Rushing back to LA on Sunday night for the $3k shorthanded event at Commerce's LA Poker Classic proved to be a good idea ... sort of.
I managed to get back to LA around 4am and got plenty of sleep before the 4pm event on Monday.
Despite a tough table draw, I started the tournament on a crazy heater and had tripled up in the first two levels (25/50 and 50/100) from a 10k starting stack. I was making hand after hand, even making quads with 4♣ 6♣. Easy game.
I doubled through Ryan "elycash41" Hughes when I turned an ace with A♦ 8♦ and he paid me off, although I didn't get to see his hand.
Then I got very lucky when I cold 4bet all in with A♣ J♣ against a couple of spewmonkeys (both of whom I had beat, by the way...) and ran into Adam "csimmsux" Geyer's K♦ K♣ in the big blind.
I flopped a flush draw and turned an ace for a huge pot, and was one of the chip leaders for some time after.
Then I played one of the weirder pots of my life. I check-raised the river for value with K♥ K♦ against Andy "BadgerPro" Schultz on a final board of K♠ 9♥ 2♣ Q♥ A♥.
I'd often check-call here but it wasn't a huge risk to my stack to put him all in, he'd bet 40% of his stack on the river, and I thought he'd call with two pair and smaller sets.
I also thought he'd very rarely have me beat, but would be calling if he did...the only downside to raising for value here. As soon as he didn't instantly call, I began to hope he would pay me off. Then after nearly five minutes of thought, he turned J♣ T♣ face-up and threw it into the muck.
I was so shocked I didn't even know what to do, and the dealer shipped me a massive pot that was supposed to go the other way.
Nice life. Oh, and nice value raise, self. LOL
Or was it a bluff? I guess it was, if he wasn't calling with the J♣ T♣!!!
I should note that Andy is a pretty damn good player, and a bad player would just never fold here. It's a pretty sick fold, and most of the time he'd be right for what it's worth.
Anyway, we played down to 12 players and got into the money at around 3:40am. However, we had to come back and continue play at 1pm because Matt Savage wanted to accommodate a few remaining players who also wanted to play the $10k heads up event.
Matt is a great guy and the best tournament director in the entire World, but this decision flat out sucked and left me tired and feeling like crap and tired to start day two....especially since I'm staying 20 miles from the Commerce and have to drive through some of the worst traffic around to get there.
Anyway, I started out the day pretty quiet. Carlos Mortenson and I had been playing pretty friendly and staying out of each others' way, which was great since he had position on me on the bubble and never got out of line against me.
Then with about 10 players left (and an hour til the $10k heads up that he wanted to play), he decided to start trying to run me over.
Fortunately, I was able to win two key pots from him before Matt Brady busted him. I rivered trips when I had a pair and a gutshot against him and got him to pay off. Then he 3bet my button open, and I 4bet A♣ Q♦.
I was trying to induce a shove and was definitely going with it, but strangely enough he just flatted over 20% of his stack and folded on a queen-high flop.
Carlos is a true sicko and one of the toughest players in the game, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one who was happy to see him go play the heads up event. Shortly after we combined to one table of seven for the final table, the only time you ever play seven-handed in a "six-max" tournament.
Play was pretty slow for the first couple hours at the final table, although I managed to chip up a bit. I wasn't very far above average, but was 2nd in chips to Matt Brady when I stacked off J♦ J♥ against Matt Brady's K♣ K♥.
I whiffed out, and was left feeling like playing smallball with the other chip leader was the way to go. I had 3bet him a couple times earlier and thought he would eventually play back at me with a light 4bet.
I finished 7th for ~$9.5k, with first paying $115k. At least Brady finished the job, and I'd like to congratulate him both on this win and being a father. Brady and I go way back to the old school Atlantic City days, and I wish him the best of luck in a venture that is much much tougher than any tournament I've ever seen. =)