I played my first live MTT (bar the EOM in Limerick in which I never got going and busted fairly early) in ages last weekend at Caesars Palace in Galway.
It had been a while since I played a live MTT and I was really looking forward to it. It was my first time up to Caesars but I had heard good things about it. The main event drew 122 players for a €22,000 prize pool with €6.2k up top.
The starting stack was 20k and I finished day 1A with 220k. That equated to 4.5x average, 280BBs, and almost 3x second place in chips! I chipped up fairly steadily on day 1 and can only remember losing one pot of note. Towards the end of the day, I picked up aces twice and won huge pots with them both times.
I came back for day 2 with a big chip lead and started out well. Won a few races and built up to 260k. Following this, I took a step back and ended up dropping back to 150k. The two hands that did most of the damage were: a big bluff that didn't get through, and folding QQ pre flop. I'm fine with how I played the bluff, but I still have doubts whether the QQ fold was right.
Thankfully the tide turned when I made a big call with AQ and managed to hold pf vs JT. Things went pretty well from there until the end of the day when I got moved right around bubble time (got moved with 18 left and 13 getting paid).
When I arrived at my new table, I had 450k in chips which was around chip leader. Things didn't go well and I just couldn't win a pot at my new table. Thankfully, like the previous day, I won a few hands towards the end of the night and managed to finish with 540k. Two players got knocked out on the last hand of the night meaning we were coming back to a final table of 9. I was 3rd in chips with 3 of us in the 540k-600k range and 4th place being back on 350k.
I was fairly happy with my play on the final table but just seemed to run out of momentum three handed. By the time it got three handed, the stacks were approximately: 1.8m, 600k (me), 200k. I dropped back to 400k and then managed to a win a big flip to keep me alive. I raised the button with 6c3c, the SB (chip leader) called and the flop came 96x with two clubs. I got check raised (the check raise was for about 50% of my chips) and obviously had to go with it. I was up against K9 with the king of clubs and got lucky to hit a club on the turn and avoid one on the river. After doubling up to 800k, it looked like it was going to be my day but unfortunately I didn't really win many hands after that. 3 handed went on for a long while and the blinds were getting progressively bigger.
I lost two big pots and a lot of medium sized pots meaning I was down to 10BB range. I shoved the button with the 6d3d and got called with QJo. Unfortuantely the magic of the suited 63 couldn't be performed again and I was gone in 3rd place.
As always, you're going to be disappointed when you don't win a tournament. At a few stages in 3 handed play, one player had 10BBs, so several times it looked like I was at least going to have a shot at heads-up. But the short stack managed to survive and doubled at the crucial times so I guess it just wasn't meant to be. Overall, I guess I have to happy with the performance and result. It was my first live MTT in a while and I must say, I genuinely missed playing. It was my first live cash of the year too, as the previous seven tournaments have all been bricks. The result covers those tourneys and takes me outa the red and into the black for live MTTs this year.
The next live event I hope to play is the Macau tournament at the end of August. It's a €500 tourney and with things going well, I hope to be able to play it. It's a great structure and obviously Cork has been pretty good to me so hopefully I'll be able to get another run in the rebel county!