Sunday, July 12, 2009

(almost) Every Hand Revealed

I played the $50k guarantee ($75 buyin) on Pacific this morning (3:30am), courtesy of a free ticket. I managed a pretty deep run, and was actually chipleader at a few points. Sadly I made a few bad errors and had a difficult run towards the end, and ended up with a min cash of $140. This was sadly a long way short of the $12.5k 1st prize that I was aiming for.

I suspect my lack of NL tournament experience showed at times, and in general I did run good in the early to middle stages. I'd be interested in some expert comments.

Here is pretty much the whole tournament laid bare. These are the key pots (all pots where I won or lost 10 or more big blinds). Starting stack was 5000, 10/20 blinds, 20 minute levels.

Individual hand comments:

35: This was the first hand of the tournament. Gotta love flopping two pair and turning a boat. The river bet was an attempt to look bluffy by overbetting the pot. It's tough to get good value so early.
JTdd: Getting busy in late position here. As you can see, the play was pretty retarded for a $75 tournament. Incredible that he can go bust with a single pair here.
54o: Another two pair. This time I am probably giving the flush draw too good a price, but I wanted to keep the pot under control with such a vulnerable hand. The donk bet on the river was a dead giveaway - I probably would have value bet significantly more if he checked to me.
TT: This is probably my limit play getting the better of me. When an overcard flops my pair, I like to raise the flop and see a cheap showdown. I think this early I should probably give the flop donk bet respect, as the players are generally pretty obvious. Dropping so much on the hand was pretty poor, but I was suspiscious of the small bets.
QTo: Getting busy on the button again, and again it works out well. I probably could have got better value out here. Turn check was an attempt to get him to lead the river, but maybe I just need to play straightforwardly and extract maximum value from his K or A.
35hh: Middle pair on the flop, plus a gutshot on the turn. I thought the combination of the turned ace and the rivered pair and flush made it a good spot to bluff, but it didn't come off. I think he folds without an ace.
J9cc: Pretty straightforward. Is there any point in value betting this river? I suspect not.
QQ: Another nice hand. Should I bet the turn? I figured the pot was big enough to get a decent value bet in on the river anyway.
TT: A monster hand, which basically set up my run. It's a cooler for AA, but A2dd got what he deserved.
KQdd: A bit cheeky to fire the second barrel here, but it worked out ok. I shutdown if he calls, obviously.
JJ: Always getting it in versus the shortstack here, and run good enough to river my two outer.
J6dd: Just got drawn into this hand, and hit the wrong outs on the river. I don't really think I could have played it differently.
A8o: Weird hand. Scary board, but the minbets on flop and turn made it pretty clear that he had nothing. I might have folded a bigger river bet, gutshot being the only real possibility for a good hand.
TT: A lot of limping on this table. I liked to punish this tendency from late position. Villain was short, so race was inevitable.
JQss: I should explain that asbo was the megafish on this table. He open limped any two cards, and liked to donk any flop and often followed up on the turn and/or river. But he often folded when put under pressure. After the turn raise, I have to credit him for a hand, and just call for my double belly outs.
AJcc: Overcards plus flushdraw I figure good enough for this allin checkraise. My equity was certainly enough unless he has a set or big pair. I saw a lot of light calls during this tournament.
KQo: Did I mention that asbo was retarded? He claimed this was a bluff gone wrong, but that does not explain his final call on the river. He copped a lot of shit from the table after this.
AQdd: Huge, huge hand. Flop and turn were obviously semibluffs. The river 2.5x pot bluff was just completely inexplicable. I just couldn't put him on the backdoor flush, and surely sets would have done something smaller sooner? Whatever, it was a big call and put me into the tournament chiplead. The guy gave me shit about it for ages, basically calling me a fish for calling his retarded bluff, but whatever.
AQo: Did I mention that asbo was retarded? Yeah, I guess I did. I'll isoraise him all day, and float his inevitable donk bets liberally. Amazingly, he was still building a big stack by pushing the rest of the table around with these obvious and repeated bluffs.
A7o: Isoraising the fish again (the rest of the table were pretty weak, notably the BB here). My top pair is good 90% of the time here. Turn raise, because my kicker problem went away. Unfortunately it came back on the river. Cest la vie.
AQcc: Muppet from previous hand. Shortstack shove is quite likely to be air, but if not my pair outs ought to be good.
JQo: Detecting a pattern here? I like this button raise, especially when it folds out the other limper and leaves me with asbo once again. I had seen this river bluff so often, this was an instacall. After this hand, I hit my peak of 80k in chips which put me comfortably chipleader, with maybe 150 players left.
88: To be honest, I should find a fold here after the limp-reraise from the very tight player. But I figured he might have AK often enough that it was worth calling the short shove.
AJcc: Should probably fold the flop checkraise here. This guy hadn't got too out of line. Turn bet was obviously too big to go fishing for a flush. But part of me still thought that he had air and was just making a play against my presumed blind steal.

After that hand, there was a hell of a long time where I picked up nothing. Very little preflop, and nothing at all to play beyond the flop. Few opportunities to steal (or none). Worse however, I was moved tables leaving my megafish and assorted weak tighties behind.

KQdd: Preflop is fine. On the flop I just need to fold with the guy behind me. Raising was asking for trouble, and I got it. Shut down once he called my raise.
72o: Nice hand to bust out on eh? Flopping top pair is all very nice, but I probably shouldn't push it with four players seeing the flop. The raise is questionable to say the least. Once AAMERICK shoved over the top, I recalled the KQdd hand and figured he could be making a play recalling the same hand. The bet size certainly looked like it didn't want to see a call. Daft way to play a set, but perhaps an even dafter way to play 72o. Note in my defence: I had been playing for over five hours by this stage, having woken at 3:30am to play.

It's notable that I went from 200/400 to 800/1600 (6 levels) winning only one hand of note. So if my early tournament was a heater (you bet), then my late tournament was probably a cooler.

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