Bradley_W Wins Full Tilt 24K Guaranteed!
24 “K”ARAT TOURNAMENT
Prior to these last few months, I had never been able to win anything of note on Full Tilt. I had read many posts on various forums where posters would ask the question “Why do I win on Full Tilt but can’t do anything on Stars?” and vice versa. They have a point though. Why do some players show a negative ROI on one site but a huge ROI on another? I guess there are many factors – structure, software, familiarity with the players and so on. So for a while, I just couldn’t go deep in a tournament. I always seemed to be reloading – taking money from one site to donate it all to another.
Then a few months back, I had a breakthrough. I final tabled the 24k gtd for around $2.5k and then went on to final table a couple more in the following few weeks. I think this was just down to the increased volume I was putting in but at last, I was winning at Full Tilt!
My wife and I had arranged to go to Coventry on Bank Holiday Monday but on Sunday, decided not to. This meant I was free to play poker Sunday night otherwise I wouldve just gone to bed early.
I fired up the FT 24k, then the stars $3 rebuy at 7 15pm and the EMS league match followed at 8pm before signing up for the $200k on stars at 8 30pm
I was actually out of the rebuy before the first break. I couldn’t seem to build my stack up and when I did, I was sucked out on and lost it all. I really couldn’t be bothered with it so came out of it just before the league match started. It wasn’t long before I was out of the league match and the stars $10 so by 10pm, the only tournament I was left in was the $24k gtd on FT.
I was trying out something different tonight. I said to myself, instead of doing regular late position steals I would instead do much more resteals. I knew this was a higher risk strategy but I thought by not opening up in late position so much that I would give myself a tighter image in order to make my resteals look like monster hands. This strategy would have to wait until I had built up a stack though, as I knew I needed chips to pull that off.
So I needed chips first and I decided that tonight I wasn’t going to sit around and wait for them. If an opportunity to double or triple up came with a marginal hand, I was going to take it.
The first opportunity came in the first hour or so. I held TT in MP and UTG+1 opens for 360. He had around 6k chips same as me so I flatted looking to either set mine or see a nice flop to push him off. The BB had other ideas. He shoved for around 4k. UTG+1 then isolates. If I was analysing this hand afterwards it would be a clear fold, but I was in gamble mode and hit call. I was shown AK and A9o. My TT held and I nearly tripled up.
I then hit a quite amazing run of all my hands holding up when it mattered. My TT held against AJ when he hit J on the flop but I turned a str8. My JJ held vs AQo, I hit trip Kings with AK versus JJ and my AK beat TT by rivering a straight. Ok, I lost a couple of flips in between but these were against smaller stacks that didn’t really hurt me. The thing was – other than the initial TT earlier, I was never risking my tournament life as I chose my spots against those who had smaller stacks. It just goes to show that you only have to have a couple of those flips go the wrong way and it’s adios.
So I reraised and chipped away through the money bubble – the thing about the 24k guaranteed is, like a lot of tourneys at this level, once you are through the bubble, the players drop like flies. It isn’t that long before you’re down to the last 9.
The final table was where all the drama started. From experience, final tables seem to go a bit like this. The stacks always go really big to really small. Theres always a huge chip leader and theres always someone whose tournament life is hanging by a thread. The people in between wont take any more risks because they are waiting for the small stacks to get knocked out so they can move up the pay ladder. The big stacks take advantage of this and get even bigger. Sometimes the smaller stacks are small because they’ve blinded their way to the final table and they are so happy just to have made it that they don’t mind shoving with J8o the moment they get to the final table.
With this in mind I was determined to get involved at every opportunity and build my stack back up to a level where I could compete for 1st. This would mean taking a huge gamble, as I did not want to sit back and wait like the others.
It wasn’t long before we were down to 8 and I was dealt 77 utg. I had raised a couple of times prior to this and been reshoved on. I couldn’t call as I was raising with rubbish so I needed a double up and soon. My stack was around 11 big blinds. I open shoved into 7 players and get called by the big blind with ……………………… AA. I kicked myself because I knew the shove was just plain wrong – but the suckout of all suckouts happened and I rivered a 7 to double me up and I was now 2nd in chips. A couple of hands later I open on the big blind with Ako and a guy with 10 big blinds shoves. I thought about it and decided to call. He showed QQ and I was back down to 10 big blinds. A couple of hands after that and I’m dealt 88 in the BB. The button, who had been fairly active, raises to 3x. I shove on him with my 88 and he instacalls showing Ako. Its not AK’s night and my 8s hold to cripple him and I’m back up there again.
I was now about 3rd in chips and changed gears again. I was relentless, hammering into people all over the table but in a very controlled way – I would fold if reshoved on and call if the odds warranted a call – before long I was a huge chip leader so I changed gears again and my aim was to start knocking out the shorties. I was amazed at how easily some opponents would just roll over for you if you attacked them. I OPRd some of my opponents and barely any of them had cashed over $1k in life totals on FTs MTTS. Before long I had knocked most people out and we were down to 3 people. I knew that providing I avoided a bad beat that this was going to be my night.
At this point, I also had one eye on Connolly! who was deep in the Sunday warm up and this seemed to inspire me even more. I had deliberately not started a rail thread on EMS because I knew I would just start chatting to the railers and lose my focus – I really needed this win.
A game of raise the button ensued and it was a case of who would blink first. I worried about the guy to my left most of all who seemed to have a number of supporters in the chat box so did not want to face him heads up if at all possible. He seemed to make a few good laydowns earlier on and very rarely showed down rubbish. I managed to knock him out a few hands later and it was just me and my opponent heads up. I had about 4 million in chips and she had just under 1 million. I was delighted to be playing her because she was a straightforward player – she bet when she had something and checked when she didn’t.
I started to limp from the button and everytime I limped, she would do a small raise. The thing was…if she missed the flop she would check so I would bet and she would fold EVERY time. It was great as she just didn’t seem to have any clue about position. We followed this pattern for a few hands before she decided just to shove the lot in after I limped the button. I held JTs and insta called for her to turn over 79s. A Jack came on the flop and I knew I had won it. My hands were shaking and I had just taken down a huge cash.
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