I really have no idea why I spent so much of Saturday donking around online, but I did just that. Played some games well, played a few less well. Made a couple of final tables, and yet lost out on my best opportunity...
PokerStars has recently updated to offer a wide variety of 90-man SNGs at all kinds of buy-in levels. Of course, I'm a small baller, so I played seven of them ranging from $3.25 to $8.80 buy-ins. What's interesting is that the offerings include regular stack, turbos, and deep stacks. By deep, it's only 3000 chips, but very slow moving levels. It was in one of these deep stack events where I felt like I played my best, and yet came up with nothing.
For over three hours in this event (and yeah, the 90 man deepstacks easily go 4+ hours, it seems), I was in the top two in chips. In fact, I was chipleader for most of the time, from about 88 players left, down to 18. Twelve spots paid. During the third hour, I recall having to fold about 98% preflop, just because the cards were that bad. Having a big stack was one thing, but given the levels and table stack sizes, and aggression of the two players to my left, I didn't really want to have to lay down weak hands to resteals at that time in the tournament.
At this point, still being 2nd in chips, and playing tight, I eventually woke up to KK on the button. Of course, it folded to me, and I went 3x the BB or so (a tad higher, I believe, because the stacks were high relative to the blinds). I was rather surprised when the midstack on my direct left repopped it to about 9x the BB. I had him easily covered, but he'd been somewhat aggressive. The pot was large enough to take down at that point, so I shoved. Duh. He had AA.
K on the flop. AWESOME!
A on the flop. NOT SO AWESOME!!
The next thing you know, I go from 1 of 18, to 18 of 18, with about 15 BB left. Still playable, but tons of work to do. Unfortunately, I was never able to really chip up again, and wouldn't you know it, I went out on the 13th place bubble. Very unsatisfying after playing really dominant poker for the first 2.5 hours. But truth be told, if the chips hadn't gone in preflop, I'm pretty sure they would have gone in on the flop in a set over set situation.
That was the only 90 man SNG I really came close to cashing in. However, what I took away from that event was, for a recreational player like myself, those 90 man deepstacks offer a shit-ton of play value. And, unlike some of those 1500 chip MTTs on Stars or Bodog, taking an early beat doesn't have to be the end of the world. If what you're hoping to do is slowly grind up a roll, with an equal priority of playing a relaxing evening, there are far worse tourney choices to make than to fire up three or four of these $8.80 90 man deepstacks.
On a more positive note, I finished 4th in a $5 Limit Omaha 8 MTT over on Full Tilt. 90 runners, and a $90 payout. Not totally awesome, but made the whole day a bit better than breakeven. More importantly, I was able to recover from being a total early donktard. 24 spots paid, and when we got to 24, I was in 24th. When we got to 18, I was in 18th. When the final table started, I came into it 9th. By rights, I probably shouldn't have cashed, and instead, came oh so damn close to the bigger money of Top 3 spots.
I went when blinds were 10k/20k, and I held about 33k chips. I didn't get a screenie of the hand, but I raised with something like AK53, with the A and K each suited with one of the wheel cards (two clubs, two hearts, I think). The small blind (with about 35k chips) re-raised, I popped again, and he shoved to put me all in. His hand was similar to mine, but he wasn't double suited, and he had a deuce. He had an AK in there possibly AKT2. Of course, A on the flop, with two clubs, so I'm looking good. But a T on the river (or whatever gave him a 2nd pair) ensured my exit, when no more clubs came. I'm not complaining, as it took a ton of work just to get that far. A ton of work, and a straight flush wheel that allowed me to scoop one very nice pot (both players called):
At any rate, it was a fun day of online poker, even if I still came up short in decent cashes (did final table a small tourney at Bodog, and cashed in the $3r at Stars). Not much better than break even on the day, but I felt that for the most part, I played really well, except for a couple of the 90 man turbo SNGs, when I was definitely overaggressive.
Hope the rest of you had a great weekend, on and off the tables.