I got knocked out in 14th, winning $650, after roughly 16 hours of tournament play. I basically butchered a hand pretty badly and I’m still very angry with myself. It sucks to play great poker for two days straight and then just pull the most amateur bullshit to get knocked out. I mean, it could have happened even if I’d played it right, but in that case I wouldn’t feel bad. It’s kind of like running a marathon all the way to within sight of the finish line, and then tripping on your own clumsy feet and breaking your leg. That’s about how it feels, yeah.
Long story short; I had pocket Aces in the small blind and everyone folded and I just limped in instead of raising (first mistake). Even though I checkraised the guy on a flop of J85 (not enough – the second mistake), the guy decided to call with 8T, and he hit his two pair on the turn. I knew from the guy calling my raise on the flop and not pushing all-in that he only had a pair on the flop. So I figured whatever card that dropped on the turn would only be a 3-outer to make him his random two pair. I was going to bet all-in on the turn, no matter what dropped, unless it paired top pair or second pair, then I might be more cautious.
This was the only point in the tournament where I felt like I was putting my entire stack at risk without having a clear idea of where I was, but the way I played it pre-flop and on the flop put me in a situation where it was necessary to do that, and that’s obviously something you try to avoid. So the turn came a T, making him his two-pair, and he stacked me when I went all-in.
I deserve this horrible end to the tournament for playing this so badly. It was a perfect example of Fancy Play Syndrome. I thought the guy had been getting too aggressive, so I wanted to give him a chance to raise me pre-flop. But I should have just been happy with the blinds and antes, which were pretty big at that point. Or let him call my raise; at least then I could have put him on a legitimate hand and bet the flop more confidently, and bet it big enough to force him to make a super-bad call if he wanted to go uphill.
Basically I got greedy, trying to win a big pot instead of taking the most logical course of action, and I paid for it. I’m still shocked the player called my raise on the flop with second pair, mediocre kicker. It was just such a horrible call, considering the guy thinks he’s pretty good at the game. Yes, sir, if you’re reading this, I think you played that hand horribly. (Even worse than I did.)
I just wish I had been knocked out in a way that didn’t make me so pissed with myself. It was the same way I got knocked out in fifth from the last big tournament I played; I played a really horrible hand of poker to go from second-chip leader to loser. Oh, to have the pleasure of getting my money in good and getting two-outered. That would be a dream come true compared to the misery of knowing I fucked up yet again.
Moral of the story; it doesn’t matter how good you play cards if you’re going to make piss-poor amateur mistakes every once in a while. Those single colossal failures will eat up any headway you’ve made in the game (although tournaments are a bit more unforgiving than cash games). My play of this hand is a perfect example. I actually had a chance at winning that fucking thing. The table I was at was very soft and I had a decent stack to work with. But I blew it all with one amateur move.