I played in the big $200 + $15 tourney on Ultimate Bet last night. I won two satellites to pay my entry fee, so it cost me about $67.
350 entrants, 1st prize paid more than $20,000, top 40 places paid ($288 for 25-40 I think). You started with 2000 chips (up from the usual 1000). I was feeling pretty good.
It didn't end well.
I started out playing pretty tight. I'm not sure it's the best strategy for that many starting chips, but it's my strategy.
I hung around 2000 for awhile before playing KQ from a late position. I don't like KQ much, but there were just two of us in the pot and I hadn't played a hand in awhile. The flop came K-x-x. No flush, no straight. I bet the pot and he called. I was worried about AK, but he didn't raise much pre-flop. The turn was another blank. I checked, he made a moderate bet and I called. The turn was another blank. He was shorter stacked than I so I forced him all-in and he called, showing me just KJ. I was up over 3000 for the first time.
I had developed a pretty good image at this table in which I was able to win pots without showing my hand. I continued to build up my stack slowly when I got moved to a new table. My first hand there, I make a bad play and lose almost half of what I've got. I've blocked that hand out of my mind.
I went on a bit of a roller coaster, moving up and down 4 or so times in just 10 hands. The table must have thought I was crazy. I was hoping to use that to my advantage by waiting for a premium hand, but the cards just weren't there.
I made a couple of coin flip calls against short stacks, but lost them both and suddenly I was short stacked with fewer than 70 people remaining. I had gone all-in once and survived, but I wasn't in very good shape.
UTG, I got dealt A9 suited. It's one of the best hands I've seen in awhile. I had about 3600 and I raised the blind of 800 to 1600, leaving me about 2000 chips. It was folded all the way around to the BB. Oh, by the way, the BB was Rafe Furst. You may know him better as a Tilt Boy and the poker-playing partner of Phil Gordon.
This guy had been running on fumes. He had moved all-in a few times and got no callers. Finally someone called him and he flips pocket 8's only to see pocket Q's. Of course, he catches an 8 on the flop and uses that momentum to move well above 10,000 by the time our hand came around.
Back to my A9 suited. Rafe is in pretty good shape. He decides to raise me all-in. What do I do? I know he's just protecting his blind. I'm positive I have a better hand then him. I'm already in the pot for half my stack. A double up here, and I'm in great shape to finish in the top-40. I call.
He flips 45 offsuit. I'm a 64% favorite at this point, but when the 5 comes on the flop, I'm dead. Did I make the right decision? Damn I hate pros!