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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

December 10, 2003

Patience Can't Last

by Luckbox

A week ago, I posted a tourney played by Otis that was a bit of a roller coaster. Shortly before that, I played a tourney that was more of a steady climb to the edge of a cliff. I made it to the final table and faced a crucial decision.

My patience paid off over about 200 hands, and then in a moment I would rally or crumble. There's a fine line there when you're sitting at the final table.

There were 136 players and the entry fee was $5. Enjoy. (Feel free to skip to Break 1, Break 2 or the Final Table, all are in bold.)

Hand #22

I've sat for 21 hands without even getting a look. I'm at 940 chips and in an early position when I see cowboys.
I raise the big blind of 20 to 50 and get two callers. The flop comes 3s, 2d, Kd. I really couldn't ask for a better flop, except for the two diamonds.
I decide to check-raise, it's early and I've demonstrated I'm a tight player, maybe someone will try to buy it.
Shahshank42 bets 180 and amazingly, ajperez78 raises to 720. I've got the nuts, so I raise all-in. ajperez78 calls.
Showdown time and he shows just Ah-Ks. Only running aces will beat me, and instead it's running 8's. I'm up to 2140.

Hand #30

A few hands later I'm a middle position with Ac-Tc. I raise again to 50 and get one caller.
The flop is 7c, 7d, Ad. If he stayed in with a 7 on that raise, he's going to get my money. I bet 130, he calls.
The turn fills me up when the Ah falls. I go all-in and when he calls, I know he's got the other ace. The pot is split and I'm at 2035.

Hand #64

I took another 34 hands off and I'm down to 1770. I'm probably playing too tight, especially with the stack I earned early.
I'm in the big blind of 40 when I get a pair of sixes in my pocket. Two players call me and I simply check. I've never been good with middle pairs.
The flop comes Kh, 5h, 3c. We all check. Either no one has the King or someone is slow-playing.
The turn is a beauty, the 6c. Even the minimum bet may have forced me out before the turn, instead I have a set and bet 120. mrmax calls.
The river is another 3 and I'm full. Even if he has the miracle 2-4 (and who would?), I still beat him. I bet 360 and he folds. I'm up to 1970.

Hand #73

A few hands later, I'm at 1990 and UTG when I get Ah-Qd. I raise to 80 and only the small blind calls.
The flop is 8c, Kc, 3h. He checks and I decided to try and buy it. I bet 200. Unfortunately he calls.
The turn is the Ks. He checks and I throw more money into the deep well of "maybe I can bluff him."
This time it's 150, and this time he goes all-in. I quickly fold and I'm down to 1530.

Hand #75

I'm in the small blind of 30 when I get one of my favorite hands, pocket tens. I'm gun-shy from two hands ago and just call, four of us are in the hand.
The flop is 7h, 7s, Ah. Ugh. I check, but so does everyone else.
The turn is the Ks. I check, and so does everyone else. I'm starting to think maybe I should bet. However, there's been a lot of slow-playing so far.
The river is the As. I bet 60 and get one caller. He's got the K and it beats my tens. I'm down to 1380.

Hand #86

Way back at hand #22, I was at 2140. Now I'm down to 1230 on the button when I get a pair of jacks. I raise to 210 but get no callers. Maybe I should have raised a little less.

Hand #89

Three hands later I'm in a late position with 1320 when I get cowboys again. However, I didn't learn my lesson, because the raise to 270 forced everyone out. I am up to 1470 now.

Hand #92

I'm in an early position at 1470 when I get Ad-8d. This time I do a minimum raise to 120 and everyone still folds. I'm up to 1560.

Break #1

During the first hour, I made 560 chips, but I was up to 2140 rather early and squandered that. Those late blinds I grabbed helped a bit.

Hand #96

The blinds are up to 50-100 and I'm on the button when a pair of pretty ladies come calling. An early bettor raises to 350, I call, and a short stack goes all-in for 290.
The flop is 9d, 8c, Js. I like it. My pair is bigger than anything on the board. I go all-in, forcing the other player out. It's showdown time with the other all-in player.
He shows just a pair of 5's, and with just two outs, I'm feeling good. The 4s on the turn and 7h on the river don't help him. I'm back up to 2100.

Hand #104

It's big blind time (100) when I get rags, 5c-7s. With three callers, I just check. I'll see a flop.
When it comes 7h, 7d, 6d, I silently thank the other players for just calling the blind!
Even with two diamonds on the board, I decide to slow-play. I'm not sure why, there's already 400 in the pot. Everyone checks.
The turn is the Td. That makes the flush for anyone with two diamonds. Ugh. Time to see if anyone's got it. I bet 400 and get one caller.
The river is the 9c. I'm paranoid. I see a flush and I figure I was lucky to be in the hand anyway. I just check and so does he.
My fear was unfounded because he just has Kd-Th. I take 1200 to get to 2750.

Hand #106

I'm on the button with 2600 when I see my second pair of sixes of the tourney. A small stack goes all-in for 625 and I put him on Ax. I call.
Showdown time and he's got Ac-4d. That gives him just three outs, unless he gets real lucky.
The board comes 5d, Qs, Js, 7h, 2h and I take another 1400 to get to 3375, my high water mark so far.

Hand #118

The blinds are up to 75-150 and I'm in a middle position with 3000 when those pretty ladies come back. I raise to 525 and everyone folds. Do I play my big pairs to big? I should probably just keep my raises to the standard 3 times the big blind.

Hand #125

I'm still at 3000 on the button when cowboys come for the third time. I do just the minimum raise and everyone folds.

Hand #126

Next hand and it's sixes once again. I call the big blind and three of us will see a flop.
It comes 8d, Qs, 3d. It's checked to me. I bet the minimum 150 and I get raised to 300. He's probably got a Q, but I'll call the minimum raise to see if I get lucky.
When the turn brings my third 6 I think back to hand #64. He goes all-in for 700 and I gladly call.
It's showdown time and he's got just Qh-Jh. When the river brings the 3c, I take 2525 to move up to 4600.

Hand #132

I'm in the big blind of 200 when I get Jc-5c. Well, at least they're suited. One caller and I check.
The flop is 8c, 9c, As. Well, now I've got a flush draw. We both check.
The turn is the 2h. We both check. A sizeable bet would have forced me out here. I don't generally chase.
The river is the 3c. That's the flush. I bet 500 and he goes all-in for 3225. Did he catch a better flush? There's three cards that would do it, and I don't think he's got them. I call.
The 3c was about the worse card that could come for him because he had 3s-3d. My flush beats his trip-3's, and I jump up to 8025 and 2nd place overall.

Hand #135

I've moved tables, and find myself at the same table as the tourney leader. I'm in middle position when I get Ad-Td. I raise to 500 and a short stack goes all-in for 1400. I call.
He shows a big hand, Qh-Qd. At this point, I need an ace or some diamonds.
On the flop, I get not one ace, but two! Just one problem. There's a Q as well.
The 9d on the turn and 3s on the river do nothing for me and my set of aces lose to a full house. I'm down to 6625 and in third place. I don't like this table.

Hand #140

I'm in the small blind of 100 when I get Ah-3h. I simply call and four of us will see the flop.
It comes 5h, 2h, 7h. Jackpot! Are there many feelings in poker better than flopping the nuts?
Slow play time. I'm new at this table, and they have no idea what I do. I check. One guy bets 200, another raises to 400, I call, and it's just him and I.
The turn is another 5. Ugh. That's what I get for slow-playing. Suddenly the nuts is any pair that hit the board. I'm not giving up, however.
I check, he bets 600 and I raise to 3600. That would force him all-in and he's unwilling to go there. I take in 3000 to move back to 8225 and 2nd place.

Hand #141

Next hand and it's even better than the last one. Pocket rockets for the first time this tourney.
It's raised to 1400 long before me and I raise to 2600. He calls.
The flop is 4d, Ac, 5s. Another beautiful flop and I force him all-in for his last 200. He calls.
His J's are virtually drawing dead, and when the turn is the 2s and the river 5h, he is dead. It's another 5900 and I'm at 11325 and in 1st place!

Hand #153

The blinds are up to 150-300 when I get Ad-Jh in a middle position. I raise to 600 and get one caller.
The flop is 8c-4d-2d. He's got just 305 left, so I decided to force him all-in and he calls.
For the showdown, he's got Tc-Td, and now I need an A or J on the river or turn to knock him out.
The turn is the Jc I was looking for, and the river is a harmless 5s. It's another 2260 and now I'm at 12680.

Hand #155

It took me 141 hands to get it once, and just 14 hands later I'm looking at American Airlines again. UTG, I raise to 900 and get two callers (one of them all-in).
The flop is 2c, 5s, 6d. I bet 5000 and the other guy still in the hand folds. It's showdown time.
He's got a harmless Ks-Qc. The turn is the 8d and the river the 5c. It's another 3120 to 14600, still 1st place.

Hand #157

I'm in the small blind of 150 when I get a pair of 9's. I just call and three of us will see the flop.
It's 6c, 6h, Jh. I bet the minimum 300 and get one caller.
The turn is the 5h. I bet the minimum again and get called.
The river is the Ac. Another minimum bet, another call, and he shows As-Jc.
That's the way not to play with a big stack. I had an almost 2-1 chip advantage. Why not throw some real chips out there and see if he's got anything before he catches something on the river?

Hand #172

I'm in the big blind of 400 when I get the monster hand: 3d-2c. No one raises so I get to see the flop along with the small blind.
It's 6d, 3s, 6s. Does he have a 6? Probably not. He bets 400, I raise to 800 and he calls.
The turn is the 3c and I'm full. If he has a 6, his boat beats mine. He checks. Trapping? Time to find out.
I bet 2400 and he folds, showing me As-8s. He was looking for a flush. I take 2400 to get to 15330.

Hand #179

I've taken some blinds to get to 16300, still 1st place. I'm in an early position when I get Ac-Qh. I raise to 1000 and a short stack of 670 goes all-in.
Showdown time and he's got Kd-Jc. I've got the advantage, he needs to pair something.
The flop is Ts, 7h, 3h. No help for anyone. The turn is the Qc giving me a pair. The river is the Jd giving him a smaller pair. I'm up to 17170.

Break #2

I really did well that hour. I moved from 1560 to 15970. I'm in 1st place overall and we're down to just 20 players, just two tables. I'm feeling good, I'm already in the money.

Hand #207

That's right. I've got the big stack and I haven't made a real move for 18 hands. The blinds have me down to 14170. And suddenly, one player at the table is up to 34500. He's caught every card.
I'm on the button when I get 4s-4h. A small pair, and I don't like small pairs. I call, and four of us will see the flop.
It's 8c, 9h, 3s. pumakid21, that really big stack, bets 1400, and, for some reason, I call. Maybe I'm looking for the magic my sixes brought me twice on the turn.
The turn is the 9s, no magic. He bets 5500 and I fold. I'm down to 12170 and 4th place.


It took quite a few more hands, but we finally got down to 10 and the final table. The blinds knocked me down to 10970, but still 4th place. I couldn't catch a card to save my life. Since break #2, it's been feast for pumakid21 and famine for me.

Hand #2

We've been at the table for just two hands when I get my first big slick of the entire tourney, Ah-Kc.
I'm in an early position when I raise to 2800. Everyone folds until pumakid21 raises me to 4800.
It's decision time.
I can fold and live to fight another day. I can call and see the flop. I can raise all-in and roll the dice.
Here were chip totals going into this hand:

segor is at seat 0 with 2100.
pumakid21 is at seat 1 with 62350.
short is at seat 2 with 7025.
observer is at seat 3 with 3670.
cusephenom is at seat 4 with 10970.
rickster71 is at seat 5 with 18760.
Ionic is at seat 6 with 5205.
SEFT is at seat 7 with 15855.
stoppiello is at seat 8 with 9400.
duece is at seat 9 with 665.

The blinds alone were about to knock out duece, and a few other players weren't far behind. If I move up a few spots, I increase my winnings.
However, if I'm going to win this thing, doubling-up would help a lot. Especially taking those chips from the big stack.
If it's anyone with fewer chips than me, I'm in without a second thought. What am I worried about?
I raise all-in and he calls. Showdown time and he's got just Kh-Jh. I breathe a sigh of relief. He didn't have a pair.
I'm a 70% favorite to win the hand before the flop.
The flop is 4c, 2h, Qd. I'm now an 83% favorite! Can you guess where this is going?
The turn is the Jc. Ugh. I suddenly have just 7 outs (any T or an A), and I've got just a 16% chance of catching.
The river is a Kd. I catch a pair, but he catches two and I'm the first one to leave the final table. I turn my $5 investment into $10, yet I'm stil rather disappointed.
I think I learned a lesson. Don't fight a big stack at the final table. Pick your spots. I was patient the whole tourney just to become rash on hand #2. Lesson learned for next time.

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