I had high hopes walking into the Winter Classic. I mean, everyone wants to win the tournament they enter, but this one feels special and I wanted to do my best. With the extra cash payout, I was focused on playing my game and doing what it took to win.
I had an interesting table to start at. Iggy, BG, Maudie, MissT74, TeamScottSmith, among others (apologies to anyone I forgot). When the blinds came around to me I quickly tossed a mini bottle of Souther Comfort on my chips to sweeten the pot. I had 3 more to liven the game up with should I lose this one.
I think it was the first BB I had that won me my first pot. MissT74 raised from early position. I looked down and saw A K off. I re-raised and she called. Flop was all rags but I bet out anyways. Turn missed and I continued my bet. River was a K. I thought for a second, wondering if she was slow playing a set. I was also scared to be the first out and win the Gigli prize. I tossed out my last 1000 chip hoping my pair was best. Thankfully it was. She called and was a bit ticked that I rivered her J J.
I proceeded to chip up a bit from there. Moved tables a couple of times and stole some blinds. At the end of the first break I had tripled up and was feeling good. I floated a bit from there.
With 3 tables left, I made myself a good laydown. I had Q J in one of the blinds and saw the flop for free. It came Q high and I bet it out. I was then re-raised. I looked at her and wondered if I was beat by a set again. I went into the tank. I wasn’t so sure I had the best hand. I also wasn’t willing to bleed a bunch of chips when she could have A Q or K Q. Part of me said to call but the logical part- the one that wasn’t drinking as much- said to lay it down and wait for the next hand. So I did. Later she would tell me she had K Q and would have called if I came over the top.
So I survived for now. I stole some blinds even though the dangerous Rooster was in the BB. Very next hand I raise it again with 10 10 UTG. Mid position stops to think. Turns out it is Studio Glyphic. He asks how much I have left. I don’t say a word and spread the chips out. It is around 5400 or 5900. My chip count probably had me in the top 10 at this point, top 3 at the table and only down by a little. Glyph thought it out a bit more and pushed. It folded around. He had me covered so this wasn’t an easy decision.
Were my 10s good? I was pretty confident they were. I put him on a A K, A Q, or a smaller pair. I thought it out some more. If I fold, I still have some chips to move with. But if I call and take it down, I am in fantastic position to make the final table and be a force. The more I thought about it, and the bet he made, I was feeling good that I had the best hand. The other thought I had was that you need to win these kinds of hands to win tournaments. So I called and flipped over my 10s.
He didn’t like that and showed pocket 8s. I was ahead, but needed to survive the board. Flop was good. But an 8 hit the turn. No miracle on the river and I was out in the high 20s. That sucked. Studio Glyphic would go on to win the tournament. Congrats!
There is little you can do when you get your chips in with the best hand they hit a 2 outer on you. The thoughts I have after a beat like that is whether it is the right spot to make a move or not. If I lay it down, will I get a monster hand later? Would that even hold up?
In the end, I was happy with my play. Yes, it would have been better to make the money, but you can’t get there without taking any chances. My risk was low but the poker gods had other thoughts that day.