Surviving being crippled early in an MTT to finish in the money

Finished 9th in The Hijack tournament tonight.

Played well after losing a sick beat hand where I was outkicked, leaving me crippled.

I took KJo in the button, and just limped in. Flop hits my Jack, 39J-rainbow, I think I’m good. I bet the pot. SB calls. Turn is a 5, I fire away again, and am called again. River is another 9, I go all in, am called, and my opponent has AJ, taking the pot and leaving me with 320 chips. :sob:

I figure I’m about done here, and just want to get away from the table so I can start over, so I shove Q7 and hope for the worst. Instead, I hit trip Queens and partially recover, but a lot of the chips in this hand are in a side pot that I don’t get any part of. I beat AT with a flush draw to get the main pot, QQQA7 over AAQQT.

Two hands later, I am in another big pot with KT, chopping with a player holding KJ, splitting KKQQA, and narrowly avoid my early exit again. Had I won this, I would have fully recovered from the earlier out-kicking.

From here out, I have to play an extremely tight range and stay out of most of the hands, and play a patient, long-term strategy.

I hit a Broadway straight, holding KJs in the SB, but so does the Cutoff, and again I have chopped a very big pot, and not all of it due to being all-in with a big side-pot that I can’t get at. I still only have 3000 chips, even though the last two pots I won had 15000 chips in them.

A little while later, I win four or five smaller pots for around 500-1000 chips (not shown).

Then I finally get a good hand, 77 in the SB, flopping the set. The Flop is scary, though with KQ over me, and a J on the Turn makes me fear that there could be a Straight coming up. River is 6s, with 3 Spades on the board there’s now also a possible Flush, so I shove and my opponent folds, I take down the pot. Finally recovered, but still way down toward the bottom end of the leader board, and still have to play very cautiously.

I play very sparse hands for the next few orbits, winning occasional pots, each one a few thousand chips, enough to push me up the leaderboard to about mid-way.

This keeps me healthy, and I move up a bit further on the board. Mostly unremarkable hands, but I am hanging in there, but the blinds are getting higher and it’s getting closer and closer to the bubble.

Then I get a lucky hand, winning a very big pot with K-high, KT out-kicking a lesser king in my opponent’s hand:

Then a rebalance happens and a few new players come in, with much bigger stacks. I get in just under the bubble, and then try to shove QJs into the big stack, sitting just behind me, but he’s not impressed, calls me with A-high, and wins Ace High over Queen High on a pair of common Tens on the board to knock me out.

There was a lot of kicker action in this one.

Played in the Bingo Brawl tonight, and exited 53rd, having eliminated nobody in a game dominated by luck and not skill.

My opening table was with @albundy4td44, who employed a bingo strategy to good effect. He starts out the game very aggressively, betting and taking down pots, whether through cards or through bluffs I can’t say. People are laying down to his bets.

I get my first good cards pretty early, JJ, and raise them up, Albundy4td44 calls, flop has a King, Albundy4td44 shoves, I figure my Jacks are beat and muck them.

This goes on for a while, @Albundy4td44 shoving just about every hand, many times preflop. Since he’s jumped out to the early chip lead at the table, he can survive getting beat because no one has him covered, and he doesn’t seem to lose 2 in a row, so every time he does take a beating, he bounces right back to health.

Keep hitting next and watch King Donk Bundy shoving frequently. I keep mucking and watching him beat other players with good cards with his junk cards. He beats QQ twice with garbage.

Finally, I’m about ready to give up, since I can’t get into any hands at this table, and shoe A4, and manage to double up through our Bingo Lord. This mercifully causes me to get rebalanced to a new table, where I’m one of the two big stacks, at around 6500 chips, the other 4 at the table only have about 2500 chips. I think, ok maybe here I can collect a bounty or two.

My luck doesn’t really improve though, and I end up going out 53rd, having beaten exactly nobody.

I get TT at the new table, raise it up, and again have to fold it. The flop has a Jack, but I try to buy the pot anyway, and am called. Turn and River bring Q and K, and I check, my opponent makes a big bet and I have to give it up, most likely beaten, losing a big chunk of chips.

I hit a K-high Straight toward the end, when I had drained low enough that I was ready to shove at a draw, and hit the draw. Unfortunately the opponent who called me also hit a draw, a full boat.

Next hand, I get AQ and shove my last thousand chips in, and am beat by another boat.

Here’s a 9-seat SNG I just quit out of, exiting 7th. I got disgusted at the cards and gave up after some pretty sick beats.

I have QTs in the SB, two players ahead bet big. I call the first raise to 450, but then it comes around and one of them raises way high, the other calls, and I get out of it. It’s a KK vs AA classic, but as the board turned out could have beat AA KK with a Q-8 straight. Not a good place to call, but not getting that pot sucked! folded QTs, but could have beat AA KK

Quads 6 on board, King on my hand to beat the board’s kicker, still lose to opponent’s Ace, at least I wasn’t dumb enough to bet it.

Outkicked a Q nothing with a bigger Q-nothing, all-in with Q-high, playing QJs on the button. A pair of twos on the board where a 4 would have made someone a 2-6 Straight – one of my better hands, this game:

KTo, in the Hijack; JJT flop, I min-bet and am called, no bets from anyone after that, river Queen helps out another player to take the pot, QQJJK over JJTTK, and another board that is 4 to a straight.

Jack-King Off, raise, get shoved into by the SB holding AK, call, beat KK over AKQJ- missed broadway.

That’s enough disgust for tonight.

One of the weaknesses that I’m seeing is your decision to bet the pot on certain flops. It’s something I noticed earlier, but these tourneys help illustrate why it’s a mistake.

Generally, large flop bets are very polarizing. When you make them, sure, sometimes you’ll be rewarded with a bunch of folds. However, when you see a caller, you’re often well behind, with a bloated pot and a lot of committed chips. Additionally, it makes bet sizing on later streets awkward - normally stacks are to short for you to fire pot-sized bets on both turn and river, too, leaving you with a few bad options:

  • Slashing your bet sizing on one or both streets
  • Firing off an all-in overbet on the turn
  • Trying to check turn and overbet jamming on the river
  • Leaving a small amount of chips behind after a reasonably-sized bet on the turn or river, essentially pot-committing yourself and forcing you to call a jam.

You can avoid these outcomes by using a smaller bet size on the flop. Target 60%-75% off the pot. Also, try to buy fewer pots when you may not have much equity - middle pair, top pair weak kicker, &c. - and stick to hands where you have a very strong made hand, or can improve easily to the nuts, like OESDs and NFDs.

Give that a spin in a few MTTs and SnGs, and see how that works out for you. I’d expect your results to improve.


Thanks for the advice.

I do bet pot a lot, mainly because it’s a button on the UI that is easy to use quickly, and I play mostly turbo games. I don’t want to lose hands by the timer. I may try adjusting my bet sizes as you suggested and see if I like it better.

Half-pot is also a button, and you can also type the amount which is quick enough once you get used to it. Good luck puggy. Let us know how it works for you :wink:


Lol, I do use half-pot sometimes, too.

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I learned a pretty cool tip from Roland to be even faster … type 111 or 222 or 99999 etc.