Poker Through the Eyes of an Amateur

October 18, 2007

Another Mookie Final Table

I made it to my second consecutive Mookie final table and cash last night/this morning. Last week I came in third, and this week I jumped up a notch and ended up coming in second. For most of the tournament it was pretty standard play. My first big hand came when I flopped the nut flush with the suited lamer (AT) against jeciimd, who (unfortunately for him) turned the second nut flush with AK.

A few hands later I made a good read against NewInNov (I thought it was NewInNov, but apparently I busted him at the final table. I don't remember who I made the call against). He was on the button, and opened for a raise. I called with TT in the small blind to see what the flop brought. The flop was Jxx with two clubs. I lead out, and NewInNov thought for a bit before coming over the top all in for about 5x-6x my bet. I thought about it for a while, and something just didn't add up, so I called. It turns out he had an OESD; it didn't complete, and I vaulted into first place.

Not a whole lot more happened until the final two tables. I was able to keep a pretty good chip stack for most of the time. I ended up losing a decent bit of it when BuddyDank pushed all in pre-flop on a semi-short stack, and I called with AQ. I had his QT dominated, but a T on the turn sent the chips his way. This pain would be even more exacerbated later, since I ended up playing heads-up against him at the final table.

But not before I sucked out first. I was down to a semi-short stack, and the blinds were at 800/400 with whatever ante goes with that. I think 50. I'm in the big blind with A2c, when it folds around to Fuel55 who open pushed all-in from either the button or the hijack. I don't have the hand history with me, but I think that there was over 8000 in the pot, and I only had ~3000 left behind.

I had already witnessed Fuel open push with KTo twice, and he had done it several other times when he didn't get any action. With my stack the size that it was against a notably loose player from a steal position, I felt that this was the best place to make my stand. If I fold here, I have pretty much zero fold equity for when I have to push again, and I may not see a decent hand before that time comes. I bit the bullet, called, and Fuel turned up 44. (At least it wasn't 55.) The flop came with two clubs, adding to my outs, and I ended up hitting my ace on the river. I was quickly berated, but now that I have had time to mull it over, I still think I make that call every time given the mitigating factors I mentioned above.

After that, it was pretty much stealing to stay alive. Somehow I managed to make it to the final table with a 10k+ stack, and the first hand I'm dealt is AA UTG, the first aces I've seen all game. I raised it the standard 3x, and it folds around to Byron who thinks for a bit before pushing all in over the top. Insta-call by me, and he flips over KK to show the good old FTP cooler. No king hits the board, and I knocked out the first player at the final table to put us on the bubble. I don't think that hand ends up coming out any differently, as the flop was jack or ten high, and stacks were not deep at this point.

I don't remember the exact hand, but the bubble popped pretty soon after that, when I busted a short stack who had to push all-in. The final table proceeded pretty quickly once we hit the money, and soon we were at the final three with me, Buddy, and thepokergrind all sitting with almost exactly even stacks. At this point, we were deep-stacked compared to the blinds, so we got to play some actual poker. Three-handed seemed to last forever, and thepokergrind finally ended up finishing in third when his 77 fell to Buddy's QQ.

At this point Buddy and I had almost even stacks. We played heads up for a long time (maybe the longest heads-up battle in the Mook?). I would chip up slowly, but then lose it back, and we would be even again. I got caught making a move at one point, which dropped me down a bit, and put Buddy back up where I had been. Then the cards just wouldn't fall in my favor. I'd get a bunch of 2nd or 3rd pair hands and have to fold to raises and reraises on dangerous flops. I finally busted when I lost a coin flip with AQ vs Buddy's pocket 8s.

I had a great time playing, and thanks as always to Mookie for hosting. The 2nd place finish this week plus the 3rd place finish last week are definitely nice confidence builders heading into BBTwo, which starts on Sunday with the Big Game hosted by MiamiDon. Good luck to everyone in the coming weeks; one of us is going to Australia! I will see you on the felt.

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