Everyone else was catching cards and hitting flops and I just kept getting dealt garbage or getting bad flops for whatever promising hand I held
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By the time we got to the last hour of the day, where stakes were 3000/6000/1000, and I was back down to about 220,000 and in a bad mood. I felt like I had played pretty well for most of the day, taken some big risks when appropriate, and still I had lost more than 100,000 chips. Everyone else was catching cards and hitting flops and I just kept getting dealt garbage or getting bad flops for whatever promising hand I held. Finally, I got Ad Qd in first position. It was the best hand IӤ seen in ages, and I decided that since I was in first position and had been pretty tight for a while, I was going to represent an overpair post-flop if I got called. I raised to 16,000, and only the big blind, a young guy in Full Tilt Poker gear who had been pretty quiet, called. The flop was Ts 4s 2h. He checked, I bet 25,000, he raised me 25,000 more, and I moved all in for his last 175,000 chips. He called so quickly and so eagerly that I knew not only was I beat but that I couldnӴ win even if I caught an Ace or a Queen.

ԁll in and call, table 26!Ԡthe dealer shouted, but now the bubble was over, and ESPN was no longer rushing to cover every all in confrontation, so thankfully this embarrassment was not preserved for posterity by video camera.. My opponent turned over 44 for three of a kind. He was a 99.6% favorite to win. My only hope was to catch either a 3 or a 5 on the turn, followed by the other card on the river to make a running straight. A 6 on the turn cut my odds down from .4% to 0%, and just like that, I had 27,000 chips, barely enough to pay the big blind of 6,000, which hit me on the next hand.

Action folded to Matt in late position, who raised to 16,000. The small blind called, and I threw in the last of my chips without looking at my cards. There was already 46,000 in the pot, so I was getting better than 2:1 on my money ,and it was very likely that Matt would re-re-raise to knock out the small blind get the pot heads up with me. If I could win at showdown versus him, I would triple up and have a workable stack again. ԁll in and call!Ԡthe dealer went through the motions of muttering, but it was such a small pot that he knew no one would care.

Matt showed Ace-Jack, and I turned over my hand to find King-deuce. Not bad for a blind hand. I had about a 35% chance of winning. My Korean friend patted me on the back. ԋing is coming. Just watch,Ԡhe told me. Sure enough, the flop was K85, and suddenly I was way ahead. The turn was a T, but an Ace on the river crushed my comeback. Ԏice hand,ԠI told both Matt and the guy on my right. I shook hands with my friends at the table, wished them luck, and stood up. ԇet zipped up in plastic when it happens thatӳ it.ԍ

Except that wasnӴ it. I would have preferred go like Tony Soprano, a sudden black-out and then roll credits. Instead, I had to stand beside my empty seat like a rotting corpse while the dealer tossed the next round of cards to those still playing until a floorperson arrived to escort me to the payouts area. It was after midnight, I was tired, disappointed, frustrated and angry at myself for making a stupid move. So what did I most want to do after busting out of the main event? If you guessed, ԓpend an hour filling out paperwork and waiting in queues,Ԡwell, you were wrong, but you may be qualified to work at the Rio. IӶe played enough tournaments to know the importance of patience, especially when it comes to my last few chips. The old adage is that ӡ chip and a chairҠare all that is needed to win a tournament, and I had so recently made a big come back after getting short stacked that I really should have known better than to make a crazy, desperate bluff.

Now I had to sit, back against a wall, shoulder to shoulder with all the other losers, to wait for some crocodile-skinned bureaucrat to call my name. ԁnthony Brooks?ԠIt took me a minute to figure out that meant me. I was somewhat consoled by the fact that a fairly strong player showed up on bust out row right around the time I did. Although his name will be well-known to most poker enthusiasts, to the career paper shuffler behind the scenes at the Rio, he was just Ԓobert... Miz-arky?ԍ

I finished 361st and won $34,664, showing a tidy profit even after deducting the $10,000 entry fee, which was itself a prize IӤ won in another poker tournament. By any account, Iӭ very fortunate to make this kind of money playing a card game, and itӳ always my goal to do something valuable with the money and free time that poker affords me. In the next month or so, IӬl be organizing and teaching at a free summer debate camp for public high school students and teachers in Boston, and then traveling to Chicago for a week to volunteer at a similar camp.

Thanks again to everyone whoӳ followed along and offered your encouragement and congratulations. Hopefully we can do this again next year!


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