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Posted by Kunal Chandra on 2012-02-24 at 12:00 AM

Its been a really long time since I last blogged. After APT in November I went back to Delhi and got busy with our local home game which suddenly became extremely juicy since Diwali had just ended and everyone was still in the gambling mood. We saw crazy swings of 30-35 buy-in’s in small 8 hr sessions. Gradually the game became serious business and we upped our limits. I made some really good money since then on these tables and had to scale down my online volume. From 20-25 tournies in a day online, I went down to about 20-25 a month which was really bad since I like to think of myself as a tourney player and a huge cash game fish. My travel for live tournaments was also going to be limited because of family commitments as a lot of weddings were happening and our second baby coming, so I decided it will just be PGT’s for me for 2012 (atleast the first half).

In December, I travelled to Goa for the PokerGuru tour and started off fairly well. I managed a decent run in almost all tournaments and went on to win the 5k rebuy. This tournament had a really tough final table and I had to suckout twice against Rishabh Chawla in decent sized pots and bluff one against Rahul Raju in a monster Pot to give myself a shot at the title. I just avoided being in a pot with Intervention since he’s obviously a sicko and would own me every time without even trying. Adi opened in a hand UTG with 18 bb’s and I decided to just fold AJss with 13 BB’s in late position which I would shove almost everytime, it turned out to be a soul read fold as he later claimed he had AQ. It pretty much went smoothly after I had built my stack busting Rishabh and doubling through Rahul when I held AA against his KQss which he opened UTG and I 3 bet him +1 with 24 BB’s, he flatted my raise and called my shove on a Q high board. Heads-up was a long battle and Johannes, online qualifier on PokerStars, tightened up a lot not getting into marginal spots. Eventually, we chopped it and just played for the trophy and I won a flip to take down the tournament. I headed back to Delhi after this for more cash action and made more money.

In February, I came back for the PGT but only for 2 tournaments as my daughter Siya turned 2 on the 10th of Feb and I couldn’t travel till then. First day in Goa I played the PGT main event and just played it like a cash game not valuing my tournament life which costed me as I got into an extremely silly spot. UTG opens 275 at 50/100, 2 callers, Sumit Sapra in MP pops it to 1150 folded to SB who makes it 2750, I look at QQ in BB, on any other day I just fold this here so early but not having played tournaments for almost 2 months I cold 5 bet this to 8250 to snap if anyone shoves (at this point I had 26,000 and the others were sitting with around 15k starting stacks), as planned Sumit Sapra shoves and SB reshoves and I was left with 7k more to call for a pot worth 40k. Sapra showed KK, SB showed AA and I show QQ to the giggling table. Later, I just gave away my chips as I found it a little difficult adjusting to tourney play and made some really silly moves.

Next day, I played the high rollers and had a long chat with Adi and the rest of the PG gang on how to adjust to such a deep stacked structure. I played really aggressive and got lucky in a lot of hands at crucial spots. I kept opening a lot of pots and invited a lot of 3 bets from Rohit Bhalla on my immediate left. I had built a stack from an early double up and remained amongst top 2 chipleads throughout and hardly at any stage went down 100 BB’s. In the middle stages I just avoided getting into any tricky spots, was opening tighter, did not c-bet 100% of the time, almost never 3-bet or 4-bet light. I figured since I had so many chips and with such a structure I don’t really need to attack the blinds and steal unecessarily. During this stage I picked up a few big pots against Rohit, I defended my BB with 67ss against Rohit’s UTG open and check raised him on 558 board, he flatted. Turn 4, I bet fairly big which Rohit flats again after giving it some thought. River brings an A, which I check to him to induce a bluff and he almost bets pot size which I call, I show the straight and he mucks. Little while later I open AKdd, Rohit flats +1, everyone folds, flop comes 496 2 diamonds, I make a standard C-bet which he snap calls. Turn brings the 5 of diamonds, I bet 2/3 Pot, he tank calls, river bricks with a J and Rohit pays my big river bet with his 2 pairs. We immediately got to the final table after this hand and Rohit became one of the short stacks.

I came to the final table as the chip lead with Raman 2nd in chips. This turned out to be a tough final table as everyone was really deep and Raman and Bhalla are monsters with big stacks, Bhalla doubled through Raman in the 2nd hand on the final table and both got to around 40-50 BB’s each which gave me a little relief since there was not a lot they could have done with that stack. I played pretty tight, not wanting to double any shorties and avoid letting our sick PG mentors to get any light 3-bets against me. Raman being a sicko he is, he still 3 bet my UTG open which was my first in the 5 orbits that we had played on the table, I made a bigish 4 bet with AKss out of position to make a pot sized shove on any flop, but he folded. A little later, I opened ATo on the button knowing Raman is 3 betting me 100% of the time there from his BB, he made a smallish 3 bet and I flatted in position knowing I should be miles ahead and 4-bet folding would just be silly. Flop comes 9 4 4 rainbow, Raman makes a standard c-bet and I float flop calling him instantaneously, turn brings a 5 which makes 2 hearts on the board, this time Raman bets 63k in to an 110k Pot with 115k behind. With a number of draws out there it makes it easy for him to bet big and take down the pot right there, but as played my hand looks really strong too and I decide to shove with some decent fold equity there. Raman folds and I muck my hand telling him it was a good fold. This hand gave me a big chip lead and it was smooth sailing from here on and I took down the tournament topped with a sweet Tissot one-touch watch.

It turned out to be a great visit to Goa, had a lot of fun hanging out with the PG gang. I headed to Macau after this for the MPC and got a deep run in the 1st event, Ill blog about my experiences in Macau next week.

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Kunal Chandra

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