Thursday, May 04, 2006

Cherry Poppin at the World Poker Exchange

Well, its been a long time coming, but I have finally won my first MTT. When I started playing online poker a couple of years ago, I used to play a ton of MTTs. I took 2/450 in my first MTT on PokerStars in a WPT qualifier. I also got 3/1000+, and a 4/700+ for some decent cashes. Still have not got a $1000+ MTT cash. Lately, I have become more of a cash game specialist, and rarely play any MTTs, except for blogger events. I started playing on the World Poker Exchange a week ago, and the overlays on the guaranteed MTTs were to hard to resist. They have this $10 buy-in, $500 guaranteed MTT that goes off at 11PM Pacific Time. I have played in it 5 times now, and have two third place finishes. Last night I broke through and won it for a $200 cash and my first MTT win ever.

The tourney went off light with 34 entries and a $160 overlay. I picked up KJ on the button on about the third hand. Flop came KJx, and I bet it the whole way, and got my stack up to 2150. I went completely card dead after that, and got blinded down to about 1250 when I picked up rockets with the blinds at 100/200. There was a min raise open from early, and I reraised to 650. I wanted some callers as I needed to chip up. I would be pushing in on any flop here. Amazingly, after sitting on my hands for close to an hour, I actually got an overcall + the original raiser to call. I pushed in on a Q high flop, and got a caller with top pair. I won and got my stack north of 3k for the first time. 1 hour in, 2 hands won. I started picking up some decent hands, and won a bunch of pots with preflop raises. I ran AK vs AJ all-in preflop, and doubled up just as the final table formed getting up to 6000+. I continued to pick up decent hands at the final table. I eliminated a short stack, and we were down to 9. With my stack north of 10k and 5 players left, I picked up TT. I pushed in over a 3x open raise to 900. I get called by AT, and flop a T. Other guy had 10k also, and I double up to 20k+ and take the chip lead with 4 players left. I pick up AA, min raise, and the shortest stack pushes in. I call, he has JJ, and he is out. Down to three players. I have 30k, other stacks are 15k and 5k. 5k gets eliminated by 2nd place, and we are heads up 30k vs 20k.

I want to be aggressive here with the chip lead, but the cards are not really cooperating. I put constant pressure on the other guy, but he is hanging tough, and I never really have the cards to take a big stand. This guy seems beatable, but I just can't seem to close it out. He eventually takes the chip lead back from me and it gets to about 22k vs. 28k. I keep the pressure up, min raising every SB, and pushing pretty hard after the flop. This guy pretty much folds or pushes-in after the flop. I avoid the all-in moves, because I never really get the right hand to make a stand. I eventually chip back up to 30k vs 20k. We have been heads up for 20+ minutes now. I pick up K7o. He makes a min raise from the SB, and I push-in. He calls with A8o. Damn. I miss the flop, but turn a 7. River is a blank, and I have won my first MTT. It felt great. I think I played heads up as well as I could have, but was not getting any cards. Only 1 Ace, and 1 pp in about 50 hands. The key for me in MTTs is to get cards late. I will take a huge drought early on when the blinds are small, if it means I will get the cards later. In this one I got great cards late, with the exception of heads up, and was able to work my way into the lead at the final table.


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