I’ve been so sidetracked with limit hold’em ring games lately that I’ve been neglecting my sit and go’s (SNGs) which is a shame because single table no-limit hold’em SNGs are my favourite kind of poker. I enjoy them because they give you a chance to play with and study ten opponents from the start of a tournament until the end, they really give you the opportunity to play the players much more than you get to in a ring game.
The other thing I love about them is that each one is different and you need to be able to adjust your game accordingly, there’s no getting up and finding another table or seat. You’re stuck there until the end and it’s adapt or bust… fantastic!
Since it had been over a month since my last one I decided to jump into one this evening over at Party Poker. I expected that since I hadn’t played one in a while I would be a bit rusty, this combined with the fact that this was my first time playing in a tournament on Party made me want to start out small so I signed up for a $6 game and waited for my opponents to arrive.
Arrive they did and we got started, first hand of the game went to the player to my directly to my left who took around 500 chips off the player directly to my right who was chasing a gut shot draw (against a big raise) vs a set of tens. I knew I was in for some fireworks!
Second hand in and I’m dealt in late position (one off the button):
Blinds are at the starting 20/40 and the under the gun player min raises to 80 and two players before me call. I don’t like these callers and raise it up to 200 in an attempt to isolate. The player on the button calls as does the small blind and one other player, we’re four handed to the flop:
Raggedy flop, no help to me at all but the action is checked to me and I decide to try a continuation bet. Half the pot feels right here so I make it 500, the player on the button smooth calls and the other two players fold. We see the turn:
The pot is 2080, I’m out of position against a player I have only seen play one hand in my life where he chased an unlikely gut shot against the odds. I have no idea what he would have smooth called with on the flop, but I like my chances that I’m now winning with my TPTK. I have 1300 in chips and he has 820, given the size of the pot I decide to put him all-in. He calls and shows:
Nice! Until, the river:
Giving him two pair and leaving me as the new table short stack with 480 in chips. Ouch, not the position I wanted to be in at this early stage. However, instead of tilting and blowing of the last of my chips on some crappy holding I decide to grin, bear it and do everything I can to make a comeback. So I start folding… and folding… players start dropping out but due to the blinds my stack has shrunk down to 390 and the blinds have already jumped up to 50/100. Things were looking grim when under the gun I was dealt:
But how to play them? An all-in bet probably would have sufficed here as my stack wasn’t really going to intimidate anyone but that would have been the obvious short stack move. I decide to min raise with the idea that I’ll either call a re-raise or push all-in on the flop. So, I raise. My old friend on the left (let’s call him lefty) calls, the short stack on the button re-raises all-in for another 64 the blinds fold and I call as does lefty. We see a flop:
I move all-in for another 127 and lefty calls. We turn them over:
The turn is the last ace and my opponents are drawing dead. I (almost) triple up to 1200 in chips but am still the short stack but at least now I have something to play with and it seems I’ve gained a little respect as the next hand I steal the blinds with a 3X raise holding JJ. I go back into fold mode and just as the blinds go up to 100/200 in the big blind I’m dealt:
Four players call around to me (including my good mate lefty) and with a stack of only 900 left in front of me I’m left with a decision. With four players AQo is vulnerable, I have to raise which pretty much commits me for the rest of the pot but I decide not to push all-in just yet. I make it 600 to go which lefty calls (I should mention he’s the chip leader right now – somehow!) as does one other player. My raise sucessfully knocked out one of the limpers and I’ve still got 500 up my sleeve to make a play on the flop:
The pot is 2000, I have 500 and the second nut flush draw. I’m 90% sure lefty will call me with anything and I run the risk of either of my opponents holding at least a king but I’m pot committed, I have to push and hope no one has the ace of spades. Sure enough, lefty calls, the other player folds and lefty shows:
For a pair of nines (a typical lefty holding ;)) which is excellent news me as it gives me 5 more outs (any non spade ace or a queen – the ace of spades was already an out) We see a turn:
The river is a jack and I take down a pot worth almost 3000 to move from short stack to second position. I then hit some nice cards and lefty doubled me up again my KK vs his 99 and I was the chip leader into the final four.
I won’t bore you with the rest of the details, this post is already way too long but to cut a long story short I came second (and more importantly I beat lefty – he went out in third). I would have loved first but lefty near doubled up my heads up opponent leaving me out stacked around 10 to 1 (I’d lost a few chips by this point due to the large blinds – 600/1200).
At the end of the day though it was a great feeling to come back from down and out with ten players remaining to take second. Just shows that the old saying “All you need is a chip and chair” is true – if you’re calm and patient enough.
Thanks for reading, if you got this far I’m impressed!
As a side note, if you don’t already have an account over at Party Poker use the code “SIMONPOKER” when you sign-up to let them know I sent you and get an extra $25 on your first deposit. If you use this code I get a bit of cash too which helps me keep this site on-line (might also help buy me a beer which is always appreciated!).