Friday, November 25, 2005

Another Good Run - Public MTT 11.20.2005

Hey all, sorry it has taken a while to post here again. I've been busy with in-laws, shopping, and more importantly, some poker.

I have finally gone positive not only for the month, but historically in my MTT action. I had a very long dry spell in cashing in any kind of MTT, but am now up to 4 cashs for this month, alone. And one for some decent money.

On November 20th (this past Sunday) I was on poking around on Full Tilt and noticed that a $20+2 NLHE was about to start. I usually try to stick with the $1, $5 or $10 MTTs, but thought "ah, what the hell" and registered to play.

I'm glad I did. I made my first FT in several months, and took home my second bigest cash out, placing 3rd for a $290.70 payday. That's right kids. 3rd out of 114. I should have been 1st or 2nd, but we will get to that story in a minute.

Prior to this, my biggest cash was for $480+ (don't remember the exact number) on a Limit HE $2 buy-in on PokerStars where I finished 2nd out of 400+ entrants.

So this was a significant event in my poker career. It hopefully shows a turning point in my game, as I have finally started getting ITM in some public MTTs.

I did fairly well early on, and managed to win the majority of my races. It helped that I had a big stack early on. The one thing that I have been learning and using more and more is patience. I would get bored too easily early on in tourneys, and start making dumb plays, like going up against the big stack after they made a significant raise by going all-in in coin flip situations.

I have since stopped doing this, as I realized it was the killed leak in my MTT play. Now, if I am up against a big stack, I'm not commiting before the flop, unless I am the aggressor and I have a good read. And it has to be a REALLY good read. Even then, you aren't going to do as well, but if your stack is big enough that you can make a dent in the big stack, he will most likely fold (due to FOLD EQUITY, something that I am new to learning about).

This doesn't always work, as there are a lot of donkeys out there that will NOT fold a race, no matter what. You will be able to pick these guys out easily, and watch them get a big stack, only to lose it prior to the money. This is getting long, so I'll save a Fold Equity discussion for a later thread and just talk about this MTT.

Up to the final table, I felt I played a tight, conservative, aggressive game. You can see the Hand History Here.

From the Final Table, on, I started to get more aggressive and loosen my starting hands a bit, as well as trying to push on the Big Stack, as he was a LAG. The strategy worked very well, and when we hit the final three, I managed to finally wrestle the chip lead away with a few good reads. One side note...the reads were due to the most note-taking I have done to date in any tourney. I was using notes on and off before this, but this has really made me sharped and focus my game. When we got to 2-tables, I kept the other table open to take notes on players I had not seen. By doing this, I had a good idea of playing styles when we hit the FT.

T-Bag was the LAGGY player, and had been beating people over the head with his big stack. I finally took a chunk out of him, followed by the other player and we had him on the ropes. I had 86K vs his 35K chips when I looked down in the SB to see AK off. The blinds were 500-1000, so I raised to 5K. T-bag immediately re-raised all-in from the BB. I knew this was the time to get in, as this guy made this play with anything from any PP (including 44, the lowest I saw him play) down to A9 offsuit (I saw him push with this pre-flop early on), so I called. He turned over 77, and I didn't improve.

I now had 51K, he had 70K, the other player had 50K. We went round and round for a while, until I regained the chip lead with a semi-bluff with A4 off into a board of Q 4 3. I bet it out, T-Bag raised, and I came over the top. He had to lay it down. I was back up to 62K, Bag had 61K and matt had 48K. A little more sparring, and Bag took the lead again with his LAG style. Then, the final hand. Here it is:

FullTiltPoker Game #300318396: $20 + $2 Tournament (1872795), Table 6 - 600/1200 Ante 150 - No Limit Hold'em - 13:56:57 ET - 2005/11/20
Seat 6: matt_d23 (45,836)
Seat 7: IlliniFan (57,452)
Seat 9: T-Bag176 (67,712)
matt_d23 antes 150
IlliniFan antes 150
T-Bag176 antes 150
matt_d23 posts the small blind of 600
IlliniFan posts the big blind of 1,200
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to IlliniFan [8c 8d]
T-Bag176 raises to 4,800 Okay, he raises 4X the BB on the button, again.
matt_d23 folds
IlliniFan raises to 57,302, and is all in I'm playing this to win, so I'm going to make him make the decision. I put him on Ax, or Kx.
T-Bag176 calls 52,502
IlliniFan shows [8c 8d]
T-Bag176 shows [9c Kc] Bingo. I'm a favorite, and if I win this, I win the whole thing.
*** FLOP *** [6h 5d 9d] Crap. He hit his 6-outer right away...sigh....with K9 offsuit.
*** TURN *** [6h 5d 9d] [6s]
*** RIVER *** [6h 5d 9d 6s] [3h]
IlliniFan shows two pair, Eights and Sixes
T-Bag176 shows two pair, Nines and Sixes
T-Bag176 wins the pot (115,654) with two pair, Nines and Sixes
IlliniFan: gg all
IlliniFan stands up
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 115,654 | Rake 0
Board: [6h 5d 9d 6s 3h]
Seat 6: matt_d23 (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 7: IlliniFan (big blind) showed [8c 8d] and lost with two pair, Eights and Sixes
Seat 9: T-Bag176 (button) showed [9c Kc] and won (115,654) with two pair, Nines and Sixes

I couldn't have done anything else against this guy, except wait for him to take out the other player to get 2nd and hope for the best heads-up. But this guy had been playing some really crappy cards (I had a note that he called an all-in from a guy he had covered by less than 1K chips during the money bubble time with A4 off..he was really loose).

The good news is that after I was knocked out, Matt managed to take him out. Way to go matt!!

Complete FT hand history can be found here.


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