I just got back to Arizona from the Turning Stone trip. A beautiful night in Tucson, 70 degrees with clear skies... Such a nice change from the few days of snow and freezing temperatures in Verona, NY. This trip turned out to be amazing. I got to hang out with all the online players who I've become friends with from other live events, and I finished second place in the main event!
It was a $1,000 buy-in and 2nd place paid about $32,000, which makes this my biggest tourney score ever. I have played the $1k event at Turning Stone twice, and final tabled it both times- So I'll guess I'll be back in May, or whenever they have another $1k tourney. There were a lot of hands and thoughts I had during this tournament that I wanted to share, but I can't remember them all right now, but here are two I can recall:
1. Three tables left. I have about $55k, at the 400/800/100 level. Seat 1 (sb) is a young asian player, whos cell phone went off at least 7 times in the hour (ringtone was make it rain by fat joe, and it was loud). He was a nice guy, who seemed like a loose-passive gambler-type. BB is Adam Junglen, who I know from online and is very aggressive, and is capable of 4-betting and playing large pots without huge hands, but still knows to when to fold. I have been playing semi-tight agressive and rarely showing down hands. I open the pot for $2400 with 63hh in LP, SB calls, and I glance at Junglen and he kind of smirks. I am thinking, if I were him, I would squeeze here, because: A) he knows I open here with almost anything and B) he knows the SB has been playing passive, and made a very weak play by just calling. He looks at his cards and does his chip routine of counting, shuffling and stacking chips and raises to $10k. I put him on a squeeze and waited about 15 seconds then shoved for about $45k more, which is a great amount because he can't really call without a good hand. The SB folds (TT- he later said), and Junglen thinks, then folds, and I pick up about $15k to add to my stack.
2. This was at the final table with 6 people left... Blinds 3000/6000, I get AA under the gun, and make it $17k. One fold, and then a shortstack shoves for about $50k, and I get really excited, but try not to show anything since its a live tourney. THEN it folds to the BB who says "Let's make it $100,000". At that point, I am just thinking... Hold one time! He has about $150-$175k behind, so I decided to just put him all in right there. He ends up making a good laydown, and shows QQ face up. The other guy had QJo, and I took the whole thing down.
I missed a lot of small hands, and bluffs that I think is what really got me deep in this tourney.
I was very dissapointed in myself in the first two events because I was out within the two hours in both of them! I hated starting with only 3,000 chips, and I bluffed off most of my stack both tournaments. Before the $1k event I just told myself not to do anything stupid like bluff off 3/4 of your stack on the first level because you "sensed weakness". I didn't do this in the main event and the affect were great.
Overall the trip was definately worthwhile... I got to meet some cool new people, see my poker buddies... I left with a smile on my face.