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Grinding away with chip, chair.... and hopefully + ROI


League Finals

By: JWK24 @ 02:25 (EDT) / 133 / Comment ( 3 )

When I first get to the casino tonight for the finals, the first thing that I do is to check to see who is left playing in the semis before I go get something to eat for dinner.  To my surprise, a number of the players that I thought were the best players in the semis are OUT.  There’s normally a couple of the better players in it that get bad beat, but not this many.  We have about $8300 in the prize pool and the top 5 get ITM with the winner getting a bit over $3700.

The seats are drawn for the finals and I start out at table 6, seat 5 and I’m hoping that I’m glued to the seat, as this table will end up being the final table.  The other thing that I notice is that the better players at my table are all on my right, which is a GREAT thing because I get to act after them!  The seats that I’m watching are seats 4, 3 and especially seat 1, some guy named Dave.  Also, instead of the normal 4k starting stack, everyone that finished in the top 10 gets a chip advantage.  For finishing fifth, I get 600 chips extra and Dave gets an extra 1000.

I start out in the SB and get a raise by seat 9 (tightest player in the league) that is then 3-bet by Dave and called by seat 3.  Needless to say, when I look down at 23o, it’s an easy muck for me. However, the fireworks are definitely starting.  When the hand’s over, Dave’s lost a large chunk of his chips when he gets AA cracked by seat 3’s KQ that hits two pair on the river (I’d have probably played it with a bit less pot-control and gone busto the first hand).  Little did I know that this would be the way the whole night would go.  Monster after monster after monster flying around the table and at least I’m getting really easy decisions when I continually look down at 2To, 38o, 28o, 23o, 27o.  I don’t even play a hand at the first 20 minute level, as I’m constantly looking down at trash hands.

The blinds now go up to 50/100 and I finally get a hand to play as I make a standard raise with AQs from UTG and am called by the BB.  The flop comes K K 8 and when seat 4 checks, I fire out a 600 chip c-bet.  He mucks and I finally (almost 40 min into the tourney) take down a pot.  I was beginning to wonder if I would even win a hand.

The blinds now go up to 100/200 and from my BB, there are two limps, then a raise to 800 by seat 4.  I look down at pocket 10’s and decide to flat and see the flop with position on him as the other two fold.  The flop is Q 9 4 and seat 4 leads out for 1200.  He’s either got a Q or overpair, so I muck.  I end the first hour with 3925 chips, down from my 4600 starting stack.  We lost 2 players (including seat 3 at my table), so we’re down to 18 left.

The antes now start at 100/200/25 and the action starts to pick up for most of the players… but not for me.  I’m still looking down at the same trash that I had last hour.  At this 20 minute level, I see 23 a total of five times, 27 twice (both from UTG) and 2T another two times.  Pure garbage, but it is making for a number of very easy decisions and a few others are starting to bust as we’re now down to 15 left.

The blinds go up again to 200/400/50 and I’m still looking at total garbage.  I do however finally see what an ace looks like, as I pick up ace/rag three times… after someone shoves!  I do however do get to see a flop from the BB for free with, imagine this, another trash hand, 49o when the huge stack in seat 2 limps from the button.  The flop comes Q 9 3 and we both check.  The turn is a J and we both check again (he’s not going away and can easily have me beat with what he’d showed before).  The river is a 4 and we both check.  I thought about betting the river, but didn’t want to give him a chance to bluff me off what may be the winning hand.  Also, since he had been playing a large number of hands preflop, I thought that by showing down a bad hand that hit a pair may get me played back at more easily… when I really do have a hand.  He turns over A4 and my pair of 9’s takes down the pot.

The blinds now go up to 300/600/75 and we’re losing a number of players (including Dave). 

We now get down to 10 left and the other table comes over and we redraw for seats. This does keep up the streak that Dave and I had the entire run of the league, as he made the FT of all of the odd numbered weeks and I made the FT every single even numbered week. 

I now do something I’ve never done before… I draw the exact same seat I’m already in?!  With the way the cards have been so far, I was kind of hoping for a seat change.  I look around to see where I’m at in relation to the other stacks and see that my stack is in about seventh or eighth, as there is another player with about the same stack as me.  Fifth stack is a little over a double-up from where I’m at with just over 3k in chips.  With this being the case and the blinds soon to go up to 500/1000/100 after the break that’s coming in about five minutes, I’m looking for any spot where I could get some chips.

I don’t have to wait long, as the very first hand, there is a raise to 1800 by the big stack in seat 3 (used to be in seat 2 at my table and was the luckiest player at my first table).   I look down at pocket 10’s and with just about 5BB left, here goes nothing, and into the pot my chips go.  I’m guessing that I’m probably in a race against seat 3, BUT, with some of the hands he’s shown so far, I may only have to dodge 3 outs as he could also have ace/rag or even two undercards.  The problem comes from seat 10, as he now shoves and has me covered by a couple hundred chips.  I’ve got some history with this player and he’s not going in light.  The range I put him on is AQ+, 77+.  It now goes back to seat 3 and he goes into the tank, why, I’m not sure.  It’s not even going to cost him double his initial bet to stay in the hand and if he’s got anything reasonable, it’s a no-brainer +EV play to call.  Even if he loses the hand, he’s still got a HUGE chip lead.  He eventually calls and turns over KQo (right in the range I put him on, mainly overcards or Ax).  The problem is that seat 10 is way, way at the top of his range with QQ.  Seat 6 now says to the table, “I mucked KQo”, so if this is true, one king is gone and the QQ can’t improve to a set.  Unfortunately for me, the board runs out with an ace and four low cards, so I’m out in tenth.

Even with the bad week in the finals, I still made five of 10 final tables and got some money back from the second place finish in week 8.  Unfortunately, one thing that will happen to tournament players is that there will be tourneys where you really don’t get any cards nor good situations and when that happens, all you can do is to try to make the best with what you’re given.  Sometimes it will work out, sometimes it won’t.

The next blogs that I will do will be from St. Louis, as I’m going to play in the Heartland Poker Tour events 1 and 3 next week on the 19th and 21st.  The first is a two-day tournament with a 15k starting stack and 30 minute levels.  The second is a two-day tournament with a 20k starting stack and 40 minute levels.

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