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$115 tournament at the Horseshoe in Shreveport

Well, I decided to play the $115 tournament and it was definitely the correct decision. It started a little earlier than I would’ve liked (10 am), but the structure was excellent. We started with T$1500 in chips, played 30-minute levels, and the blinds started at $5/10. There was a lot of room for play. The levels were as follows: $5/10, $10/20, $15/30, $25/50, $50/100, $100/200, $100/200 $25 ante… and that’s all I got to see.

Here are the highlights for me:

Fourth hand, I limp on the button with QJo. I think four of us saw the flop, which was Q9x with 2 clubs. Everyone checked to me and I bet the pot. The BB called, everyone else folded. Turn is a non-club Jack. BB check to me, I bet the pot, he calls. River is an offsuit 7. BB checks to me, I make a small value-bet, he check-raises me to 3 times my bet, I think for a while, figure him for two smaller pair (I thought he had J7o) and call getting pretty good odds. He turns over 77 for a rivered set that beat my top two pair.

Then I won a few small pots with top pair, good kicker. Lost one small pot on a pseudo-bluff with KTs.

A bit later, I get KK in the hijack. Blinds were $10/20, I raised to $80, the BB re-raises to $160, I pop it up to $660, he calls. Flop came down something like 998 with two clubs. He checks to me, I bet $1000 to put him all in (he had about $960 left), he looks disgusted and calls with AA. His AA held up, I was down to just over $300 in chips. I had put him on QQ or maybe JJ–he didn’t even have enough left in front of him to make a pot-size bet on the flop and I figured he would want to get all the chips in with AA before the flop since he would have to play the hand out of position. Obviously, it was unlikely he had KK since I had the other two. If he had re-raised me all-in before the flop, I think I might’ve actually folded the hand…

I whittled down to $200-something and then got 54o on the button. It was folded to me, so I raised to 3x the BB (both blinds were playing relatively tight/conservative and I hadn’t opened a pot in a while). Both blinds called. The flop was something like KTxr. We checked around. Turn was a Q. We checked around. River was an A. They checked to me, I moved in, they both folded. SB told me he had 88, BB didn’t show.

Next time I got A7o. Three or four people limped, flop came down 694r with two diamonds. Everyone checked around. Turn was 8d, putting a three flush and possible straight on the board. Small blind checked, I moved in, everyone folded to the SB who called. He turned over T7h for a turned straight. I hit the nut flush on the river and doubled up.

Next time I had the BB, I got 23c. The button limped, SB called, I checked my option. Flopped came down 235 with two spades,. I checked, the button bet the pot, I check-raised all-in, he called with ATo. Bottom two pair held up and I doubled up to a little over $800 in chips.

A bit later, I took down a small pot with KQs. I raised before the flop, got called by the BB, checked the flop behind the BB, bet the turn and took it down.

The ellipses denotes much time passing with nothing special happening. I got moved to different, much tougher table at the $50/100 level. One of my first hands at the new level, I picked up A8c in late position. I made a standard raise and everyone folded to the BB, who called. This hand was interesting because I felt like the BB was a pretty good player. After he called, I protected my cards and just looked over at the guy to see his reaction to the flop. Then, he looked over at me to see my reaction to the flop. At first, he seemed like he wasn’t going to look away until I did, but since he had to act first, he eventually looked at the board, checked, and looked back at me. I was going to bet regardless of what happened, but when I looked at the board, I saw that it had come down 998, giving me 8’s and 9’s with an A kicker. I bet about half my stack, he thought for quite a while and folded what I think must’ve been AQ or AJ. I feel like I could’ve moved him off the hand even if I didn’t hit the flop and I’m glad he folded since he had at least 5 outs. In a cash game, I want a call; in a tournament, I just want the pot.

After that hand, I was up to around $2400 in chips.

Then, I started melting away. I didn’t play another pot until the blinds got to $100/200 with a $25 ante (I’d say it was over an hour, maybe an hour and a half) the blinds went up to $100/200 and I just couldn’t pick up a good hand or find a good spot to make a move.

I was down to about $850 chips when I moved in with A9o in the SB (best hand I’d gotten since moving to this table). There were 3 limpers and no one had shown real strength. I was actually pretty sure there was a reasonable chance my A9 was good here (there were several players limping often with medium-strength and worse hands). Of course, the BB woke up with AKo and moved in immediately. UTG folded reluctantly (he said he folded TT or JJ, I think) and I couldn’t get lucky. I’ve thought a lot about the play and I’m pretty satisfied with it. I was getting just about 2:1 on my all-in and BB’s call meant I was getting about 3:1 as a 2:1 dog.

All in all, I think I played very well, but just couldn’t pick up a big hand… ‘cept for KK, which ran into AA. I lasted 3.5 hours and finished 20/55.

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