Ryan ran a really good tournament, very organized. He had three tables of six going, with everyone randomly assigned a seat. Of course, I ended up drawing the toughest table; all very good players. Early on in the tournament, I sensed some weakness from Ryan, who I was tangling with on a hand and decided to make a play. Bad decision. He was slow playing a full house and took me for almost half my stack. Somehow, I was able to recover enough to be the chip leader at our table by the time we had to consolidate tables. When we were down to 12 people, we had another random draw for seats and I ended up drawing a spot directly to the left of the overall chip leader in the tournament. I was happy being there, to be honest. Danny was not a popular guy at the moment…don’t get me wrong, they’re all friends, but I guess the guy was playing every hand and drawing out like a mofo. Either way, my position to his left meant I could easily fold when he was making his plays.
I quickly realized that the guy was a very smart, very aggressive player. This was not luck. He used his stack to great advantage, knocking me out of many pots. The first rule of tournament poker is to NEVER mess with the biggest chip stack unless you’ve really got the goods. Remember, he can go all-in at any time: if he loses, he still has you covered and can stick around; if you lose, you’re a goner.
Anyway, I was able to survive, albeit barely, to make the final table. Eight people drew chairs and now I was put to Danny’s RIGHT, a terrible position for my short stack. I went out quickly, going all-in with A10 suited. Danny called as did the guy to his left. I was happy about this, knowing the chance was there to triple up. The flop came down 78J rainbow, giving me a gutshot straight draw. Danny raised the other guy all-in to get him to fold and turned up 9,10, a made straight. The nine I needed to split the pot never came and I was out, finishing eighth.
Jay finished in 11th place while Ryan played well and finished fifth, getting his money back. It was getting late; Danny and a pot of gold calling station named Penny were the final two players. We started at 7pm and it was after midnight. I had to get back to St. Catharines in order to make my 7:30am tee time so Jay and I left before the winner was awarded.
I’ve always been a pretty good no limit player but I’ve really regressed. You have to play a passive, by-the-book game to succeed in limit poker and that’s what I’ve been playing lately, a style that will win you nothing in no limit. I’m just going to have to make sure I’m able to switch gears better in the future.
Overall, fantastic weekend with the boys.