For those who don’t know me, I am Prabhat Mukherjea. I am a regular in most of the tournament series that are held in Goa and I am a pretty serious grinder at low stakes MTTs. I am super-thrilled to be writing blogs on this site and I am really looking forward to being active on the forum and interacting with the PokerGuru team even more. I don’t normally play the higher buy-in MTTs on Stars owing to bankroll constraints and not being willing to deposit too much online. My roll is also pretty short at the moment, but the Red Spade Open is a really attractive tourney, so I bought in using some Frequent Player Points.
The Red Spade Open is a $55 buy-in 1M guaranteed tournament on Stars which is super soft and fishy owing to the huge guarantees and satellites. Over 28,000 players played the Red Spade last night, creating a massive prize pool. There were probably too many interesting hands to discuss in detail, but I’ll go over some of my basic strategy and some of the interesting hands.
Recently I have been adopting a far more loose and aggressive style, since especially with weaker fields its very important to chip up without showdowns and win uncontested pots. I was opening super wide whenever it folded to me because very few players were adjusting at all to my strategy. Since most players responded by flat-calling with a pretty predictable range of high cards and low-mid pairs, it was pretty easy for me to just steal tons of pots when they missed their hands. To be honest though, this kind of play leads to a lot of situations where you need to make marginal decisions and in a lot of spots, even when I won huge hands, I was not sure whether I played it right or not.
I doubled up early with a pretty spewy play when I opened 64cc from early position. I got called by a loose-passive player and min re-raised by an aggressive player in the big blind. Since we were reasonably deep and I had position and a disguised hand, I flatted and to my surprise the passive player folded instead of calling 120 into a pot of 900 or so. The flop came Qc 9c 2d and I jammed for 2800 over his continuation bet of 425 or so. He called with AQ and I luckily turned the flush.
A while later, a reasonably loose player opened to 475 at 100/200/25 and a tightish player flatcalled on the CO. I had AQo on the button and jammed for 5,300 or so. To my surprise both players called, with the opener turning QQ and the flat-caller turning up KK. Luckily, I rivered an Ace to triple up and gather a nice stack. Two or three hands later, I had a pivotal hand. I opened to 422 from UTG with K5ss and it was folded around to the Big Blind who made it 1100 with both of us having 17k behind. I made the call and the flop came Kh 8s Js. We got the stacks in on the flop, only for him to show me KK, thankfully I hit spades on the turn and river to get me close to the chiplead.
From this point, I had a few minor swings in my stack, but once we got in the money, I comfortably chipped up from 45k to around 120k with very little showdown. Mostly I used some well timed 3-bets and timely aggression. At 1200/2400/300 I won a nice pot when I opened UTG with ATo and the BB flatted with 35k behind. The flop came Qh 3h 9c. I led out for 6,250 and he shoved his stack in. I tanked for a short while but eventually called since I was getting 2:1 and figured I had decent equity against his range. He turned over A6hh and I held up for a nice pot.
By this point we were getting close to huge money since there were around 500 or 600 players left with 1st getting a whopping 269,000$. At this point stacks were no longer as deep since the average stack was around 40/50 BB or so instead of 60 or 70. Also the table was a bit more aggressive so I had to cut down my opening ranges. I floated around 45/50 BB for a while, losing a few hands, but getting a couple of standard double ups as well.
Eventually I was down to 20 BB. An unknown player made a 2.1x raise from the Cut-off and I shoved KJo from the Button. Unfortunately I ran straight into his pocket Aces. I was left with 1 BB and busted the next hand in the 300th place leaving me rather annoyed. It was a somewhat tilting day, since I finished 300th or so in the $3 rebuy as well after having the chiplead deep in that. Nonetheless, I am really confident and I think I am playing well though I still have a lot to learn and I am sure I am missing a few marginal spots here and there.