$75 tourney recap
I played in an oddly structured tourney tonight. Initially, it was billed as a $50 tourney with a single $25 rebuy, available if a player went broke. We started with 6K in chips and the rebuy was for 6K and was available for the first hour (three levels). It didn’t take too long before a few people were allowed to rebuy a second time, although no one went crazy or anything. After the first hour was up and the rebuy period had ended, we decided to do an optional $25 add-on for 6K more chips.
We started with 20 guys and the final prize pool was about $1650. The top four spots were to pay something like $700, $500, $300, $150.
At the end of the first hour, I had almost exactly my 6K starting stack, so I took the rebuy, which bumped me up to 12K. I knew I had to buckle down since there were a lot of chips in play and this was likely to be a long tourney. Tightening up wasn’t too difficult since I was totally card dead for the first couple hours.
I’ll do a more detailed recap soon, but it basically came down to five people and I was the chip leader with about 1/3 of the chips in play. The blinds were escalating quickly, so we all decided to chop. I proposed that all five of us take fourth place money and then divide the remainder according to chip stack. After about 6.5 hours, I ended up getting $450 of which $20 went to the dealer.
My best hands were as follows: AA, KK, 99, 77, 44, 33(2), AKs, AQ(2), AJ, KQ, KJ, KT. My best made hand a straight at my first table.
First or second hand of the tournament, I was in the BB with 54o. A middle position player, who I know to be pretty loose/aggressive pre-flop, raised it to 3 BB. A couple players called, I called and the flop was 67J. I checked, the pre-flop raiser bet half the pot and only I called. The turn was a 2. I checked, the pre-flop, checked. I had decided he was on a couple big cards and I was going to bet the river if a card Ten or lower came off. The river was an Ace, so I checked and he checked. He showed KQ and took it down with King high. In retrospect, I played this hand a little passively. I really think the correct play is to check-raise him on the flop here since I figured he missed the board. I was in the BB and he knows I’m a tricky player, so I’m pretty sure he would fold without a pair there. As it was, I decided to play it to keep the pot small.
I was getting pretty short-stacked when I picked up AQo UTG+1. I made a raise to 3 BB and the SB called. Flop came down Q93 with two diamonds and the SB checked. I bet out half the pot, he check-raised to three times my bet and I moved all-in. He quickly folded. Another guy at the table made the sounds of a fishing line that just got a bit and he began reeling in his (my) fish. I think I probably moved in a little quickly. I might’ve gotten a call if I thought for a little while before moving in. I think I was just trying to discourage any straight or flush draws from coming along because the pot was already pretty big (relative to my stack) and I just wanted to take it down right there. Anyway, this hand got me a few chips.
A bit later, I got 77 in middle position and raised it to 3 BB. (I should note that I went with 3 BB because the table was playing pretty fast and loose and I knew 2.5 BB wasn’t going to ever steal the blinds. Also, these guys were a little crazy, so I didn’t want to play multi-way pots with them since I had trouble reading their hands. Finally, since we were never going to have antes, the bubble benefit wouldn’t be there for 2.5 BB.) The guy to my immediate left called (he calls a lot and is generally pretty passive) and everyone else folded. The flop came down AKx with two diamonds (I had the seven of diamonds, so at least both of my sevens were live). I hated this flop, especially against this opponent, but I threw out a c-bet anyway. He called pretty quickly and I knew 1) I shouldn’t have c-bet and 2) I was done with the hand unless I made a set. The turn was an offsuite Queen and we both checked. The river was a six of diamonds. I checked, he moved in (for about the size of the pot) and I folded. I was mostly unhappy with myself for c-betting, but I felt I played the rest of the hand ok.
A few hours into the tourney, I was pretty low on chips (as I had been all night) and I got 78 in the BB. Two or three players limped and I checked my option. The flop came down 569r giving me the nut straight and no flush draw onboard. I checked it, an LP, aggro player bet, I called and everyone else folded. The turn paired the board with a 5 (not a scary card for me at all) and I checked it, but the aggro player checked behind. The river was a Ten, I moved in for about the size of the pot and he folded. I normally would’ve value bet, but I figured he either had something like A9o or absolutely nothing. I figured a regular value bet was about as likely to get called as an all-in, so why not maximize value by moving in.
My best hand at my first table was 99 and I just took the blinds with a standard raise.
By the time we got down to the final table, I was pretty short on chips. I think I had around 11K chips and the blinds were 500/1000. That being said, the blind structure was moving slowly (next level would be 600/1200, then 700/1400, then 800/1600), and there were no antes, so I wasn’t feeling too desparate. Also, we had just moved from five-handed to ten-handed, so I had some room to breathe and didn’t feel any pressure to make any crazy moves yet.
Second hand of the final table, I was in the BB. CO and button limped and the SB completed. These are three of the looser players I’ve played with and I knew they could literally have almost anything. I looked down to see AQo and moved all-in. Immediately, they all started hemming and hawing about how automatic that move was and how they saw it coming, sort of implying they thought I could make that move with almost any two cards (which is certainly true). I realized this was a good opportunity to do a little advertising, but not the kind I would normally do. I mucked my hand and, as I raked in the pot, said, “Man, you guys are just makin’ it too easy. I just about doubled-up there!” I wanted them to think I made that move with nothing so I could get action on my big hands if I got them. Because the table was a relatively loose, aggressive table, I knew I’d probably have to catch some cards to get chips, and I wanted to make sure they called me if I hit big. This hand would prove to be pretty important later.
In reality, I had added about 3K to my stack and I was now at about 14K. Two hands later, I was on the button with KQo. Two or three people limped before me and I decided to just call and take a flop. If my stack had been bigger or shorter, I probably would’ve raised, but with an M of about 10, I felt like calling was right. If I missed the flop, I could just fold. If I hit it, there would likely be a bet in front of me and I could move in and get some chips. The SB completed, the BB checked and the flop came down JTx. I decided immediately that my chips were going in the middle, and I hoped someone would bet in front of me to sweeten the pot. Sure enough, The hijack bet out a little more than half the pot. I thought for a second, said, “I raise…”, counted out my chips, threw in his bet amount and then declared all-in. Everyone folded to the original bettor who griped a little before folding. By now, people were starting to joke about how I was moving in a lot. I was thinking about how I had more than doubled-up in four hands at the final table and I hadn’t shown a hand yet.
Next time I was in the BB, I picked up T2s. The button limped, the SB completed and I checked my option. The flop was something like Q54 with two of my suit. I checked, the button bet out, the SB folded and I moved in. The button folded showing K5 (for middle pair). This is pretty standard for me given the situation and the stack sizes. My thinking is as follows: the board is pretty dry (except for the flush draw, which I have), my stack is small, but not tiny
A few orbits later, I was UTG, and picked up Aces, by far my biggest hand of the night (next best was 99 a few hours earlier). I raised it to 3 BB (I’m at a pretty loose table, so I’m not worried about everyone folding and I want as much value as possible from my hand), and got a call from a late position player and the BB. The flop came down A95 with two clubs. Against some players, I’d slowplay this, but I bet out 3 BB instead. Here’s why:
I’ve played with the late position player a lot, and I specifically remember a very similar hand where I raised in early position with AA, flopped a set and slowplayed it. The late position caller in this hand had seen that hand and had even commented on it after it was over. I knew that by betting out, he would at least think it was possible I was weak, whereas he might’ve been cautious if I checked it. I also had a read on the BB and I know that 1) he over-values weak Aces, 2) he will check-raise bluff with nothing or sometimes bottom pair and 3) he doesn’t seem to put enough emphasis on position, so I thought it likely he would not give me credit for Aces or even a big hand. In short, I thought there was a great chance I’d get action (especially from the BB) if I bet out, so why not build the pot?
So anyway, I bet out 3 BB (intentionally under-betting the pot to look weak), the late position player folded and the BB started talking: “Six thousand, huh? That’s a little small… Do you have an Ace? I don’t think you have an Ace.” He asked me how much I had left and I did a little acting (you know, sad and pensive) as I counted my chips and reported that I had 18K total. He thought for about 30 more seconds before he said, “I’ll put you all-in.” Of course, I beat him in the pot and flipped over the nuts. He immediately mucked and said, “I’m dead.” meaning he had a weaker Ace. I now had about 50K chips and could play some poker.
As it turned out, I wouldn’t be playing all that much poker. I reverted to mediocre cards for quite a while. I tried to steal once with A7s, but got two callers and gave up on the flop (flop was QJTr, not a good flop for that hand). I made a few successful steal attempts, one with AKs. Basically, my chip stack sort of dwindled for about 90 minutes as I played few pots and mostly got blinded down and missed flops.
We were down to seven players and I was a medium stack. There was one big stack, one very, very short stack and the other five of us were medium stacks. I proposed that we chop because the blinds and antes were very large and we were just about to start gambling instead of playing poker. I’m very comfortable with short-stacked poker, but I don’t like leaving the prize pool distribution up to the poker gods. Also, we’d been playing for six hours and only four spots were going to pay. I proposed that we split the money evenly except the short stack just got his buy-in back and the big stack got the remainder of his portion. The five medium stacks would get the same average amount. The big stack declined and I said, “Ok, we’ll just play it out then.” We decided we would play out the next level (2K/4K and there were only 280K chips in play, making the average M less than 7) and then chop it up.
Two hands later, I was in the BB. The CO raised it to 10K, the button called and the SB folded. I looked down at two Kings. I thought for a few seconds and finally moved all-in. The initial raiser didn’t take too long to fold, but the button didn’t seem to want to go away. He asked what I had left, so I counted it all out and put it in the middle. I think it’s important to note that this is very similar to that first hand at the final table where I moved in with AQ after a few limpers. I didn’t show my cards, but I said, “You guys are makin’ it too easy!” as I raked in the chips. The button in this hand was also in that hand and I know he was thinking about that hand as he made his decision. Also, he’s the player I check-raised all-in with my ten-high flush draw earlier (I didn’t show the hand, but I’m sure that he thinks I might be pushing him around by now). He said, “Well, you’ve probably got something, but I know you could be making a move here.” Basically, I got the idea that he wasn’t sure if I was bluffing and he was tired of playing. He called and showed QJo and I busted him. I now had about 75K in chips and was pretty close to the chip lead.
Immediately after the hand, I proposed a chop again. Same as before, but everyone wanted to play out the level.
Next hand, I was in the SB with 73s. Everyone folded to me and I looked at my crummy cards and almost mucked ’em till I realized who was in the BB. He’s probably the tightest player I know and he was extremely short stacked (he started the hand with about 2 BB in front of him). He had just been hanging in there for a couple hours. I literally had almost mucked my cards when I pulled them back, asked what he had left and then put a stack of chips in the middle to set him all-in. He showed 43o and mucked. I showed my 73 and made some joke about having him dominated. I shouldn’t have done that and I wouldn’t have showed my cards, but the guy to my right had seen them when I picked them up to muck them and I felt like I had to show the table. I was mostly interested in stealing the blinds and not in making a fancy move. I just knew that the BB wouldn’t call unless he had a monster, so I realized it didn’t matter what I had.
A couple hands later, the ultra-short stack busted, leaving us with five players. Again, I proposed a chop. This time, my proposal was a little different than before: we all take fourth place money ($150) and chop the rest of it according to chip stacks. Still, everyone wanted to play the level out. By the end of the level, I was chip leader with 94K (of 280K chips in play) because it was obvious people were just hanging out and waiting for the level to end so we could quit. Why not steal some blinds? I asked if anyone had any other proposals and no one did, so we chopped by chip stack. The reason I changed my proposal was that the super short-stack had busted and there were two of us with most of the chips on the table (second place had about 75K).