Poker Fish vs Poker Shark

Out of my depth (Party Poker Daily Major $100 buy in)

A polite reference to the assets of an attractive lady earned me a free entry to a $10 multi table tournament on Party Poker…

https://twitter.com/SmarterPoker/status/617791888020647937

I had planned to save it until Sunday but upon browsing through the available games I saw a huge opportunity: a table with only 3 spaces taken, with the first cards due down in under 2 minutes.

I found myself in a satellite for the Daily Major, surrounded by absolute maniacs. All in pre-flop. All in pre-flop. All-in pre-flop. Rinse & repeat.

A few premium hands landed in the hole and I decided to make a couple of calls. Two villains dispatched and a comfortable chip lead was mine. At 1,500 chips I was 3* the starting stack when another maniac dropped in as a late entry.

With such random players I decided the best strategy would be to wait for one to eliminate the other and then use my circa 500 chip advantage to win the heads up battle. I would get some sleep and contemplate my strategy for the Daily Major: a tournament with a $100 buy-in and, in theory, some pretty decent competition (relative to what I am used to, anyway).

PARTY POKER DAILY MAJOR ONLINE TOURNAMENT (1)
PARTY POKER DAILY MAJOR ONLINE TOURNAMENT (1)

So far, so good, right?

Well, events didn’t quite pan out as expected.

PARTY POKER DAILY MAJOR ONLINE TOURNAMENT (3)
PARTY POKER DAILY MAJOR ONLINE TOURNAMENT (3)

I did win the satellite and it was as easy as I had expected given the playing style of my opponents. However I was then thrust straight into the daily major!

A quick tweet to @SixEightSuited (who you will note also won a free $10 buy in) confirmed I hadn’t actually done anything wrong.

Ok. So my plans of an early night were shot down. How seriously should I take this thing? Turns out the top prize is over $2000 the top 15 players get paid. About twenty times bigger than my biggest cash to date… *eek*

By the time I figured this out we were about half an hour in and I was doing OK. NO, more than OK. As it happens, I was IN THE MONEY!!

PARTY POKER DAILY MAJOR ONLINE TOURNAMENT (2)
PARTY POKER DAILY MAJOR ONLINE TOURNAMENT (2)

I had managed to steal a couple of blinds and win two all ins to more than triple my initial stack (which carried over from the satellite).

Admittedly one had been very lucky. I called an all-in on the turn to a board which I figured had missed my opponent. I had A9s and put myself on top pair (there was a 9) with ours to the nut flush. Turns out I didn’t have top pair – he was slow playing a bigger pair – but a lovely club came on the river and my opponent had an early bath.

The second all in was in accordance with the institution of Phil Gordon (at this point I can’t recall whether it was Poker: The Real Deal or Phil’s Little Green book):

“Re-raise to isolate”

My opponent, under the gun, went all in with a little over 1k chips. Blinds were around 200/400 at this time. I opted to go all in from middle position with pocket Jacks, figuring my short stacked opponent would be playing Ace-x, anything suited or maybe any high card. Everyone folded behind me and my opponent turned up big slick. Oops, we now have a coin toss!

JJ held out and I found myself in pretty decent position, as above.

From here, I tightened my game. Way, way too much and my stack was slowly being withered away by the blinds and antes. I made a large pre-flop raise in an un-opened pot from the button, save for one flat caller in middle position. My raise was too big and I committed myself to the pot.

Everyone folded except for the initial flat caller who happened to be the big stack: something I now realise I failed to consider at the time.

When the flop landed 3 3 J I went all-in. My opponent flipped up 9-3o. WHO THE HELL CALLS A BIG RAISE WITH NINE THREE OFF SUIT?!

As it happens, a big stack who figures a guy who hasn’t done anything for 20 minutes turns up with a half decent hand. By going in with a hugely speculative two cards he had the potential to catch someone out in a big way… and he did.

So I didn’t win anything, busting out in 34th place, but I really enjoyed playing. More importantly, I realised I was failing to consider what my opponents think I hold, not just what I think they hold.

Until next time…