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Saturday, December 06, 2008

£200 + £20 No Limit Freezeout 7,500 chips, 45 minute clock (2 day event) @ DTD, Nottingham

Now that was one of my worst roller-coaster rides ever. In the beginning nothing seemed to work out right and my stack of 7,500 chips dwindled down to as low as 3,000 as we reached the 100/200 level. In the first three levels (of 45 min. each) I wasn't able to win a single pot (but never lost a really big one too). For some time it looked like I might be the first one out of the 84 playing this tournament.

But finally things turned around and I even made it little over the average of 12,000. Funnily all those who had terrorized the table in the beginning and had gotten a lot of chips in that time now had been eliminated or were on life support. As we reached the 6th level the type of my table had changed completely. Still tough to play but now because of some decent big stacks. In general the mood at the table was much friendlier and more relaxed. Unfortunately my roller-coaster dipped down again and I was severly shortstacked again.

Then I more or less ejected the last of the table terrorists. With K7 of spades in the small-blind there were just two callers in front so I decided to call this one too. Mr. "Tableterrorist" checked in the Big Blind. Flop comes K-Q-4 (two hearts). Mr. T. led out with a bet of 2,000 and the other two folded. I took my time and went all in for my remaining 7,000. He had just a few chips more then I had. I know this was a dangerous play but his bet smelled fishy and I wasn't in the poition to wait much longer. He thought for a long time, then told me: "I think you are on a (flush) draw". Then he called, showing a Q for the lower pair. I was back in the game and he busted for his remaining chips one round later.

All the things that went wrong in the beginning now started to get the right way. Don't get me wrong! I didn't receive really bad beats in the beginning. I just was somewhat behind in some key situations (and luckily managed not to invest too much). Now it was me how got the righ feeling for when being ahead in tricky situations. Little later I busted another guy for his 7,000 chips were I had hit but again was faced with a tricky board.

The key hand of the tournament came when I got TT in the Big Blind. I was now at 25,000 chips (little below average). First position (a very aggressive and decent player) just called. Huh!? Second Position (decent but had taken a big hit not long ago) called too. One more caller in the middle. I checked. Flop comes 2-2-8. Not a bad flop for a pair of tens but I had to define my own hand and the others players hands somewhat. So I led out with a 3,000 bet (about three quarters of the pot). First position folded. Well, that worked :-) Second position ... raised to 13K. Ouch, that wasn't what I had expected. Middle position folded. As said before, the raiser was decent player, had taken a big hit before, had about my stack size and had shown that he was able to do big (but sophisticated) bluffs. Usually I don't do this for variuos reasons, but this time I asked him if he would show if I fold. He told me: "Usually I never show but as you asked me very friendly I will show you this single time". That defined his hand ... he had the 2 for a set!

How did I know? This was the most honest speech I ever gof from a poker player. Basically he told me that "he is ahead but would prefer to take the pot right now because he knows that I have an overpair and doesn't want to run into a lucky punch". I totally agreed with him here and open folded my TT ... he showed a 2 as ecpected. Interestingly that hand and how it was played got me a lot of respect from the table and also I lost some important chips in that hand I gained for the future actions at that table.

When we went down to three tables our table was broken. At the new table the first hand I witnessed was a very sick hand. It was raised and re-raised between two players and finally one of them went all-In. If he got called that would have been a massive 60K pot. The other guy thought for a long time and then called with 66(!) and was faced T8s (!!!). The pocket pair held up and we had a new chipleader at the table while Mr. "Every-Hand-Can-Win" was down to 8K. He went all-in two times with no further action. The third time I took a stand on him with AQs but ran into JJ. Still a coinflip but I lost and was down to 10K.

Three hands later Mr. "I call with 66" raised on my immediate right. I went all-in with JJ and he called with T4s. In this case his move was not so bad. He took a stab at me in the big blind by raising and then didn't had to much to invest to call. Good for me ... Jacks held up and I was back to 20K.

From there it only went up. Took down a decent pot wit AA, busted the QQ's of a shorty with AKs and took down several pots uncontested. At the end of level nine the dust cleared and with 17 players left I ended day one with 55,600 chips (being 4th in chips).

There are several shortys with about 20K or less in the field. Average is 37K and the biggest stack is 80K. With blinds starting at 800/1,600(200) none of us is secured for one of the 9 paid seats at the final table. Unfortnately I am sandwiched between two stacks equal my size (2nd and 5th place in chips) with Mr. "Every-Hand-Can-Win" directly behind (35K). 1st and 3rd in chips are on the other table. Seats 1-4 are shortys. This will become a tough and interesting game today.


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