After two more cashes on the trot I feel my tournament Poker has really turned a corner; that initial downward line on my graph, from my five losses in a row, is now eclipsed by my current rating of "hot" on SharkScope. My heads-up play still needs some work, and I’d been meaning to play some specific HU games, but I find the whole 2-player thing a bit tedious; I was after something a bit different. After spending a bit of time reading-up on some of the game variants I settled on a straight 18 player MTT. It’s hardly multi-table, 18 players, but I didn’t really want to play for hours and I was intrigued by how the software handles the two tables.
I chose a $2 turbo which was new territory for me as I’ve never spent more than $1 on a stake before. Although, actually, $2+0.25 is much better value than $1+0.25 in rake-to-stake terms and of course, with 18 players, cashing would represent a great ROI.
On registering everything was pretty much the same as a normal STT except the wait time! How long!? I assumed that it would take roughly the same amount of time as two 9 player tournaments, plus a bit extra because slightly less people are going to part with $2.25 rather than $1.25…How wrong I was. I chose the most populated game from the lobby but it took an age to fill. I guess they are just less popular than their ST counterparts probably because of the amount of time they can take.
Finally we’re off and my main strategy was just to stay in the game long enough to see what happens when the two tables merge. Well I assumed they would be merged as this wasn’t a Shootout. Although I was quite happy to sit quietly I found myself in the thick of things almost immediately. I’ve already found that sometimes you really have to push the betting on and other times you seem to hit the flops and find that people are pushing the betting around you. Well, anyway it was the latter and all the bold moves seemed to be coming from others whilst I seemed to have the better cards.
With four gone I’m the chip-leader and already I’m starting to loosen the hole-cards I’m playing. With all this chip-collecting I’m doing I’ve completely forgotten there’s another table! Before you know it the table stops and the backdrop to the table changes; our table watches a couple of hands go through (I guess because they had played less than us) and then we get integrated. (It occurred to me afterwards that I could have probably had this other table on-screen from the tournament lobby, which might have been handy.)
Well that’s caught me a bit off balance. I now have to go back to playing 9-handed and there’s a load of new players, just when I was getting used to the ones I was playing! As luck would have it I’m still the chip-leader, but not by much as the other table had a front-runner too. My luck continues and I decide to play it cool round the bubble, which of course was at five as the top four cash. I lose a few chips but I’m ok; another one goes and we go into a grinding 3-player stand-off until an ill-timed all-in between the other two makes it a heads-up.
We have roughly even chips and there’s quite a bit of see-sawing as we’re both playing quite aggressively. I get a bit unlucky losing a big pot and then a failed all-in a few hands later finishes me off into 2nd place.
I’m happy with my $10 prize and I’m now one game away from a SharkScope “Super Hot” rating. I must work on my HU play though…