AKA, a lesson in satellite strategy.
Today, I played an $8+$0.70 Tier I token 2-table satellite. I successfully finished in the top 5 to win the token. On to the $24+$2 Tier II token 2-table satellite. At the final table, with 8 people remaining (5 tokens and a cash booby prize for 6th), the following hand went down. The game is NLHE, by the way.
Seat 1: (6,381) <---- chip leader
Seat 2: (660)
Seat 4: (4,454)
Seat 5: (1,430)
Seat 6: (2,514)
Seat 7: (2,252)
Seat 8: (6,264) <---- just barely not chip leader
Seat 9: (3,045)
Blinds are 60/120.
Now, before I get to the action, I should say that I generally consider 6k chips to be the "safe zone" in these token satellites. If you manage to chip up to 6k, you pretty much don't have to play another hand. This is because there's no difference between 5th place and 1st place. Each gets the same token. With 18 players starting with 1500 chips each, doubling twice to 6k in chips puts you slightly above par when there are 5 players remaining. If the chips wind up evenly distributed towards the bubble and the satellite goes on for a long time (I had one that lasted 90 minutes), you might be in trouble. But generally 6k is the magic number. Click the "sit out next hand" button at that point. Anyway...
Seat 1 (6,381) raises to 360.
SB in Seat 8 (6,264) calls 300.
Flop comes J-8-7, two clubs.
Seat 8 bets 840.
Seat 1 raises to 6,021 and is all-in.
Seat 8 calls 5,064 and is all-in.
Seat 1 shows Qs Qh.
Seat 8 shows Ad As.
No help on the turn or river for Seat 1, and seat 1 is crippled down to 117 chips, going out in 8th on the next hand. At a time when he/she could have folded his/her way to the token (2 short stacks, 3 medium stacks makes this pretty likely).
Anyway, I wound up winning the token, which I put into my second attempt at qualifying for FTOPS #14 (Razz). 10 runners, 2 $322 satellite packages up for grabs. We get down to 3-handed, and I manage to river a 6 in a big pot. After that hand, the stack sizes were:
Seat 1: (2,309)
Seat 3: (4,555)
Seat 5: (8,136) <---- me
Notice that I have over half the chips in play. I say to Drizzle "pretty sure I don't have to play another hand". 6 minutes later, the stack sizes are:
Seat 1: (4,978)
Seat 3: (2,286)
Seat 5: (7,736)
I haven't played a hand and still have over half the chips. They swapped chips in one big hand that went to the river, but I'm still sitting pretty. Then it all goes to hell when I'm dealt A-5 / 3. Seat 3, the short stack, brings it in for 75, showing a 7, and I complete to 250. Seat 1 folds an ace (good for me that one of the other aces is dead), and Seat 3 calls. Fourth street comes A-5 / 3-8 against x-x / 7-9 and now I'm stuck. I have to go all the way to the river with this hand and I shouldn't even be playing. I CAN FOLD MY WAY TO THE FTOPS ENTRY. They cannot. With limits of 250/500/40, they can trade chips back and forth but eventually one of them is going to bust. In 5 minutes limits are going up to 300/600/50. Even if I lose another 400 chips in that time, I'll still have 12 big bets. At this point in the tournament that's huge.
You know how this ends. Those that don't learn from history's mistakes -- the Tier II token SNG -- are doomed to repeat them. I can't catch a 2, 4, 6, or 7 to save my life (according to Sklansky I had a 73% chance to do so), and he winds up calling all the way and making a 9-7 against my 9-8. Now all 3 stacks are relatively the same size, I have to play again, and I start catching bricks. I made a really bad play on 5th street in one hand (putting in a raise, showing a bad one and holding a hidden pair, when there was no way the other guy was going to fold) and start sliding down in chips. The big blow to me came when I started 4-A / 8, completed and got raised on 3rd by a deuce. Boards on 5th are:
x-x / 2-8-A
4-A / 8-J-5
This was a big decision point for me, because if he didn't pair on that ace I'm in trouble. I probably needed to fold here. I thought long about it, wound up calling, pairing on 6th and pairing on 7th. He made an 8-7-6, so any 2, 3, 6, or 7 would have won me the pot. Once again, I can't catch one freaking card.
I wound up doubling once from there, and then getting all my chips in on a 50/50 hand with A-6 / 5 versus 3-6 / 4. I wound up on the wrong side of the equation -- was four to a 6 on 5th street and went pair, pair -- and went out in 3rd place. A $46 booby prize, but no FTOPS entry for me. All because I decided to play A-5 / 3 when I had over half the chips in play. Totally fucking stupid.
Thanks to Drizz, Falstaff, Mary and of course CK for sweating me at the end. Sorry I played like such a fucking dumbass. I am pretty mad at myself for making such a rookie mistake.
Addendum: After the razz event, I played another $8.70 SNG to restart the process of working up to the $75. Once I hit 6k in chips, I did not play another hand. I chipped down to 5k but won the first token.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
AKA, a lesson in satellite strategy.