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The Final Table : Bought the ticket, took the ride

Posted by Nitish Gupta on 2012-04-15 at 12:00 AM

My second live MTT, and I made it to the final table with nine other players competing for the final prize. Ecstatic yet focused on the task, I sat down to play. In no time two players were knocked off and during that course of time I picked up a few decent pots.
Prabhat was sitting on a giant stack to my right, and was opening a lot of hands. At blinds 2400/1200/200 he opened for 5100 from EP. With AQo at hand I flat call with the player to my left shoving in an extra 50K. Prabhat snap called him while I folded mine.
The game now had just five of us grinding for the final pot. I was consistently picking up small pots to keep up with the pace. After a few more hands, Jasveen Saigal on the BTN decided to go all in with 30k. With A9 in the BB, I decided to call his invite only to be shown 9To and dealt with 9QJ 5 2 on board.

The next leg of the tourney was exciting, even though I ended up third, but the experience was enthralling like none other. Prabhat was still standing tall with his giant stack of 240k and opening a lot of hands, Karan on the other hand was playing tight with his 140 in the stack while I was 20k short of what he had.

At blinds 4000/2000/500 Prabhat min raised on my blinds. I had K8, so I flat called him. With 664 on the Flop, he lead out half pot to which I called with the intention of re-evaluating on Turn and taking away the pot from him if he showed weakness. The card showed 9 on the turn, to which he checked and i followed in on the step, as I had King high and had some showdown value. With Ace on the river, Prabhat lead out another half pot, to which I called. He mucked his cards and remarked “good call”.

The game was now getting intense, with three of us exchanging blows and the chip stack swinging here and there. A few hands later Karan opened with 2.2x from the BTN on my BB. With QTo I decided to call. Flop comes down AsJx7x and he checked it. At 9s on the Turn, I lead for just over half the pot, to which he check raises me 2x on top. Here my calculation began; I began rolling it in my head, putting him on set, Mp + fd/Bp+ fd. Since i had a Double Gut shot st draw, I just flat called him. River turned out to be brick and I lead out ¾ of the pot. At this point the only way I could win was by betting. To add to this, the way he played this hand he was only repping a set or at most pair + FD. While, I thought a decent size river bet would get most of his range folded except for a set. Thus he snap folded his cards and I was firmly up at 225k.

At this stage I was going well, and was very much satisfied with the way I was playing. I was at ease for most of the time on the final table, thanks to Samohh who was constantly speaking to me and advising me during the breaks. It’s only for him that I felt comfortable in this competitive environment.

Just after the break, I made an awful call at the river. Prabhat min raised on my blinds, and flat called him with 97cc . Ac5c7x opened on the flop, to which he lead out for half pot, and I again flat called him. 8x showed up on the turn and he bet out half pot and I called again. Ax arrived on the river, Prabhat lead out for 1/3 of the pot and without giving it a thought I called him again. I was kicking myself to have played this hand the way I did. Well it turned out he had A6 and the pot too. Just after this, Prabhat took a hit too as Karan doubled up his stack through him.

I knew I had to play aggressive here, as due to the last chain of events, Prabhat would tighten up his game. As a consequence of this strategy, I took down 4 pots in a row. At blinds 6000/3000/500 I opened for 16k from the BTN. Karan 3- bet me to 45k and I 4-bet to jam AJo for about 140k. Karan eventually called my bet to show AQ, and ending my journey there. Thus I finished at the 3rd spot, in my 2nd live MTT. I think I played well overall, with a few errors I made in certain places, which I am confident of making up as I come back again to play more live games and gain more experience.
Lastly I would like to say, that this trip was one of the best experiences I have had in poker, winning was secondary, but learning so much so from the experienced players of the game and the enthralling atmosphere made up for much and more than what I had anticipated. Finally a huge thanks to Samohh, intervntion who were humble and generous enough to speak to me and encouraging me when I needed it and didn’t expected it from anyone out there. It was a great day, where my friend shipped a tourney, I finished 3rd in another, had an awesome session with Adi Sir, met great people and played loads of poker. What else do you want, I felt at home. Will be visiting again when Goa calls.

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Nitish Gupta

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