Thursday, September 10, 2009

WCOOP Event #18 ($320 8-game mixed) Recap

For those of you following my twitter updates you already know the results, but let me fill in the details. As a reminder we were playing a mix of 8 different games with the game changing every 10 minutes and 6 players at a table.

We started with 5,000 chips and 999 players. Like I mentioned in my last post I almost went down the tubes early. At one point I made a bet on the turn in limit Omaha with a shaky hand and my opponent could have put me all in with a raise. Instead he folded and I had about 2,000 chips.

I slowly built those chips up to 18,000 and then I had a hand that changed the course of the tournament for me. We were playing NL hold'em with blinds of 150/300 and I got dealt QQ on the button. A player raised to 900 in front of me and I thought about reraising. Instead I opted to call and try to trap my opponent. Normally I'm not in favor of smooth calling with QQ like this. In fact I'd argue it's a bad play in most circumstances, but for some reason I just called.

Everyone else folded and the flop came down ten high. As I expected my opponent bet out something like 1,500 and I raised him to 4,500. Without hesitation he moved all in and he had me covered.

Yikes! I'd spent all this time grinding out a nice stack in these limit games and all of a sudden I was facing a decision for all of my chips (I had about 12,000 left behind). You can't make it in poker if you play like a pussy, so I called and my opponent turned over AK. It was actually a strong play on his part, but in this case he fell into my trap and I was up over 35K.

The average stack around this time was around 20K so I was in very good shape.

A few hands later I was faced with some tough decisions in the pot limit Omaha. I got dealt AA97 and came in for a raise. In PLO if you have AA in your hand you're ahead of any hand that doesn't have AA in it (with a few very specific exceptions).

One player behind me called my raise and the flop came down J 8 2. Normally I'd bet the pot here, but for some reason I checked. I was in such good shape, we were down to about 250 players (144 spots paid), my opponent had me covered and I just didn't want to play a big pot out of position. It turns out if I'd bet right there I would have won the pot. Instead my opponent checked and the turn came down a ten.

Now I had the second nut straight. Only a hand with Q9 could beat me. I bet the pot and my opponent just called. The river paired the 2 which meant in addition to Q9 there were a ton of full houses that could beat me too. I checked any my opponent fired out a pot sized bet of 10,000 or so. This was either a bluff or a full house and I thought a bluff was more likely. I decided to call and he showed me AQTT for a full house. Oops! After that hand I was in 93rd of 249.

But I made a comeback in the next round which was triple draw. The goal in triple draw is to make the lowest hand possible, aces are high, and straights and flushes count against you - the best possible hand is 2 3 4 5 7. The blinds were 400/800, a player in early position raised to 1,600, got called, and I called in the big blind with 2 3 8 K K planning to throw away my two kings.

On the first draw I got a 6 and an ace. To my delight the initial raiser drew 3 cards! It is nothing short of a terrible play to come in raising from early position and draw 3 cards. The other player took 2 and feeling like I might be in OK shape I bet out. The 3 card draw raised and the other player called.

On the next draw I chucked my ace and caught a 5. Now I had a strong made hand. Both other players took one card and then the action was back on me. I bet and the 3 card draw raised me again and again got called by the other player. I wasn't going anywhere, but I couldn't reraise.

I stood pat and to my delight they both drew again. This time when I bet they both folded, but by that time the pot was over 20,000 so I was happy to have it!

When we made the money I was in 39th place of 144.

I was really up and down, up and down after that. I was up to 50K then down to 25K. Then, way way up all the way to over 130K. I got there by winning 3 pots in a row and 5 of 10 overall in the limit hold'em. I got good cards connected and made he max on all of them. That put me in 3rd place of 82.

I was steady for a while as other players dropped. With 47 players left I was in 7th place and at some point I was in 2nd overall.

Then I started the slow drain. I was down to 100K and then 70K and then down to 45K with a third of average. I slipped all the way down to 10K and was in last place with 30 players left.

We were playing razz and I doubled up once. Then I doubled up again. We were playing 8,000/16,000 so the 45K in my stack wasn't exactly enough to work with, but it was almost 5 times what I had 3 minutes before so it looked OK to me!

The I got dealt A 5 2 and was up against A 6 2. He caught a K, 4, 6 and an 8 making him an 8 low and I caught an 7, A 4, and an 8 making me a 7 low. I just bet, bet, bet until all the money was in on 6th street and was happy I made the best hand.

Now I had 100K and was in business. I cruised through the first 10 hands or so of the 7-card stud maintaining my stack. Then I went on an insane rush.

In the biggest pot of the whole tournament for me I started with JJ in the hole and a king up. I raised the bring in to 8,000 and the player to my left (who I know from the cash games is a very good 8-game mixed player) raised me to 16,000 with a queen showing. I just called.

In 4th street he caught and ace and as I called out loud for a jack, that is exactly what I got! Little did I know that my opponent had started with A K Q and just made a pair of aces! I just called his bet on 4th street waiting to pop him on 5th street.

Which is just what I did when he bet out again. He bet 16K I made it 32K, he went to 48K and I went all in for 56K. All he had was that pair of aces and even though he made two pair on the end, I took down the 172K pot!

They were all small, but I won the NEXT FOUR pots! Now I was up to 240K and in 8th of 22! Not bad given I'd just been at 10K not long before.

What followed was nothing short of a major collapse. I didn't do anything wrong per se, but I went down the tubes. You don't want to hear about that do you?

I finished 18th which paid $2,520. Obviously my best result of this years WCOOP and while not a final table or an insane payday, still very satisfying.

I was thinking this would get me about even for the WCOOP, but I was wrong! I'm actually still losing $1,193 for the series - $328 in the main events, $215 in second chance tournaments, and $650 in satellites. Not quite even, but better than I was doing before!

No tournaments today. Tomorrow a pair of NL hold'em tournaments - $215 with rebuys, and $320 semi turbo!

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