Monday, February 28, 2005


I played in my bi-monthly NLHE tourney this past Saturday. It was the second time I played. I couldn't make the last one due to work although I did show up late and got in the side games as tables opened up and allowed it. There were 52 or 53 that showed up for this one which is an excellent turnout and about all they can realistically handle.......probably 56 max. I stuck to a solid strategy of being tight aggressive early and it paid off. I won a bunch of little pots and got caught only a couple of times with my hand in the cookie jar which wasn't a big deal due to the slow build up of chips I had acquired. There were 3 solid players at my table, a couple of average calling station types, and a couple of very passive weak players.

The blinds were at 30/60 when I was dealt JJ in MP. I raised to $180 and was called by a player in LP and the button. The flop came 5 5 2 rainbow. I led out with $ fold and the button made it another $180 to go. I called and the turn was another 2. I bet the pot which was basically 2/3 of my stack and he went in the tank. He was one of the solid players at the table and I definitely didn't have him on a 5 or a 2 unless it was pockets and I didn't think he would have called the pre-flop raise with pocket 5's or 2's.....if he did and had quads he was going to get paid off. I put him on pocket 9's thru Q's. He finally mucked face up......pocket Jacks! As I raked in my nice pot I went back and forth on whether or not to show........I finally said...."Here are your other two" and flipped them up. The table exploded and he sat back in his chair taking his hat off in disbelief......standing up and walking around for a minute before returning and telling me nice bet. He went on tilt after that loosening up and lossing the rest of his stack within a few orbits.

That put me in solid chip lead position at my table and I was able to push a couple of people off of some hands. When we lost our next person we were all split up and moved to new tables. I had everyone outchipped at the new table I was put and immediately started putting pressure on the table with raises. After the first orbit couple of orbits we lost a player and the tables were being combined down to 3 tables. The player we got was seated to my left which was the only open seat. He was the chip leader of the tournament and I wasn't too happy about seeing him seated to my left......time to hunker down and get some hands while seeing how he played was my thought. The first hand after he sat down I was dealt A K o. I raised three times the big blind from LP and the chip leader doubled it with everyone folding it around to me. I thought about it and limited myself to two choices: 1) fold 2) put him to the test and push all in. I thought he could be trying to establish his presence at the table early with his chips although I put him on a pocket pair......9's, 10's, J's, or Q's. I pushed all in and after thinking for a few moments he called. After he called I said, "you're probably ahead." He replied, " I doubt it" and flipped over Q 7 s. I couldn't believe it! I had the Ace of his suit and he said, "let's see some spades" to which I replied, "as long as there are four of them." I hit an Ace on the flop and the board was rainbow with no flush to come. I had doubled up and was about even with him after that hand.

I rode those chips to the final table which ended up being 8 when numbers 9 and 10 were knocked out in the same hand. There were four of us fairly even with chips and the other four pretty short stacked. The short stacks were in push mode in relation to the blinds which were up there in relation to their stacks and the four short stacks went by the wayside fairly quickly. Three guys from my starting table all made the final table which was pretty amazing. I made a crucial mistake calling an all-in with pocket 5's four handed and he flipped pocket 6's taking half my stack when no 5 came to help. I got back to about even chips with the same guy in the next orbit or two when I looked down to find pocket Kings. I tripled the big blind and got only one caller. The flop came K rag rag and I was first to act......I checked. He pushed all in and I called instantly. He had middle pair and was drawing dead at the turn needing runner runner for quads to win. I had him out chipped.....Barely.....and practically doubled up. Another guy went out in third and I found myself heads-up practically even chip wise. We went back and forth for awhile both being fairly aggressive but not overly so. I had 9 8 s and saw a flop of K 9 8. He led out and I over bet the pot to make it look like I was trying to buy it and praying he didn't have a straight draw. He pushed and I thought about it for a few minutes before calling. He had K 3 o and got no help which put him practically to the felt. I won it a couple of hands later with A 8 o and got a straight using the 8.

It was a great feeling to win a live tourney of this size with lots of solid players. Very Very Gratifying. I will have a 5% bounty on my head for the next one. I hope that makes people loosen up some and gun for me......hopefully I'll catch some hands and acquire some chips.

All in all it was my first multi-table win either online or live........and my first cash of $1000 or more ($1100 total). Can't wait to defend my title in April.

Sorry the details are a little sketchy but I didn't take notes.......All from memory.

Baz Out.