Hey boys and girls, boygirls and girlboys (covering all bases lol)

 Well you are either very lucky people, that i am gracing you with another post so soon, or you just got spammed again, i will leave that up to you to decide lol.

 My last post was a bit about what i have been up to at the end of last year, and til the end of january of this year and can be found here https://www.pokerschoolonline.com/blogs/mcedger/swings-and-roundabouts-and-playing-with-the-big-kids you can also easily find the other blog posts i have written previously, if you are interested, without too much hassle.

 This post is just going to be about one tournament, and i will try to explain in as much detail, the dynamics at the time of each hand and why i played it the way that i did, in the hope that i can be of even a little help to some of you guys going deep in some MTTs too  (no guarantees though).

 At the end of jan. i got 4th in the nightly 25k on PokerStars for 2.4k, which was just over my previous biggest cash for taking down the hot $5.50 in a 3 way chop for $2.2k, prior to that my biggest was just over $200 for taking down a 100k depositor game, freerolls FTW. Most of the details for those are in previous posts, including my hot $5.50 win here https://www.pokerschoolonline.com/blogs/mcedger/going-in-deep

 Two days after my 4th in the Nightly 25k,and only the second time i ever played it, i went deep in it again, becoming chip leader with about 50 left, but ultimately playing two hands badly, and ending up 15th, which was disappointing to say the least, but i tend to have a habit of letting those disappointments motivate me to do better in future, as i demonstrated by taking the hot $5.50 down only two days after final table bubbling it. So in poker, as well as life, perseverence often does pay off.

 I am only playing a game this big if i satellite in, i would not buy in directly to a $55 game, as if you look me up you wil see my average buy in is around tree fiddy ($3.50 in english lol), but in general i buy in to up to $11 games, mainly $5.50s though. And as the satelliltes to this game fall into my buy in level, i can happily justify playing it if i make the seat .

 So that is the setup, let's see how we did .

 I am well aware that most players at this level of game will have HUDs (not me ) and access to all the tools like sharkscope, so they may see me as an easy target if they were to look me up or get enough stats on me, and so i would need to be playing back at them a bit lighter than i might against less experienced players. Let the level wars commence!

 I will always late reg if possible, and especially in a game that plays quite deep, even on a 3k starting stack, so i usually register about an hour in, when the blinds are 40/80 or so, because if there's one thing i hate it is getting outplayed, and playing deep against these players, that would be quite likely . I think i played a few small pots and had just over starting stack when my first hand of note came up.

 Obviously i had a pretty tight image by now, i think the main pot i remember before this, i had AA and took the pot down with a c-bet on a king high board. They guy that opened here had been pretty active and opened 2 of the last 3 hands prior to this, so with 13bbs and a half decent suited ace, it was time to get in the mix a bit more.

 Admittedly i got it in bad on this occasion, but better to be lucky than good, luck favours the brave etc. etc. and we have a bit of a stack to work with at least . But at least we know we are running good , which is always nice to know.

 My next spot came up on the very next hand, there was an open and a short stack shove in front of me and i wake up with KK, i think about maybe flatting in the hope that someone will try to isolate from behind, but i know my image is still pretty tight, even after the A7 hand, and i think the best way to look weak here is to just shove and hopefully get called by a big ace or a smaller pair hoping to be flipping against AK. So i shove but get no further action, i am happy to take down this pot with minimal risk though.

The next hand i played was two levels later, where i was dealt AK of diamonds, from a 20bb stack this is an open rather than an all in, it is too strong a hand to waste just stealing the blinds, and i know how much they love to 3 bet in these games. It folds around and the big blind is the only one that shows interest and he defends. The flop isn't too bad for my hand, ten high with two clubs, but obviously it would connect more wth my opponents range than it would mine usually. He donk leads out, which doesn't make much sense, if he was super strong he would probably look to check raise my continuation bet, but i have seen this move so often before, it's usually a draw of some kind trying to set their own price. As i am quite confident i have the best hand so often here i elect to reraise, to not only represent an overpair but to also price him out from drawing and to price myself in if he decides he likes his hand enough to go with it. He elects to fold .

 So ok in MTTs you don't always get it in good, but the dynamics (and my nittery lol) dictate that with 13bbs, over an open, AJs is going to be a shove, i can take down a decent pot preflop, or possibly be in a flip if i am called. The BB has other ideas though and calls all in with one of the few hands i don't want to see, AQ, so if i lose this i will be down to 2k in chips, but at least the original raiser folds and we are heads up. We get a sweat with the king pairing the board on the turn, so any 3 or 6 and we are chopping, any jack and i will win the pot and be in a good spot going forward. GL us!

 BINKAMENTS! and yes, i have to admit, i AM running good tonight . Lets do this, we have a good chance at a FT now imo.

 My next playable hand is 99 in middle position and i raise over a limpers' flat call. He decides donk bets are good, and on a 7 high board, i am happy to put him to the test for his stack.

Test result, i passed but he failed  awwww.

 Next playable hand i go for the knockout of the short stack on the BB, it is all going to plan too, until the board double pairs giving him a rebate and a brief respite, easy game!!!!

I don't play too many hands for the next two levels, and we are now in the money, i thiink the min cash is around $90 here, but that's not why i am playing this game, it's all about the final table for me, and i won't be throwing away any good chances i get for a chip up. So when the 1bb shorty puts it in and the button shoves to isolate them, there is no way i can fold a hand as strong as jacks here, so let's hope A) it's good and B) we hold. Not even a sweat as we are crushing both of their hands here, and now have over 20bbs to work with again.

 I have to say that i have picked up so much about poker strategies from playing online a lot over the past year, and late position raises are often a good target to play back at, and my nitty image in a game like this, picking up ANY pair and having a good shove stack <20bbs, not to mention the 3x open (always looks like a steal or a weaker player), there is only one option for me here. I shove hoping to either take down the decent sized pot tight here or if he does call me, be in a flip for a very decent stack at this point in the game (6.30am my time by now, night owling it FTW).

 He makes the correct call vs a resteal and we are off to the races. One thing in a game with a lot of strong players like this, is that they will know their shoving and calling ranges very well, so the bad beats you might get here, are at least logically reasoned plays in the main part, unlike some of the micro games, where there is little to no thought behind some of the plays.

 We don't have to wait long for another playable hand, when we pick up JJ the very next one. But with a raise and a 3 bet in front of me, i don't really fancy stacking off for 35BBS, not this deep in the tourny, it is a tight laydown, but all i could really hope for, getting it in here would be a flip at best, so i muck and pretend it never happened . I would like to find a slightly better spot for the double up lol. Also without better reads on the players, i am not looking to level myself into thinking they are both doing this light, which is of course possible if the original raiser is obviously opening a lot.

A walk with 72o is ALWAYS nice, maybe an omen of things to come .

 The next hand really sticks out for me, mainly because it was the toughest decision i had to make in this whole tournament. It fold to me on the button with ATo and i open for the minimum plus change. The big blind defends and the flop comes down Ace high with not too much to worry about. I make a c bet, which i will do most of the time for value on a flop texture like this, as i am likely to have the best hand so often. My opponent calls and we see a ten on the turn that gives me two pairs, he checks and so i decide to check behind, i have a very strong hand, yes there could be some scare cards on the river, but i want to give my opponent a chance to bluff his air hands also muahahahaahahahahaha! The river is about as bricky as it could get for me, and when checked to, i have to bet once more here for value. This is when the hand got tricky, as i got check raised, a not insubstantial, more than the pot sized bet to 37k. I am now getting 2-1 on my money if i call, but what would he do this with? QJ for the straight, or a set for that matter would be likely to lead the river after my check on the turn, as i must have looked like i was giving up in that spot, so i can also see a bluff leading out. He didn't 3 bet me pre so it's hard to think he can have AK here, maybe he rivered 2 pairs, but then he would bet for value on the river too. The only hand i could think he may have that i wasn't beating was a slow played set, but then he might want to bet the turn for protection from the various draws that card could have made possible. So after about a minute of tanking i make the crying call and beat his non-value hand  , scooping in a nice pot to put me over 100k for the first time this game, making me chip leader at my table and showing i am not going to be bullied either.

After i made the call, two players at the table said nice call, which i appreciated, as in a game like this everyone is all very serious and there is little, if any table talk, so for them both to break their silence felt nice actually.

 It seems the bigger the game you play, the more people are looking to play pressure poker and really put you in tricky spots, and the dynamics dictate a lot of those actions, so when i 3 bet the open here, i am just hoping for it to fold back to him, he shove and then i snap call with likely the best of it, so when the BB decides to cold 4 bet and the original raiser folds, the dynamic has changed, but AK is still such a good hand to be aggressive with,  i see shoving here as the only viable option, yes it's for a lot of BBs, but also my 3 bet could easily look like a resteal here, inducing the BB to play back at me, and if it's a flip there is a lot of dead money already out there, i don't need to even sweat it though as the BB lets it go and i add another 30k to my stack.

 I must have got a bit card dead for a while, as 40 minutes later i had barely played a hand and i was down to 16bbs at the 2400/4800 and 600 ante, we were down to the last 2 tables by now and i was recalling how i got to this spot just a week or so before (i don't play this every night by any means) only to go out disappointingly, but that's not something i should dwell on right now, and i have basically a shoving stack at the moment. UTG and looking at KJo, i know i have to go all in, i have a tight image (as usual) and enough chips to have some fold equity too, especially as no one wants to get stacked off this close to a Final Table and the big money up top, at least 7 players will recieve at least $1000, and that is the minimum i would like to take. So i shove and am kind of dismayed to get called by the player to my immediate left. PLEASE BE LIVE!!!!!! 

 He flips over AQ and we are indeed live at least, off to the races again!

 and it's BINKAMENTS!!(the remix) as we suck out like a pro, flopping the jack and get the crucial double up at the crucial time 

 Again i had another period of card deadedness, and as we were on the Final Table now with just 6 left and over $1k locked up each, it was not the ideal time for it. I had done my nittish laddering and i was looking to pick up a hand to go to war with, and when the big stack opened (which he was using the dynamic, very successfully i must say, to put pressure on the smaller stacks trying to ladder up) and the 20bb stack on my right shoved, i needed to seriously consider going with the tens that i was dealt. The big stack was opening most hands, the 20bb stack had good fold equity with a lot of hands that would get the big stack to fold to a shove most of the time, but that included a lot of smaller pairs than mine, some strong Ax type hands that i would be flipping with a lot of the time, but also some random air hands that he could be using the dynamic to steal with. So i made what i saw as the right call for that moment, and also a call that would put me in a great position, up to 2nd with only 6 left if i won the hand. The big stack folded, the shover showed Ajc and we were flipping once again, but this time was the most important to hold.

 One by one the remaining players fell until there were just 3 of us left, we had already vanquished players that had $4M in cashes and the remaining chip leader also had a very respectable over $2M in cashes, so this wasn't going to be a cakewalk by any means. To be the best you have to beat the best (insert other cliches here ), and as the big stack was opening a lot, as was to be expected, i was having fun 3 bet shoving a lot and stealing quite a few pots, i think they had realised by now i was not playing scared money, well i was in for only $5.50, so anything now felt like a massive victory anyway.

 Three handed the min cash was $3,341, with $4.5K for 2nd and $6K up top, so these were by no means insubstantial pay jumps, and seeing as my average buy in is $3.81, even more significant to me. The 3 bet shoving dynamic i had created was obviously going to get less and less credit the more i used it, but it had been very effective up til this point on the short handed Final Table. At times like these in games, i tend not to look at the money too much, it's there in the back of my mind, but to play my best i need to not think about that too much, concentrate on playing each hand the best i can and hopefully take it down on a good day.

 I mentioned how the dynamic had changed a little bit since i was shoving so much now, and that dynamic paid off for me, when with a big stack open, and me being the shortest stack with 21BBs and ATo (the nuts basically vs this guy), i put it all in the middle and waited for the big stack to make his decision. After what seemed like a very long tank, he made a great call (for me ) with the old A2o, easy game i thought as he insta binked the 2, OH! but we still had a live ten and running cards for a wheel to chop, those hopes were dashed though on the 2 turn, leaving me drawing dead .

GG! very GG!

The guy that knocked me out did say "very well played" which coming from an online boss, i take as a very big compliment, maybe that was just his was way of saying sorry for the beat, but i'll take it because it did feel like he was being genuine. And i can't really complain as i had at least 2 hands where i came from behind to win and stay in the game, A7h>AA anyone lol.

 Sadly this story doesn't come with the "happy ever after" ending we all like, but i take a lot from the game, the experience for one and a nice cash to boot, $3341 for 7 hours work is never to be sniffed at, and the hand i went out on was one of those game changing hands that may well have led to me winning the whole game, that game gets between 600-700 players regularly, so it is much lower variance than all the 4K+ runners micro tournaments, and as of writing this i have played it 10 times now, cashing 4 of those, with $6K in cashes (in a 2 week period ), so there will be no complaints from me. I don't think i am as good as most of the players there, but i like how i put a lot more effort into my thought processes, in a game where the standard of play is generally a lot higher than what i am used to online.

 Hopefully my next post will be about me taking down the anniversary Sunday Million, well a guy has to dream right! 

 Thanks for taking the time to read this if you got this far, i appreciate it and i hope you can take something from it.

 Until next time, run good and stay out of my pots 

 best regards Jodi (M.C. Edger)