Friday, May 28, 2010

Bad Luck, Bad Result in the ToC

Well the BBT5 Tournament of Champions has come and gone, with three of our brethren winning themselves $10,000 prize packages and another two more nabbing $2,000 prize packages along the way. Unfortunately, my name is not among them.

What happened, you may wonder, given my solid confidence yesterday heading in to the big game?

It's pretty simple, really. I started off the ToC playing like a total spewmonkey, and the cards were just not with me. I lost a big pot within minutes when I correctly put xkm on a lower pair to my QQ on a 478 board, but I opted not to raise, thinking I could extract some more chips from what I figured would likely be another lead bet on the turn if an Ace or King did not fall. When the turn brought a 9 which also put a flush draw on the board, I opted to just call xkm's bet once again, again correctly reasoning that I was ahead but not wanting to go nuts with the possible straight having filled a couple of times now, and given the deep stacks we had in this event thanks to Al and Full Tilt. When the river brought an ugly, despicable Ten, runner-runnering to a 4-card straight, I felt compelled to make the crying call of xkm's fairly small bet of around 40% of the pot, although of course I was less than thrilled to do so. What's that? Why didn't I raise this hand on the flop or the turn? Well, the stacks are so deep, and I was afraid xkm might have a decent pair lower than mine which I was afraid he might just push in with. And do I want to get it all in this early in a super stack, slow structure tournament with just an overpair of Queens? The reason I don't is, well, I would have busted on this hand if I had. xkm flipped up JJ on the river for the sick runner runner straight, and I was down below 4000 from the 5k starting stacks within just minutes of beginning. I did not play that hand optimally I don't think, but I am pretty sure xkm is not going away with the overpair, which means again that I literally would have gotten allin on the flop, been a 9-to-1 favorite with two cards to come, and then busted on just about the worst runner-runner rivering ever if I had. So instead I chose to keep the pot small but still ended up taking it on the chin at the river.

From here though I slowly regained my composure, made a number of huge plays, some of them with the goods and some of them as bluffy as I get, and by the end of the first hour, I was just over 5300 chips, back above the starting stack and ready to get my aggro on in Hour 2. Which is exactly what I did, slowly chipping my way up as I stole more and more pots, my c-bets finally getting some respect, and before I knew it, I was in second place in the tournament (with jj ahead of me, of course).

And then I ran KK into AA. As I've often said here, I have never yet run into the situation where I would fold KK preflop, but in this case there was so much dead money already in the pot thanks to a half-stack reraise preflop from xkm after I had raised it up with pocket Kings in early position, that I just felt like a total tool if I did not play this hand for stacks after a third player raised it up as well, trying to make a move on what certainly looked like a stealy raise from xkm. Well KK into AA it was, allin preflop -- in a spot where I would not possibly have gotten away even on the flop as my Kings were an overpair -- and instead of being the massive chip leader in the tournament with 16 left, I was suddenly a pretty short stack with under 2900 chips remaining.

Fast forward maybe 15 minutes, however, and I had managed to claw my way back to over 6000 chips, having won a nice pot with Aces vs someone else's top pair, and after some failed steals gone bad, we came to the last hand of Hour 2, which saw Goat raise it up 3x from middle position. I have JJ in the small blind, so I do my best impression of a final-minutes-of-the-round resteal and raise it up but not even all in. Goat pauses and ten pushes, I figure must have been beat but I have to call for very few chips remaining into a now large pot, and I am overjoyed to see that I am allin preflop with pocket Jacks up against Goat's pocket 9s. I barely had time to relish a sweet double at the end of the hour when the flop comes 9TQ, giving Goat the flopped set but me an unlikely straight draw. My straight miraculously filled with the 8 on the turn, but the rivered Ten sealed my fate, and I was done in the mid teens.

So how did I go out so fast in the BBT5 Tournament of Champions after being so confident going in yesterday? Runner-runnered for 20% of my stack five minutes in against a guy who bet me repeatedly while he was hopelessly behind in the hand. Amass large stack, but then run KK into AA in a 3-way pot. Then rebuild again to near average and then lose JJ to 99 allin preflop. Anybody out there know how to still be alive after all that in a no-limit tournament? Me neither.

Good times, this poker thingie.

Huge, huge congratulations go out to JJ today for winning the 10k prize for the second straight year in the BBT ToC. JJ is like the Cris Carter of the BBT -- all he does is win tournaments. Seriously, that is an incredible feat to win this grand prize two years running, and it could not happen to a better guy, or to a more deserving guy. For reals -- JJ was the prohibitive chip leader in this tournament after about 30 minutes in, and he held the prohibitive chip lead basically all the way to and into the final table. He quickly got himself into position at the top of the leaderboard, and he simply did not look back, period. He played the best and he took down the grand prize, along with NYRambler who also nabbed a 10k seat, in addition to Adam 27x. The 2k "consolation prizes" were won by KeepFloppin and adamsapple19, although I have to admit I did not stay up to watch the end of the final table. I think I made it until near 1am but eventually had to hang em up for the night, although I did let JJ know in the girly chat that I was going to sleep knowing in full confidence that he would win, and I can't say it was the least bit of a surprise when I confirmed that confidence this morning. What a run out of JJ in the last couple of BBTs, especially given his limited appearances in the actual tournaments comprising either BBT series.

Will JJ play the WSOP Main Event this year? Will he blog about his experiences there? My two cents for JJ: Take the hint, man! No-God, fate, kismet, the Island, Jacob -- whoever it is, someone is trying to tell you something. Obviously, you are fated to play the WSOP Main Event. The Rio isn't finished with you yet! So I say you give in to fate and get your ass to Vegas next month for the granddaddy of them all, get that mug on tv, and rocket past Iggy's incredible finish in the ME a few years back to show everyone what you can do after learning to thoroughly dominate the poker bloggers like no one else has ever done.

The BBT5 was a great ride for everyone involved, and although of course I cannot say that I was pleased with my luck in the series-ending ToC, I am certainly thankful both to Al and to full tilt for their generosity and their hard work in setting up and handling the logistics of a series like this. And although I would have loved to have been included in the ToC winners' list this time around, like I said it could not have happened to a more deserving bunch of people than this year's winners. Best of luck to everyone, and hopefully those who won prizes will find their way out to Las Vegas this summer and to write about their experiences so that people like me and many, many others who read can live vicariously through them, and so that full tilt hopefully continues to see the value in putting on huge promotions like this for us lowly bunch of poker wonks in the future.

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Blogger jjok said...

very kind words my friend....thank you.

And thanks for the rail!

2:51 AM  
Blogger JAY said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:25 AM  
Blogger JAY said...

Sigh..there is always next time.

Play online games and earn money here. Just answer a short survey and you are good to go for the money!

7:28 AM  

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