Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Midnight Tournament @ Bay 101

Just got back from the bay 101 midnight tournament. I had so much fun because from beginning to end was straight up poker with the exception of mid-levels where short stacks had no choice but to push all-in preflop. I think I busted out around 6 players. Kept to my small-ball strategy, but added a bit of semi-bluff aggressiveness as well. Not to mention my reads on people were awesome.

Here are the highlights: Stacks start out with 10k. Blinds at 100-100.

Early Levels:

I played 3 hands on the first level that chip me up nice.

On the very first hand, someone min raised and I called with J 9 suited.
4 people to the flop. (800 chips)
Flop came out: 10 Q 3. This gives me a gut shot.
Check. Someone bets 300. I call. (1700 in pot)
Turn is a 9. Check. Check. I bet out 800. Fold and original raiser calls. (3300 in pot)
River card is a 8. I got my straight and guy bets out 1200. I raise 2400 and he calls with AQ. (8100).

I'm chip leader!

The very next hand. Same guy re-raises to 400. Someone calls and I call with Q 9. (1200).
Flop comes out: 9 A 2. Guy bets out 600, player folds and I call for some reason.
Turn is a 9. Guy pushes all in and I instantly call. He shows AK and river was no help.

I'm massive chip leader!

Few hands later, I get dealt AJ of clubs. Bet out 300. 2 callers.
Flop: 7 9 3. Check all around.
Turn: J. Someone bets out 400. Guy behind calls. I re-raise to 1200.
Guy folds and player behind calls.
River: A. He checks and I bet out 2200. He calls. I win.

I'm ultimate chip leader!

The hand that put me at over the top was when 5 players called a 4000 raise. I call with pocket 6's because of pot odds. I flop a set and bet out 8000. Guy behind goes all in with top pair and I call to win.

I'm super chip leader! About 80k in chips.

Funniest poker hand:

Blinds 600-800
Two short stacks push in with AQ, AJ and I have A4 in the big blind and had to call 4k more. Flop comes out with a 4 and that's the end of that. I become a hero.

Late Mid-level:

Lost some big pots with missed boards. Staying with my small ball strategy, avoided race situations and folded AK, 44, 22 and KQ to all-in pre-flop bets. They all turn out to be good folds.

Soon, many others at my table bust out and chip up to nearly my stack. Two new shorter stacked players enter and one goes all in and other calls. I look down at pocket queens and call.

AQ (20k) & J5 (6k) show. River gives AQ player a flush and I take a big hit.

I'm down to 40k in chips and become short-stack at 400-600 blinds. Average stack at my table: 70k-100k in chips.

Final table:

Couldn't climb back up after the hit, but still made it to the final table with only 25k in chips. With blinds at 2000-4000. I was running low and blinds were approaching. Pushed all in with pocket queens and big blind calls with 27 suited. Wtf right? Flop gives him a flush draw. Turn pairs his deuce and river misses him. I double up despite all his outs.

I'm big blind and push with AQ suited. Little blind calls with J 9 and loses. I have 60k in chips, which was still short stacked. From here on out, most of it was all-in pre-flops and the only raisers were the chip leaders.

Down to the last 7 players, I bust out with KJ to someone's AQ.

I'm 7th place out of 58 players who enter. Bubble prize was my buy-in back.


All in all, this tournament was super fun, despite the fact that it ended at 5am for me and I went to work at 9am. My table had to be some of the top players of the tournament and toughest, because 4 of us ended up at the final table together. This proved to me that I can play.

My first two tourneys I played at bay 101. I was super-tight and played predictable. Never really tried to outplay and always stayed low stacked or average. This time I came in saying to myself "I want to be deep in chips early or leave early".

I love how I played tonight and no longer have doubts about small-ball strategy. If I hadn't gotten unlucky with pocket queens, I might have taken it down. I played most of my connectors, but also folded a lot of them thinking they were more valuable later in the tournament. Yet, I found it harder to call connectors mid-level, because I didn't want to commit myself. So, note to myself.

WSOP, watch out.

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