So I played today and made the final table. I won a coin flip early, I came from behind with A6 suited and the small blind woke up to JJ (cue... Frush), and I got some big hands and big pots late.
Once at the final table this hand came up. I had a pretty good feeling from conversations with most of the table we were going to chop. The chipleader was on my left and he seemed open to it 10 handed when I brought it up. I didn't say anything because there were two short stacks.
One went down, then a guy blew up his stack and couldn't make the ante so likely two were going to go out soon. The other shortie was two to my left and about to hit the big and small blinds. Then this hand happened right before the break:
Guy limps from third position. Extreme shortie shoves. Folded to me in the big blind. I look at 5-2 and check.
Flop comes 559 two hearts. I was just thinking about eliminating the short stack and getting closer to the chop. I check almost without thinking about it, and the limper checks also (he might have bet 3k and I called but I think he checked). This is how bad I play immediately after checking (or calling), I see the two hearts and the sizable side pot we were building and ask myself why I didn't bet there.
While my agenda was to stay safe and knock out the really short guys my opponent wasn't on the same plan. A Jack of hearts hits the turn and I check. He bets 6k. I call. River is a Q. I check and he shoves.
I stewed forever, and it's clear to me this guy is confident he has the best hand. I ask him if he flopped a boat, and I can tell he doesn't really like the question as it might be signifcantly stronger than his hand. Really felt like I had him beat for a second but what could he shove with that I beat?
Than I started running through hands that he could think are winners. He limped so maybe 99, JJ, QQ or a monster but during the hand it didn't feel like he had a monster. Clearly he wasn't bluffing so flushes were possible. K10 possible too. So many hands, A5 suited in there, and they all beat mine. Eventually, I release. I show my trip 5s and he shows QJ. At the time that made complete sense.
I didn't mind the fold because I thought I left myself enough to be in the conversation when the shorty blinded out. But, still knowing I could have eliminated two players (his two pair eliminated the super short stack) and been comfortable for any chopping conversation irked me.
So, on break I think I was tilted. As much as I was focused on playing it like a mega... part of me had to be upset.
We come back and I'm in the small blind. Folded to me. I look at an Ace. I got enough chips that the guy on my left can only call me with a big hand. So, going on auto-mtt mode I go all in. He insta-calls with AK. Oops.
Suddenly, the chop might happen but it ain't going to be with me.
I talked to some people afterward and as Reid G said the lay-down was fine and I was wrong to beat myself up over it, because the only possible hand I could beat in that spot was QJ. I easily could have folded and waited half a rotation and been in the chop. Sux.
Melvin asked me as he escorted me to the cage if I let the previous hand get to me. I said no, because at the time I believed that, standard to shove an Ace there I think. But in retrospect, I think I was I left a lot of money on the table, considering my payout and what the chop was.
Talked to some nice people in the tournament including a couple of guys who read the site, and this blog. One of them recently finished 6th at a Southern Poker Championship event and we discussed a hand we played from a couple of weeks ago. Nice guy. He made the chop. So too Ms. Janice who always seems to go deep in these things. I was happy for them.
I quickly jumped into a 1-2 game to log some time for the Harrahs freeroll. I only had thirty minutes to play. I bluffed at two pots and made a dollar a minute and got up. I was extra cautious considering I was still focusing on the money I didn't win vs. the money I did.