Busted out about halfway through the tournament. Disappointing given that I was able to double up early on courtesy of a set over set situation.
More to come once I prepare the screen caps of some key hands.
Okay, here we go. As one would expect, we have a pretty tough lineup of players. I'm pretty pleased to have Fuel, Astin and Mitch to my right. My first hand of the night and I raise the almighty jackace in EP but get three callers. I decide against making a continuation bet on the flop and Chad takes it down using his positional advantage as a nice weapon.
I stick to my plan of opening with suited connectors early in the tournament in hopes of hitting big hands to accumulate chips. Sadly, I don't really get a lot of action here but a 300 chip pot here and there is welcome.
I three-bet Fuel with AdKd out of the small blind but get no action.
I check-raise with second pair in a limped pot and am able to take it down for another nice little pot as I steadily grow my chip stack up.
Then, the fireworks really sparkled as a big pot fountained into being:
Jamy checked bottom set on the flop and I naturally led out with a pot-building bet with middle set. He check-raised, I re-raised, he jammed, and I call of the rest of my stack leaving Jamy with 400 or so chips behind. Fortunately for me, he had a hand which I had crushed -- I was a little worried about going to the felt with the fourth nuts (one higher set, two possible straights on board) but I can't fold once the fourth bet is put in. My hand stands up and I've accomplished my goal of an early double up to nearly 6500 chips. Life is good.
Now armed with a big stack, I resolve not to spew chips but to throw my weight around only in situations where I can sell a plausible story, like here where I opened for a raise with pocket tens and get a call from Magician on the button along with one hitchhiker in early position.
So I put in a solid check-raise on the flop and take down another nice pot. That move has worked out well so far as people seem to be able to fold medium-strength hands so far in the ToC.
Then I get involved in a fairly big pot with the tricky Fuel, who is capable of playing any two cards at any time. He opened with a standard 3x BB raise to 150, I popped it up to 385 with 99. He called and we see a hammer flop! He check-raises my continuation bet to 1320 and I reluctantly call, with the sinking realization that I'm probably up against trip sevens or an overpair.
Fuel jams the turn for nearly 3400 more and I have no choice but to fold.
Then we get to the hand of the tournament for me. This is a sticky situation where I have to critique the inability of most bloggers to ever fold an overpair to the board. I mean, they never ever will do it. Even with an 18K trip for two to Australia on the line!
Now, I'm sure huntsvegas is a very nice person. But he was playing so squeaky tight that he was telegraphing his premium hands with a neon sign, so after I opened with 5h7h for a raise (again part of my strategy early on in the tournament, especially since I still had a lot of chips), I called his re-raise to see a flop. I already had in mind that I wasn't giving up on this pot easily. I put him on a narrow range of premium hands: 99+, AQs+.
The flop comes down a scary J65, all spades. I evaluate for a few moments: okay, I've got third pair. There's no way I'm good here, but I can still plausibly represent having outflopped 99+ or AK. After all, I opened, I called a re-raise out of position, and I've only shown down monster hands so far; ergo, I have a good table image to run a bluff. So I let the 15 second warning flash, and I check with the intention of check-raising. Unfortunately, it's checked behind me.
The turn is the Jh, pairing the board. Frankly, that's a great card for me. So I bet out 580, just under half-pot, trying to make it look like an extraction bet. I get a fairly quick call.
The river is a blank, the 7c. Another good card for me. So I fire a second shell of 1180. Our villain goes in the tank for the full 30 seconds of extra time, and eventually finds a call with ...
the classic overpair, which is only about the 313456th nuts on this board. Good grief! Why do 99% of the participants in a blonkament find it impossible to fold an overpair, especially when you are playing for real stakes? At least he gave it some thought, but he sounded like an idiot in chat when he admitted that he put me on ace-jack or king-jack for trips. (Which, y'know, beats aces up nine ways from Sunday!)
So I lose a big pot and am scrambling regain my footing.
More in the next installment to follow.
Comments are especially welcome on that last hand.