I came into this Macau Poker Cup very excited/optimistic, as I am a significantly better player than 1 yr prior (when I first played this tournament, Oct 2009). 6 wks in Vegas (WSOP) will do that to you (playing with some of the best, you pick-up on new strategies/approaches). You have to get better and think on many more levels; play a more dynamic game vs. abc poker. I've done decent playing online tournaments (and fast improving by the day), scored some semi-decent hits, but yet to cash a big LIVE score (biggest live score to date = WSOP $21k cash). This is more due to lack of volume than anything else. I need to up my at-bats to get there (and I plan to!). You have to play so many tournaments before you have a breakthrough- it's very normal and part of the process!
10k HKD Main Event:
I wasn't able to chip up as much as I wanted. 10k starting chips, ended the day with 25k at 500-1000+ante. Wasn't terrible, but def could've been better. Table draw in tournaments is so key sometimes. Obv you want opportunities to chip up vs. lesser players that make more mistakes. The optimal way to gain chips is inducing others to make these mistakes (maximizing your big hands or any situation for that matter; value bets, etc.) and also understanding where you are at ("Am I ahead or behind?"- simple as that). Day 1 table was actually all competent/capable players (ok, sans 2-3 of them who were quickly wiped out in less than few hrs haha wish I had hands to take some of those chips, cause they were fishy players to say the least). I was mostly card dead for 5-6 hrs, hung in there tough though. That's the strength of my game: I am super motherfuckin' patient and I will not panic. Opportunistic, calculating, and solid/smart.
Day 2: I was able to get go from 25k to 80k quite easily. I was really proud of an early pot I won, as it was "balls to the walls" time (great poker players always have the perfect balance of patience and guts). This was at 600-1200+ante. From the previous day, Devan Tang (who I believe is a fairly strong player) had picked at my big blind few times late day 1 (we had same seats for day 2). I knew he was raising a wide range from late position already; just instincts tell me, you can sense it obv + frequency of times someone does something. I was already prepared to bring it. I was at 24k at the time. He raises to 3600 (about 6300 in the pot now). I only had (Q9 hearts). I usually don't rejam so light hahaha it's a bad idea most times, as you risk your entire tournament life on a marginal situation (all the hands that generally call you are ahead of you or even dominate you). But I'll pull the move if I know I can get someone off the hand completely and I know he's just messing with me. I repop him good, he tanks/hollywoods, fffffolds. Pretty huge pot with no showdown. He tried to take from that cookie jar one too many times. *Tsk tsk tsk!* I was pretty proud of myself. I know I have 3-4-5 diff gears I can bust out. For the rest of the day, he does not raise my big blind once again. I see him think about it, I stare at him and he folds hahaha sometimes you have to do that... let them know you are NOT to be pushed around. Like punching back at a bully; taking your stand. Then I was able to win a huge pot thereafter. Picked up AK utg, I raise 3800, not-so-smart mainlander rejams all in for near 25-30k with KQ off. Obv I snap call, def no credit on my part hahaha I thought maybe we're flipping or really hoping for AQ, def shocked to see as bad as KQ. C'mon man hahaha utg+1 rejam KQ?!?!?! What you thinkinggg, my friend?!?!?! UL! "欢迎光临！下次再來!" =D
Critical hand that cost me the tournament imo...
1200-2400 blinds+ante. My stack is roughly 75k. I am dealt (10-10). UTG raises 6k (100k+ Big stack at table, solid player, showed mostly big hands). Obv not a good idea to re-raise pre-flop, cause very possibly he has AA/KK/QQ, etc. I re-raise and he repops me, my hand is deemed useless. I flat call 6000 from middle position; just hoping to set-mine and look him up. Small blind flats 6000 as well, so we're 3-way to the flop. FLOP: 3-3-6 (rainbow). Small blind leads out for 12k (bets about 2/3 the pot); original UTG big stack folds (I was obv more concerned about UTG vs. this small blind guy). Hmmm... let's break this down. I don't think he has AA/KK/QQ, cause he would've most likely re-raised pre-flop. I can see JJ flatting, one hand I'm concerned with. If he has A3/K3 suited hands, he will absolutely check to the raiser and extract some bets from behind. No logical person will bet out if he has that 3. A6/K6 suited is in his range, as well as 22/44/55/77/88/99/JJ (I beat everything except JJ). I'm not really scared of much obv. There's 30k+ in the pot, I have 70k chips at the time. It's a huge pot for me to take down (risk vs. reward, I want to take this down NOW!). I see he has 50k chips behind him; obv plenty of fold equity at 1200-2400 blinds. I go ALL-IN! Pea-brain SNAP CALLS me! (K6 dia) He didn't even think twice. I'm 80% favorite on flop. 3-3-6... turn K (FML!), river blank. I lose 130k+ pot. Wow! I can't believe he called me. Peabrain exclaims: "I thought you were bluffing blah blah blah." hahaha we were 50 people left, top 38 in the money. This was obv huge pot to lose as the avg stack was less than 80k chips; I would've been one of the chip leaders in prime position to take this home. And as we near the bubble, I am damn good at punishing people with a stack. But nope, pea-brain rewarded with huge mistake of a call and I am crippled with 10k chips left (though luckily cashed).
***I swear, if that pea-brain above won the tournament, I would've quit poker for a week. LOL that would be too emotionally tilting for me. He got 3rd place chop for 70k usd.***
Day 3: In the money already, 38 people left, playing for bigger paydays. I start the day at 38k, 3000-6000 blinds+ante looming. Win couple early no-showdown jams, get to 49k. Then I pick up (Q-10 hearts) in middle pos, JAM IT intooooo (QQ). It's a good jam, +EV, just bad luck. FML drawing dead hahaha left with less than one big blind at 4k chips. Crazy thing happens, roller coaster next few hands. Get (AK) next, I win, get to 12k chips. Very next hand I'm in the big blind, win again (QJ) vs. (A5) on a board of K-10-9 woot. Amazingly back to 35k-ish hahaha then couple hands go by... the hand that ultimately kills me. UTG is short too, jams 40k. UTG+1 is a 200k+ big stack and quickly flat calls... folds to me, I look down at (AQ). Hmmm... what to do? I think it's a must-call. I am not scared of UTG cause he's desperate (blinds are about to pass him and he wants to use the weight of his chips). The big stack that flats can be either REALLY STRONG (trying to invite more action) or just calling with marginal holding that plays well against that first guy. With (AQ), I have some blockers obv (less chance he has AA/QQ). I think it's a must go for me, so I call given pot odds and math of it (+can't let blinds go by again and left with no chips to fight). First guy turns over (A9 dia), big stack holds (88). Perfect call for me with (AQ). Flop Q-J-2 (two dias). YES I HIT! But NOOOO, dia draw... ahhh NOOO!!! Turn does come DIAAA!!! AHHHHH FML FML FML!!! could've been so incredibly huge, pot was near 150k- which was well above the avg stack at the time too. I could've went from 4k chips (less than one big blind) to 150k chips in literally 5 hands. LOL ahhh so close! Not meant to be. Sux to not get that lucky break I needed.
Busto- 31st place for $2200 usd cash, while 1st place paid near $90k usd, etc. Argh I want one of those damnit hahaha =P
Unrealllll (still can't believe it!):
After the main event, there was another 5000 hkd event going on. I decided to play. Roughly 100 people, top 10 cash, first place paid around 15k usd (still a lot, buy-in is fairly big). Had one of the dumbest things ever happen to me hahaha man oh man. I'm sitting here *shaking my head!* at this moment. So we are down to 22 people left roughly (nearing obv critical stage of tournament). Blinds are at 1000-2000+ante (5700 in pot roughly). I get (44) in middle pos. Had 4 people behind me, I decide to JAM. Risk vs. reward, it's worth it, steal a huge pot hopefully no contest. The small blind apparently does not see me go all-in-- NOT EVEN PAYING ATTENTION. The big blind is short stack of maybe 6k chips. The small blind guy assumes that it's just him and the big blind and puts his chips in. Then he finally sees what's going on "ooops, I didn't know you went all-in, otherwise I would've folded." He turns over Q5 off, for his tournament life. He has about 20k, I have slightly more than him. Of course, 10-J-K-A-2 comes out. Unreallllllllll!!!!!!!!!! Rewarded for not even paying attention. I think that's worse than any bad beat. I can't even beat stupidity hahaha grrr!!! I tried to smile it off and just keep my cool. No matter how bad it is, still have to be a good sportsman. 要有風度, ya know? But deep down, I am steaming pissed off. How do you not pay attention with 22 people left in a tournament, for ALL YOUR CHIPS? We had played 4 friggin' hours and you do something like THAT?
"Reflect... don't dwell." 往前看!
Read that off of Nanonoko's blog as his key way to handle things. He's obv one of the best. Thus I will now let all of this go. hahaha *deleted from my memory bank!* Can't be results-oriented. I made great decisions, played near flawless, just didn't have my way. But my day will come in the LIVE arena if I keep doing what I am doing- I know it will. =)
My long-time friend Andrew came from Singapore to hang out with me in Macau. We got to enjoy some "showtime" and other cultural gems of Macau. hahaha =)