I like to play small ball when it comes to poker, as detailed in damn near every post I have made regarding the subject. Well, I finally took down my first MTT. That is if you have a very loose definition for the “M” part of it, oh and the second “T” part of it. Okay, more technically accurate, I took down a two table SnG. Come on, people! Baby steps.
I was greatly aided in my effort when, three hands into it, I had a J-6 in the big blind, and four people were in the hand. The flop was a Q-J-6 with two clubs. I bet 120 at it (the pot at the time), figuring that someone probably had top pair, and I was sure someone was on a flush draw, but I didn’t think it was likely anyone had two pair; the other blind folded pre-flop, so these guys had to actually choose to be in the pot, of course if I wanted to think way too much about it, it was also possible that someone had pocket queens, jacks, or sixes -however unlikely it was. Anyway, the next guy in line called, the next guy raised 120, the guy after him called 240, and I pushed. Two out of three called. What were they holding? One had A-7 of clubs and the other had 9-2 of clubs. Both on a flush draw, and at this point we already know where 7 of the clubs are for sure, since I also have one and there are two on the board. The one guy paired his two on the river, but I made it out of it okay.
Now a question. I can understand the guy with the A-7 flush draw calling that one, but if you are the guy with the 9-2 flush draw, do you really call when two people are already all-in in front of you? I suppose that is a bit rhetorical.
So, just like that I was to over 5,000 in chips. Boy the game is a lot easier when you have such a (comparatively) big stack. But even with the big stack, I still didn’t raise pre-flop. Instead, I knocked out people one by one by calling their all-ins. I didn’t lose a showdown until we got to heads up some time later. I didn’t take any screenshots while I was playing, but I just looked at my stats for the tournament and they were as follows:
You finished in 1st place (eliminated at hand #5262853304).
84 hands played and saw flop:
– 11 times out of 22 while in small blind (50%)
– 11 times out of 23 while in big blind (47%)
– 6 times out of 39 in other positions (15%)
– a total of 28 times out of 84 (33%)
Pots won at showdown – 16 out of 19 (84%)
Pots won without showdown – 8
The stats are a bit unrealistic though, since there were 20 hands played during the heads up, and the only losses I had at the showdown were when we just checked it down. Similarly, the pots won without showdown were (I think) exclusively won when he folded from the small blind in the heads up.
In a comment to a previous post, I mentioned that I don’t want to control the game, I just want to win about ten hands, to get to the money. I also said that if I called from a position other than the blind, it was likely a hand that I was willing to go all in with. In this one, I called six times when I was not in the blind, and I in fact did go all in on every one of them (or called someone else’s all in, usually). I won every one of them. Only once was it really even a suckout, when I called the short stack who pushed with A-8 when I was holding K-9. He got an ace and I got a king on the flop, I got another king on the river to suck it out. I didn’t really want to call with the K-9 but I was the last one with a chance or the short stack gets the blinds uncontested. Come to think of, I was in the small blind on that one, so nevermind.
Anyway, I played exactly six hands when I wasn’t in the blind, and they were all huge wins. Each one either eliminated someone or absolutely crippled them. That’s the game that works for me.