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Final Table...Fushizzle

On the heels of dropping the science in yesterday's post about my need for some tin foilage in the cranial region to improve my game, I have the following to report...

Things didn't start out so spiffy - even with tin foil fastened appropriately to the noggin' - as I bubbled in a token satellite to the Monday's At The Hoy, which was the first tournament in the Battle Of The Blogger Tournaments. No worries there as I was fine with buying in directly for the $24+$2.

Unfortunately my woes continued as I donked out of The Hoy rather early. How is this possible? Hath the tin foil forsaken me? Not prepared to give up on The Dapper, or my game, I decided to search out another tournament to play.

With 1 minute to spare, I happened upon a $10+$1 tournament that looked as if it might do the trick. I brought up the lobby and realized it was a rebuy tournament. I remember thinking, this isn't exactly my cup a tea, but fuck it. With 548 of my best friends, I started the tournament with my opening line for every tournament I play. Lets light this candle.

My table opened and we were off and running. I didn't even realize until a few minutes in that a WSOP champion was directly to my left.

Yes, your friend and mine, Huckleberry Seed, was at my table. At first I thought it was pretty cool. My brother is visiting from out of town, and is a poker player as well, so I waved him over to take a look at my table. I remember saying, "Man, this is pretty cool." That comment was followed up rather quickly by me with, "Wait, man this is really not cool."

A quick side note. I really don't like Huck's avatar. They need to work on that shit. He looks like a tarded hobbit in that thing. Moving on...

I decided right away that I would not play in fear just because he is a pro and a WSOP Main Event Champion. Not to say I would play like an idiot and hand him my chips, but I just wouldn't let him effect my play. As it turns out, we never really battled in any hands to the river and we each took down some small pots against each other with limited aggression. It's a shame cause I would have loved to knock him out in order to get my buy-in back (much like Hoy did recently).

Early on I checked the tournament to see that Huck was the only pro playing. I'm not sure if this was a direct result of him being at our table, but I swear the 1st hour was rather calm for a rebuy tournament. Yes there were some all-ins and random ass plays, but nothing like I seem to remember in my past rebuy tournaments.

Unfortunately for me my tournament started rough with a boat over boat situation. Only 30 minutes in I was already going to the well for another buy-in. I decided to take the max at that point to get me up to 3000. In hindsight, this was a smart play as it gave me some room to work. I would not need to rebuy again, but I did take the add-on at the end of the rebuy period. Total cost for the tournament at that point was $40.

I took another screenshot at this point to capture my table with Huck still there. As it turns out, I was 2nd in chips at my table, but well behind for the overall tournament leaderboard.

Over the next few hours I remember just treading water. We were still in the stages that we could play some real poker and see flops. I felt in the zone, even though I was severely low in chips for the most part. During these two hours I seemed to hover between $15,000 and $4,000 in chips.

I don't remember a whole lot, but eventually we got down to around 100 players remaining with 45 paying out. I was in serious need of chips and the blinds were getting to the point that I was in GCox perfected "wait for big hands to push or just fold" mode. Well, I didn't really need to wait for big hands, but the hands I was getting were not very playable anyway. And I refused to get knocked out of this tournament in a bad position with Ace Rag. In fact, I made it a point to try and recognize when it didn't make sense to make a play. I think this really helped me along the way. Imagine that...actually thinking before I make a move.

It was around this time that I noticed a TenMile was also in the tourney. I'm guessing it was our fellow blogger, but I didn't get a chance to check in and confirm otherwise. Unfortunately, I saw he went out somewhere in the 80's.

With 60 remaining I was in piss poor shape. I was in, I think, 56th place with around 6,000 in chips. The chip leader at that point was at 150,000. Fortunately for me, however, I was able to double up a few times by applying pressure at the right times. And with the blinds as high as they were, just picking up some blinds and antes was huge. I started to stack up nicely at this point, but it was not long before the blinds did a number on me again.

I recall feeling like all night I was playing catch up. When playing catch up, poker becomes a bit more simple. You find your spot and bowl them over. This is what I did and it worked. Then I got to see the words I haven't seen in a couple of months. "Congratulations, you've made it to the final table."

At this point, I was just happy to be at the final table. Of course I wanted to win the damn thing, but just being there felt good. I hadn't won a decent size tournament since November, so I was foaming at the mouth. Even though I was low on chips, I was able to sit back a bit as the rest of the table was very aggressive. A few big stacks battled and before long we had lost 3 players.

Unfortunately, this is where my story takes a turn for the worse. Sixth in chips with six remaining, I got my chips in the middle with what I thought would be a good hand, but turned out to be the worst of it. And alas, there was no suckout to help me. I did walk away with a decent payday for my troubles though...

As the tournament ended (for me), the clock neared 4:00am. I had to be up at 6:00am this morning for businiess travel, but right now I'm feeling okay. I'm sure it will hit me when I get back to the hotel.

So anyway, the tin foil hat came through for me and I was able to make my 1st final table in an MTT in quite a while. I feel I played well overall and was fortunate to hit some key hands at the right time to keep me afloat.

I do have one concern that I want to make sure I nip in the bud quickly. I felt a sense of complacency when I made the final table. My mindsight became, "Ooohhh, look how much I can win if another player gets knocked out." What I should have been thinking was how am I going to put mysyelf in a position to win this tournament? As usual, there is always something to learn with this game.

In case he reads this, I want to take a moment to thank my brother for staying up and watching me play the tournament. It is rare to have support from the rail, right on the couch next to you. I hate that what he primarily saw me play was push or fold poker, but the situations dictated such a strategy at that point. Anyway, thanks bro!

Until next time, may the felt be with you.

posted by TripJax @ 9:57 AM,


At 11:26 AM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

Congrats on the final table, bro!

Nice job!

At 12:35 PM, Blogger TenMile said...

Congrats. Nice money.

I do not play on any site under my blogger pen name.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

I knew that tenmile, which is what threw me off. Well, since it wasn't you, I don't feel as bad about the guy not making the money!

And thanks guys...

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Chipper said...

Nice finish TripJax! You bring out a good point in that you don't have to be a big chipleader to finish well in a MTT. You just have to survive. While that may make the play a lot tougher to deal with, you just have to time your bets well.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Well done sir.

And, the Big Game is something I thought about, and may be my choice considering my schedule. I was planning to use it on a tourney full of donks rather than a tourney full of bloggers.

But is there really a difference?

At 3:56 PM, Blogger pokerpeaker said...

Very nicely done, sir. Awesome.
Now no more whining about how you suck at poker.

At 4:21 PM, Blogger jjok said...

very nice man.....congrats!

At 4:22 PM, Anonymous mookie99 said...

Nice job on the final table, congrats on the score.

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice finish, Trip!

At 9:32 AM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Nice score. Color me impressed.


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