Wednesday, February 15, 2006

"The Hand of Death" indeed.

Last night was Wil's weekly tournament, kicking off at 8:30pm EST. I got home with plenty of time to spare, so I fired up a $6+0.60 token SnG on Full Tilt (for some reason I keep spelling that "Full Tile"). 4 get tokens, 5th gets a little money back, I bust out in 8th. Nothing too exciting, though I did manage to get K-K a couple of times. The good news was that it all ended before the WWDN tourney kicked off.

The bad news was that I was cold-decked beautifully in Wil's tournament. In the first 30 hands or so I saw three Aces combined (and two of them didn't arrive together). The best hand I saw in that time was "Kournikova in a short skirt" (aka K-Q s00ted), which I won the blinds with. Things were not looking good. Things really didn't look good when I hit a set versus a flush - the very next hand I was out as I gave the rest of my chips to Mr Flush when A-K lost a race to J-J. I finished in 36th of 54, not exactly my proudest Blogger tournament moment. Waffles and WeakPlayer were still flying the flag, and Weak managed to kick enough ass to take 2nd. Nice!

So, it was still earlyish and I needed some more poker fix'ins. I flirted with the idea of a 10+1, 10 minute level tournament on Stars with roughly 3,323,678 people registered, but Weak talked me down. Thus I gave in to my destiny: the 180 SnG.

Words I actually uttered: "I think I might bust in the first hand here." Countering my cold-decked-icity from Wil's game, I had hit K-K in late position with my first two cards. One limper, I raised, he called. Flop is 8-9-x with two spades. All the money goes in, I cringe and wait for a set to be shown to me... J-10 off?! Wha? I had always marvelled at the people who got to double up on the first hand of a tournament, and this time it was me. By the time I checked the leaderboard to see if I was in first (how could I not be?) someone else already had 6k. The mind boggles.

To underscore how the deck hit me in the face, my first 8 hands included K-K, J-J and A-K. My cards would settle down after that, but I was able to pick up chips regularly enough that I never really felt pressured by the blinds and I was able to lemur into the money. Post-bubble I actually managed to double up, putting me in prime position to make the final table, which I was able to do.

We were down to 7-handed with 2 big stacks, 3 medium stacks, and 2 smaller stacks (with myself as one of the smaller ones). I'm in the SB and look down and see Q-Q. Yes, the Hand of Death. UTG (big stack) makes a standard raise, and it is folded to me. With the blinds, antes and raise there is now a fair amount in the pot. There is no way I am playing this slowly, so I shove. Insta-call and I am shown, of course, A-A. Even if I had somehow seen a flop I would have put my cash in anyway, as a Q hit the board. The issue was that there was also an Ace. Case Queen doesn't come, and I'm out in 7th.

Nice to get another final table, but it's one of those positions where I would have liked to get further, but no way I can play the Hiltons slowly - the fact that a big stack had Aces was just unfortunate. My 180 stats are looking pretty nice though (check the sidebar for updates). 22 attempts (I may have tacked on an extra one due to my drunken - I mean incomplete - notes from last weekend), 8 cashes, 4 final tables. Still haven't pulled out a win, but one 2nd and one 3rd ain't bad I guess.

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