This blog is part of a series:
Read part I
Shortly after I won my first big pot with A♦ 5♦, the antes kicked in. Since I felt I had good control over my table, the table was tight, and I had a few chips to play with, I decided to turn up the aggression a notch. My plan was to steal as many blinds and antes as I possibly could whenever there were tight players in the blinds and I was first to open. This strategy worked very well and I was able to build my stack up to $14,000 without any major confrontations. But that wasn't going to last very long.
With the blinds at $200-$400 and a $50 ante, I raised first in from late position holding the 7♠ 7♣. I made it $1,600 to go and it was folded around to the player in the big blind, whom I hadn't seen making very many plays previously, and he very quickly declared all-in. He had $8,000 in total, thus he was re-raising me another $6,400. Now it was my turn to go into the tank. Something about his play bothered me, I think it was the way he pushed his chips all-in and stared at me. Also, I sensed that he suspected that I was stealing a lot of pots (correct) and had now decided to take a stand. I thought that if he had a big pair or AK then he wouldn't move all-in and certainly not in this fashion. I got the feeling that he didn't want me to call and that he could be holding any two big cards, any small pair, or something like A-x suited. Since I was fairly sure that I would have at least a coin flip situation and also chips left to play with in case I lost the hand, I made the call.
My opponent moaned and sighed but finally turned over the A♦ T♣, hence I was a 55% favorite to win the hand and my call was correct. Luck wasn't on my side, however, as he soon flopped an ace and won the pot. I was now in bad shape, but still not totally crippled. I had $6,000 left to play with and I was determined to make the best of it. I again managed to build my stack up by just picking up small pots and without making any close gambles. With the blinds at $300-$600 and a $75 ante, I found myself with about $10,000 and at a new table with all new faces.
This story will be continued soon at PokerListings.com's Daily WSOP Blog.