Easy game.

Several hours in, I found myself in a key spot.  Blinds were $100/$800/$1,600.  I'm sitting on around $34,000, the rock in seat 2, who was UTG, and had been open-shoving his stack for the past 30 minutes, opens with a small raise to $4,800 -- nearly half his stack.   Interesting.  Someone want action?   It folds to MP, who was a relatively solid LAG, and repops to $12,500.   It folds to me, and I look down at JJ - the best hand I'd seen to that point in the event.  It's fold or shove.  Rock has about $6,000 behind and must be committed.  LAG has about $20,000 left, and I figure he's getting his chips in if the action goes shove-call.  I tank a bit, and figure this is not the spot to gamble.  I figure I'm racing, at best.  I fold.  Shockingly, rock folds too and shows TT.  LAG mucks.  I live to play another hand.

A little while later, I face another key hand.  Blinds are $100/$1000/$2000, and I'm sitting on around $45,000.  I'm in the small blind when the action reaches me after two limpers.  I look down at JT off and complete my blind.  Big blind checks his option and we go 4 to the flop.

Flop:    J 5 T rainbow.

I lead for $6,200 and get a call from the hijack, who has been playing solid TAG poker.

Turn:  3.  I bet 9,500 and hijack flats. 

River blanks.  I check and hijack shoves for about $40,000.  Interesting.  I think this villain is raising TT or JJ preflop.  About the only hands that make sense are 55 or Q9.  The more I think about it, bottom set doesn't seem right.  More often than not, with the draw on the board, a set of 5's is going to raise me on the turn and, even if he did string it along, why not value bet the river.  I talk myself into a call and Villain mucks.  Suddenly, I'm sitting on $90,000+

Shortly thereafter, blinds still $100/$1000/$2000, UTG (who's sitting on around $30,000) opens to $5,000.  It folds to me, and I look down at AK for the fourth time.  I repop to $18,000.  UTG shoves and I snap call another $22,000.  Villain tables TT and I flop a K to send him home. 

I saw little action thereafter and hit the 5:00 "dinner break" with $125,000 in chips (with the chip average at $49,000).  Over the course of the next 5 hours, my stack remained little changed.  I tried to play extremely tight aggressive, not limping a single hand, and three-betting hands like pocket 88's with success.  I repeatedly folded the barrage of suited small Aces I was dealt, despite the boredom, and resisted the urge to make the types of moves that normally spell my demise in the late stages of these types of tournaments.  I was able to take down the growing blinds and antes just enough to keep my stack over $100,000, as the chip average was closing in.

With 89 runners, 9 spots were paid.  Given the generous tournament structure, we played at 11 for nearly an hour before someone finally busted.  We hit the final table at approximately 10:00 pm.  I entered with the third lowest stack.  Blinds quickly rose to $2,000/$8,000/$16,000, so milking my $120,000 was not an option.  Mercifully, the bubble burst quickly and we were all in the money.  I then doubled up with A9 suited against KT --  I  open-raised to $32,000 and got called by a big stack.  Flop was K77.  He checked, and I shoved.  He snapped called and I rivered and Ace.  Clean living.... 

Two more runners busted while I looked at bevy of unplayable hands for several orbits.  I was back down under $100,000.  As the blinds approached, I was committed to shoving the next playable hand.  In early position, I look down at KQ diamonds.  This is my last stand.  Player directly to my right min-raises to $40,000.  He had been opening with lots of medium pocket pairs.  I figure I'm racing and shove.  He flips 99 and I don't improve.  After 11 hours, I'm out at 6th place.




  1. Good cash sir. Good recap. It seems like you played solid tight poker. Congratulations - when you play like that, you deserve the W.

  2. "A mere 10 hours later, I was at the final table..." :) Congratulations!

  3. how much cash for