I love knock out tournaments. I've always loved them. I only started playing them on Poker Stars yesterday, but I've played them on other sites for years, and I just love the concept, format, just everything about it! However, yesterday I didn't do so well. I donated. Not too much, though, as I was able to quickly realize my energy wasn't being used appropriately and was better spent catching up on my beauty sleep. Lord knows, I need it!

Today is a new day. Today brings me a joy I doubt many have experienced. I enter another $1.50 9 player knockout sit and go, and here's what happens (the hands I am involved in):

Hand #9: I hold 1410 in chips and the blinds are 15/30. I am 3 off the button and have . One player ahead of me limps, and I raise to 120. 3 players call - the player to my immediate left, the big blind, and the original limper. The flop comes , and the original limper bets 150 into the 495 pot. I think he has a weak Ax. I want any aces to get lost now, so I re-raise to 510. Everyone folds to the original aggressor, who limped pre-flop and bet on the flop. Let's call him Mr. Magoo. Not for any particular reason; just for kicks. Mr. Magoo smooth calls my re-raise. The turn is . Two pair. Not too happy with that, because he might just have an 8 in his hand. This is not good. But he checks. Hmm. Is he inducing a bet? Is he slowplaying a monster? He could be on a draw, or he could also have that weak ace I thought from the beginning. So what do I do? I go all in! Yes, I'm anti-all-in fests, but folks, this is a knocout tournament. It's all about going all in. Alas, he calls. At least I get to see what I'm up against, I figure. The cards flip, and it's almost a bigger disappointment than being crushed - he has , so unless a jack shows up on the river, we're splitting. I HATE splitting pots. I shouldn't, since it is definitely much preferable to losing it outright. But I do hate to split and I believe I always will. The river comes , and as I fear, we split.

Note: This hand could have messed me right up. He had me covered. I shouldn't have been so aggressive, especially since Mr. Magoo has been pretty aggressive so far. This could have tilted me. Let's just say I'm happy to move on!

Hand 11: I hold 1537 in chips and the blinds are 25/50. I am 3 after the big blind and have . I don't know what it is about Jacks. Maybe it's because I don't like it when I hold two of them, one is often nicer to me. Maybe it's because my first name starts with J. Either way, JT and up are hands I like to get involved with. Maybe that's why I'm not a millionaire. Ok. Back to the hand. Mr. Magoo limps again. So, I raise again. I make it 300 to go. The small blind calls, and Mr. Magoo folds. Oh, it's so nice to know he knows where to find that button. That knowledge might come in handy later. The flop comes , and faster than you can blink an eye the small blind has shoved all in with his last 610 chips. I debate, then as usual, the devil on my shoulder says why not, and makes my hand move to click the call button. I don't consciously remember hitting that button, by the way. I could almost swear there was a ghost in here. All you math whizzes out there, that leaves me with a stack of 627. I cringe, then look at the turned up cards. I'm ahead! The small blind has ! Barring running hearts or an 8 (both likely, given my relationship with Murphy and his miserable law), I'm good to go! Turn is . Oh no! I can see it now - yet another split. Two in a row could tilt me. Sighing, I watch the river fall - ! My kicker holds up! Somehow, I got away with that hand, and knocked out my first opponent in a Poker Stars knockout sit and go! I can breathe easy knowing I just pocketed a cool 27 cents. Laugh all you want, those pennies add up!

 Hand 12 : I hold  2547 in chips  and t he blinds are still 25/50. I am under the gun  and have . I make a standard 4BB raise to 200, and the guy to my left re-raises  all in. The guy to his left calls, and I do as well. That devil's talking to me again. The flop hits . Middle pair, not a great hand at all, really. My head and my heart both scream check, but my hand isn't listening. My hand moves the slider over and pushes raise. Maybe I think I can push the other guy off and only have to face the one who is already all in, maybe I think there are monkeys playing against me. Whatever I think,  I bet 1518. 3/4 of the pot. I shouldn't have experimented with the bet slider options earlier. The guy/monkey  who is left to act doesn't get the memo about folding so I can isolate the other guy, and he calls. This puts him all in and I get 448 back in uncalled bets. Their cards turn over, and I'm amazed to be looking at two pocket pairs - and . So far so good. The turn brings . Yay! No king, no king, I beg my computer as the river is dealt. It's the , and just like that I knock out two more opponents. Should I have been in this hand? Probably not. But it pays to be aggressive, sometimes. Another 54 cents, now I'm up to .81!

At this point I turned to my husband and said, "They (Poker Stars) should have some sort of achievement program for difficult and odd achievements we could hit. I wonder how many people have knocked out their entire table in one of these? It seems hard. So many chances for others to knock someone out when you've folded. If I did do it, I'd want something on my circle in the game to show off, perhaps a small KO symbol or something." He just said, "Yeah."

Hand 17: I have  4917 in chips   and the blinds are 50/100. I am 2 after the bi g blind and have . We all by now should know what this means - raise! In reality, I  limp, and make it to the flop cheap with both blinds. Even I know J-7 is not what you'd call worth fighting for. comes, and the small blind bets 200. the big blind folds, and here I am, faced with a dilemma. My jack hit again, but again there is a higher card, and my kicker is a 7! I had top pair in both previous hands, and my kicker held up in one. This kicker is likely to fail epically if I'm facing Jx from the small blind. I have every reason to either call or fold. I call. The turn is . Cha-ching! They bet 100. A weak bet. It stops me in my tracks. Maybe I shouldn't celebrate just yet. Maybe they have a flush, or at least a draw to one. A tiny bet like that is just begging to be called. He can't expect me to fold to such a small stab, so I just call, hoping the river is red, or if black the dealer might as well make it a spade so I can jump ship. The river isn't a spade. It's . He bets 200. Again a small bet. Bigger than the turn though. Maybe they think I'll fold here? Can I? Yeah, of course I can. Do I? Nope, I re-raise to push them all in. They insta-call. I wish that 9 had been a spade, I really do. They don't have a flush, of course. They have , and double up.

Hand 19: Two hands later, I hold 4027 in chips and the blinds are still 25/50. I post the big blind and have . The hand before this I also had a QT, and won the blinds with my pre-flop raise. I love this hand. It may not have a jack in it, but if we have lucky hands, this is mine. If I got to pick any hand to start with, you can keep your aces, I'd be all over a suited QT. Only Mr. Magoo in the small blind calls, and I check. No reason to scare him away when I hold my golden hand. The flops  falls . Top pair, nice kicker, so I bet 150. Mr. Magoo calls. No surprise. He could have AT, or he could have 39. I suppose he could have 33, TT, or 99, but I am not feeling it. The turn is . No flushes to be had. In my mind, nothing has changed. I bet 500, he calls. comes on the river. I feel confident, so I push him all in, and he calls. He has (maybe he's a fan of Doyle), and leaves the tournament. Bye, Mr. Magoo, thanks for your 27 cents! Now I have made $1.08, almost my buy-in!

Am I satisfied? Not a chance! There are still 4 other opponents in this tournament. Suddenly, I'm feeling a lot more confident that I can annihilate the entire table.

I get aggressive, and win 3 of the next 5 pots without showing down. The other two I fold pre-flop because even I can't justify playing 92o and 23o.

          Hand 25    :       I hold           6341 in chips             and the blinds are  75/150.  I'm on the button w ith . I raise to  600 , and the smal l blind pushes with his 2254 remaining chips. I call , but I can't say why. I was blinded by all the love in my hand, I g uess. I dunno. In hindsight, I'm brilliant. They are holding , and the board falls . Another 27 cents added for a total of $1.35.

If I can knock out another person, I'll have won my buy-in back in knockouts alone. With the size of the knockouts, and only 9 players in the tournament, I consider this a huge feat.

  Hand 27   :  I hold 8745 in chips and the  blinds are still 75/150. I'm in the big blind with . Under  the gun shoves with 1100, and I call. They have . I have no idea what they were thinking. Maybe they were on fire and had to go find water. Regardless, after seeing , I picked up another 27 cents and am 2 people away from my master plan (moment of wonder). Now I've made $1.62, and am in profits!

Hand 33: I hold 10070 in chips and the blinds are still 100/200. I'm in the big blind with . Earlier I mentioned how I love Jacks, but I don't like a 7 much for a kicker. Well all that thought goes out the window when I'm 3 handed. This hand holds tons of value for me 3 handed, especially when the nearest stack to me is 2275. A loss can't hurt me, only pinch a little. So, when the button pushes, I insta-call. The button is holding , a much better starting hand than mine, but I'm not worried. The button isn't the one holding 2275. The button is only taking 1155 from me if I lose. When the board comes down , I giggle. Another   27 cents , to $1.89, and I'm heads up. I've knocke d out 7 people in a row. I'm feeling invincible!

Hand 34: No reason to delay the obvious - I have and even with 7-2off I'd be calling an all in this hand when they push. They show . At least I have one overcard! The flop is . He's got a straight draw, I've whiffed completely. The turn is . Looking better. Now I just have to fade 13 cards - the remaining 4-7's, 3-9's, 3-T's and 3-Q's. Even if I lose, I'll still have over half the chips, but I'll have given away the monster chip advantage I earned throughout the earlier play. Luckily for me, the river is , and my high card A+Q kicker hand wins the whole shebang!

I knocked out all 8 opponents! I did it! There's no cool little KO button on my circle, but I did it and I'm so happy!

Did I get lucky? Did I ever! Here are my stats from the whole tournament:

We played 34 hands. I saw 11 flops, 4 from the big blind, and 7 from positions out of the blinds. I won 8 of the 9 showdowns I faced, although I split the first one so that wasn't a complete victory. I won 6 pots without showdown. If I never folded after the flop, I won at least 4 pots uncontested. In truth, I folded only once after the flop was dealt. I was very committed to the hands I chose to play.

I won $2.16 in knockouts, and $4.87 for 1st place, for a total of $7.03, or a profit of $5.53.

Maybe I should listen to that little devil on my shoulder more often. He served me well this time. However, in reflection I truly believe that most of what I achieved in this tournament was due to sheer luck. There were moments where others made serious mistakes, but for the most part, I played aggressive and saw it pay off.

I hope you enjoyed reading about this crazy litle sit and go I played today. It took longer to write it up than it did to play it, but I'm ok with that. Until next time, take care, and I'll see you at the tables!