In every tournament there are key hands, in a 4 day event there can be several, these were mine……………
The first day your objective is to survive and try to double up, my first hand was: AJh., I raised one off the button, the button flat called and the blinds passed. The flop was 3 hearts, I bet, the button re-raised, I flat called, the turn was the 5d I bet, the button flat called, the turn was the Kh., I bet, he called, I showed the nuts, he mucked his hand. A dream start. I was now up to 16,000 I had an early rush and finished level one, chip leader with 21,500.
In level two a new player replaced the recently departed button and while reading his book on German phrases, occasionally played a hand. On one occasion the flop was a large pair and a 3, he bet, everyone passed and he showed a 3. Then came my second key hand, there were two limpers and I found pocket 7’s in the small blind, I flat called so did the reader in the big blind, the flop was KK3, I checked, reader bet 750, the two limpers passed, I call thinking he has either a K or a 3 or a small over pair, knowing that the turn card and how he then bets will confirm my thoughts. The turn card was a 7! I checked, he bet, I flat called, the river brought the fourth 7, I now bet knowing he would raise which he did, I re-raised and he shrugged his shoulders, pushed all his chips in and gestured to me that it was a split pot, I said “no it isn’t” and turned over my hand, you can imagine his face. So end of second level, I now have 32,000 and I am joint chip leader.
Now at this point I should have backed off but unfortunately I set myself a goal of finishing the day with 40-45,000 chips. Imagine how I felt when at the end of level 3 I only had 4,500 chips left, I was disgusted and told myself to stop being a pratt and get through to day 2 as I have never failed to make the second day in a 3-4 day tournament.
And so came the third key hand of day one, I got moved to another tabel where I was lowest chips, I limped in from middle position with ATh, the button called, small blind passed, but the big blind picked up 3, 1,000 chips and dropped them one at a time counting “1, 2, 3” he had not said anything, let alone raise, a ruling was asked for and a raise of 1,000 was allowed (the blinds were 100/200) I called and so did the button. The flop came 3 rags with two hearts, he checked, I guessed he had AK or AQ and moved all in with my last 3,000, hoping to win it unchallenged, the button called, oops! “I hope I hit the flush or have two over cards” the raiser flashed AKd and passed. The button turned over K9h Yippee! I turned a ten and finished day one with 8,975 in 53rd place of 63 remaining players.
Day two – I was second lowest chips on the table with the chip leader (31,000) on my big blind, but it was a fairly tight table and I was able to accumulate chips fairly quickly through a series of bluffs and blind stealing. The chip leader kept making a stand until this hand, I raised on the button with AKc., he called, the flop was 3 rags, 2 clubs, he checked, I checked, turn was Jc., he bet, I raised, he hesitated, showed me the Jh and passed, I showed him the nuts and said “now I’m hitting hands as well” I finished level 1 with 34,000. The second level I slipped back a bit, then a new player joined the table, this was one of his first hands as his chips were still in their tray. I limped in with pocket 4’s, no other callers, he checked in the big blind, flop was 4, 4, 5, yes I flopped quads, he checked, I checked, turn was a ten, he bet 2,000, I picked up 2,000, looked at him, pretended I was going to raise, then just called. The river was an ace, he looked straight at me, picked up his tray full of chips and dropped them in the middle of the table, I reluctantly called and showed quad 4’s, he was not happy and told me later he had played the hand badly! His hand was AT.
In level 3, I had been passing a lot of hands when this occurred. There were 2 limpers and I also called with A9s, the chip leader called and the big button moved all in for approximately 9,000. The first two passed but I fancied my hand and thinking the chip leader would pass, just flat called for 8,500 more. The chip leader asked me how much I had left, I said 24,000, he re-raised all in, I passed, he turned over two 9’s, the big button (Robert Kojfer) two Kings, the flop was Ks followed by 3 spades, I was not happy with the chip leaders raise. This started a downturn to 13,000 when I picked up AKc one off the button, the chip leader had limped in from first position, but I raised, he set me in and turned over 2 jacks, this was the key hand of the tournament, the flop came rag, rag, rag, rag, K and I was back in business. Soon after Robert raised from first position, I flat called with pocket Q’s (the first big pair I had seen in 2 days) the flop was A, 4, Q, he checked, I knew he had hit the ace, he had 22,000 in chips so I bet 10,000 knowing he would raise all in which he did, I won the hand and finished day two with 76,000 in fifth place of 27 left.
Day three – I had decided to try to attain the average number of chips required as the field reduced to 18 then finally 9, so I started playing very few hands, but occasionally stealing the blinds. I did however flat call too many raises from Christian Walecszki who kept raising my blinds, this cost me 50,000 chips, but I hoped to win them back. I was in late position when the player before me bet 4,000, I sensed weakness and re-raised 10,000 with A6d the button and small blind passed but the big blind re-raised 21,000 all in, I knew I was losing but called hoping to outdraw him, he turned over K’s, I got lucky, a six on the flop followed by an A on the river, left him feeling he had had his insides ripped out, sorry Carlo. I then tried exactly the same play re-raising with A8d, this time however I walked into Ross Boatman with 2 aces which surprisingly stood up, even when I picked up a flush draw on the turn.
Now we come to my key hands of day 3, Christian for the tenth time raised on my big blind, I called with AJd (I’m going up a bit at a time) the flop was J, 3, J, I bet 20,000, he raised, I thought he said all in so I said okay, I’m all in as well, which as he had more than twice my chips was just bravado, I stood up and said AJ at which point he said I never raised all in, I raise forty, I said I misunderstood and a ruling was made that he could pass or call for 15,000 more (I was all in for 75,000) he called and turned over two 8’s, a 3 came on the turn to kill his hand. Now I was third chip leader with approximately 160,000. For the first time in the tournament I found AA and raised two off the blinds, but got no callers. Then a few hands later this happened, position one bet 15,000 (blinds were 1500/3000) everyone passed to the small blind who went all in for a total of 21,500, I’m in the big blind and look at my hand to find AA, I raised all in, the first bettor immediately called for 60,000 more all in. Our cards were turned up, first bettor QQ, small blind KK, me AA, Christian said he had passed KQ which left only two cards to beat me. Everyone from the rail pushed forward to see the flop, rag, Q, rag, the QQ’s supporters were going mad, turn card rag, river card, well it had to be didn’t it? Ah. Two players were knocked out, we now had the final 9 and I was chip leader with 357,500 out of 1,246,000.
Day 4 – My strategy was to attack the small stack, steal blinds but only raise with premium hands. My first hand was JJ against Christians AK, he doubled up, cost me 30,000. After that things went fairly to plan, I was fortunate to start finding premium hands including AA three times and KK once, one off or on the button, I made large raises and was never called.
When down to 4 players a deal was suggested by Christian who had done very well having started with 30,000 and now had 220,000, Andreas had 223,000, I had 313,000 and last years winner, Christian had 490,000. We split approximately £77,000 and played for £16,000. The very next hand I was dealt KQd, Christian Johanson bet 40,000, I flat called, flop was rag, rag, T, two diamonds, he bet 100,000, I flat called, turn was Jh he checked, I moved all in, I had two over cards, a straight and a flush draw, would he call for 173,00? No. Andreas then had an amazing rush in which he went from 85,000 to 820,000 in 3 hands knocking out Christian, a further split was suggested which I accepted. Chip position: Andreas 820,000, me 426,000. The very next hand I found AA, Andreas bet 40,000, I raised 100,000, he called. Flop was 3 rags, he checked, I moved all in, he eventually passed. This was a turning point, his rush was over and I accumulated chips very quickly until when I had 886,000 to his 360,000 with the blinds now 10,000/20,000 with a 5000 ante, he asked if we could call it a day, a split of the final money was agreed and a new name goes on the wall.
I hope you found this interesting and entertaining.