Day 2 of the PGT- Exhausted with my cash game grind, I slept a bit longer. When I reached the casino, the 2nd level of the 12K bounty event was about to start and decided not to play the tournament. I would have had to start wd 37.5BBs which was a disadvantage to me given the fact that everyone started with 75BBs. But Vinay persuaded me to enter the tourney even if it was late given that avg. stack was just over 7500 (starting stack). As I went to buy the tournament ticket, I felt I was throwing away 12k. But I entered just for the sake of the experience.
I got a good starting table with one pro and many amateurs, made some good bluffs, light 4-betting, caught couple of good hands and made a good stack on my initial table. Till the later part of the tournament, I always had around 15-20BB. Whenever I used to reach down to around 10BB, I would shove very wide (one of the learning’s from MP). I remember making three consecutive shoves from Hijack, cut-off and dealer that took my stack from 11BB to 19BB. That was the turning point of the tournament for me. My LAG image soon helped me with a big boost to my stack when I got KK and JJ and got good action. All throughout the middle stages of tournament, I played hyper-LAG style. 3-bet shove, open shoves from hijack, button and sometimes from SB. Once I had over 25BBs I made sure I would min-raise 100% of time from button/Hijack if folded to me. In tourneys live and online, this is a very profitable strategy till the point players start playing back and then you can adjust.
At my table, one aggro English player figured out what was going on with my button raise every time (he was the BB at my button). I and this player had a very interesting hand during the bubble time. Metagame and the bubble were two very important aspects of this hand. He had ald 3-bet my button raise 2 times before and I folded both times. I was the chip leader of my table (eff stack – 35BB). SB was eliminated so he had immediate pos over me. I limped SB wd Kxo, mindful of the fact that a raise was coming. BB raised 3BB, i 3-bet 10BB. He tanked forever n called. Flop was Q Q 4 r and i insta shoved for his remaining 25BB. He tanked again and folded this time. Later told me that he had an ace in hand.
Soon after we had the final table and this hand ensured that I was the chip leader on the final table. I had some good hands there and when the final three players were left I had a huge chip lead. It still hurts me when I think of the situation and how I didn’t capitalize on it.
In poker, one common mistake is the emotional attachment a player often has to the past evaluation. If at a point of time, you have a much better position and then you make a mistake that helps your opponent equalize. Now, there is nothing wrong with equality but in your mind you still hold that advantage although there is no longer any objective justification to it. The result is a downward spiral, where the foundering player coupled with his hollow over-confidence keep on making mistakes. Here is what happened in the tournament that led me into that downward spiral.
I went on overkill; I was not interested in winning the first prize. What mattered was the fact that I outplayed both opponents.
I lost my stack in three hands.
1. Q5ss from button min raises, BB goes all in 8BB. I call. BB had A4 and held up
2. SB min raise and I flat wd K6o on BB. Flop was Tc2d3d, he bet I called. Turn 8s he bet, I raise he shoved and I folded (don’t remember the bet sizings). This was such a critical hand. I played it badly and it effected my whole composure at the table
Regaining presence and clarity of mind after making a serious error is a struggle for all competitors. Something I too failed to do. I wish someone had put some cold water on my head to wake me up from my resignation to my emotional swings. Couple of hands later, I lost my full stack making a huge over-bet bluff and ran into the nuts.
Another very important lesson that I learnt was that at the end stages of the tournament, cost of losing x chips is more than the benefit of winning x chips when you already have a big stack. I really hope that in future, I will not repeat these mistakes again and will prevent such a blow-up.
I did end the tournament with 7 bounties, 3rd position cash prize of 90k and 16k in 10% swap that I made with Samoh (eventual winner :))
GL till next time