Top Gun Bags Top Flight E Chip Stack – 2nd Overall – Heading To Sunday’s Day 2 At Graton


Incredibly, after coming within my Aces holding up vs Mikhail Sniatovksii’s Kings for the chiplead on the bubble in Flight B on Friday, I came back on Saturday and bagged the largest stack of Flight E2nd largest overall – in Graton’s $400 $200,000 Guarantee opening weekend Run Good Poker Series tournament. Of 1216 entries across five flights, 153 return today (Sunday) at 12pm to play down to a winner who will take home $62,260 (full payout structure here).

The funny thing is that I had no intention whatsoever of even playing Flight E. I unsucessfully fired two bullets in the 12pm Flight D. When I finished around 5pm after five hours of poker, I was hungry and tired and had no thought of firing again in Flight E. I picked up some food from In N’ Out and went back to my hotel room to watch Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets.

I was so tired that I went to sleep at 6:40pm. But being unable to sleep in long stretches, I woke up at 8:00pm and then again at 8:30pm at which point I knew that I’d be up for at least a few hours. Still, I had no thought of playing Flight E. I read a book for 20 minutes. It was only at that point – a little before 9:15pm – that it crossed my mind to play Flight E.

Flight E began at 6pm but late registration was open until the start of Level 9 at 10:30pm. At 9:15pm, I decided to do it. I cleaned up and got dressed, went to the ATM to get the buy in, drove to Graton Casino, registered at 9:47pm and was seated near the start of Level 8. I got the 25,000 chip starting stack and the blinds were 600/1200/1200. And I was the big blind my first hand. After going through the blinds, I had 22,000 chips. On the button I picked up A6 off and raised to 2,800. Jasthi Kumar was on my left in the small blind and re-raised to 10,000. I folded leaving me with 19,200 chips. Having registered so late, I started with only 20 big blinds and now I had only 16, Not the start I was looking for.

The next hand I played, the player on my right limped in early position and I limped too with Q10dd. The small blind completed and the big blind limped. Four players saw a flop of AQ4 with 6,000 chips in the middle. It got checked to me and I bet 3,000. The big blind called and the other two players folded. The turn was a 9 and we both checked. The river was a Q – giving me two pair – and the big blind led out for 2,500. I went All In and the big blind tank folded. I knew he had a weak Ace and so I was praying for a call. Nevertheless, the pot increased my stack to 29,500 or about 25 big blinds. I had a little breathing room.

The next time I was in the big blind with QJss and the button raised. I called and the flop came down KJxSSx. In other words, I made middle pair with a Queen high flush draw. I checked, the button bet 3,000, I raised to 12,600, the button went All In and I snap called. The button turned over AK and was in the lead with a pair of kings but I had a lot of outs. Mathematically, it was 50/50. A Queen on the turn put me in the lead and the river was a blank. Now I had a decent stack and could play some poker. I breathed a sigh of relief. When you register that late to a tournament, you have to double up pretty quick and now I had.

Things continued to go pretty smoothly when I was moved to a new table. The next big hand I remember was when I raised to 8,000 from early position with 88 at 2000/4000/4000 and a small stack shoved for 68,000. It was almost half my stack and I didn’t love it but he had already shoved at least a couple times before and I put him on two high cards. With 8,000 of my chips already in the pot and a likely flip I decided to take it. My opponent flipped over AJ and my 88s held up. That put my stack over 200,000.

The guy on my right was talking a lot about how good he was, how he’d won $45,000 in a Thunder Vally bounty event recently and followed it up two weeks later by winning the Peppermill Main Event. I just tracked him down on Hendon Mob. His name is Elias Travis and his story checks out. I didn’t tell him that I am also hot, having won 3 of my last 4 tournaments at Bay 101 over the last two weeks for $22,000 profit.

At any rate, he lost a hand to a shorter stack All In with 55 vs KQ BB versus SB. He was whining and whining about that hand and the loss cut his stack down to about 70,000 chips. Everybody was tired of him berating his opponent for limp calling his shove and bemoaning the King on the river. The dealer chidingly told him to forget about the past and move forward but Elias was carrying on a running monologue.

It wasn’t too long when he shoved 73,000 chips at 4000/8000/8000 with A2off and I reshoved my by then 300,000+ chip stack with JJ. He had only looked at the Ace of spades and not at the second card. An Ace came in the window and held up, making him somewhat healthy again with 166,000 chips – about 21 big blinds. I was disappointed not to get rid of the player I regarded as my most dangerous threat at the table. But it wouldn’t be long before I got my chips back.

Elias raised to 17,000 at 4000/8000/8000 and I called with A7hh. The flop came 533hhx – a perfect flop for me I thought. Elias bet 15,000 and I bet 55,000 to force him to go All In or fold. He shoved, I snap called and he flipped over Aces. The turn was the 2h and the river another 2 giving me the hand and elimnating Elias. Elias started berating me for calling preflop and said I should be thrown in the trash can among other things. Personally, I never let what a player says after I bust him bother me. “Thank you for your chips and enjoy the rest of your night” is my attitude. I had the nut flush draw for chrissakes and this is a tournament. I’m not worried about you hitting a 533 flop and even if you have an overpair and call, I think I have 12 outs (9 hearts and 3 Aces) – though in this case I had only 9. At any rate, it was a big hand because it elminated a good player and improved the table vibe by ending his incessant self referential droning. Now my stack was over 400,000 and I was chip leader at the table.

From that point forward, I hammered the small stacks with min raises and continuation bets, ultimately building my stack to 586,000 before the bubble burst just before 3am.

Day 2 starts today (Sunday) at 12pm and will play down to a winner.

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