by jnells | Published Oct 28, 2013
I had planned on playing at least 2 of the World Poker Finals but because that requires me to borrow someone's car for up to 2 full days it ended up with me only playing the $300 event which ran last Thursday/Friday. This event had 2 day 1 flights one in the morning and one in the afternoon, I played the morning flight and somehow made it through the flight with a pile of chips even though I was only in on my first bullet. I had planned on giving myself at least 2 bullets and potentially 3 if I felt like I was playing well, but thankfully that decision never had to be made. Long story short, the tournament attracted 535 entries and after what was like 16 hours of on the table hours, I had all the chips in front of me. This was my biggest score by a decent margin, it was worth $25,502, a surprisingly heavy globe, and a watch which I need to get fitted (or figure out how to make it fit myself). It is certainly nice to win a big event like this, it is the 3rd time since I have started playing poker that have been at a Final Table which had a mid to high $20 grand first place prize and on the other two occasions I came up short with a bad showing 9th, and a bad beat for 3rd. The entirety of the tournament I ran pretty well, as you need to in a tournament, but for the most part I stayed afloat until someone made a huge error and gifted me a bunch of chips and in every occasion that I really needed that to happen, it did!
Approaching the FT I actually ran kind of bad, losing 2 60/40's for a meaningful percentage of my stack which is predominantly why (though I did double with JJ) I came into the final table in 6th position. At that point my true tournament poker skills came out when I just ran like God picking up so many huge hands, getting action on them and having them hold up. I got KK vs AQ, AA vs AKs, and when me and the guy on my direct right became two chip leaders I played 2 major hands against him (both of which I had top set!) but it looked like I was abusing him because of ICM and position. When me and the guy on my right got heads up I had what I think was like a 3 or 4 to 1 chip lead. The final hand saw him effectively min raise the button, I defended 72cc. Flop came 568 and I lead for like 1/3 of the pot, expecting him to read this as weak, he complied with a raise of 3.5X my bet to 450K I shoved for like 1 million more and he made the good tank call with A6 (kind of surprised he value raised 2nd pair without the clear intention of calling) but he eventually pieced it together and made the good call. I ran the numbers and I was a little better than 40% to win the hand and that came through with the 9 on the river.
I don't know exactly what I am going to do with my winnings but I am going to attempt to be frugal with it and make it last to allow me to play some $2-$5 cash game sessions and some more mid stakes tournaments. Good luck at the tables!