We don’t have an awful lot of discussion by the players who play in these, so I thought I would try to start some discussion.
Played and won one last night, which was my first tournament win since March 6th (7 days ago). Started at 10:30 pm and finished around 1:00 a.m. so pretty grueling especially during the final table deadlock.
I was lucky enough to be able to seize the lead during the first hour and hold on to it for over 200 hands, although in the final stages there was inevitably some lead-swapping since winning or surrendering ANY pot could switch around leadership positions.
At the start of the tournament I was lucky enough to be seated to the right of a player who would call any raise with any two cards from any position, and was able to use him as a source of a regular supply of chips as he would check if he missed, put in a min bet if he had a draw, and bet the pot if he had top pair and half the pot for second pair, although I was still only in the top third of the field until I picked up KK on the button and re-raised an early raiser to 8BB and was called by my neighbor, who decided to join us for the ride, plus the original raiser. The flop came with a K and a Q, so I checked, and long story short on the river got into a bidding war with my neighbor until he was all in. There was no pair on the board or flush or straight available so I knew I had the nuts.
And eventually the calling machine turned over QQ. Good, but not good enough as he was beating everything except my hand. I think it would be very hard to lay down QQ, but I think I would want to check-call the river rather than reraise all-in.
I cannot Replay this hand as it occurred about 250 hands before the end of the tournament. If anyone knows how to access historical hands, please chip in.
From this point on I was able to stay ahead mostly by taking the blinds one or two times per circuit and slow playing the occasional monster.
Another hand that moved me forward was this rather flukey flush. Would you have called the shove with this hand? I must say that I misread opponent’s preflop flush as a sign of weakness, not strength, and assumed that he was most likely trying to steal the blinds with a middle pair. However given the stack disparities, it seemed like a call to me as I would still be the tournament leader if I lost it. At this stage there were 10 players left with only 4 getting prize money.
4 players left on the final table, so everyone in the money. I had slipped down to second place having lost a hand to the player in the BB on this hand. On several occasions he had folded to my raises from the button, so on this occasion I limped in with AQ to see if I could catch him unawares, and I did, and took back the tournament lead for the final time.
On this hand I knocked out the 4th player while playing blind. Immediately after I called his raise, I lost my connection and thought I had been folded out, but on getting back on the table a couple of minutes later, I noticed that he had left the scene. I did not see what happened until I was preparing this post,
The final pairing was the usual slugfest, but I in the end I got lucky. We were both pretty tired, and this hand decided it. Top pair vs second pair and top pair held on.
So really those half dozen hands determined the result of the tournament. The rest of the pots that I won were just simple knock downs or semibluffs, usually from position. I must say on reflection that the semi-bluff on the flop is probably the most profitable move in poker and so few players have the guts to go over the top against a larger stack, that if you get check raised, it is best to just assume they have it.