Thursday, June 09, 2005

To the last I grapple with thee...

"To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."

Herman Melville

I'm not sure whether to be humble or boastful. After a two week drought in the multi-table No Limit Tournament scene I have managed to money in four of my last five. This includes three final table appearances and one win.

The win came last night in the second stop of the Bluff Poker Tour. I surprised myself by just making it into the money since I was playing card dead for most of the night. A series of blind steals kept me afloat for most of the tournament.

This leg of the series was hosted by Absolute Poker and the blind structure moved faster than their normal pace. With an increase every 10 minutes I was sure I would be lost to the players catching lucky early. I saw on several occasions players pushing a big raise UTG with nothing more than Ax suited when they still had chips to play. This is a bad move, especially from early position but enough were catching post flop that the play became contagious. These players were ripe for punishment and I dealt the death blow to a few before making the final table.

When the final eight were seated I found myself in sixth chip position. The two big stacks at the table would prove resilient and we made up the final three. By this time I had amassed a large stack and I began pushing around. The players became a little too weak and by the time the break came I had over 2/3 of the total chips.

Coolbreeze eliminated the third player and we were heads up. The chip counts were, me: 149,430 Coolbreeze: 77,070 blinds were 2,000/4,000 with a 200 ante.

After only a few hands of play I found myself with the beautiful Hilton Sisters. I called the blind and we saw a flop. The flop came down 4h,8c,10c and we both checked. I really was hunting for the trap here and when a 9s came on the turn I continued the check. Coolbreeze bet out 12,000 and I reraised to 28,000. Without though he reraised and I really couldn't put him on a straight. It didn't seem to fit and although I might have slowplayed my way up against two pair I had him covered and decided to push all in. He insta-called and flipped up a 9d,3c. I had him dominated and it was all over. Or so I thought. A miracle 3 came on the river to give him the pot and the chip lead.

I truly felt I could outplay him post flop so I decided to make an effort to limp into as many pots as possible. I was able to take a majority of the pots post flop and slowly began to come back. He made adjustments though and we began a long bought of trading pots, and the chip lead. After what seemed like the longest 33 minutes of my life we finally came upon the deciding hand. My opponent had begun to adopt the push all in preflop play with more frequency and I knew I would have to make a stand. By this time I had regained the chip lead and had him outchipped by 4 to 1. He pushed all in preflop and I decided to call with Q,8. He had me beat with a K,4 but the board would bring me a runner runner straight and the win.

The points haven't been posted yet but I should have a comfortable lead going into event 3. For my win I also receive a custom silver card protector from It is valued at $999 so I'm really looking forward to getting more details on it. I don't know if I will get to pick the customization or not but when I get it I'll post pictures.