After the Legends of Poker, I moved into 18th on Cardplayers Player of the Year standings. My big jump in the standings landed me on the front page of Card Player! Pretty cool.
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I just got back from my trip to LA and I have to say it was a successful one. I ended up placing 2nd in the legends of poker (WPT) for almost $300,000. Nice way to cap off a great summer. The tournament will be televised on FSN, probably in January or February of next year.
The final table was a pretty tough field. The table consisted of me, Greg Mueller, Ali Eslami (a high stakes live cash regular), Jeff Madsen, an online mid-stakes tournament grinder named Raouf, and a young player named Josh who clearly was a good player but claimed to be an amateur. I came into the final table short stacked, but ended up dominating all the way to heads-up play (This will look fantastic on TV to the lay person I’m sure haha), having actually eliminated every player at the table up until that point. My 92 year old grandfather and my dad actually drove from Arizona to watch the final table, so I was pleased to have been able to put on a show. I went into heads-up play with a 14 million – 4 million lead, but relinquished it when my opponent, Josh, doubled up against me with Q2hh against my Q6 on a TT6 two heart board. Then I lost AK to JJ all in pre and that was it. It was pretty unfortunate, I feel like if we played out that scenario headsup 10 times I’d win 9 times out of 10. Josh was a good player, but I had a great feel for his game and my fundamentals, especially short-stacked, were just much better than his. That being said, Josh and his family were really nice (a friend or family member actually gave me a massage at one point during the tournament, lol) and I’m happy for his win.
I played the most crazy and hilarious hand of my life during this tournament, but it didn’t come at the final table. It actually didn’t even come the day before. It was start day 3 of the event and I had amassed a massive stack, I had over 500,000 chips and was in the top 5. There were about 90 players left and 62 got paid, so my plan was to play tight to get to the bubble and then use my big stack to pick up some chips there. About an hour and a half in the hand comes up.
My stack is about 450k and I’m in the SB, it folds to the button who limps. The button is this russian/eastern european/possibly just really weird american guy who is a clear fish and has about a 380k stack. Earlier, he had limped the button, I raised in the sb with total air (I think it was T6o) and he called. The flop came KQx and I cbet small and he jammed! Keep in mind this jam was probably for over 75bb, a huge overjam. Later, he overcalled Greg Mueller’s 3bet from the sb. The flop came 976dd, he lead small, Mueller raised, and he insta announces all in. Mueller folds so we didn’t get to see what he has either hand. And while I assume he probably wasn’t bluffing on either hand, he seemed like the type of guy who could really spew. My experience in LA was that most of the local players were spewy than normal, so it wasn’t ridiculous to assume this guy would be capable of some big retarded bluff.
Anyways, he limps the button, I limped A5o in the sb, and the bb checks. The Blinds were 2k/4k with a 500 ante so we were extremely deepstacked. The flop comes 543 rainbow and we all check. The turn comes a 9 that puts two spades on the board. I lead 14k, the BB calls and the button throws out a stack of 80k quickly. Now for a big decision, I know if I call this bet it’s somewhat likely I’ll be facing a all in on the river. So basically I have to decide now if I want to call down. I had seen him check behind a flop before and give up in a similar spot, and I doubt he would slowplay the flop except for 67 and I didn’t think he would limp 67o pre given the way he played (I estimate he probably was playing 24/4 if I was tracking). I really felt like he was bluffing. I end up going for it, I call his raise and the bb folds. The river comes a 9, which is the absolute best card I could see. I check, he announces all in. I only think for about 10 seconds and call.
He turns of 55 for a flopped set and a rivered boat.
I counted out my chips and passed them to him. A minute earlier, I was in an amazing position. Now I was left with about 80k 20 spots before the bubble. But the funny thing was, I didn’t feel angry or mad at myself. I actually laughed outside as I called my brother to tell him about the hand. It felt strange, I don’t think I’ve ever made a huge call like that and been wrong in my life (As far as live tournaments go, online on the other hand…). But I knew immediately that if I went back in time and faced that decision again I would do the same thing, all I have in poker is my logic and my gut and the only time I’ll be mad at myself is when I go against one of them. I found out an hour later my read on his spewiness was actually pretty good. He was moved to another table and did that same overshove all in bullshit with 77 on a Q86 rainbow board. I don’t think he even made it through day 3, but I could be wrong.
Regardless of all that, it all worked out in the end, so I guess it didn’t really matter :).
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