"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know."
All right, here's a hand that I'm still working through from the $26K that I final tabled last week. I am pretty sure that this was a 'hinge' hand in my tournament run. I think I played it correctly in some places, and I think I made one huge mistake.
Comments are very much the point of this post, so please let me know what you think.
At this point we have just broken down to two tables about 15 min. ago. I'm playing with mainly new players, so I only have a couple dozen hands and not much yet in the way of reads. A couple shorties have been busted. Everybody is playing fairly LAG, but I don't read much into that because the blinds are 6000/12000 with an Ante of 1500.
Thus, the pot is 25,000 before any action comes.
I am a medium stack with 189,394.
My M is around 7.5.
I just successfully stole the blinds and antes by raising 36,000.
I am UTG and am dealt [Kc Qd]. I decide that this is a strong enough hand at 6-handed to attempt a steal. I raise to 36,000, because (1) it has become the table-accepted standard opening bet, and (2) I can let go to a re-raise (no way I'm calling a re-raise with the Anna K out of position).
It folds to Vang4You, who is sitting behind 163,320. He thinks until he gets the 15-second warning, and then calls for 24,000 more.
What do you think of the raise to steal UTG with KQo?
*** FLOP *** [2s Qs 2d]
Nice. TPSK. Paired board but can I really put him on a call with 2x? I am pretty sure I'm ahead here. Vang checks and I fire out another 55,000.
Vang thinks. Counter ticks down. Ticks. Ticks.
Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicks . . .
He calls on the last tick.
What do you think of this move? Did you just say 'uh-oh' too? What is your opinion on the size of the flop bet?
*** TURN *** [2s Qs 2d] [Jd]
Vang checks. I do NOT like that little 'last tick' call. Too too fishy for me.
I wait a respectable amount of time, and check.
Is checking correct here, or have I just given the hand away while still holding TPSK?
*** RIVER *** [2s Qs 2d Jd] [9s]
Vang4You waits until the last friggin' tick, then bets all-in for 70,820. If I call with top pair and he has AA, KK, AQ, or any deuce, I am crippled with enough for the small blind.
I finally fold my hand.
About five hands later, I creep into the Final Table with the second lowest stack and an M of around 1.5. I win a big race against 88 with overcards, and play 'stay alive' until I make a big pot against the chipleader, then lose most of that to none other than Vang, who has shown himself to be a total maniac. He gets Tens with a much worse kicker than me, but his kicker makes him two pair.
I lose a raise to the chipleaders 77 not long after that.
My feeling is that this is the hand that made the difference between a fifth place finish and a real chance at a win. Either the fold on the river was a big mistake, or just playing the hand in the first place was a mistake. Or maybe it was just a train wreck.
If I had all those chips going into the FT, I'd have made a lot more off my race with the chipleader, who was WAY better stacked than anybody else and calling everybody's all-ins Jamie Gold style. I'd have been able to play more conservatively. I wouldn't have had to depend so much on races.
I still wonder what he had. Was that final tick call a cliched use of 'weak is strong' online foolery? Or was it a knowing misdirection, using 'weak-is-strong-is-weak' thinking?
In the end, I like my fold, but I only like it in the same way you like your 678th favorite food. There were too many hands that would beat, and that isn't where I wanted to go out. But . . . might I have just woken up to find I had shot an elephant wearing my pajamas?
This is the hinge hand of my tournament. I think it cost me over a thousand dollars.