The 100k NL had a fantastic field of players: Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, Eric “E dog” Lindgren, Erik Seidel, John Juanda, David Benyamin, Roland De Wolf, John D’Agostino and all the rest – 18 total – with 1M for first. This is a great event. Last year we had 10. I hope this is a yearly event as this is a true test of the best players.
I started off slowly and was not going to jump into too many situations that would lead to chance. After the first level I had about 90k; the starting stack was 100k. I felt really good and had a feeling that I would go deep this time. My table did not have Gus or Ivey which was a bonus, but I did start with E Dog as a major competitor and that changed when two players fell early on the other table.
I took on David Benyamin soon after the second level and he was getting short. I found 9-9 on the button and he raised in early position with Q-10. By the time I reraised, he was pot committed and called all-in. As cards run, he received no help and he was on his bike.
The game has a 30 second max clock and it’s also pot limit before the flop which helps the good players. I love this type of structure. It’s very unfair when players take two minutes to act every time it’s their turn.
A little later I picked up Q-Q on the button and raised the player in the big blind. He is unknown to me; a mystery guy that found a spare 100k. He called my raise of 12k. The blinds where 2000-4000. The flop was 9-5-6. He checked and I bet 20k and he called. The turn was a 10. He checked and I bet 50k and he went all-in for another 80k. I called and he showed me A-9 so my life was on the line as he had a few more chips than I did. If I won, I would move to chip leader and 360k. A blank on the river put me in a great position to do well in a final table.
A few hands later Erik Seidel raised and I found A-A. I reraised and he went all-in and I had him, he had 8-8. I was in great shape but the river was an 8 and that was the start of bad things for me. After that hand Erik went up and up.
Soon we were down to eight and the final table was set. Ivey had a good stack; the Japanese player also had a very good stack and I was second in chips and felt I was going to do really well. Unfortunately, early on, I called on my big blind with 5-3 suited when the Japanese player raised. The flop was 2-3-5 and I bet 35k. He called. The turn was a 7 which I felt was a good card for me. I bet 75k and he raised to 150k. BAD NEWS! I felt he hit and I folded my hand. He showed me 7-7 so I made a good lay down and I had about 150k left after this clash.
I waited. Players fell. I had no cards and there was nothing I could do. I was patient and all of a sudden we were down to six players and I managed to knock a player out but he was very low stacked. But with five left I felt a break or two and I would be in serious contention, not to mention the fact that three spots were paid: 3rd was 250k, 2nd 550k. I was close now, just very short stacked. Ivey fell in 5th and I was one off the money.
The final hand was against E Dog, who in the end won it all, what a great player he is. I picked up Q-J suited in my big blind. Everyone folded and E dog called from the small blind. He played this great. He had A-10. I raised the pot and he moved in but still this is 40-60 and if I win, I am over 200k. No help at all and when the Ace popped up the party was over.
E Dog sent me out to look for my bike, it was going to be a long, slow ride pedaling back home.