Winning a live tournament at my 3rd IPC was ecstatic! I was the most prepared going into this IPC as I had been working on my live game, fixing my live leaks and watching a ton of videos on runitonce of live poker. Obviously the 14h+ sessions that I’m used to putting in online mtt’s everyday helped a lot aswell just because of the sheer volume that you can put online and the experience that you can gain in such a short span. It’s huge!
I’ve also been a part of “BBZStaking” which is a poker stable since Jan 2015 and I think the 5hrs+ coaching every week is one of the main reasons for my success at the live and online felts. Poker is a game where you need to keep improving everyday to stay ahead of the curve. In the past 7 months I’ve seen my game improve so much that’s its unreal.
10k Kickoff IPC –
So we finished 50ish in the 5k event and we had the player’s party the previous day so I didn’t get enough sleep for the 5k. As soon as I busted the 5k I went straight back to my room and slept for good 12 hrs. I had pre-registered for all the events which is something I highly recommend for everyone who plays at the IPC. Just saves you a lot of time and hassle. We reached at the venue at 7:15 (the tournament started at 7:00) and our stack was down to 7375 (7500 Starting stacks). Had I not pre-registered I would’ve been standing in the long queue for late registration and probably would’ve had to wait 3-4 levels to get in.
We started off loosing a couple of pots and were down to 4400 in chips at 200bb. We picked up KK at the cut-off and opened. My really good friend Jaideep (jdsaz) shoved from the button (3800) and it was folded back to us and we called. He had QQ and we held. There were mixed feelings as you want to win but at the same time it sucks busting a close friend. After this hand we were upto 9kish.
We chipped up a little bit and were upto 11k at 400bb. Then we picked up JJ and an active guy opened from EP. We 3bet to 2400 and he called. We cbet the 992 flop small and he called. The turn was a 8 and he lead out for 2/3rd of our stack. We shoved, he called with 44 and we held. We had a 55-60bb+ stack going forward and it was looking good.
At 1kbb we had a 40k stack. This was probably the most important hand of the tournament. We opened with QdJd from the hijack and the BB (who looked like a solid reg) defended. The flop was Ad3s4d and we cbet the flop. He check called and the turn was 3d completing our 2nd nut flush but pairing the board. He checked again and we bet the turn. He tank called. The river was 6h and the board was Ad3s4d3d6h. He donk shoved 22k in a 24k pot. At this point I went deep into the tank and started figuring out the hands that beat me which play this way.
Given that he defended from his bb vs my 2.1x open and looked like a solid reg. On the river with his line after defending the BB and x/calling twice. His range had all the Kx of diamonds, All the 34, 36, 44, 66, one combo of 33 and some AA (I don’t hate defending my bb with AA). After tanking for about 4 minutes it was pretty clear to me that his line had me crushed. I asked him if he’d show should I fold and he was like maybe. I folded and he showed me AA. I was pretty happy with my fold and was really confident going forward even though I lost a pretty significant pot. (had I called and won I would’ve been upto 74k at 1kbb which is huge but is meaningless at the same time)
An orbit later we had our first table change and as soon as I sat on the table I saw this guy opening for 3.5k at 1kbb. He had AK at showdown that hand. The very next hand we had ATo and the same guy limped (so he clearly never has a bigger ace in this spot). We Iso’ed and Cbet the K83 rainbow flop, he x/called and we gave up on the turn. He showed 33 and gave us a little more free information.
We were down to 20k at 1200bb when we had our 2nd table change. This table was relatively soft. I had this guy on my right who had a massive CL but kind of had no idea of what he was doing. I picked up some shove spots and we were upto 35k at 2kbb. The table was soft but then Amit “bblacklegend” Jain and Shravan Chhabria were moved to our table. Both are super good and I really respect their game. After that I kind of adjusted to not taking every spot and just played relatively tight as the table got tougher and passed on the marginal spots.
We had a 3rd table change in another orbit and this table seemed fine. We started off with 40k but were carddead for good 2 orbits. Going into the 3rd break we had a 31k stack at 3kbb. Coming back after the break I just started taking every spot for shoving and 3bet shoving. In just 1 orbit we were upto 65k. We open AhQh and the BB defended. We x back the JJx flop. Bet the brick turn and he called. Checked back the river where AQ high was good vs his AT. This was the only showdown we had for quite a long time.
At around 39 left, we had our 4th table change. 32 were paid and we started that table with 85k in chips at 6kbb. From 39 till the bubble burst we kept applying max ICM pressure on our opponents and chipped up to almost 400k without showdown. We opened close to 12-15 unopened hands in a row. This was huge for us as just when the bubble burst. We ran our AK into AA and were down to 240k. Took another small hit to our stack when btn shoved 1.3bbs and we reshoved Q8o from sb as (bb was tight and had 5bb). BB woke up with 99 and held. The table broke and we were down to 18 players.
I started with around 220k at 10kbb. Picked up JJ vs a shortstack shove. We reshoved and held to get our stack upto 275k. After just playing tight for an orbit we were moved to the 2nd table where we started with 300k at 12kbb. Nikita Luther, the new Thrill Team Pro was on my right and 13 players were left at this stage of the tournament. I won a few pots and our stack was upto 450k by just applying pressure. At this time I messed up in a huge 3x Chiplead pot. This was the only hand I think I played bad in the whole tournament. We opened JTo from co and btn flatted. We x/raised JsTc8c flop, x/called 2s turn and x/folded 9d river because of ICM considerations. The reason I played this hand bad was probably because it was my first live deep run and instead of check/overshoving the flop which is the best play by far in this spot, I ended up playing that hand poorly in the spur of the moment. I discussed that hand with a lot of other pros and even though I’d play it perfectly if it happened online, live I couldn’t think through it properly. We were down to 200k at 16kbb after that hand. We got a couple of shoves through and started the FT with 317k in chips at 20kbb.
The FT was pretty weak to be honest. We just waited for a hand to double up and during that time I saw 2 chipleaders who had no idea of what they were doing going at it by 4bet shoving QJo on J47 flop and costing themselves over ₹3 Lakhs in equity. One of the CL busted and we were down to 7 players. At this time I realized that most of the players left had no clue about ICM so as a result I couldn’t put ICM pressure on them. We picked up 55 with 220k at 20kbb and shoved with our 11bb. We got called in 2 spots by AK and AQ. I had been loosing a lot of these key flips online the last month at final tables so it was really good to hold in this spot. We tripled up to 600k+ and were down to 4 players.
At this time we were 2nd in chips with the CL having a massive CL. We opened 99 from the CO and held against Nikita’s Q8. 3 players were left and the sb shoved his 5bb with Q5. We had Q7 and we called. We held and it was down to Heads Up. We started HU as a 3:2 underdog and our opponent was a recreational player. After 15 mins of heads up I figured out that he was ultra aggressive and had huge sizing tells. He was basically overpotting every flop so I decided to just play him postflop and not get involved in a lot of preflop spots as I had a massive skill edge vs him. But in those 15 minutes we lost a lot of pots and he had a 5:1 chiplead. With 400k at 40kbb we picked up 99 and shoved. He called with 66 and we doubled.
After this hand we had around 800k and he had a 2:1 CL. We kept playing postflop and checked 45o from the BB. The flop was J74, we x/called flop. The turn was a 5 and we turned 2 pair. We x/raised his 70k turn bet to 170k and he shoved. I called and he had 76 for a middle pair + OESD. The river bricked out and we held. Suddenly we doubled again and had the 2:1 CL. At this point I realized that with this CL and my edge I could take this down. I switched to a complete postflop fit or fold limp strategy and (limp/folded)/(open folded) 10-12 hands in a row. Which is huge in HU. Vs this particular opponent who was overpotting every flop I just had to wait for a hand and keep the preflop varience as low as possible.
We got T8o and limped the BTN. He checked from the BB and the flop was 976 rainbow. We flopped the nuts and checked back the flop. The turn was a 6 and he bets. We raise and he snap shoves. We obviously snap call and he tables 63o for trips. The river bricks out, we hold and win the tournament!
It was an amazing experience to say the least. The 60k Highroller, 30k Main and the 8k Greed didn’t go too well but I couldn’t complain. It was a fantastic IPC for me. I sold action for all the tournaments that I played at the IPC and it felt good making some money back for my investors who’ve trusted me since I started playing live in January.
2015 has been pretty good for me so far. With my 100$ to 5,000$ challenge being smashed at the start of the year. The 100k$ Challenge getting a superb start. Me improving a lot as a player, getting consistent results online and finally a live title. It’s pretty satisfying when you see the hard work paying off which can sometimes take longer than usual. This just motivates me to work harder each and everyday and keep improving as a player.
It’s been a super journey so far and I’ll try to blog as often as I can! I’m already looking forward to the Next IPC! GL to all the Indians leaving for Macau (Red Dragon) and GL y’all at the felts!