You didn't expect me to talk about HORSE poker without the hilarious picture of horses playing poker did you? Well apologies if you did.
My self-confessed favourite event, and with a massive 5th place in the 8-game - HORSE with added extras - I was quietly confident when I sat down.
I didn't expect the commotion preceding the tournament though. Our football match started at 10:30am after a rigorous pitch inspection, and a 6-1 drubbing did nothing to enhance my mood pre-tournament, neither did my ruined hamstring, or the fact I had to wait 20 minutes for a bus in the freezing cold.
Anyway, I arrived back home at 2:21pm, surprisingly only T$97 down and ready to rumble, a quick couple of round on Razz showed me that people we're not too clued up on the game, and I could really exploit that and the Stud H/L, or the 'E' of Horse, standing for Eight or Better.
My first big break came in the Stud though, my weakest part of the tournament, but when I was dealt 5-8-8-5, I knew I was going nowhere, and sure enough, although I missed a full house, my opponent never improved on his AA start, and i effectively doubled up.
It didnt take long for me to add to that stack either, in the Stud H/L section, being dealt 3 spades and adding another two pre-seventh street, I knew with him showing 4-6-5-3, that I would most probably be splitting the pot with a low, but low and behold, he ended up desperately unlucky, but who was I to complain, as I stole the table chip lead.
To say it seemed to be all going right was an understatement, just minutes later, as I was flying with a decent low and a shot at a straight for the high, we reached the river as I put in a customary bet, with him showing 7-7, I knew it would be a split pot, only to see him fold the Hi and allow me precious extra chips in my pursuit for the crown.
My parents were asking me what football was on at this point, clapping, cheering, even holla'ing every time chips were sent my way, and an AQ vs A5 all in during the Hold'em was music to my ears, as the flop bought a Queen and began shattering dreams as well as firming my own.
I was about to enter a rut though, one that lead me haemorrhaging chips in Omaha, Stud, and even Holdem. However, it would take about 25 minutes mindless searching for me to hit a hand, and it came to no surprise that Razz delivered the goods, as I swept up a $20k pot after starting with 5-2-3-4, after a guy vastly overplayed A-A-5-4.
However, we were nearing the bubble now, play tightened, people used whole timebanks only to fold 3-8o, and I began to get frustrated. For right or wrong, I wasn't happy with simply blinding into the cash, as $5.50 was nothing to my bankroll compared to the $22, $33 and above that was on offer, including those elusive leaderboard points, that I had been pining over since my early run in the 8-game.
At times it was like the picture below, a very lonely poker table, one full of chips, but devoid of players.
I do still believe that more profit will be made in the long-run if you do play your own game near the bubble. Tight is not always right. However, had this been Event No.30, I may well have blinded into the cash and seen what I could do from there, in the end, I jammed most of my stack in Stud H/L, being dealt 3-4-2, and the rest as i was dealt a 3, later figuring out I was 49% likely to make a Lo after 3 cards, and 36% after i'd paired my 3s.
It wasn't to be though, and I exited in 98th place, with 96 cashing, and despite being 32nd with 104 remaining, I don't regret a thing, as if I win the 50/50s instead of losing, I put myself in a massive position to run deep.
Yeah, this pretty much summed me up after I bust.....
Plus, I still had two tournaments to go today... Surely I could cash again?