I can't help but feel I am a bit overdue at these blogger events. I seem to play myself out of them too many times when I am doing pretty good. I planned to make this one different. I have done good in other tournaments and this one should be no different. I just need to get through 60 players to take home the crown. Let's hit it.
I feel like I have a celebrity table to start. Among those sitting are Dr. Pauly, CJ and factgirl. There is some guy named Gabe Kaplan as well so you know the Kotter jokes are going to fly.
I get some good hands to start. K K shows up early and I take some limpers chips. Next 10 10 comes walking by me and I chipped up some more. I got off to a nice start, but would I be able to keep it going. Maybe a good sign was being able to drop the Hammer. It is so much easier to play the Hammer early in a tournament than later.
But will the Hammer go away in 2006? There are some rumblings going on....
I take down my first big pot when A K gets me a straight on turn. The BB was slow playing a good pair and probably had flopped trips. He took some time to call my raise. When he checked, I knew to check behind for the free card. He then bet out the turn, Factgirl called and I pushed, hoping for at least one of them to call. Neither did but it was a good pot none the less.
I try to play 3 3 from early position but CJ raises behind me. I call to see a flop come 9 9 5.
I like that flop but check it. He bets out and I have a bad feeling I am a victim of a hammer.
Sure enough, I fold and he shows the JackHammer. Damn. I had a read but no cajones to act on it.
Since I am folding a lot of hands, I decide to start typing in song lyrics from whatever is playing at the moment. For no reason, I type in "balls to the wall" (Accept). Then it was "all hell's breakin loose" (Kiss). I am a bit disappointed that I didn't get any kind of reaction.
I busted CJ out with 7 5 from the SB. I caught a nice flop of 4 6 7. I bet the pot and he called. The turn was an 8. I bet the pot again and he pushed his last 330. Easy call. He had top pair and a gut shot. River was a rag and the Luckbox was gone. I was happy to have him off my left shoulder. If you have played against him, you know how that can be.
"Scotty doesn't know. Don't tell Scotty " A little Lustra. No reaction from anyone. Not even the one named Scott.
I take down some small pots to get over 4k. Otherwise it is fold city. There was one interesting hand that went down. EP raised to 750. MP pushed all in to 1400. BB calls. They show 9 9, 10 10, and 8 9 suited? Tens hold up and he moves to the top of the list.
I am able to lay the hammer again before being moved to a new table. There I run into Iggy and thg. Now I have Iggy on my left. That isn't an improvement from having CJ there. Soon Change100 shows and things may get interesting. Time for a beer.
The only hand I play of interest is J J, which gets me the blinds before I am moved once again. Now I am up against Obie and the Poker Princess. Of course right into the blinds as well. But this table is rather quiet. Let's throw a lyric out there. She's all lips and hips. Hmm...no reaction.
I fold quite a bit until I get 8 8 in the SB. 3 limpers? Pfft! Raise. They all fold and I get my blinds back. But I give it up on the next hand by calling a raise with A Q. It is a J high flop. They bet the pot and I fold. I even try to drop the hammer for a third time but the Poker Princess won't let me. Damn again! It gets worse as she starts to bully the table. There is little I can do as I am getting a good hand every one and a half orbits. So I sit back in envy as my chips go away.
We are down to two tables and I am getting barely any decent hands and stealing when I can. Then I get 10 10 in MP. UTG+2 raises to 400 (100/200/25). I pop it to 1400 and it folds back. I rather not see that flop too. Pauly survives an all in to which I give an Anthrax lyric- you cannot kill what doesn't die. But he goes out soon after that when his K K is cracked by an A.
I chip up a bit with A Ks. It was raised UTG. I bumped it to 2000. He took some time before he folded. I figure he had A Q at best or a small pair. Best part is now I can survive some small stacks pushing on me. With 5700, I have a bit of breathing room. So with A 10 suited, I raise it up UTG. Blinds have increase to 200/400/25. I am hoping to take advantage of sticker shock. It folds around.
Next in the SB, I call with K 10 diamonds. BB raises to 1200 and I call. Flop is Q J 3, two diamonds. I like that flop. I bet it out and call the min raise. The turn is a blank. I check. He checks behind me. River is another 3. I have a choice here. Bluff or fold. I take the latter.
I check. He takes time before showing K J for the pot. Lots of outs and they didn't hit. I probably should have bet the turn again, but doing so would have committed me to the pot.
Next hand, I push all in with A Ko. The original raiser calls me with A 10. I feel like giving my dissertation on how A 10 is not a calling hand. It is a pushing hand. Thankfully, no 10 hits and I basically double back to where I was. A J in the BB and I get some more chips. But I hate when I have 8 8 and raise it up just to be re-raised by a big stack. As much as I feel he has just A high, it isn't worth the risk here. So I fold.
Then I pick off a steal attempt with A J in the small blind bumping me back to where I was pre-8s. We hit the second break and I have 6565, which puts me in 6th place. There are 11 runners left. Final table is the payday.
Blinds increase to 300/600. One hand after the break, we are at the final table. And the big stacks are antsy. Very antsy. I get some weak aces and am tempted to play them but it gets raised in front of me each time. Even when I get the Hammer, it is raised. With 9 9, I raise to 2000 and it folds around. I am the tiny stack at 6300.
I realize if I am going to get anywhere I need to be aggressive. And lucky. A Js earns me the blinds and antes. But I need more than that.
But it seems like I will not get it. Blinds go by and I have nothing to defend with. So when I have K 10 on the button, it looks so good that I push. I get called by the BB with 9 9. Flop gives me more outs as a straight is possible. But with 10 outs, I hit none. I finished in 7th. That was good for $33. Whoo hoo!
I feel good about the way I played tonight too. Play some solid poker. Didn't get stupid and stayed calm. Of course, I will wonder if I should have waited for something better than K high but it was the way to go. At the very least, it felt good to cash in a blogger-like event once again. It is something to build on.