–If you haven’t read Part I, read it first.
–If you don’t care about poker, skip this post and the next one. You’ll find something you like.
By the look of the competition I’d already decided that being a bully would give me the best chance of winning this thing. So I went in full steam ahead. Blinds start at 25-50.
I raised the first three hands from middle/late position with garbage and got a couple callers as could be expected. The flop came out, it was checked to me, I fired with nothing and everyone folded. Three hands in a row. Too easy.
The next hand I was dealt 7-5 off-suit and raised to $200 from early-middle position. Don’t tell me this a bad play because I know that it usually is. However, in this case I had already established control over the table and was willing to toss away $200 chips to keep that control. I needed them to think that anytime they get involved with me in a pot, that I would make them play for their entire stack on any given hand. That doesn’t work against solid competition, but I thought this was an exception. Anyway, the small blind called and I’m now going to play a pot out of position with a 7-5. Am I worried? Hell no.
The flop came: Q 6 8 rainbow. Not bad at all. Open ended.
The small blind checks to me and I bet $400 on a semi-bluff. He calls. Ah shit, now I’m a little worried.
Turn card comes a J. Small blind checks to me, I check as well.
River comes with a 2. Small blind checks to me again, I stop to think for sec. I have the feeling he wants to show this down without having to call a big bet, so I figure taking one more shot with a big bluff would earn me the pot. Alternatively, I consider that this guy doesn’t know enough about poker to be able to lay down his hand to a big bet, meaning he might call having paired only his 2 on the river. My instinct tells me to fire another shell. I bet $800 and he folds. I show him my bluff with 7 high and he looks sick. I think he folded a deuce. A-2 maybe.
Next hand. I’m in even earlier position and look down at a suited Jd-8d and I smooth call. Normally I would never play these hands this way, but I figure I can navigate the hand well enough to make these plays profitable against these opponents. I’m pretty sure I can get in the pot and see a flop without having to call a raise. I was right. Four players saw the flop.
The flop came out: 7 9 10 with two hearts. I flopped the nuts. Life is good.
I was first to act and I checked. It was checked all the way around to the button whom I had just bluffed with a 7-5 the previous hand. He bet out $100 and all folded around to me. I moved all in and the button starting sighing and moaning and shit. This guy had already lost a lot of chips to me and was visibly upset that I bluffed him out of the previous hand. He called my all-in bet for all of his chips and he turned over 2-2! I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as I turned over my cards. I thought in was hilarious. I showed him one bluff 2 minutes ago and the very next hand he calls off his whole stack with an under-pair to the board. Too classic. Wow. Anyway, he got no help on the turn of the turn or river and he was gone.
I have now taken down the first four hands of the tournament, including busting one player. Not bad for 15 minutes work.
Blinds are going up to $50-$100.
With me in the cutoff seat there was one limper to my right. I looked down at a suited Ad-10d. I raised to $300. All folded around to the limper on my right who called the raise.
The flop came: 8d Ac 7s.
My opponent checked to me and I bet $450. He called.
The turn card came Qd giving me top pair and the nut flush draw.
He checked to me again and I lead out for $500. I wanted to keep him around but I didn’t want to make a small bet as to make him suspicious. Much to my surprise, the guy check-raised me to $1000. Uh-oh. Now I am worried. An argument could be made for me re-raising all-in at this point, but that’s not what I did, so shut up.
I call the raise and the turn card comes out a 6. No diamond. All of sudden my opponent comes alive and goes all in for his remaining $850 or so. I sighed out loud and said, “Well, looks like I got myself into trouble, oh whatever, I call.” He turns over A-9. I flip over my A-10 and clap once with thunderous enthusiasm. Another player busted.
I had amounted a huge chip lead at this point and was throwing it around like the chips would expire if I didn’t get them all into the pot every hand. Okay, not really but you get the point.
I was moved to a new table. At my new table I limped with 2-3 and paired my deuce on the flop against one other player.
The flop was: 10 2 7
I bet $200. He calls.
I bet $500. He called.
I bet $800. He folds.
On the river I fired for a third time having not improved my pair of deuces. My opponent mucked his cards face up to show everyone his pocket 3’s. I also turned my cards face up as I was collecting the pot to show him my paired deuce on the board. He was livid. I could tell that this guy was going to gun for me the whole night now.
Blinds moving to $100-$200.
This was already too expensive for almost every player at the table because at this point I think I had nearly a third of the chips in play in the entire tournament sitting in front of me. Put it this way, the average stack on my table at this point was $1,000-$3,000 and I had over $22,000. Yeah, it was ridiculous. We hadn’t even gotten through the first hour of the tournament.
A couple hands later the guy that I bluffed with the deuce limped in before me and I raised to $600 with 9-9. The button called and so did the limper.
Flop came: 6 7 8.
The original limper, the guy I just bluffed, bet out first for $600. I moved all-in with my 9-9 and the button folded. The limper/bettor thought for about 2 seconds and called for all his chips. I was sure I had him beat and I said so out loud as I flipped over my nines. He looked completely shocked and turned over Q-J. He got not help on the turn or river. Another player down. He later told me how he was positive that I was bluffing on this hand after I showed him the deuce a few minutes before. He said it himself and still didn’t seem to realize that that’s exactly what I wanted to happen. Even after he told me himself, he didn’t realize he’d been played.
Someone on the rail asked me in a tone that suggested I was stupid, “How did you think you had him beat with just a pair of nines?”
Yeah, that’s the type of player I was dealing with here. Hence my mammoth ass stack of chips. I explained to him why I was sure I had him beat.
“What’s he gonna have? 7-8? 9-10? An overpair to my 9’s? I don’t think so.” The guy still looked confused. Whatever, that’s why he’s on the rail.
Ok, at this point I have so many chips that I can literally afford to put the whole table all-in every hand and I won’t even be wounded if I lose. I look down at AsQs and push all-in, why the hell not? The player to my left immediately calls. Everyone else folded and he flips over KK. Okay, that’s fair. Ya know what’s not really fair though? I caught my fifth spade on the river to make the nuts. Nice. Another player busted.
There was another player at my table that capitalized on a few chances to grab some chips when I couldn’t justify it. He ended up building a pretty good stack fairly quickly, and I was pretty sure he was growing tired of my bullying. It seemed that I was infringing on his territory.
Blinds are now $200-$400.
I open raise to $2000 from early position with 7-7. Everyone folds around to the other big stack who re-raises to $6000. Hmmm, interesting. I have a feeling that this guy is putting a move on me. I think he has something like AJ, KQ, or maybe even AK. He’s seen me rob so many people blind that he figures I’m full of shit and wants to prove it to everyone. The best I give him credit for is AK, in which case I’m still slightly favored. So I say, “Well, let’s just put the rest of in then, I’ll all-in.” He thinks for about half a second and calls flipping over J-J. Oops. No help from the board for me.
I lost about half my stack on that hand. Not to worry, I still had a ton of chips.
After the break we drew seats for the final table and I was happy to see that the guy that invited me to the tournament was still in, especially since he’s my boss of sorts. The tournament director skipped the next two blind levels and we went straight to $500-$1000 with $200 antes. What the hell? That’s bullshit! Oh well, it is not my club and I am winning so what the fuck do I care? It actually works out better for me that way. Obviously from this point on it was very rare for anyone to take a flop because of the outrageous blinds. Some players didn’t even have enough chips to cover the blind when it came to them. I continued to play a very aggressive preflop game and took down pot after pot preflop.
I moved all-in preflop with 8-8 and got called by a medium stack holding KdQd. The flop came out and the first card I saw was a K. Thankfully, the second card I saw on the flop was as an 8. Nice, it held up through the river and we’re down to five players.
Blinds up to $2000-$4000 with $500 antes.
Next hand I was on the small blind and everyone folded to me. I looked over and the big blind only had $600 backing up his blind, which is less than pennies at this point. I did not look at my cards because I didn’t need to. I had to put him all in with any two cards in this spot, so I didn’t even bother to look. So, from the small blind I say to the big blind,
“I’ll put you all-in”, as this was a no-brainer.
He confused me when said, “If you’re going to raise, then raise.”
I responded with, “I said I’m putting you all in, that’s all you need to know. I know what I’m doing.”
He said, “There is another player in the hand, if you’re going to raise, then raise.”
Sure enough, he was right. The other big stack at the table had limped in under the gun and somehow I didn’t notice. Shame on me. I’m not sure how that happened, but it was very embarrassing none the less. I sucked up my pride and said, “Well, maybe I don’t know what I’m doing after all.” I still have not looked at my cards but I’m positive that if I make a move on the big stack limper that he will not call without a premium hand, and if he had a premium hand he would have raised from the start, right? I’m sure of this because I’m been pushing him around all day with trash cards. The problem is, the guy had just gone on a wicked run and now has me slightly outchipped. Regardless, I immediately push all-in blind positive that he will fold. Wrong. He called and flipped over KQ. Oh shit, I’m in trouble now. I tell the table that I haven’t looked at my cards because I didn’t realize there was another player in the hand. I say this right as I flip over AQ. Wow, how lucky it that? The guy on the big blind turned over J-3. No one believed me that I didn’t look at my cards because they didn’t understand that I had no reason to, even after I realized the other big stack had limped and was still in the hand. Anyway, I won the pot and put some serious hurt on the big stack and eliminated the player on the big blind. I actually had to dodge a lot of cards on the river, but it worked out.
My buddy from work was still at the table and had less than two blinds worth of chips. On the next hand I knocked out a player, and on the hand after that I knocked out two more players and my friend flew in under the radar and cruised right into 2nd place without enough chips to even cover the blind on the next hand. How sweet is that? We dealt the next hand face-up and I won the pot and won the tournament.
As my friend and I left and were walking down the street to go home we were laughing about how they’re probably never going to let us set foot in that place again.
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