I'd really like to thank LJ, CK, and Donkette (and anyone else I may be forgetting) for railing me last night towards the end of the Blogger Skillz Series Razz event. My 2nd place finish is both my highest placement in a blogger tourney ever, and also my highest finish in a Razz tourney ever.
It's a pretty rare thing these days for me to make a final table, it seems, and rarer still that anyone anytime ever rails me. Rarer even more so when the railbirds are players whose game I respect.
While I was initially really quite bummed at not picking up the TOC seat, the truth is, "tilt away" and I had quite the raucous heads up match, lasting maybe a good 25-30 hands? He started HU with a 3:1 chiplead, and I was twice able to even things up, but could never dominate a pot once even.
When the final hand, for a 130k or so pot, I had a made 8 on 6th street (a rough 8, but it was HU and I was committed by 5th street), but "tilt away" had a made 7, also on 6th street. I was drawing to a better 7, but didn't hit:
Overall, however, I think I played a strong game and carried a strong image. As you can see, I pulled down half the pots where I saw 4th street:
The best part of the whole tourney, really, was taking out that fish XGod_of_WarX, who seemed to be constantly calling down strong plays and either hitting miracles when he'd have something like QT showing, or, in one particular instance, calling me on 7th street with two pair, when I'm showing up cards of something like 5443 (and I'm betting/raising every street). Miraculously for him, I actually boated that hand on 7th street, yet he still called my 7th street bet with a two-paired, J-high hand. Anyway, taking the last 30,000 or so of his chips felt great.
When the night began, I thought it was going to be a total repeat of last night, especially after my flopped TPTK went down in flames in the Bodokey to a flopped set of tens (to Donkette, if I recall, but I'm not certain). I went out 40th or so of 52, on a night when I really needed some serious pointage. But as you can see, things definitely improved.
At the same time as I was making hay in the Skillz game, I was working on a truly deep run at PokerStars, in a 1980-runner $5 NLHE tournament. I had to overcome a short stack early, but through a few judicious steals, and a few hands actually holding up, I found myself in a strong position to run for the $1750 first prize.
For instance, there was the hand where I flopped a set of snowmen on the button, and tne UTG mid-stack who slowplayed his AA did not actually catch his two outer. There was the obligatory blind-vs-blind battle where the player in the big blind, who called my 3x raise from the small blind with a stack three times my own, opted to try to push me off a flopped set:
Thanks for the near triple up, donk! (btw, he made that move with K5...why he called my pf bet there, I dunno, but he's welcome to do so anytime).
So things were going exceedingly well. I got in very serious trouble a bit later, when we were down to 16-17 players, when, on an 864 rainbow flop, I bet pot from the small blind (I'd raised preflop). The button shoved, I called, and ran my AQo into the button's pocket 33. I think his shove was a horrible play, given the previous action, but I was in deep deep kimchi. However, the turn and river came pretty much perfect perfect, and his baby pocket pair was completely counterfeited:
At this point, I was 5th of 17, and feeling a final table, but once again, it was not to be. Down to 11 players, after the inevitable bout of card death (and having to fold to a resteal), with me sitting 10th of 11 in chips, I pick up AKo in the small blind. The table folds to the button who puts in a pretty standard raise. I instashove, he instacalls, and we're playing for a 4th or 5th place chipstack, and a near certain final table spot, when the miracle three outer hits:
And I go home with $66 for my trouble, instead of one of the rapidly escalating final table payouts:
Of course, that pot gave sanders26 a huge chiplead (he was already comfortably ahead of 2nd prior to that hand), which he held on to, for not only his only win, but his only cash at all since last November ($9), and only his second cash ever higher than $25. Take a look at his OPR.
Seriously, he won $1739 last night, and he has total winnings on JokerStars lifetime of $1998, and a ROI of over 244% over 99 tournaments. His only other cash was obviously equally luckboxing a $4/180 for $216 over six months ago. He's also a lifetime $100 loser over 64 games (even including his $4/180 win) currently on "SuperTilt" at Sharkscope. That's the type of player I'm losing to these days. Unfortunately, that's also the type of player typical of the low buyin stakes I play, and unless/until I actually take down one of those MTTs, that's pretty much the level of play my bankroll will allow.
On the fact of it, calling there is defensible, but sanders26 could fold there and still have a 100k lead over 2nd in chips, but calling and losing there drops him to 6th (and only one big blind ahead of 8th). Do you really want to be, at best, racing with AQ in that spot?
I'm not sure who it was last night who said OPR doesn't tell the whole story (for one thing, it doesn't track private tourneys like the Skillz games), and I absolutely have to agree. It is truly better to be lucky than to be good, I suppose.
Anyway, last night really was a positive night overall. I wish things could have turned out a wee bit better in the Skillz, and that I could have one one more pot on JokerStars, but the bankroll did actually move forward a bit...
Before I forget, tonight's the Mookie. You should play, even if I can't.