When The Days Are Cold And The Cards All Fold How I Chopped The Caesars Mega Stack – Part I

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How I Chopped The Caesars Mega Stack – Part I

My road to Cutting Caesars Mega Stack Event #81 started innocently enough with a last minute decision. My wife planned to play, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to play poker for 12 hours. On Saturday, I like to chill because it was the last day of my weekend, but my wife insisted on asking me to play. I’m reading some new poker tournament books, and I’m like “What?” I will try once.

I got to the Caesars Palace poker room and it’s usually very cold. I’m not a big fan of the room because I feel too isolated. I feel like I’m playing in a warehouse. I rush to my seat and immediately throw my first hand into the mud. When I position myself, I begin to formulate my game plan. The general feeling of these Caesars tournaments is that the fields are extremely soft due to low buy-in. I have noticed that most players play average to below average plays so there is a lot of dead money. With a million thoughts racing through my head, generally, my early tournament strategy is to play a lot of hands, play in position, and be extremely aggressive both pre- and postflop. In tournaments I like to attack 3 types of opponents: 1) play against players who fold their button, 2) play against players who fold after limping, and 3) play against players who fold a lot on the flop. If you just follow those 3 rules, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition.

We start with 15,000 chips and right away, I flip the metal and raise a ton of hands and bet. Fortunately, there isn’t much resistance from my opponents, so I’m able to build my stack without showing my hands. If you’re building your stack without showing a hand, you’re playing flawless tournament poker. By the second hour, I’m sitting with 21,000 chips. I feel good about how I’m playing, then this hand comes up.

Important Hand #1 — “Just read, dammit. Who cares if you get knocked out?”

The blinds are 100-200…I’m sitting with 21,000K…the middle position player open-raises for 600 of the 19,000 stack. I noticed that, except for me, these players were very aggressive preflop, and I wanted a chance to play poker with him to see how he would react to a 3-bet (re-raise). Button to 1,600 with KJ offsuit. Everyone folds to the original raiser who calls..5000 in the pot and two players. Flop 9 7 2 with two spades… he checks me. I put him on two big cards and possibly a small pair of 4s or 5s. I bet 1,750..he calls. The pot is now 7,000. The turn card brought another 9…suddenly my opponent was up to 1,900. The bet flush draw screams! This is an informed bet known as a “blocking” bet. Basically you want to see where it stands in the hand. My guess is that he’s putting me on big cards like AK or AQ and hoping I don’t connect on the flop. My options are to fold or raise…my opponent has about 16K, so I decide to go with my read and put it in a flush drawer and raise to 5,000K…my opponent immediately calls. He called so fast that I’m now 100% sure I’m up against a flush draw…the river brings the jack. I was sure he wouldn’t be able to call a significant bet if the flush didn’t come. Jack put my mind at ease. My opponent checks. I went in…he folded.

KJ’s hand gave me a ton of confidence and this aggressive strategy bought me the ticket for a deep run in the tournament. My newfound confidence would set the stage for the early turning point of the tournament, which I believed, made me realize I had a chance to run deep…..In my Part II, I’ll set the stage for the big tournament. The rush I get brings me closer to the final table.

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