Only played four hands today, and didn’t have any decisions. Just an easy all-in reraise with 66 for 18 blinds on the fourth hand, and lost the flip to AK and finish tenth. Oh well. It was an amazing tournament. Fun even. Obviously I would’ve loved to finish a few spots higher, but my eyes were always on the prize at the top, and I gave myself a real shot to get it. Maybe next time.
After running amazing for three days, I didn’t get much in the way of cards on Day Four. I barely even had opportunities to make moves, and I lost a flip for a 1.75 million chip pot. That said, I did manage to make the final table with 1.2 million in chips (20 big blinds). It’s only half the average stack, but there are six players with 30 blinds or less, and the chip lead is only at 80 blinds, so I’m envisioning several entirely plausible ways I can get right back into the hunt for the title. I’ll give it my best shot. Wish me luck one last time!
It started off lousy. I lost a flip, bluffed off a bunch more, and was down to 112k. I then ran amazingly good and got up to a million. Then I had a misstep. I four-bet against an aggressive player, even though my instincts said he was strong. I overruled my instincts and set him in, thinking he would fold all but his monsters. He had AK, which was definitely a monster for the situation, and I lost half my stack to move back down to 500k. I then won every hand I played for the rest of the night. It was really incredible. To quote Worm, “I caught a run of cards like you **** read about.” Except I mean it in a good way.
I ended up at 1,978,000, which unofficially makes me the chip leader. We have 27 players left. I have a slightly below average stack for the final table–and we’re playing down to the final table tomorrow. My goal is to get a healthy final table stack, but really that’s a pretty meaningless goal. My goal is to maximize EV in every hand, and then deal with the situations as they come up. I’m trying to keep things simple.
And, of course, I’d like to start the day with a hot shower. Sadly, that’s still not possible yet here at the old Borgata. I took a frigid shower this morning. A guy I played with today said his roommate was in the Special Forces, and even he couldn’t deal with the frigid shower. Another guy said he screamed like a little girl throughout. Personally, I never stayed under the water for more than a few seconds. It was pretty agonizing. But after it was over, it felt amazing just to not be in the shower anymore. If any of you work on water mains in south New Jersey, please get down here and fix this thing. I’m sure a bunch of poker players would be happy to tip you a little something.
With that, I’ll say goodnight. Wish me luck tomorrow!
Day Two is in the books, and once again I can’t complain with the result. I’m not on the first page of the leaderboard anymore (I don’t think–I guess it depends how one defines the first page) with my 257,600. But there are about 135 players left, making average stack around 170k, so I’m still in decent shape. For the first time in the event, however, I’ll not have a deep stack tomorrow as we play 2k-4k, 400 ante. Til now, I’ve never had a stack size of fewer than 80 blinds. Day Three will feel more like a regular tournament. We’ll play down to 27, and 72 will get paid.
There is no hot water at the Borgata. Let me say that again. There is no hot water at the Borgata, and there hasn’t been for about 24 hours now. Not only that, they can’t regulate any of the temperatures inside the casino, so the poker room mobbed with players is insanely hot, while the rest of the place is really cold. It’s like the reverse of being in Vegas (with the blistering heat outside and the AC inside), but just as jarring. I’m praying they’ll have everything fixed by morning so that I don’t have to take a cold shower. Otherwise, I will whine and take a cold shower like the half-Russian-American I am.
Time for sleep. Moving Day is next!
I just finished up Day One here at the Borg. It went well. I’m probably in the top ten in chips with my 124,775 (we started with 30K). They got about 775 players, maybe 60% of which will come back for Day Two at 11 a.m. Average stack, therefore, is around 50K.
It’s late and I’m tired, but I have to relate to you all just one hand–possibly the most ridiculous hand I’ve ever been involved in.
Blinds are 100-200 with a 25 ante. A loose/bad/crazy player limps UTG+2 for 200. It folds to the hijack, who is also a loose-aggressive type, but not nearly as insane as the limper. The hijack makes it 775. I decide I don’t want to give up my button, and make a loose call with the 5d3c. The small blind calls, and we see the flop four ways with 3550 in the pot. The flop come Ad4s2d. I have the nuts. The small blind checks, and the wild player bets 2,000. The hijack folds. I make it 6,000. The small blind folds, and the loose/wild guy calls quickly. The turn is the queen of diamonds, putting a three-flush on board. Loose/wild leads out for 6,000 into the 15,550 pot. I choose to just call (possibly a mistake). The river is the nine of diamonds, putting the fourth diamond on board. (Remember, I have the five of diamonds.) Loose/wild bets 8,000 into the 27,550 pot. I reluctantly call. He says, and I quote, “you’re good; you have a flush, right?” I roll over my hand. He shakes his head and says, “yeah, I can’t win.” He flips his hand over. It’s the seven of hearts…and the eight of diamonds. He says, “wait, I win?” He then jumps up from the table shouting, “I played the hand blind! I played the hand blind!” I hope so, sir, given that you put 6,000 into the pot on the flop with 87o on a board of A42.
Outside of this hand, I ran exceptionally good today. I flopped five sets and won with all of them. I rivered the nuts late, and got a big raise paid off. Obviously getting those hands made things easier, but it’s clear based on the above play and many others that this tournament was a great investment, regardless of how it turns out. If I run half as good in Day Two as I did in Day One, I’ll be OK. I’ll give it my best shot.