Was really looking forward to this as I hadn’t played a live MTT in an age. The Bruce poker ME was a €250 buy in, 20k stack and WSOP blind levels.
I sat down with Smurph’s other half, Martin and another couple of guys I recognised. I know a bit about Martin’s game and my strategy was to take it easy in the beginning and get as many reads as I could and then take it from there.
Pretty early on however I couldn’t help but get involved with many questionable hands. I imagine within the first hour my reputation was slightly Laggy. By the end of the first break, 2 hours in, my stack had gone from 20k to 30k to 13k to 35k. I only remember 2 hands in particular. The first was against Martin who had been active. We had plenty of banter at the table and he was raising my BB a lot. When he did it on this hand I looked down at a suited AJ. I chose to smooth call as even OOP I am comfortable playing flops against him. Flop comes A3A and I check knowing there is going to be a c-bet which duly comes. I don’t put him on an A as there is only 1 left in the deck and I know Martin will fold to any big reraise so I min reraise him. He flat calls. Now I’m not so sure he doest have a big A so I check the rag turn. He puts in a good bet and the pot is getting big enough to be crippling. I flat call anyway and check the river rag and snap call his big river bet, he tables pocket 3s.
The next decent hand is a bb special. There are a couple of limpers into my bb and I check my option with 84o. Flop comes K84. I bet half pot and a tightish mp player calls. I put him on KQ / KJ and bet out the rag turn which he calls again. There is a nice pot now but I hate to see the J fall on the river. I check to see what he does and he puts a pretty big river bet in which I call after concluding he is probably too tight to be in the pot in the first place to have KJ. Sure enough he tables KQ and that gets me up well over 30k by the first break.
After the second break I have a disgusting run of cards, I picked up a few small pots but lost a few big ones and my stack had dwindled to about 20k by the end of the second break.
For the 3rd session there were, again, only 2 hands of note. Early in the session I limped with pocket 66, a tight guy mustn’t have seen my limp because he raised 3bbs only, I called oop. Flop came 378, I checked and he checked back, I put him on AK/AQ immediately, turn comes 5 giving me the up and downer, I checked and shoved AI when he made a 5bb bet. After a long dwell he folded and I was happy that my read was good.
Later in that round I pick up JJ (my best hand after 5 hours of play) and I took out a shortie playing about 12k, bringing my stack to a high of 44k.
The game started at 4pm. It was 2am and blinds at 1.2k, 2.4k with a 400 running ante and I hadn’t found a hand or a spot to build my stack for a long time when I get AK in my BB. A tight guy raises the table standard to 6k. I knew he was tight and I figured he’s not doing this with less then JJ, maybe AQ. I had 26k at this point. Thinking about it I should have just called and shoved any A or K high flop, and got away otherwise but instead I shoved pre and was met with an insta call to show me KK. All that went through my mind was that the previous week AK busted me out of the Sunday mill when I had KK but I got no help in this one and walked in 66th. Over 200 started.
Looking back I think I picked up AK about 6 times during the tourney but my highest pp was JJ (twice). I loved the tourney though and look forward to the next one.