Friday, January 29, 2010

Another Nice Tournament Score

So I've mentioned a few times this week about the UBOC tournament series running over a ten-period period over on UltimateBet. As you know if you read here, I do love the software, the players and especially the tournament structures at UB, with deep stacks and just generally more skill-favoring, slower blinds escalation than at any other major online poker site. By a mile. Even in the non-deep-stack events end up having better stacks and more time to play than most other online mtt's available today. So I've dipped my toe in to several of the UBOC events this time around, for the first time I have ever played in UB's version of FTOPS or WCOOP, and one that I was really looking forward to was UBOC #4 last weekend, the $120 buyin, 30k guaranteed sniper (bounty) tournament. I play the nightly 9pm ET sniper mtt with a $120 buyin most nights I play on UB, and it is one of my favorite tournaments out there and one I have had a lot of success in, so naturally this larger version of my nightly favorite immediately attracted my attention. And, while I'm too lazy at this point to do a full recap post for this run, here's what I ended up with last Friday:

So, it was $4758 and change, another awesome score, and now my second score in under two months in a major online poker site's periodic tournament series, building on last month's 27k win in the Mini-FTOPS on full tilt. Plus, I also managed to score 18 bounties by the time all was said and done -- as with my live bounty tournament win a couple of weeks back in AC, I was chip leader through most of the last three hours of this tournament -- for another $360 in bounties bringing my total cash over the 5k mark in Friday night's UBOC 30k guaranteed $120 Sniper Event.

All that said, as I mentioned I was the chip leader in this thing for most of the last few hours heading up to the final table, having built a massive stack when I made a straight on the turn against one guy's flopset and the other's pocket Kings when they both decided to bet and call tiny bets and easily priced me in for the draw based on pot odds alone, let alone the implied odds in a no-limit event like this. I lost the chip lead heading into the final table, but I got it back at some point around halfway through. I recall at one point I fought my way back to the chip lead again with 5 runners left. 25 minutes later, I would exit, out in 4th place, leaving 12k on the table between my payout and the 16k first prize. How did this happen to me again?

I've looked and looked and re-looked at my screen shots from the final table run, and I think my problem here is best attributable to an incredible run of bad timing when down to the last half of the final table, after about five hours of having great timing with my bets and raises to be able to survive this late along the way. I've written a lot about the importance of having great timing in any large-field nlh tournament, but so much of mtt success, especially late in tournaments, comes down to not pushing into the guy with Aces, or top pair, or AK, and not running any monsters into higher monsters, which are always crushers in final table play. But halfway through the final table in UBOC 4, over the span of 25 minutes, I raised preflop and then was forced to fold to an allin reraise before the flop 7 consecutive times. That's never good. UB is deep, but nowhere is it that deep that you can literally raise preflop and then fold to a reraise without even giving yourself a chance to see or win a flop after seven consecutive failed raises. I could not believe it, and this after raising pretty much with reckless abandon for over 7 hours to even have survived anywhere near this far (you don't eliminate 18 shitdonks without betting and raising a lot and mixing it up quite a bit). But two of those 7 raises were standard button-steals from me with two low unconnected cards, both of which were easy folds for me rather than risk calling off a big stack on. Two of them were also button- or cutoff-steals with decent cards -- one with KTs (I folded to a reraise from a guy who despite being a little short had not pushed his entire stack in for more than an hour and was clearly just in holding-on-for-dear-life mode), one with KJo (I knew the reraiser held an Ace, and at the time he had just under the number of chips that I held). And the other three were also standard preflop raising hands for 5 left at the final table, one A6o in early position, which I folded rather than call a large allin reraise with a likely dominated hand, and two were 44 and 77, also both easy raises pre in this spot but neither of which did I have any interest in calling an allin reraise with and then racing or being dominated for most of my stack. It was just a terrible run of I think the right play preflop and frankly the right play by me to fold as well, but it took my chip-leading stack and turned me into the short stack over the span of 25 minutes without me having any chance to even play some poker or see a flop to show for it. And as the short stack, I ended up raising a guy allin on a 9♠5♠3♥ flop with a flush draw and an over when I held A♠7♠, my opponent made the pretty much mandatory called with pocket Kings, I did not hit and IGH in 4th place.

So again, 5 large is 5 large, and to have the opportunity to make that kind of money from this game and have such a great time doing it -- knocking out 18 people from a single tournament is always a good time in my book -- is awesome of course, no doubt. But once again I find myself more angry than pleased with the result, as half an hour earlier I had been chip leader with 5 left and in line to nab 16 grand and change for first prize, and then boom, out in 4th for "only" 5 grand.

It's a good consolation prize to be sure. But I need to keep focusing on turning these 4-figure scores into 5-figure scores if there is to be any chance of me stepping up my game from here heading into 2010. It's been a great January so far for me poker-wise, but just one or two big wins here is what separates a good month from a good year in poker profits.

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Blogger KrazyBangs said...

Nice job Hoy. Even if its not the top spot, your finishes show a great amount of thought and focus and you are rewarded for that.

12:34 AM  
Blogger PokahDave said...

You are truly locked in....nice run....

12:49 AM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Good job, congrats.

3:08 AM  
Blogger Fred aka TwoBlackAces said...

Again, well done! You know I know the feeling, but still very nice run.

Now, let's go for the gusto!

5:32 AM  
Blogger Schaubs said...

If I had all of these cashes I would brag like you fo' sho.

Nice work dude.

2:35 AM  

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