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Monday, April 16, 2007

My first Sunday Million tournament

Played the Sunday Million at PokerStars for the first time. 7,109 players created a prize-pool of over 1.4 Million Dollars. Got a smooth sail until the 300/600 level and build my stack up to almost 20,000 chips. Then I received QQ on the button. It was folded to me and I raised it to 1,800 chips. The SB folded and the BB re-raised to 5,000. I was sure he just wanted to defend a possible steal and most probably didn't have AA or KK. I expected him having a medium Ax. Calling wasn't an option here as I would have been forced to fold against any Ace or even a King on the board. A proper bet to take the pot right down here would be 15,000. As this would make me pot-commited anyway an all-in was the best option. My opponent had almost the same stack (he had 315 chips more) and I expected him to fold. Especially as I made it a fast re-raise-all-in. Unfortunately he was in a mood for gambling and called instantly with AKo. An Ace on the turn ended my tournament at 4026th position after 94 minutes. Far away from the money (1,080 got paid).

I went back later to see how this guy did and what the stacks are around the bubble. They reached the bubble at about 220 minutes of play. The guy who busted me had about 30,000 chips left. He was severly shortstacked with blinds 1,500/3,000 and a 250 ante. But he made it barely into the money. So I'm sure if I won that key hand I would have been in a good position to make it into the money, too. It was amazing to see how fast they lost players at the bubble. This is quite uncommon compared to other tournaments. Usually I like to take my chances around the bubble but it just looks like sitting-it-out can be a good option in this tournament (if you're not on life-support).

It was nice to see that Evelyn was sitting at that table. For those who don't know: Evelyn ist "Thang Duc Nguyen" a very good and well known player from Schenefeld, Germany. He also was the first german player to win an EPT tournament (in Baden, Austria). And it was Evelyn who busted the bubble-boy. It was a standard situation as the bubble-boy had to act with just 11,000 chips left. He went all-in with AQ and Evelyn called correctly with 77. The guy who busted me earlier then started joking about what a bad and lucky player Evelyn must be that he called this all-in with 77. Well, a little later Evelyn busted this guy from the tournament.

So if anybody who knows Evelyn in person reads these lines ... send him a "Thank you!" from Shadow :-))

Had to go to bed with 560 players left. Evelyn had around 240,000 chips and was close to the top 50 at this time. I'm rooting for him to make it to the final table and take the whole thing down!

Some additional comments made on the day after the tournament:
This post may sound like I'm a little sour about the way I had to exit the tournament. And yes, of course I am. Knowing that this can happen in poker doesn't mean you have to take those beats without any emotion. And yes, it was a 60/40 shot so it wasn't necessarily a cruel bad beat. His re-raise indeed was a very good play from the BB. I'm not sure if I would have re-raised AK here. I most probably would have just called to see the flop due to the fact that the BB is out of position for the rest of the hand. But if he assumed a steal with a medicore hand it was a good idea to "test" my strength and possibly take the pot down pre-flop. But my raise all-in was a strong indication that I had indeed a good hand (and most probably a high pair). Raising all-in and calling all-in are two different things. So if he went all-in right away after my raise I would have had a hard time to call his bet. It would have been heart-breaking to fold the QQ's but with an avererage stack there would have been no need to run into AA or KK. But I was the final aggressor here and with a hand that was most probably behind at that time he just gambled here.


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