Last night, we went to play a low buy-in tournament at the local card room.  I know what you are thinking.  And you are correct.  I rarely play tournaments, and am not a big fan of them.  Tournament poker is a different game altogether, and it’s a game that A–I don’t really like, and B–I am not very good at.  Nonetheless, we both needed to get out of the house, and I let my sweetheart pick.  She has caught a little case of the poker bug since meeting me and felt like playing.  So off we went.

$25 buy-in with two optional $20 add-ons.  Woo-hoo!  I could win tens of dollars if I won.  Actually, first prize was way more than expected–$400 and a seat to a $225 tournament.  With a field of only 13 players, this wasn’t a bad payout.  Second and third place also paid.  But who wants that.

After the break, we began losing players.  After all, the rebuy/add-on period was over.  We combined to the final table at 10 players.  We redrew for seats and I drew Seat 4 while Susan drew Seat 5.  We lost a player and the following hand occurred:  I completed with A♥6♦ from the SB in the 500/1,000 level and Susan checked her option.  The flop came 4♠5♦7♠.  I led out for a small 1,200 bet.  Susan moved all-in, and another player moved all-in.  I quickly folded.  The hands were tabled:  Susan 2♥5♣ v A♠3♠.  Turn 2♦ , river 9♠ and Susan was out.  Good run sweetie; you got final table points!

After losing a hand and paying a couple rounds of blinds, my stack was very short.  After another break I had 18,000 chips with the blinds going to 2,000/4,000.  I was going to have to go all in soon or else be blinded out of the tournament.  The first hand from the break I looked down at 6♦ 9♥.  I folded.  The flop came 578 and two players moved all in.  GAH!  We lost one and that brought us down to 7.  I folded the next hand, and we lost another player.  Down to 6.  I paid my blinds and folded both of them.  With six players remaining, blinds at 2,000/4,000, I had 12,000 in chips.  Not good.  Play folded to me on the button with 7♦8♦:  All in.  Fold, fold.  Up to 18,000!  Next hand, folded to me, 8♥9♥ All in.  I did this 6 out of the next 8 hands and built my stack up to around 40,000 in chips.  I now needed to get a double up.  And it came in the form of Two Red Kings.  The player in second position moved all in, and I reshipped with Pocket Kings.  He tabled Q♣9♣ and I eliminated him.  Down to 5.  The very next hand was the only time I got super lucky in the tournament.  I picked up 66 and moved in.  The player to my left asked, “Do you have the same hand again?”  And then he shipped his stack into the middle.  He tabled KK v my 66.  The board ran out Q89T7.  Straight!!  Down to 4 players and I had a commanding chip lead.  With only 3 players getting paid I was pushing the action as play tightened up.

Action folded to me in the SB and I looked down at A♣A♥.  I rarely raise from the SB in blind versus blind situations and decided to just limp here as well.  My opponent surprisingly knocked the table.  Flop 4♣ 8♦ Q♦.  Good flop for me.  If he has any pair he will jam.  I checked.  He checked.  Ugh.  Turn A♦.  Wow.  I checked.  He checked again.  River 4♦.  I’ve got a full house.  Check.  He bet about a third of his stack and I moved in.  He tanked and tanked and finally folded the J♦.  Those of you that know me, know that I rarely ever slow-play big hands.  It felt like this was a good spot, and I did get more than I would have.  A few hands later he was out of the tournament.  Three remaining, and one was very short.

It didn’t take long to get to heads up.  I raised with K9 and the short-stack moved in with 89.  I won.  Down to 2 players.  I had my opponent slightly out chipped, and he was still upset and muttering about me raising 7 out of 10 hands when I was short.  He was an older gentleman and they just don’t like all that raising.  I knew if I picked up any sort of hand he was going to look me up.  Three hands into heads up play and it happened.  He raised from the button (SB) and I shipped it with A♥6♦.  The same hand that I led into the field when my sweetheart got eliminated.  He snap called with Q9 and I won first prize!