First, it's been great seeing a number of TM horses/coaches/friends over the past month. Taken late last night at the Las Vegas Cue Club, we have below our longtime friend and cigar aficionado Gallopingael, my lovely wife Katie, myself, TM's financial master + pool champion Simon, and podcast expert + omaha champ Raizin Azian. It's also been great seeing Mdot20, DakotaXX, Threads13, Bwammo + 1, and everyone else who's come out.
I busted my Saturday $1500 event late in the day, then went for redemption in the Sunday $1k. As usual I looked to sidestep tricky spots, such as this hand at 200-400-50.
I raise to $900 UTG with KcQc, reg defends in big blind.
Flop: 7d Td Kh
He checks, I bet $1300, he check/raises to $4300. We're $13k deep and I fold.
If I'd raised button and he c/r'd or something like that, then I'd definitely play for stacks there, but I thought his range for the c/r after I raised UTG was mainly the 2-pairs he'd defend with pre, 77, possibly TT and AK if he didn't 3bet them pre, and combo draws that I'm basically flipping with. After I folded he showed the Ks, which didn't resolve all that much but I'll pretend he had KsTs and I made an awesome fold.
I got super-lucky at 300-600-50 when I made a standard 3bet shove with a 15bb stack over an open with AJ, got called by QQ, and hit a runner-runner straight to take out his flopped top set. The player to my left was a very charismatic Canadian who got blinded down super low, then faced a raise that would have committed him pre while in the big blind. He debated (out loud) whether to put in his chips with 33 or fold and then stall every hand to the money. Eventually he opted for the latter, forcing the floor to be called almost every hand. He then shoved a stack of $1200 at 500-1000 with AA and lost to 98o when we were three from the money. Unlike the last staller I liked this guy and was kinda rooting for him even though he was slowing down the game.
I also played that day with Justin Young at the end of day 1 and Mement Mori on day 2, both of whom were really nice guys and seem like great ambassadors for poker.
I started day 2 short and doubled up soon when a reg opened, another reg 3bet, I shoved AK, and held against the 3bettors QT. Then I got it in with 40% equity at the flop and got there.
I raise to $3600 in the hijack with AcTc, big blind calls.
Flop: 8c 8s 5d
He donk-bets $8,000, I shove for $30k effective. He tank-calls with 44.
I put him on a range of low-mid pocket pairs and 5X hands after his donk bet. I wasn't sure if he'd fold, but when he does I win about $18k without a fight, and when he calls I'm paying $26k for 35% equity or so in a $60k+ pot. So I feel good that it's a decently +EV shove.
I ended up busting soon afterward though when I hero-called the LAG CL's river shove after I flopped top pair against his button open and the board developed with 4 to a straight. I do sometimes have a winner there but it was a marginal spot that goes against my strategy of looking for clearly advantageous spots when the stacks are deep enough and there are weaker players at the table. I always give a lot of thought to decisions in-game, but I should've gotten away from this one and I really regretted the hand afterward.
On the plus side, it motivates me to always play my A-game, and it happened in a game where I "should've" busted before ITM anyway if I hadn't gotten really lucky hitting the backdoor straight.
So I feel very good for the upcoming group of prelims starting with tomorrow's $1500 and leading up to the main event which is quickly coming up.