Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Final Table Full Tilt $25K

After taking about a month off from the nightly Full Tilt Guarantee I came back with a vengeance last night. The first hour was a roller coaster as I hit a high of 4K in chips but was down to 2K at the first break. I was then moved to a new table that was a dream. I was able to get a quick read on the players and they played the way I expected them to the entire time I was there. This particular mix of players offered some nice opportunities for me and I chipped up by the second break.

The third table I was moved to wasn't as forgiving as everyone had decent stacks and the pot was raised every hand. Fortunately I wasn't there long before being moved to a table with Surflexus. I was able to take the chip lead for a short period of time here when in the big blind I picked up and OESD. It was a battle of the blinds and I called the small blinds all in check raise when he had top pair. I made my straight and enjoyed a nice cushion of chips. Sadly I dealt the death blow to Surflexus when he called my early position raise. I held presto and he couldn't improve his A9.

I began to rest on my laurels a little at this point and that cost me. I started checking my Bloglines feed for updates and surfing around the web. In general, not paying much attention to the game. Before I knew it I was down to just above an average stack and shipped off to another table.

A few hands into the new table I made the critical mistake of the tourney. Not in that it cost me chips, but for another reason I hadn't considered.

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Now let's break it down. I've only been at the table a few hands and I really don't have a read on anyone yet. When the table chip leader raises I'm not interested in my hand, but when a shorter stack smooth calls I instantly saw this as a good steal opportunity. At this point I don't care what the original raiser is holding. I have enough chips to make him think long and hard about a call here, especially with someone to act behind him. The short stack only had 39K in chips to begin the hand. With the blinds at 2,000/4,000/500 if he likes his hand he should be pushing. I read the call as a descent flop worthy hand but not something he wanted to go broke on.

So with that I attempted the steal. The original raiser does as he's supposed to but after thinking for a while I get the call from the remaining player. I hit the flop but he catches a four flush on the river and now I'm crippled.

Interestingly it's not the loss of chips that hurt me. In fact I manage to suckout twice right away for double ups and then hit a few good hands to put me in better chip position than I was before the steal attempt. What hurt me was that everyone got to see what I did, and what I had. After my quick mini run I found that two players at the table (one of which was the player who called my steal) were not going to let me have anymore pots without playing for my stack. By the time I realized this I was back to an average stack and running card dead.

I had to hold on and be very precise when I tried to pick up a pot from that point forward. This led to being the short stack when we finally got to the final table. I held on till 7th place before pushing with a weak Ace and getting called by KK and an Ace better than my own. Had I taken the time to look at the payouts I would have tried to hold on another orbit to see if the other short stack would bust (The JJ guy from my steal hand). If I could have held on I would have made another $300 or so but I'll take the final table finish and $986.