After numerous chances, I finally broke through and won a $20 SnG. I had come in 3rd twice before in like 7 chances but if feels good to finally win one and take down the hondo.
I find the aggression in the game interesting. In the beginning with blinds just 10/20, it is not uncommon for someone to raise it preflop to 150. I have yet to understand this. It is not that they are making a pot size bet, it is just the number they choose. But at some point, when a couple players have been knocked out, this action ceases. Regular 3xs the BB take over again. And this can happen with blinds at just 25/50. There really seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. It just means you need to be careful and get to know your opponents quickly. Otherwise you will bleed yourself out by limping.
I liked how I played in the SnG. I made my big hands pay off nicely. Got pocket rockets twice within 10 hands and was able to make it pay off both times. I doubled up the first time when I just raised it 3xs the BB. Someone re-raised and I pushed. They showed QQ and handed me their chips. The second time, they folded to my turn bet. Didn't clear as much but it was still a nice gain.
Things really got interesting when we were down to the bubble. One guy had gotten on a rush and zoomed up to over 7k in chips. I was roughly in second with 3000, another at 3000, and the low stack at 900. But the low stack was on the left of the big stack. I began to notice how he never raised the blinds on him. He folded again and again. I was a bit suspicious.
The big stack also bluffed me out on a pot with just the 4 of us around. I raised it up from the small blind with K 10 suited. Flop came K high. I bet out 400 and was raised 1000. If I call, I am down to only 1000 and do not want to go out on the bubble. I was thinking re-raise but wondered if he called with a small pair and filled his set. My kicker should be good, but I wasn't certain. I folded and he showed 10 4. He had no piece of it. Asshole!
I felt better later when I raised with A 8 off. He pushed all in. I called because I thought he was protecting this other guy still. He showed A K. Oops! But an 8 on the flop doubled me up to over 4k.
Funny thing when the small stack finally went out. He accused others of working against him. I though that was funny because I believe he and the big stacks were in cahoots. But if blinding someone down is working against him, then he needs to read up on strategy.
I take the other stack out with Q Q and go heads up against the bluffer. I start aggressively but slow down. I take the lead when I slow play a pair of kings. Now that I have the stacks, I push all in on him whenever he limps into a pot and bets the flop. I notice he will stay aggressive with any piece of it. I am able to slow play kings once again to win.
Heads up is always a challenge and it seems to be a mix of aggressiveness and slow playing. I may have to change my tactics more often.