Thursday, March 17, 2005

My Name In Lights

No grind for me, only sweet profitable goodness. It's been two weeks since I last updated and I've had so much going on poker wise that I really should have been updating every few days. I'll start from the top and work my way down so you can feel all warm and fuzzy about sharing in my poker goodness.

Our little story begins on Saturday the 12th as I ponied up the $33 entry fee along with 239 of my closest friends for the $6,000 guarantee no-limit tournament at Absolute Poker. Tournament play has been difficult lately as I haven't managed a money finish in quite some time. Since reaching a recent breakthrough in limit play I figured I'd try to translate that into the tournament and see what transpired. Resolving to take it easy in the beginning I found a nice run of cards and kept my stack size above average all the way to the bubble.

It is at the bubble that I encountered what would be the most pivotal hand of the tournament. It seemed rather inconsequential at the time but it reaped rewards in so many other ways. At my table we had a rather eclectic group of players and the chip stack sizes varied greatly. Among this group was the lowest chip stack in the tourney. He proceeded to use his maximum time allowed for every hand for about 10 minutes before we reached the bubble. He was pissing me off because although I was in no danger of going out he was robbing me of the opportunity to build my stack up. While others were playing two hands we were playing one. Absolute never kicked in with a hand for hand format so his stall tactics were working for him.

When it happened everyone folded around to me. Looking at the cards I found the hammer staring back at me. Now I'm not one to normally play the often worshipped combination of 7 2 offsuit but I was on the button. The small blind was a medium stack who folded everything and the big blind was mister stall tactic. I was supremely confident that these two would fold so I made the minimum raise and waited. Small blind folded as expected and then the big blind went into his routine. He didn't have enough chips left to even call my raise so I was very surprised when just as his time was expiring he called. The Absolute interface flipped our cards and when his pocket Queens were revealed I figured I had just given him enough ammo to get in the money. The flop came with no help but the turn and river brought the miracle in the form of running two's.

Mister stall tactic went ballistic and berated me for what seemed like about five minutes. Unfortunately he stalled just long enough to make the last money position so not everything was roses in my world. The odd thing about the hand is that the other players, instead of looking at the hammer play as being valid in that position, because it was, they viewed it as me being a loose player who would play anything. I received a lot of play off that. Everyone called when I was in a pot for a while and this allowed me to be in second chip position when we made the final table.

The final table was a thing of beauty. We all jockeyed back and forth for the first 15 minutes or so but I managed to eliminate the first player. Then I eliminated the next, and the next, and the next. I was on a roll and with my chip stack continuing to rise the other players went into hiding whenever I was in a pot. I sent every player at the final table packing and when we were down to three my stack size was so overwhelmingly disproportionate to the other players that they never really had a chance. When heads up my opponent did manage to double up twice before being eliminated but the writing was on the wall well before we got there. The win gave me a much needed boost to the bankroll in the tune of $1980.

This win put to rest any bankroll issues I was having and with my recent success at the limit tables I was now more than ready to go back to the 3/6 waters. A nice side affect of the win was my username being mentioned in the Absolute newsletter. It wasn't quite my name in lights but I can now lay claim to being mentioned in a "publication read by people all over the world" :)

This post looks to be longer than expected so we'll dive into my continued limit play in the next one.