I played Miami Don’s Blogger Big Game last night, capping off a close-but-no-cigar sort of weekend in poker for me. 53 bloggers showed up creating a $3,600 prize pool with almost $1,400 awarded for first place. Since that would like, quadruple my bankroll, I dug out the $75 token I’d been hanging onto for weeks after winning it in a “token frenzy” and decided to take a shot, that cheesy line from Rounders echoing in my head.
“You can’t lose what you don’t put in the middle… but you can’t win much either.”
Some of my favorite bloggers (and people) were on hand. The Brothers McGrupp, Gracie, Otis, Daddy, Drizz, Poker Shrink, Al Can’t Hang, and Carmen to name a few. Early on, I doubled through Daddy with K-K vs his Kd-Qd. I bet about 2/3 pot on the Q-3-8 flop, he raised and I moved in for about 600 more than his raise. When he called, I was so sure I was going to see a Q on the turn and was absolutely shocked when the pot moved toward me. That hand put me at a comfortable 5,900.
All I really did was steal blinds and pick up small pots until I busted Otis on a coinflip. He moved in for his last 1700 with Qc-Jc and I called with pocket nines, which held up. I really couldn’t get any other action. I’d raise pre-flop and everyone would fold. That’s fine and all for treading water but I needed to see some flops if I was going to build the stack I needed for the final table. Unfortunatley, action came the one time I didn’t want it.
Everyone folded around to Smokkee, who raised from the SB to 1550 with 200-400/50 blinds. I’ve played with Smokkee many times and he’d raise in this situation with a pretty wide range. He had me slightly covered and I had a little over 5000 left with 21 players remaining. Feeling I had the best hand and it would take a very serious holding for him to play for his whole stack, I moved in with A-7. He insta-called with As-Qs. Talk about a hand I didn’t want to see.
The flop was K-2-T. I got a shot of deserved, needed, overdue luck when a 7 hit on the turn but it two-flushed the board in spades. The Ks fell on the river for the runner-runner flush and IGHN a little more than halfway through the field. Even my suckouts get sucked out. At least I had The Sopranos and Entourage coming on at 9 PM PDT to ease my tilt.
I had a tight-aggressive image set up so perfectly I think it befitted the move, and especially against a LAG like Smokkee. It’s just par for the course the way I’m running that he’d have A-Q there. I played pretty damned flawless poker in that tournament and deserved a much better finish than the one I made. I’m happy with my play, I’d just like to see a result for once to back it up. I’m incredibly frustrated with MTTs, as you can imagine.
Oh, and Drizz rools because he won it all! Congrats Drizz!
The other MTT I played this weekend was Full Tilt’s $24+2 Ladies Only Bracelet Race. 91 players, one WSOP seat, second through fifth got a little cash. This tournament was perhaps even more disappointing for me, as I made the final table third in chips, but ended up finishing fourth. I think I adjusted well to the winner-take-almost-all format and took calculated risks early that paid off and gave me a good stack to work with. I just couldn’t win a race at the final table. At least the booby prize of $123 boosted my Full Tilt account over the $27 balance it showed before the tourney began.
Pauly flies west tomorrow and we’ll be making the LA-Vegas drive on Thursday. Between the WPT Championships, the WSOP Circuit event at Caesar’s Palace and finding a place to live during the WSOP, we’ll be there 2 full weeks. Time to grind that $4-8 again.