Hi everyone, and welcome to a recording of the May 2013 Big Bang Final Table, with commentary from CannonLee, Roland GTX and ArtySmokesPS.

I bought a new headset/mic especially for this session, but it seems my Skype connection was a little flaky, so I apologise for the sound intermitently cutting out and echoing. I'll master this modern technology business by the year 2087, I'm sure.

In case you've not heard of it before, the Big Bang tournament is a monthly freeroll open to members of the various Pokerstars Poker Schools. (PSO is for English-speaking territories, but there are separate sites in numerous languages). The prize pool is a massive $5000 and there are various ways for you to book a ticket. You can find out more about the Big Bang HERE.

This month, 315 players were lucky enough to win a ticket. Both me and Roland busted out of this tourney early on, when our aces got cracked, but we're not bitter, honest! After 4 hours, the field was down to the final nine. It was a table dominated by Eastern Europeans, but A2345 was representing PSO.

The stack sizes as the final table began were as follows:

LMZ17: 101,109 (chip leader, 33.7bb)
Oxana247: 19,900
tegobi1: 64,145
Anci42: 16,380 (shortest stack, 5.5bb)
phayo: 50,264
sahmen1: 50,336
Kisbaskervil: 70,210
A2345maybe: 69,828
Victor-66613: 27,628

In this first part of the video, we see some unconventional play. Somewhat surprisingly, given the fairly small stacks, there was a fair bit of open-limping. As you'll hear on the commentary, none of us think that is a good strategy. We much prefer being aggressive when a table is playing tight/passive. There was some slightly odd bet-sizing post-flop too. Given the stack sizes, it was less of a surprise to see multiple bustouts in the first few orbits.
There's not a great deal of strategic play to be discussed, as most of these hands played themselves, but hopefully you'll get a thrill from watching someone check-raising with the nuts, or maybe you'll wince at the brutal suckouts. Notice also that Oxana goes from being one of the shortest stacks to one of the biggest. That's the kind of thing that can happen in the space of few hands when stacks are fairly even and you get some big hands. Will she go all the way for a $950 payday? You'll have to check out Roland's blog next week!

Bye for now!