Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Secret Luckbox Powers

It was only the second blind level in the $8.80 55-player satellite on Full Tilt, and I was already all in. Fortunately I had flopped a set of Tens vs. a pocket pair of sixes, and I doubled up to 2,040 (from a starting stack of 1,500).

A few hands later, I tried to steal with 75o against a short stack in the blind. He smooth called and then pushed for only 55 more chips on a board of KT9. Whatever. I called. Then came a 5 on the turn and a 7 on the river. Runner-runner against his pair of Tens, and it was on.

This was a satellite to the $200K guaranteed tournament this Sunday. I joined it at random when I decided to open up five small buy-in tournaments at once on a whim. The top two players won seats worth $216 to the bigger tourney, third place got his buy-in back, and everyone else got nothing.

I laid low for a while, and then flopped a broadway straight off KJo to double through again.

That would be one of the last legitimate hands I would show down for the rest of the tournament.

It was crazy. It's hard to remember if I've ever run so good as in this tourney, when I repeatedly got in with the worst of it and sucked out.

I should have known that things would go well when I picked up the Kuro (6-3) off the big blind on a flop of Q-6-3. A short stack pushed with AQ, and I was happy to call and win.

I cruised along, winning hands with top pair and stealing blinds when I could, but mostly I was enjoying my stack while it lasted. It slowly shrunk, and before long, I wanted to make a move.

So at the 250/500/50 level, a half stack raised all-in to 3,300, and I decided to push 6,910 chips with AQ. He had AA. Woops.

That was alright though. I luckboxed the nut flush on the river when four flush cards came on the board.

The game got much more challenging at the final table. Knowing that only the top two places were worth a damn, the small stacks reverted to a game of survival while the big stacks raised and re-raised at will.

I was one of the short stacks. I would need a big hand if I wanted to stay alive.

I fell to 7,255 chips and felt like I had to get back in the game. It was five-handed, and the big stacks were running me over. I had to channel the donkey poker gods by moving in with K6 when it was folded to me in the small blind. I ran into AK. A King fell on the flop, a Queen on the turn ... and then a Six on the river to give me two pair! Saved by a two-outer.

When the blinds got to 400/800/100 and there were four players left, I had fallen back to 7,000 chips after folding to several all-in raises preflop. A big stack raised from early position, I pushed my remaining chips with AT, and he called with 99. I caught an Ace on the turn and a gutshot straight on the river for good measure.

Even then, I was still one of the two small stacks against two large stacks. Fortunately, I know how to be a push monkey.

I had good position to stay alive, which was my only goal. When it got to three-handed, I stole most of the time when I had the button. For the most part, I just played my position and waited for big hands that never came. I didn't need them.

Perhaps the deciding hand of the tourney came when I had 14,660 chips and raised with 98o from the big blind vs. an obvious player who had limped from the small blind. The flop brought 445. He checked, I bet 4,000 with nothing, and he folded.

That was enough. From there I avoided any dangerous situations and slowly built my stack based solely on preflop play. I didn't even want to play postflop unless I had a monster.

It didn't take long for the other short stack to ram his two pair into the big stack's flopped straight.

These tournaments are funny because the prize is the same for the last two players, so there's no reason to play for first.

We pushed in for about eight hands, and as luck would have it, I ended up with every one of the 82,500 chips in play.

If I have this kind of good fortunate in the big tourney on Sunday, I won't have any problem.

6 comments:

cc said...

Excellent job. Maybe you've been playing too right for too long.

Victor_Enriq said...

Yeah! I aggree with cc there.
You shouldn't be surprised of getting all in on the second blind level. With many tourneys (the goos ones at least) being around 12-25 minutes levels, you need to build quickly.
I always try to get myself in the situation of "double or bust" because when it all comes down to a crapshoot I want to have some sort of stack. I havent played since I won the tourney last week, but I think I'll be back tomorrow.

By the way that "2 outer"... I thought the deck had 4 sixes in it... I guess I was wrong!
;)

Victor_Enriq said...

I meant good tourneys and 12-15 minutes

cc said...

Mark--

Just finished an interview with a pro from Santiago. I'll let you know when it's up on Linda's site.

TripJax said...

Nice job man.

I played one of those Friday night / Saturday morning.

78 players total...same deal where top two got tokens and 3rd got money.

I came in 3rd.

Damnit!

Easycure said...

Where the hell was I? Sorry I missed it. Great job and good luck on Sunday!