Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Hank987's Foxwoods Final Table

I invited Hank987 to write up his second place finish at a Foxwoods multi table tournament from last week. There are some very good players at Foxwoods, so his feat is impressive. Take it away Hank987...
For those who don't know me I'm Hank987. I have played at the blogger tables on Party Poker and in a few blogger tourneys. Pauly was cool enough to meet me at Foxwoods and play some no fold 'em limit just before Christmas. Now, Pauly is nice enough to give me a little space to talk about a good placing in the $80 + 20 Foxwoods NL tourney on Feb. 24. Sadly, that was the last tourney of its kind as they are going to run smaller buy in tourneys every weekday.

Unlike Pauly, who is an absolute machine at recall, I can't really remember blinds, levels and such but I will give you the big hands played in order. Quick tourney setup. 250 entries, 2000 in chips start at 25/25 and they go up every 20 minutes. Antes start in 7th level. I pull table one, seat two, which I am not too happy about. Foxwoods has a glass ceiling in part of the room. The sun beats down on you and makes you miserable. This is actually a case where sunglasses would be needed, and normal people may not think you are a complete assclown. The rest of the table joked that we would not have to move; we were already at the final table. I had no idea how prophetic that would be.

Noteworthy hands:

1. I get Brunson (10-2o) in the BB. Only one caller and SB completed. Flop is 5-2-2 and I almost pee myself with glee. Everyone checks. Kd on the turn...check, check. Caller comes in for a big raise and I go all in. Now I described this hand the exact same way to my 7-year-old son and I said to him, "What do I have in my hand?" He says, "A two." Now if he can figure why couldn't this guy? He calls with his KQ and he is out. I don't think we will be exchanging Christmas cards...

2. I get AKo in middle play and I raise it between 3x and 4x the BB (my standard as I am too lazy to really figure it out) the player in the BB goes all in. It wasn't much more to me to call but would cripple me if I was wrong. I called and he flips over AQo. Cool! Well...until a Q hits the flop. Yuk...I walk away and steam off for a little bit unlike at home where I can blame the dog or fire a soda can at the monitor.

3. I basically go card dead and I'm close to getting blinded out. The blinds are coming up fast and now I am UTG. Warning: Please do not try this next trick at home or with small children or animals. I go all in blind. That's right kids! Not even preflop...pre-deal. (Side note...they would not actually let me do this, I had to wait until I got the cards until I pushed.) This move scares the hell out of everyone except the BB who calls. He flips over AJo. (Ajax shows up a lot in this story) I finally decide to looks at my cards...Q3. Well at least they are s00ted. Another Hilton shows up on the flop and I double up. Again not making friends here....

4. Doing some stealing here and there to try and keep alive. When everyone folds to me, I find AJo, and raise it up. The BB calls. The flop is 8 high. I put him on two high cards so I push here to end this now. He calls with...99. Oops. I get no help and I am crippled again.

5. This is THE hand. UTG+1 and I find QJ of spades. Again I am very close to blinding out again and I swore I would not let that happen. I push and get three callers.... Boooooooooooo! Flop comes A-K-8...all clubs. I start putting on my sweatshirt and saying good game to everyone when it gets checked around. The turn was some sort of blank Checked around again. "That would be cool if a 10 hit and no 10 of clubs," I thought...and sometimes the poker gods decide to smile on you. Only three live outs and I hit one. I turn my hand over last to lots of "oooohs" and "aaaahs." I quadrupled including the antes and blinds.

6. The cards just start hitting me in the face now. Every time I turn over the cards, I have the winner and they are all holding up including KK and QQ. I busted at least three people here, my chips are over the place and people are generally not making eye contact with me anymore. Good times...

7. We are finally in the money and with about 25 people (pays top 30) left when this hand comes up. Feel free to tell me how you think I played this. I am chip leader at my table by a good amount. Kid in the 9 seat go all in with a fairly small stack (Bad Blood...this kid looked just like a young Eric AK from F&J). I have watch him pushing (correctly IMO) with some AX and two high cards so that is what I put him on. I look at see A7s. With three behind me I push my big stack all in to isolate. Old guy next to stands up...uh oh. He thinks for a minute and moans that he probably has the best hand and then folds. The two behind him follow and we turn them up. 9 seat has A3 and I was happy that read it correctly...until a three hit the flop and I double him though. I am just about to say, "Nice hand," when the old guy next to me says, "You played that terrible!" He goes on to say that he had pocket tens and we would have won. I told to call next time and BTW I don't want to hear any more about it. This is usually not my nature but the guy really peeved me. I cool off for a bit, people are busting left and right and before you know it we are that the final table.

8. We draw seats and I get seat 5. Now remember I haven't moved from my seat all day so I was kind of bummed to move but pretty hard to complain. We all sign a paper that has are chip counts and I am in third. The 4 seat is the chip leader. First hand I get 33, bring it in for 30,000, and everyone folds. Next hand...KK, bring it in for the same amount and every folds except for the BB. Hit sits on it for about 2 minutes when I ask for time from the director like I'm some kind of tough guy. He almost waits the full minute and call with you guess it...AJ. My KK holds up and I take the chip lead. Again this goes pretty quickly I bust one more person to we are quickly down to three.

9. We play the fun game of raise, fold, fold for a while when one guy calls the BB, I fold and the other guy goes all in. He makes sure that he said all in, calls and flips over the rockets the other kid is in bad shape with....AJ. The AA holds up and we are now heads up!

10. Sadly this is where the fairy tale ends. Not only did I not get any cards but just didn't play well. He kept raising and I kept folding, he made good raises that would bust me and just could not call. I was tired, sore from sitting all day, and had not eaten a thing since 6 am (a donut) and quite frankly I let those things get to me and could not shut them out. I think he played really well and could tell that I was a little spent. A won a couple of small pots but that was it. He made a big raise again for all my chips and I found Q-10o and I called. He turned over the hand of the night...AJ. I walk away 6 1/2 hours later with 2nd and 3G's.

Click to enlarge

Epilogue...and some other random stuff.

I only called preflop twice and I won both, all other hands were raise, fold or all in. I got KK five times, and got called with them three times, all winners...the Hammer only once, and no AA. I also saw KK vs. KK. The weirdest hand... three people all in after the flop... and they all had AKo. I played with a card protector for the first time, a mini Martin Broduer (goalie for the NJ Devils) that my son gave me for good luck... um...I maybe using that again! The kid who placed third lived in the next town over and the guy that beat me drew the 2 seat the whole tourney!

With it all said and done, I think I played pretty well. I got some good cards and lucky breaks too but I heard Howard Lederer say, "It's what you do with that luck that makes the difference."

Thanks to Pauly and all the other bloggers who are willing to lend a hand to newer players like me. You just help put my son through hockey camps all spring and summer!

Thanks for sharing, Hank. Next time bring along a pen and paper to jot down notes and thoughts. Congrats again. See you at the tables, dude.

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