Poker Through the Eyes of an Amateur

August 11, 2006

Final Table #4

My final table streak continues. I made my fourth final table of the week tonight in a $20 180 player SNG, reaching the goal I set for myself less than two days after I set it. My new goal is to actually win one of these things. Weak joined me for this game, but unfortunately he was pretty card dead the entire time and busted about halfway through the field.

I didn't have any really big hands that I remember early on in this game. I took a decent sized pot with a pair of aces the first hand, but that was about it. If I'm not hitting quality hands in the first few levels (which I generally don't), then I usually just sit there, rather than waste chips on trying to steal what are currently worthless pots. So I just bide my time, and eventually some decent cards come.

Usually by this time I've earned the reputation as a very solid player, so once I start raising with quality hands, I get more respect. That means I can steal more often, and this is usually about the time the blinds are worth stealing. I pretty much stole my way to the final three tables. I had a couple of well-placed double-ups in there to help out, but this was mostly a quiet tournament for me, chip-wise. I was below average in chips for almost the entire tournament.

When I hit the final three tables, one of the worst things ever happened. I raised from the button with A2d, and the BB (who was a complete idiot) called. The flop came A24. At this point, my wireless internet died. I was pissed. I was going to double up, but I couldn't play. I frantically ran to my room and fired up the desktop, but by the time I downloaded the PokerStars update, I had been folded, and my stack had been cut in half (due to my raise preflop). I was livid.

Luckily, I doubled up a few hands later through the same retard, so I was back to the stack I had before that hand occurred. That was little consolation, though, as I would have likely had a monster stack if I'd won that other one.

I didn't get too many hands in the final two tables. It tightened up a lot, so I was able to steal the blinds at least once an orbit to maintain my semi-healthy stack while the shorties continued to bust out to the monster stacks. Somehow, they would both have big hands at the same time, and the big stacks would almost always win.

I made it in to the final table pretty easily, around 5th place in chips. Unfortunately (for the rest of the table, as well as the player himself), a guy lost his internet connection just as the final table was starting. We had to sit through the extra time alotted every hand for at least a whole orbit, and it was definitely messing with the flow of the game. The guy finally managed to make it back just before he was blinded off (and after two others had busted) to push with Ax. He was called by Q8, and the other guy paired his low card to bust the poor soul. At least he lasted two spots in.

I managed to last until fifth place. Once the player in 6th place busted, I was the extreme short stack of the table. Any move I made would surely be called. I look down at A2 after a couple of hands and push. I got called by 44 and some other hand. The flop came 35x, but I didn't hit either of the other fours or my A. I get knocked out and go home with a nice $235 prize for my $20 investment.

This week has definitely been my best week of tournament poker in my (fairly short) career. Here's a look at this week's stats:

Sunday: $10+1 NL Hold'em
Players: 1793
Finished: 8th
Percent of Field: Top .45%
Winnings: $375
ROI%: 3409%

Tuesday: $10+$1 WWdN
Players: 48
Finished: 4th
Percent of Field: Top 8.3%
Winnings: $48
ROI%: 436%

Wednesday: $10+$1 The Mookie
Players: 45
Finished: 4th
Percent of Field: Top 8.8%
Winnings: $54
ROI%: 490.9%

Thursday: $20+$2 180 SNG
Players: 180
Finished: 5th
Percent of Field: Top 2.7%
Winnings: $234
ROI%: 1063.64%

I'm very excited about these statistics, especially the ROI%. I know that these numbers are not sustainable in the short run, but I would like to think that over the next few months, I will see a few finishes like I've had this week. Unfortunately, I won't be able to see if I can keep the momentum going the rest of this week. I'm heading out of town for the weekend tomorrow, so no poker until probably Monday. Hopefully I won't have cooled off too much by then.

Good luck to the rest of you, and I will see you on the felt!


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