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Here is an old post about a NLHE tournament I played back in 2004. I will archive it later, but for right now, it’s a fun read, so enjoy!
I started out well, had a fantastic loose/passive table and had no trouble hanging on. In fact, I may have made a mathematical error by purchasing the one, optional rebuy/add-on. It only gave me 1k in chips for $40, and I already had about 3k. So I think I made a mistake there, but I’m not often in that situation after the first hour.
Anyway, if my first table was pretty good, my subsequent tables were even better! There were six tables in all, with some alternates, and I played at three of them.
A good player was on my left, but just couldn’t get his hands to stand up. In his coup de grace, he had KTs in the BB, I believe. He flopped TTx and went all-in. A guy with pocket eights called the all-in, even though he hadn’t hit the flop in any way whatsoever. Naturally he got his eight on the river.
I was running very well, no complaints here. I mostly stole pots here and there, or hoped someone became pot-committed when I had a monster, which seemed to happen quite a bit. When I wasn’t able to get a thing, it was fine because the blinds went up rather gradually at that point, and I had more than enough to sit out for a while.
Eventually a dramatic hand vaulted me into the chip lead position when we were playing shorthanded at three tables. I was UTG with a smaller medium stack. I was dealt JJ and my table was pretty tight. I figured I’d just take the blinds so I went in, being that I only had about 10x the BB. I saw a decent player in LP hurrying to get his chips in before I even finished saying, “All-in,” and I knew I was in trouble. Unfortunately, for him, there were still players to act between us, and before he could finish his move, a player in front of him was calling my all-in. Uh oh. Then, the BB, who only had a chip or two more, announced all-in as well! Four of us! Believe it or not, I had the second highest chip count, because by this time the blinds were getting prohibitive versus the total number of chips on the table.
The decent player had AA, just as I’d expected. The guy in between us had AKo and the BB had QQ. I was really a dog here. Naturally I flopped a Jack, and that is all she wrote. I got all of the side pots, plus the main pot. Only the decent player was left with any chips. Suddenly I was the chip lead due to suckout city.
I went into hyper aggressive mode, and stole a lot of pots. One steal was with 73o, lol. I was lucky to have a very good read on my opponents, or I never would have tried this move.
I built my stack up to a 28k high at one point, and the total number of chips in the tourney was about 100k.
We got down to the final table, and immediately the locals started clamoring for a chop. Not a deal, but an even chop. I don’t have to tell you that I immediately vetoed this. One player only had one chip left, yet the locals kept telling me that it was to my advantage to chop evenly with her. I wanted to fall out of my chair laughing, but instead of responding and educating anyone, much less trying to explain why a chop was absolutely ludicrous, I just put a thumb down, and that was that. The TD tried to keep things going, but in between each hand, and sometimes during the play of a hand, they would keep trying to pressure me into chopping.
Naturally the one-chipped player went out early, in ninth, I believe. The pay was very top heavy, first place getting an even 2k, while fifth got virtually nothing. I was going for first.
The only other player who had even close to my stack was a pure calling station, a newbie, who played every unraised pot, and called all-in’s about 50% of the time, with cheese, needless to say. He had about 20k in chips, and went from chip lead to chip dog, in any given hand.
When we got to six, someone proposed a save for sixth, at $100. I agreed to it, knowing anything could happen, and wanting to promote good will. The calling station at first refused the save, but then when he got very low again, agreed to it, and for whatever reason, thought a save was a chop, and put all of his chips in front of him, thinking the tourney was over. I tried to explain to him what was going on, since the TD just stood there. I tried to be nice about it, and he understood, although he still had a look of pure confusion on his face (I’m sure this was his first cash, and may have been his first tourney).
We kept playing at six-handed. He was almost out of chips with horrible all-in calls like Q5s in EP.
I was the button with A9o. It was passed to me and I attempted a steal with 4x the BB. He was the BB and I knew it was possible for him to call with any two cards. I put him to the test, purposely, for half his remaining chips, knowing that I’d probably put him all-in if he didn’t hit the flop. Sure enough, the look of disappointment was etched on his face when the flop came down KQx. He checked slowly, after looking at his hole cards a couple more times. I put him in. He thought about it for at least 45 seconds, not wanting to go out on this hand. Finally he decided to call, feeling that ace high might be good. Well, he was right, his ATo had my A9o beat. He got the jack on the river to fill in his gutshot, and suddenly wasn’t the short stack anymore.
A few hands later the blinds went up and I was UTG. If I waited to the blinds, I would have to commit six of my eight remaining chips to get through them. I got QJs and decided to go for it. It was passed to the BB who had 77, and was short himself. He called, and his sevens stood up.
Hero to zero in two hands.
I was going for the 2k, and instead I got my $100 back. That is poker. Yes, I could have folded my way into the top three, and maybe that would have been the correct choice. I rarely blind my way into the dust anymore, and this is the perfect example of why my style of play sometimes gets me into trouble.
And so goes my tourney life.