Coach’s Corner: The 6.5 Hour Grind

Yes, Coach is back with another exciting 8g88. If you are a first time reader… Coach is a regular player at the Blue Parrot… at Signor Ferrari’s Monday night home games. This time, he recaps his amazing second place finish in a grueling multi-table NL tourney. I’ve played in my share of 1,000+ people multis, and they are insane. You have to be patient and you have to catch cards. And in the end, you’re mental exhausted. The worst feeling is outlasting a field of a thousand players, and only getting your entry fee back after getting river’d by a two outer. It’s happened to me a few times.

Congrats to Coach on his run!! So, let’s hear what he has to say:

I can’t say I’ve ever been luckier in a tournament. I’ve certainly played better, but sometimes you need a healthy dose of each to win big. Placing second in a huge multiplayer tournament was certainly wort the eye-strain and long time in front of the computer screen.

This was a 1,246 person $2 buy-in NLH tournament on Pokerstars. I can’t pinpoint an exact time where I shot up in the standings and felt like I was going to be in the money (99 places paid), but I do know that the river was VERY kind.

Two or three times I went all-in as an underdog — maybe A-8s for my opponnent and K-7s for me. Amazingly, I caught just the right card on the river each and every time. I beat A-8s with K-7s when I got runner, runner to catch an inside straight to the 8, beating two pair, A-8 that my all-in opponent had.

I only had KK once, and it wasn’t a pretty result, despite a big raise right out of the chute. The board was 5-5-A, and although I made a big bet to bluff an A, three out of four people folded. The last called. A 9 on the turn and another big bet from me did not scare my opponent out. We both checked on the river (a J), and he showed A7o. Very gutsy calling a big raise with that — but it worked.

10-10 was not much better. I soft played them, and was rewarded with an A-10-3 rainbow flop. I made a big bet, and got called. The turn was an 8 (still no flush), and I got called again. Probably should have tried all-in, but good thing I didn’t — the river was a K, which gave another very gutsy called a Broadway straight — he was holding QJo.

Unlike KK and 10-10, QQ and AA were much kinder to me. There were three or four times late in the game where I had one of these hands, and someone bet into me before the flop. Since I was towards the low end of the stacks, I followed the obvious strategy — raise all in and cross your fingers. QQ held up three times and really boosted my lead.

I folded a lot of good hands to keep me from going out early. I tossed AKo and 99 (twice) on hands where I would have gotten crushed. The “spider sense” I picked up from my comic book reading days was in full force.

The real kingmaker hand, though was AA at the final table. I held it in the BB, when I was treated to an all in raise in front of me. Now that would be good enough, except that there were 6 of us left at the time, and he and I were in 3rd and 4th place respectively. He had maybe 10,000 less. I called his raise, with everyone else heading for the hills. He showed QJs, and despite the Q that appeared on the flop, my AA held up and made me chip leader.

From there, things got ugly. No good cards to play with, and lots of bluffing, kept me alive and let others make big mistakes. I was momentary chip leader when we were down to head-to-head (1.1 million to 0.7 million), but the cards just turned south. He beat AKs with KK, and then I was doomed.

Ultimately, after a lot of dodging and parrying, I went all in with Q4s, only to see A5s come from him. No help for either of us, and I had to settle for second.

6.5 hours of online play can really take a lot out of you. But it feels good to be at that final table. The payout was almost $400, and a free entry in a “winners” tournament this coming weekend.

Stay tuned!

Nice job, Coach!! Looking forward to how you’ll fare this weekend. I would have loved to have watched. Coach rarely bluffs (we’ll I ‘ve never seen him bluff, when he bets you know he has the cards!) so that would have been fun to watch. Keep up the nice run.

Here’s the last two installment of Coach’s Corner: SNG Lessons Learned and Nice Guys Finish Last.

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