If I truly wanted to leave, I would have left already...aka I go but to return...aka The Love Elf saves the day
You all knew that was self-delusional bullshit right?
This blog is good for me. In these recent lengthy posts outlining my self-perceived weaknesses and then receiving feedback that highlights other, subtler holes in my game, I have been able to make some important mid/late game adjustments. Deliberately made over the past three days and to great immediate effect. No it hasn't just been luck - I have played specific hands very differently these last four days and the results are clear. An improvement has occurred.
No final tables. Yet.
But I cashed in the FT 2pm DS 6k Guaranteed two days ago, and cashed in the 30k on both Saturday and Sunday (75th and 99th respectively). The 30k is boasting a field of 1500 these days. I am pleased by the deep finishes, but even more pleased that both bustouts were beats on the magnitude of 3/1 or so. Sunday boasted the somewhat predictable QQ v A7o which made trip 7s by the turn. On each of these bustouts, if I win I am an average stack again. [NB: that wasn’t a badbeat story because like I said I am truly proud that once again I have found that spot where I am getting my chips in way, way ahead.]
Since I don’t really play poker for my hourly rate, the only results-oriented benchmark for me is depth of penetration into these big field MTTs. Not a bad week.
Actually moneying last night was a particular source of pride because I took a terrible hit to my stack when I made a tough shortstack call of a push from the cutoff holding a measly A4o. I had been watching the villain for over an hour and his range was wide open. I had also been leaving my blind undefended deliberately and he had taken it 3 of 4 previous orbits. It’s an odd habit of mine, but at times I will not defend even with playable (but not great) cards for a few orbits when the blinds are mid-range in the hopes I can then resteal with air down the road when it counts. This trick is surprisingly effective, esp in late stages, but it depends on an observant but greedy opponent – which villain clearly was. The move also predictably widens the range the CO and button will try to steal with. Which is why I felt ok with busting if I was wrong, but felt good he wasn’t packing an ace or much of a hand at all.
I call and he shows 67s. Sadly for us dear readers he manages to cripple our hero down to less than 2k with blinds about to hit 200/400. Say what you will, that was not a random, “let’s gamble” call. That was simply (for better or worse) the best poker I can play. I have long since learned in my real job to trust my instincts at all times, and as I start to do it more and more in poker I am noting they reliably come through for me.
The board is another matter, of course. But rather than tilt, I just start picking my spots and stole two sets of blinds uncontested. The power of being the shorty is that the bigstack is sometimes loathe to double you. Then came Hand of the Night v1.0, with the eponymously lovely Love Elf watching no less, when I get JJ.
Home free, right?
As I am literally getting ready to go to the fridge for a drink of ice watah to detilt, Tina types “J!” in the chat and BOOM! not one but TWO Jacks appear by the turn. Right back in it. To his credit, the player who took this sickening beat (the same guy who crippled me earlier) took it like a gentleman – observing it was oddly fair. Fucking Good Form.
From there I played it strictly by position, folding even 33 in MP to EP pressure, preferring to go for postional pushes with fuck all as holdings. Worked very nicely, and that brings us to Hand of the Night v2.0. It was a push at the exact moment the bubble was about to burst. I am dealt Q3o in the CO-1 and decide fuck it, I have both blinds almost covered (my 9k to 9.5k and 10k). The big stacks in between me and the shorties will assume I am packing a premium to push right on the bubble and get out of my way. They do. As for the shorties in the blinds, they will fold up to AJ (at least) to a push rather than bubble. And fold they do, taking me to 11k, and getting me to believe that the comeback was just getting started. It cracked me up that Hoy, who I guess had been quietly watching for a while recognized this instantly for the move it was. I'd point out where I picked up such MTT delicacies, but if you've read this blog at all, you can probably work it out for yourself. On the other hand, I chuckle to think how dumb I'd have looked if I ran into a premium... But that's actually the point: with only 4 to act in front of you, and with that much pressure on them - you're golden way, WAY more times than you're not.
So as you might have guessed by the time I saw those queens, I had already begun to think about my midstack strategy and who would be the victims of steal attempts now that I would have a stack to work with. I admit was ecstatic to call UTGs push knowing I was way, way ahead. Until I wasn’t. I appreciate Hoy, JJ and Tina hanging in there for me – it was good to play my A game with friends watching for a change. It slightly ameliorated the bitter taste of almonds.
Honestly, as idiotic as it sounds, I believe it’s just a matter of time. I will be at that final table before I go back to work. If not, it won’t be for a lack of me bringing my best game and enough shots to let the math open the door. I take no small pride in the fact that I have played this tournament a fair bit, and am positive dollars for the effort. When I hit that big one, it will look goot, goot, goot.
FT 20k – I love you, darlin’. I have decided I must have you and make you mine. You will love every minute of it baby. You know you will.