Congratulations to Bill Curran who took #1 in Event 7, the Headsup was grueling and it was quite a duel.

 

The game was very deep stacked, started with 666bb and with 5 minute levels it eventually caught up to us.

I played solid through the whole game. I got stuck behind Aces when I had Kings but got revenge (although not the same opponent) when I had Aces vs Tens.

 

I am going to post some hands and comments from the Final Table onwards.

 

The following hand, I was short with  and got it in vs Eights with a river Queen to keep me it, nice Double-Up

 

Then came my Aces hand, bad luck to the guy who called me, took his bounty and a nice chip up

 

After much further battle, we got down to three handed. I was against Bill Curran and Carrzer.

I was ahead in skill on both of my opponents, Bill was playing a very high VPIP, low aggression game. He did well the entire tournament with some really strong run-good but I felt that he had a tendancy to over-play hands either from a calling station perspective or just over-valuing hands when there is a very high SPR involved.

Against Bill, I felt that I could still bluff him but if he had enough of the board, he wasn't going anywhere.

Bill also used his check-boxes too much. If you are 12-tabling this is unavoidable but with one table you should avoid the check/fold buttons, especially when you are in a hand. This gives away a very big tell because as long as I don't feel you caught the next street or are agro enough to fight back, I will take the pot away right there, even if I had napkins in hands.

 

Carrzer was playing a very NIT game, he was only playing with the cards he had and as we know in Poker, if you can't weave a good series of bluffs into your game, you will run completely card dead and in a tournament you don't have the time to wait it out. 

Carrzer suffered quite a few steal and c-bet bluff spots from me where if he had pushed back once or twice, he might have lost less chips and been a little less explotable.

 

One hand that I had with Bill is below, it shows that with an effective SPR of about 5:1 going into the flop, a pair is good but more often you need a stronger holding to make it to showdown and win if there is strong action.

I hit my strong hand, Two pair and my opponent was playing calling station for a big chunk of his chips with 2nd pair.

All i would say to anyone looking at that hand, unless you think your opponent is going to bluff off his entire stack on a weak hand and your read is so solid that he wouldn't play anything stronger than 2nd pair, be willing to fold because there are better spots to take.

 

For the next hand, I didn't make a mistake but did lose my chip lead. Shoved 4s against the weak stack (Bill) and he caught the cards he needed. Fairly standard and just showing it to see where my dominating chip stack turned into a 3-way battle with fairly equal stacks for the rest of the game

 

We got it headsup soon enough between me and Bill. I feel that Bill didn't play terrible headsup and I find it hard to over criticize anyone too much in headsup since it is a massive luck shark and both players did well enough to get there, rest is down to the gods.

 

However... I did feel that Bill made some questionable calls, one specifically was this hand.

 

I flopped the nuts and I checked it. Playing the flopped flush is very hard and most of the time I would bet it because if I am not getting action on the flop, I am unlikely to get action to the river. As well, it puts my opponent on a decision to judge if I am bluffing the flush.

That being said, I felt that Bill would bet here so I could easily give him the lead and see where it goes.

I checked the turn and was hoping for another bet but got nothing, started to feel a little like I should have taken control of the betting at this point because whilst Bill made some mistakes in this hand, I did as well in playing too passive. I wasn't really trapping that hard, I just felt I didn't need to bet because he would and that read might have been a bit off because I didn't get the bet I wanted on the turn.

Now i am stuck because I wanted to get stacks in on the river but with a missed street of value, I can pot it but will leave some behind if my opponent calls, missed value for me.

Opponent does call my pot bet and mucks is hand. Shamingly for him, he had and to call with a 4-flush was a very big hero call for him since all he caught was a deuce and although you don't want to be scared of the flush too much, a little fear or at least fear enough to scare you off bottom pair should be in mind.

 

We traded a few more good hands until my chips were on the wrong side of his.

 

My last comment would be that Bill could have taken me down sooner and with much less risk to him if he had been more aggressive headsup. There were spots where I was folding the same trash that he was but since he had the chips, it would have been very easy for him to raise me more. Maybe not shove if he wasn't comfortable risking a lot of chips but putting more pressure on me would have been better for him.

There were a few points where I rose from 5-6bb back to 12bb and swung between those, each time I was chipping up with steals, not a double-up and the times I was shoving with Kx or Ax, I was the lucky one that he didn't have a pair or an Ax to challenge me with. Luck was on my side and had I made it back up that ladder and caught a hand, I could have turned the tables and won it since towards the end, it was 20bb vs 10bb.

Also, Bill was completing his small blind far too much. He would complete, I check back the rag hand I have and he bets to take the pot. All that effort and potential risk since I could have caught a hand once in awhile where all he needed to do from the get-go is raise.

 

If I have and you have ANYTHING and your stack is not at risk but mine is under 10bb, if you raise me preflop, I fold.

If however you complete and give me a free play, I have 3 more cards to help me. That time I catch and you go to war with me with your Ax hand, that is the time I win. Why give me a chance to improve? 

 

Overall I am happy with my game, congratulations again to Bill and hope he does well in the rest of the series. I have a lot of respect for the man and he has been a constant veteran in the community for as long as I have been here (and likely much longer before) and I don't mean to be mean, I mean to be informative. I hope that anyone reading this, including Bill if he gets the chance to take a look that if there is one thing I can summarize the whole event it is playing the opponent rather than the cards.

 

Some of my opponents were only playing the cards in front of them, I got to play not only the cards in front of me but the cards my opponent feared I had.. It is almost like I was playing with 2+ extra cards in my hands.

This all comes down to bluffing, you need to know how to bluff well in Poker and play against the opponent not against the winning odds. 

You also need to know how to play against the guy who wants to play lots of hands. You don't always need the nuts to crush him but if you know he is playing more showdown value hands rather than value hands, you need to show-up with the value hands to take his chips.

 

This is the fun part of Poker. If you can gauge what type of style your opponent takes, you just need to show up with the right tool to defeat it. Sometimes you pickup tells, sometimes you pickup the range they play or sometimes you can judge their VPIP/PFR and go from that alone. Whatever you use, put your opponent in a place where their cards are face up to you but you are playing magic tricks with yours.

 

Good event, lots of fun and happy to walk away with some profit and a Silver star.

I also played the headsup and KO game yesterday.

Headsup I came 4th, KO game I feel asleep because it was VERY late (darn schedule) and my buy-in was free candy to whoever got the chance to take my KO. Puts me 6th on the leadboard. 

I won't be playing any non-holdem games, maybe nothing but NLHE. Will have to skip the 1AM game tonight (Event 9), the next holdem game is again at 1AM (Event 12) so will have to miss that and will have to wait for Event 14 to play on the 18th.

The rest of the schedule is strangely weighted to very late evening games for holdem, such a shame. All I will have the chance to play after this is Event 25 and 28 after that.

 

Good luck to all