Friday, September 07, 2007

Another Run at Riverchasers

One thing I've been loving about all the big blonkeyments getting double stacks at some point during the BBT is that now I can really pull a Hellmuth and show up late to almost every one of them without it really mattering too much. I mean, even at 1500 starting chips, it didn't matter much if you show up, say, 20 minutes late and your stack is down to 1420 or something. But it's really no biggity to walk in like I did on Thursday night about 20 minutes late to the Riverchasers tournament now that it starts off with 3000 chips, so when I came back late from hitting the bars after a longass day of work, I slid right in and was only down to like 2955 chips as I got things going.

I started off bluffing like crazy as per usual in Thursday's Riverchasers tournament, since I got almost no actual cards to work with. I did get dealt QQ once within the first 30 minutes of the tournament, my one truly playable starting hand, and naturally a King-high flop fell. But after the flop and the turn checked around, I bet out on river and won the pot. Otherwise, I got no good cards, and won a number of small pots with just bluffs and steals. What else is new.

My first big hand happened about 30 minutes in and it went down at the expense of fellow blogger Garthmeister. Stlphily had raised the 50-chip big blind to 175 from the cutoff, and after he had spent basically the entire tournament stealing in probably 90% of the chances where the action was unopened to him in late position, I put basically no credence whatsoever on that particular raise, so I called with my KQ from the button, as did Garth in the big blind. The flop came KQ7 rainbow, and when stlphily led out for 450 into the 700 chip pot, I figured right there to minraise with my top two pair, a hand I will often slowplay with but in this case I figured why not vary a bit with a minraise and see where that can take me. Well no sooner had I clicked the button with this minraise that Garth was in there over the top allin:

Stlphily folded quickly to all this action ahead of him, and check out my chat to Garth in that image above. I basically knew what he had, knew I had the non-set nuts, and had to do some quick math before I decided that the likelihood that Garth was actually behind me plus the 4 outs I would have even if he did have the dreaded set of 7s was enough to get all my chips in with top two pairs. To be clear this is not someting I would have done even with top and bottom pairs or bottom two, but with top two pairs and the chance that I was ahead even now to AK or K7 or AA or something like that, I felt the call was the right move, even openly suspecting I was up against a flopped set. So I called Garth's allin, and he did in fact have the 7s I had feared:

But the river came down one of my four outs, and I was off to a big stack early thanks to a little bit of luck:

Not knowing for sure that Garth had the 7s, I don't actually think I played this hand too badly. I think the real man move is to lay down the two pairs there to the likely set, but since I had one of each of the top two on the board, I felt it sufficiently unlikely to be a set other than 7s, and with my extra redraw outs anyways, I think I make this play again. But the real man lays it down on the pocket 7s read I think. In any event that was how I got started off to a big stack earlyish in this week's Riverchasers tournament, and it was one of two suckouts I came up with on the night in the tournament.

The next hour saw me bluff and steal my way along to retaining my big stack and even growing it just a bit. I saw my first of a number of AK's in the tournament during this time, with which I managed to bust HappyHarry50 when he tried to take the JackAce up against my big slick. This hand helped me enter the first break in 5th place of 29 players remaining (44 total runners started the event at 9pm ET).

I started off Hour 2 trying to continue my bluffing ways, but twice in the first half hour I got caught. Once it was a no-name guy who raised me allin when I moved on the turn after a checked flop, and in that case I quickly laid down my Ace-high hand. A second time about 90 minutes in, it was Alan again raising my bet, this time on the flop, and once again I had to lay it down before I got involved in a big pot without a big hand. That was one of my big strategies that I executed so well on the night, especially for a blonkament -- I never let myself get busted with nothing on a pure bluff. When I got "caught" betting or raising with nothing, I slowed down, never once putting in one more bet after getting the vibe that I might be behind in actuality on the entire night. Well done me. That right there is the secret to winning no-limit holdem IMO. Steal those small pots, but don't go broke with nothing in them. Last night I played this game to perfection, doing a ton of stealing and bluffing but not getting busted in a big pot without a big hand.

I mentioned earlier that stlphily was going absolutely crazy with the steal-raising, so he became a target of mine for resteals, as in this hand, where stl folded to my reraise:

Simiarly, I continued stealing as the second hour of Riverchasers came to a close, which I continue to state here for the record really is the only way to survive and eventually win these blonkaments -- or just about any mtt for that matter -- unless you're a luckbox, which I can honestly say I basically never am. You just have to take a hand with some potential when the action folds to you on the button or the cuttoff, and stizzle with it:

J8s? Check!

98o? Check!

These sorts of moves basically kept me afloat all through Hour 2, leaving me in 8th place of 13 remaining at the second break. I had 8430 chip, while Kat sat in first with 20,845. So I knew I had my work cut out for me to even make the final table let alone the cash (top 5 of 44 would be paid).

About 20 minutes into Riverchasers Hour 3, I reverse hoyed shamanalix with AQ on a QJ3 2s flop, and he called allin with T9o for the oesd, which did not improve on the turn or river. This elimination vaulted me up over 16k in chips for the first time in the tournament, into 3rd place of 11 remaining. This was a big hand for me in retrospect, as it got me into a much better chip position relative to the other remaining players than I had been previously, and it all stemmed from a 65% hand holding up for me against shamanalix.

A few minutes later we made the final table, with me solidly in 4th place of 9. Nowhere near the leaders, but measurably above the smallest stacks as well. This is a great place for me to be heading into a final table, where as I've mentioned here previously I often try to play a little less recklessly and a little more close to the vest at first, to let some of the short stacks drop out and to try to get into a good position to double up against one of those more desperate stacks. So for example, in contrast to some of my steals and resteals above at a time when I was more willing to be a little reckless earlier in the event, this is how I like to resteal early at an mtt final table:

So early on here at the final table, where it pays to not play so crazy for a bit, I try to pick a good, strong hand with solid showdown value and move aggressively and strongly against a middle position opener who by virtue of that position is likely to be weakish. I was actually hoping for a call here in this spot above -- he folded. The thing that's so strong about this move is that my opponent, unless he's playing donkish, really has to fold even middle pocket pairs if he cares about surviving to the money here.

More stealing at the final table, this time a semi-standard move for me with any Ace in the cutoff or on the button:

And here's another huge resteal for me:

The above is a good example of the evolution of my aggression as the final table wears on. Here you can see we are already down to 7 players left from the original 9 at the final table, and in this case TATA on the left side of the screen had been stealing so consistently, so repeatedly any time she was given the chance that I felt I had to make a move here, if for no other reason than to show myself as someone who can't just be relentlessly pushed around. She folded (thankfully), leaving me in 3rd place of 7 remaining as we neared the bubble at 6 players left in the tournament.

And here, nearing the bubble, is where Evy35, apparently a friend of Al's, absolutely blew up. First she found AA at the final table and knocked out gator845 in 8th place. Then she called allin against another largeish stack with her 77 vs his JJ, and promptly flopped an oesd and then turned trips! And then there were 6, and we were officially on the bubble.

I kept stealing as many pots as I could, enjoying seeing others picking up the elusive final table pocket Aces, and managed to maintain my position as the 6 players jockeyed to avoid being the guy on the outside looking in when it comes to the cash payouts for the Riverchasers tournament. Eventually, though, when I found my best hand to that point at the final table in AQs and Evy had open-minraised from middle position ahead of me, I pushed allin and actually felt indifferent to whether I wanted a call or a fold here. Unfortunately, Evy showed me this:

So that's two pocket Aces at the final table now, and I'm about to head home on le bubble. But then the flop brought me my second of two big suckouts on the day:

and we were back in business. Two suckouts in my favor, and two suckouts against me on the night in the latest Riverchasers tournament, but this one was huge against the definite table luckbox outside of this particular hand. And suddenly, I was right up with the biggest stacks, slightly in 1st of 6 left and finally not so much in danger of bubbling out of the tournament any longer. It's a gross way to get there, but I'll take it.

Eventually a few hands later saw RakeFeeder busted when he open-pushed with T3o and got called by A9 from Kat's button. I had made the Riverchasers money again! I was in 2nd place of 5 remaining when the bubble burst on the night, with Kat back in the lead with 36k in chips to my 30k at the time.

Here is me continuing to steal as the final table wears thinner, again moving in for a standard raise amount with a hand with potential on the button:

Unless you're a serious luckbox, if you want to win mtts with any consistency, I've said it before and I'll say it again, you're just going to have to steal, resteal and steal some more. That was me last night, and basically every night I play in these blonkaments that we all love so much.

Here was another funny hand:

That's right -- now the third pocket Aces for Evy at just the final table! That is some seriously unreal rng shit right there. Fortunately, while I was complaining about this redickulous luck with the pocket Aces, I managed to pick up pocket Aces of my own (my only AA or KK of the tournament, mind you), and I busted Kat when she got it allin preflop with me with her Hammer. Somehow my Aces held up, and we were down to four players, with me again in the chip lead with 59k to 51k for Evy to 12k to 9k for the last two players.

Meanwhile, Evy's sick final table luck continued, as check out this highly dubious call:

and then her reward for this play:

Yeeeech. But now I was in front with just 3 players remaining. I lost my chip lead a few hands later when PouringReign and I got allin preflop with my Ace-high against PR's King-high, but trip Kings on the flop did me in and knocked me briefly down to third place of the 3 remaining players.

About 7 minutes of 3-handed play later, I made this check-raise on the flop with what I figured to be the best hand and a good spot where PouringReign might be willing to push in with any of a few possible draws:

PR eventually called with this hand, after asking if I was the one with just a draw (I did not respond), and I held on to eliminate 2nd place:

So Evy and I entered heads-up play at this week's Riverchasers tournament at basically a dead heat, 66k - 66k in chips. Of course with the way the final table had gone for her to this point, I'm busy seeing flashes of the 12-year-old in my head, and just hoping not to see a repeat of that abomination of a night for me. Luckily, I would not have to wait long to get it on with Evy. On the very first hand of heads-up play, I ended up making the 4th-nut flush on the turn, and after I checked the turn and it checked back to me, I made this recockulous overbet on the river, hoping to elicit a call from what I felt sure was a worse hand than mine at this point given the action from Evy on the hand:

As I mentioned, only four hands could beat me at that point, and I felt very sure that Evy did not have a higher flush than mine given the passivity with which she played this hand, and some of the more aggressive betting I had seen from her in other spots throughout this final table. Just like a hand I played at 1-2 cash with Fuel55 a few months ago that I wrote about here, I opted to take a page out of Sklansky's no-limit holdem book and figured I should play this hand as if my opponent had either a middle flush or possibly had made one of a few possible straights with the cards on the board that might be enough for a tired player to run with and call off her stack.

Well, it worked:

That overbet trick has come in handy on a couple of occasions for me when I think I have concealed an actually strong hand that I am sure is ahead, and where the board is such that I think it is possible that my opponent could be slow playing some (lesser) good hand already as well. It worked for me there, leaving Evy with just 400-some chips to my 131k.

Here is the last hand for Evy's last 440 chips:

and I had taken down another Riverchasers tournament!

The best lesson I can take from this particular event, and from my three Riverchasers tournament victories this year in fact plus the one 2nd place loss to the 12-year-old, is to drink up for this thing. Last night was probably the drunkest I've played a blonkament in several months, perhaps since my last Riverchasers victory, and I plan to continue that trend heading into the next several blonkaments in the coming weeks. As usual, if possible I will plan to play in Kat's $1 rebuy Donkament tonight at 9pm ET on full tilt (password is "donkarama" as always), where hopefully I can continue my return to a winning streak after taking down the Dookie on Wednesday and now another Riverchasers tournament on Thursday. So what if I'll never win a Mookie, right, who cares?!

Labels: , , , ,


Blogger Rake Feeder said...

Nice write up of the Riverchasers tourney Hoy. Congrats on taking it down.

1:06 AM  
Blogger AlCantHang said...

Nice job! I knew I left it in competent hands.

1:45 AM  
Blogger stlphily said...

Good job. I won't lie, I was hoping your butt was busted on that ks full hand. You made it difficult for me but I really enjoyed the challenge. Btw, i was only stealin 50% of the time, u were just coming over the top 100% of that 50% and never on my good hands. Had me talkin to myself. Peace

2:29 AM  
Blogger katitude said...

congrats on the first Hoy! Glad I could help contribute chips to it *grin.

'Twas for, for sure!

3:46 AM  
Blogger katitude said...

freaking typos...

'twas FUN for sure!

3:46 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home