Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My First Bracelet

Ok, it's not a bracelet, but it's my first victory in a MTT and it feels good. I won an Aussie Millions first round freeroll on Full Tilt in 2007 (first out of 630)... but that doesn't count. It was a freeroll donkfest.

In this one, I took first (out of 110) in a $5 Omaha Hi tourney on Full Tilt. I never saw so many crazy river suckouts in my life... and not just in hands I was involved in. It was truly bizarre.

But before I talk about the suckouts, let me tell you how it started. I got absolute zilch to play with for the first 55 hands or so. I went back and checked the hand history... I had no pocket pairs better than 99 and a suited ace only twice. And none of these hands had two good cards to go along with them. Talk about card dead.

We started with 3,000 in chips. When my stack dwindled down to 2,160, I knew I had to loosen up a bit and take some chances. I was the first to enter the pot on the button with A 4 6 8 (suited A4)... I raised it up to 270 pre-flop and both blinds called. The flop came 234 w/ two diamonds. I got check raised all-in. I put this guy on a diamond draw and maybe an overpair. In desperation, I made the call and he had me crushed with AA56 for the nut straight. Ouch! But I pulled one of the 3 remaining fives in the deck on the river for a split pot... that's skill baby.

A bit later, my stack got down to 1,560. I went all-in with AA64, suited in spades. My opponent had AA43, suited in hearts. This looked like a split pot for sure when the flop came QT9 rainbow (we'll split about 88% of the time)... but running sixes gave me the pot and I doubled up. Are you kidding me?

After all that drama, I was back to about where I started with... 3,390 in chips. Still a long way to go to take home first place, which happens when I get all of the 330,000 chips in my stack.

Ok, I have to find the hand history on this one to discuss a few hands, but they might have been deleted. Regardless, this is how the tourney ended... I doubled up a couple of more times and somehow made my way to the final table (final 9). On my way to the FT, I could not get a large stack of chips... it seemed I was one of the smaller stacks the entire time. And when I got to the FT, things did not get much better... every hand, I was in danger of getting knocked out.

But I kept surviving. And then others started getting knocked out. And finally, we were down to 3 players. This is where it gets truly bizarre. I knocked out the 3rd place finisher and on that hand, I became the chip leader for the first time in the tournament. Then, on the very next hand during heads-up play, I flopped a set of 9's... my opponent pushed all-in on a gutshot straight draw... he missed, I win.

Click here for the details of the final hand.

Weird is all I can say. I held the chip lead for one single hand the entire tournament... and on that hand, won it all.