I played very well in this MTT, my 2nd time taking 1st place. Early on I didn’t win a lot of hands, but I wasn’t in a lot of hands, and staying out of a lot of hands preserved my chips. I had a couple of hands where I made a big monster, and beat people with straights and boats, suddenly rocketing up from near the bottom of the leaderboard to near the top. For a while I was at the top. I didn’t take any big losses, nor any big risks, and played well, winning pots here and there, sometimes big ones.
Eventually the field ground down to the final 6 at the last table, and I had the 2nd highest chips. I had long spells where I wasn’t getting good cards, and I just kept folding, and waiting. Occasionally I would win a hand and re-gain the blinds and antes that I’d bled off. A few hands, I was in, but folded to an a bet which might have been a bluff, but I didn’t want to find out. Those were hard to lay down sometimes, but I was playing cautious and keeping most of my stack out of the middle in this game, and by doing that I avoided the big mistakes that had been knocking me down and out of most of the tournaments I tried to play lately. Mostly I watched the other players eliminate each other, but a couple of times I took huge pots, taking big chunks out of the player who had crept up and taken over the big stack.
The final 6 lasted a while, and the blinds grew bigger and bigger. Finally I hit a hot streak near the end, and won a bunch of chips very quickly, retaking the chip lead. The big swing happened on a hand where I’d gotten rag cards in the big blind and mean to fold if anyone raised ahead of me, but for once no one did, and I ended up flopping trip 3’s, and taking the big stack for 125000 chips. After that, I felt like I had a chance to win it all.
I eliminated the 5th place finisher, making a gutsy call to a preflop shove. I had this player covered by just 1000 chips, so if I lose this hand, I can’t even post the small blind, and would have dropped from 3rd stack to all but dead. He held AQo, but didn’t make a hand as I paired my King and eliminated him from the table.
I eliminated the 4th place finisher, making a gutsy call after he shoved when I held QTo; I hit a pair of Tens on the flop, he made nothing by the end, but was holding K6o. He’d been the short stack for much of the final table, and had been shoving a lot, trying to double up and using his chips to bully pots that people didn’t want to risk calling him on. I finally had OK cards to call with, and I knew by this point that his range had to be pretty wide open, but it was still a lucky hand to win.
On the final hand, I eliminated the 2 remaining players, having hit a pair of Queens on the flop with a King kicker. I overbet the pot, to put everyone all-in, and got calls. My opponents had good cards, but not good enough to beat KKQQ, which was what my hand ended up as. One player had a diamond flush draw, the other had a gutshot straight draw and ended up with a pair of Kings.
It was pretty awesome eliminating the final two players in one hand.
Some fun hands:
The fateful 125K trip 3’s: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450566343 – he called me with NOTHING!
Missed straight, hit pair of river Jacks for a large pot: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450565607
Gutsy call to eliminate the 4th place finisher: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450564423
KJo takes down a big pot, eliminating AQ with a pair of Kings to eliminate the 5th place finisher: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450561967
Taking a big pot with QQ to nearly eliminate the 6th place finisher – couldn’t get a call: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450559384
Another big pot won with QQ prior to the final table, guts call after my opponent shoved with a King on the board – he held A9 and flopped a pair of 9s: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450555499
Chopping a straight against the same player as in the above hand: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450554915
Sweet revenge A7s - Ace High beats a former tournament chip leader who i’d played against on the first table, and who had kept me out of a few early hands, eliminating him from the tournament: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450552007
Winning with AA, like you’re supposed to: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450550208
And following it up with another big pot win with TT: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450550499
Making a straight to win my first big pot in this tournament to keep my stack healthy: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450546714