More poker goodness

Fresh off of my amazing streak last night, I entered a couple of MTTs this morning. One was a 45 person, $1 buy in, the other was an 18 person $1.50 buy in. I didn’t play particularly well in either one of them, but I was able to cash in both. The 18 person one I finished in fourth, which was just enough to cover the buy in, and possibly buy a soda if I could get one for about .45 cents. I did a bit better in the 45 person one.

Here I must note that I am generally much better in single table sit and go’s than I am in MTTs. There is just something about getting moved from table to table that seems to keep me from getting into any real rhythm. Today was no different, but the distraction of having the 18 player tourney going for the first half of the 45 player one kept me from really paying any attention to who was at the table anyway.

At about the same time as I busted out of the smaller tourney, the larger one went on break. It seems almost sad really, that I am risking a buck for the chance to win as much as $14 and it takes well over an hour. Hell, it seems even worse that I actually only cashed $4, and that was after just under two hours of play, but I do have to learn how to play in an MTT before I dive into one with bigger stakes.

My best starting hand of the day, and what turned out to be my best call of the day, came just after the break. I had aces in the small blind and bet 3x the BB. I got three callers on it, which was better than I could have hoped. Better, that is, until the flop came up with a pair of Queens and a 2. Under the gun pushes all in, and is quickly called by the other two still in the hand. Seems pretty clear that at least one of them has a Queen, that or a pair of 2’s, and either way I was fucked. I had about half of my chips in the pot at that point, but it was just so clear that my aces were no good that I had to lay it down. Once everyone was sufficiently all in, we got to see their cards. One guy did have the pocket 2’s, and he was the last one to call. The other two hands were A-Q and K-Q, both of which went down to the full house of 2’s and Queens. Now, had it been me that made the play with the pocket 2’s, the turn would have been a king and the river an Ace, just to make doubly sure that I lost to everyone, but what are you gonna do.

The next hand, I got an A-4 of diamonds on the button. Again I raised, but only to half of my now meager stack. Got two callers. The flop was K-Q-6, all diamonds. I pushed all in and both of them called. They both had me more than covered at this point.. The turn and river were garbage cards, and the other guys just checked to the showdown. I only got to see one of their hands, the other guy mucked. The winner of the side pot had a K-Q, but no matter, I tripled up.

It took an hour and a half to get to the final table, and only the top seven were paid. Three of us had over 10,000 in chips, while three had under 3,000. I took advantage of being one of the big stacks by stealing damn near every pot for the first couple of orbits. I had just taken the chip lead when someone finally called my raise and caught me with a 4-7 offsuit, which was just about the same hand no one had called me on in the last ten minutes. I had to fold to his all in call, so at that point I lost a lot of credibility. I wasn’t able to steal much of anything after that because every time I tried someone would call. And when they did call, I never got any help on the flop and generally had to lay them down on the flop or turn.

I did get to bust out the guy in 9th place when I was in the big blind with an A-8 suited. We were at the flop, which had come up 8 high. There was a possibility of a straight, but only if you were in with a 4-7 offsuit. This guy was on the button, so I assumed that wasn’t what he was holding. But he was also the short stack, and I had TPTK. Unless he was holding a pair, which I think he pushes in before the flop from the button, especially when he is short stacked, I should win the hand. I call and get to see his A-7 offsuit, so I have to sweat just a bit as I wait for the turn and river to be anything but a 4 or a pair of sevens. My hand did hold out.

Nothing much happened until it was down to five left. Four were hovering around 14,000 chips, while I was right around 10,000. The blinds were 600/1200, so it was just folding and more folding. Then we came to a hand where I was in the big blind with a 7-8 of clubs and everyone was in the pot. Over 6,000 in the pot by the time it gets around to me, I decided to double it up to see how many of them really wanted to be in the hand. Only one called, but that pot was now at almost 10,000. I got one club on the flop, and a gutshot straight draw needing a 9. I decided to make my stand, which probably wasn’t the best decision. Hell, who am I trying to kid, it definitely wasn’t the best decision. I pushed and he called with a 10-J, pairing his ten. My only hope was the gutshot straight or a runner runner flush. Neither of which happened, so IGH in 5th.

Still, I think I am getting a lot better at the MTT format. I haven’t actually won one yet, but I sure am getting to the money a lot (for those who actually consider a buck to be “money” that is). If there was more money on the line, I would like to think that I would have just called my way into that last hand, then folded when I didn’t hit a pair on the flop. Of course I can’t actually be sure of that until I am in that position, but the fact that I knew that it was the wrong move to make even while I did it makes me think that I probably could have resisted. The difference between 4th and 5th in my position was only a dollar. Had I been in a ten dollar game, that difference would have been ten dollars. I took a huge gamble for a dollar for the slight chance to double up and take a crack at winning the whole thing. In a ten dollar game, I think I would have listened to my gut…I hope.

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