MTT playing to win

For the past few months I’ve been focusing on the Astral League promotions, and have been doing pretty well at them. It takes a lot of time to play enough 9-seat SNG every week, though. About 1 hr per, if you are in the top 2. It adds up.

So I thought this week I’d try focusing on MTT, especially after a hot start to the week.

Here’s how I did through my first 7 20k Emerald league games:

3/31 No More Sorrow: 1st place/44 350000 chips won
4/1 The Cutoff: 4th place/36 120000 chips won
4/2 The Hijack: 28th place/63 no money
4/2 The Cutoff: 12th place/38 no money
4/3 The Cutoff: 2nd place/31 240000 chips won
4/4 The Cutoff: 22nd/38 no money
4/5 No More Sorrow: 33/33 no money.

The last place finish in today’s No More Sorrow put me out of contention for #1 on the First 7 leaderboard, and the hand I got knocked out on stung. I flopped the top end of a straight, had the idiot end of the straight all-in, and one player sitting on trip 5’s with an OESD to the middle straight ended up rivering Quads. Just brutal.

I would have loved to have won this hand, I would have had an excellent shot of cruising to the final table, which would have meant enough tournament points for me to get to #2 or #1 on the First 7 leaderboard. Instead, it’s looking like I’ll end up merely at 6th place.

Shoving the flop or raising the small straight on the flop might well have been enough to fold the player who won the hand, as they would have only had a pair of 5s and a straight draw at that point, but I figured with the two cards at the top of this straight, I was in a safe enough space to call, and never expected the final three streets to all be 5s.

So, in terms of tournament bonus, this hand probably cost me a good 90-150K chips, plus whatever I might have taken out of the tournament if I’d finished in the money. It’s better not to think about it, play another, and try to move up the Best 7.

In my two games from 4/2, I busted out from high up on the tournament leaderboard, shoving a big stack into another big stack and coming out on the short end of it. If I’d played those hands more cautiously, I probably could have moneyed in those tournaments as well, and ended up higher on the First 7 board.

On my Friday night game, I didn’t have good cards and after initially taking a good pot and moving up the board, I ended up rebalancing to a new table, where two or three other players were winning big pots and knocking out players, continually bringing fresh chips in to win more, and they ended up with 3-4:1 stack advantages over me, and they knew how to use those stacks, which made it hard to play the table. I ended up bleeding down from 4000 to 2400 chips, and needing to win a hand, I end up shoving a King, the table folded around to the BB, who called, he flips up 55, and the board gave him a set of 5s on the Turn after making my pair of Kings on the Flop, and I was knocked out. I really just wanted to steal the blinds there, getting called was a coin flip and I lost.

It doesn’t seem like it’s too much to ask that I money in every single MTT I enter, does it? Variance aside, looking at my ability compared to the competition, it’s my expectation that I’m going to money, if not make the final table, in these things. When I say “every single” I mean I can accept 5/7, but not 3/7. The “if onlies” are telling me that I deserved money in two more of these.

At some point, you will probably find yourself in a coin flip for all your chips. It’s unrealistic to think you will win more than half of these.

You can play in such a way that you avoid being in this situation, but that makes it harder to have enough chips to make a deep run.

A shove, at any point, is either going to get a call or a fold. Often, something like 6BB will accomplish the same. I usually try to risk as few chips as I can in order to get the result I want. Save your shoves for later streets, where you will have more information.

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