Blimey! An unprecedented weekend on the tables at Sky Poker, got shoved at 3 times post flop in the first five minutes in the Deep Stack on Friday night, easy calls with made hands every time, trip 3s and trip 5s for the first two and top pair and a decent kicker on the third occasion and my opponent had air, was looking for a Q to beat me having made nothing on the flop? I never had to put my tournament at risk again until I busted out when heads up at the final table. Hadn’t seen much of the player I was up against other than the time on the final table, seemed a good player so after playing about half a dozen hands heads up, it was a little loose to call his all in when the flop came down JJx. I hadn’t caught him at it and I didn’t recall anyone else doing so, but I called with KK in the pocket, if he was at it, then I was a big favourite, if he wasn’t I still had outs. He wasn’t at it and I didn’t get another K so 2nd place and £27, that was my biggest win so no complaints.
Played the same Deep Stack on Saturday night and picked up nothing for long, long periods. But that is the great thing about Deep Stacks, it doesn’t matter as long as you have the patience. I can’t pretend that I always do, but tonight I did, got on a rush and went to the final table with close to a third of the chips in play, called off quite a few when the short stacks went all in and lost, eventually took out the 3rd stack to be heads up with a better than 2:1 advantage. My opponent was very passive, can’t have modified their range much at all, would fold to almost every min raise or reraise, never three bet. I did lose the chip lead at one time, calling an all in with top pair on the turn when there was a flush out there but just went back to calling from the SB, min raising just about every flop and walking away with the chips. Her play didn’t change after taking the chip lead, still never fired back and this continued until she picked up a straight draw, I was holding AK and made top two pair on the flop, she put the majority of her stack in the middle, I called, no idea why I didn’t raise for her last few chips, I got another K for the house and that was that, she had just 12k back which I took over the next half dozen hands. 1st place and £40. Yippee!
I certainly felt I played well, though that is no guarantee of success in poker, but I think I did a few things a little differently. I played position better, looked to get involved more from the button and the cut off and less in early position, I wielded my big stack a lot more than I have, putting 15% of my stack in the middle, at times, meant that a call from my opponents would mean anything from 30-50% of their’s and despite being sniffy about Poker Stars, having played something around 1000 hands in the last 10 days and had to think about 1000 decisions, to a greater or lesser extent, over that time stood me in good stead. Did I get lucky? Of course, but I only remember feeling in jeopardy once; calling an all in with just a few hundred back, A10 in the pocket, I flopped an up and down straight draw to the 10, Turn was A, river was A and that was good enough. Two good results mean nothing but getting to play lots of hands for free and then bringing that experience to tables with cash at the end will be a formula I will keep working on for a while and hope to keep making progress.