It’s been a while since I’ve done a nice lengthy writeup of a tournament, so here goes. I figure winning the BBT freeroll is as good a reason as any to take the time to do this.

Coming into this thing, I wasn’t sure which game to bring to the table. Should I prepare as if this is a Riverchaser tourney, and be ready for all kinds of loose aggressive play…or… is this thing gonna be taken seriously?

As it happened, the tourney turned out to be a pretty decent display of poker all around from everyone. When you hear the word “freeroll“, what do you think of? I know what I think of. Two or three all-ins on the first hand or two, and people trying to either double up quickly, or get the hell out of here and on to something a little more worthwhile.

This was definitely not the case in this instance. The massive prize pool (by freeroll standards) and flattened payout structure made for some pretty decent play all around.

I don’t carry a Fuel-sized bankroll, so simply cashing for the minimum would be a nice score for me.

First off, a few stats.

I saw 397 hands in all. Of those 397 hands, here’s a little idea of what I had.

AA – 1
KK – 1
QQ – 3
JJ – 3

AK – 3
AQ – 9
AJ – 4

Other Pocket Pairs – 18

Blinds: 15/30
T2,575 – 11th hand of tournament

I min-raise UTG to represent something bigger than my Ah-10s just to see what happens. Lucko calls from the BB, and I flop the nut straight with Ks-Qs-Jc. Lucko checks, and I bet 65 chips into the 135 chip pot, trying to represent a weak C-bet. Lucko bites, and re-raises me to 270. I consider a smooth call, but feel there’s potential for more right now, so I raise to 850. Once again, Lucko bites and jams for 2,575 total and has me covered by 60 chips. I call, and Lucko tables Kh-Js for two pair, and gets no help. I take the early chip lead, which means absolutely nothing this early. Twelve hands later, TripJax felts Lucko, and gets credit for the bustout, although I did most of the work here.

Blinds: 30/60
T4,166 – 59th hand of tournament

I open-raise to 225 from MP 9s-9d and cmitch calls from the SB. The flop brings 3d-6d-2h, a safe looking flop for me, so after he checks, I C-bet for 300 chips out of position to try and take it down right there. He smooth calls, and the turn brings the 5c, putting a straight draw on the board. cmitch bets 300 into a pot of 1,110 giving me proper odds to call, but I’m not comfortable with that bet. The turn pairs the board with the 3h, and he bets 540 into the 1,710 pot, and I make the donkey call and lose to his pocket jacks, leaving me with T2,801.

Blinds: 30/60
T2,801 – 60th hand of tournament

The very next hand, I get As-Qs and raise to 225 from MP. Blinders raises to 540 from the button, and I lay it down. I’m not playing A-Q out of position this early in the tournament after a re-raise. I’m left with T2,576 after this.

Blinds: 30/60
T2,516 – 63rd hand of tournament

Blinders limps from EP and I check my BB holding Ac-7d, and the two of us take a flop of 4c-7c-Qs. I check, Blinders bets 120 into the 150 chip pot, and I check-raise him to 320 to induce his laydown. Now at T2,726.

Blinds: 40/80
T2,696 – 68th hand of tournament

I open-raise to 275 from MP with Qs-Qd and take down the blinds. Now at T2,816.

Blinds: 50/100
T2,426 – 96th hand of tournament

I raise to 300 from the button with 9d-9c and take down the blinds. I now have T2,576

Blinds: 50/100
T2,576 – 99th hand of tournament

Three hands later, I pick up same 9d-9c in MP, and raise to 300 to take down the blinds. Now at T2,726.

Blinds: 60/120
T2,546 – 113th hand of tournament
I open-raise from the cutoff with 5s-5d and take down the blinds leaving me with T2,726.

Blinds: 60/120
T2,726 – 116th hand of tournament
I min-raise UTG with Ad-Qh. Mike_Maloney calls from MP and pushmonkey72 calls from the BB. Flop comes 7d-6s-5d. Check from pushmonkey and myself, and Maloney bets 600 into the 780 chip pot. pushmonkey calls and I fold. The hand is checked down from here, with pushmonkey turning a pair of eights that scoops the 1,980 chip pot from Maloney, who’s holding ducks. An ace on the river killed the action here. I’m now at T2,486.

Blinds: 80/160
T2,486 – 123th hand of tournament
From UTG+1 I bump it to 560 with the famous JackAce of spades and take down the blinds, which are becoming more valuable. Now at T2,726.

Blinds: 80/160
T2,726 – 124th hand of tournament
The very next hand, I make the same raise to 560 from UTG holding 5d-5s and take down the blinds again. Now up to T2,966.

Blinds: 80/160
T2,726 – 127th hand of tournament
I open on the button for 560 with Kd-10c and take down the blinds again, bringing my stack back to T2,966.

Blinds: 80/160
T2,966 – 130th hand of tournament
From MP, I steal the blinds again with another 560 chip bet holding a mere Ks-3c. This brings me to T3,206.

Blinds: 80/160
T3,206 – 133rd hand of tournament
I open UTG for 560 with another JackAce unsuited and take the blinds down again. This is getting ridiculous. Don’t these people know I’m a donkey? Apparently not, as my donkey stack has swelled to T3,446 now.

Blinds: 80/160
T3,126 – 140th hand of tournament
From UTG+1, I open for 560 holding 2c-2h. Mike_Maloney calls from the button, and dbirider calls from the BB. The 5d-10d-Qc flop misses me completely and I check fold to Mike_Maloney’s 1,500 bet into the 1,840 chip pot. The pot is eventually chopped between those two, each holding A-Q off. I’m down to T2,566 chips at this point.

Blinds: 100/200
T2,266 – 144th hand of tournament
I open on the button for 3xBB with 8h-8c and take the blinds again. Now at T2,566.

Blinds: 100/200
T2,666 – 150th hand of tournament
pushmonkey opens on the button for 700 chips and has another 8,670 behind. I’m holding Ad-Kh. I consider calling, but calling very nearly pot commits me at this point, so I jam from the SB for 2,666 total and take down a nice pot. Restealing is easy when you have the goods, right? I’m chipped up to T3,566 now.

Blinds: 100/200
T3,566 – 155th hand of tournament
I steal the blinds with a bet of 700 from UTG+1 holding Ah-8c. Now at T3,866.

Blinds: 100/200
T4,166 – 161st hand of tournament
With Ah-Qd, I open-raise 3xBB from MP and cmitch calls from the BB. Ad-Jd-5s on the flop. After cmitch checks, I bet slightly less than the pot and take it down. Stack’s now sitting at T4,866.

Blinds: 120/240 ante 25
T4,866 – 162nd hand of tournament
With JackAce unsuited, I open-raise to 1,025 from MP and the table folds. T5,401 now.

Blinds: 120/240 ante 25
T4,916 – 168th hand of tournament
I open from the cutoff with Ac-Qh for 1,025 and take down the blinds. Back above 5,000 chips with T5,426.

Blinds: 120/240 ante 25
T4,966 – 173rd hand of tournament
More stealing as I open for 1,025 on the button with Qh-4s and take the blinds, bringing my stack to T5,451.

Blinds: 120/240 ante 25
T5,376 – 177th hand of tournament
I can’t remember why I did this, but I jammed UTG with As-Qs and the table folded. Regardless, my stack benefits from this donkey move, and is now at T5,936.

Blinds: 150/300 ante 25
T5,501 – 181st hand of tournament
More…you guessed it…stealing, as I open-raise to 1,300 from the cutoff with Ah-7d and take the blinds down again. Now at T6,151.

Blinds: 150/300 ante 25
T5,526 – 190th hand of tournament
Yet another steal, this time with Qh-8d on the button. I open-jam into a couple of shortstacks in the blinds and they fold, bringing me up to T6,176

Blinds: 150/300 ante 25
T5,526 – 191st hand of tournament
More stealing, this time I open-jam As-8d from the cutoff into the shorties on my left and take the blinds down again. Now up to T6,826.

Blinds: 150/300 ante 25
T6,776 – 194th hand of tournament
Time for this liberal stealing to payoff as I pick up a real hand with Qs-Qh in MP, and open for 1,275. Unfortunately, no callers. No worries though, taking these blinds so liberally is really keeping me afloat. I’m now up to T7,401.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any screenshots of chipleaders or anything like that. I think around this time I was in the middle of the pack, and there was probably anywhere from 15-25 people left.

As we hit the 200/400/50 level, here’s what my table looked like.

26,666Astin (overall chipleader I believe)
2,865 – leftylu

Blinds: 200/400 ante 50
T5,801 – 208th hand of tournament
I open-jam from the cutoff with Ah-Kd and cmitch calls from the BB with a tiny stack that was about to get anted off. I flop a king, and his Jh-3d has no chance and he’s out in 15th place.

We’re two spots from the money, and I’m at T6,929, right in the middle of the pack.

Blinds: 250/500 ante 50
T4,929 – 221st hand of tournament
So far, I hadn’t had any real tough decisions to make. This would be the first. I believe we had just burst the money bubble at this point, but I’m not sure.

We’re six-handed, and Astin, sitting on 21,410 in chips, opens from MP fo 1,550. I have As-Qh. Actually there’s not much of a decision here. I’m getting short-stacked, and the blinds are getting quite expensive. I jam from the cutoff, and figure I’m racing. The rest of the table folds, and as expected, Astin calls. I find that not only am I not racing, I have his Ad-Jc dominated. Woot. A queen comes on the flop to seal it for me, and I’m up to T10,808.

Blinds: 250/500 ante 50
T11,808 – 229th hand of tournament
After a couple of successful blind steals, raise to 1,850 UTG (we’re still six-handed), with Ah-10d. With 23,472, Astin calls from the BB, and we take a flop. I’m releasing, unless the flop hits me. Given the situation, I couldn’t ask for a better flop than the 10h-8h-3s that was laid out in front of us. Astin bets 3,000 into the 4,150 chip pot, and I don’t have enough room to play this hand in any other fashion than jamming. I figure I’m ahead, and that Astin has two overs, one possibly being an Ace (a very favorable situation for me). I throw out my last 9,958, Astin folds, and I’m chipped up to T17,108.

Blinds: 250/500 ante 50
T17,108 – 230th hand of tournament
The very next hand, leftylu jams for 3,560 total, and I call from the BB with Ad-Qh. Lefty’s red nines hold up, and I’m down to T13,548.

Blinds: 300/600 ante 75
T14,073 – 246th hand of tournament
I steal the blinds a few times and this hand comes up. willwonka, starting the hand with 11,210 chips, raises to 1,875 from the cutoff, and I make a loose call from the BB with Kc-9c. I hit second pair on the flop of Qs-9d-5d, and lead into the 4,275 chip pot for 2,500, inducing a fold. I’m now up to T16,473

Blinds: 300/600 ante 75
T17,148 – 250th hand of tournament
We’re on the final table bubble now, with ten people remaining. BuddyDank’s tunes are kicking in the background, and all is good, cause after all, it’s a freeroll, right?

All is good, but it gets much better when I look up in the BB and see Aces staring back at me for the first (and only) time this tournament. willwonka (9,410 chips) raises to 1,925 from the cutoff, and dbrider (18,401 chips) raises to 4,275 on the button. I’m not excited about taking a flop against two other people with Aces, so I jam. Three potential outcomes here.

A) They both fold, and I take down a nice sized pot, given that there’s a raise, and a re-raise already in there.

B) One caller. Perfect situation to take Aces into.

C) Both call. Not as good of a situation for Aces.

As it turns out, they both fold, and I scoop a pretty hefty pot, bringing my stack to T23,798.

Blinds: 300/600 ante 75
T23,798 – 251st hand of tournament

willwonka (7,485 chips) raises to 1,925 UTG (five-handed now), and I make the loose call from the SB with Ad-7s. 9s-7d-6c on the flop, and I figure he had a better starting hand, but not a pocket pair, and I just outflopped him. I jam for his remaining 5,560, and my read is spot-on, as he calls with Ac-Ks, and I’m the chipleader heading into the final table.

Final Table Time


Blinds: 400/800 ante 100
T31,133 – 254th hand of tournament
Blinders is the first casualty of the final table, as he calls Astin’s steal attempt with Ks-Jh. Astin tables a weak looking 9s-6s, but the 8s-6h-5h flop hits him just hard enought to take Blinders out, and we’re down to eight.

Blinds: 400/800 ante 100
T30,033 – 261st hand of tournament
Mookie is the next to go, when his Ah-10c is no good against sellthekids, who has Ad-10d and turns the nut flush.

Chip count time


Blinds: 400/800 ante 100
T28,633 – 263rd hand of tournament
OK, time for my donkey hand of the evening. It’s sick beat I layed on dbrider with the infamous JackAce (but it was soooooted this time).

I open raise from the button for 3,300, and dbrider jams for 10,616 total from the SB. I’m thinking re-steal here, since I’m the perfect target for this move, and I’ve been stealing so much all tournament long, so I make the call. It’s not for all my chips though, as it would leave me with a still healthy 18k in chips if I lose.

Oops, black kings are staring back at me. The Qs-8d-2s flop gives me a few more outs with the nut flush draw. 7d on the turn does nothing for either of us, but a beautiful 8s on the river sends dbrider packing in sixth place, and I get away with a terrible read and play on my part while re-claiming the chip lead.

Blinds: 400/800 ante 100
T40,249 – 267th hand of tournament
I raise to 2,700 UTG with KdJs. sellthekids (33,125 chips) calls immediately to my left, and Waffles (16,050 chips) calls from the BB. Another steal attempt that ran into a couple real hands. I’m ready to release this if the flop doesn’t hit me. Unfortunately, the flop hits me with Kc-Qd-2s. Waffles leads into the 8,800 chip pot from first position with a bet of 6,000, leaving 7,350 behind. I put Waffles on a mid-high pair, but not KK or QQ. I was thinking between 99-JJ for his range, so I jammed. A risky move with another large stack in the hand, but fortunately, sellthekids folded, and Waffles made the easy call with Ks-Qs, and dented my stack severely.

Chip count time


Blinds: 500/1000 ante 125
T25,424 – 275th hand of tournament
We’re still six handed. Astin limps UTG, Waffles limps from the button, and I raise to 3500 from the SB with my black kings. They both call, and we see a three-way flop. As-8c-7d comes, not what you really want to see with pocket kings and two other players that called a preflop raise. All three of us check, and a lovely Kh comes on the turn. Now I’m praying that one of them has an ace. I bet about half the pot, and they both fold. I’m now at T34,049, and second in chips.

Blinds: 600/1200 ante 150
T32,199 – 287th hand of tournament
Waffles (26,717 chips) open-raises from the button for 3,600. I re-raise to 6,800 from the SB with Jc-Jd and Waffles makes the call. Js-8s-6d comes on the flop, giving me top set. I bet 9,000, which is about half of Waffles remaining stack, into the 15,700 chip pot. Waffles jams, and I make the call. His Qc-Qh doesn’t improve, and I’ve eliminated the ultimate donkey in fifth place, as well as taken a commanding chip lead over the rest of the field.

Chip counts


Blinds: 600/1200 ante 150
T57,866 – 300th hand of tournament
Julius_Goat is eliminated in 5th place when his Ks-7h can’t improve against HighOnPoker’s Ac-6d.

Blinds: 600/1200 ante 150
T59,816 – 307th hand of tournament
I raise to 3,600 from the button with Ad-Qh, and Astin jams from the BB for 15,034 total. I make the call and flop an ace to beat his red sixes and knock him out in fourth place.

Blinds: 800/1600 ante 200
T64,850 – 317th hand of tournament
HighOnPoker takes his 9d-8d into a flop against sellthekids and his red fives. An eight on the flop is good enough to eliminate sellthekids in third place and get to heads up against me.

Here’s the chipcounts as we entered heads up play.


We played 81 hands heads up, and it was quite a battle, with huge swings each way. At one point I was outchipped 116K to 24K, but managed to make a comeback and take nearly as big of a lead. Then we got pretty even in chips again and I finally won with this hand

Chipcounts coming into the final hand


Blinds: 1200/2400 ante 300
397th and final hand of the tournament
Jordan raises to 7,200 from the button, and I make the call with Kc-7s. Flop comes Kh-Ks-5h and I check, expecting a C-bet. Jordan bets the pot, and I jam for his remaining 22,200 chips and get a call. He’s got Kd-2d, and doesn’t get any help from the turn or river, finishing as the runner-up.

So there’s my writeup. I may come back and expand some of the thoughts that I had on certain hands, but I at least wanted to get this down while it was still fresh.

Once again, thanks to Al, Mookie, and Hoy for organizing the BBT.