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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Back-to-Back final tables

To be honest ... being 4th in chips after day one and not to make the final table would have been a big dissapointment. But the day started as bad as it could be.

I was located next to a very small stack and on the first hand of the day he was in the big blind while I was the small blind. Everybody folded to us and setting him all-in was mandatory in that situation. Unfortunately with 36 I was holding the worst possible hand for that play. He thought for a long time and finally called with Q9. I would have hoped for a fold (what would have been a huge mistake on his side). He doubled up and my advantage to the other players had been shortened somewhat.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to make many plays in the next time and my once great stack dwindeled down to average due to the blinds. I finally became a shortstack with 21 players left and it was again me and the (former) shorty in the SB and BB. I tried to steal his blind with J2s and wasn't delighted to hear a call on my all-in. I was even less delighted as I saw that he woke up with pocket aces in the BB. What now came was the worst bad beat anybody with aces can get: The flop was J-2-x. He had slightly less chips then I and was out of the tournament. Although happy to be a survivor (with a now close to average stack again) I felt very sorry for this guy. Nobody deserves to leave a tournament in that way after more then 10 hours of play!

With 18 players I got a tough decision: I had raised with JJ from early position and got an all-in from a much bigger stack in middle position. Usually a fold. But this guy had seen me playing the J2 hand on the other table ... so maybe JJ was still good here. While thinking about what to do there was a seat open call on the other table. Only two more to go for the money. I'm not sure if I had folded anyway but in this case it was an important factor to decide that I have still enough chips for a better situation. I open folded my JJ and he mucked without showing.

My turn came only a few hands later. A short stack went all-in for about five big-blinds. A player in middle position with a decent stack just called. I found QQ and moved all-in. Now the open fold of the J's turned out to be a good move. He thought for a long time and finally mucked as he gave me credit for a good hand. Not exactly sure but I assume it was a very good (but drawing hand). The all-in player had KQ and I added some more to my stack.

Down to 11 and back form average to shorty again. This was the flow of the day. I never really improved but was able to hang in. But now I was in real danger as I was extremly short as well as two others on our table. All the players on the other table had stacks big enough to easily await that one of us three will bust.

The final table came faster then expected because a big stack wiped out the other two shorties in just one hand at once. With 9 players everybody was granted at least €620. With only 65,000 chips I was on life support. The next lowest stack had about 150,000. Went all-in with JT and got a coinflip against AK. Doubled up, picked up the blinds and antes three hands in a row and was now back in the game with 184,000 chips early after the start of the final table.

From there I was able to survive three more players and keep my stack at this level for some time (average now little over 200K). But with six players left we played a long time with no action for me and my stack went again down to less then 100K. With the blinds now at 15,000/30,000 (3,000) I decided that A8s was a reasonable hand to play. Unfortunately I ran into AA and left on 6th place with €1,355.


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