At the end of my last blog entry I was already in the most lucrative position of my poker career, chip leader with ten left at the WPT Foxwoods main event.
The seating assignments and chip counts were as follows:
1. Adam "Roothlus" Levy - 892,000
2. Lee Markholt - 480,000
3. Curt Kohlberg - 1,127,000
4. Kenna James - 1,217,000
5. Tom Dobrilovic - 565,000
6. Eric Froehlich - 714,000
7. Steve Brecher - 660,000
8. Cornel Andrew Cimpan - 1,554,000
9. Soheil Shamseddin - 1,233,000
10. Me - 2,101,000
Just two orbits into the final table, still ten-handed, I ended up playing the biggest pot of the tournament. With blinds at 1200/2400 (300), Soheil (~1.1 milliion) raised from UTG+2 and I (2.3 million) was right behind him with pocket aces.
I generally three bet in this spot, but Soheil was a special case. Although he can be quite a maniac, he'd been staying out of my way for most of the tournament. I assumed he was opening with a very wide range, and would fold to three bet with entirely too much of his range here.
I also hadn't three bet him once throughout the tournament. This was going to make the re-raise look extremely strong and almost completely eliminate the chances of him belligerently four bet jamming light, despite the fact that he had a good stack to do so.
Finally, I there were a few good squeeze stacks behind us at this point in Levy, Markholt, and Dobrilovic.
All of them are on the tighter side in general, but Levy is definitely capable of getting out of line here. The other two are a bit short to make a big move, but can definitely get it in wider against a raise and a call than if I were to three bet.
The extra benefit was that if one of those shorter stacks were to move in, Soheil would be getting a pretty good price to try to isolate against the all-in player if he did actually have at least a medium strength hand.
I eventually went against my first instinct after pondering all of this and decided to just call. Kohlberg overcalled from the button, Dobrilovic moved in from the big blind for about ~500k, and Soheil asked how much before quickly announcing that he was all in too.
I was completely satisfied with playing this pot three ways, so I instantly jumped up and said , "I'm all in too!"
Kohlberg got the message, but was of course methodical as usual in asking if three of us were really all in already before thinking and folding.
Soheil showed 9♣ 9♥, and Dobrilovic showed K♣ K♠. The board ran out J♥ T♥ 8♦ 7♠ 6♣, which vaulted Soheil into a monster chip lead by eliminating Dobrilovic and taking about half of my stack.
Right play, wrong result! I'd managed to build a 2.8 million chip pot (of 10.6 million in play) with the nuts and got unlucky, and I was perfectly fine with that. To be honest I managed to block out thoughts of how much equity I'd lost and just stay focused. I didn't tilt one bit.
It's a good thing, too, since the deck was ready to give me back the chips as long as I kept my cool. I managed to pick up the exact same two aces down to the suit just four hands later. Markholt was unlucky to pick up what he claims were two tens, and I managed to cripple him when he called my river bet.
Lee was frustrated by the way he played his hand, but with the stacks the way they were I'm honestly surprised he didn't move in over the top of my raise before the flop if he did have two tens...which I believe because it was exactly what I had him on with the way the hand played out anyway.
I also think that Lee would have been able to get away from the hand on the river if he hadn't thought I was tilted. He even said, "You a little rattled from that other hand, Matt?" before making the call. Getting Lee's chips is not an easy task, and I think image paid off in this hand.
Then another big pot with Kenna brought my stack to almost where it was before the disaster against Soheil...and in just over two orbits.
I defended with 8♥ 8♠ after he raised from middle position and bet the turn and river on a T♣#67♠ 7♥ T♠ after he checked behind on the flop. He called with what I have to assume was ace high.
I'd taken a few pots from him without showdown up to this point. Although I hadn't been getting out of line against him, I can definitely see why he would be looking to catch a bluff against me given the history that was building.
That brought me back up to 1.8 million and I was able to cruise into the TV final table while Soheil did all the dirty work, eliminating all four players from 7th-10th to bring us down to the TV final table of six that looked like this:
1. Lee Markholt - 264,000
2. Curt Kohlberg - 1,086,000
3. Eric "Efro" Froehlich - 1,014,000
4. Cornel Andrew Cimpan - 3,691,000
5. Soheil Shamseddin - 2,954,000
6. Matt "Allinat420" Stout - 1,579,000
Although winning that pot against Soheil would have been nice, I still liked my chances and ESPECIALLY my table position behind Cornel and Soheil going into the final table. It was finally time for me to take the stage on the World Poker Tour for the first time, and I couldn't wait.