I went into Day 3 of the WPT Foxwoods event with a slightly above average stack of 174k @ 1200/2400 (300) and immediately went on a heater. On the second hand of the day I received something that you rarely get in $10k events: a gift!
A player decided that they were going to stack off 8♠ 8♦ against my T♦ 8♥ on a 10♥ 9♠ 6♥ flop for about 75k after they min-raised before the flop and I called from the big blind ... basically because I suspected that they might do something as redonkulous as that after the flop.
I was running great after that at the softest table in the room, and even may have missed some value on two sets that I flopped in the next two levels by playing them too fast. I wasn't too concerned though, since I had skyrocketed to 370k in the first level back while we dropped from 70 to 57 players.
Then I got there in the only big pot I played as a significant underdog for the entire tournament. My buddy Dan O'Brien three-bet my open when I was holding the T♣ 8♣, and I'd have folded before the flop if the guy in the small blind hadn't flatted and priced me in.
I ended up flopping a flush draw against his A♥ K♠ on a K♣ 7♥ 3♣ and put him all in on the flop for about 120k total. Unfortunately, he called. Fortunately, I turned a gutterball and rivered a flush. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
I hate busting people I like in tournaments, but you need all the chips in play to take it down ...
That brought me to ~465k @ 2/4k with 46 players remaining. My dream table toughened up, though, as they added Steve "$teveyMoney" Merrefield and Vinny Pahuja to replace two players who busted.
Lee Markholt was there as well and is a very solid grinder, but was on my right just where I want him and wasn't getting in my way.
Then when we were near the money bubble I showed Alexi Lammi that it isn't a good idea to check-raise double barrel bluff into trip Aces.
His failed attempt to do so helped me increase my stack to nearly 700k as we entered the money at 36 players, and I ended Day 3 second in chips with 687k at 3/6k (500) with 27 players remaining and the average stack at 392k.
Although I chipped up a bit when he tried to bluff me, I was highly impressed with this kid's play. He had no major tournament cashes prior to this event and told me that he doesn't usually play online.
He said he had just left a job in finance and that this was his first $10k event. I'm not sure if all of this was true, but if it was I'd really like to know where the hell the kid learned to play so well!
He even pulled what we dubbed the "bathroom bluff." A hand came up between Alexi and the player on his left early in the day where Alexi had defended from the big blind and called a flop bet on a A♥ 2♣ 4♦ board. After the 3♠ fell on the turn, he raised after his opponent led out.
Each time his opponent grabbed his cards and got ready to fold, Alexi started reaching for his cards and getting ready to slide them towards the dealer. After this happened two or three times, his opponent finally showed the A♠ and folded while pointing to the turn and saying, "that was a good card for you."
Alexi replied, "Yeah, I thought it would scare you."
It ended there for the moment, and I was left with the impression that Alexi had a big hand (either a five or 5-6 of course), and that he was trying to set the guy up for later.
Boy, was I right. Later a hand came up where he three-bet from button and the same opponent flatted. It went check-check on a K♥ 2♠ 4♦ flop, and his opponent check-called on the T♣ turn. After the 7♥ fell on the river and his opponent checked, Alexi overbet the pot to put him all in.
After a few moments of thought making the same move with his cards as he'd done in the previous hand, his opponent finally announces, "I think I gotcha" and calls it off. Alexi obviously shows K♠ K♦ and busts the guy.
The real fun begins when the guy exits and Alexi explains that the guy had come up to him in the bathroom when we were on break and asked about the hand.
Alexi told the guy that he had bluffed him, so the guy used his "tell" on Alexi from the previous hand to make a read that busted him out of the tournament. Nice hand, Alexi. Sick bathroom bluff!