Thursday, July 14, 2005

Play Perfect Poker, Play Perfect Poker, Play Perfect Poker

Last night was supposed to be the Bluff Poker Tour event at
. I say supposed to be because PokerRewards screwed it up and listed it as a private tournament, then couldn't correct their mistake. The tournament has been rescheduled for Friday. I had been preparing myself all day for battle and I really needed to get some tournament play in.

I headed to my tournament standby site of
and found a $30+3 starting within the hour. My play was inspired even if I do say so myself. I was able to make some laydowns that I felt trapped into playing in the past, read my opponents well, made good decisions, and played one of my best games ever.

This of course went all out the window once I hit the final table. I can't explain what happened but I went into the final table in second chip position. The chip leader (who had about 1/3 of total chips) was the consummate bully and I'd managed to bleed off some chips early learning this fact. He played the part beautifully and in order to assure my survival I decided to avoid him. I tried to bully the rest of the field and either my timing was way off, I lost my nerve, or all these guys were suddenly catching cards. It was more than likely a combination of all of the above but I soon found myself treading water in the middle of the field.

A few players began to be knocked out and it was time to go for a steal with QJ suited in middle position. The player on my left called and I decided to push him off his hand when the flop came down AJx with one diamond. When he pushed back at me, all in, I knew I was behind. If I fold in this spot I only have about 5 or 6 times the big blind so I decided to call. I hoped to catch two pair but was instead rewarded with running diamonds for the flush and the double up. I knew I had just laid a bad beat on him and I offered my condolences. He remained silent and pushed all in when my big blind came around. I had to make the call and I eliminated him.

When we were down to four players the game became very tough. My adversaries were good players and I really was feeling like the odd man out. I managed to take the chip lead (don't know how I did this) and then laid another horrible suckout on the second chip position. I needed runner runner to make my hand and it came in the form of another rivered flush.

I then eliminated the third player when I misread the board. I almost laid down the nuts to his all in bet on the river. I had made my straight on the turn but for some reason, (probably the fact my eyes were growing very sleepy), I thought I only had four to the straight. As I was getting ready to fold I finally realized this fact and made the call.

Once we were heads up I had a nice 3 to 1 chip lead but I was no longer in any condition to make good decisions. I blew off my chips with bad calls and bad bets. It didn't take long and I finished in second place. A nice paycheck for sure, but I really only played well enough to earn 5th or 6th. The wall I ran into once I hit the final table I just couldn't overcome without lucky cards. I hated to eliminate some of those guys that way, especially since they were playing so well. I know they have me listed as a player who just got lucky, and for once I'd agree.