Katie's Anatomy of a Sunday Grind: March 2
With an $8 million guarantee in the Sunday Million on March 2nd, and it being Oscars night, last Sunday felt like the right moment for a big day. Holding true to a tradition from my youth, I've always enjoyed dressing up to watch the Oscars and I've continued with this tradition well past the point of realizing its craziness ever since I was about nine.
That year, I wore my mom's hand-me-down prom dress, letting the pink tulle dip off my shoulders and waving around a plastic fan. Living in Georgia at the time, I did my best southern accent and pretended to be Scarlet O'Hara for the day. My parents were less amused when they asked if I was going to change out of my pretty dress since we were having pizza for dinner. I airily replied "Frankly, I don't give a damn."
I started out last Sunday making scrambled eggs in a purple silk dress and stilettos. When I tripped on the dog bowl - perhaps in homage to Jennifer Lawrence - I realized that I could still don my bejeweled dress but traded my 5" heels for grey Ugg slippers. I'm sure I would have landed on the list for the most oddly dressed poker players that day!
Fashion aside, I decided to go big, not just in terms of my attire, but also in terms of buy-ins. I used FPPs to buy in to the Sunday Million, which got off to a good start with this hand:
Pre-flop in that situation, sometimes I will three-bet, and other times I will flat. What I choose to do is a result of the stats I have on my opponent and my perceived image at the table. In that case, I had about a hundred hands with my opponent and stats of roughly 9/6 (VPIP/PFR). I had tight stats at that table then, too, and with the player's decision to 3x, which was larger than the standard open at our table at the time, I opted to flat.
The call on the flop was pretty straightforward. Yes, there were potential draws out there, but if I raised and got three-bet, then that would be a pretty awkward spot versus a player who appears to be tight. It's when the player bets out about a third of the pot on the turn that I could really start to narrow his range in the hand: roughly QQ, AK, AA, KQ, AJ, JJ, 88. Of those hands, I am only beat by the full houses. The fact that I had the ace of clubs made it slightly less likely that he had a flush draw, particularly against a tight opponent (I would range a more loose-aggressive player differently). Versus that range, I had over 65% equity in the hand.
Raising a small amount there helped to keep the player in with the weaker hands, as it may have looked somewhat bluffy for me to raise that amount. Once he opted to just call instead of three-bet, it made me more confident that his range was less weighted toward full houses.
The river brought in the flush draw and a blocking bet-sized amount of $640 from my opponent. His bet size indicated to me that he was unlikely to have a big hand here, such as a full house or a flush. At the same time, I thought he was unlikely to call with a worse hand if I raised a large amount, such as all-in. Therefore, I raised a bit over 3x his bet, and he showed down with what I actually thought at the time was his most likely holding!
Despite the significant boost to my stack in the Sunday Million, my other tournaments were off to a pretty horrible start. As discussed in my last blog post, I now prefer playing completely stacked tables. One downside is that it can put a bit of a chip in my confidence when I notice on my "Registered in Tournaments" tab that I'd suddenly busted from five tables in the span of seconds. In times like that, I take solace in the hours I spend studying every week and that I mark all hands in which I'm unsure of my play to review later.
One such hand that I marked for review occurred in a "honey hole." In case you aren't one of the two people in the world that will get this extremely obscure reference, a "honey hole" refers to a goofy reality show I enjoy called Appellation Outlaws, which tracks the lucrative ginseng business in Appalachia.
One character has a huge patch of ginseng worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and spends the show creating elaborate booby traps in an effort to protect his honey hole. Applied to the realm of my own games, I refer to a honey hole as the final table of a $35 180-man because, with a first place of a bit over $1,700, winning that tournament alone can usually put me into the green on a given day, though I have yet to figure out how to use backwoods booby traps to assist me.
Back to the honey hole at hand, we had an odd stack dynamic with four players left, with me having about double the next shortest stack and a player with a one-blind stack after posting the small blind. All the players left to act (with the exception of the small blind) were regs that I expected to be familiar with how tight they would have to call considering ICM.
Editor note: Video error. Apologies!
In at least a few hands, the small blind had folded in spots like that where he should have been calling with any two cards. I didn't like min-raising there because I had shoved and shown down earlier in a spot where many would have assumed my range was capped (and actually wasn't), and I thought that they would three-bet shove fairly wide if I min-raised.
Assuming that all players were calling exactly a Nash range, upon studying the hand, my shove was a small (-0.05%) mistake. However, I did not think that the small blind was calling with any two cards as he would have been correct to in that spot (had Rounder63 folded). Once I adjusted the SB's range for calling there as accurately as I can, it actually became a profitable shove. I did outlast the shortest stack but ended up busting the honey hole in fourth when I shoved seven big blinds with queens and the table failed to pop back up. GG honey hole!
A fourth place finish barely put a dent in the buy-ins I was down midway through my session, and I began to rapidly bust from tournament after tournament. I cashed in the $55 Women's Sunday, but it was still appearing like my Oscar night aspirations were destined for disappointment. My dream of winning the Sunday Million and besting a field of almost 50,000 people was destroyed when I shoved a small pocket pair with my last 11 big blinds over a last position raise.
On a break, I set my DVR to record the Oscars for later and recalled my aforementioned incident of dressing up like Scarlet O'Hara when I was little, and thought, "Frankly, my dear, I DO give a damn."
Because I lacked a lace fan to wave around--not to mention a third arm to operate it while I was multi-tabling-- the paradigm switch in my mentality was activated by listening to my favorite song of the moment, "Girls Like you" by The Naked and Famous.
"What will you do when something stops you?"
Well I didn't want a rough start to end up with me all dressed up with no win to celebrate!
True to my Grindette nature, I sang along with the song and got back into 35-tabling with my eyes narrowed like a Bond villain, determined to take out my targets. Unfortunately, my targets were diminishing in numbers as I stopped loading and tried not to succumb to the pressure of having a profitable day.
Soon, I had only a handful of tournaments left and my determination to keep those tournaments firmly in my hand by playing my best. And then there were only two. A $15 180-man and a honey hole! I needed at least second place in the $35 180-man to be up for the day.
Getting second in the $15 180-man certainly helped my goal of reviving the day, but I craved victory! I wanted to win that honey hole more than Scarlet O'Hara wanted Rhett Butler back in Gone with the Wind! Of course, the danger of wanting something so badly is that it hurts more when you don't end up getting it.
But the upside is that when you do get what you want, it feels that much sweeter! My honey hole win put me well into the green after playing about 200 tournaments with a profit of a bit over $1.1K.
I'd like to thank the Academy, er... everyone who reads my articles!