The Dank Escape
I have been in the "Dank Position" many a time. My MTT playing style tends to put me there at some point when things are not going my way. For those not in the know, the Dank Position is last place, but still alive in an MTT. Its the position at the bottom of the leaderboard for the one with the least amount of chips. Its not all bad though, and I tend not to panic when in the dank position. You need to think positive. You are in a better position than everyone who has been eliminated, and if you can settle down and stay alive you can only move up from the dank position. You can win a pot and move out of the dank and up the leaderboard, or somebody can bust above you, and you will slide up a position while remaining in the dank. There is only one way out of the dank position, and that is to bet your way out. If you are short and in the dank, then it is push or fold mode. If you have chips while in the dank, you pick your spot, but still you bet your way out.
This brings us to last night's MATH event. This would be my first MATH in all of 2008. I am not a big fan of 6-max, and when Hoy switched the format I decided to spend my limited poker time elsewhere. I was able to lock down a seat in the Bodog championship, and have put almost no effort into the BBT3. I have had a few decent runs in the Skillz events, and Riverchasers with a couple FTs in about 10 total events so far. I had a small window of opportunity, and decided to take a shot this week at the MATH, and possible skip Tuesday's bodonkey if I caught too much flack from the wifey.
We would get started 5-handed at my table with PokerBrian, MiamiDon, UpForPoker, and Joanne seated. The table was crazy aggressive from the beginning, and I was thrown totally off what little 6-max game I have. I try to play 6-max deepstacks like 9-max with almost no adjustments in the early going. I want to play small ball, and get money in post flop. With just about every pot getting raised preflop at this table, I found myself playing hands I should not be playing to stay active. Joanne was on my left and was absolutely pwning me. Every pot we played she won. Every time I bluffed (and I was bluffing way too much) she was all over it. I was bleeding chips like mad, and afraid of playing pots with her. She was picking up on this, I guess, and would come along every time I played a hand. I was getting reminded of why I hate 6-max, and was just plain uncomfortable at the table. Eventually, GCox would show up on my right, making the table 6-handed, and changed the dynamics of the table a bit. I started to get a walk once and a while, and the aggression level came down a bit. Through the first 65 hands, I had won just three pots (one a walk), which is just horrible for 6-max, and was down below 2000 in chips. I would bleed all the way down to the Dank position with about 60/70 players left, and just north of 1000 in chips. I wanted to just jam something to end my misery, but I decided to hold on, and at least try to get it in good when I pushed.
After about 20 minutes in the Dank, I started to work my way out. I got a double up, and won a few small pots, before getting involved with PokerBrian (table chip leader), in some big pots. With about 3500 in chips, I open raised with AKo, and Brian reraised preflop. I jammed, and he thought and called with AT and I doubled through. I would win a few more pots, before catching QQ and open raising. PokerBrian reraised, and I re-reraised for most of my chips. He jammed with 77 and I called. Doubling through would put me north of 20k in chips. At the second break the leaderboard would look like this, as I had gone from worst to first.
Things were starting to go my way, and I even flopped a straight against Gracie on the below hand. She would flop top-pair and a flush draw. On the turn she would hit trips, and we would get it all in. She was sitting on 19 outs to the river with 9 outs to the flush, 9 outs to a boat, and one out to Quads. All those outs beat my flopped straight, and she would hit the flush on the river, knocking me back down into the pack.
As we approached the FT I would play a massive coin flip with Gracie, with my AKo beating her QQ when an Ace flopped. I would take a nice chip lead to the final 6-handed table. At this point, I had survived the 6-max portion of the MTT, as once you get to the final 6, it becomes identical to a full ring MTT with 6 people left. Below is an image of the FT and the mighty Ace-Jack.
We would get down to four handed semi quick. The four handed battle would be a long and drawn out. I would hold the chip lead most of the way through four handed play that lasted about 1/2 hour. We would then get to three handed, and Shabazz would start to pull away with a large chip stack. I was also starting to tire of short handed play. I can play short handed pretty good, but it is such a mental game that it is tough to stay focused for a long period of time. I would pick up AA and get it in preflop against Shabazz's JJ.
A two-outer on the river would send me home in third, without a TOC seat. PokahDave was knocked out on the next hand. The double-up would have probably got me to heads-up, but I would have still been at about a 3-1 chip disadvantage with a bunch of work to do. I guess I will just have to let the $240+ cash make me feel better. That cash pushes me into profitability for the BBT3. I was also profitable over the BBT1 and BBT2 series which is not bad for a cash game specialist. I guess that's not really fair, as I am a bit of an MTT specialist nowadays. I should be able to take a few more shots at a TOC seat, but this one was pretty close. When you end up with 4 skilled players late, it is really anyone's game. You just need to keep putting yourself in those types of positions, and eventually you will get the win. The cash did move me ahead of Hoy in the MATH leaderboard which is sweet because I have played only one, and he probably has played them all.