I ended up entering this tournament twice. There were a total of 435 entries from 295 players. Looking at the payouts, it’s sort of sobering to see how the multi-entry format makes it possible to make it into the money but still be behind at the end. One ninth of the forty-five players who got payouts were anywhere from a couple cents to an entire buyin underwater.
My first entry came to a screeching halt fairly early with [kc as]. I’d fallen to just over 1,000 chips and got some good cards in UTG+3, raising to 125, but got a call from the small blind. The flop was uncoÃ¶perative with [3s ts 7c] and I tried to push it with a 300 bet but got an all-in from the SB, who still had an inferior hand with their [8c 9c] but was in good shape with a larger stack. I called (obviously, or I wouldn’t know their cards) and a [6d] made their straight on the turn.
I had a little better luck with the second entry (I don’t make them simultaneously) but it was [as kh] that did me in after a bit longer session. I was in the small blind, UTG+3 limped in, I raised to 600 and it was down to me and the UTG+3 when he called. [4h th td] on the flop. I made the desperate move of going all-in and he called me—with more than 20K and [8s ts] in his hand, who wouldn’t? I was out—twice!—first in 142nd place and then in 86th. 28 minutes total.
15 minutes. 140th place out of 264 entries.
7 minutes. 152nd place out of 223 entries. Not an improvement.
Play started off slow for me in this game: at least, it felt slow compared to the Rush games. But I really do like the 6-Max format, and the fact that this had knockout bounties and a large purse made it very attractive to me, despite the rather ugly history of my previous miniFTOPS outing.
I’d only lost a hundred or so chips to blinds when I picked up my first win ten minutes into the game with [ks jd]. There was 140 in the pot and a flop of [kc 3s kd] which three players checked around. Another [3c] on the turn and I popped out 40 for a bet, getting one call from a player who’d already lost a couple thousand chips. The [9c] meant nothing to my full house, so I matched the pot and got a call—I don’t know why—from the other player, holding [ac 7s].
The same guy got into it with me on the next hand. I had [ac 2c] and I was heads-up after raising to 90 pre-flop. The flop was [jc 7c 7s], and I bet 75 after a check from the other player. [3s] on the turn and we both checked. I got a pair with the river [ah]. He bet 105 and I just called. He could have had another [7x] or an [ax] with a higher kicker—it wouldn’t have been hard—but no, just [tc 2h]. It baffled me but I took the chips. He was moved to another table shortly thereafter.
Twenty minutes into the match we were playing five-handed and, I got [qh 8h] in the UTG+1/hijack seat. Sort of an iffy hand—not high enough to make a killer pair, tent ends of a straight—but it’s in The Grid for six-handed play. Blinds were 15/30, UTG folded, and I raised to 75. Small blind called and the flop made the hand iffy no longer: [1h 2h 6h]. I bet 120 after SB checked, then he called. [8d] on the turn and he led out with 180, which I re-raised to 360, getting a call. [4s] on the river. He checked and I made a 300 chip bet hoping that seemed weak enough to lure him in. He called and showed [7s 7h]. I was up over 6,400.
My first bounty came with a player who’d lost all but 600 of his chips half-an-hour in, most in a 3-way battle with him having [ax tx] double-paired against a guy who was playing a suited queen and drew to a flush (not me). I was in the small blind with [9d 9s]. UTG and the small stack on the button limped in. I raised to 120, which was met by both the limpers. [3d 8s 6d] was the flop and I figured I’d keep the gas on, fairly certain that the small stack was going all-in. UTG dropped out; the button raised all-in for 490. I called and he flipped over [7c 7h], which wasn’t good news for him. [jc] and [qs] on the turn and river. Pushed me up to just about 7K.
More pocket pairs: [jh jc] on the big blind. Button—big stack at the table—raised to 150 and I re-raised to 325. The flop was [ts 6c 7c]. I bet out 400 and got a call. [8d] on the turn improved my hand to a straight draw, which I checked just for fun, provoking an 800 bet. Who wouldn’t call that? The river [3d] didn’t make any difference, but I was a little concerned he might have a [9x]. I checked and he did, too, but his [ad 6d] wasn’t going anywhere and I was the big stack at the table for the next hand, with over 7,600 chips.
The Mutant Jack showed up to propel me over 10K about 45 minutes in. I was in the cutoff position with [jc ac] at 30/60. Two players to my left had more chips than I did (both had been brought in from other tables). UTG raised to 180, hijack called, I called, small blind called. 780 in the pot when the [4d qd ah] flop showed. UTG bet 780, so I was guessing he had an [ax]. I called (Did he have a [kx]? Was he already double-paired?). [th] for the turn. He bet again: 420. I figured: “What the heck, it’s the Mutant Jack.” [7c] river. A whole lot of potential double-paired kicker combos out there; he might not need to have anything better than the [jc]. He bet another 600, I gulped and paid the price, but all he had was [ad 2h]. I only had 10,017, so I didn’t stay above the line for more than a hand.
[ad td] was my last hand before the first break, and I picked up about 500 chips with it, which got me back over the line by 50. I popped off a note to Tomer, who had just arrived in Austria for EPT Snowfest. At the break, the chip average was 6,900, there were 10,900 players (registration was still open), and I was in 1,188th place. Tomer wrote back that he was watching my table while he ate dinner. Yikes!
A quarter-hour after the break, I’d only won one hand—and that was just the blinds. I was down to about 9K when I picked up [7h qh] on the button. Everything I said about [8h qh] above goes double for this pair of cards, and it won’t even make the straight. But it is on The Grid for six players, so long as you don’t put too much faith in it. The blinds were 50/100 and hijack raised to 214. I called and the big blind came along. Both stacks were a good bit smaller than me. The flop was a semi-promising [th jh 4d]. BB checked, HJ bet 345, I called and BB folded. A [kc] showed on the turn and HJ bet another 645. I had a straight and flush draw but nothing else. I called. [7s] on the river, a bet of 1,245 from HJ. I folded and consoled myself with having an 80% win rate at showdown, but I was down to 7,900 chips.
I continued a steady, slow bleed of chips after that, at one point folding five hands in a row after putting out blinds or bets. I was down to 6,000 before I managed to turn things around with [jc jd] that turned into trips on the flop. My real breakthrough came halfway through the second hour when I made the first of two big mistakes.
I was on the button with about 7,200 chips. Both the blinds (which were 80/160) had about 3,500. UTG and cutoff were both over 10K, and hijack had a few hundred more than I did. Both the big stacks stayed out of this hand, but HJ bet 324. With [9d 9s] in my hand, I raised to 560. Short-stacked big blind went all-in for 3,561. HJ folded but I thought BB was pushing with a strong ace. Calling would cost me half my stack if I lost but I did it, feeling very stupid when he flipped over [qs qc]. The [6h 5s 3s] flop was bleak, but the turn and river were [9c 9h] for some major suckage. Another bounty and I was up to 11K. I managed to get over 12K, but within 20 minutes I was back below the 8K mark.
Someone else’s nines didn’t fare so well against me just before second break. Blinds were 120/240/25 and I was on the button again, only with [as ac]. UTG—with only about 2,500 chips—raised to 555. I re-raised to 1,080, the blinds got out of the way, and UTG called. The flop was [ks 5h 2h], he checked, and I bet 480, fairly sure he was committed to going all-in. He did and I called. [9s 9c], but no miracle for him on the turn and river, just [2s 4s]. That netted me 3K and put me back near 12K. I was falling further behind the leaders, though, with all of this up-and-down motion.
My last bounty came through no action of my own, shortly after the second break. I was big blind with [ac 7c], so I was playing, no matter what. Action folded all the way around to the small blind, who had only about 2,200. He went all-in and I called, with more than 9K behind. He flipped [kd 3s], the board ran out [qc 9s 9h ad 8d], and I scooped his chips.
Another series of decent cards that didn’t connect followed that, and I’d slipped down to 9,200 twenty minutes after the second break. Blinds were 170/340/25, and I was on the big blind holding [4c 3h], which I would normally just toss. Hijack min-raised to 680, everyone else folded, and I thought I’d get fancy and play my low cards to see if they’d connect. We were almost evenly matched, with me having about 400 more chips. The flop was [2c 2s 3s]! I had a pair! I bet 1,680 (the pot) and got a re-raise for 8,090. I could have stopped there and saved my 6,800 chips but I called and he rolled over [4d 4s]. If only my hand had been [2x 3x]. [kh jc] on the turn and river. On my next and last hand I was one card away from a flush and a straight that would have ended in a split pot but my [jh 8c] was beat by a [5s jd] that paired the first card on the flop.
140 minutes, 4 bounties, -38% ROI. Finished 6,311 out of 17,102 players.
It’s a busy week in the non-poker sphere but I’m watching Tomer’s progress at Snowfest today; tonight I’ll be trying to get my quest for the puffmammy POY back on track, and this weekend is one of our double-point quarterly events.