Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Really, with a tournament that short, it's kind of a crap shoot who will win.

On May 9th Stephen L won a CPT Punta Cana online satellite Final and a trip to the Caribbean, including buy-in for the CPT Punta Cana Main Event in November. Stephen explains how he thought he might win the tournament the second time he got incredibly lucky:

"My play in the tournament was fairly standard. I made the correct folds a couple times in spots I didn't need to risk 50% of my stack; that kept my fuel in the tank to keep riding on. You have to run well to win tournaments, and I got lucky twice as I was behind on going to the flop. I believe I was all in early with AQ vs KK and I caught two queens. I only had 2 pocket pairs the entire tournament and my biggest pp was 7's!"

"I was borderline shoving all in with the AQ early. But I knew I needed chips to win, and I was willing to re-buy if needed. It's possible I could have folded there, but it worked out in the end."

I realized I might just win the tournament the second time I went in behind and came out ahead. AJ vs AQ and I won! :) The final hand I had a flush draw on the flop in position and just checked it. I sometimes like to bet it, but if I would have he would have put me all in. Glad I checked it because I got there on the turn and won the tournament! :)"

"There was some good competition. Good players- most of the players were all +ROI players, so they knew how to play. Really with a tournament that short, it's kind of a crap shoot who will win."

"I think to win an online tournament, understanding player types and then classifying the players at the table into these gives you a good initial blueprint for strategy. And be patient. I am not a believer that you need to shove 10x with every weak Ace."

"Cards online are the same as the cards live so playing online has definitely helped me a lot when it comes to my live poker game. I have seen so many hands with all of my online play that I am well equipped with how to handle most situations."

"I want to keep getting better. Someday I hope to win a larger field tourney. Best I've ever done is 4th out of 3,500. But still that large field size victory eludes me."

Stephen L.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Frustrating Tournament, but I had a Fantastic Time in St Maarten!

On May 1, 2015, three online tournament champions -- CreamofCrop1, LIZtotheLIEU and wes42 -- played the CPPT St Maarten.

These online poker players won they're way to the live poker tournament in the Caribbean by winning online satellite tournaments.

 LIZtotheLIEU shares his adventure on the tropical island:

The tournament started at 1:30pm EST. My table consisted of a mix of older guys who seemed like CPPT regulars, locals, and a younger guy who likely qualified online. No one I recognized though. Starting stack was 30,000, 50/100 to start, 50min blinds. So, a decent structure for a $1,650 buy-in.

Funny thing for a tropical island to be famous for!
I felt quite comfortable from the start, as I was able to pick up some good reads on the other players. Unfortunately, I was card-dead for most of the tournament and never really got above starting stack. I might have played like 3 hands and had 27k before the first break. Nothing really memorable...I did have one hand where the blinds were 150/300/25, I had Qc8c in the SB, folded around to me, I raise to 800, BB calls. Flop comes 732cc, I bet 650 (small bet to improve implied odds) and the BB raised to 1400 (small raise). I thought it was an interesting raise; He was defending pretty wide, but I didn't have him on a draw as it's a relatively dry board and I had 2 of the clubs, so I thought possibly 44-55 or 88+, or even two overs (Ax or Kx) with a club. Anyway, my hand is too strong to fold, so I thought either raise or call. Given we're in Level 2, it's too early to risk all my chips, so I call out of position. Turn is a 4, I check, he quickly checks behind. River is a 6 (so board is 76432cc). But, even though I missed and just have Q-high, I thought his check on the turn was very weak and (unless he raised flop with 45 or something), it's more likely that he hates the turn/river. So I stab for 1675 and he quickly folds. But that still only got me back to ~30k!

Next few levels, again nothing really of note, I did get a few 3-bets through to stay afloat, but otherwise just a lot of observing lol...think I had ~27k after the second break.

After the second break (level 5), things went south pretty quickly. I got 3-bet a few times from tighter players, so I just opted to fold. There was also one hand at 400/800 where CO limped, I picked up AKs on the button and raised to 2200, and the CO opted to just flat with a short stack (~14k behind). Flop comes down 952 rainbow, and he check-raised all-in after I c-bet (mid-pair seems most likely; thought about checking behind, but his "turn bet vs missed cbet" was 100% at that point and I thought my hand was still too good to fold).

Anyways, I then started getting blinded down and was down < 10k in Level 6, with the blinds at 500/1000/100...finally looked down at QJo and got a shove through, then 66 next hand and got another shove hand after that, shoved again (third time in a row) with 99, and...well, you can read the summary from Cardplayer below:

Rafael Abrahamayan Flops an Ace
Posted: Fri, May 01, 15, 3:19 PM
The player under the gun+1 moved all-in for 14,200 and action folded to Rafael Abrahamyan on the button. Abrahamyan moved all in for 13,600 and action rested on Allyn Shulman in the big blind. Shulman asked which stack was bigger but then folded A K face up.
Under the gun+1 showed 9 9 and Abrahamyan tabled A Q .
Abrahamyan flopped a pair of aces when the dealer fanned A 4 2 . The turn was the 7 and Abrahamyan picked up a second pair when the Q opened on the river.
Under the gun+1 was left with 700 after the hand and was eliminated on the next hand.

So yeah, that was my tournament...frustrating overall, but thought I played OK, just not my day. On the bright side, I had a fantastic time in St. Maarten before and after the tournament.  I look forward to qualifying for a future event!