Well, last night I didn’t think I would get to play any poker as I was quite busy. I finished for the night around 11PM EST and was about to head to bed when I decided to just hop on PokerStars really quickly and look around (even though I had absolutely no intentions of playing). Well, I checked out the tournaments page first and saw one of the $0.10 Turbo MTTs seating, and I figured I’d waste the 10 cents to get maybe 10 minutes worth of playing in. I came in with the attitude of basically screwing around, playing pretty loose, but not ridiculously.
As it started out, I was a bit bored and since I knew I would be playing for a few minutes, I decided to play some limit as well. Recently, I’ve been on a little losing streak of about $250. This has been coming from $2/$4 short handed, even though I vowed to give it up. Those tables are like an enigma to me. They keep drawing me back in. Well, Monday night, I lost my buy-in at a $2/$4 6-handed table, well $79 out of the $80 I brought. This pissed me off because I just played terribly.
When I went back on Wednesday, I was looking around and saw one guy sitting at a $5/$10 6-handed table. This is above my limit, but I wanted to play heads-up, and frankly, I wanted to win some nice money quickly. I know that’s pretty greedy and stupid, but what can I say. We’ve all been there. I sat down and played $5/$10 while I was playing the $0.10 MTT. It started off slowly, both of us mostly folding pre flop.
I took down the first sizable hand (basically the first hand that went past the flop) which put me up about $25. About 5 hands later, I got KJs and raised preflop at a now 6-man table. I got maybe two callers and flopped a flush draw with a gut-shot straight draw, and still one over card. First out bet on the flop and turn, which I called. Not the best chase, but not terrible. Well, I hit my straight on the river and took down a healthy pot, putting me up $76 total. I shortly after that hand to basically void my previous $79 losing session.
Back to the MTT, I played fairly well the entire time. A few times I made some questionable calls, but 1) I had a gut feeling on all of them, and 2) I wasn’t worried about busting out. On the 5th or 6th hand, I got AA and more than doubled-up. About 10-15 hands later, I got AQs, went all-in preflop, got two callers both with worse hands than mine, and held them both off to triple up. From then on, I never looked back and stayed on the leaderboard of top 30 in chips the entire tournament.
About 5 hands after that, I got 66 and called a player’s all-in, then I got another call. I had them both covered, but one only had about 150 chips less than me. One had AK and the other A3. Neither hit and I jumped to first place in chips with 20,000+. From then on, I just kept winning and winning and winning. I’m not sure if I ever really lost a hand. Probably the most critical hand of the tournament, a real turning point for me, came maybe 15-20 hands after that. I was on the button with K8s.
I really wanted to play this hand and just had a good feeling about it. I had 34,000 chips and UTG went all-in for 24,000 chips. I called. If I would have lost, I would be in pretty bad position as I would probably be under the average stack, and with turbo blinds, I’d get eaten up. Well, my opponent had AJo. Flop was all low, neither of us hit. The turn brought a second diamond, giving me a diamond flush draw plus still the potential of winning with a pair. The river brought my runner runner flush to boost me well above the rest of the field.
Again, I just kept winning and winning after that, constantly building my stack. The break was shortly after that last hand, and in the first three hands of the second hour, I had AKo and QQ. Both I won nice sized pots on (both all-in preflop against dominated hands). I forget exactly how things panned out after that, but I just kept playing and kept winning. I never paid any attention to how many players were left until I looked and suddenly saw there were just 60 remaining.
Again, I forgot about the number of people and it got to just three tables. Then two tables and I was still kicking butt. I was no longer the chip leader constantly, but I never dropped below 4th and was basically 2nd or 1st until the final table. With two tables and at the final table, I stole pots like crazy. I just kept raising pre flop and raising preflop (at the right moments, of course, when lower stacks were in the blinds), and no one would call me. With the turbo blinds, the blinds had already reached the maximum fairly quickly, so steals really helped my stack.
Players kept falling at the final table and my stack kept building. I think the entire FT, I was second place, until 3-handed. I made it 3-handed when I knocked out a nice 3rd place stack when I raised preflop with Q9s, for about 200,000 chips. He went all-in for another 300,000. I decided to call there. It wasn’t a fantastic call, but I had been playing like that the whole tournament and was feeling lucky.
He had a weak ace, I hit a queen on the flop and won the hand, taking chip leader in the process. I struggled a little with the 3rd place finisher. He was like a NIT that wouldn’t go away. Every time I tried to put him out, he had just a better hand than mine. I probably doubled him up 3 different times, but also won a few decent pots off of him, as well as the last hand before heads-up.
I came into heads-up very confident. I knew I was a much better player than my opponent. There was no doubt in it. He started off extremely passive. He would fold his SB (which was his button hand). Then I would either call with my SB and bet the flop when he checked to me, or just raise preflop and take the blinds. This only went on for about 10 hands before he caught on though. Then he basically went insane.
My preflop raises were about 3-4xBB, never more. His were probably 7xBB or higher, usually all-ins. Most of the times I would raise preflop with heads-up raisable hands (like QJ, Ace Rag) he would go all-in and I’d be forced to fold. I got a little frustrated, which is probably the worst thing that can happen, and began to play fairly stupidly. At one point, I got down to about 500,000 chips to his 2,600,000. I should have been out when I reluctanlty went all-in with A7o. He called with AKo.
I never hit a 7, but I was able to hit a miracle 4 on the river to chop the pot with a straight. After that, I came storming back. He was basically rasing every hand to steal my blind, which he should be doing when I was so far down. I was lucky to get AKo and double-up against his AJo. This put the chip deficit to only about 1,000,000 to 2,000,000. Right after this beat, he went on a rampage of going all-in preflop every hand.
I guess he just lost it, or, probably, was just an extremely inexperienced player that didn’t understand how to raise preflop without betting huge amounts. Once again, I unfortunately got frustrated with his playing and called one of his all-in after he reraised my preflop raise. I had A4s and he had KQs (of the same suit as mine). I figured I’d be ahead at least preflop, but if I lost, I’d be out. Well, I flopped an ace and rivered a set, giving me the chip lead again. Again, he went crazy and started going all-in preflop a lot. I finally called again maybe 7 hands later with 33. Yes, another loose and fairly bad play, but I had a decent feeling. He had reraised me all-in with K7o, but he never hit, giving me the win.
I only took down $40 for the win, but the money was never on my mind. All I cared about the entire tournament, even from the first hand, was getting a win. And I did. I beat out 2082 players in a game that lasted just over 2 hours and 30 minutes. Usually, the turbo tournaments eat people alive with the blinds, but they were never ever a factor for me. Not once did the quickly rising blinds hurt or scare me and my stack. It felt nice to finally get another MTT win, even though I haven’t been playing many MTTs lately. This was my 4th final table and 2nd win. Also, the night was a fairly profitable one, making nearly $120.
One more note on my limit playing lately. I’ve been very swingy and inconsistent at the short handed tables. This is probably the main reason I need to stop playing them. When I was playing full tables, I was a pretty consistent winning, but here, I feel that I either win alright or lose big, which just isn’t working out. I need to fix some things there and get back on track. The obvious solution is to stop playing short handed altogether, which I’m trying, but if I can’t, I need to try to play much smarter poker and not make so many silly mistakes like I have been.