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Last Saturday I played in the last Saturday of the month tourney at the Greektown Casino in Detroit. The buyin was $340 and was down a bit in numbers as it only had 47 people show up. The tourney had 30 minute blinds and started with 10k in chips. The first big hand came with the blinds 300/600. Until this point I have been playing pretty tight and did not raise much. I look down at 88 and raise to $1500. A woman 2 seats behind me flat calls. Then a man in seat 1 min raises to $3000. I was not sure what to do here because if I call I will only have $10,000 left. I decide that the woman might call which would give me 5 to one on another $1500 and I get to act first so I decide to call. The flop comes 7, 5, 4, with 2 clubs. I figured one or both of them have AK, AQ or something like that. Here is a little background on the man and woman. She was a solid player and generally only played good hands. She and the guy next to me had talked about how she should play in the woman’s tournament in Windsor. She said she probably wouldn’t do it since she didn’t know how to play against women. Then I mentioned that I thought woman are usually one of the better players at the table. For them to sit there with 9 men they tend to be very good or they wouldn’t play. I then mentioned that if you are going to play a hand with a woman you need to make sure that you have a hand. They tend to call you down since they think you are beating up on them since they are a woman. The man had been pretty much running over the table for quite awhile but things have been getting tough on him lately. He had lost most of the chips he had gained earlier. I decide to bet $5000 letting them both know that I was pretty committed here. I also figure if one of them calls me down I could hit another 8 or 6 to win the hand. The woman knows that I mentioned that I won’t go after her unless I have a big hand. She instantly folds and the guy goes into the tank. The guy eventually folds JJ face up. Wow I got lucky there. After about 20 minutes later we go on break. I run into the man in the bathroom. The first thing out of his mouth is what did I have? I hate that question. I try not to lie to people but I felt like I had to tell him something. I decided to go with the lie and tell him that I had a set. I lead out because there were straight and flush draws out there. I also didn’t want it to go check and check and give another card to them for free. They could also end up with a bigger set than me if they had a pair and $5000 seemed like a bet amount that would make you go away. So then 20 minutes later the next big hand comes up with the guy in seat 1 again. He raised to $2000 in the 300/600 with 100 ante. I am in the small blind and look down at AA. I go into the tank for a good couple of minutes and decide to raise to $5000 the same number I told him that would make him go away. He instantly goes allin and I instantly go call and flip over my aces. He shows AK of spades. Nothing to even sweat came up and I doubled up to about $35,000. Funny story after he leaves the guy right next to him asks me he went allin there. He didn’t have to go broke there. I told him that I had just told him in the bathroom that on a previous hand that I bet $5000 at him to just make him go away. He then goes well I guess you made pretty good use of the 10 minute break while you were in the bathroom. Everyone at the table got a good laugh at that one. The guy to my right is a young kid probably 21 or 22. He rarely talks but raises a lot. Six times he raised me when on the button and no one before him raised. I mentioned it every time and told him I don’t trust people under 30 since they tend to play that internet poker. We are at blinds of 400/800 with a 200 ante. He is the chip leader at the table with me a distant second. I have pretty much been avoiding him. He has been raising a ton lately and I have been getting on him about it. He raises his standard $24,000. I look down and see QQ. I decide to flat call and I get that he is weak feeling after I called. Everyone else folded. The flop comes J,J,10 he bets $4000 and I flat call. I decide at this point I am throwing every chip I have into this pot at some point. Turn comes a king I hate that card and he bets $6000 I flat call again. I feel that he just hates my call. It looks real strong to him and I rarely play a pot and when I do I usually have a pretty good hand. The river was a 9 and he checks and I shove allin. He instantly folds. I don’t know if I had the best hand but I just felt that I could take the pot from him. Funny story on him is I found out later that he is an internet professional poker player. He usually plays a full slate of tournaments every Sunday. He plays poker on the internet for a living that is his only source of income. So I am now chip leader at the table with the kid on my right a close second. No one else at the table has half of what either of us do. I also have position on him and can read him pretty well. We are just picking off pots here and there. Then we get down to 14 people and the worst thing that could happen occurred. I got moved from the final table to the other table. I get put between two players who have twice the chips that I do and they are raising all the time. I am totally handcuffed and lose most of my chips down to about $20,000 when we get to the final table. The final table starts with blind at $2000/$4000 with a $500 ante. The first big break at the final table happened when I drew the button to start. Somehow at the final table I am getting no hands and can’t get my money in without someone raising large in front of me. Then we are down to 7 handed I can’t get my money in on the blinds and am on the button with $8400. Everyone folds around to me on the button and this is pretty much an auto allin since I know the big blind will call with any hand. I look the hand first though and have 10,8 of hearts. So I shove allin and he calls without looking. He has J9. The flop has a 9 but I have a straight draw and hit it on the turn. I double up and have close to $20,000. I end up get through my blinds again not getting my chips in because of people raising. On the button again I look down at J,10 and shove $12000 allin again. This time like guy folded 92 off and I am up to about $22,0000. A hand or two later I look down at 33 and shove allin and get no callers this time. Then in my big blind the guy in the small blind raises my blind again and I look down at 10,10 and ship it allin. He eventually calls with K8 of hearts. I doubled up again. Then about 20 minutes later I am up to about $63,000 and I look down at AA. The blinds are now $3000/$6000 with a $500 ante. Wow what to do I have been in allin only mode for about an hour and a half. I decide to raise my standard 2.5 times the big blind and see what happens. The internet kid who has me covered is now seated behind me at the final table and instantly goes allin. The guy after him also goes allin. I snap call. The kid has 10,10 and the other guy has KK. My aces hold and I eliminate the guy and cripple the kid. I end up busting the kid a couple of hands later by getting lucky with my A3 against his A8. I hit a 3 on the flop. Wow I have over half the chips in play and just a short while ago I had two big blinds. I am not sure I even got so low. That is probably one of the biggest and quickest runs I have ever had. So we are now down to five players left and we are in the money and are all guaranteed $987. Now that we are down to five players left they want to make a deal. My conditions for the deal were that I would take $4000 and sign for second if a deal were to be made. Basically second place was $3525 and first was $7050. The winner has to sign for winning $7050. In Michigan you have to claim and pay taxes on any winnings over $5000. I figured the winner would have to pay about 30% in taxes which would be roughly $2100 so the most I could make actually make could be $4900. I am happy with the deal and can now comfortably play all the tournaments that I wanted to later in the month of June in Las Vegas.
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