Continued from part 1, we're coming back from break.


The blinds go up to 400/800 with a 100 ante. Early on, the Asian kid raised to 2.5x (2000) in the cutoff. It was one of the first hands he had played, which made me wary, but I looked down in the big blind with AJo. I ask to see his stack, and it looks like he’s got too big of a stack for me to 3-bet shove on, but it’s not big enough for me to make a standard 3-bet without risking getting crippled, so I smooth-call for 1200 more. The flop is AT8, one diamond, and seat 4 c-bets 2500 (about ½ pot). Well of course I’m not folding here with top pair, so I make the call. The turn is the J of diamonds, giving me two pair but also putting a flush draw on board. I think for a bit, and then I donk out 4000 (about 40% pot), wanting to make an unorthodox line to try to get looked up by worse hands. Un fortunately, he folds, so I get just that one bet.

Soon after, Golfshirt finally shoves about 5bb utg, and he quickly gets reshoved on by the Asian girl, who’s barely played a hand. The older woman also calls for her entire stack, and the group turn over three different pairs – they had 77, AA and QQ respectively. The board runs out blanks, and the Asian girl scoops all the chips from her opponents, busting them both. Golfshirt seems absolutely crushed by the loss.

A few hands later, I look down at KTs in the hijack. I’ve been tight recently, and the players in the blinds aren’t playing too much, so I make a raise to 2000. Dragon Tattoo calls though, but the flop is 982 two spades – a single C-bet from me takes the pot. And this is part of where my luck is shining through: not only am I getting good hands (Aces at least three times so far), but whenever I’m called, the players are actually respecting my c-bets. I don’t know if it was the players or my bigstack, but they’re letting me take pots left and right, something I usually have to work for.

Dragon Tattoo then reveals how much of a LAGfish he was. He raised out of position to about 200 and got called by the Filipino. The flop was 99x, and Dragon Tattoo overshoved as a c-bet, which got snap-called. Filipino turned over A9 for trips, while Dragon turned over 25o for a complete bluff – and a very stupid and risky one. He gets crippled by it.

Soon after, the Spanish grinder to my left gets moved, which makes me happy – although there are a couple of decent players at the table, no one else has close to my stack size, meaning I can start to be the bigstack bully. Soon, It’s limped to me in the big blind, and I look down at the amazing 24hh, which I check. The flop is 28T two hearts, giving me bottom pair and a flush draw. Sunglasses suddenly bets 2500, which is about ¾ pot. As big a bet as that is, I’m not folding with my 14 outs and implied odds, so I call. The turn is a 6h, giving me the flush. I check, thinking that Sunglasses is likely to continue again, but he checks behind. The river is a 5, and I bet about 4100 chips. Sunglasses tanks for a long while before folding, and I win another small pot.

The blinds go up again to 600/1200 with a 200 ante. Sunglasses starts by limping utg, and Dragon Tattoo shoves his last 8k (7bb). I’m in the big blind and I look down at pocket Aces for a fourth time! I think about how I want to play, and eventually I just call to try to get Sunglasses to come along. Unfortunately, he doesn’t, and my Aces go up against KQo. There’s a Q on the flop, but nothing else, and I bust another player.

There’s a bit more happening, including 6 doubling up his short-stack with A8 against a 76 caller, but the board is a very sweat-heavy J8T7, but the Q is enough to get him to still less than 10bb. A while later, Sunglasses raises to 3500 utg and starts talking about getting money. Everyone folds, and he shows aces, a good tell on such a bad player. Soon after, I try to bust the Glasses kid in seat 4, who has 9bb left, with A7s, but his AQo holds, and I double him. I’m card-dead the rest of the level.

The blinds are up again to 800/1600 with a 200 ante. I look down utg with T9cc, and because I haven’t played in a while, I make a small raise to 3600 with my suited connectors. Only the Filipino calls, and the board is KJ7 two hearts. It’s a wet board, but I have position and a double gutshot draw, so I c-bet, and it gets through. I’ve still got it! Two hands later, I get KQs in the small blind and shove against Sunglasses as a steal, which he folds to. It’s at this point that I realize that the Asian glasses kid and myself are the only ones who have more than 12bb left, so unless he’s in the hand, I’ll be shoving to steal when I play.

Unfortunately, he’s possibly in the hand when I look down at pocket Tens. I raise, and only the very short seat 5 calls. Not only does he call for over 1/3 of his stack, but he snap-folds on a Q-high flop. Almost an orbit later, he limped utg with only 4bb left, then shoved a Qxx all diamond board, and everyone else who limped folded. He showed KQo with the K of diamonds, but that’s still a shoving spot.

But then it happens – with a short stack, Sunglasses only minraises utg, and he gets 3-bet shoved on by the Asian Glasses kid. Sunglasses calls with his remaining 6bb, and turns over 68s, and glasses shows his pocket Queens. Sunglasses manages to spike two pair on the river, but it doesn’t matter as there was a Q on the flop, and with that, we’re on the final table. The draw is:

Seat 1: New York Hat Big Jaw (short stack)
2: Unshaven black shirt (middle-short)
3: Asian Glasses Kid (middle-big)
4: Unshaven White Cap from Airdrie (big)
5: Me (big)
6: Old Filipino (short)
7: Tight Asian Girl (short – she hadn’t played much since those Aces)
8: Nose Bump (middle-big ; his fishy playstyle must have worked)
9: Oiler’s Cap (middle-short)
10: The Familiar Well-Dressed Grinder (middle).

The very first hand of the final table, Big Jaw shoves his short stack with A8s. He gets called by A4s, and the worst hand flops a flush. There’s a sweat on the turn as an 8 makes trips and brings full house possibilities, but the river’s a blank and we’re already down to 9 players.

The blinds go up to 1k/2k with a 300 ante, and I make another mistake that could have possibly cost me the tournament. I try to raise utg with pocket 7s, but because I didn’t notice the blinds going up, I accidentally limp instead. Because of this, both Black Shirt and Asian Glasses call, and Airdrie checks his option. The flop is KJJ, and the board is checked around. The turn is a 2, and I think that my best chance of taking the pot is trying to steal it, so I bet 4000. Everyone folds except Airdrie, who calls. I get ready to check and muck the river, but it’s a 7, bingo! Full-house! Airdrie checks, and I try to think of the best way to get called. I eventually bet 10,000, about ½ the pot, which gets snap-called by Airdrie. I turn over my spiked full-house, the table groans, and Airdrie mucks as claims that he would have even called an overshove – if he had, he must have had a J, and he also must not be that great.

You may be asking – Christxof, why do you think that cost you? Well, because I didn’t raise, I didn’t get the most I could have out of this pot. If I had raised, fewer people may have come along. I likely would have c-bet that flop, checked the turn, then shoved against a bet on the river and gotten more chips. Instead, I have to settle more a medium-sized pot. However, this does now officially make me the table bigstack, which is an amazing position I haven’t been in at the final table before.

Then, just to show that my luck is still amazing, a few hands later I get A2o in the cutoff. With no limps or raises before me, I raise to 2. (4400), which only Nose Bump in the big blind calls. The flop is K54 rainbow, Nose Bump checks, and I c-bet 5000. “5000?” he asks, and makes the call, and I start to feel a little less comfortable – Nose Bump has been the only one in the past two hours to not give my c-bets respect, and his own stack is big enough to put a dent in mine if he went all-in and won. However, the turn is a 3, and I hit my wheel gutshot – bingo! He checks again, and I continue with a 10,000 bet. Nose Bump thinks for a while before calling again. The river is a 9, Nose Bump checks, and I start to think – what could he be calling two streets with here? Did he hit a better straight with 67? It’s possible. But what hands does he have that are worse than mine and would still call a river bet? At the time, I didn’t think there was anything, but I realize now that he probably would have called with a decent King, two pair or a set. I said out loud, “I’ve got a really bad feeling about what you have,” and I just checked my wheel in position. But he turns over… just pocket 7s, meaning I scoop the decent-sized pot. Now chances are I wasn’t getting much more out of a hand like that, but I also missed getting value from hands like two pair or sets by not trying to make a thin value bet there – that also may have cost me.

I was so distracted by the possibilities of that hand that I didn’t even notice as the Asian Glasses kid got crippled to the unshaven man in seat 2. I did see, however, as the Filipino shoved his short stack out of position, the Well-Dressed Grinder calls for most of his stack, and then Asian Glasses folds pocket Tens face up! He probably wasn’t happy when he saw his opponents had K6s and pocket 7s respectively, but he likely felt better when there was a K on the flop, doubling up Filipino and crippling the Grinder. After this, we went to break at around midnight – I had 97,000 chips, which would be 32bb at the next level and was easily the bigstack at the table. I could easily just cruise to the money, but I could also take advantage of good situations.

The break ends, the blinds go up to 1.5k/3k with a 500 ante, and one of the first hands I try to bust the Grinder, as he’s short and I think my A6o could be ahead of his range. Unfortunately, he has pocket 7s. I hit a 6 on the flop and have a backdoor flush possibility on the turn, but the river gives him a straight, doubling the most dangerous player up and knocking me down to 80,000.

Soon afterwards, I get A8o in the cutoff. I make a raise to 6500, which Nose Bump calls in the big blind again. The flop is A76, two spades, so I make a c-bet of 8000 into a pot of 19,000, which is honestly kind of small. But Nose Bump calls, and the turn is another A for trips. I think for a bit about what he could have as he checks, and I think that he could have a better ace, but also a worse ace, a draw, or even something like middle pair. I choose to check my trips with the intention of making a value bet on a non-dangerous river, as he might pay me off with worse. Indeed, the river is a 2, but also a spade. He checks again, and because I’m nervous about the flush, I make a very thin value bet of 10,000 into a pot of 35,000, intending to fold to a check-raise. However, he just calls and mucks when he sees my trips, and I’m up to over 100,000 now.

Soon, Unshaven gets into a shove battle with Filipino, AJo vs KK. There’s an ace on the flop, but the river brings in a backdoor straight, doubling Filipino up and crippling Unshaven to less than 4bb. With his new playable stack (i.e. over 10bb), Filipino uses it by raising over 5x utg with AKs, showing it, then raising to 6.5x in front of two limpers in the big blind with pocket Jacks the hand after, which he also showed. Unshaven, now desperate, shoves A9, and Oiler’s Cap (who somehow has even less than 4bb) calls with the desperate Q7. The A9 holds, Oiler’s Cap is down to less than a big blind, and he busts next hand.

We’re down to 8 players as the blinds go up to 2k/4k with a 500 ante. It’s a shove-fest and doubling fest now. Asian Glasses doubles through the Grinder with A9 against KJo, making a full-house on the river. I’ve noticed now that Glasses is probably the 3rd best player at the table, behind myself and the Grinder, so I don’t want either of those two with chips. Nose Bump is almost certainly the worst, but he’s also got chips and scares other players. But then Airdrie manages to triple up – the shove is his KQo against Unshaven’s A6o and Glasses’ pocket 8s. A straight on the turn gives KQo the win, busting Unshaven and crippling Glasses. Soon after, Glasses shoves his last 6bb with pocket 6s (666) and I reshove over him with KQo. The flop is KT6, giving him bottom set… UGH! But there’s an A on the turn, and the J river gives me a backdoor straight, and I bust another. I shake Glasses’ hand afterwards, telling him that he was a good player nonetheless.

With only 6 players left, I try to bust Grinder again as I call his shove with A8o. But he turns over… also A8o! We split the pot. Better yet, Grinder doubles soon after – his caller turned the 2nd nut flush, but Grinder rivered the nut flush, and he’s suddenly alive again as we head to the next level of blinds, 3k/6k with a 1k ante. At some point, the Asian Girl finally busted her short stack, and we were down to 5 at the money bubble. We did our usual gesture of everyone contributing another $20 to give as a consolation prize to the bubble boy, and suddenly we’re all guaranteed a profit.

I try to bust Nose Bump, as he’s finally taken a hit to his stack, but his A9 stands up to my A6 and he doubles, making the situation tighter on this bubble. But the very next hand, I shove pocket 6s on the button against the still-short Nose Bump and Grinder, and Grinder calls with AJs. But this time, I flop the set, and no backdoor draws come in. I bust another, Grinder gets a small payout, and we’re officially in the money! It’s Airdrie, myself, Filipino and Nose Bump.

Interesting to note, with the bubble burst, Airdrie starts to do some weird things. He limped his small blind, and said out loud that he would smile if he flopped a set. Sure enough, on the Txx board, he smiled big and made a big bet. I folded, and he showed pocket Tens for top set. Okay, limp with that I guess. But he keeps doing this – he likes to limp his small blind against me, then check two streets before overbetting the river and showing a bluff. I had to fold a spiked 2nd pair on the river one time he did this, and I think he’s specifically trying to make me go on tilt. One of his hands was 43o, and he overbet the river after missing his gutshot draw. But we go on another break, and I’ve got 153,000 – I’m still the bigstack, but it’s less than 20bb at the next level.

The next level is 4k/8k with a 1k ante. It’s quite a roller coaster of a level – I got pocket Aces again once, as well as Kings a couple of times (which lose small pots when there’s an A on the flop each time). But eventually, Nose Bump gets too short-stacked, I call his shove with A8s and I bust him. I’ve now got a decent stack. But a few orbits later, as Airdrie limps his small blind again, I look down at QJo and shove on him for the first time. He snap-calls with… K9o. Which holds up. We suddenly have equivalent stacks at this crucial point of the tournament.

We keep battling for a while, Filipino getting shorter and Airdrie slowly (but surely) gaining more chips. The blinds even go up to 6k/12k with a 2k ante, making everyone short. Eventually, as I regain a little and I notice how late it’s getting, I let the other two players know that I’m interested in a deal. We’re told that there’s two tournament tickets worth $200 for the top two placers, and I make the suggestion that we split the money evenly right now, and we just play for those two tickets. Airdrie is explained the deal twice, and he has three different reactions. The first, he misunderstands the deal, thinking that we end immediately, split the cash, and just give the tickets to the top two stacks. “What, guaranteeing yourself a ticket? That’s selfish, forget it,” he said in a very rude, condescending manner. But then I explained what the deal actually was, and he said, “What, you mean play for the tickets? That’s not a deal. Learn what a ****ing deal is.” His outbursts sort of pissed me off – plenty of deals leave some money for the winner, and I am seriously getting tilted by his actions.

But then, he suddenly says, “You know what? I’d be willing to take what I misheard the deal as. We all split the cash here, you and I get the tickets. I’m just gonna sell mine anyways.” Normally, I’d be pissed, say he had his chance, and kept playing to try to get the winning spot. But it was late, I was getting tired, and him tilting me made it unlikely that I could actually win heads-up. So we make the deal – each of us gets $490, with Airdrie and me getting an additional $200 tournament ticket. Airdrie immediately sells his to Filipino for $100, and I sell mine to a player at another table for $100. That’s $590 for almost 6 hours worth of play time – not bad.

Still, I imagine what would have happened had I crippled Airdrie near the start with my spiked full house. Maybe I could have won the whole tournament and gotten an extra $200 without a deal. Or maybe they knock me to a mincash place. I don’t know for sure, but I’ve now made a profit playing poker for the past two years (although my awful 2013 still puts me at negative money overall). Hopefully this is the start of something beautiful.