Actually had a pretty soft starting table. I did have Kev to my left...he has become one of my toughest opponents. But next to him was Amy, playing for the second time, to her left Tess, also playing for the second time, Then Rick, playing for about the 4th time. So really, a good table to play ABC poker...fold a lot, raise my good hands, and so forth. In fact, I think only twice at that table did I get to the showdown with second best hand; once when we had an All-in and checked it down, once when I checked after the flop and she never bet.
Started nicely with pocket Queens, raised, couple callers, flop small and ragged, raised, they folded. I showed.
I wanted them to have in their minds that I always had the best hand so wanted to show a lot of strong hands.
Played a few small hands and won them. Meanwhile, Kev kept getting rivered by his sisters. In one hand he flopped 2 pair, bet to the river and lost when Tess hit the straight on the river...but was also beat because Amy hit Flush on the same card.
I was hitting a lot of hands but nothing memorable, so I played and won about 8 or 10 hands and had a nice stack.
Got to the final table and now it was getting ugly. Had Josh to my left..I want him on my right. To his left was Tim, then Tess, then Amy, then Rick, then Phillip, then Ken. So I had Phillip and Ken to my right and Josh and Tim to my left. I was not happy.
I put out Tess when she had few chips and I paired, and the very next hand put out Tim when he had less than the small blind.
I had a nice chip lead, but then came an ugly hand. I had A/10, raised.Ken called. Flop was rainbow, small cards. Ken checked, I raised, he almost folded, then said, "I don't like calling on outs, but I am going to. He called. Turn put a second Heart on the board, he called my raise. River was another Heart. He checked, I read him as having hit his draw and checked behind. He was bummed I checked and flipped up the King/2 of Hearts. He hit runner runner to take 3K from me. That hurt.
Josh took out Phillip and was climbing the chip board.
I got little bits back from Ken a couple times.
Amy was next to fall and then Rick, who was tired, went to the river on a hand he normally would fold and Josh took him out. Uh-oh, both Ken and Josh have lots of chips and we are down to final three.
I had A/8 spades, raised. 3 handed, that is pretty good. Ken called. Flop was ragged, a couple Spades. I raised, he called. . Turn was a blank, raise/call. River gave me the flush, I raised him all in, he called with...2 pair maybe?
Down to Josh and I. I had maybe a 2 to 1 chip lead and the advantage of being in Josh's head. Picked up A/2 Diamonds first hand. Raised. He hesitated, was going to fold, then called. Flop was ragged, no help, just one Diamond. I raised. He called pretty quick. I was done with the hand. Turn was 5 Diamonds. Hmm. I raised to keep control of the hand. He snap-called. River...another Diamond. I river-ratted him. How to get the most out of him?
A quick glance at the pot told me it had more than he had left, I raised all-in, he called. He had the straight. I had the Flush. Back to back hands I put out 2 of the most dangerous players we had.
For the night, about everything went right. Not only did I pretty much only play good hands...those hands held up. Only once did I get crushed and that was a hand I felt Ken normally wouldn't (and shouldn't) have stayed on, but he had a couple back door draws on the flop and one came home so I don't mind that at all. I played well and had good results. And a lot of fun,