Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Generous Man Am I

Tonight, I made another visit to Rascal's casino, a nearby cardroom that holds a nightly tournament with a good structure by Washington standards. It's no deep stack extravaganza, but with 5k chips to start, it's not an immediate shove-fest either. This is the same place where I scored my first live cash the last time I was there, not to mention Cayne's first live tournament victory a few weeks prior to that.

I've adjusted my game the more times I play this tournament. Most of the players are calling stations in the early levels, so despite the quickly rising blind levels, I usually play pretty tight early on. I didn't win a single pot during the first three levels, but not that I had much to work with either. The best hand I saw preflop was A7o OOP, and the only time I called a raise preflop, I missed with sooted connectors.

After the first break, I was entering all-in mode. I took a small pot when I pushed out some limpers with A8 sooted. It wasn't the best hand, but I knew at least one of the limpers was observant, and he mentioned after the hand he would've called someone else in that situation, but not me since it was the first move I made all night. I kept nursing my stack until, at the 400\800 level, I shoved 66 UTG for 5500 total. A shorty called me for 4k, and two of the other stacks agonized over folding AT and KT. I held up vs the shorty's QJ on a T high board. Thanks for the folds, guys!

That hand put me at 10k and at the final table, but I still had work to do with blinds soon doubling to 800\1600. I couldn't find a hand before the blinds hit me, and with 7500 left, I found my make or break hand: AdKd. Unfortunately, I was faced with a UTG limp plus an all-in from the second biggest stack. I knew I was up against a pair, and considering the action, I could very well be dominated, but I couldn't fold a hand this big. Luckily, I was in better shape than imagined. The big stack had TT, and the UTG limped tanked then called with...22. The flop was all unders, but more importantly, all diamonds. No miracle runner-runners, and the flush put me in 1st place with 8 left.

The increasing blinds turned medium stacks into shorties, and I took one of them out with 55 vs QJ when my presto turned into quads on the river, then a few hands later my AK bested a shorty's A4. I was a dominating chipleader, and used my big stack to pressure the rest of the table. Three of the stacks were easily down to M's of less than 3, yet folded nearly any time I raised their blind. It also helped that I was showing some big Aces a couple times to keep giving them the impression I had a hand.

When down to 5 players, everyone started talking chop (actually, the chop take started at 8 players. Everyone at the table wanted to chop for $75 each so they could go play a cash game. Fuck that idea.) With such a big lead and the only one not that affected by the blinds, I held out for a while, then agreed to let 4th & 5th get their buyin back. This knocked first down from $285 to $255, a small concession but I didn't really mind.

Once we were down to 4, the other three started talking about a chop again. I was warming up to the idea because the blinds would soon be increasing to the point where, even as chipleader by about a 2:1 advantage over 2nd place, I would soon be down to only 7BB myself. However, they wanted an even chop, and I wasn't about to split the pot 4 ways when two of the stacks were nearly down to 1-2BBs. I suggested they all take 3rd place money, and I take $200. Two were OK but the woman next to me didn't believe in anything other than an even chop. I felt I was being generous as it was and refused. Not only did I have the bigger stack, but I was easily the better player, and 2nd place was a strong probability for me. I was willing to concede a bit due to the structure, but not that much.

We played a couple more hands then finally came up with an agreement. The suggestion was $190 for me, $125 for her, and $115 for the rest. In retrospect, I should have suggested that her additional $10 should have come from the other two players, but at the moment, I was only thinking about two things:

1. I have no job; $190 is a nice prize at this point
2. I already lost $50 earlier at Pai Gow; I'd hate to play this out and only walk away up $15.

So I caved in, and apparently the extra $10 was enough for the woman to cave in as well. I didn't win the tournament outright, but I ended the game with the most chips and the biggest prize, so it's good enough for me to call the night a victory! I walked out with $110 profit in my second straight cash in a live MTT.



At February 11, 2009 at 2:54 AM, Blogger PokerNovice said...

Hey Matt,

Just read your blog for the first time...I can relate with alot of your post...anyway just wanted to say cheers and I linked ya on my blog

Hope to see ya at the tables!



At February 11, 2009 at 7:14 AM, Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Nice job with your win and great recap.

At February 11, 2009 at 10:15 AM, Blogger BWoP said...

Congrats on the cash!


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