Saturday, February 25, 2012


This day was important to me in that I wanted to earn my way into the Sunday tournament with the 10 best players in the Tri-Cities according to our poker manager. Either way this will be a good test of where my game is at compared to some very good players.

I did play some live cash at $2-$6 and $2-$10 and I started off not playing like I should have and dropped $150 through out the day from my bankroll. I will do better next time. Maybe it was the makeup of the table that got me but I will be better prepared.

The first tournament was not the qualifier but a regular day game and if I could have somehow gotten into the final table and cashed I would have gotten my second voucher for the qualifier. I ended up going out in 11th place and bubbled the table. Knowing I played well to get there I was not worried about my game and felt I could get into the top ten in one of the two tournaments ahead of me.

The 3PM qualifier had over 50 runners and I settled in for the long haul knowing I needed to pick up chips and make the proper decisions with each hand I played. I did pick up some good hands and used them to my advantage with raises and continuation bets. I stayed away from the all in just in case I ran into something big I couldn't win.

In the end of the first one I fell just short. I came in 13th position and missed the final table by 3 players. That really hurt me and I was having to think what could I have done better to get just a little bit further. If I would have played a few more hands in position or raised I possibly could have built enough chips to make the final push.

Changing my style of play from starting TAG to LAG seemed to work especially when the cards started to show up at the right time. I could see the change in the table dynamics this time that showed me when people were tightening up their play and that allowed me to loosen up my game. I may have showed one hand the whole time just to show I was tight and when I am playing I have the goods.

The second qualifier started at 7PM and we had over 40 runners for this one. I started off doing the same thing but I also threw in listening to my iPhone music for awhile just to do something different and try to relax a bit. I have been putting enough pressure on myself to get one of these two qualifiers that now I am down to my last one. I know it will come down to who has the mental ability to make this.

We got down to 19 players and I was feeling the pressure. The last qualifier I made it to 13th and I wanted to get further this time and make the final table goal. I put myself in concentration mode of my chipstack and what was out there that needed to go before me. I was relieved and nervous for each number that was yelled out. 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13 and this was the hump I needed to get over. I had to make it past 13 to feel like it was within my grasp. Eventually 12, and now 11. The bubble was here and I was short stack.

I was so tight and I knew I needed to be loose but with a short stack I had to reverse my thinking and be patient. I could feel the pressure and the stress. The adrenaline was there as well. Could I ride this horse?

At one moment I had to go all in with my short stack. This was it for the tournament life. My cards were A7 suited diamonds. I needed them to hold. One guy from the other table came over and his brothers were standing directly behind me saying things like "he's done" "you have made the final table" "he will loose this". When the flop, turn and river where on the board the brothers started celebrating that he made the final table. I leaned over the table and showed the dealer the flush I had just made and I won the hand. We can continue.

I turned over to the other table where the celebration had started and said something about my flush. I don't remember the words but it is not important anyway. I was still in this game. I looked over at the poker manager and told him I was not happy and they were acting like vultures. I felt it was inappropriate for what they were doing. Not to long after that someone went out on the second table which brought us down to the final. I made it. Pressure was relieved and I could feel some stress start to subside.

From the final ten we continued to play some more for the little money that was available. My goal was met and I didn't care about that. I was headed to Sunday with the opportunity to show I can still play the tournament game against the top 10 players. My goal is not complete until Sunday afternoon. I will be ready to play again.

That all being said, I miss my Mom and she is on my mind. I have not wanted to say anything but I dedicated my play this weekend to her. If I don't make the end of Sunday tournament I can be proud that I made the qualifier and was in a position to play my best. I am not done and I haven't thrown in the towel. Here I go Mom, I can doing anything I put my mind to.

Today is a regular work day and there are two more qualifiers to go through but this time I am working not playing. Time to watch more hands and watch players play.

Have a fun day.......

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