Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another MTT Score

*****Warning! Warning! DANGER!! DANGER!! Even more Ultimate Bet Content Ahead!*****


I made another final table in the 9pm ET bounty "sniper" tournament on Ultimate Bet on Monday night, threatening to turn what was already my best year of playing online poker into a really nice year. This is the same tournament that I final tabled 10 days ago in my first stab at tournament play on UB with the new tournament structures being offered there. It's a great tournament -- it runs at 9pm ET every night, features a $109 buyin and a 30k guaranteed prize pool (40k on the weekends, and 80k on Saturdays with a $220 buyin), and it still has that great UB structure I have written so much about over the past couple of weeks. Everyone stars off with 150 big blinds at 10-20, and the levels advance so slowly during the earlygoing that at the end of the first hour, you're only up to 30-60 on the blinds, losing usually about 10-20% of the field as opposed to the 50% you are used to if you play the other nightly guarantees on the other poker sites out there.

And the best part of all about my $3474 win, plus another 10 knockout bounties on the night?

I lucksacked my way all the way through this thing. Big time. It was awesome, and lordy lordy lordy knows I have it coming to me. If I had another thousand nights like this, it wouldn't equalize me for all the shitbeats I take on an absolutely consistent nightly basis. Even UB, whom I generally am exceedingly pleased with in all the significant aspects of the online poker experience, has absolutely crushed me with bad beats over the past few days since my last score. Sure I have final tabled three times in 9 days there, but when I say I should have final tabled another 3 or 4 times, believe you me it's the troof. I have had some sick ass stuff go down just over the past week at UB in the worst spots imaginable, so last night's luckdonkery was welcomed and enjoyed by all. OK, maybe just by me. But like I said, I take the bad all day long, so I get to take the good along with it and hope it nets me some cash when it does come.

My first lucksack in this thing occurred around the middle of Hour 3. Hour 3 is where the UB mtts first start to get dicey, where the blinds are finally into the 150-300 range, where the antes kick in, and thus for the first time where stealing the blinds starts to take on a priority. It is like the end of Hour 2 in the normal nightly mtts on stars or full tilt, where making moves first becomes a priority and soon a necessity. So I was shortish, opting to take advantage of the time UB affords the patient players to wait for their spots, and as a result, I ended up reraising another short stack about 3/4 of my own stack from my big blind vs his button open-raise when I held A6o. Only leaving myself a quarter of my already short stack was just a ploy for my raise to appear stronger than it really was, as I would not consider folding and leaving myself with just a few big blinds even if I assumed I was beat by any re-reraise. So when the guy did put me allin, I reluctantly called and prepared to take my medicine. He showed AK, and the raggy board did nothing for me until the miracle 6 hit the river, doubling me up and putting me into position to survive a little longer and hope for my first big hand of the night. Dominated allin suckout #1.

Fast forward about an hour, as we are getting down near the 27 ITM positions in this tournament, and once again I find myself short-stacked, sitting at around 60% of the average stack and needing to make a move quick or risk being out of the tournament for all intents and purposes, given that I derive no pleasure or pride whatsoever from merely cashing and doubling my buyin in these things. That's not the way to win tournaments -- period -- and it's not the way I play although I gleefully play against opponents who will do absolutely anything to limp to the cash on any given night. So there I sat, short stacked, and when I limped into a 4-way pot with KTo in the small blind and the flop came T74 with a flush draw, I found myself check-reraising allin an early position limper with my top pair King kicker. Unfortunately, he insta-called and flipped up T7s, leaving me drawing essentially to just three King outs with two cards to come. Two cards later, on the river dropped what turned out to be the case King if the other players at the table can be believed, and I am proud to say that I once again squeezed victory from the jaws of defeat, due purely to lucksackery and nothing more. Dominated allin suckout #2.

Still later, as we were down to just two shorthanded tables remaining I believe directly on the final table bubble with 10 runners remaining, I restole allin on once again a short stack from my big blind with A2s against another medium stack on the button who I figured was not looking to play a big pot at this point and risk missing the final table where the payouts start at around $750 and escalate up to the $8200 and change first prize. Once again I was wrong, as my opponent flipped up AK, and my tournament survival was once again on life support. Once again, however, a Great Miracle Happened Here and a deuce on the river saved my tournament ass, much to the chagrin of the guys in the chatbox. Dominated allin suckout #3.

Now, to be fair, there was some great play mixed in there along with those three redonkulous suckouts. I had a few railbirds in the chatbox and on the girly and most could not believe how aggro I was being and the success I was having pushing people out of pots and getting in with the best of it time and again. There's just no other way to end up at a final table of a big guarantee tournament like this. Although I started off appropriately patient, I definitely escalated things as I needed to, and I did a great job of extracting chips from my opponents with my few key big hands I made on the night. Most of my reads in the crucial middle stages of the tournament were spot-on aside from my not one, not two but three big miscues, and this helped me to quadruple my stack during the critical third hour and then more than double it again in the fourth.

Unfortunately, my luck ran out in a big way with 10 players remaining in the event, as I limped from my bb with a sooted Queen against just the small blind ahead of me, and when he bet out on a Q54 flop with two of a suit on it, I went for the big pot-raise, going with the odds that at a 5-handed table there would not be another Queen out there sitting in the small blind. My stack was such at that point that his rereraise of me left me feeling essentially committed, and once again not wanting to fold my way to last place when the final table started, I opted not to fold and go with the odds by calling, to which he happily flipped up his foolishly slow-played pocket Aces. I ran into Aces three times during my run in this tournament on Monday, and was lucky to live to tell about all three of them, this being the most damaging of the bunch. I was left with just 24k in chips, a distant last place of the 10 players remaining, and thinking that my dreams of a third UB final table had been premature. But from there I fought back, stealing a couple of pots somehow by open-raising with garbage whenever it was folded to me, winning my third crucial suckout above with A6 vs. AK, and then yet another courtesy double up from someone who I guess thought I was still in push and pray mode.

Before I knew it, I was back in the middle of the pack as the final table began. The action at the final table was fast, much faster than usual given the UB mtt structures, and the first 6 players were eliminated within the span of maybe 40 minutes of play, leaving us three-handed with me the middle stack at around 180k in chips, to about 300k for first place and around 150k for the third place guy. Eventually, after a dearth of bad hands that I couldn't do much raising or calling of raises with, I raised preflop with QJo on the button and got a call from the big stack in the big blind. When the flop came down KT5 to give me the OESD, I figured I had to go with it here since I had been the preflop aggressor anyways. At the time my stack was about twice the amount that was in the pot, and rather than push in a pot-sized bet and then likely be committed with just a third of the pot left behind, I figured it made the most sense to push it all in since I was going to call any raise from my opponent in any event given the stacks involved. He thought for maybe 3 seconds before calling me down for a third of his stack with?

A8. Offsuit. Unimproved. My 13 outs twice did not hit, and IGH in 3rd place for $3474 and change. That's a tough way to go down, and I would be really annoyed about such a horrible call to get donked out of a tournament on, but like I've said, this one was one of the few, the proud, the lucksack runs that even I am entitled to have once in a while. I won over $3500 counting my elimination bounties on a night where I had to luck out when dominated multiple times just to even be alive to make the final table. I'll take it.

Oh, I should mention that my withdrawal check from UB arrived via fedex within exactly three days, just as the site promised. I deposited it today, and it looks like I will be making another withdrawal later this week as well. Assuming this thing clears, it is just another example of how UB is really going out of their way to make their mtt customers happy these days. Compare that time to get a check to what happens when you try to withdraw money from full tilt, pokerstars or Bodog these days. You wait what, a whole month? Two months? More? And then the check bounces half the time anyways doesn't it. UB not only returns emails right away and has live chat available on immediate request on its website, but at least as of now they are sending real life checks drawn on a U.S. company within just a few days. Gotta love it.

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Blogger SilverVW said...

Congrats on the score! I saw the turned quad sixes hand (or was that on the DS table?)

4:18 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I think I turned quad 6s in the DS last night. I flopped quad Queens in the sniper.

I was such a lucksack last night. What I wouldn't give to run like that more than once or twice a decade....

4:22 AM  
Blogger jjok said...

noice! hhahahaha

12:23 AM  

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