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Christxof

A dumb blog of a terrible player. What more do you need?
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/Dec/2013

The Live Tourneys Strike Again!

By: Christxof @ 02:25 (EST) / 309 / Comment ( 0 )

Tonight, seeing as how it's after Christmas, I went back to my local casino to play one of the Friday night tourneys - these ones are different than the old ones, having deeper stacks, a $100 buy-in, and a longer blind level. I've played it a couple of times before, and I always liked the slower pace. Well after tonight, I can confirm I'm probably never playing these weekend night tournaments again, for varying reasons: NOT because I sucked, oh no, but rather because:

1. The tourneys recently had a structure change - the stacks are now even deeper and the blinds are now 25 minutes long instead of 20. This means it's easily at least 6-7 hours before the final table, and the game starts at 7:15 PM. This goes WAY beyond what I stay up till, even in worst-case scenarios. I even had word that the Boxing Day tourney, which was the start of the new structures, lasted until 3:00 AM from a starting 8:00 PM the previous night, which is insane. I'm not even sure I'm going to be playing at all anymore with that kind of late structure.

2. The prizes aren't big enough to invest that sort of time. We had 51 players tonight, paying out 5 places - top prize got about $1500 - 15x the buy-in for such a long tourney isn't worth it in my view.

But I digress, I'd like to talk about the tourney.

With the new structure, starting stacks were insane - if you include the $5 add-on for 2500 chips, we started with 500bb each. I've never heard of such deep starting stacks. Because of this, suited connectors and small pocket pairs had AMAZING implied odds - I even raised utg with the former one hand in the first level, although I whiffed.

I actually had several interesting spots in level two, when the blinds were 25/50. Other than several pocket pairs that missed their set-mine, I had K-Jo twice - the first time there was a 6x raise utg, so I folded KJ on the button. The second time, a later position raise was behind me. I decided to 3-bet light instead, and although he called, he folded to my c-bet when I hit middle pair. Managed to chip up thanks to this.

I also managed to learn a lesson from a previous occasion - after raising with A-Jo, I fold to a 3-bet. I didn't do this once, and it cost me my tourney.

Level 3 (50/100) was boring. I only had one hand, which was stealing the blinds with A-Jo again. But one guy two seats to my right did limp to open in the hijack with pocket Jacks one hand. He was quite loose, even compared to these guys.

Level 4 was the first level after the break. With blinds at 100/200, I'm at about 55bb. Because I knew that players started tightening up in later levels, I opened with 8-7 of hearts - a bit loose, but I thought I could play it. I got a couple of callers, but I flop a flush draw. My semi-bluff worked, and I chip up to over 63bb. I also had pocket 9s at one point in the small blind, and managed to take chips from several limpers.

Then I made what I think was a mistake now. I raised with A-Jo (again - 3rd time within 100 minutes!), and got two callers (button and small blind - both were very passive fish). Board was 5-6-4 rainbow. This is actually pretty wet for these two callers, but I c-bet anyways. Big mistake - both players called. Turn was a 3, and I check-folded when they started to play against each other. They had 7-5s and 7-4s, respectively. My c-bet was a mistake on such a wet board.

Level 5 (150/300) got more interesting. I got down to 36bb after I raised with A-Qo, got called by two guys (including one of the fish from last hand), and flopped only a gutshot draw. I check-folded, and the fish showed that he flopped top pair with A-K.

But then, a big hand happened. With a few limpers, I get pocket 9s in the small blind again. I raise standard to about 1650 (3 limpers before me). But then the big blind suddenly shoves 35bb over me. I had seen this guy play - he was VERY loose, playing tons of hands, but also didn't raise that often. I had him covered by only a small bit. I thought about it for a while, but I eventually called.

He had A-7o. The entire table was shocked that I made the call with pocket 9s, but I was pretty sure I was ahead of his range with how spewy he was playing. Even better, I flop top set and turn a full-house, sealing the deal and climbing me up to 75bb - almost double the starting stack.

Better yet, with A-Qs a few hands later, the fish from earlier min-raised utg. Because I didn't think he was calling a 3-bet, I just flat-called. One other player called, and we see a flop - A-Q-6, all diamonds. I wasn't totally sure how to play this board, but the fish checked to me. I made a probe-bet of half the pot, which he called. At this point, I decided to fold the turn if he bet, and check-fold the river if there was another diamond. There was on the river, but it got checked down, and my A-Qs on a 4-flush board was good against A-Jo.

Level 6(200/400) was NOT good for me. Against the same fish from earlier, I raise with K-Qs on the button. He calls, and I see a very dry flop - J-7-4 rainbow. I c-bet, but he calls. Because of this, my original intention was to check-fold the turn unless a K or Q showed up, but another card did - the 9 of clubs, giving me a flush draw with a gutshot straight draw. So I fire a second barrel with this huge draw. He calls again. The 9 river is a terrible river for me, so I check it down, and the fish shows 10-7s for a pair of 7s. I muck, and the fish claims he would have folded if I had fired a 3rd barrel. I thought that was bull - a calling station like that isn't folding to a river that pairs the turn. But I bluffed off 6k because of this, and I'm down to a bit more than 40bb.

The only other noteworthy thing happened one rotation later, when I raise A-10s on the button. The guy who limped to open suddenly raises me. I fold, and he shows pocket Aces. Good to know - he's one of those "tricky" jerks who think they're all that. Looks like a hipster too. That's good to know.

I was totally card dead during level 6 (300/600), meaning that after the break and the start of level 8 (400/800), I'm down to 16bb. But fortunately, a few hands later, I get moved to a new table, directly to the left of one regular I know, a Hispanic gentleman named Emilio. Emilio isn't a great player, but almost no one at this casino is. He shows his cards before folding quite often (usually just to his neighbours), and likes doing a bit of trash-talking in jest. But I was glad to be to his left.

I managed to chip up to 23bb after raising with A-Qo and A-Ko to steal some blinds and limpers. I then had an interesting hand against Emilio. He limped to open the small blind with a bit more than 10bb, and I just decided to check my option with A-8o. I flopped an ace, made a min-bet, and he folded and showed Q-10s, saying he probably should have shoved. If he had shoved, I'm not sure if I would have called or not. It's an interesting spot.

A few hands later, though, I bet pocket 8s. But a 30bb stack 3-bet shoves over me. This time, because I had no reads on the guy, I had to fold, and I'm under 20bb again, although I did steal a bit more.

Level 9 (500/1000) was my last level. I stole quite a few more blinds with big Aces. But I was still stuck around 15bb (starting stack was 12.5bb). I manage to get A-Qo in the hijack and open for a 2.5x raise. Then the overwhelming bigstack raises to 8k. I had decided beforehand that with 15bb, I'm getting all the money in with A-Qo if I get 3-bet. So I do. The bigstack calls and turns over pocket Kings, and I get no help. I'm out in 24th place after 4 hours of playing.

To be fair, the bigstack was probably the best player I had seen so far - he was never limping to open, and was raising very well (although some of his isolation shoves against short stacks were quite large). I hope he did well, but I didn't stick around.

In conclusion, I'm not playing this tournament again. It's too much time for a very small chance for a very small payday. Maybe I'll consider the cash games instead - they tend to be juicy.

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