Friday night I played in the Hustler Casino’s $100,000 guaranteed Grand Slam of Poker event. In this tournament, there are five mini-tournaments in which the top 6% of the field in each of the five tournaments advances to the FINALS on Monday. The player that wins in the Finals is guaranteed $30,000.
I have advanced to the Finals!
I was keeping things updated on my Twitter and Facebook pages, but then my phone died. Just in time, naturally, to miss me going on a complete tear. Or, as many in the poker world know it, “Running Like God”.
Down to 11K in chips with my 3K big blind already in the middle, I faced a raise to 9K from the big stack on the button with A6 hearts. Pretty obvious shove here considering how low in chips I am and how often he’s trying to steal with nothing in this spot. Not this time; he had KK. Flop two hearts, turn a third. Up to about 25K.
A few hands later, guy raises to 10K, folds around to me and I pick up AQ spades on the button. All-in, he calls and flips over A 10. I hold, up to 50K.
Next orbit that same guy shoves on my BB, folds around to me, I wake up with JJ and call. He has 88, and he’s out of the tourney and I’m up to 80K.
Build it up to about 100K, blinds at 1500/3000, I pick up pocket kings just in front of the button. I mix my play up with KK in this spot, but this time I opted for the shove, and it was perfect timing. Guy with about 30K left calls me, BB folds his AQ face up. KK holds, ace would have hit on the turn, 140K.
With about 170K and blinds at 3000/6000, aggressive guy makes his standard raise to 14K on my BB. I call the 8000 more with Q6 hearts. Flop AA5, one heart, check check. Turn a heart, I check, he bets 15K, I call. River a heart, we both check (I was planning on check calling), I’m up over 200K.
A bit later I have 88 in the small blind, hyper-aggressive girl with big stack makes it 20K to go, I call. Flop 8 6 2 two spades. I lead out with a 20K, she raises it up to 70K, I shove, she folds. I was now crushing it with about 300K in chips with just 20 or so players to go.
I made my one big misstep of the tourney against that same girl with the same hand a bit later. She made it 25K to go (blinds now 4000/8000 ante 1000), I look down at 8d8h in the BB. Didn’t want to raise (pot control), but couldn’t fold considering how often she raises, so I flat call. I check in the dark, and the flop comes 10 5 6 with two diamonds. She bets 45K with about 60K behind.
I tank for a bit and talk myself into shoving. I saw blood in the water and was going for the kill. I’m figuring if she has a 10 in her hand, more power to her. I think it’s far more likely that she’s continuation betting with an AQ AJ type of hand, or maybe even a 69 type of hand that she got a little piece of the flop. Flat calling makes no sense, I have to push or fold, and knowing her aggressive nature I think there’s a great chance I’m good here, and might even get a favorable call if she’s drawing. And with the way I’m running, maybe my backdoor straight and flush draws are live. I shove, she insta-calls, flips over 55. Yuck.
In hindsight, it’s easy enough to say that I should have folded there or raised pre-flop, and maybe some of my poker buddies will. But playing it over a few times in my head, I think I’m right more often than I’m wrong here. When you have a table image for being super aggressive, you get paid off when you hit a big hand. Kudos to her.
So that brought me down to about 150K. A few blind/ante swipes later, I’m back to 188K in chips, and that is where the night ended. Our original field of 172 was whittled down to the 10 that would be moving on to the Finals.
I’m thrilled, obviously. Already in the money, will likely be about 50-75 players Monday, and with 188K at 5000/10000 blinds, I have plenty of time and chips to play my game. And to charge my phone, of course!
Thanks to you guys cheering me on and supporting me. The Finals start at 6pm on Monday, I’ll be updating the field size and payouts then. Hope the best hand continues to hold up for me and I can keep this wild run going!
UPDATE JULY 24: In the end, I got it all in 44 against A7, and he spiked a 7 on the flop. I finished 14th out of 1,117 to win $1050. Thanks for all of the support!