The IPC series April edition concluded this Sunday, it showcased another set of record numbers for all the events. I had written about the 6.5 satellite in my last blog entry and updating about the rest of the events here. It was an action packed few days and was great catching up with a lot of old friends too.
The 5k event was the first freezeout tournament of the series, The starting stack was 5000 chips which gets shallow rather swiftly so we were looking for a good spot to double up early on in this particular one. We were down to 4250 in chips in the 3rd level when this hand came along, an opponent from early position opened for 450 and we looked down onto AQo in late position, we pushed all-in with around 21 bbs and tanked and finally made the call with 77 and flop was 7high with 3clubs, We had the A of clubs drawing to the nut flush but the sweat was short-lived as another 7 on the turn eliminated us early.
I took this opportunity to catch up on some sleep and be fresh for the next events instead of going back to the room and playing online like I usually do.
For the 10k event I reached the casino by 8:20pm, 10 minutes before the event starts and rushed to the registration booth to find a long que to register, Lesson learnt : “Always pre register”. I finally got a seat somewhere in the 3rd level and had around 30bb to work with. I was seated on a table with some cash game regulars and some new faces, was an active table with some interesting action. Our chip stack kept ticking up without many showdowns and things were moving in the right direction. There were eventually 307 entries after the end of registration period crushing the guarantees. 27 places were paid with a mammoth 6.5 Lakhs for the eventual winner, which is huge for a 10k buy-in event.
With around 35 players remaining and the money bubble fast approaching We had around 20bbs. Didn’t really have too much room to raise/fold with my stack size but we still took some shots as chipping up at this stage which was crucial. The play slowed down considerably and understandably during hand for hand play and after around 20 minutes the bubble burst and the remaining 27 players made the money and redrew for seats
After the redraw we were seated on a stacked table with my good friend Sahil ‘antilog’ Agarwal on my right who is a tough opponent and on his right was another good player in ‘Alwaysdegen’. The play resumed and we were short stacked with around 12bbs and after a couple of our shoves getting through we got our stack upto around 18bbs which was the average stack at that time, a few hands in we were involved in a hand with the eventual winner of the event who opened from UTG and we looked down to find 1010 in big blind, we pushed all-in and he calls to table KK ending our run in 25th spot for a mincash. Was a good run and we played well to get this far in the event, which was a confidence booster going into the main the next day.
The 30k main event was the featured event of the series. After pre registering this time we made it in time on the 1st level. I was seated with some well known players on my table with Girish, Rajeev Kanjani and Amin Rozani, there was no shortage of action and conversations on the table. I started off the tournament well as I called an all- in pre holding AK against an aggressive opponents AQ to b boost my stack to 25k from the 15k starting stack.
A couple of levels later I was moved to another table where I was seated on the left of some well known good players namely Aditya ‘Donkab0mber’ Sushant, Shyam and Himanshu Laul. It was another super active table with no shortage of action. We kept chipping up winning some small pots to run our stack to above 40bbs, we lost a significant pot shortly where we raised from UTG +1 with 99 and a short stack player shoves for around 16 big blinds, after a bit of deliberation we make the call and he flips over AA.
I was moved from that table shortly and with around 60 people left in the 12th level of the blinds, we had 3 levels of play left for the end of days play. There were some notables remaining in the field, with the likes of Abhishek Goindi, Amit Jain, Paras, Sumit Asrani, JDsaz, Saby, Ansar Khan, Vikram verma, Ankur dewani, Himanshu laul, Shaami, Rajeev Kanjani, Pranav bagai, Shashank, Anup all with stacks. We were swinging around a stack of 18-25bbs but hung on to make Day 2 with a stack of 66k at Level 15 with blinds at 1.5/3k.
With some amplified anxiety I couldn’t really sleep sound that night and was excited about making Day 2.
I reached the casino 20 mins before the start of play and was going through the chip counts, we had a below average stack at that point but there wasn’t too much disparity in stacks so I thought a 66k stack was pretty workable though the margin for error was slim. We started Day 2 well by taking down some crucial pots early on to push our stack to around 110k, at this point the tournament director was in the process of balancing the tables with only 21 players remaining.
I was a moved short-handed table and we lost the first hand we played on that table, the blinds were 2.5/5k and we opened for 11k with AQ and the action folds to the player in big blind, the flop runs 3 10 2 and the action goes check-check, the turns brings in a 5 and now the big blind fires 9k and we make the call, the river is a 7 and the action goes check-check and he tables Q10 for a pair we lose a small pot with but a few hands later we doubled up where the action saw, we opened A10o from early position and the player on the Dealer button calls, the flop runs 5 K Q giving us a gutshot straight draw plus it appears to have hit our range more as the initial raiser so we make a continuation bet on the flop and he calls, the turn bring in a J giving us broadway and we check this time, now he bets half pot and after a small pause we shove and he immediately calls to table KJ for 2 pairs and the river brings a Q for our stack to reach 190k. The very next hand was the most crucial hand of the tournament for me where a good player opens with a stack of 85k (around 16bbs) a short stack with 3bbs shoves and the action comes to us in Big Blind holding AJ, we took our time with this decision and my thoughts were that I’m mostly ahead of the short stack players range but wasn’t exactly sure about the initial raiser, I was trying to give him a range in my mind, he could certainly have 55+, Ax suited, A10+,KJ+, I was doing good against some of those hands and flipping against some of them I couldn’t rule out me being crushed in this spot if he had AQ+, JJ+. If I had started the hand with less than 140k I would mostly have folded in this marginal spot but after much deliberation I decided to shove here as winning this hand would put in contention for the title and losing the pot wasn’t crippling me just in case if I get called by the initial raiser and we happen to lose, so we went for it. The early position opener calls and tables QQ and I wasn’t too happy to see that, it was AJo vs QQ vs QJs for a huge pot, the flop brought in 8 10 2 and the A on turn saw us scoop a huge pot and from there on in we were never jeopardizing our stack advantage and giving away our maneuverability.
We reached the final table as chip leader and never let it go. Other notables to make the final 10 handed table were Ankur Dewani, Pranav Bagai, Rajeev kanjani, Paras and Shaami. On the FT we Didn’t get out of line and opened a fair amounts of pots to chip up where on the other hand Ankur and Pranav were eliminating most of the players. When we were down to 3 we made a deal as all 3 were equal stacks and flipping for so much equity didn’t feel right. After the deal the first plyer to get eliminated was Ankur and we were down to heads up play for the title it was me against Pranav Bagai and after a valiant effort by him it just seemed to be my day as everything I was doing seemed to be working for me, the final hand saw Pranav limp from the button and I looked down to find JJ and we raise 3x and he calls in position, the flop comes 4 2 4 I lead the flop and he tanks and decided to shoves we call and he had 78o and the turn river was no help to Pranav giving us the title. It felt surreal winning such a stacked field and I was tired and elated at the same time
Finally after working hard on my game along with my coaches Alex Carr, Rob, Mat brown from Pocarr a big shout out to those guys and to my poker friends Jasven, Danish, Aditya agarwal, Sahil agarwal, Kavish kukreja, Amit Jain, Aditya Sushant, Shravan and Dhaval with whom I bounce hands and discuss poker with have helped me improve my game, the effort pays off.
Will get back to playing online in the coming week and Hope to see to everyone for the next IPC event, until then good luck to all the grinders.