Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Gearing up for the satellite in a BIG way

As I mentioned earlier, I was going to play some mutltis to warm up for the WSoP satellite on Sunday. I hopped onto PokerRoom to play the $5 multi in hopes of revving my play up. Little did I know it would be historic night.

340 players started. Not much happened over the first hour. I survived. Didn't have much to play early on. Q Q got busted down when the board was showing one overcard but a flush and straight possibility. Had to lay it down to the river bet. As the cards went bad, I began to wonder if my strategy of playing big multis was right. There would be only 50 in satellite. Would going up against 340 be of any use for a smaller tournament? Well of course I would. Guess I should focus on the game at hand.

As I said, I survived until the first break. I believe I was 90 out of 104. I got lucky as my 10 10 went up against J J and hit my set on the flop. That was the first time I had put all my chips out there. It also propelled me comfortably into the money.

From there I played pretty tight. I even folded J J at one point to a raise and a call. The raise came from UTG so I was skeptical. Too many times I have seen a min raise off of aces or kings. I figured my jacks probably weren't good. What I didn't do was factor in the previous play of the UTG guy. I had taken notes on many players, notes that would pay off nicely later. I should have known that he would only min-raise with an ace. If he had something stronger, his bet would have been higher. I should have flat called there. Flop would come all rags. They checked it to the river (which happened to be a jack). I could have taken down a nice pot there.

Long story short, I made it to the final table. I came into the final table in 9th. Blinds were 1000/2000 I had 22000 so I had some wiggle room. At this point I was focusing on how I could get up to 4th place where the real money paid out. At that point I would figure how I could win it as well. Problem was the chip leader (140k) was on my right and knew how to use a big stack.

I just about double up defending the blinds and playing aggressive with the flops. In the BB, my 3 4 off sees a flop of 2 5 J. I bet out the pot and get called by a big stack. Crap. Turn is a 4. I push and he folds. I had watched him call many a flop bet and fold on the turn. I felt my fours were good.

Next in the small blind I get 9 10 suited. I complete and see the flop with 2 others. 10 high. I make a pot size bet which takes it down. Up to 32000 now.

Two hands later I try to limp in with Q J. BB raises to 9000 and I fold. Flop came Q high. Turn was a Q. I doubt the BB was playing A Q or K Q. I start to think I just missed another good opportunity. Especially when the deck goes cold for awhile.

Like 12 hands awhile. Two sets of blinds gone.

Then it hits me silly. Totally silly. Next four hands are J J J J 10 10 A K. I collect on each (nothing huge but good size bets from the big stack) and suddenly I am at 102000. I have gone from 8th place (last) to second.

I don't know if I make a mistake here or not. As it would play out, it would be not, but I believe I would do this again. I lay down Big Slick. UTG raised it. UTG+1 pushes all in. If he goes out, I advance one more spot in the money. That is my rational for laying it down. Turns out UTG had A A. UTG+1 had 4 4 and hit his set. Ugly. The runner with aces goes out on the next hand. Can you say tilt?

I am comfortably in second now and waiting to pick my spot now. Defend the blinds well. That is my mantra as I don't get many good hands.

Down to 6. Darn, no lights or camera. I thought we may be on TV.

The big stack starts to totally bully the table raising 5 hands in a row. That takes my blinds. I fold 5 5 to his raise. Good thing as the flop came all paint.

But I dump 60000 from the BB with 9 10. I see the flop for free that comes 7 3 9. Big stack bets out and I call. Turn is a rag. He bets and I raise to see where I am in the hand. He re-raises me. I didn't expect that. I make what I believe is another error. I call, albeit,reluctantly. River is a K. I feel I am beat and can't call that 20k bet. I am now at 47k.

Next hand is A J and I push. BB folds. Next I get J J. The big stack raises to 25k. I push. He calls and shows A 5 suited. No help and I am back to 122k. What a swing!

But we are still at 6. Someone gets knocked down to being bounced out but bounces back instead. One clown then starts pushing on every hand. I am surprised and then again, I am not. That is his only move. At an earlier table, he never raised a logicial amount of 3 or 4 times. It was always all in. He is pushing 80k when blinds are 3k/6k. That is just plain stupid. And he would pay for it. He finally get knocked out when A J beats his A Q. He was mad about it too. Let's see, if you just raise it up and see a flop that didn't help you, you can fold. Instead, you push with an ok hand.

I am glad to see the numbskull gone. He seemed to be a good guy; on of those who always typed "nh". I pretty much hate that, but he was different. What I also didn't like was the fact it was the big stack that took him out. He is over 300k.

And bullying even more. Except when I get K K. Then he folds. WTF.

We get down to 4 soon and the good money. Big guy has 330k. I have 97k. Next is at 47k and the bottom at 26k. Blinds are whipping around at 4000/8000. For my $5.50 entry fee, the least I will get is 4th, which pays out $136. 3rd at $170. 2nd at 255 with 1st at $425. It will be the most I have ever won in a tournament, eclipsing the $125 mark off of a freeroll.

My strategy is a bit different now. I am waiting for the small stacks to go bust. I can let the bully do his job and just play premium hands. That is how I will try to win this tournament. Try to get heads up with the big guy. If I can I will pick off a short stack. But they aren't pickable. A Q goes down to A K. I take a stab at it twice with marginal hands making big bets to force them to fold. That works poorly and suddenly find myself in 3rd place!

The deck is cold again. I start to bleed away in the blinds. I watch others go all in and hit miracle cards on the river. Where was my miracle card?

I get lucky when the big stack doesn't bet a flop on me (rare for him) and I push with nothing. I breathe the sigh of relief when he folds. I notice his fold is predictable too. He bets quickly but if he pauses, he is going to fold. If he waits a longer amount of time, he will raise.

I so happy to see A K come along. Big guy raises to 25k. I push my 20some thousand in. Big stack calls as does another!! They show K Q and K J. Ace on the flop is all I need. I am up to 77k. That won't last as blinds are now 5000/10000 and flying around fast.

I play Doyles hand out of the BB. Bluff my way to victory on the turn. 10 2 off is quite powerful. I get rid of the last guy with K 10 to his Q 10. We are now heads up!

I am out chipped 355k to 126k. At first I think I can be content with second place. But that changes when my brain starts kicking my skull. I worked my way up here, not try to find a way to win damnit!

So I do. I play good flops aggressively. I don't put all my chips at risk unless I am confident I have the best hand. Two pair on the flop, make him pay to see another card. Flush on the flop? That doens't scare me. I will bet like I have that flush. It works well. I mix in my raises with min raises and 3xs the blind bets. I work my way up and take the chip lead!

We go back and forth a bit. I stick to my strategy and give the lead back for a bit. One hand to be exact. I nail him back down to just under 100k. Now he is pushing a lot. I need the right hand to push back.

That hand would be A 2 off. Yeah, that powerhouse! I raised it up from the small blind. He goes all in. At that point, I felt he didn't have an ace. I felt he didn't have a pocket pair either. My read is two face cards. I call. He shows K J. Offsuit even. A duck on the flop and I am quacking to the bank.

I finally win my first multi!!! 1 out of 340. Out chipped practically 3 to 1 and I fought back to win. Afterwards, I realize there was only one showdown while we heads up. The last one. I had only put my chips, my tournament life, at risk 2 times during the entire night.

I also didn't play the best game I could. Should have seen a flop with those jacks. But I had a nice laydown with Big Slick too. Even still, I am quite proud of the accomplishment. Next goal is to win a bigger first place prize.

Sunday sounds good.

1 comment:

THG said...

Nice job. Not much feels better than a win!