When the WPBT POY event started, I wasn't paying much attention. I was finishing up a satellite tourney on FTP for a chance to play for a WPT seat. I was doing ok, having made the final table. Only two entries would be awarded and money to the top 5. I bubbled out. I let my aggression get in the way with some steals that got caught. Of course I saw the little stack get lucky and double up so I wouldn't even get a consolation prize. Oh well. I really want to focus on these satellites. I would love to win a WPT entry. But next time I am not playing a $6 buy-in. I rather token my way into a higher event and capture a slot when they give more than two seats out.
But now it was time to focus on the main event.
My stack was getting kicked around. Though we started with 3000, I was losing them fast. I lost a big chunk when I called a raise with A J and saw the A high flop. The initial raisor bet it out and I raised. I hated the response- all in! Damn! I folded as it was way too early to go out with a J kicker.
I was down to 1300 when I was able to double up with 8 8. Then doubled again with Q Q. At first I was just happy to be back above the staring stack size. It felt like a new beginning.
And a new beginning it was. At the end of the 2nd break I was in 1st, having just cracked the Hilton Sisters with A J. I went on a nice run, combining aggression with patience, and just a bit of luck.
I then had some fun when the Rooster (why weren't you playing?) showed up in chat looking for me. I guess he didn't know my screen name. Maybe he was just playing along but it was funny. Said some nice things about me. Like how I could cash in beer bottles to pay off debts.
Playing a big stack can be weird at times. You can afford to take extra risks. To an extent, it feels like a responsibility. On behalf of others, you need to use that stack to knock out the short stacks. Like when I had 7 7 hold up on Q J when small stack pushed. With extra chips I can afford to lose, I can make the call easily. But if I was short stacked myself, I may fold it because it could mean being knocked out or crippled.
But wielding the big stack has it's advantages, especially when you start stealing. I knocked out Joe Speaker when he pushed with 9 9 against my Q Q. Granted that his only move but I had stolen a couple blinds just before the Hiltons visited.
Then I went card dead. I stole some blinds but that was far and few between with the low cards I was getting. This would be the one question I would like to throw out to the pros. What do you do when you have a big stack and go card dead? Sit back and watch others catch up, or keep firing away and hope you get away with it?
At the final table, I had a nice lead and wanted to protect it to the money. Which isn't hard when you are card dead. 5 3, J 6, 10 4, A 2, Q 3, 10 3, 3 9, K 4, 10 8, K 3. Those are my actual 10 hands at the beginning of the final table. It was driving me nuts. Then when I try to play a hand, K 10, I just about run into aces but wisely laid down. Yikes!
I run a nice bluff and steal when I bet an A high flop with crap. A couple hands later 10 10 looks like gold. But BadBlood raises UTG. Hmm...I have to pop it back and am glad he folds. He is playing really tough at this final table. I don't want to tangle with him on his terms.
My cards aren't improving much either. If I want to get back in, I need to play some good post flop poker. I did when I called a raise from the button with 7 6s (apologies that I do not have your site to link. Send it and I will update). Flop was A 6 3 and I bet it out hoping he was just on a steal. He was and I took it down.
But on the next hand, the same thing was going down. Same guy raised but this time I had K Qs. So I re-raised hoping he was playing a big ace. He just called my raise; no re-raise. Flop was K J x. I like this flop and bet half the pot. Now he pushed. Ruh roh! My gut told me I was behind. I felt there was a good chance he was playing K J. But then again, I may be good. I thought I would go with my initial reaction that he had just an A, maybe A J. I called. Oops. He had A A and I was done. Very well concealed play there.
Blood would go on to win it. Fantastic job! I knew I didn't want to have to battle with him for a reason.
I am happy with the run I made. In retrospect I am not too happy with how I went out, but I fell to a good play. I should have gone with my gut instinct. I felt I had a good read on some of the players at the final table. A check at the end would have save my chips and I wouldn't have been committed to the pot. That is poker though. One bad move and you can be done.
Now I need to scout some others spots out. I got out of my token slump and am collecting them again. I will begin to play more of the $75 SnG token tables, but wish they would have more events out there for the bigger tokens. The times don't work well for me.
Overall Sunday was a good day at the tables too. In clearing the rest of the small Paradise bonus, I walked away up 30 bb for an hour of play at the 5/10 tables. For once all the big pots came my way. It is nice to have over $250 come your way instead of some clown hitting their gut shot straight on the river.