I entered the Oaks Sunday event. It had over 100 players, with a $125 buy-in and one $100 rebuy.
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To start, I had a good seat in that the players to my left were super tight. I was not able to pick up any tells on them since I was in seat 10 and the dealer was in the way.
There were a couple of good players at the table but no one who I would call in the top 10%. One player liked to bluff or overplay his hands. A couple of others were transparent in that they never bluffed, and would move all-in on the flop or turn if they had a good hand and wanted to shut out any drawing hands.
I was building slowly thanks to the tightness of the players to my left. I could steal blinds by raising from the cutoff or button. I never got called. I did have a Q-x and J-x, so there was some flop potential.
A key hand was when I had pocket 9's under the gun. Since it was early in the event, a raise would not thin out the competition, so I limped. One tight but tricky player raised. I called. The flop came all rags under 7. I checked and he bet the pot. I moved all-in and he folded. I figured if I'm beat, I'd get lucky or rebuy.
Another round and I got dealt pocket Kings. The second most aggressive player at this table raised. He had a bigger stack than me. If I re-raised, he would fold so I called. One other player called. The flop came 5-3-2. The pre-flop raiser overbet the pot. If I called, I didn't have enough chips to protect the pot on the turn, so again, I just pushed all in. No one called.
The final round before the rebuy period ended and I got dealt pocket 8's under the gun. I limped, another player limped, and the guy who overplayed his hands raised about 4x's the limp bet. Both I and the limper called. The flop cam A-8-4 all hearts.
The pre-flop raiser bet half the pot, and I moved all-in. The other player folded but this guy insta-called. He had A-7 and no hearts.
Now I was the chip leader at the table with $15,000 and the blinds at $100-$200.
A solid player raised in back position and I called on the button with Qh-Jh. There was $1,700 in the pot. The flop came 8h-7h-3c. My opponent moved all-in. I thought I might have 15 outs. If I won this pot I would move my stack size to $23,000. If I lost I would still have about $7,000. I called.
My opponent had pocket 10's, and one 10 was a heart. Another player who was watching broke my new poker rule and says to me, "I like your hand." At that moment I knew I had lost. The turn was no help. He again says to me, "I like your hand." My guess in the Old West poker players never would say something this stupid or they'd be shot. The river missed me, and I was down to $7,000.
The break came and I got moved to a new table. I always like to project a tight table image when I join a new table filled with players who I've never seen before. Outside of one player, I didn't know the players.
I joined the action finally because as the blinds went up I needed chips! I had to steal blinds and antes to stay at 10 or more time the big blind. A couple of times I had to make an all-in move under the gun with A-x. Everyone folded both times.
I was not getting any help from the cards in my new seat. The players were being knocked out as I waited. In early position I found Kh-10h, and raised. Another player moved all-in and it was only double my bet so I called. He had pocket 9's and I hit my K to knock him out.
A few hands later a player moved all-in and I found A-J in the big blind. This looked like a monster to me so I called. He had pocket 9's. The flop came 10-J-10. The turn was a J, and the river a 9. He lost to my bigger boat.
It was down to 19 players and 15 were going to get paid. I was in middle position. The tightest player at the table was a woman and she raised pre-flop 3x's the big blind. I found pocket 9's. What to do? If I moved all-in, she may fold. But, I just had this gut feeling she had a huge hand and pocket 9's had been losing at this table.
Of course, I had just posted that you have to be super aggressive to win these events. I looked at the clock and I had been playing for almost 5 hours. Somehow the thought of 5 hours and driving home with no cash out, got in my head. I folded. I wanted to survive.
Was it a mistake?
In retrospect--yes. Because I ended up going out 15th and cashing some money back but it was a losing session. I left with $165, for a loss of $60.
Hopefully I will learn from this mistake. It's a move of a survivor rather than a winner.