Image via WikipediaHow I Won Sunday's Oaks Tournament
Overall, I was very lucky. Yeah, I used a few moves from my Tournament Poker book. But, the truth is that I don't recall having such a great run of luck at a poker tournament.
It didn't start well, as on the second hand of the event, I flopped top pair holding K-Q but my opponent flopped a set of 7's. From that point on, my luck changed for the better...much better!
Here is a summary of how I won:
1. I put a couple of bad beats on my opponents.
K-Q versus A-K. The flop was K-K-7. I bet out in the big blind and one player called. I check raised all in on the turn. My opponent thought for a while and called with his A-K. I hit my Q on the river taking down a big early pot.
When we were down to three tables, I raised with 9-9. My opponent moved all-in with J-J. Flopped the 9.
2. Key flops hit my hand hard.
I had pocket sixes, and hit a 6 on the flop. My opponent missed but he made a continuation bet. I won a decent sized pot when he folded.
I called a raise from the button with T-9 offsuit. My opponent was aggressive and had a big stack, as did I. The implied odds in these situations make it the right play. If you don't take these risks, it is a mistake.
The flop was K-Q-J....I moved in after he bet out. He called with K-J and did not improve. A huge pot for me.
I limped with T-2 in the small blind. The big blind called. The flop was T-7-2. I bet out and the big blind, with a decent sized stack moved all in. I called. He had J-T and did not improve. His over sized push all-in was an awful play (this is not online poker:-) )
When it was three handed, the button raised my big blind 2x's. I called with Q-4 clubs. I would have called with any two cards given the implied odds. The flop came with three clubs. He was aggressive so I checked and raised him all-in on the flop. He called. I don't know what he had, as I didn't bother to look. I knew I would win.
He had a huge stack, as did I. It made me the big chip leader. It was a bad pre-flop play on his part.
3. Timing of my big hands
I had K-K and raised. Another player moved all in with A-K. He did not improve.
A player moved all in with 8-8. I called in the big blind with J-J and won.
Timing in these situations is key to building a chip stack. And, having your hand hold-up, of course.
4. The hands I lost were to players pushing with much smaller stacks.
When we were down to three tables, I had a big chip lead. So, I could gamble a little more with the big stacks.
For example, I could call with K-7 in the big blind against an opponent who was desperate and moved all-in with A-5.
5. I did not experience that bad beat that cripples your stack or knocks you out.
This is the way we all get eliminated, right?
6. The tough calls were easier since the pot odds were present for me to make the call a no-brainer.
When you have a big stack you don't want to get hurt. But players push with a wide range of hands when they don't have a big enough stack compared to the big blinds. I had one tough decision when I player with a big stack moved all-in with a big stack. I thought about folding until unrealized that I had to call given the odds.
I called and he had K-J. I had raised with an A-8. I called since I was getting 2-1. Neither one us improved and I added quite a few chips
Frankly, I did not play extraordinary poker. Things just worked out for me. I was able to steal in late position more often since the players to my left tended to be very tight or afraid of being knocked out due to my big stack.
But, the reason for my win was, well, I give credit to the luck granted to me by poker gods. Good thing these gods don't require attendance in anything other than a poker room or I would go to hell.