One Goal Down, Four To Go
I should have been in school tonight. Instead, I decided to ditch after a long day at work. I was certain I was going to fall asleep in class, so I figured a better use of my time was to come home, nap, then play the Mookie.
4 hours later, this happened:
Now, I can actually cross a goal off the list for 2008. The details:
I was still asleep by the time the game started & missed out on the first 6 hands. Turns out one of those was AA. Luckily for me, there would be plenty more in my future.
I kept my stack somewhere between 3k & 4k for most of the first 1.5 hours. I knocked a shortstack Hoy out when he pushed on my button raise for about 800 more with AJ. I only had 55 but it wasn't too much more to call, so I did & the pair held up. That got me to around 6k.
At the next level (500\250\50), I knocked out another shorty with AK against A2. That pushed me up to 12k and somewhere in the top 10. We were getting closer to the bubble, and there were a lot of stacks around the 10-15k mark, with a couple of aggressive big stacks. With the tables short-handed, I looked for opportunities to steal and prevent my stack from dwindling.
When we made it to the final table, I was at 10-11k again, but still the shortstack. I think this was my 4th final table, and each time I've been a shorty to start. I ended up going out by running into monsters the past couple of times, and I really just wanted to not be the first one out this time. The poker gods had other plans.
7 hands into the final table, I get my first AA. Luckily I got some action this time when there was a raise & reraise preflop:
That hand vaulted me into 4th place. But I wasn't done yet; the very next hand:
In two hands, I go from shortstack to chipleader. Things were looking pretty good.
Four hands later, I get another monster UTG: But my raise was met with a reraise by syndrome187. I had spent most of the night at the same table and I felt that his raise meant some form of pocket pair, probably somewhere in the range of 88-QQ. His stack was about 5k less than mine, and I really didn't feel like racing at that point. I thought about folding, but for 6k more, I figured I'd see a flop and reassess where I'm at. Good thing I did:
I figured he probably had JJ-QQ to lead out with a bet yet fold to a reraise. But I still wasn't done. Very next hand:
LJ raised, Waffles smooth called so I went for the squeeze. Worked like a charm! All that within 10 hands, and not only was I the chipleader, but I was close to double the 2nd place Waffles.
From there, I tried to be an somewhat active stealer, but I didn't feel like my stack was big enough to be super-aggro.
Waffles knocked out Fuel with AA against a double-gut shot to get us to four. I get another monster in the BB and it folds to Waffles in the SB, who limps. For whatever reason, I decided to be coy and just limp. I felt confident that I could get away from the hand if the flop was scary. Luckily for me, it was anything but: K72 with two diamonds.
Surprisingly, Waffles led out with a bet. I wasn't quite sure what he had, and I debated smooth-calling or raising. I didn't want to give away the strength of my hand, so I went for a weak near-minraise to make it seem like I was trying to steal. He just flat called, and the turn gave us the best card in the world - the 2 of diamonds. We didn't get the chips in until the river but turns out that card helped him out a lot too:
After that, it was just me & the ladies: Donkette & LJ. I had a 144k\46k\38k chiplead, and I could almost taste my first Mookie victory. But they had other plans.
To say that the 3-way battle was epic might be an understatement. On multiple occassions, we all had the chip lead. I tried to knock out Donkette with AQ against her 88 but couldn't. Took KQ to battle against LJ but lost to her 66. I went from big stack to mid stack to low stack, back and forth. I don't have a count of how many hands we played 3-way but we fought for more than 35 minutes. It felt like an eternity, but we finally got to two handed when I called LJ's shortstack push with A6 and turned a flush against her 33.
Finally, I was one player away from the title, but I was against probably my toughest opponent all night: Donkette. She wasn't having any of my stealing for most of the night, and we traded chips back & forth with steals & resteals.
The very first hand heads up, Donkette disconnected, and I stole the pot with a bet, knowing she would fold. I do this all the time in SNGs, but I quickly realized that it would be completely unfair & classless to do that in a game like this. Besides, I didn't want my first Mookie victory to be tainted because I stole chips from a disconnected opponent. So I traded folds with Donkette until she reconnected. I got some kind remarks from the donkeys on the rail, but really, waiting it out was a no-brainer. It's what being part of this poker-blog community is all about.
Donkette found yet another way to double up with with QT against my A3, and my 4-1 chiplead was down to less than 2-1. But I stole & stole somemore to whittle her stack down, and finally found a hand that we were both willing to get it all in with. The result?
For me, this is more than just a victory in a small $10 poker tournament. First of all, the win more than doubles my wee little bankroll, getting me closer to my goal of $2k. Second of all, winning a Mookie, in my opinion, gives me just a little bit more credibility as a poker blogger, if only for just a week. I know I've got a ways to go before I'll be mentioned in the same breath as some of the more successful players in this blogging community, and one Mookie title won't really change that much. But hopefully, a victory like this helps move me beyond the "fringe" status I've given myself and helps integrate me more into the poker blogging community.
Thanks to everyone who railed me last night (oh wait, that was no one), and a special shout out to LJ & Donkette - that was one hell of a final table.
I'll have to skip next week so the title will be up for grabs next Wednesday. Good luck to everyone.