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Daniel - Poker Journal

A Ridonkulous Hand from Day 2!

27 Feb 2010

I'll just get right into the hand. I'm doing great in the tournament already with about 120,000 or so when I raise from early position with 3c 4c to 1800 (blinds 400-800 100 ante) one player calls, as does the big blind. The player in the big blind was an older gentleman who was an online qualifier and he came to the table with a mountain of chips. I didn't have any real read on him outside of his clothing and his jewelery choices. The "look" led me to believe this guy is anything BUT a straight forward "old guy" playing ABC poker. I figured he'd probably take some very strange lines in certain hands.

So anyway, the flop comes absolute gin for me: 2c 3d 5c giving me a pair and an open ended straight flush draw. So yeah, when you raise with a funky hand like that, you'd say that's an above average flop. The big blind checked and I fired a bet of 3500 at the pot. The other player folded, and the big blind quickly raised me about 6000 more.

Earlier in the day I got raised when I held Ad Kd on a flop of Ah 5d 7d and elected to play it slow and not get all my chips in the figuring that if the guy called my re-raise he's probably have two pair or a set. If he had a flush draw, well then, so what, I have him crushed so let him hang himself.

This spot was a lot different, though, as my draw was so monstrous, but yet my actual made hand was much weaker. In this spot, I felt like it made sense to try and move my opponent off of a stronger hand knowing that in any worst case scenario I'd be drawing live against his hand. There is no hand he could have that has me crushed, although if he had 4-6 I wouldn't like it very much. I re-raised another 15,000 and like a shot he said, "All in." I had about 58,000 more and obviously was forced to call and see what I had to fade.

When the guy showed his hand, I literally jumped out of my chair! A difficult task considered I was in the middle of having a chair massage. I just couldn't believe it!!! The guy turns over: 3h 8d. He had the same pair as I did with a freaking 8 kicker and decided to play close to a quarter million pot with me. All I could think was, "Dude, what in the world are you doing!!!!" Then I had to start thinking, "Gosh, if I go broke this hand I may never get over it."

The turn was a good one for me, a 4, leaving my man with just two outs since the 8c makes me a flush. It was the Ks and all of a sudden I was one of the big dogs in the tournament.

This is my fifth tournament this year, and as mentioned in my last blog I've been deep in every single one yet haven't had any luck at the key late stages and bubbled my first four. Well, I've had some luck here and I feel like I'm poised to make a deep run ending the day with a whopping 316,500. The blinds tomorrow? Get this: 600-1200 with a 200 ante! Yeah, I got plenty of chips. The structure is so good that for the whole day the average stack hovered around 70-80 big blinds which is plenty. I've got over 260 big blinds and that's pretty comfy.

I've made good decisions all year and feel like I'm a better NLH hold'em player than ever before. I think my edge over the field today is much smaller than it was in 2004, but I'm still a much better player now than I was then. Poker was just so much easier then. I've had to work on my game to compete with the young internet kids and in the process it's opened up a whole new world of options for me at the table. I'm enjoying it, and still firmly believe that I'm going to have a big year in 2010. "All the stars are aligned" as an old buddy used to say.

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