Sunday, September 16, 2007

Holland Casino NLHE tournament 09/11/07

After sleeping a bit, the first thing we went to do in Amsterdam was to buy in to the Tuesday night No Limit Hold 'Em tournament at the Holland Casino. Other than some home games, it was my first time playing live since leaving Amsterdam at the end of January. I really like the new poker room as you can read in my previous post. The first thing I noticed at the tournament was that there were a lot of new faces and I didn't see some of the old familiar ones....maybe the move to the new room and the elimination of smoking had an effect. The first hand, I started out in the big blind and to my surprise, there were no raises (very unusual in this tournament from my previous experience). I checked my options with the 62o and saw a flop of 345...sweet! I slowed played my flopped straight, got paid off nicely for it and everything went well from there. I slowly built up my stack then lost a small chunk of it when I overplayed JTd... I had top pair and a flush draw that didn't come in and I went too far with only top pair. I then caught pocket aces under the gun (my favorite spot for them!) and had the dream situation- a guy (who I had previously overheard talking with someone about him living in Vegas (poker pro?)) pushed all in and it was folded around to me and I obviously instacalled. He had kings and my aces held up, so I almost doubled up. A few hands after that, the player to my right pushed all in and what do I see? Pocket kings...I called him, had him covered and my kings were better than his fives. I caught another king on the turn and he never improved, so I almost doubled again. I had a big stack at this point as was shortly moved to another table, which turned out to later become the final table. On this table, I saw a few of the familiar faces from previous tournaments, all of them known to me to be loose, aggressive types. When I previously played in this tournament, I knew that these guys could outplay me but my games has improved 1000% since then and I knew that I could punish them now and I did. When I first sat down, I didn't have the biggest stack on the table but it didn't take me too long before I did. For some reason, I don't remember many specific hands on this table other than calling a big raise from one of the LAG's with pocket 3's and after a continuation bet, I made a big reraise with my flopped set. He mumbled something in Dutch and folded, then I showed the cards only to have him mumble something else in an obviously disgusted voice. Then came the one hand that I do remember that I played extremely bad...for some reason, those always stick in my memory perfectly which is good for me as I always improve my game from my mistakes. I had A5o in late position and it was folded around to me, so I made a min raise. Folds after me and the big blind checks his options, so it was two to the flop. The big blind had the biggest stack when I sat down on the table and through observation I had noticed that he appeared to play tightly as he had not gotten involved in very many hands. I had taken a couple of big pots away from him earlier to pad my stack. The flop came Axx and he pushed all in....my initial read was that he was tight and I should fold with only top pair and bad kicker but maybe I thought too much about it and came to the conclusion that he was just pushing back with a big bluff and nothing after I had pushed him around earlier- taking a stand if you will. So like an idiot (always trust your first impression, it is usually right), I called and he turned over AJo and I only had three outs...which I didn't get. My stack at that point was 22K or so and I donked away +/- two thirds of it on this one hand, after I had played so well up to this point. I still managed to make the final table and finish 6th for 603 euros ($830) but will always wonder what could have been as I know I was headed for a top three finish and easily could have won. My final hand I had to push with T3o as the blinds were killing me and I was called by Axo and KK. The guy with the kings busted both of us and since the guy with the Axo had more chips than I did, he was fifth and I was sixth.

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