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Today was a somewhat significant day for me in that I managed to grab my first ever cash finish in a major poker event.  It was the start of FTOPS VIII at Full Tilt and the event was a $216 No Limit Holdem 6-Max.  I haven’t played too many of the FTOPS events in the past – maybe a few of the 6-Max or perhaps a Limit event and that’s it.  Starting at 11am was a real luxury although I hadn’t really considered the thought of how long it would actually take to get through the 4,000+ field.  Basically most of the day was a write-off as I managed to outlast most to finish 235th for a cash of a mighty $415.

I started out rocky, losing with AQ, A8 (two pair) and QQ all on the first level, but turned things around when I brilliantly decided to re-steal with 77 against my opponent’s JJ and skilfully spiked another 7 on the flop.  From there I think I played pretty tight-solid for the most part.  My most crucial hand came as we were into the money.  I had about 24k with the blinds at 600/1200.  The table chip leader who was very loose had min-raised from UTG and I was next to act with TT.  I was sure his raise was weak and decided to isolate with a raise to 6,800.  It folded to the button who insta-shoved for all of his 18k stack.  UTG folded and I was left with about an 11k decision.  The button was solid and coming over the top of a raise and re-raise, so I had no reason to think that he wasn’t very strong here.  It was 11k to win about 28k so the odds said to call, but I figured his range here as AK or JJ+, which I’m in bad shape against.  I decided to let it go and work with my 17k stack rather than risk being crippled.  I don’t know if it was the right decision – maybe these are the spots where you are meant to take a gamble against AK to try and amass a huge final-table bound stack.  Soon after I shoved my 10BB stack in a blind war with A7 and was in good shape for a double up against the big blind who made a retarded call with T9s for over a third of his stack.  However the board of Q284J left me heading to the rail. Meh.

Obviously disappointing to battle for that long and miss out on the big bucks, but happy to have finally posted a cash result in a major event.  Hopefully more to come next week at the Melbourne Championships.

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