Essen Gee

Continuing on with the Andy Bloch “Tournament Checklist” Challenge at Full Tilt Academy.

Full Tilt 45-Player Sit & Go (1,500 chips)

Technically, this isn’t a turbo tournament, but the levels are only six minutes long, so you’re going to be seeing the blinds go up almost every time they come around. Watch your back.

I was on my second small blind (at 20/40) when I got AQ. Two players called and I raised to 120, getting calls from everyone but the big blind. The flop was ATA and everyone checked. The J on the turn gave a potential straight in addition to a possible full house, so I bet the pot: 400. Everyone folded.

Raised to 125 with KQ a few hands later (with the blinds up to 25/50) and the only caller was the big blind who had a stack of about 3,000, twice my size. The flop was A22 and I bet 100 after a check from the BB. He called and 6 showed up. We checked it down past the river 4 and he showed the same pair I had, with 7Q but not a very good kicker.

After that it was mostly downhill. Last hand was a decent AQ, a raise to 240 that got called by both blinds, and AJ drawing two pair by the flop. Out in 31st after 29 minutes and 30 hands.

Full Tilt 45-Player Sit & Go (1,500 chips)

Got a Mutant Jack (AJ) on hand seven sitting on the small blind. Everyone folded to the button, who limped in, and I raised to 180, bringing it down to just me and the button. The flop was 5TA. I put in 400 for a bet and was raised to 800, then I shoved and was called by AT, who had me covered. Things looked bleak with the 7 on the turn but J popped up on the river for a suck-out. Up to almost 2,800 chips.

Limped in from the cutoff with 79 a little while later, then called an all-in to 445 from BB. Button called, as well, so the pot had 1,400 in it pre-flop. K63 gave me a flush draw and I went all-in to push out the button. He dutifully folded and the all-in players cards went over: 58. The turn and river were T6 so I never made as much as a pair but I was still ahead and up to more than 3,300 chips.

That quickly bled away with “premium” hands. I drew QA in SB at 30/60 and raised to 210 with two limpers. BB and UTG+1 called, then the button three-bet all-in to 955. Everyone called so there was 3,820 in the pot. The flop was 7TK. I checked and BB went all-in for 1,815. UTG+1 called but I decided not to wait for the Qx and folded. It didn’t show up, BB took a pot of 7,500 with JK. Down 955 chips on that one.

A bigger loss came two hands later with AT. Our table was down to six players at 40/80 and I three-bet a UTG raise of 320 to 640. BB called with just 60 behind and UTG went all-in for 1,362. I called; BB went all-in. I was pretty much screwed from the flop, the board was 66J and  UTG had JJ for a full house. Down to less than 1,000.

My final hand was shortly thereafter. I called the BB and a limper from the SB for 80 with 8T and saw a flop of J6T. I checked to the BB who bet 240. UTG called and I went all-in for 831 with my middle pair. Both of the others called. BB bet 80 after a 3 turn (which gave me a flush draw) and got an all-in call from UTG. BB was holding TA, UTG had top pair with JK. 2 on the river didn’t change anything. UTG took the 4,161 chips and I was out in 17th place. 35 minutes of play, 31 hands.

Full Tilt 90-Player Turbo KO Sit & Go (3,000 chips)

Got JxTx twice in a row (sixth and seventh hands), profiting especially nicely from the second.

FBlinds were 20/40 and I was the cutoff on the first outing. UTG limped in and I raised to 100. UTG called and we were heads-up. Flop was KJ9, UTG checked and I bet 160 which he called. 6 on the turn, which we both checked. The river was 8, we checked again, he showed AT and my jacks took it.

There was a call from UTG+2 on the next hand and I raised to 140. Button and UTG+2 called. The 6J5 flop gave me another pair of jacks and I bet 400 into the 480 pot when UTG+2 checked. Button came along for the ride and UTG+2 folded. 2 on the turn gave me a flush draw in addition to the highest pair on the board. I bet another 400 and the button went all-in, covering me by more than 300. I called and he flipped 88. A on the river left me in front and I took in a pot of 5,700.

My own pocket pair—QQ—cost me almost 1,500 ten minutes later. I raised three times the blind to 240 from UTG, getting calls from cutoff and SB. The flop was 99K and I bet 400 after SB checked. Cutoff checked and SB folded. T on the turn gave me a potential straight. We both checked. The river 2 made a potential flush; the king was troubling, but I bet another 800 in the hope that he had an ace of some sort. Nope. He called and showed JK. I still had over 4K, though.

It took me about 15 minutes to find a spot to pick it back up. In UTG again with a speculative 9T, I min-raised to 240. SB re-raised to 480 with only about 1,700 behind, and I called, putting us heads-up. The flop was A39, not particularly good for me. SB checked it and I checked behind. The turn was 9 and when SB bet 840 I put him all-in with my trips. I’m not sure what he was thinking when he called with QJ, I guess he must have thought I was bluffing, but that was a bounty for me and put me up over 6,600 chips.

It was nearly half-an-hour before I had another big hand, by which time blinds and small losses had whittled my stack down to about 5,200. There were a couple of very short-stacked players at the table in the blinds (200/400/50), flanked by two 20K+ stacks, one of which was just to my right. One of the big stacks opened to 850 and I re-raised all-in with A9 and 5,135 chips. There were folds around to BB, who went all-in with 1,740. The big stack folded and BB showed a KA big blind special. The flop was a grim QJ5, but 9 on the turn and the river 6 saved my bacon and gave me another bounty, along with a total of 8,300 chips.

The table was down to six players ten minutes later with me in SB at 300/600/75. UTG limped in. I had BB and UTG covered (although barely in the latter’s case) and went all-in with AT after everyone ahead of me folded. Only UTG called, showing A6. The 4Q5JQ board didn’t hit either one of us and I was up to about 12,600, earning my third bounty.

The end was only three hands later at another table with eight players. Blinds were up to 400/800/100, so I only had 15BB despite my double-up. I was in the BB with three stacks bigger than mine at the table, including one of more than 32K. UTG+1 opened with an all-in of 16,764. Everything folded to me and I called with AT, the same hand that had just doubled me up. It wasn’t going to be as effective against AQ. I was knocked out in 16th, a little short of the money. 86 hands, 78 minutes, 3 bounties, no prize money, -55%ROI.

Full Tilt Turbo $3.5K Guarantee (2,000 chips)

Just three significant hands in this tournament for me: one good and two bad. I got AA in UTG+1 early on and min-raised to 80 to see what kind of action I could get. CO re-raised to 300 and I three-bet to 960 after the blinds folded. CO went all-in and I called with 300 behind. He flipped over KK and I crossed my fingers and hoped against a repeat of the nasty surprise of Monday night’s live game. My aces filled up with a 5TA9T and I was up to nearly double the starting stack five minutes in.

The Mutant Jack failed to come through for me at the twenty-minute mark. I made a 3x raise to 180 from UTG+2 with JA getting a call from only SB. The flop only gave me middle pair—Q7J—but I bet another 300 after a check from SB. He re-raised to 960 and I should have ejected but I pushed all-in and he called, with me having him covered by about 1,000. His KQ was in front, and it stayed there with 22 on the turn and river. The next hand I threw a Kx2x and saw a board that would have made that best two pair, with 8x8x winning a pot of 2,200.

My last hand was QT. I limped in from UTG+1 for 80. BB raised to 240 and I called. 29K on the flop gave me a gut-shot straight draw. We both checked. 3 made a flush draw on the river. BB checked, I bet 520—leaving me with 155—and BB was all-in. I called. With AK he had top pair and beat me on a flush. I needed a jack but the river was 2.

Out in 594th place of 684 players. 23 minutes, 31 hands.

Full Tilt 90-Player Turbo KO Sit & Go (3,000 chips)

Short and sweet. AK on the fourth hand. Raised to 75 from UTG and got three callers. Flo was 47A and I bet 300 after a check from BB; only caller was UTG+1 who had doubled up on the first hand. J on the turn and I bet 900, getting raised to 1,800. Went all-in and the lucky UTG+1 shoed he was really lucky, with AJ when he called. Just a 5 on the river and I was out in 85th after less than five minutes.

Full Tilt 90-Player Turbo KO Sit & Go (3,000 chips)

The first fifty minutes of this tournament went rather poorly. I won only a few small pots and was down to 1,165 chips when I got a Mutant Jack in UTG at 150/300/25. I raised all-in with JA; the button re-raised to 3,300; SB went all-in for 5,625 and got a call from the button. SB had 45, button held KT, and the cards on the board were 78938. My ace kicker was good for almost 4K of the 13K pot and I was semi-alive.

My next hand was JK on the big blind. UTG+1 limped in, SB raised to 600, and I pushed all-in for 3,920 getting both the other players to fold. I was over 5K.

Two hands later it was 77 on the button. Blinds were 200/400/50. Cutoff raised to 1,000 and I pushed all-in again for 4,695. SB called with more than 20K behind and everyone else folded. He had KA but the board was free of clubs, aces, and kings: Q5T69. The entire pot of 11,090 was mine.

Eighty minutes in I got KK on the big blind (300/600/75). The table was six-handed. HJ raised all-in to 6,035. Action folded around to me and I called with 3,700 behind. The kings held up, I picked up a bounty, and I was over 16,500. TJ on the next hand won me another 1,900 chips.

I picked up blinds and antes worth almost 2,400 with a raise to 2,500 and KT shortly thereafter, then dropped over 4K speculating with A9.

The very next hand I was on the big blind (500/1,000/125) with a massive 32. The button raised to 2,000, SB folded, and I called, not expecting much. I hit the bottom end of the 527 flop and opened all-in for 12,275. SB had 49K but folded and I gained a bit more than 3K. On the small blind I had T9 (with the blinds having gone up to 600/1,200/150). Action folded to me and I raised to 2,400. BB called and the flop was QA3. I pushed again for 14,975, this time covering the BB, who folded. That pushed my total over 20K.

My next turn on the big blind was with TK. Two players limped in and I checked to the flop. QJ3 gave me an open-ended straight draw, I bet 3,000, and the others folded.

Seven hands went by and we were in our first hand at the final table. I was down to 15K, blinds were 1,000/2,000/250 and I was on the big blind with QK. HJ called, CO raised to 8,000, and I re-raised to 14,925 all-in. HJ got out of the way and CO called with 40K behind. And KK. I got a Q on the river but it was too little, too late. I was a goner.

I took the smallest payout for ninth place. 97 minutes, 101 hands, only one bounty due to my poor showing in the first hour. ROI of 85%. In that first hour, I managed to fold a 34 in the small blind to a raise to fulfill one of the two sub-tasks for the 25-50BB section of the “Tournament Checklist” challenge. If I’d been able to cash in a regular-speed tournament within 48 hours of this one, I would have finished the fifth task, but that didn’t happen.

Full Tilt 45-Player Sit & Go (1,500 chips)

AJ Mutant Jack knocked me down under 900 on the fourth hand in a three-way battle for a 4K pot that had two of us all-in. The cards on the board missed everyone. The smallest stack took over 3K with QQ and I got the 870 side pot, beating out the largest stack’s QK.

KK a little later doubled me up to just about 2,500 but I ran into AA with JQ just three hands after that, making two pair on the turn and going all-in but with A showing on the river to make a set.

19 minutes, 20 hands. Finished 28th.

Full Tilt 45-Player Sit & Go (1,500 chips)

The fourth hand was even worse in this game. I held TT in the big blind, with a limper in UTG and a min-raise to 60 from UTG+1. I raised to 200 after action folded to me, UTG got out of the way and UTG+1 and I went to the flop. It was a safe-ish 842 and I bet another 200. UTG+1 raised with all but 30 of his chips to 1,045, and I called, which left me with only 195. 4 came with the turn and I raised to put him all-in, making the pot just under 2,600 chips. He held A3 for a straight draw, but he only had seven outs. Naturally, the river was A, making his better pair.

KA on my next hand allowed me to triple up my 165 over a A4 and another hand that was pushed out by a post-flop raise from the weak ace. There were two aces on the board by the river; presumably the folder didn’t like the one that showed on the flop.

It took about five minutes of play but I managed to get back over the starting stack with A9. We were at 25/50 and I open-raised all-in from UTG+1 with 715 chips. The guy who’d taken most of my stack earlier had done well since and was over 5K. He called from CO and we were heads-up with him holding 8K. The flop could hardly have been better for me: A69. A turned K gave him a slim opportunity for a set but cut off any backdoor flush, and the river 4 didn’t do anything.

I drifted down below 1,000 over the next nine hands until limps by UTG and SB let me play 78 from BB. The flop set me up for a double-gutter straight draw: 5J9. I was good with either a 6x or Tx. I bet 120 after SB checked the flop, getting a re-raise to 240 from UTG. SB folded; I called. The T turn gave me the higher straight. There was 720 in the pot, I had 645 and it went all-in, getting a call. UTG had J3 and was drawing dead before the river 9 showed. Suddenly, I was the third-largest stack at the table, with 2,010.

That was to be extremely short-lived, however. As anyone knows, playing the blinds can get you into trouble. Q6 on the small blind when you’ve got 25BB? Two players limped in for 80, I called, BB said all was good and the flop was an enticing 8Q3. I bet 200, action folded to HJ and he raised to 920 with 380 behind. I still had 1,730 and could have kept it but I put him all-in, he called, and then he showed TQ. T on the turn sealed my fate and I was back down into the hole, with 290. This time I wasn’t able to recover and I went out in 30th place four hands later.

34 minutes, 32 hands.

Full Tilt 45-Player Sit & Go (1,500 chips)

I seriously can’t figure out what I was thinking on this hand. I had AJ on the eighth hand, the board ran out 4439J and I was all-in with a slightly-smaller stack before the river, which is the first time I had anything. The other player had a set on the flop, with 45. 8 minutes, 11 hands, 35th place.

Full Tilt 45-Player Sit & Go (1,500 chips)

Lost 440 early on chasing a flush with 9Q from UTG then picked up 1,000 on the next hand with more clubs. The 9A didn’t flush but the lower card paired on the turn to beat 88 held by SB. Lost the whole thing with a AJ Mutant Jack that missed Broadway and lost to a set (and a bigger hand) AK and a 9KQKJ board.

19 minutes, 17 hands, 35th place again.