Let me say this first: Tournament grinding is grueling.  I can see why some of the top pros spend some much time on their mental game and endurance.  We only played 8 hours yesterday and I was completely exhausted when I was done.  Though I would guess only getting 5-6 hours of sleep the last 2 nights before driving 2 hours to the casino probably had a lot to do with it as well.

This trip was not well planned.  Ask the Poker Spouse (pokerspouse.wordpress.com) how well I plan.  I told her I was going.  Then I wasn’t.  Could we really afford it after buying the Harley. (Yes, she bought it for me and we probably spent too much money too but we love it!!)  We could, but I just did not want to spend the cash because I am a cheap ass and finally decided I wasn’t going last weekend.

Then I get the brilliant idea on Thursday that I would play a tournament at 300 bowl in Waterford that night and if I ran well and had a decent cash, I would make the trip.  I ended up in 3rd for $350 and the trip was on!   Two days and 11 hours sleep later and pulled into Soaring Eagle Casino’s parking lot sideways due to the light snow that fell the whole trip up.

The tourney started at 11 am and I show up fashionably late at 11:00:15 and miss the first hand.  When I sat down, we were 6 handed and no one else showed up until the end of the first level.  This was idea for some image building as I played my usual aggressive ways.  Within the hour, I run my starting stack of 20k up to 32k when a guy in early position says raise, and tosses in a 5k chip (15k effective stacks) at 100/200.  Dealer announces raise to 5000 and the guys jaw drops.  It folds around to me in the small blind and I pick up AQo.  I drop 20k into the pot and he begins to tank.  Then I get the “oh what the hell” call which indicates that I lose about 80% of the time no matter how far ahead I am.  I was happy to see he had TT and it was a flip but the board ran out 8 high.

After our table breaks, I have about 28k and moved to table 3 and think we are not breaking this table before the end.  I immediately pick up good hands the first 3 orbits and did not get any show downs until this hand:

Blinds are 500/1000/100 and I raise 2300 from the HJ with As 8s.  The big blind calls.

The flop is 7s 6s 5s and he checks.  I bet 2200 and he calls.

The turn is the 4 of spades for the straight flush.

I am thinking this is the worse card in the deck as the action will be killed.  He checks and I check hoping he will lead on the river.  The river is the Jh and he checks.

I bet 8k and he snaps and says he has the Qs.

I run it up to 110k pretty quickly after that before check raising a guy all in on an Ax Qh 6x flop with Ah Jh.  He snaps with AQ and miss the back door flush.  Then I go card dead for the next hour.  I move 2 more times and sit down at a new table with a couple of guys from the first table and one guy I know from playing at Northville Downs.  I continue to fold and think I am down to 65k when this happens.

The villain is in mid position raises to 55k with blinds at 1k/2k with a 300 ante and I flat with 77.

Flop is Qc 8x 7c and the small blind checks and the pre-flop raiser bets 7k. I realize then I only have 45k left but just flat and the small blind folds.

Turn is a 3x and he leads for 20k. I ship for 38k total and he goes into the tank for about 3 minutes before finally calling with Ac Kc.

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