Hey y’all, APPT Macau was a fun and learning experience and I am glad to share some of it with you guyz. I am pretty determined to travel the tournament circuit extensively, which depends on, how good I run!
In this blog, I would like to discuss the 6 handed 5k APPT event which I final tabled. Starting from this event, we received news of a bunch of online qualifiers landing in Macau. We needed to make some adjustments to our game. Mainly, there will be a lot of aggression preflop which, in Goa tournaments, is unheard of. 3-4 betting preflop is pretty useless and redundant in Goa when a standard raise gets called by half the table early in a tournament. Anyways, we did some serious strategy discussions over a bottle of Black Label the night before. Aditya ‘intervention’ Agarwal enlightened us with a lot of helpful tips on how to pick spots.
We started with a 5k stack and blinds at 25-50 for 40min levels. I had a couple of tough online players and to top it off ‘intervention’ was sent to my table to replace the latest casualty. There was a good amount of 3-betting, 4-betting preflop so I couldn’t really miss the fun. I 3betted this aggressive Asian guy on my right who folded a few times. The German guy on my left had lost a couple hands to me. So I could sense some feeling of revenge when he 3bet me next hand to my UTG raise with some rags. I folded. An orbit later similar situation I opened 2.5bbs with 44. He 3bets again, I had him covered, I tank and go all in to which he folded for his 40bb stack quite quickly. The thing is, I had to put some leash on him otherwise the more I fold, the more aggression I face. Well, if you’re too keen on folding preflop to a reraise then, that’s what you’ll be made to do!! The next hand UTG raises I have TT on the button since 6 handed this is like the nuts, I prefer flatting here. First he’s folding his weaker range to a 3 bet and secondly, he gets a chance to 4bet with broadway cards which I won’t be really happy about and there’s a very good chance someone might wanna act funny in the blinds after witnessing such ‘weakness’. We saw the k45 rainbow flop heads up, he bet like 60% pot, I flatted, the turn was J he fired like 75% of the pot which I tank called. He eventually gave up on a brick river and it went check-check. He showed A3 for Ace high and I took it down. Well his bet on the turn convinced me that he almost never has a J there. I was worried about his Kx hands but yeah would’ve re-evaluated on the river if he bet.
I got moved to a new table where I met this guy(Jackson) I knew from New Zealand on the table who took down two back to back titles of first prize 35kNZD of 1kNZD freeze-out local event. As I had a biggish stack players expected me to opening pretty wide. I got dealt JJ first hand I raised UTG Jackson flatted me on the button, the young Asian kid who looked like a serious cash game player called in SB and BB called for value. Flop 6910 rainbow pot was around 1800 with blinds 100-200 ante 25 The SB leads 1500 BB folds and I tank-called. Wel could I seriously lay it down here? It would be a crime, wouldn’t it? It doesn’t look like he’s leading top pair into 4 guyz OOP anyways, I called him on the flop reluctantly and just to make things better, Jackson flatted on the button. Turn 8 gave me some outs but puts a 1 card straight on the board. He fires 3500 on the turn and even though he looks pretty strong he doesn’t necessarily have a straight here. There are a lot of 2 pairs or sets(unlikely) in his range. I had 2 blockers for a higher straight so less likely that he was leading with open ended or flopped nuts. Jackson after me had about 6-7k and wasn’t a big concern for me. I flatted his turn bet and the River 8 paired the board[6910 8 8] and he checked back which assured me that it is highly unlikely that he is holding a straight or a full house. I checked back the river as I couldn’t get more value from worse hands and to see what he’s holding as he is the other big stack on the table. He showed 910 for a busted 2 pair. I kept opening wide and running into this young Asian kid who was determined to play as many pots as he could against me OOP and outplay me by the river. Well he gave away his chips. I cruised through for some time with occasional bluffs and picking up some real hands. I flopped a set of 88 on a KQ8 rainbow board against Jackson’s AK and he still managed to fold when I went all in on the river on KQ8 7Q board.
I was moved again where the first hand I picked up JJ on my BB. I 3bet this Asian lady on my left to her UTG open and checked back the K45 flop knowing almost always she is never gonna bluff in this spot. I took down the pot by leading the turn. I played extra aggressive on this table as I had double the average stack. Even though I wasn’t involved with a lot of ‘funky’ hands my image on the table was perceived as pretty loose, I could sense it. Few hands later, UTG + 1 opened I had AK off he raised to 2200 blinds were 300-600 I insta 3bet he had a stack of like 26k which he snap jammed preflop, I couldn’t have called faster!! He had A7off and I took down a massive pot for 2nd chip lead with like 40 left. A new guy came with the chip lead and shipped it to this online player when they had a set v top 2 pair cooler. He was pretty tilting and started opening like every hand with a 30bb stack. I remember shoving all in to his 3x raise sort of back-back like 4-5 times which tilted him even more. I had 70bb and a decent hand like (A10, KQ) in those spots which is quite often ahead of his range or maybe, if called, marginally behind. I had QJd on the BB when this guy raises yet again on his button (jeez!). It was likely that he was gonna call all in with his 20bb stack with Ax, Kx hands so I flatted. Flop came Q42 with a club draw I checked he bet like 3 bb I min raised him and he went all in which I called comfortably. He had 84 off for middle pair which didn’t improve. I guess the presence of a flush draw instigated him to shove not that he is in a very good shape against a draw.
The online player on my table with a good stack was raising a fair share and I 3betted him a couple of times and he folded. I guess you get more respect when you show some real hands. The last hand before the break I 3betted him with A8off to like 6200. He 4betted me to 13700, I figured, he just can’t keep folding to my 3bets and so is 4betting to (quite often) fold to a 5 bet, he had like 55k left behind. The stack sizes were such and his investment in the pot less than 25% of his stack he could really fold a lot. So I obliged by 5betting him 9k on top to which he tanked a bit and folded. It’s a fold or all-in situation for him so I was sweating for first few seconds after which I realized he is tanking to show that he actually has something!! Yeah right!! Not that I was calm and collected. He folded and I was chip leader at this point with 30 left. [To be continued..]