Tuesday, 5 March 2013

WBCOOP Event #13 NLHE [4-Max]

Hello again!

In this post I'll be talking about the second WBCOOP event I played, #13 NLHE [4-Max]. I had to wait for  André to finish his daily training before coming to the office (two people one car!), so I only got to open Pokerstars client at 15.45 - the tournament had already been running for 45 minutes. For this one there was late registration still open so no harm done. Actually, it was even better cause I started playing at the 4th level with just 30BB. I play better short than deep, so that was great for me.

This was the first time I participated in a 4-Max event. Overall, I prefer tables with less people but 4 sounded too few... When I asked André about the structure, all he said was basically "You need to be aggressive". Which makes sense. At a table with 10 players, the blinds hit you far less often than at a table with 4. Playing 4-max you no longer have the luxury of waiting for the best hands to play and fold your way through the tournament. You need to play a lot more. That's fine by me, I think it makes the tournament far less boring. And since I thought it would keep me quite busy, I dedicated my full attention to it and didn't play my regular satellites.

When it started, I was very skeptical about this kind of tourney. It turns out, I loved it! It was lots of fun! As soon as I got seated, one of my opponents typed in the chat "Supernova? Really?". That started a conversation about various poker topics, which was a surprising change! It's pretty much out of the question to start a casual chat at my regular games cause with a hyper turbo speed and only a few seconds to act, everyone is pretty much running like crazy (me included). I was thinking that I got lucky to be at a super nice table (two players from Russia and one from Ukraine), but when I opened other tables of the tourney I noticed that there was a lot of chatting going on.

Not only that, but players were actually cheering for their opponents and supporting each other. Of course I wasn't omnipresent and couldn't see every dialogue that was going on, but the overall feeling that I got was very very positive! Could it be that since it's only bloggers playing these series we all have chatting as a second nature so talking with opponents comes really easy?

Anyway, let's talk about what happened in the actual tournament. I'm obviously only going to mention just the hands that are somewhat interesting, skipping all the blind steals or hands where opponents folded early.

First interesting situation was when I got a pair of nines at the cut-off or UTG, whatever you wanna call it in this case it's the same (lol!) and min-raised. I got a call from the SB but then the BB shoved. I'm not the one to fold nines to a 12BB shove, so I called. The SB folded and when cards were revealed my opponent showed 88. My nines held up so that one went well!

Next cool hand was an all-time favorite: pocket aces on the button. I min-raised  and got called by the big blind. The flop came 3c-5s-As giving me a set. I bet half of the pot and the other player called. The turn was 3 of diamonds, improving my hand to a full house. This time it was my opponent that bet first, 450 chips in a pot of 1,2k. I did find the bet size a bit odd and thought of re-raising but I didn't want to push him off the hand so I just called. The river was Queen of diamonds which did not change much. He bet 450 chips into a 2,1k pot. This time I re-raised to 1350 chips. Not sure if I should have bet more. I really have no notion of how much money I could get out of the guy at that point. I don't think that he was playing with 24 that would give him a straight. Maybe he was holding a set? The only hand that could beat me was four of a kind, but in that case I couldn't justify his tiny bets on the turn and river. Anyway, he called and showed A7o. Which in retrospect, makes sense the way he played. Could I have gotten more value out of my hand? I don't know. You can check out the hand here and tell me if you would have played it differently.

Later, I got dealt AKo. That's a pretty easy hand to play. If the board hits me, I stack off. If it doesn't, I fold.  Pretty straightforward. I was in checking mode and so was my opponent until the river when an ace hit. Then I bet half of the pot, he called and showed A7o (again!). Not a super sophisticated hand, but I won a 2k pot which was nice.

Then came the KJs when I was on the big blind. The blinds had gone up one level and the button (same player as in the hands before) raised 3 times. I contemplated a bit whether I wanted to call or not. I decided to go with it. I'm not very sure how to play that kind of hand, but the flop made my job easy by giving me a straight. I checked and waited for him to bet first. This time he went big betting 1k into a 1,3k pot. I was obviously more than happy to call and the turn was another favorable card giving me a flush draw. Not that I really needed the flush cause I was holding the nuts, but anyway. We both checked (should I have bet there? I dunno) and the river gave me a flush with king high. This time I did bet, but the opponent chose to fold. I guess the flush card was really scary for him. Which made me wonder again if I should have bet the turn. This hand is a good example of how lost I feel with flops. Once upon a time (when I was playing 9max sngs) I was better in these situations but the hyper-turbos have erased whatever knowledge I had! :P

If there's one thing I can't complain in this tourney, that's lack of good hands. After a while I got a pair of pocket Queens. I raised and got called by all three players at my table! The flop was 3d-5d-4s. It is a somewhat coordinated board that could be problematic later on, but for now I had an overpair and I was pretty happy with it. The big blind made a strong bet of 1k (the pot was 1,6k) and I was the only one to call. The turn was 9s, opening another flush possibility. This time my opponent checked and I bet half the pot. If he was on a flush draw, I wouldn't give him a free card. He folded and I got that pot.

During the next level, things got a little bit more complicated. I got AJo and min-raised from the cutoff. The player on the SB (the one that had contributed most into the growth of my stack) re-raised me. Now that was a rather unusual move on his behalf so it raised some red flags. I considered the option of folding, but I had to put 750 chips to claim a pot of 2,1k. Now that I'm reviewing the play, calling would probably have been the best option. However, I got more into the psychological aspect of the thing (women, haha!) and thought that since I was dominating the player post flop in most hands we both got involved in (could be by chance, I'm not saying I'm better than him or anything) he was probably re-raising me to force me to fold. So what did I do? I shoved my AJo right there! The guy had pocket kings and owned me badly, I never saw the ace or the third jack that would win me the pot. But it's ok, lesson learnt! Next time maybe I'll play a bit more rationally instead of getting carried away and trying to discover how frustrated my opponents must be for losing against me! :P

The funny part is that one of the players at the table (the one I was chatting with earlier) was supportive of me losing and wrote "Ah, what a pity" and stuff like that. Really nice people, I'm telling you. I've never seen that in poker tourneys. Maintaining the positive spirit I congratulated my opponent on his win with the kings. I've had a lot of people calling me names when the situation is the opposite and I'm the one winning so I know for a fact it's not nice. Treat others as you want to be treated, that's what I think.

We were getting a lot closer to the money, so I opened up a couple of tables with the people that had the smallest stacks to keep an eye on what was happening. I got a few chips with a full house that didn't make it to showdown and shortly after we reached the bubble.

Again, I was surprised by the fact that the rest of the players at the table of the bubble guy were cheering up for him up until he left the table. Anyway, after the bubble burst and I was guaranteed to be in the prizes I was less worried about the way I played. I got dealt KQo and had 14BB on the SB. Action was folded to me and I decided to shove instead of raise. Maybe it was the hyper-turbo player inside me shoving and if I was more used to playing flops I would have raised instead, but I believe it was a profitable play anyway. I got called by the big blind who had a pair of sevens. I didn't hit any of my outs so that was the end of the tourney for me.

Of course, not everything can be perfect so there were a couple of railing trolls who up until then must have been watching in silence, but when I lost they rushed to type stuff like "OMG that's a Supernova playing! What a horrible play! Shoving KQo!" and other insightful comments of that sort. As people correctly say, haters gonna hate. I can't really bother!

I managed to make it into the money so that means that I'll be playing the WBCOOP main event! I'm very happy about that! This tournament was a lot of fun.

Coming up next... Event #15!

See you there!


  1. Good play!
    It was interesting to you play and talk! :P

    1. Thank you! It was fun, maybe I'll see you around at another tournament of the WBCOOP series!


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