May 2008
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The biggest chip lead in the world ever…. part 1

I don’t think I’ve ever begun heads up play with an 18:1 chip lead.  Until today.

You can see from the chips on the table (click the image to enlarge it if you want) that it wasn’t even a huge pot to knock out the 3rd place finisher.  On the previous hand, I already had 86% of the chips in play!

It was the kind of situation that I just love in high blind tournament play, where it gets to the point that it’s almost impossible for anyone to put up a fight.

I’d just managed to get large stack as the blinds became significant.  With five players remaining, a couple of them with only a handful of big blinds left and nobody who could dent my stack by more than half, I was able to just move all-in on any hand where nobody else did it first.

The shorter the other players’ stacks got, the more they tried to just try to hang on to make the money in the hope that someone else busted out first.

I can’t deny I got lucky to be in this situation.  You have to.  I found pocket aces against an ace-king with almost as many chips as me, and he made getting it all-in pre-flop a breeze.

After that I raised relentlessly with whatever crud was thrown my way and picked up all the blinds I could.  I started to get walks in my big blind because nobody wanted to gamble and I could probably make a correct call with any two cards.  Eventually I ran my ten-seven into an ace-queen and lost, but it was hardly a dent, and my attack continued.

54s, I push, they fold.

A5o, I push, they fold.

AA,  I push, two players call.  Didn’t see that coming.

Facing AT and TT, the only way I could lose was with if the case ten fell or a miracle straight appeared and PokerStars was kind to me.  After that double bust-out, the two surviving short stacks had less than $2,000 of the $13,500 in play between them.

Of course, winning from there was still not a certainty but I like to think I was in fairly good shape.  It actually took four attempts but eventually my garbage was slightly better than his garbage and I took the victory.

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