A Silver Metal Saturday
by SeabrookNutz | Published May 09, 2012
What a great weekend. After waiting all week for Saturday to come, Joe and I started the familiar drive from Westie to NH. On the way Joe proposed that we go to Rockingham because of another $250 tourny. As we drove up I still had not made my decision on whether to go to Seabrook or Rockingham. Joe wanted to go to Rock, I wanted to go to the Brook. Rock’s $250 was sure to have at least a dozen tables. Seabrook had a $150, which I expected to have 5-7 tables. Joe almost convinced me to go to Rock (the decision was mine since I was driving us up), but my nitiness prevailed at the last minute while bearing down on the fork in the road that splits 93 N (Rock) and Route 1 (Seabrook). I decided on the lower variance Seabrook tournament and swerved left to catch the exit for the Tobin Bridge.
Waiting for us at Seabrook was the largest group of parked cars I have ever seen at in Seabrook’s parking lot. It was the Kentucky Derby, which I found out was the Super Bowl of horse racing (Seabrook and Rockingham are half poker rooms half dog tracks). Some of the horse betters must have spilled over to the poker room (anyone who bets the horses can’t have much going for them when it comes to poker IMO), because the $150 got 89 runners for 10 tables. The top nine got paid, first prize taking home 37 hundred, second 2K, and 3rd 12 hundred. I was happy about the good turnout and ready for a full day of tournament play.
We missed the first level of play and I wish we had missed the second level too because I wound up card dead with a dwindling chipstack for the first 2 or 3 hours of the tournament. It is one of the worst feelings to come into a tournament ready to go and then slowly lose half your stack. There were no big hands or memorable hands, just card deadness and one or two small failed bluff attempts. Luckily, I somehow turned it around after the second break. I had ~half of my starting 20K chips at the break and the blinds were going to be 6/12 hundred after the break. The first two hands after break I got a walk, and then stole the big blind after action was folded to me in the small blind. A few hands later I doubled up when I was dealt JJ and someone pushed all-in with 1010. At this point I was near 30K and back in a place where I had more moves than to push/fold. It’s funny how quickly a tournament can turn around. I was between 8-12K all day and in a matter of 10 minutes I was at 30K and one of the higher stacks at my table.
The next memorable hand played itself out. I had AA UTG and raised 3X to 3K (blinds were 500/1K with a 100 ante). I got a late position caller, who was too loose, and then the big blind, who was an above average skilled TAG player, 3-bets me to 7K. Faced with whether to 4-bet or flat, I made the flat, which I think was the clear choice. I should mention that all the stacks were around the same size of 40-60K. My motivation for flatting was to keep the loose player in the pot, and to get the 3-bettor, who is TAG, to C-bet me on the flop. I flatted, as did the initial caller in LP. The flop comes K-A-X rainbow and the 3-bettor checks to me. I flop the nuts here but am not overly excited about it. I think the most likely case is that the 3-bettor’s range is heavily weighted to QQ and JJ as opposed to AK or KK. I decide to check and hope that the LP player donks into the pot, or that a turn comes and the 3-bettor bets at it. The latter happens after an 8 hits the turn, which also put out straight draw and flush draw. My memory evades me, but I think he bet 10K into the pot of ~22K. I decided that I needed to raise in this spot because I wanted to make the draws pay (I think the LP player has a lot of draws in his range. Hands like QJs and J10s) and I had the hope of someone raising me all-in if they somehow connected on two pair on the turn (A8, K8, or a flopped AK). If I had flatted, I would have given the LP player great odds (>4 to 1) to call. I raise to 30K, LP folds, and to my surprise and delight, the 3-bettor raises another 30K all-in. I called with the nuts and table the AA for the nuts. He tables KK for the second nuts and the dealer quiets the table to inform us that we have 1 out for the bad beat. Seabrook has a bad beat jackpot that is distributed to the table (the losing player getting 50% of the jackpot) when an ace full of kings or better is beaten. I unfortunately fade the one out, but accept the consolation prize of doubling up to become the chip leader with ~140K. I was happy with the way I played the hand, and the result couldn’t have been better except if I had won the bad beat jackpot.
After this hand I cruised into the final table taking advantage of the bubble and my chipstack. I came into the final table 3rd in chips and to the right of Charlie, one of the better players in Seabrook who is hyper aggressive, sporadic, and sometimes too spewy. I laid low for the first round or so of the FT, but picked up a few pots with opens that no one called. Then I got them aces. Against Charlie. With the action folded to me in the small blind. This is a dream situation. Charlie (who has between 11 and 14 BBs) and I hadn’t had any blind vs blind action yet, so I figured he would try and steal the first blind vs blind pot from me. Good players know (Joe and I have thought about this/believed this for a while now) that your first 3-bet should be a bluff because it gets so much respect. For me, this reasoning has proven to be pretty sound at Seabrook. In this had I value this reasoning a little less because I have a history with Charlie. While my history with Charlie diminishes this reasoning, I still think its weight is enough to influence my preflop decision on whether or not to limp with my aces. I decided to limp my aces thinking his raising range could be ATC. To my dismay, he checks behind and the flop comes 4 6 8 with a flush draw. This is usually a flop that I have to be concerned about, but because I’m up against a hyper aggressive and frequently spewy player, I decide to go for a check raise. I’m check raising here for value and hoping he will shove on any pair. To my surprise he shoves on my check for ~500% of the pot. I make an easy call and catch him with the 79.
The tournament was then smooth sailing until I was heads up. I did make some ICM decision when we were 3 handed, but nothing too interesting. When we got heads up I played terrible. I made 3 or 4 huge mistakes that cost me the game. The first mistake came a few hands after I had taken a 4:1 chip lead. I lead into a pot on the flop with 10,2 on a flop of 356 rainbow. The turn came a 5 and the action went check, check. The river came a suited 4 giving me the low end of the straight and completing the flush. He bet, I min raised, he shoved, I called. I know, this is one of the most amateur mistakes I have ever made. He had K 7 for the high end of the straight. Obviously, the mistake is on the river. I should have just called his bet. When I raise, he is only calling with hands that have me tied or beat. The second mistake is calling his all in raise. He always has me beat. If he didn’t he would have folded when I min raised him. I played this hand so bad that I don’t even want to write about it anymore.
My last mistake was misreading my hand. I really fell asleep in the most important part of the tournament. Heads-up play is something that most Seabrook players are terrible at because they never play HU because everyone always chops before it gets HU. I use to play HU sitngoes when online poker was alive, so I only chop when offered a great deal. For whatever reason, I was doing everything wrong this match, including calling an all in when I thought I had 89 instead of 68. You can guess how the hand played out. Not in my favor.
Although I only came in second, I was able to pick up $2500. After $150 buy in and a $160 tip, I was up $2190. Joe also had a second place finish. He won 600 after losing the fist two tournaments he played in. Overall it was a great weekend, and I’ll be ready for more tournament action this Friday.