The tourneys started off with a great sense of excitement. Even though we were down to 9 players by time the tourneys started, we had a few hard fought games. It seems like everyone wanted to start off the season with a bang!
The first tourney winner of the season? The Slayer, Matt S!! Really? Surely, you're joking. But I'm not. He played a beautiful flopped set early on to triple up. Then he got stupid unlucky against me. I had TT in EP and limped. Slayer came along with one other in the pot. Flop was T32 rainbow. Yeah, I can check that. Slayer bets a modest amount and I call for "one more card". Turn is a 2. Check again with the nut boat on board and Matt checks behind. River is a 3. Board is now T2323. I think Matt has one of those small cards, so I bet out about 3/4 of the pot. He min-raises. Oh yeah. I'm all in and he calls with J3 but I show him the bad news.
I was able to sit on my stack for a bit but I got more than halved on three hands. 88, KdQd and AcQc. On all three hands, I raised PF and got re-raised at least twice behind me. The only hand I considered going in on was the KQ. W re-raised big and got called by Matt with the then big stack at the table. I mucked instead and was rewarded by seeing W's TT and Matt's KK. Matt took out W who couldn't suck out if she tried. When I got short stacked, I got a magical pair of Kings and managed to double through. I got short again and then picked up AA to double up one more time. It was a real roller coaster. Finally, I was down to 2100 with blinds at 400/800 and I'm UTG. The number of hands I can push all in with here is frighteningly large so I was happy to see Tc8c, which isn't strong on it's own but is likely to be two live cards and a flush draw. So I move all in. PP, behind me, also moves all in. Matt moves all in too! Wow. PP has 88 (so much for live cards!) and Matt has AA!!! Oh wow am I behind. The flop had an Ace in it and I gave up until I looked closer. Holy crap, two clubs on board! Does anyone have one?!? Oh yeah, Matt's Ac is the nut draw. But I can still win, I told myself. The turn...a club!!!!!! I was one card away from cracking the shit out of two pocket pairs. All I had to do know was avoid a club or a card that paired the board. Yeah, about half the deck. But the river was a brick and I did the happy dance!
I ended up 2nd in the tourney after Matt and I chopped.
The second tourney yielded one interesting situation for me. I was in the BB with 5d6d and Brian G. raised PF to about 2.5X the BB. No one else was in but I made a loose-ish call with the small suited connecters and the BB discount. The flop was 2d3d8s. Not bad for me at all. I flopped the gutshot nut straight draw and the flush draw as well. Plus, the 4d gave me the lock nuts. I needed to freeze the action right there and I hoped 400 would do it. But Brian raised 1000 on top. If I call, it's 1/3 my stack. I thought for a bit and decided to push all in on the semi-bluff. I reasoned that a flop that raggedy couldn't have hit him very hard so I would try to represent a big hand and I could still suck out if he looked me up. He went into the tank for a good minute before finally throwing in his chips saying, "I shouldn't do this. I have a flush draw and the gutshot straight." Did he just say what I think he did? A flush and gutter draw? I said out loud, "How is that possible? That's what I have!" I flipped my cards and then found out what he meant. He turned over Ad4d. Wow. The same exact hand, for all intents and purposes, except he had the nut draw on the flush. Crap. I could win here with any 4 and possibly a pair of 5's or 6's, but nothing hit for either of us and the Ace high ended up busting me out. Given my outs and our relative chip stacks (he had 200 more than me), everyone agreed it was a justifiable play. Too bad he had such a strong drawing hand though. I think only two other players, maybe three, at our table would have made that call. Nicely done, Brian, nicely done.
In the end, W and Thomas G. ended up going heads up, with Thomas a 2-1 chip favorite. He offered to chop to go home, but W is no fool. She wanted to take down her first tourney in over 7 months. She knew she had a huge advantage of Thomas in heads-up play so she pushed on.
To make a long story short, she didn't lose a single hand for the next 7 minutes. And not a single hand went to showdown, mind you. Her aggression was too much for Thomas until he fell into 2nd and immediately accepted W's chop offer (a very generous 50/50 split).
I sense this season will be drama filled. Everyone *wants* it.