$3.50 gtd WPT Online Championships No Limit Hold'em Freeroll
In a freeroll tournament on Bwin last night, the blinds were ferociously upped every 3 minutes, enough to make even James Bond shift uncomfortably in his seat. Despite missing out on a golden first spot prize, a $1005 ticket for the WPT Online Championships, I (Gold_Card07) missed out by coming 51st in a field of over 2000+ players.
I'm happy to reveal to you that at least it wasn't a trip to 'Bad Beat City' but it was disappointing not to get close to the amazing first prize spot, and I only had myself to blame.
Missed opportunities, overt pressure from the massive blinds and big stacks raising applying further pressure as well as a slight lack of aggression at the right times from me meant I was finally knocked out after only just two hours of play with my final hand - Kd 9d v Jc 4x.
BOOM! - ACES FULLHOUSE
I decided to approach the tournament using some of the principles I've mentioned in some of my recent posts from 'Zen and the Art of Poker' and Daniel Negreanu's 'More Hold'em Wisdom for all players' and went into the tournament with the aim to keep it tight. It definitely worked and I managed to build up my stack to 150,000 before I doubled up to 300,000 chips right before the first break with AA (EP) smoothcalling, before re-raising all-in when another player had bet the minimum from MP. The hand played out: Kx Ax 9d, 9x, 9x
SECOND DOUBLE UP
My second big double up in the tournament was while sitting in the small blind with QQ. I raised three times the blind to about 42,000 chips I think and the opponent on the big blind called. The flop came as follows:
Funnily enough, I'd seen the exact same scenario while watching a YouTube video of the 2018 WSOP in Monte Carlo. I raised 77,000 about a third of the pot and the player called. The turn was a blank:
I duly raised 175,000 putting my opponent all-in on the turn and he called. The river was a blank (not a scare card like K, J or A) and he turned over top pair with a K kicker to hand me the pot. This was perfect - I absolutely love these kind of situations! Who doesn't?
The blinds however were still going up ferociously quickly and before I knew it they were a terrible 50,000/25,0000 and I was having to consider going all in every time. I got QQ again and raised but no callers. Then I had Ah Kh and went all in only to be snap called by a tough player in late position! Uh oh I thought and yes he showed KK. Still I had a good feeling about this one. The flop drew a blank of something like 9s Js 5d, the turn the 4d and that left me with just two outs as one of his Ks was a diamond! (4.55%) The river...you guessed it..was the A of clubs.
Despite doubling up here to around 800,000 chips I was a bit disappointed with my play here for the rest of the tournament as I should have played more aggressive and made some timely calls. For example, in the very next hand I got JJ from the position left of the big blind in EP again and still thinking about the lucky AK win, so I just called. This is my usual play with JJ against touch players anyway, hoping to flop a set.
The flop came 5s - 6s - 4x I checked, the next player checked and the player on the big blind raised half the pot. At this point I felt he might have top pair, but I just called. I think another time I may have re-raised but I was thinking too much about my chip stack just won! Anyway the turn came a 2 giving all sort of straight possibilities out there, but everyone checked, definitely making me think the big blind had just top pair. The turn came the 5s, I checked (hoping for a cheap showdown) and so did the next player, but after thinking for a while, the final player bet half the pot again. At this point I think I should have called because I felt I was winning and had I called my stack would have been huge. In the end I folded and we'll never know - an opportunity lost.
A GUT FEELING
You know that moment with a hand when you 'get that feeling' that even though you're holding a rubbish hand, you still feel you will win? Well I got that with 9x 6x offsuit from the button. Had I gone all in, I would have got lucky and hit two pair to triple up at a crucial point in the tournament. In the end, I played too conservatively and folded. Then in the next hand I had a much better starting hand of kd 9d. However, I even said to myself at the time, if I go all in here I'm out. I ignored the voice of reason, I went all in, got called with J 4, and of course got knocked out! The lesson here is sometimes listen to you're gut. My only criticism with online poker, and you may or may not agree, that you don't get enough time to make decisions. I think had I had more time to make a decision on a questionable hand like 69 which I think could still win through luck, I may have gone all in. Same thing went with the JJ after my lucky strike with the A on the river the KK - I just didn't have enough time to decide what to do and had to just quickly call to be in the hand.
Thank you for reading all. Another day, another game. Good luck at the tables - I look forward to reading about your success stories in the future :)