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Tournament 11R Report

I have recently read a chapter from Super System II that is devoted to the online Poker. The author is Doyle himself and what is surprising he doesn't think of the online Poker as of some handicapped Poker variant but thinks of it rather highly. If such a legend so claims, you must respect that. I have also read Doyle's advice on how to play online Poker and I find it interesting. What he says translates in the following: keep your play as simple as possible. The less fancy plays, the better. Well, if Doyle says so, there must be something to it.

Tournament 11R Report

With that in mind – play simple – I got down to the morning 20NL tournament freezout on PS. 250 players, 27 paid spots. I had a really great time, not playing any unnecessary fancy combinations and ... I got out as the 28th, on the bubble. But despite of that I played a good tournament (AK vs KJ, my regards to Soprano) and I was not angry. Especially when I remembered two pieces of advice from Doyle – If you are not able to overcome your frustration after a bad beat, perhaps you are not mentally prepared to be a good player; and a second piece of advice from Mike Caro – The most important thing in Poker is not to win every pot, but to make good decisions. In a long run it will benefit you more that winning a few lucky pots while making bad decisions. In other words, I was eliminated after making a good decision, and that's what I call a bad luck.

This is what happened almost half an hour later. I was talking to Dolim who had been preparing himself for a 10R tournament also on PS. My bankroll on PS started to melt so I thought to myself “What a hell! I'll give it another shot”. I decided to get in without rebuy and if I lost, I would simply quit. Of course, I don't recommend this type of tactics to anyone playing rebuy tournaments. You have to build your bankroll otherwise it'll be very difficult to fight the big stacks. However in this type of tournaments, you may collect quite a large bankroll, with a little bit of luck. You have to remember not to get too nervous if you lose all-in before the flop AA vs. 6-9 off. Rebuy tournaments are governed by their own rules.

Here are a few reports from that tournament. I decided to write them still in the middle of a tournament for myself, regardless of what it would bring. I just wanted to show to myself how simple a play may get in NLTH ... .If you're patient enough to read the entire report ... let me congratulate you ... .

The first few hands didn't bring anything to me but I was focusing on other players trying to see which one of them was more boisterous due to the rebuy. The table was tight and aggressive. All I had to do was to wait. I had my first opportunity in game 16.

Game 16. DaWarsaw (1420 in chips). Blinds 10-20. Dealt to DaWarsaw [Ah Jc].

Middle position, everyone before me folded so I raised to 80. Next players also fold except BB who went all-in. He was one of the most aggressive players at the table so I called. BB showed A4 and I doubled my chips.

27. I was dealt KcQc and I called. The next player went all-in and yet another called. Usually in rebuy tournaments it's not an easy call on my part, but as I had written before, I could not afford that. I folded. My opponents had JJ and 99, the flop showed a King and Queen. Well, too bad.

Game39 (blinds 25-50). I was dealt KJ. 4 players entered the game. The flop produces Q10x, giving me outside draw for Straight. I bet 100 and only one player remains in the game. The turn doesn't change anything, I bet 150 on call. The river is similar but I still bet 150, the other player folds. I win 750. A few hands later I will get AK but will only play blinds.

Tournament 11R Report

The situation got complicated in game 62. Level IV (50/100). DaWarsaw (3005 in chips). DaWarsaw [Ah Js]. Hamman was sitting at my table. He had just done rebuy so in this game he had 1500 chips. He was sitting before me and went all-in for 1500. I called. The flop [9c Qc 7h]. Two checks. Turn [8s] gave me inside draw for Straight but another player went all-in so I folded. It turned out that he had J10, so a Straight and Hamman showed KK. River brought in 10, which I had so badly needed but my decision to fold was correct. I went down to 1500-chip level and the end of rebuys was slowly approaching.

In a moment I would win 400, having KQh and K on the flop.

68. DaWarsaw (1805 in chips). Dealt to DaWarsaw [Qc Ah]. One of the most aggressive players raised to 1100 so I went all-in. The situation gets complicated by the fact that another player also calls. Flop KJ8, check, check, turn 5, the same. River A and another player goes all-in. The first raiser folds. I win the pot because the second player shows A10. DaWarsaw collected 5465 from pot.

The rebuys were over (game 72). With an add-on my bankroll was 7500 chips, so not too bad. I wanted to point at one thing, Playing all-in with AQ or AJ were the result of the specific nature of rebuy tournament play where most players are usually more aggressive with weaker hands. In a regular game, with a big raise, the hand AJ off is of course an easy fold.

The first game after the break showed a very interesting thing. I was dealt QJ off. Many players consider this hand strong and would call with it. I however decided to fold. The next player double-raised to 300 and another to 750. Another player called and if I had called the initial 150, now I would have not bad pot odds, and not bad hand to call or making “hit it or fold it” decision on the flop. It's obvious that in such a case a flop that would allow me to continue the game would have to be 10-9-8, AK10, or QQJ. All other hands like Qxx, Jxx, or even AQJ, would be an easy call. Of course I was out of it but look at what happened:

Flop: [Th 9c 8d] and the original raiser does all-in (he has 67d, what a wonderful hand to raise in initial position and what a flop!). Another player calls (no wonder because he's got 10-10 and he may not logically guess that the first player already has a Straight because his decision to go all-in would be at least peculiar). Player 3 (raised to 750) is taking the longest to think and makes a fatal decision – he calls with KK! KK is a very strong hand but with 3 players in game rather dangerous on the flop and two all-in's before it. You have to be able to fold a hand like that. Hm, and what to say about my fold now? If I had only made my first call at 150, I would have been in the game now and would have had the Nuts on the flop. Turn 5d gives the first player who is winning at this point an open ended draw and not just for a Flush but for Poker. River shows 8h and the pot is taken by Full House 10-10-10-8-8. My first call at 150 with QJ would have put me out of the game and out of tournament.

Tournament 11R Report In game 104 I'm dealt
a7s. Every player folded before me, I raise to 600, BB calls. The flop gives me 2 pairs but after BB's bet, I fold. Because in the last 30 games I have folded, in Game 138 I can afford to raise 4xBB wit A6 off. I'm in the middle position. Before me only folds. If only one player before me had called my A6 would have landed in a garbage can. I have folded before with much better hands like A10, 6-6, 5-5, or KJ. Since Blinds have gone up to 200-400, ante 25, and all players have seen my previous folds, I decide to steal, and it will be a successful steal. By the way, in the next game I will be dealt A10 but the player from the second position calls at 400 so A10 is at this point an easy fold. Since in the last game I raised and nobody called, A10 in this one prompts me to fold just to keep my image.

A real problem appears in game 145. I've got 7500 chips, I'm on the button and I get AcJs. There's only one player before me who calls. Since I have an advantage I raise to 2000. It's calculated for a steal because AJ off is not your dream card to play on the flop, especially if somebody calls a big raise. Unfortunately there sits a big stack (over 30K) that calls. Everybody else folds. Flop [9d 3d Ks] and I have to do the follow-up otherwise SB will make a bet and I will have to fold. Of course in such a case I can't post a bet at 400 or 800 because big pot odds will cause SB to call with anything. I bet 2000 and this is calculated for a pot steal this very instance. If I had been called or raised, I would have finished this game with 3500 chips, not too many. Luckily for me, SB folds and I have 10 000 in chips now.

Some time later I get AK off, raise 4x BB and take the blinds. Very important is the game 153. A typical war of blinds. I get 10-10. 300-600 blinds, ante 50, so the pot is quite high before the cards have been dealt. Everybody folds until SB who as you can expect raises to 1800. I cannot afford to call because if I did, I would have a problem after the flop that might show cards higher than 10. In a war of blinds, 10-10 hand is very strong. Up to this point I have been playing rather tight and if he saw that then after my raise he should fold. I don't want to give him any pot odds so I decide to go all-in. I don't want a call. SB starts to give it a serious thought. It means 2 things. It is not a typical steal with nothing because he would fold at once. Secondly, he's considering a call pondering over whether I haven't made a resteal bet. I'm beginning to worry a bit about the coinflip (the loss means that I'm out of the game). SB would have to have at least AJ, or KQ, and with such a hand, he would have called by now. What does he have then? SB calls and shows 5-5. My Tens are better and now I have 22 500 chips.

157, Player with 5-5 goes all-in with 2150 and I'm looking at my AJ, so it's an easy call for 10% of chips. BB takes advantage of it and calls. Flop A62, check, check, turn 3, the same. River J, so I bet 3k and win the pot. Shortstack had K8. After this game I have almost 27 000 chips.

Nothing interesting had happened until game 194. I had lost only a few thousand chips and was still at the 20 000 level. In this game I got
AKd. Level XI (600/1200) and I was one position away from the button. Everybody folded so I raised to 4800. To my surprise BB who had only 6500 chips called. I didn't understand this move. Flop [4h 8s 5c] and BB was waiting. He betted it all and on call showed KQ… I didn't understand his thinking but it was not my business and I had almost 30 000 chips at that moment.

I went down to 11 000 and it started to get really hot (1 500 – 3 000 blinds). Luckily I was dealt JJ and later AK. Nobody wanted to call. Later I received 5-5, but the player from the initial position raised 3xBB. I folded and he showed KK. Later I managed to get a steal on the button with A10 and I got to the paid locations. With 27 players remaining, I received KK, but nobody raised. I got to the top 18 and was a serious shortstack.

When I had only 12 000
, Level XIV (2000/4000), I got AQ. Unfortunately the player before me raised to 12 000 and I called as did the leader at that table who was sitting in the final position. I didn't look good after the flop [5d 7c Td], Players betted and called. On turn a Q showed up, which put some smile on my face. River didn't bring anything. The leader had A10. Triple-up. The first raiser had 4-4.

Game 294. I won a typical coinflip
2-2 vs. Q10 and had almost 40 000 chips. A moment later - steal with A9, and in game 307 I doubled the amount of chips at the leaders expanse – 99 vs. 44. Game 329. The button tried to steal the blinds, to which I responded with a raise having KQ, and the button folded. The player 10 had just been eliminated and I moved to the Finals Table with 125 000 chips.

Game 331. Level XVII (6000/12000), Dealt to DaWarsaw [As Ks], Killer888: raises 36000 to 48000, I all-in, shortstack call at 8,000, the first raiser fold. He has got AK but I win the pot and I'm up to 160 000.

Game 363 (only 5 players left). I made a serious mistake. The second leader (over 440 000 chips) raised to 160 000. It was a sizable raise, 8xBB, 1/3 of the bankroll. You could be sure that he would go with that hand to the end. I had (A10h), which would be good for a steal but not good enough to call a raiser. I called instead of taking an easy fold. I don't know why I did that. Even with 5 players A10 isn't super strong. The player showed AK and finished the tournament. After that bad decision I decided that I preferred to get out after a bad beat, when I made a correct decision, so I could not reproach myself for that. The only consolation is that I made that stupid mistake during the Finals.

Few final statistics from this good (in my opinion) tournament:

During current Hold'em session you were dealt 362 hands and saw flop:
 - 13 out of 46 times while in big blind (28%)
 - 10 out of 46 times while in small blind (21%)
 - 17 out of 270 times in other positions (6%)

 - A total of 40 out of 362 (11%)

 Pots won at showdown - 11 of 13 (84%)

 Pots won without showdown – 29



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