Won my 2nd MTT - The Hijack

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 Win: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450567367

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


Another fun hand:

AA beats AK, eliminating a short-stacked competitor: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450555370

The very next hand, QQ beats A9 (paired 9) to eliminate another player and take down a very big pot: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450555499

@puggywug, congrats on the win!

Thanks for sharing your hands. You seem to employ pot-sized flop betting in a way that may encourage overfolding at these stakes, but could get you in big trouble as you move up. For example, on the hand where you missed the straight but hit the pair of jacks, if you bet pot out-of-position even with inside straight draws, you’re going to have to fold fairly often to a healthy raise, or else you’ll be overcommitting your equity. At higher stakes, players will (or at least should) recognize that leak in your game, and attack it.

A win is a win, and it’s always nice to pick up the chips. Keep in mind ways that you can continue to improve, so that you can continue seeing success in your game.

Thanks for the insight. I’m always open to thinking about ways I can improve my play. I will consider this advice. I find in these games that a pot-sized bet can often close the hand down, and sometimes that’s just what you want, but when you get called, you need to be able to stay in the hand, and when you get raised, you need to assess quickly whether you are beat or not.

Congratulations. As you know, I was the player who you eliminated in 4th place with your QT vs my K6. It was a gutsy call on your part and congratulations again.

I won the same tournament two days ago, and my tactics were almost identical to what you describe above, so there is definitely something in it. At one point I was down to less than 5 BB, but after two shoves and an all-in at the flop, I was chip leader again, so there is something in the strategy.

There is skill and strategy in winning these tourneys, but you need a bit of luck on your side on crucial hands. If you don’t get all in, you don’t get called and don’t win the massive pots that determine who wins the tournament.

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I just landed my biggest tournament cash, nearly 1.4M chips, by taking down the 42-entry, 100K buy-in Indian Summer tourney. There was definitely a lot of luck involved - can’t deny that I ran hot and sucked out against some better hands. I entered a tough final table (most of the players are in the top 1000 on the site) as one of the shortest stacks, and was able to make some adjustments based on my observations of the other players’ ranges to become a huge chip leader by the time we were three-handed.

This is one of the highest-staked tournaments I’ll be playing for a while, barring a really strong upswing that doubles my bankroll. Generally, I try to aim for tourneys that cost 1%-2% of my bankroll so that I can ride out variance, while getting a nice pop to the 'roll when I have a good finish. With 7.8M chips, it’s going to be a while until I feel comfortable taking a shot at the 250K tourneys and their 5-7M guaranteed prize pools.


It was good playing against you, @MekonKing. Better to win, of course, but you gave me a good challenge, and I expect next time it’ll be just as fun, whoever comes out on top.