Thursday, September 09, 2010

WCOOP #11 ($320 Ante up) Recap

The way this tournament structure works is the blinds stay at 5/5 for the entire tournament (effectively no blinds) while the antes (which start from hand 1) increase.

The reason I LOVE this structure is that half the players seem totally unable to use their brains. By level 5 (still in the early stages) the antes are 50 per player per hand. That means that there is 460 in the pot before any action has taken place. If you call the 5 chips preflop even at a crazy aggressive table you have a shot at winning those chips.

I'd say 1/3 of the time we were taking the flop with no raise. You'd think with those kind of pot odds everyone would call the 5 chips and see as many flops as possible.

Even when the antes added up to thousands of chips in the pot, maybe half the players at my tables were folding for 5 chips before the flop! This tournament was one of the two or three I was most looking forward to because I remember it from last year (I went a little deep in the money then) and they only run tournaments with this structure a few times a year.

We started with 1,789 entrants with 5,000 chips each and I got off to a crazy good start. I turned a set of aces against a set of nines and took out one player and then flopped top set against TWO players who went nutso with draws. About 2 hours into the tournament I was in 1st place with 30,000 chips and 1,000 players left.

I felt sure I would just cruise into the money, but then I hit a major speed bump. I came in for a raise with A5 of hearts. The antes were 100 a player and I made it 600 to go. The big blind who had 17,000 chips to my 27,000 (both big stacks) called and the flop came down 9 8 6 with two hearts.

My opponent checked and I bet 1,500 into the 2,100 chip pot with my flush draw- gutshot-overcard. He took it to 4,500 and I figured he probably paired the 9. Thinking if he didn't have more than one pair and knowing I'd have outs no matter what he had I dropped the all in bomb without hesitation. He called with surprising speed.

When the hands got turned over I saw that he had 78 of hearts. For a split second I thought "Ah ha! He has a worse flush draw!" But then I saw he had a pair too (and a straight draw). The turn and river were both bricks and I was down to 10,000.

But from there I went on a run. By this point I was seeing maybe 40% of the flops for 5 chips and shooting out half pot sized bets which were bringing home the antes with shocking frequency.

I had my stack all the way back up to 39,000 when someone got KK vs my AA! That monster took me to 75,000, put me into the money and had me in 25th place with 225 players left.

I got it up to 120,000 as we made it down to 100 players and I was starting to think about the final table. Then I had three hands go against me.

On the first hand I raise with QJ, got two callers and the flop came down jack high with two hearts. I bet about 2/3 of the pot and got one caller. The turn was an ace (YUCK!) and we both checked. The river was the jack of hearts, I checked, called a 3/4 pot sized bet and lost to a flush. That might sound like a pretty pedestrian pot, but that late in a tournament losing one at showdown meant it was a huge pot.

A few hands later I got dealt KK and just called a preflop raise. The flop came down ace high and the preflop raiser check raised me all in on the flop. Yuck again!

That took me down to 60,000, but I chopped out a few small pots and was on my way back up with close to 80,000 when I made some very questionable decisions.

I got dealt AT suited in early position, the antes were 800 each (meaning 7,200 chips in the pot) and the player to my right raised to 4,000. I thought about folding or reraising both of which would have been better than what I did, which was just call.

A third player called behind and we took the flop which came down J T 4 with two spades. There was close to 20K in the pot and after the original raiser checked I bet out 14K. The other player called and the original raiser folded.

Here is here things got dicey. The turn was a blank and I was faced with a tough decision. There was 50K in the pot and I had about 55K left. I could either check and give up on the pot (my opponent had a solid stack and I was all but sure he'd fire if I checked) or go for it and move all in.

I thought for a few seconds and for some reason I decided my opponent was on a draw with either two spades or KQ. So I moved all in and got instacalled by AJ. No ten on the river and that was it.

I finished 72nd which paid $1,153. Certainly not a bad result, but I was hoping for more.

Meanwhile I played the $215 ante up second chance. It had the same structure as event #11 and had about 500 players. I got off to a good start doubling my starting stack, but I didn't do anything beyond that.

Also in WCOOP Event #12 $215 heads up matches, I won my first match, be went down the tubes in the second.

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