Ok, so you want to know how to win a PLO tournament? It's easy.
Register late, then win your flips and run good.
When the tournament started I was monkeying around with my new car in the garage. I came inside for a minute and saw CK playing. With late registration still up, I quickly fired up Full Tilt and registered -- going so far as to bring the laptop into the garage so I could "do two things at once".
Turns out I couldn't do two things at once. I made a spectacularly bad play early on in a pot with NumbBono, donking off half my stack with two pair against a set on a dry board. From there I came back inside and focused on the tournament alone.
Also, I started to run like a god.
I can't tell you how many times I flopped or turned a set or a straight and had it hold up. It was pretty sick. I was playing a small-ball approach preflop and then pounding the pot when I had the best of it.
I was only all in at risk of elimination twice: Riggs potted from the small blind and I called with 6h-7h-3s-9s. It's not a great hand but it had some connectivity and two suits, which was enough for me against an open-raiser from the small blind whose range was likely wide. Riggs made a c-bet of 3/4 pot on a flop of 2d-2s-5s and folded to my jam. Two hands later I flopped a set and a gutshot to a wheel and got it all in on the turn against TheCloserX's top two pair and bigger gutshot. The river blanked to give me the pot. That was the only time I was all in and called the whole tournament.
From there I chipped up to about 7,500, which put me solidly above par for the first time. Then came the hand of the tournament.
Tony Eusebio shows [Kc 3c 7d Ad]
asphnxma shows [5c 6c 9h 8c]
*** TURN *** [4s 6d 9d] [Qs]
*** RIVER *** [4s 6d 9d Qs] [Ks]
Tony Eusebio shows a pair of Kings
asphnxma shows two pair, Nines and Sixes
asphnxma wins the pot (12,334) with two pair, Nines and Sixes
Tony Eusebio stands up
I had Tony covered, but only by about 1,400 chips. Talk about scary. I potted preflop and Tony called from the blind. He checked the flop to me; I bet pot. He then moved in for a little more than a min-raise and of course I had to call. I was a slim 5-to-4 favorite, but my edge held and vaulted me to second in chips.
Once I had chips I was willing to gamble a bit because -- as I said last week -- I'm not playing for points. I'm playing for first. It also never hurts to run good.
iaatg6296 shows [Qd Qh 3s 6c]
asphnxma shows [Ts 9h Jd 7h]
*** FLOP *** [Qc Th Ks]
*** TURN *** [Qc Th Ks] [9c]
*** RIVER *** [Qc Th Ks 9c] [5c]
iaatg6296 shows three of a kind, Queens
asphnxma shows a straight, King high
asphnxma wins the pot (3,052) with a straight, King high
iaatg6296 was very short and I had chips to burn. This was an easy preflop call.
asphnxma shows [Kh Jd 4h Ad]
scottc25 shows [Kd 2s 6d As]
Uncalled bet of 7,386 returned to asphnxma
*** TURN *** [Js 5h Ac] [6c]
*** RIVER *** [Js 5h Ac 6c] [8s]
asphnxma shows two pair, Aces and Jacks
scottc25 shows two pair, Aces and Sixes
asphnxma wins the pot (7,386) with two pair, Aces and Jacks
scottc25 stands up
A great flop for my hand.
asphnxma shows [6d 8c Ah As]
kickyourace shows [Th Jc 9s Qs]
Uncalled bet of 708 returned to asphnxma
*** TURN *** [6c Jd 8h] [6h]
*** RIVER *** [6c Jd 8h 6h] [9h]
asphnxma shows a full house, Sixes full of Eights
kickyourace shows a straight, Queen high
asphnxma wins the pot (12,084) with a full house, Sixes full of Eights
kickyourace stands up
That hand was a little scary before the six popped off on the turn. kickyourace didn't have enough chips to hurt me (~5-6k to my 21k), but he would have brought me back to the field. From here I started crushing, mashing and slaying.
asphnxma shows [Kh Jh Th Jd]
on_thg shows [Qh As 5h Qs]
*** TURN *** [4c Ad Jc] [Qc]
*** RIVER *** [4c Ad Jc Qc] [2h]
asphnxma shows a straight, Ace high
on_thg shows three of a kind, Queens
asphnxma wins the pot (21,064) with a straight, Ace high
on_thg stands up
I let out a cry of disgust when the queen hit the turn, not realizing it had given me a straight. I wonder if on_thg made the same mistake.
asphnxma shows [7h 6d 8h 8d]
cracknaces shows [8s Ts Td 7d]
*** TURN *** [8c 9h 4d] [Kc]
*** RIVER *** [8c 9h 4d Kc] [Kd]
asphnxma shows a full house, Eights full of Kings
cracknaces shows two pair, Kings and Tens
asphnxma wins the pot (36,324) with a full house, Eights full of Kings
cracknaces stands up
Yep, another set and straight draw combination. Turns out it was the case eight, too.
asphnxma shows [2c Ks Kc 9h]
TuscaloosaJohn shows [3d Kh Ah As]
*** FLOP *** [2d 2s 4s]
*** TURN *** [2d 2s 4s] [4h]
*** RIVER *** [2d 2s 4s 4h] [7s]
asphnxma shows three of a kind, Twos
TuscaloosaJohn shows two pair, Aces and Fours
asphnxma wins the pot (23,616) with three of a kind, Twos
TuscaloosaJohn stands up
Poor TJ. He potted preflop to 3,500, then called all in after I re-potted. This was a disgusting way for him to go out of the tournament and it was close to the money bubble too.
asphnxma shows [2c Ks 6h 3c]
ChampSampson shows [Ah Jh Ts Th]
Uncalled bet of 830 returned to asphnxma
*** TURN *** [4s 5d Ad] [2s]
*** RIVER *** [4s 5d Ad 2s] [8h]
asphnxma shows a straight, Six high
ChampSampson shows a pair of Aces
asphnxma wins the pot (31,076) with a straight, Six high
ChampSampson stands up
In my defense, this pot was limped on my big blind. Not even I am so crazy as to play K-6-3-2.
PirateLawyer shows [9d Qs Jh Kc]
asphnxma shows [Ks 3d Kh 5s]
*** FLOP *** [8h Ac 5h]
*** TURN *** [8h Ac 5h] [Th]
*** RIVER *** [8h Ac 5h Th] [8d]
PirateLawyer shows a pair of Eights
asphnxma shows two pair, Kings and Eights
asphnxma wins the pot (41,104) with two pair, Kings and Eights
PirateLawyer stands up
Hey look, a hand where I was actually ahead preflop, thus sparing me from being the focus of this week's PL rant! (I kid, I kid.)
jeciimd shows [Kh 8d 3c Kd]
asphnxma shows [As 8c 4d Ad]
*** FLOP *** [7c Jh 3h]
*** TURN *** [7c Jh 3h] [6s]
*** RIVER *** [7c Jh 3h 6s] [6c]
jeciimd shows two pair, Kings and Sixes
asphnxma shows two pair, Aces and Sixes
asphnxma wins the pot (43,016) with two pair, Aces and Sixes
jeciimd stands up
And another! When we got down to five-handed, I was most worried about jeciimd and twoblackaces. That shouldn't be interpreted as a slight against cemfredmd or methos26; just that twoblackaces and jeciimd appeared to be the stronger players. However jeciimd took a couple of beats, moving from second in chips to about even with the other four players. It was a great piece of fortune for me because it allowed me to attack anyone at will.
methos26 shows [Ad 5c As Kc]
asphnxma shows [9h Ah 4d 2d]
*** FLOP *** [Td 4h 8c]
*** TURN *** [Td 4h 8c] [9s]
*** RIVER *** [Td 4h 8c 9s] [6c]
methos26 shows a pair of Aces
asphnxma shows two pair, Nines and Fours
asphnxma wins the pot (67,936) with two pair, Nines and Fours
methos26 stands up
The hand against methos26 was the loosest call I made all night, by far. I can't even tell you why I made it (I potted preflop, he re-potted all in, I called). I semi-apologized in chat afterwards by typing simply, "That was a loose call."
asphnxma shows [Js 5d 9h 9c]
twoblackaces shows [2s Qh Ad Tc]
*** FLOP *** [6s 8s 8c]
*** TURN *** [6s 8s 8c] [Kc]
*** RIVER *** [6s 8s 8c Kc] [6h]
asphnxma shows two pair, Nines and Eights
twoblackaces shows a pair of Eights
asphnxma wins the pot (50,672) with two pair, Nines and Eights
twoblackaces stands up
By the time of this hand I had an eight-to-one chip lead on both of my remaining competitors and was simply going for the kill. twoblackaces opened for pot (14k) leaving himself 10k behind. Three-handed, I figured his opening range was pretty wide. I also saw the opportunity to eliminate twoblackaces and even though my hand looked like garbage, my "poker sense" told me to jam. It turned out we were flipping -- 51-49 in favor of twoblackaces.
cemfredmd shows [Qh Jc 5h 5s]
asphnxma shows [Qd 6c Qc 5d]
*** FLOP *** [4d 7s 3c]
*** TURN *** [4d 7s 3c] [9s]
*** RIVER *** [4d 7s 3c 9s] [9c]
cemfredmd shows two pair, Nines and Fives
asphnxma shows a straight, Seven high
asphnxma wins the pot (47,376) with a straight, Seven high
cemfredmd stands up
Heads-up lasted about ten hands. cemfredmd started with 21k to my 230k. The stacks shifted to 13k and 238k before I got him all in with Kh-Jh-Td-8c against his Ah-9c-4d-2d. I had a ton of outs going into the river on a board of 4c-3h-Qs-6h, but I missed them all to double him to 27k. Interestingly, my hand was the preflop favorite, 56-44, no doubt due to its connected-ness.
Two hands later we got it in again (above) and this time I had cemfredmd crushed -- as much as one can have someone "crushed" preflop in PLO. I didn't even realize I flopped a straight until after I was reviewing the hand history.
And that was it. Game over. BBT TOC seat secured.
One hand that I didn't play at the final table which had me thinking: We were five-handed. I started the hand with 138k. The next biggest stacks were methos26 (SB, 45k) and twoblackaces (BB, 32k). I opened pot (10.5k) with 8h-9c-Tc-Jc. Action passed to methos26 who called from the small blind before twoblackaces jammed all in.
This is the only hand that sent me into "the tank" all tournament. I knew it was a big decision and immediately hit the time bank button. My problem wasn't necessarily twoblackaces' jam (tho clearly I would have preferred to see a flop before committing another 22k); my problem was that I wasn't sure what methos25 would do if I called. I envisioned a situation where I was playing for one-third of my stack (44k) against two opponents. Not the situation I wanted to be in with my hand and my chip position in the tournament. I could easily wait for a better spot, in a heads-up pot, with a stronger hand; with the blinds at 1.5k and 3k, my opponents could not. After mulling it over for thirty seconds I mucked. I think discretion was the better part of valor there, but I still wonder...
I can now sit back and play whichever of the rest of the BBT4 tournaments I feel like without worrying about securing a TOC seat. Not that I was worrying -- but it's definitely nice to lock up a seat early. Now I can donk around like I usually do instead of trying to "focus". My "focusing" last night consisted of starting to drink in hour 3 and cranking up the energy music once I reached the final table with the chip lead (70k; jeciimd was second with 40k).
Thanks to everyone who was on the rail cheering me on. Sorry I wasn't in a chatty mode last night -- it was all business. Also a big thanks to CK for making dinner while I was still playing (making dinner is usually my task). Congrats to everyone else who made the final table. See you in the TOC!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Ok, so you want to know how to win a PLO tournament? It's easy.