The evening got off to a very interesting start when Trent who was not at my table went out on the first hand. It was his 5th Anniversary and I believe his goal was a quick double-up and then blind off. Unfortunately, his JT(if I heard right) didnt hold and it was a quick exit for him. Joyce then went out from the other table. I was holding court on the blue table in Seat 1 (I got the deal first) directly across from Ray who was in seat #5. Dane was directly to my left in the 8 seat. Good Grief the top three from last week all at the same table.
There are nights that you make one big mistake and you wind up paying for it for the rest of the evening. In my case, I made a couple of little ones early on that lead me to the big one later on. Only my well-timed all-ins and shortstack skill allowed me to eek out a 12th place finish just missing the final table.
First mistake was I was bluffed off the best hand by the player to my immediate right. He re-raised me on the turn with nothing but a pair of twos in the hole when I had the top pair. I folded, I believe Ray called and in the end I would have won the hand had I stayed in. Fortunately I picked up a pattern to his play: a tendency to over-value low pair and to bluff re-raise on the turn when a over card came to the top pair on the flop. I also got a peek at a couple of his cards. First time, I had shared a table with him and rest assured I will eventually make him pay for his bluff. It is truly amazing how many people dont protect their cards.
I then chased an open ended staight draw. Either an Ace or 9 would have given me my straight and I missed. With two others in the pot I felt I was getting the correct value to at least bet out. Shortly after Trent and Joyce bust out. Ray takes Bruce to task. There were only two hands that could have beaten Ray. There was so much money in the pot, Ray makes the correct call and rakes in a very nice pot and a very nice chip lead. We lose another one at my table when AK runs into JJ. Much like my AQ fold of Wednesday nite to another AQ and 99 hand, Ray folds his AK to the two all-ins.
My best hand of the nite was on the first table was when I minimum raised and got a call from Ray in the BB and I think one other caller was in the hand. Ray looks at me and asks if I'm breaking out yet. I have a tendency to get blotchy and on the verge of hives when the adrenaline starts kicking in. I tell him that perhaps he should fear the minimum raise from me (and since Ive been flushed out enough this week I havent had to turn pink/purple yet). It is fun to banter with someone who speaks the same table language. Check Check Check... with a King on the flop. Turn is a low card. Check Check I fire and take the hand down. My middle pockets were enough.
Eventually, my table breaks. Ray and Dane to the other table and me to the table with Zoe and Mike (who is on my right). It is at this table that I make my boo boo of the night. I raised to $400 with KT hearts. I forget who is on my left but he pushes all in. $1600 more to call. I contemplate the hand not really thinking it out. I make the call and its A8os vs KTh. The board flops an Ace, I double my opponent up and I am now short stacked and kicking myself.
Ray has built a nice stack at the other table and at one point was over T10000. He turns around and tells me to hang in to the final table. I tell him my tale of woo with the KTh. KTs knocked me out of the Sahara tourney when I had been running the table and I made a questionable call against a imbecile who told me he didnt play his cards he played how he felt. He just happened to wake up with QQ and stacked me when I paired no King and the straight didnt materalize. His weak tight girlfriend who said nothing (but then again I dont think she spoke a word of English either) was the source of many of my chips when I raised her blind round after round. Turns out KT busted Ray in the 2005 WSOP Main Event. Yet, we both play still play the hand.
I am about to be blinded out and look down in the SB with T8os. Now I remember what Phil Gorden and Harrington say when in the dead zone any two reasonable cards will do. Bill calls with 64 as its only another 300 or so from the BB. The flop is no help to either of us and Im in the lead bu I two pair on the turn and river and have doubled up. I live. We go to the break. I go over to check on Tracey and Ray and see that they have about the same number of chips as me. Ray lost in the course of two hands most of his stack to Lex who is sitting there like King of the Mountain.
I then triple up when my A8os with Ace of Spades (such a pretty card) hits a runner-runner flush. Zoe and Mike both call and I hit the nut flush on the river. Zoe creates a side-pot which I think Mike got upset about. Zoe states she has a hand. I know I hate it when someone bluffs at a dry side pot. But if I have a hand I wont check it down either.
Tracy and Ray hit the rail from the other table, Ray with KT. Mike gets sent packing from my table and before me when his AA runs into Zoe's KK and she hits a set. I folded AJos on that hand to move up another position. I then double up off Zoe when I push with QQ. She can afford the call and does with K3. The flop comes 33x and then a King on the turn seals my fate until the case Q hits on the river and my queens full of threes take her threes full of kings.
I eventually go out in 12th having nursed my small stack longer then I thought was possible. I've come back to win a tourney down to my last 110 chips but not tonight. Frankly my reads were off and I just didnt play well except for my short stack play at the end and one hand from my first table. And no it wasnt the hand when I raised to $600 when the blinds were still $25/$50 (or they had gone up to $50/$100). That was me not paying attention to the blind levels.
Im so annoyed at myself and since I'm working in the AM from 7 to noon, I decide not to buy into the cash game. I bid good nite to Tracy, Ray and Mike and a few others. About the only good decision I make all evening is what I wore. I think I channelled my inner Jennifer Tilly rather well (sunglasses, darker hair, and choice of tops...I have enough of those tops and its a long season!!).
Congrats to Eric (Edawg), recoined by me as Educk, for his quad ducks two weeks in a row, for winning Event #3. He moves on to the Tournament of Champs with Ray and Steve.