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Monday, August 11, 2008

ITM in the Sunday Million

After I won a satellite for the Sunday Two Hundred Grand at PokerStars earlier this week I decided to play this Sunday. Unfortunately I wasn't very successfull and received two cruel bad beats ... the second one big enough to bust me from the tournament.

At that time it was 20 minutes to go until the Sunday Million would start and I gave it a shot. Good idea! I had a very good start and made it up to 40,000 chips in the first few levels. That put me into the Top 100 of the 8,236 starters for quite a time.

Little later I lost a big pot with 55 vs. AK. No bad beat here. He was a short-stack and I got the right odds for what I figured was a 50:50 situation. Still had 24,000 Chips at that time (double the average). Made it up to 60.000 later in the game and then back to 40,000 again ... but now this was more or less average.

With around 200 to go till the money I was in a tough situation. The table I was moved to had several big stacks (above 180,000). So my fold equity was very low. On the other hand 40,000 could be enough to sneak into the money as the average should be around 60,000 as soon as we make the money.

Under this circumstances I decided to tighten up and only push the best possible hands or try to fold my way into the money. I know that I have to pay a price for this (usually busting shortly after the bubble bursts) but it looked like the best option here. Fortunately I never had to make a big decision as all I got was absolutely unplayable in that situation.

I made it into the money and down to the last 1,260 players with 36,000 left. Pushed shortly after with the best hand I got for a long time: QJs. Guess who called: KQs! But the pokergoods like me this time and I hit a J on the river.

Wow, 72,000 Chips! I was now back to average and making it deeper into the tournament was a possible option. I reached my highest point a 111,000 chips and kept staying around average for a while. The big stacks had around 500,000 at this time.

But with the blinds at 3,000/6,000 and a 600 ante even an average stack isn't that big. No hands and it went down to 80,000. After I hadn't played a hand for some time I tried a move with an A-x hand with a high kicker and raised to 18,000. Button called. Flop came K-7-2 and I now had the option to check and muck my hand as my opponent would bet for sure or keep the aggression and represent AK or something like that. I bet 25,000 and he immediately raised to 50,000. Hated to let this go but I was sure he had me beaten here. Down to 45,000 I took the next playable hand to push. Unfortunately my A7s ran into AJ. No help and out on 482nd place earning $494.16 for 4.5 hours of play.

I'm not unhappy with the result. O.K. just 80 places more till the next step in prizemoney. But to be fair I could have been out closely after the money without that magic hit on the river. Which was by the way the first all-in situation I had during the tournament! Sure, I was disapointed as soon as it was over ... but you always will be disapointed after you are busted. But a night of sleep and now I can enjoy my first cash in what was the 6th Sunday Million I had played in my pokerlife.


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