The 6 max trophy, is the 3rd one, from the left.
Event 2 - my free roll, if u like, as I qualified via a satellite.
Starts at 12 .. midday, so, got some decent sleep, and ambled to the casino early, to see if any friends had made it deep, into event 1.
A few had . some v surprising faces .. on the lists .. but, in the end, it was won by Jarred Solomon .. who has a very cool twitter handle .. solotit .. and is a player I have often watched/played with, and v much admire.
My 6 max table .. featured 2 players to my immediate right, I play with a lot .. Offa .. the friendly Israeli - former forex trader, who bust me with JJ over my AA in the regular Sunday tourney, 2 weeks ago.
We get on v well .. as most people do, as hes such an engaging person, and it makes for a v light table. Next to him, is Lum .. who won the Cape Town 500k .. and he can play, and really mix it up.
In the corner, is a pretty Swedish pro - girlfriend of a high-roller from Vegas, and shes super solid .. so, its not easy.
In preparation for 6 Max .. which, is basically, a max of 6 at the table, as opposed to a full ring game, of 10 people, I watched some training videos on PokerNerve.com / read some articles, about opening ranges.
Becos there are less players, your opening ranges from different positions, are far looser than a full game, and it should suit a more aggressive player, as u have to be willing to play pots, with less solid hands.
That's me !!!
We started with 20k chips, and from the gate, I was in just about every pot .. and moved my stack steadily to 35k, with various things fell into place, and made some sets etc.
Then .. about 2 hrs in, comes along this hand :
I get Q♠, Q♦, in the big blind, and when the Swedish lady (Dianna), raises the BB to 1000, I re-raise to 3k.
She has a stack of 17k or so, and has played few pots, so, don't have any info on her .. which was a mistake.
She raises to 7k, and I call, and we see a flop :
8♥, 6♥, 5♦ .. its unlikely she has any of that, and when I check, she bets all-in, for her remaining 10k .. if I call and lose, I am down to 13k .. from a high a of 35k, and really, .. all I can beat is a bluff .. maybe she has JJ/AK .. but, that's all, apart from the obvious AA/KK.
I reluctantly call, and she shows the AA. Darn !! No miracles, and I ship her my chips.
The next hr, I was decidedly on tilt/unhappy .. and on reflection, don't like my play. It soon transpired, she rarely bluffs .. thou, doesn't often show cards .. and, I should have let it go .. but, anyway, dug deep, and doing nothing really special, made my way back to 30k.
U get your chips, mainly from the soft spots .. normally weak/tight players, who only play strong Aces, and when u connect your suited connectors/low pairs, u can get v well paid.
One hand : I have 4♣,2♣ in the Big Blind, and call for an extra 200 chips. The board comes : 4♠,4♦,2♦ .. Bingo !!! and need to let someone hit an Ace or King, to catch up. The turn, is an A♥, and 2 people bet into me. I just call, and the river, is a 10♣, and after various raises etc, they are gob-smacked to see my hand .. which naturally crushes their 2 pairs.
Anyway, things progress : The entries get past 100 .. u can re-enter just once .. a much better format, than the shove fest, from event 1 .. but, I suppose, this is a higher value tourney.
Levels are 40 mins, after which the blind structure goes up .. and re-entries, are up to level 12.
By this time, the final field of 125 is set .. and money is paid to 18th place : $2000 or so .. 1st place - is $30k.
I have 45k or so, and pick up K♦,K♠ .. again in the big blind. Lum, put in a small raise, so, I just call, for deception.
The flop, is J♠,10♦,6♣ .. which looks fairly harmless, but, Lum plays a wide range. I bet, maybe 3k, and he calls.
The turn is another 6 - the 6♦, which in a way, is a good card, in case he has J/10 .. and I bet again - 7k, and he again just calls. Now, I sort of know, I might be in trouble .. but, luckily, the river is the J♦, making the final board :
J♠,10♦,6♣,6♦,J♦ .. and it freezes out action, and he shows A♣,6♣ .. and I hand him 15k or so.
Frustrating .. as pocket Kings, should win u money.
Anyway, 50 mins later, I pick up 5♦,5♠, in late position. I raise, and its called by Lum.
The board is : 10♣, 7♦, 4♣, and we both check. The turn is 3♠ .. so, I figure I can hit a 5 or maybe a 6, for the nuts, so, bet .. and Lum calls. River is 10♦ ..
I think I'm ahead, but, am not sure .. so bet .. 7k, and tries to re-steal, making it 15k - he has 10k more left.
I cant put Lumm on 10's .. he can have a busted flush draw, a busted straight draw/got the straight - but just get the sense, my 5's are good, and decide to call.
It worked out .. as he shows pocket 2's .. and I pick up a very decent pot, and regain, table chip lead, of about 55k.
We get 15 min breaks, every 5 levels or so, and have 54k chips, at the end of break 2 - by which time, 105 had entered, 71 left.
I am really enjoying playing .. a lot of the pots, are quite small .. with often, a raise, and either a re-raise/call .. and the flop, followed by action, which normally induces someone to fold.
I pick up a lot of free pots .. I am betting a wide range .. but, only .. in position, against the top players.
Offa is still on my right, and .. on Level 7, in the late position, I get K♦,K♠, and call Lumms raise, as does Offa.
I dont mind playing multi-way pots, in position with KK, as I have a chance, of picking up a really nice pot, as they often play A/Q, A/J,, A/10 etc .. and if the Queen comes, its normally good.
The flop comes : Q♣,J♥, 3♦ .. and Lumm bets. Offa raises, and I re-raise - commiting , Offa all-in, if he wants to call. Lumm folds, and Offa calls, quickly, tableing Q♠, J♠ .. for 2 pair.
This isnt good, and get no help from the turn - a 6♣, but, spike a magical 3♠ on the river, for a higher 2 pair. This is the variance of poker .. I only had 8 outs .. any King, any 3, any 6 to win the pot .. 16% .. but, it happens .. as we know.
Offa says he will re-buy .. and does .. later, to a different table.
I now have 54k .. probably an above average stack, but, its been 10 hrs, and am starting to tire.
We had another break, and see some team Poker Stars pros, are arriving for the main event .. including Barney Boatman .. who won a world series bracelet .. and I went up, and congratulated him :
Down to last 35 players .. some short stacks, are feeling the pressure, and I call a ship, from one such short stack, with A♣,9♣ .. for 17k. He shows 3♣,3♠ ..
Hes a Canadian/American pro, who has come for the main event, and calls his friends, to ask for some luck on the race .. its pure 50/50, but, I catch an Ace on the flop, and end up making trip Aces .. and hes gone.
After this, for the last hr, I dont do much, and we stop at mid-nite.
There are 25 players left .. I have 97k .. and imagine I am lying in about 15th place.
There are 3 team Poker Stars pros, and probaly 7 more international pros, plus local luminaries .. so, cant really expect to get v deep .. but, getting into the money should be doable ...