I had an all-day out-of-the-office meeting yesterday. When I got home, after catching up on emails, etc., I finally got to enter my nightly $22 Omaha Hi-Lo tourney. 95 entrants, top 10 paid.
I was holding my own for a while, and then when there were 40 players left, ran into some bad luck and became a very low stack. So, while I continued to play, I entered an $11 Hold’Em tourney with 160 entrants, paying top 20. I played in both for a while, and caught a nice break in the Omaha tourney and quadrupled my stack and became a medium stack (quite unexpectedly).
Cutting to the chase on that one, I finished 13th, and missed the money by 3. I likely could have squeaked in to 10th if I would have played overly-cautiously (not definitely though), but I am very glad that I played aggressively, and even though it didn’t work out, I believe I played correctly.
I have played in the $11 Hold’Em tourney at 8:15pm once before, same number of entrants, and I came 13th the first time (got back $16 for my $11). I got unlucky on the river in that one. Last night, reasonably early on, I caught a straight flush on the turn, and thankfully, someone else caught an A-high flush on that card as well. I won a big pot and was in 4th with roughly 120 players left.
Then a few new players were moved to our table, including perhaps the biggest maniac I’ve ever played with, who was two seats to my left (generally speaking, you’d like a maniac one or two seats to your left). A while ago, I wrote about another maniac (who ended up missing the money by one after being a giant chip leader), so I’m not 100% sure this guy was the biggest, but he was in the top two.
He was also wildly lucky (as was the other maniac, until he flamed out without making the money!). So, he quickly became the chip leader. Others at the table started verbally abusing how badly he was playing, and he was arrogant and defiant, pointing to his chip stack and telling them that they didn’t know how to play. He was awful. He was willing to go all-in on every hand, as long as he had an A (any A!). He would call other people’s all-in bets if he hit bottom pair with a hand like J3o!
Anyway, this meant having to have patience, which I was able to do, given that I had already built a nice chip stack before he showed up.
If I concentrate on his play, I could go on and on, so I’ll summarize. I raised with 77 in reasonably early position. He re-raised me and everyone else folded. If I called, I’d be pot committed, so the decision for me was fold or go all-in. Our goddaughter was hanging out with us, and I explained the situation (I had commented on the maniac a bunch already, so she and Lois both were aware of the background), and she said “Go for it!”. I would have missed the money if he called and I lost, as he was the chip leader.
I went all-in, and he called. He had one of his “better” hands, ATo. That is not a strong hand to call someone else’s all-in bet, but he was in second chip position at the time (he had 20,000 chips, and I had 7,500), so this particular call wasn’t that bad. My 7’s held up (one of the very rare times he didn’t hit the board!). I had 15,000 chips, and he had 12,500! After the hand, I was in second place (there were roughly 60 players left at the time).
Then a few hands later, I had JJ and raised. He called. The flop came A66. I checked, he checked. The turn was an A. I checked, he bet a fair amount and I called. The turn was an 8. I checked, and amazingly, he checked (I’m not sure I would have called, as he had hit a few more incredible hands and was again chip leader by this hand!). Anyway, he called my original raise with QJo, and my J’s won, and I now had 17,000 chips.
A few hands later, I had TT in the small blind and he was in the big blind. Everyone folded to me. I limped in and he called. Flop was 963. I bet, he raised, and I re-raised all-in. He called instantly. He had 95o, so he flopped top pair and was willing to call an all-in bet. Amazing! My 10’s held up and I had 33,000 chips after that.
Anyway, cutting to the chase, he yo-yo’ed up and down, but went into the final table with 84,000 chips, and second place was 55,000 chips, and I was in third with 36,000 chips. He finished 5th, blowing up with an A6o, against AA. Again, a mind-boggling call of an all-in from the chip leader at the time.
I finished 3rd, and got back $184 for my $11. My account is now bigger (by $62) than it was after Sunday’s win, and that includes all of the qualifier “losses” that I’ve wracked up.
Very nice 🙂