haven’t been blogging much off late and have been traveling extensively in the last 2 months, trying to fit myself into the international poker scene. There hasn’t been much to scream about since my winless streak at MPCC in Macau and the APT Goa series . I have been playing very solid poker and have not really had my share of luck, but this is all part of the game and I understand that these swings make you more human.
I landed in Macau on the day of the 5k shorthanded tournament and decided to play it and get the feel of the competition. Ironically I has Samohh and Rohit Bhalla on the same table as myself (it was 6 handed) and though I did ok for a few levels, I eventually busted as few of my coin flips went against me.
The next event was the 5k knockout bounty which coincided with the day 1A of the main event. I almost didn’t play the event and sold my ticket ,since there was a delay in seating due to lack of tables. I was then asked by an American guy if I wanted to play and I bought over his ticket and was in the event albeit 3 levels late. I had about 35 BB’s and I decided to go aggressive right away, in 3 hands I was down to 8 BB’s and an early exit was imminent. I got lucky on a coin flip when I shoved Ac 5c on from hijack and it held up against K Jo. That changed the course for me and slowly but surely, I started to build my stack. There was a time when I had a stack of 30k (avg stack was 13) but I had not picked up a single bounty. Eventually I managed to get 1 and felt that this was going to be my day. I stacked up to 60k and we were down to the final 3 tables with Amit Verma having a monster chip lead of 200k plus. I saw AK on my button on the first hand after our table broke and 3bet Amit’s raise only to be flatted by the small blind and re-raised by the button to half my stack, Amit folded, I flatted and small blind shoves another 20 k. Big blind goes All In and I had to fold despite the value since we were very close to the bubble. SB shows 66 and BB AA and river gets a 6 to make the Japanese Tsugunari Toma (who incidentally finished 13th in the Main Event) the chip leader with one of the stupidest plays I have ever seen in live poker. I was soon down to 10 BB’s and was doubled up by Amit. Rohit Bhalla BB (1 BB stack) was sent to our table and he was all in first hand with trash, I had limped with A A and was given a royal suck out by him. The very next hand 5 7o he shoved again and I BB, called him with 8 4o and managed to bust him and collect another bounty. Soon it was final table time and I was the shortstack with 58k in chips but was just glad that I made it there.
Final table started with me doing a couple of steals in position and winning a coinflip against Tsugnari and chipping up to about 150k. Then I was on BB with Ks 3d against a min raise UTG by a shortstacked player who had 45k behind. I checked the flop of As 2d 4c and he checked behind. Turn was 7s and it went check check again. River was 5s and I went all-in. The Chinese player tanked for a very long time and I decided to end his misery by deliberately dropping the Ks face up knowing fully well that he will fall for the one card trick and will put me on a bluff. He immediately called and I showed him the 3 to complete a 1 card straight leaving him totally shattered and got myself warned on the table by the TD for the cheeky play. Slowly but surely , Amit and I got a few knock outs and were almost level in chips , about 250k each with 680k totally in play and 4 people remaining. Amit got into a hand against me 99 and lost a huge pot and was crippled to 100k. Meanwhile I open shoved 55 from the button and was called 126k by the sb A Jo and he hit quad jacks. Amit then chose to make a move against me and open shoved a small suited connector to my K 10o and he finished 4th after no help from the board. After some see saw play, there was this guy from Singapore who already had shown A A twice on the final table and was almost level in chips against me 3 bet me 10 10 from BB, I shoved and he insta called A A once more. That sealed the deal for me but I was very happy with my first ever international final table performance and was on the APOY board.
I started the main event the next day and had Aaron Benton (2009 Sydney Main Event winner and one of Australia’s top players)to my right who was on a crazy card rush. We bonded pretty well and both of us almost doubled up within the first 2 levels. Then the poker Gods took over and I had A Qo 3 times busted back to back and bled some chips when the board ran unkind. I than saw AK and chopped the pot after some furious betting. I then got A K once more and raised 4BB from the button and was called by both the blinds and one limper. Flop was A 9 4 (all diff) and after the SB and BB checked, the limper bet out 16 BB’s on a non drawy board. I smelt something fishy and called . Turn was a 2 and he led out 35 BB’s. I called again. River was another 9 with no draws completed and he leads out another 35 BB’s. I made a crying call and he shows 4 4 for a full house. I thought he was trying to throw everyone off on the flop with the aggressive overbet on a non draw board but good luck to him, he found me at the receiving end. The very next hand I had As Js and had 3 callers and on a J high board, was check calling Pulkit who showed the same hand for yet another chopped pot. I saw QhQd the very next hand and raised 7 BB once more only to be called by 3 people. The 8h 7h 2c flop was checked to me and I bet out 20 BB’s and was 3 bet to 40BB’s I shoved and was slow rolled by the player who tanked, called and eventually showed 7 7 to end the ME right there for me. It all happened too quickly for me and I had no way of getting out of that situation.
I had no regrets since I was repeatedly coolered and took it in my stride. But I was more than happy with the quality of my play against some very tough players in a tourney which had the likes of Phil Ivey and Johnny Chan .
I didn’t play any other event since I had to return but I surely will be in Goa in December for the IPC main event as well as the PokerGuru tour.
The PokerGuru team was in full force in Macau and it was a very good experience to bond with the boys. I feel the Indian poker scene is evolving into something very big . I was very happy to see the high stakes cash players making a determined effort to make it into the tournament poker scene and Sangeet Mohan had a spectacular run in the main event finishing 10th.