As expected the $215 match play event started with 2048 players. I found myself matched with "gcave777." We each started with 1500 chips, blinds at 10/20 and 15 minute limits. On hand #2 I took a small lead when I rivered an A while holding A7 against my opponent's 10 7 (he'd flopped a 10). While the pot was only 240 chips it was nice to be in the lead. It was clear from the start that go old gcave was not comfortable playing heads up. He was either betting 20 chips into 200 chip pots or betting 500 into 150 chip pots. I slowly ground him down to 1070 chips during the first 26 hands and then on hand 27 I got the rest of his chips.
He just called in the small blind (SB) and I checked with 10 4 in the big blind (BB). The flop came down 10 3 9 and I bet 40. gcave raised me the minimum and I just called. I wasn't sure what he had, but top pair is a strong hand heads up. I figured if I was behind I'd lose less, by checking and calling and I might get him to bluff off some chips if I was ahead. The turn was a queen (not a great card for me) and I check. My opponent immediately bet 400 into the 200 chip pot and I thought "ah ha!" This is not the kind of bet one would make with a strong hand. I moved all in and got called by AK. After no J's, K's or A's showed up on the river I won the pot and the match. Good thing he didn't raise before the flop like he should have. It took all of 8 minutes to win my first match.
In my second match I got unlucky and I blew it. Usually it's one or the other, but in this case I should have been able to overcome the bad luck. I the first 20 hands or so I picked up a few raising hands that turned into junk and my opponent seemed to connect with every flop. I quickly found myself down 2,000 to 4,000 (the chips and blind are doubled in round 2 - this is stupid because all that matters is the ratio of the chips to blinds which is exactly the same). On hand 35 I flipped things around when I made a full house against my opponents 3 of a kind. Then I began a long process of grinding him down. He was a pretty straight forward player who bet when he had something and checked when he didn't. This is the easiest type of player to beat, especially heads up.
After about 120 hands I had him down to 500 chips and I was already getting ready for the next round. Then over the next few hands I had him all in 5 times and he won every time. First I had A2 against his A4 and we split the pot when neither of us paired our kicker. Then I had A 10 and he had A 7 and we split when two pair showed up on the board. On my third try I had QJ, he had A 9 and he flopped an A. Then I had A4 and he had 55 and he doubled up again. This was one of the hands on which I blew it. I never should have put in so many chips with A4 when I could just take him down a piece at a time. At this point we were back to even and I was extremely frustrated. I let this frustration get the best of me and all the chips went in before the flop a few hands later. I had 99 and he had 10 10. I didn't catch a miracle 9 and I was eliminated after almost 150 hands. This was another situation where I should have been more patient and waited for a spot where I was pretty sure I had the best hand.
But I did get kind of screwed. Here are the exact percentages I had of winning each of the hands on which I had him all in. 1) 27% 2) 66% 3) 43% 4) 30% 5) 17%. It sure seems like I should have hit one of these. In fact if you put it all together statistically only 8.3% of the time would I lose all 5 hands.
Event #5 is another Omaha tournament so I'll be either taking the day off or having a normal style work day. Starting with event #6 I'll be playing 6 in a row and 8 in 9 days so there is plenty of action on the horizon. Look out for an event #6 preview tomorrow.