Last night’s Twitter Poker Tour had its best showing yet as 37 players saw action on Full Tilt Poker. It’s fun watching the number of participants grow week after week. During the session, one of the players commented that by summer, it’s probable that we’ll have 100 players in the field. I don’t think that goal is unreachable either.
On Tuesday, I uploaded the $50 minimum deposit onto Full Tilt, having never played in a cash game there before. When I first started playing online poker, I played with their “Play Money Chips” and I did a few of their play money tournaments, not really faring well in any of them. I didn’t much care for the set up of Tilt vs. Pokerstars, so I’ve really steered completely clear of the site until Tuesday. But, I felt that I really wanted to make an effort to compete on the Twitter Poker Tour leader board this season to really test myself as a poker player. I’ve always felt that I am a complete amateur. I’ve never read any poker books, or had any real training on poker. I’ve learned from watching the pro’s play on TV, hand out a little of free advice from their commentary, and then I played at the tables both on-line and on my Playstation (gotta give a plug for the World Series of Poker Video Game, where I’ve won the Main Event a couple of times – if only it were real). So I tried my hand on the TPT-Tilt Season 2 inaugural event, and it went much better than I could’ve expected.
I began the night watching the “Battle of the Sexists,” the pre-cursor to the nights TPT. The Limit Hold em’ Heads up match between Panndy and Grundy was a good poker match up, which featured momentum swinging back and forth throughout. Panndy controlled the larger stack for most of the beginning, than Grundy took control. But it would go back and forth several times until the TPT started. Shortly after the start of the TPT, Panndy was busted, but I missed the final hand. That meant that Panndy became the bounty for the evening, a status that she would keep until we were 6 handed.
My play was really strong in the beginning with a little help of a good run of cards. I picked up two large pots early with the second vaulting me into the chip lead. I just made a good/lucky read on a board of 10-7-4, I called an all in bet for less than $900 with Q-10. My opponent tabled pocket 8’s, and didn’t catch up. That brought me to about 4200 early in the tournament, and I really didn’t dip too low after that. I did lose some chip when I got one caller off of my pre-flop raise with pocket K’s, and the flop came out A-brick-brick. I led out and then called the shove to find myself painfully behind A-9, and wouldn’t catch up.
I eliminated @pipedream on a pretty cruel suck out shortly after that though. He’d just lost a hand calling a short stacked all-in bet of K-2, and he couldn’t pick up the win. The next hand he shoved with K’s pre-flop, and action folded back to me and I called with J’s. The flop didn’t improve either of us, nor did the turn. But a miracle J on the river sent @pipedream to the rail, and I chipped up in the right direction.
I got healthier being dealt pocket K’s again and catching a board of A-K-J. My opponent re-raised me all in and I called. He tabled A-Q, and no 10 hit the board which took me to over 6k.
Things were rolling for me and I got even healthier from the Big Blind, when I got a free ride to the flop with 10-7os, and we saw a flop of Q-9-8. With blinds at 100-200, the small blind was the only person caller and led post flop with 200, which I called. I hit my draw when the 6 fell on the turn, and laid my trap when the bet was checked to me as I checked in return. The K on the river turned out to be a good card for me, as my opponent led out with 600, and I raised to put him virtually all-in. He eventually pushed and I called his extra 15 with my made straight, and sent him to the rail with K-9.
Things were slow going for me from there out, but my stack was large enough that I simply avoided confrontations with other players, and picked up some blinds with relatively small raises on my premium hands. I played that way all the way to the final table. Eventually, as one player after another was eliminated, I found myself in the money, and with a relatively healthy chip stack. I played my way to into the top 3, and got the rest of my chips in calling an all-in bet by swfft from the Big Blind with A-Qos. Swfft tabled K-Jos, and the flop produced a K, and that would give me the axe in 3rd place. I was so giddy at actually making the money, I really didn’t care so much about how I went out. I was more disappointed that the tournament was over because I was just having so much fun playing cards.
In the end, Ungarop had a fairly sizeable chip advantage heads up having played masterfully at the final table. He’d collected the bounty eliminating Panndy in sixth, getting her to put all of her chips in pre-flop with J’s, and he made the easy call with Aces. From there, he controlled the big stack all the way to the win, getting the last of Swfft’s chips in with A-7, while he held A-8. The board played out Q-5-2 on the flop, and got interesting when Swfft hit a 7 on the turn. But an 8 on the river gave the hand and the tournament to Ungarop for his first TPT victory. Congrats to both Ungarop and Swfft, and congrats to @pokerplasm for this first cash and 4th place finish. And kudos for a great tournament by BigBlindsNick, who played his way into the money finishing in 5th.
It was an incredible tournament. I find myself looking forward to the TPT every week, and can’t wait to see if my play this week was more of a fluke (which I believe that it was) or if I can squeeze into the money once more. All in all, I now have a Tilt balance of $75.15 after the win (I played a little at the .05/.10 tables on to give me about a $1 more), and that should last me on the TPT for some time.
Thanks to everyone who made it to the tournament, and I can’t wait for next weeks TPT-Stars event.