Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Good Month, New Car, & a Big Score for the Birthday Fish

September has been going very well so far. I've settled into a comfortable routine, have played sufficiently well, and have been winning steadily. Up about $1000 so far in HU SNGs.

I also got a new (to me) car, with help from my parents. Its a 2003 Honda Civic with a book value of $8,220, for which I paid $4,800 at a small dealership in a nearby town. Or, I should say, my parents paid, whom I now have to pay back.

Which should be pretty easy at this point, thanks to a massive score in a $33 MTT I played yesterday. The 14th was my 26th birthday, and as it turned out, my mom needed a ride to the airport for an early flight, so I got up at 5:45 (!) to take her there. Not having anything to do until about 5pm, and not being able to resume sleeping due to my caffeine intake, I had planned on playing the $22 Deep Stack at 8:15am (birthday tournament!), but (as fortune would have it) I was one minute late to register upon my return to my dad's apartment. Disappointed, I browsed the other tournaments running that morning, looking for one with a nice, slow structure, and it seemed the next best option was the $33 500-cap $10K GTD, so I registered for that and began play at 9:20.
For the first few hours, my tournament was uneventful. I didn't see many playable hands, and didn't get much action when I did play. When the bubble drew close, I had just enough chips to squeeze into the money, which I decided to do, as $50 would be a nice bonus to the morning's entertainment, and I had so few chips that a double-up would accomplish little. When the bubble finally burst at 54 players I was in the dead zone, with about $6k (2.5 BBs) left. I managed to put some chips together though, and around 45 players doubled through to a respectable stack of around $30K (M~9). A turning point hand came again when I made the nut flush in a 3-way pot, and with ~80K the final table was now a very real possibility. I continued to nit it up, playing only solid values and preserving my place around the average stack (my nittiness meant that I got very little action when I did raise, and was usually ahead when I got a call). The field played down to the final table surprisingly quickly, and before I knew it I was 6th of 9 remaining and guaranteed at least $250 for my morning's fun. As a medium stack I decided to continue to play conservatively and allow a few shorter stacks to bust before making any big moves. To my delight, they obliged me, as did a few of the other medium stacks.

Suddenly we were 4-handed, and I was guaranteed $1,200, by far my biggest tournament score to date. Here the play became tougher and much more tense, as I was forced to play hands and fight to hang on. I had become the short stack by a large measure, having between 100K and 150K out of the 1.5M on the table. The bigger stacks fluctuated somewhat, but for quite awhile even the second shortest had more than double my chips. As the blinds went up, I took to jamming any pair, bigger aces, and some broadway hands, and took a few pots by limping my SB and betting the turn. After what seemed like at least an hour, I had managed to build up to 350K after winning a flip and also being fortunate enough to pick up AQ against an opponent's AJ. An altercation between two of the other players soon left one at 180K, after his TP lost to a flush draw. This guy's stack shrunk further after he raised 1/3 of it preflop, then folded when I jammed (A6s) from the BB. The next hand he jammed 33 but ran into the BBs KK, and suddenly there were three. At this point I had begun to get walks in the BB, which helped to keep me alive as the other, larger stacks tangled. Eventually one of them was brought down to about 200K, at which point the chip leader began to apply the pressure with his 1M stack. This was the real endgame, and at 300K I had a choice; I could play back at the chip leader, risk busting in 3rd, and hope to double through to have a chance at playing HU with a 2:1 chip deficit, or I could allow the short stack to take the gamble first, and hope to make 2nd with a larger deficit. I opted for the latter, and soon the short stack's QTo lost to A5o to put me heads up, but behind 5 to 1 in chips. I pulled out my Nash table, but a streak of unplayable hands soon put me out in 2nd as my jammed J8o ran into the chip leader's AK and lost out. I took 2nd for $2,137.50. Sick!

All in all this was an excellent way to spend my birthday. Though I was very lucky, and won several flips, I only really got my money in bad one time, when I jammed T8s and managed to win out over KK.  So, seeing as how I'm a total MTT fish, I'm pretty satisfied with how I played.

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