The Mango Classic: Small stack special coming up!
Wow. What a tourney. I’m totally spent after playing for about 8 hours straight. The Mango Classic is one for the books. 107 players, HUGE 160K pot, great atmosphere, great venue (thanks to Ace and his family) and above all, great POKER!
Going into this tourney, I admit I had a good feeling about it. You see, I have never ever won a major tournament, hell even made ITM, except maybe for a few 10-15 seaters when we were starting out playing poker. In the last tourney I joined, I went all in with pocket queens and got called by a Q-9 that hit trip 9s. ( that’s basically the story of my tourney life. bad beats, bad plays, bad calls.)
But this was different. I’m thinking I have spent all my bad karma with all those bad beats and crap hands, and it’s about time for things to work out in my favor. Oh, and i went into the tourney with the last penny from my wallet.
I think my first hand itself was already a sign of things to come. I got Pocket Rockets, American Airlines, Andre Agassis, on first deal of the tourney. Yeah baby..
After about the 4th level, I was on average stack, playing tight and picking my spots. Then I got As-Kh. I don’t know but whenever I get this hand, I can hear alarms and warning buzzers in the background. I raise 800 on the 200 big blinds and get one caller, Skippy. Flop comes, 3 hearts, all low cards. I figure I got Kh plus two over cards, so I check then call skips’ bet of 400. Turn is blank. Skip checks, and im thinking of making a play. But then I just check too. River comes, still no heart for my draw, and skip goes all in after my check. I think about it really hard, I have about 85% of my chips in the pot. But I KNOW I’m beat, so I do the right thing, and fold it. Good fold, since skip tells me he flopped the nut flush with Ah-Qh. Whew! Im left with 300+ in chips…
Now I’m super small stack. I’m a bit relaxed with it coz I’m used to playing small stack in our regular ring game. (200 buy-in special hehe) After folding a lot of A-x hands, I finally get something decent, Ks-Js, and go all in, and I get one caller. King hits the river and I’m still alive!
To make the story short, by some great timing and good plays, I managed to up my stack to 6000++ by the time it was time to merge to the final table. Folded pocket Tens after the flop didn’t help me, all in with Ac-Jc and it held up, got my second Rockets of the night and won a big pot with it, and things like that. I was at 300 in chips when it was still about 30 players left, and I was just happy to make it this far. My 6000 chip stack was smaller than the average stack of 9000+ (some guys had 30-40K in chips going into the final table!)
Final table action, I see some familiar guys, misha and skippy. I’m just elated that I’m in the final table, never mind if I’m first out. Hell, when I heard that The Attorney got bubbled out (nice one atty!) I went all in with my Ac-Qc immediately, and got one big stack to call me, and doubled me up! The final table was intense, and I followed nick’s advice of “all-in or fold”.
People started taking each other out! The more people got taken out, the bigger our prize money became, and I was again just happy to be there in that spot.
But before I know it, my stack is almost 20,000 chips! The cards I pushed with kept on holding up, like nick said, the Math will hold up tonight. And I was going in with the best of it, and getting rewarded for it.
Then it was down to 3. Misha, myself, and another guy (sorry bro I didn’t catch your name). My stack was even bigger than Mishas’ by this time, but the other guy had a MONSTER stack from the beginning of final table. I’m on the BB with 8000, and the other guy raises minimum, misha folds. I’m looking at my Q-6 offsuit and I’m thinking this guy is trying to make a move, so I call (about 1/3 of my stack). (yep, 4000/8000 blinds ) 3rd place is assured of about P19,000, so I’m not feeling too bad about busting out now.
Flop is 9-10-J. Open ended straight draw for me, plus an overcard… I push all-in, about 15K. He thinks about it, and calls. He shows an A-x nothing hand, and I have my 14-outer (open ended straight draw on the flop plus any 6 or Queen).
Nothing hit. Ace high holds up!
Just like that, i'm out. Damn! I was in a daze, I didn’t even see all those guys putting their hand out to congratulate me. All i could think about was that "I wanted to win!"
Honestly, all I could think about was “why did he call that?… and all those outs! Damn!” hehe. The difference between 1st and 3rd was about 28K, so you’ll know why I was a bit upset with myself. A great heads-up battle with the Mishca, best player i know in the RP, would have been classic!
But when I went back to reality, I realize what an accomplishment I just made. From 300 in chips to 3rd place in the biggest tourney ever to date. 3rd place out of a 107 players. Congratulations to Mischa too, who went heads up with the monster chip leader and came out on top! It’s good to know that the real players make it to the top.
Whatta night. 8 hours of the best poker I’ve ever played in my life. All the guys who came and played, congratulations, you were just a part of Philippine Poker history.
One for the BBC Misha! BBC represent!