Aaaaahhhhhh! I have to say there is nothing like winning a poker tournament. I have played and won many sit-n-go’s but it has been a while since I won a tourney. There is a lot of luck involved in tourneys and even more when there are 500+ players. Fortunately for me a much needed win came a few days ago. I had entered a tournament online on Full Tilt with 517 people playing and the winner getting $600. Now $600 is not all that much but the best part was this was an invitation only freeroll and the top 45 were in the money. I gave myself a pretty good chance from the start by slowly grinding my chip stack up with a lot of pot stealers and continuation bets. My first real pot is what set me up for a deep run.
I had around 5000 in chips and my opponent had around 3200.
Me: 9h9s Opponent: QsQc
My opponent was one off the button and raised to 500 pre-flop, the button called and I re-raised to 1200 my opponent just called and the button folded. The flop was Jh4s7c. I felt at the time he had AK or AQ so on the flop I led out for 1500 which pretty much let him know he was all in as he only had 500 more chips behind. To my dismay he instantly went all-in. Being pot committed I reluctantly called only to see the bad news. As I was thinking a strategy for playing on the short stack, BOOM! the beautiful 9c comes on the turn and the river didn’t change a thing. So now I had a good chip stack and felt that I could at least make the money.
The next big hand came right before the break. I was on the button with 10s-10c and the player to my right had raised all-in for about half my stack. He had recently just lost a big pot so I put him on tilt and he probably had a lone A with a bad kicker. So I re-raised all-in. The small blind that has me covered snap calls. NOOOOO! So as I am resigning myself to my fate, BOOM! 10d5c6c comes on the flop and my tens hold up and now I am amongst the chip leaders.
So after these two suck outs I had a real shot at making a run to the final table. As the money bubble approached I really turned up the aggression and was raising almost every other pot and I was able to really build up a nice stack and stay amongst the leaders. So one by one players fell and finally we made the money. Next thing I knew I was at the final table 5th in chips with no real obstacles on the way.
I decided to go with a tight sit-in-go strategy to start out. This plan worked out to perfection. I was in the big-blind with AQ when a short stacked player went all-in with A9 and I won. A few hands later I picked up AK and someone moved all in with A7, another win. Then I started playing really tight and let the others eliminate each other. After an hour we were down to three.
One player was playing really aggressive and was the chip leader, the other player was playing a tight-passive style and I decided to try and get him heads up. I played really aggressive against the aggressive player using a lot of three-bets and it worked. Luckily the weak player eliminated the aggressive one with his AA vs. A10. So now I was heads up for the win. I really wanted this win and I got what I wanted in playing the passive player heads-up.
He had a 5 to 1 chip lead but I felt I had the advantage. I raised nearly every pot and he was playing so tight I won most of them only folding if he raised. After 20 min I had a 2 to 1 chip lead and looked at QQ on my screen. I raised on the button and he re-raised me all-in with K9. “Yes I got him” I tell myself before calling. Flop comes K-9-3, NOOOOO! I get no help from the turn and river and he doubles up to take a slight chip lead. I felt like I was going to go on tilt, all that time grinding away to take the chip lead only to lose like that. Good thing for me in poker things change fast and a few hands later I had rivered a straight to regain the chip lead. The final hand came when I had 7c5h and raised on the button. My opponent called and the flop came 7h-7s-9h. I bet and he raised all-in with 9s-10s, I snap-called and finally it was over and I had won. The best thing about winning was the confidence it gave me for a game. Poker has a lot to due with luck but there is just as much skill involved and when both are on your side you feel unbeatable. The only problem was that I will probably have to take 10 bad beats to make for the 2 I dished out but it was well worth it.