Soon after, with 300k+ in TC, I picked up A club Q club in the big blind.
Tom Phu, an excellent NL player with a ton of experience having played in MAJOR poker tournaments, with a small stack goes all-in from EP for about 30-40k, and Scott Craig reraises all-in to 112k.
Scott is an excellent NL tournament player that I have butted heads with in the last two big NL tourneys at the Rock.
He cashed in the $200 October tournament, when I busted out just out of the money. And here he is now, at the final table.
Earlier, he had caught me in a blind steal when we were shorthanded. He had a small stack in the small blind, and reraised me with pocket Jacks. I had to call with my T6 as the pot (with the blinds, antes and my initial raise) was now quite large. He managed to get SUPER-LUCKY with his jacks beating my T6 offsuit. Wink
And now, here he was all in again. I debated a while on this hand, but decided the opportunity to eliminate 2 players while risking only about 30% of my stack was too good a chance to give up.
Tom flipped over A3o, but Scott had one of the 3 hands I was worried about: AK.
So the three of us were yelling at the dealer: Tom, "3! 3!", Scott: "Nothing! Nothing!" and me, "Queen! Or Clubs!!" Apparently, I yelled the loudest as I went runner runner clubs for the flush and the monster pot!
I was very lucky and very happy to eliminate two excellent Vancouver players in one hand.
By now a large crowd had gathered to watch us play the final table, behind the velvet ropes set up by the staff.
I thought that I was going to be nervous playing poker in front of a large crowd for thousands of dollars, but I wasn't nervous at all. I was very calm actually. It was weird. Having a super-large stack definitely helped, but even in the big pots I was very relaxed. I had been more nervous playing $2/$4 that morning even though I was just playing for fun - and playing every hand!
I sort of sat back and let the other players battle it out for a while. We got down to 4-handed, and then the game really started to slow down. For some reason, no-one wanted to get eliminated!
I ended up losing some chunks of my stacks to opponent's either going all-in and winning, or reraising my blind raises. This evened out the stacks pretty much, although I was still chip leader.
I raised pre-flop with KJ, and Daniel Allard puts some chips in the pot. He reached back to reraise me, but the dealer ruled that it was a string raise and he could only call since he did not say raise before moving chips into the pot. The flop came Kxx... a pretty decent flop for me, but I had to be careful because of Dan's wanting to raise pre-flop. He checked to me, and I bet 2/3 the pot. He called. A blank came on the turn, and Dan bet - he meant to go all-in but since he didn't say it again, he left chips behind that he wanted to bet! This was interesting! What could he have?? He only had a small amount left, but I figured I should just call anyway to see what the river before calling his last amount of chips. Another blank hit on the river and he sure enough went all-in.
This was weird. It looked like he wanted to raise me pre-flop, but since it was his first live tourney he made a mistake handling the chips. He just called my bet on the flop, but came out betting on the turn.
I had to call. Something was fishy. He flips over AJ for nothing but a bluff. Later, I found out he wanted to reraise me all-in preflop but got caught on the string-raise.
He busted out in fourth and cashed in for $1,796 - not bad for his first tournament!
Now we were down to three: me, Moe Lambertus and Stanley CK Sum, Stanley had come back from less than a big blind and survived multiple all-in's to build up a large stack. Moe had plugged along with a decent stack, but now seemed to have gone card dead and now was down to a small stack.
We trade chips back and forth - the tension rising as the money was quite huge, and the jump from third to second to first even bigger!
First was $9,000, second $4,000 and third $2,500.
Finally Moe had to make a stand, and I called... we both had garbage but my garbage was better and Moe took third.
Right away, Stanley offered me a 50-50 split on the first and second prize money.
Hmmmm, that was interesting! I definitely had a bone to pick against Stanley - I had got him all-in 4 times personally at the final table - the favourite each time, and each time he had ended up the winner after the river. Also, he had gone all-in at least FOUR MORE TIMES against other players and won three and chopped the fourth time. That made 8. This cat didnt have many lives left.
However he had about 650,000 in chips to my 450,000 and the blinds were about to go up to 30k/60k with a 5k ante. That gave me about 7BB... and needing 3k to raise the BB, didnt leave much room to play.
So I decided to accept the 50-50 split.... meaning we each got $6,541!
Unfortunately, I find out later that because he had more ships, he gets first place in the record books, and I only record $4,104 in "real" money for the money list.
I tell you, watching the cashier count out $100 bills for seemingly 5 minutes was a great feeling. The wad of hundreds was almost an inch thick! What a feeling!