Here is a series of hands that spelled my doom in a live tournament last night. This was a $50 buy-in, no limit Hold’em tournament that started with 30 players. I ran pretty good and played well, so this is all about heads up play for the win.
The other player is a young kid, looks to be barely 19 but probably 22 or 23, and plays a very loose, aggressive, attacking style typical of many tournament players his age. He has stolen many pots, made some huge hands, been caught in huge bluffs, and sucked out several times. Early on, he busted out and re-bought. Not long ago he was way behind to a made straight on the turn when the river card filled an inside straight on the board, resulting in a chopped pot and his survival.
These were not consecutive hands, but they are the key hands that determined the outcome. We entered heads up play with him holding about 65% of the chips.
#1. Pocket Aces – No Action. On the very first hand heads up, I am dealt AA. My maniacally aggressive opponent folds his small blind.
#2. Counterfeited Kicker. We get all in pre-flop and I have him dominated with QJ off suit vs. his QT off suit. The board comes out K-2-Q-7-2. The river card pairs the board and my kicker advantage is negated. I yhought I would double up, which would have given me the chip lead.
#3. Pocket Aces again. Less than ten minutes after the first hand, I look down at AA again. And once again this hyper-aggressive youngster folds the small blind. Grrrrr…
#4. Two Outer on River. Again we get all in pre-flop and again I have him dominated with T-8 vs. his 8-6. He raised from the small blind, and I jammed all-in over the top, which he insta-called. Jeez, if he is so willing to call a shove with 8-6, why couldn’t I get ANY action for my Aces? The flop is K-6-K, giving him the lead. The turn is an 8, canceling his 6 and giving me a kicker advantage. A river A, K, Q, J or 8 will result in another chopped pot – a total of 15 outs for a chop. I will win this hand and take over the chip lead with a 10, 9, 7, 5, 4, 3 or 2 – a total of 27 outs. But the river is another 6 (2 outs), giving him a full house and ending the tournament.
Time for bed.