Had a great holiday weekend and hope all of my readers did too. It was great to spend time with my family in the spirit of the season. I played some PS2 and did Legos with my son (8), had some great talks with my daughter (soon to be 12), and spent some quality time with my wife. Even cooked a kick-ass Christmas Eve dinner, featuring bacon-wrapped fillet mignon and twice-baked potatoes with bacon and horseradish.
Since my wife took ill on Christmas Day and went to bed early Sunday and Monday, however, I wound up playing more poker than expected over the holiday weekend. My game was…there.
It started on Friday night, when I fired up Poker Stars and sat down in a $10 SNG, finishing in third place for a tiny profit. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I just haven’t been able to get any traction on Stars since I started playing there a few months ago. As a result, this seemed like a major event to me.
When that wrapped, I plopped down $10 and joined 642 other people in a NLHE MTT. Up until the first break, I floundered around; not getting many decent cards and not hitting much on the flop. As a result, I went into that break below average and without much hope. Things got worse after the break and I found myself staring at a rapidly diminishing stack in the face of increasing blinds and the added problem of antes.
I started to get a few decent hands and managed to chip my way up to about average going into the second break and stayed there until we were closing in on the money (top 63 places paid). Then things got interesting and I would up ninth in chips with the bubble closing in.
The pivotal hand was a strange one because of how it happened. I’ll have to check the details, but there was one MP limper and an all-in from a teeny tiny stack ahead of me. I had a hand I felt would hold up against the likely holdings of the short stack and I had the limper covered by a little bit, so I pushed to isolate myself against the short stack. Lo and behold, however, the limper calls. I wasn’t happy about that, but it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened, as the short stack took the tiny main pot and I would up scooping a much larger side pot and vaulting into position to make the money.
Once that happened, I moved into selective aggression mode, stealing the blinds a few times, winning a few hands and even bluffing a nice pot away from the player to my right with a big bet on the turn. When the money came around I was sitting pretty in ninth position and trying to figure out what to do with the big payday that was sure to come my way.
Of course you know where this is heading. Once the bubble burst, I wound up at a table with one of the chip leaders who had about twice as many chips as me. A few hands into that table I raised in EP w/ Q8s (things had been pretty tight) and got a call from the big stack in MP and a short stack in MP. Checked around on the KTx rainbow flop and I checked. Then a Q hit on the turn and I lost my mind, throwing a big bet into the pot, which was called all-in by the short stack and then raised by the big stack. For some reason, which likely will remain unexplained, I decided the big stack was trying to buy the pot and pushed the rest of my chips into the center of the table. He obligingly called with his turned nut straight and the short stack turned over AA.
I was out in 61st spot for a whopping $16.07 payday. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaawwwwwwww!
Ah well. At least I have a cash next to my name in thepokerdb now and I’ve broken my Stars MTT curse.
Spent Sunday and Monday nights treading water on Stars and UB. Dropped a couple of $20 SNGs on Pokerroom, including one where in the second hand I found AA in MP, raised an EP raiser and was looking at three all-ins ahead of me when it came back around. I knew I was ahead, but I also knew that I probably had only about a 50% chance of winning (closer to 53% in the actual analysis). I called anyway and saw myself facing KK, QQ and 44 (!?). QQ flopped a set and the rest of us went down in flames. At least it was quick.