Although I have plenty of short-handed experience, I was unaware of this plan and it definitely threw me out of my rhythm a bit.
Things immediately got off to the wrong start. The player on the button, who had been pretty active in the first couple orbits, had a stack of just under $250k. He raised to $30k on the button with the blinds at $5/$10k ($1k ante).
I looked down at A♦ J♣ in the small blind. I decided I was far enough ahead of his button-raising range to re-raise and try to take the pot down.
This player had raised the button three times in a row when it was folded to him, and flat-calling and playing a pot out of position was out of the question.
I made it $125k to go and he hesitated for only a few seconds before moving all-in. Clearly pot-committed and getting over 3-1, I reluctantly called and couldn't improve against his J♠ J♥.
Next, I doubled up a short-stacked player who moved in with Q♥ Q♠ after I had raised with 4♠ 4♣. After losing a few small pots, I was down to about half a million when they finally broke the table.
Shortly after arriving at my new table, I played a big pot against a young online player. Six-handed, with the blinds at $5k/$10k ($1k ante), he raised to $30k from the button. I called $20k more from the big blind, holding K♥ J♦.
After a flop of K♣ 7♥ 3♥, I decided to just check-call his $40k bet, for a couple of reasons.
First, I didn't think he was very likely to have a hand since he'd only made a button raise and followed through with his continuation bet on the flop up to that point. Therefore, I wanted to give him a chance to keep bluffing at the pot.
Second, check-calling may have gotten him to overvalue weaker hands, like pocket pairs from 88-QQ or a seven, which he would have likely folded to a check-raise.
Finally, if he had a hand that beat me, I'd like to keep the pot as small as possible. There were also very few scare cards that could have come on the turn for me, especially since I held the K♥.
Sickeningly, one of the very few cards that fell into this category - the A♦ - fell on the turn. In short, I made the mistake of check-calling $80k here and $160k when the 9♣ rivered, hoping he was bluffing. He showed A♣ Q♦ and took the pot.
Although I obviously got unlucky when he hit a three-outer on the turn, I also played this hand poorly. Admittedly, there may have been a tilt factor in my play here. I don't believe my opponent would bluff the river often enough for my call to be profitable.
A couple of orbits later, I had been blinded down to under $200k. The same opponent from the previous hand had been opening a lot of pots, and winning most of them without showdown.
Five-handed, with the blinds still at $5k/$10k ($1k ante), he opened for $25k under the gun. It folded to me on the button and I found K♥ Q♠.
Normally this is a weak hand against an under-the-gun raise, but in a five-handed game everything changes. The under-the-gun player in this case was also two seats over from the button, aka the hijack.
What's more, he had the chip lead at the table and had been getting little resistance while running it over. With $45k in the pot, enough to increase my dwindling stack by more than 25%, I decided to move all-in for $171k.
Once again, I had picked a bad time. He called and showed J♦ J♠. The board came 8♠ 7♥ 3♦ 5♣ 6♣, and I was eliminated in 24th place for $65,000 AUD (approximately $57,000 USD).
-- Matt Stout
"All In At 420"
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