Later in the afternoon I bought my seat for Saturdays with Pauly, a $10-plus-$1 PLO tourney on PokerStars. Have played four or five of these suckers, I think, with my previous best showing being a tenth place. There were 29 entrants this time, meaning the top five spots paid.
After a little over two hours and about 180 hands, I somehow found myself one of two remaining players, sitting on the short stack with about 7,000 to my opponent’s 36,000.
“Gotcha right where I want ya,” I told him.
I’d been on the short stack the entire tournament, actually, having made a bad blunder early on that had knocked me all the way down under 500 chips (21st of 21 players at the time). Ultimately managed to chip my way back from the brink, though. Got extremely lucky in a hand just after the first break in which I was dealt . A player with over 7,000 raised from late position, I reraised all 1,185 of my chips, and he called showing . Uh oh. At least both my suits were live. The board came . . . . Whew. I was relatively healthy again with 2,520 (6th of 13 left).
I then managed to survive to the money bubble, which ended up taking twenty-plus hands or so. Kind of an interesting dynamic there, as one of the remaining six players had well over half the chips in play. At one point I noticed he had over 28,000 while the rest of us all sat in the 2,000-4,000 range. Finally one short stack knocked out another and we were in the cash.
Thereafter the big stack would end up losing a series of all-in confrontations with several players before going out in fourth. While we were three-handed I was the beneficiary of several nice starting hands, allowing me to survive to heads-up.
From there I only lasted five more hands against my big-stacked opponent, finally deciding to take my chances with . I liked seeing my opponent’s hand -- . Was actually about a 55-45 favorite preflop (according to Two Dimes). But the board brought me no aces, queens, flushes, or straights, and I took the $69.60 prize for second.
Wouldn’t say I played stunningly well, but other than the one early faux pas I don’t think I made too many missteps. Frankly the only obvious “skill” I might have demonstrated all tourney was simply being able to remain patient. I guess I did open things up a bit once we were three-handed, making a couple of decent plays there. (Though as I say, I picked up some hands then, too.) Very nice to make a deep MTT run, though. Been awhile.
Seems appropriate, actually, to have landed a second place just in time for my second birthday. That’s right. Hard-Boiled Poker turns two today. Hard to imagine it has only been two years, especially when I think of the many, many great folks with whom this here blog served as our introduction.
Was looking back on a post from early on, called “An Existential Pause,” when I stopped and looked around a bit. I quoted Raymond Chandler describing the detective story as “a man’s adventure in search of hidden truth.” Said then that “all poker bloggers were shamuses, really. Investigating themselves.”
At the time I wrote that post, the blog was only three months old -- “a mere babe in the blog wilderness, its identity still uncertain.” I suppose by now we’ve been walking upright for a while. Still a ton to learn, though. So continues the investigation . . . .
Thanks again, everybody, for following along.