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Monday, October 27, 2008

Runner-Up in Graz

I really made it! Not only into the money, not only at the final table ... I made 2nd place of 183 players at the Pokertour in Graz.

We started the day with 38 players and I was 31st in chips. To make things worse I had to start in the big blind. Somehow I manged to keep my chipcount between a 25k low and a 55k high until we reached the money with 21 players. I never got a big pot but was able to pick up the blinds a good number of times.

As we reached the last two tables things changed and I got some very decent cards. I manged to bring up my stack to 100K and even 150k (average at this time). Now I was able to change gears away from "push and fold" to selective play. Many others couldn't make that change or didn't had the chips for it so we quite fast went down from 20 players to the final table.

I reached the final table as 8th in chips and we lost one more player soon. Now everybody not only was guaranteed €840 but also the ticket for the grand final in December (worth €330). With 8 players left I was still sitting at 150k and got into a big pot with the chipleader. He raised to 75k (blinds 10k/20k with 2k ante). It was folded to me in LP and I found AA. Raised all-in and he called with KK. My Aces held up and I not only became one of the chipleaders with over 300K but got my sweet revenge for bubbling the Pokertour in Wiener Neustadt with KK vs. AA.

Amazingly the former chipleader made his way back to the top in just two hands. First hand all-in and up to 200k again just for picking up blinds and antes. Next hand all-in and this time he got a call. I really felt sorry for him because he ran into AA again (this time with 88). But there was no reason for being sorry ... he flopped a Full House and almost eliminated another big stack (taking him out completely just one hand later).

With seven players left we now had a big stack with 600k. Five others had between 200-300k and one player was sitting at around 150k. Due to the blinds (now 15k/30k ante 3k) we decided for a deal that gave the chipleader second place money (€5,000) and everybody else 3rd place money (€3,600).

This took a lot of pressure out of the game but we all still played for the win. For me it was just a question of honor to make it as far as possible. And for five of the others it was still a run on becoming the official "Champion of the Steiermark".

To make a long story short I was able to bring my stack up to 800k and we were finally down to three (with the other two around 450k each). One took out the other and we were heads-up. Right on the first hand my opponent went all-in (with slightly more chips). I found AJ of diamonds and called. He showed 33. I got no help and it was over.

Did I make a mistake by agreeing to the deal? I don't think so. Everybody still played to win but of course some plays would have been different with the pressure of the money. So you can't really tell if I made 2nd place without the deal. And for me the difference between €1,100 and €3,600 still counts.


Scots75 9:57 AM  

Congrats Harald.
It was fun to read your updated on twitter.


Shadow 10:02 AM  

Thanks! ... happy to see people are following my updates :-)

Twittering with the iPod touch thanks to the free WLAN at the CCC in Graz was much more fun than writing tweets via SMS.

Benni,  6:47 AM  

Grats Shadow!!!

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