Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tale Of Two $20K's

Filed Under: Poker

Tuesday night I decided to try my luck at the nightly Full Tilt $20K Guarantee tournament. At the same time I fired up a $20 SNG so that I could have something to concentrate on while doing my normal folding during the first hour of the multi. Things went very well in the SNG and I managed a win. Things were also going very well in the $20K as I managed to have a decent stack throughout most of the event. I really felt I was in the zone. My A+ game was in effect and I really thought it would be night for a big win. In my previous 13 attempts at this tournament the best I had ever managed was a 99th place. I was going to blow that away and I was smelling blood as we got closer to the end. My key hand for the night ended up being this:

The Ace that came on the river ended my night in 32nd position. I was severely disappointed to say the least. I knew I was playing my best and my reads had been dead on almost every time.

Then came last night. I decided to play the $20K again as well as The Mookie and the PokerSavvy Blogger freeroll. I donked off early in both the Mookie and the freeroll. I really couldn't get a groove going at any time and I felt rather off. The benefit of being to active in those two events was that I didn't have time to screw up the $20K early. That would come later... or would it?

Knowing that I wasn't playing my best I needed a distraction to keep from being stupid at the tables. I spent time catching up on my bloglines feeds while folding away and waiting for cards. For some reason this worked up through the second break. When I was still going strong I decided to give the game my full attention.

I soon got in the zone and had my first major double up in the form of this hand:

That solidified my chip stack until we made the final table. There was one player of note who was at the same table with me throughout the entire tournament, including the final table. I would have to say that this player had so much gamble in him, that if it wasn't for luck, he'd lose everyone of these things. Having him at the table was both good and bad. He managed to eliminate a lot of players but I had to be careful when entering pots with him. He could push all in at any time and that kind of player is dangerous. Yet also could for the occasional double up so it wasn't all bad.

Heading into the final table I was middle of the pack:

Play at the final table went pretty fast. Things were going well and then I had this huge double up when we were down to three:

The chip leader had been very active and was pushing his stack all in at any given opportunity. I bet the flop and checked the turn intending to call his bet. I was happy to see him push all in and never for a moment thought he had the flush. It's good to be right sometimes. The defining hand of the tournament came a short time later:

Didn't want the call, but...damn that looks good.

Or not.

In hindsight I really could have played that differently and pushed him off the flop. Oh well, live and learn. The damage:

Not bad for a nights work. You'll also notice that Iakaris finished in 10th just missing the final table.