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The Sophomore

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

So as it turned out to be, some of the folks actually read my first blog on this forum. I thank you all for the humble gesture. It’s been great writing about my first experience of playing the game live, as it has always been enriching and inspirational to have read about other people’s journey and their struggles in this game.
The first day at the games was the same feeling as it would be for a fresher on the first day of college, ready to be sidelined and bullied in the corner. But things were different, and the conditions were not so hostile thanks to someone, well if I said again, it would be declared as flattery.
Ready to become a sophomore, I pushed myself out of bed the next day to sit for the satellite. My mantra for the day being “confident” and “making as many correct decisions”, I stepped into the zone. Well today was different from yesterday with self-confidence and a better sight we set for “tomorrow”. The satellite was structured for push or fold play, and being an online grinder playing DONs for hours at stretch I was game for it. It wasn’t long that I made it through, and grabbed myself yet another seat at the event.

Some interesting hands

Blinds 200/100
A guy in Early position raises to 600,I flat from MP with AQss. Rajnish flat calls from late position
Flop TsAx3x
Initial raiser checks,i make it 1200,rajnish folds,the initial c-r me to 2800
With TP,Q kicker backdoor flush draw. I just flat
Turn 8x
he checks to me,i shove the turn.He insta folds

At this point i had close to 40bb stack & started opening wide
Another hand @ 400/200/50
I open for 1000 with 22 from ep,i get 2 callers with ~15bb stacks.
Samoh makes it 3k,with 7k left behind
(TBH, i feel this is where i got confused & felt my lack of MTT experience hurting me)
At this point i just wanted to get my entire stack in, As i felt other two callers were fairly weak & i had decent fold equity against them.
I decided to fold that hand.

Just before the break
@ 500/250/50 last night’s runner up shoves from ep with ~5bb A player in MP shoves for about 10K.
I had 18K & i also get it in with QQ
AT vs AKcc against my QQ
The player in the mp rivered a flush.
Tbh, i was devastated at this point.
Without beating around the bush too much here, I’d admit that I was pretty much down and out after that loss. Maybe I wanted to do well and was desperate about it, well who wouldn’t be at his first event. To make matters worse, there was a break in between which took forever to end. The longest 10 minutes of my life.
The game started again with a blind jump and me pushing myself to the limit with just 8k left in the stack. At this point even the decent of the cards eluded me, making me handicapped to make any move whatsoever. Somewhat lost in translation of how the game was shaping up and shoulders drooping low, I needed some life to lift my game up. Soon I was talking to myself, reminding myself to not to be lazy and show up an enthusiastic character, which was at test at this point of time. Probably the only way I could have dragged myself out of that phase.
The player to my left was kind of weak in his knees, limping at almost anything and everything. I had 6k left in my stack and with blind at 600/300/75 I was charged up for the push/fold game.

Everyone folded to the weak player who limped from BTN, i looked down @ T9dd from SB. I decided to get it in. The player at BB folds as the one on the BTN.
Now I wasn’t getting any opportunities to push as players started opening wide and my chips dropping to 7BB.
I picked up QThh from the MP & jammed.
Rajeev opened with 2.5x from BTN on my BB, one player flat calls. I picked up AK in theBB & I decided to move in. Rajeev moved in too, with the weak player following in.
Rajeev had AQ, the other one showed QQ
The board showed Ace on the flop & no help to others, i got a triple up.

So I got a new lease of life, positioning myself with 17k in the stack and almost 20BB. Guess the aftereffects of Red Bull were showing up. Gulped five of those I guess. “Red Bull makes you fly”.
With blinds at 800/400, A player in the cut off shoved for 7100,i moved all in from the BTN with AT.My AT held up.Thus adding more chips to my stack.
The very next hand, i opened for 2k on Abhishek Goindi’s blinds. With a peek at his cards he announced to go all in. I snap called his invite with AA. To his luck he had KK and I had the pot to myself.

This was the throttle I needed to push forward my game. With a good enough graded stack, and some Red Bull to accompany my senses, I started opening wide on all that came. But my stack took a hit again and I was down to 27k.A new player joined the table. He was another “one” who was indifferent to the “cards” hoping on to any wagon that arrived.
He started opening for 2.5x & was trying to dominate the table.Taking down most pots.
At blind level 1600/800 he opened for 4k, in the SB I Looked down @ T4o
I paused for a few moments,& decided to go all in. The player at BB folds & the rider of the wagon had to tank fold.
At this stage i knew my stack size stood perfect ground to hold decent fold equity against him. There was just some pushing that I had to do with 13 players left and almost 25BB in my kitty. With the final table In sight, people started playing safe or rather too tight exposing gaping holes in their game ready to be exploited.

The player to my left had about 9BB and rather needless to say I was pushing him to the edge of the cliff playing fairly aggressive from LP.
With just 12 player left, my stack got another raise with my pair of jacks holding up against a pair of sevens. And in no time after that, I found myself making way to the final table positioning myself 3rd with 74k in the stack. I was ecstatic but at the same time, was calming my nerves as I knew I had the potential to grind through these player.
To be contd.

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Nitish Gupta

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