Katie's anatomy of a Sunday grind: May 5
Sunday Grind: May 5, 2013
Cinco de Mayo falling on a Sunday inevitably meant it would be a working holiday for me. Each Saturday night, I feel like I did when I was nine and beyond excited to go to Space Camp the next day, the unfortunate effect of which is that I sometimes have trouble sleeping the night before. Fortunately, though, it also means that I wake up earlier, which enables me to fit more PokerStars huge-guarantee tournaments into my schedule!
Since Collin sleeps a bit later than me on Sunday, he started bringing breakfast to me while I play. Ever since my infamous scorched eggs, I've taken to making scrambled eggs the night before. Collin heats up the eggs for me on Sunday morning, and if I am running good on the breakfast front, he adds some smoked salmon and brie. As fancy as that sounds, I assure you that shoveling eggs into my mouth while 25-tabling is anything but glamorous!
Another great thing about starting earlier is that the 180-mans (one of my favorite game formats) load super quickly. My first final table of the day occurred at the smallest prizepool tournament that I routinely grind: an $8 180-man. Things weren't looking the best for me, as I had an ante-adjusted stack of just over two big blinds with eight left. Fortunately, I got it in good and held this hand:
Unfortunately, I busted shortly afterward, when my unexploitable shove got correctly called by a much better hand. While I always play to win, laddering up to fourth was certainly better than eighth, but my tiny fourth wasn't doing much to offset my buy-ins so far. By the fifth time I noticed getting two-outered on the river, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was running bad. One good thing about busting with A-A to T-T all-in pre-flop in the money of the WSOP Main Event last year was that no beat stings as much as that one did, and so I reminded myself just to keep loading tourneys and the results would follow.
One of my best tricks for staying positive when a session isn't going my way is to switch up my grind music. Clearly, I'm no scientist, but I feel that occasionally switching to music to which I'm not accustomed activates my brain in a different way that helps me find more creative lines. This week, that meant listening to the Beatles. I've yet to know anyone that can listen to "Can't Buy Me Love" without smiling. Pretty soon, I was bouncing along to the beat.
Better yet, I had a sweat brewing (and I don't mean the kind you get from spastic dancing in front of the computer). I was pretty deep in the $8 Rebuy, a tournament that I chopped three-handed about a month ago (also on a Sunday) for about $7.2K. When I'm running deep in an MTT, figuring out how many tournaments to keep loading is an art form I've yet to perfect. On the one hand, if I make a super deep run, I want to have all my focus on the high-dollar decisions I will face. On the other hand, if I have a disappointing bust late in the tournament, having a bunch of other tables to focus on offers hope.
Because the $8.80 $30K Guaranteed is a 2x-turbo, the action goes quickly, so I decided to keep loading tables normally as my stack dwindled to 10 big blinds on the last few tables. Then, I got the best suckout I've had in a long time! Not just a double-up but a triple-up!
Then, my stack continued to grow with 18 left:
Remember that "art" of figuring out when to stop registering for more tournaments when deep in a large-field MTT that I mentioned? I'm as good at it as a preschooler trying to use finger paints to make a perfect copy of the Mona Lisa. I did stop registering for more tournaments once I'd reached the final table, but I still had over 20 games going. Usually this is a low number for me mid-session, but it had the potential to be a bit high while fulfilling the goal of perfect awareness of every action at the final table.
In this hand, I had been looking for a three-bet spot versus the villain, as I had perceived the player as opening often and having a significant fold to three-bet percent. Additionally, I thought I had tighter stats than normal and that he would think my range was much stronger than it actually was.
Then, for the second time (and to the same player) at the final table, I got A-K to another villain's A-A.
That hand left me as the shortest stack at the table but also the one hungriest for a victory! Then I took down the blinds and antes a few times, and didn't make a squeeze that normally would have been very standard to me because I successfully sniffed out the button's aces. I called pre-flop only to set-mine.
After about 25 more hands, I found myself heads-up with the aforementioned player that got A-A twice at the final table when I had A-K. The match started with my stack at nearly a two-to-one chip deficit. I had about 15 additional tables going and was also heads-up in a 180-man. From the other room, Collin, who was also playing but had my table up to rail, called out, "You're doing great; just remember that you're essentially playing a $1,500 HU SNG, so it's fine to sit out on your other tables if you want. Good luck!"
My heart was racing as I switched my music to Eminem because lyrics like "you only get one shot tonight" really help focus me for heads-up. Hotkeys were invaluable to me at this point, as they enabled me to act quickly at my other tables without missing a shred of info in the $8R, and I made the executive decision not to sit out anywhere. I won quite a few small pots post-flop and took on the chip lead at the same time as I shipped a 180-man. And then I was fortunate enough to have a hand when my opponent made a large three-bet shove:
I beat a field of almost 1,900 people and had over $10.6K to show for it, which is my largest online score to date! What felt as good as winning was the touching amount of nice comments that I received to congratulate me. At the risk of sounding greedy, I hope to have another exciting win to write about in my Anatomy column!