Hand 1, blinds are 100/200, and we've got 5000 stacks, I'm dealt AJo in early position, I raise to 500 pre-flop, and have two callers from late position. The flop is J-rag-rag, so I bet 500. One folder, and the button raises to 1500. I'd played against him in the ring game, and he was a very aggressive player who played some marginal hands. I put him on JTs, or AK. I push all in. He thinks, knows from my previous ring game play that I'm a tight, tight aggressive player, and makes the correct decision to fold.
Thus my lucky streak began. Over the next 2½ hours, I won the hands I was supposed to win, even in near-race situations:
- My pocket kings won twice.
- I knocked out an AA player with 6♥ 8♥ when he let me limp in on the big blind, and the flop came ♥♥♥.
- My AQ beat KQ.
- My AJ beat KJ after the flop, belonging to the guy who folded to me on hand one. When I called his all-in, he said, "OK, show me your AJ." I was happy to oblige.
- My QQ beat 99.
- I split a pot when the board made a straight with our matched kickers.
- At the final table, a good solid player, pondering whether to call my semi-bluff raise (I paired an ace on the board with something like A4), told me "You're the one person I don't want to face in a situation like this," and folded. That's a huge compliment. thx; good fold.
Finally, in fifth place with a medium sized stack, blinds of 5000/10000, I've got 63o on the big blind, and get to see the flop for free: A63. Small blind puts in 10000, and I put him all in for 25000 more. I've got 20000 left. He says, "did you pair the ace?" "Nope," I tell him, and he calls, showing pocket sevens. My two pair are in a comfortable lead, but an ace falls on the river, forfeiting my threes, giving him two pair, aces-over-sevens, beating my two pair, aces-over-sixes.
The next hand, dealt A5 in the small blind with 15000 left, it's checked around to my, and I try to buy the big blind with an all in raise. He calls, pairs the board, and I go home in fifth place. Perhaps I should have stuck around another orbit; maybe someone else would have gone out before I did.
For my 2½ hours of play, I cash out for $70. On my way to collect my winnings from the brush, a player at the $4/$6 table asks how I'm doing; I tell him I got knocked out in fifth, having my two pair get beat. "I'd counted on you winning the whole thing," he said. Another great compliment.
That's cashing three times in the last three times I've entered the tournament. I'm shocked, really. +$80 for the night.