Posted by Dr Fro 5:13 PM
I didn't take too many notes, as I wanted to focus on my playing, but I did take a few:
The blinds started out at 5/10, and we were given $5,000 as an initial stack. Blinds went up by app 50% every 15 minutes; sometimes they doubled every 15 minutes. There were supposed to be 50 players, but there were only 39. I think that is because some people qualified multiple times. So there were only 38 people between me and my dreams becoming a reality. I liked my odds.
I really liked my odds when I played K9 out of the gate and flopped top two pair. I won a small pot and immediately became the chip leader. It wasn't much longer that I got A9 on the button and decided to raise. I got re-raised the minimum. I called. I slowed down on the next three streets to see a final board of 4455J. He checked, and so did I. I really thought about betting, but reason got the better of me. I am glad it did because he had KK. For a rare instance in my life, I took my foot off the gas and was glad I did. The hand did cost me though, as I went down to $4,400 in chips and fell to 37th place.
I was a bottom dweller for a while when I got lucky and turned a flush. There were a lot of cards out there that indicated to me that my opponent could either be drawing to a straight or maybe he could draw to the K-high flush still. I decided to slow play and let him catch up. Catch up he did, and I won a big pot. Once again, slowing down paid off for me.
At 4:27, I called with 66 on the button. The BB raised and I called. I flopped my set (as I seem to do with uncanny frequency) and take him for a lot of money. He had TT. Lucky me.
At 4:54, I get disconnected (damn SBCYahoo!!!) while holding 89s in the BB. When I finally get reconnected, I am in the BB again and get diconnected again. I am livid. I get back on, and then we go to the break. I am in 18th place out of 31 remaining players. I have $4,790 in chips. Shortly after the break I get disconnected again and miss 4 hands (inlcuding the SB, BB and button). I get reconnected and am steaming. I finally calm down.
At 5:23 I got dealt 77. I am heads up against another player with KK. I flop a set. (I do that.) I take all of his money and end up now in 7th place out of 28 players. I have $8,330.
When the blinds get to $200-$400 (the 9th level), I am at $6,700 and am in 12th out of 24 players. Somebody makes it $1,000 to go and I pay the extra $600 holding AQ. The flop comes Q-rag-rag. By the river we are both all-in and I find out he had AK. A pattern has clearly developed of me starting out preflop with either very inferior or completely dominated hands only to pull ahead on the flop. In all of these hands, I was getting the right price to see the flop. I think my opponents hurt themselves by betting too little pre-flop. That is what having a $10,000 prize will do to your play. I now have $10,225
I am 9th out of 19 when when we consolidate to 2 tables. Playing with 21 players is tough becuase the blinds are eating you alive. It was nice to get some relief from the blinds. Everybody was playing super tight because there was no prize unless you made the final table. The 2 chip leaders were bullying everyone and gettng away with it. I stole the blinds a couple times just to stay alive.
At 5:55, the blinds are $300-$600 and I play 44 only to flop a set. Of course I flopped a set.
We get down to 13 players and blind stealing gets a lot easier, so I do it a lot. I get AQ, call a small raise and win a big pot off of a guy holding JJ after I flop a pair. We are now going to call this "Friou-ing".
Friou - \Free-yo\ v. - 1 to be behind on the flop, connect on the flop, and end up with all of the other guy's money.
Things are going very well for me, so I am due something bad. When you know that you are due something bad, the sight of JJ in your hand gives you shivers. Although not scientifically proven, most experts agree that only very bad things can happen to you while holding JJ. Three of us end up all-in before the flop. My opponents hold AT and QJ. SWEET! I am a favorite to win. There is a decent side-pot, too, so even if the small stack beats me, I will just about break even on the hand. The flop comes Qxx. Crap. The turn brought a J. YEEHAW! The river brought a Q. UGGGGHHH! I take the side-pot and basically break even on the hand. There are 11 guys left and I am in 11th place. A second later, some guy gets eliminated at the other table and BINGO - I am at the final table.
It is now 6:32 and I have been playing for 3 hours. I have $8,616, which makes me the smallest stack. The blinds are $400-$800. In short order I find myself with $7,816 and on the break.
We get back from the break, and the blinds are at $750-$1500. My "M" is not very high. On the first hand, I get 22 on the button. The chip leader raised to make it $4,500 all day. This is not surprising because he raises just about every hand. I doubt he has a very good hand, so I consider my fate. This may be my best chance to double up. I am so severly short stacked that if I double up a few hands from now, I will be doing so with much fewer chips (and maybe only double up to my current stack!). In a cash game, I'd toss 22. But I can't afford to. All in! He shows KQ. The race is on.
He wins it. He caught a Q on the flop. He Friou-ed Friou. Good for him.
Poker.com did an excellent job of running this thing, and I am very pleased with them. If you haven't checked out their site, you should do so. Since the entry was free and since I won an Ipod, I can't complain. The guy that won it was the guy that knocked me out. He had an enourmous chip lead for most of the tournament and he played it well. Good for him.