There's certainly a lot of bridge reading to catch up on, or rather to review, as I've yet to acquire any new books. Regardless, it's left little time for poker. But, I had an hour or so to spare with a stew in the oven, as well as some radio listening to catch up on, so I fired up a turbo SNG.
It seems to me that more people are catching on to the "tight early" strategy, which is a bit worrisome. No one was eliminated from this one until the blinds were 50/100. There were a couple of fairly loose players, but they were sticking to small ball and handing chips around among themselves.
Stayed in my usual shell, including folding AQ suited on the button with a raise and reraise in front of me (the reraiser eventually took down the pot after the flop, so I don't know whether or not I was right). Then got AQ suited again UTG at 15/30. A raise to 100 brought two of the loose players and one other along. So, I felt I had to bet out (300) on the A63 rainbow flop. The two loosies dropped, but the other fellow called. Seemed AJ, AT (maybe), AQ (possible), and AK (unlikely) were his probable hands (or I was near dead to a set). I checked the 5 on the turn, and he bet a ridiculous 120 into a 1045 pot. I called (figuring I was ahead, but aiming to control the pot size just in case) and we both checked the 9 on the river, with my AQ just squeaking out his AJ.
Time for the turtle to pull his head in again. At 25/50 I was forced into a call preflop with T7 suited, a min raise and two callers in front. No joy on the flop, so that was that.
Down to 8 at 50/100 and I got 99 UTG+1. My raise (300) was called by the BB only (one of the loosies and down just under 1000). The 987 rainbow flop looked pretty good to me. He checked, I bet half pot, he pushed, I called, he showed A7. Sweet. Until the board straightened on the turn and river. Sigh.
Tried a steal with 87 suited on the button. Big blind called. I followed when he checked the A42 rainbow flop, and he folded. What an easy game. More folding ensued as we approached the bubble. AT suited in the BB, the SB completed, I raised, he folded.
On the bubble, I'm second in chips with 2300! We have a monster stack, and a 1900 and 1300. Still need to concentrate.
Again I try to steal (at 75/150) from the SB with 74 suited. The BB calls, and the flop is A73 rainbow. I check, intending to fold, but he checks. The turn brings another 7. I bet a suspicious looking "conserving my stack" 350 into the 900 pot. He pushes. I call -- he has 55. We're in the money!
At 100/200 I get AQ in the SB with the button raising. My push sends him packing. I take a bigger hit than necessary with KJ offsuit on the button. My raise is called by the BB. Flop comes AKQ two diamonds. He checks, I bet, he calls. For some reason on the 9 of diamonds turn I feel the need to bet again -- he calls. The river is a truly ugly 6 of diamonds, and I have none of those. He pushes, I fold, leaving myself with about 1700 chips (against 9000 and 2800).
I squeak into second when the big stack pushes over a raise from the button, and is called. They race, TT against KQ and TT holds up.
So, we start heads up with me outchipped by about 8:1. I push J9 offsuit on the first hand, called by 72 offsuit (sorry, this wasn't a blogger game, so that just can't be right ...) Two nines on the flop, and I can hear destiny calling. We trade small pots for a while and then I win a race (22 vs KQ) so the chips are almost even.
Well anyhow, we bounced around for a while as one does, and then with stacks almost even agian at 200/400/25 I got 66 in the BB. He completed, I pushed and he called with K7 suited in spades. A race, but a pretty bad call in my opinion (I suspect a "let's get this over with" call). The flop had a 6 for me, but two spades for him. And the turn completed his flush.
Perhaps that wasn't destiny calling, but a siren. Oh, ye of little faith. The board duly paired on the river, and I mopped up his few remaining chips (less than 2BB) with A9 v 32 on the next hand.