I came close to losing it all last night. I ignored another player’s signals that he had a flush and came within inches of being forced to go all in, in the hopes of a straight. But the closest moment came right at the end, when I was dealt a pair of Jacks. With my strongest hand yet that night, I played conservatively, hoping to see the flop without paying too dearly, as I had the smallest stack at the table. Another player went into the pot with me, raising it a few hundred, but not enough to scare me off. The flop came, with a strong potential for a flush or a straight, 7h, 8d, 10h. My opponent went all-in. I considered the move – she had never committed to a pot without a strong hand, but we were also currently the two shortest stacks at the table. Either she was sitting on a big pocket pair like QQ, KK or AA’s, or she was hoping for the flush or straight. I decided that she was not and called, knowing it would be my end if I was wrong. I lucked out as she had a K9, and a 3 and a 5 were dealt. She stayed in for another hand, but I’d taken a big bite out of her pot, enough to keep me afloat until the end of the round. I’m not in the strongest position going into the 3rd round, but I feel that if I stick to my guns and listen to my opponents and react accordingly, I have a shot.

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