Monday, July 21, 2008

Leveraging a Weak Image at the Final Table

I played in the OCPT event Saturday at Smokkee’s house. I did not play very well for most of the night, but I ended up on Smokkee’s left at the final table, and he was just running over the table with his big stack. I figured my weak image, and the fact that I was on his left would cause him some problems. I even predicted that I would double through him three times to bust him (he was so far ahead of me in chips it would take three double-ups). But before I get to the FT lets do a proper recap.

We had 11 runners which meant an awkward arrangement of a 6 handed and 5 handed tables to start. I was on the 6 handed table, and was on the slow bleed program. I figured this was a rebuy, and 6-handed as well, so I would need to loosen up quite a bit and see some flops I normally would not. I was not catching any strong starting cards, and I was not connecting with any of the flops I took with drawing hands. I bled away ½ of my T300 starting stack over the first hour. Rebuy! Again I bled down some more, and ended up taking an ill advised stand with about T150 and 20 minutes before the end of the rebuys. I was just trying somehow to build a stack. When I lost that one, I was in big trouble. I only brought $100 with me, and now I only had enough for one more rebuy plus the add-on. I decided to just rebuy once to preserve a shot at an add on. I picked up 33 in the SB, blinds 7/15 and I raised to $50. PokerPoison was calling me down every single time I raised preflop all-night, and she did once again. I completely whiffed the flop, but decided to just open jam and hoped she missed as well. She had a fat draw and called. I dodged a ton of outs and doubled through back to my starting stack just before the break. I took the add-on, and brought about T500 to the FT. I had one of the shortest stacks.

At the FT, Smokkee was on my right, and had a monster stack. He was obviously abusing the blinds, as he was open raising from late just about every time he could. I was still not catching anything so I just stayed out of his way, but realized I would need to get his chips if I wanted to win this thing. I was just happy to be at the FT after catching no cards and playing pretty poorly for the first two hours. That was when Smokkee pushed all-in blind from the SB into my BB. I was down to just over T400, and the blinds were 30/60 at the time. If you are going to push-in blind you may want to keep that one to yourself, because you are announcing that you hold ATC. I looked down at the powerful K3o, and figured I was way priced in against an ATC push. I was also short with an M of around 5. After I convinced myself that smokkee actually did not look at his cards prior to pushing, I made the call. He had Jack high, and I doubled through to a more comfortable chip position. Smokkee announcing that he was jamming blind is a showoff move, and it is –EV. Don’t try that one at home if you want to win an MTT. A few orbits later, I would pick-up AA and smokkee would make his typical T350 preflop steal raise. I smooth called. There were two to a suit on the flop, and I checked and smokkee checked behind. On the turn, I figured that I needed to start building a pot, but wanted smokkee to stick around. I made a “weenie” bet of T200 which was way too small, figuring smokkee would call or shove over that. He shoved with Ace high, and I held up for a double through. A few orbits later, smokkee was continuing his aggressive ways, and I picked up KQo. I figured if Smokkee raised again I would take a stand. He open jammed, and I “snap” (insta) called. This time he had AT and was ahead of me, but the board was my friend, and I took a massive chip lead, while crippling smokkee. From that point, I would cruise to heads-up, and get the win and the $330 cash after a heated 20 minute heads-up battle with Russ. I regained the all-time cash lead on the Orange County Poker Tour, and have taken over the 2008 money lead as well. Weak-tight is the new tight-aggressive.

I was pretty happy with my Final Table run. I had no chips, and an aggressive big stack on my right attacking my blinds. Once you realize that the aggressive player is raising light and assuming that you will fold, you need to disappoint them. Jam over their raise light, or just call down light, and take their chips. Sure you will need to survive a coin flip or 60/40, but you are already in trouble when you are short at the Final Table. When I play MTTs I am not trying for the win, until I get to the FT. When I get to the FT I am usually a bit short. If the chip leader is aggressive though, I look directly to them as my source of chips. That is where the easy chips come at Final Tables

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