I was debating whether to give this it's own blog entry or just throw it in at the end of the last blog or the start of the new one. Due to my slight OCD I decided to just keep things proper and give it it's own entry.
I headed up Thursday and arrived 2 hours late (I thought it started at 2pm, it actually started at 1pm, I arrived at 3pm) which was not ideal. I thought I'd arrive about 40 mins into 25-50 but between getting the start time wrong and it taking slightly longer than expected, I arrived 5 minutes before the start of the 75-150 level. I bust in the 150-300/25 level and headed back home.
My first table was full of French players and it actually took me a while to realise they actually had no clue what they were doing. I knew from the off it was a soft table and they weren't great players, but I literally hadn't seen hands like this in a looong time. The best example was a hand where the board read something like T4387. It was checked and the player in position bet 3k. He got check raised to 6k and instantly called the min-raise with bottom set. The min raiser turned up JJ with the "hey, they hand plays itself" type of expression. There really was no method to the madness which is a tougher style to beat than the obvious bad players. I got moved just as I was starting to get a grip on the table and I had drifted back to my starting stack (20k) having peaked at around 35k.
My bustout hand was avoidable but not horrible imo. The blinds are 150-300/25 and the CO makes it 750, I make it 2k with T9 and he makes it 4.2k. There was some history between and I just felt he wanted to make a move. I was quite comfortable playing in position post-flop and felt I had a good read on him. I'm sure some will disagree but I can't see how you can fold for 2.2k in position when there's already 7k out there. So I call and the flop comes Q33. He leads for 3.8k. I really feel he is weak here so the plan is to call the flop and bet 5k on the turn. The turn comes a jack and he checks. I pick up a straight draw and now all of a sudden bet-folding seems really unappealing. In retrospect, I strongly think the 5k bet is the right play here. If you bet 5k and fold to a shove, you're losing out on drawing to (possibly) 8 outs. The board is paired so you could be dead already. Basically, picking up a straight draw here is not enough of a factor to deviate from the play that I originally thought was the most +EV. As it played out, I bet out 10k effectively committing myself to the hand. The guy tanked it and eventually stuck it in. I had slightly miscounted his chips (no jokes please, I know counting is not my strong point) and thought he had about 18k total. He actually had 20k total which meant it was 10k more for me to call. There was 47k in the middle so I need 17.5% to call. Thank God that is just about what my equity is against his range. I call and he turns up the AJ. The 5k turn would have looked less suspicious but I assumed he still would have called. The other obvious advantage to the 5k bet is that it probably would have only cost me 5k as opposed to 20k if I was wrong.
I can understand if people don't like the play but I don't think it's the worst play. My thought process was pretty spot on and the turn bet does work if it doesn't come a jack. The fact the tourney is 6max also means you have to make slightly more moves than normal. There is the little voice in the back of my head saying "you're in a field with a bunch of crazy french donks, don't bluff your chips off!!!!" but other than that, I think the particular play on this hand is ok. It would be very tough to win the tournament without ever making any bluffs!