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Session 1A - 1C

By: FireSpace35 @ 08:53 (EDT) / 73 / Comment ( 0 )


It was quite scary going in and playing SnGs with only 2 buy-ins. Even though it is true that I had nothing to lose, I didn't want to waste the $.5 and have to start from scratch. I played 25c 45 man SnGs for all 3 games I played.

I played my first two tournaments yesterday. I guess it is pretty obvious by the title that I cashed in at least one of them. Anyway, playing my first SnG, I was extremely nervous and wasn't sure what to expect. After all, I only played freerolls previously and that was horrifying. (Hated how people frequently called all-ins with gutshots and no overs and amazingly sucking out) I started off pretty well, managing to increase my chipstack by a-third in the 2nd hand. I thought my opponent played it badly, not protecting his top pair on the turn with 3 diamonds. (In fact, I don't think he should have been in the pot with A/4 after a UTG+2). Of course, I hit a diamond on the river and had the nut flush, and the opponent called my bet on the river with 1 pair (no diamond) so free chips are always nice to get. I had a really luck first game, drawing out at times when it was extremely critical. I ended up managing to go HU with a 5-1 chip lead and I took the top prize for the first time. I was very happy and so with my ego boosted, I tried another SnG. I think pokerstars understands the concept of retribution so even though I was playing (admittedly) quite well and was playing a lot of hands as a favourite, I experienced many coolers and suck outs for the whole game. I finished decently, but failed to get in the money (11/45). 

I played another SnG today and my horrible luck continued. I started out okay, not getting any hands but not losing a lot of chips either so I was around the average of the pack. When the field thinned to around 11 people, I had two horrible cooler situations (almost in a row). The first one was where I had pocket 5s in the BB. The CO raised 3BB. I defended my BB. I hit a set on the flop and checked it, thinking that the opponent would make a C-Bet, but he didn't. So the turn came a 7 and I bet 60% pot, and got raised all in (3X my bet). The 7 only completed a gutshot straight draw which I thought was unlikely so I called the all-in and I realised I was against a set of 7s. I didn't suck out and lost 20BB. Then I had my second cooler, where I lost 13BB and the very next hand, I was down to 1.02BB. I kind of gave up hope and did the blind shove UTG, but doubled up. (up to 3BB) I picked up Js the next hand and shoved again and doubled up again to 7BB. And picked up an A-X on the SB the hand after so after everyone folded, I shoved (yet again) and got a fold. So by that time, people assumed I was bluffing and just anyhow shoving but I did kind of have valid hands. Either way, I managed to steal a few blinds for the next 20hands or so and amazingly, I was on the final table, in 5th (but with 17BB). I doubled up shortly after in a coinflip and became the 2nd chip leader. At that point, I was already very proud of myself for my comeback (thank my change in luck for that as well). Then came the hand which changed the whole match.

I had played a lot of hands with the opponent (including the one where it was set-over-set). The opponent had asked me a few times whether I was bluffing (cos I was shoving a lot) and I think pretty much didn't trust my bets a lot. However, at the same time, I learned through talking to the player that he plays a pretty tight style (except for the fact he defends BBs); just folding most hands during the bubble / ITM and playing only A-Broadway, Pairs, Broadway cards. So this hand played out and at the river, I was extremely confused. I took around 45 seconds to think through it and ultimately decided to call which changed the whole game afterwards. So here is the hand first:

I was C-betting a lot, so I assume that's why he called. And since he has been relatively tight, I thought that the opponent definitely had a hand on the flop (which he didn't) and therefore checked the turn, trying to induce a bet on the river. It didn't happened so I bet the river and he checked-raised me all-in. At that time, this just totally confused me. On one hand, the opponent knew I was an aggressive player but at the same time, he was playing very tight so I was worried that he had rivered a straight. After all, his hand range was very wide since he was defending his BB (which he did almost 100% of the time) I ultimately thought that it was just too unlikely after reviewing the action in my hand and called. However, I am curious to know what others think of the action. If you were in the same situation (and knowing all about the playing styles of the opponent), would you still have called knowing that any straight or set still beats you? 

Anyway, as I said, that totally changed and with 6 players remaining, I had half of the chips in play so with not (too) much difficulty, I won my 2nd SnG.

I was pretty happy with my play on all 3 games, though as I reviewed them later on, I realised that there were parts I didn't play optimally. I finally experienced how bubble play is like (in the Open League, the 1440 bubble is where 40+ people are lost at one shot) and also managed to practice my semi-LaG style which I found very effective towards the end as many players were very tight and did not want to get involved in pots. From these 3 games, I think that for this level SnGs, the best way is probably to play tight until around 2 tables are left and start to loosen up and steal blinds. I'll continue working on the bankroll challenge and hopefully, I'll learn even more and gain more free money! 



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