When I made the decision to postpone Malta, I started looking into alternate smaller trips I could take in the spring or summer.
I found out about WPT Montreal, a $3.3k tournament at Playground Poker, and it seemed like a slam dunk. People always say that May is a great time to go out East, and I’d never been to Montreal before.
It was also just a 5 hour flight to get there, which seemed perfect for a short vacation without too much hassle.
I got to Montreal on May 2nd, but I opted to play on Day 1c because I figured it might be the softest day. By the time it was my turn to play on May 5th, I had hung out downtown for a few days and was adjusted to the time zone (3 hours earlier than what I’m used to).
I didn’t recognize anyone at my table, nor did I expect to since most of the big name pros were overseas to play the EPT Grand Final.
I thought one of the players at my table might be a known pro since I saw people come by to snap photos of him, but he played pretty poorly so maybe I was wrong.
Adjusting for the Maniac at the Table
My table was quite soft and I got off to a pretty quick start, adding over 50% to my stack by the first break. I had a very aggro player three to my left, though, and he started playing back at me a lot once he got some chips. He was 3-betting me quite often, and he once showed a bluff after re-raising my 4-bet with 63s.
Since he showed the willingness to 4-bet with air, I had to adjust how I played a bit. The good thing was that he tended to bet too small, so it was fairly easy to adjust to. I had to tighten my opening range, but then I was able to just raise/call a lot and see flops for cheap.
I doubled my 30k starting stack by second break, which meant 200 big blinds and lots to work with. I was involved in far fewer pots at this point, however, for a variety of reasons.
One was that another aggro player got moved to my left, and he actually sized 3-bets properly. This meant I had to tighten my opening range even more (since I couldn’t raise/call as liberally anymore).
Secondly, I lacked the credibility I had at the start of the day, which meant that when I wasn’t getting 3-bet, I was getting flatted a lot.
“FIRST bluff?! She hasn’t had anything the entire tournament!”
The one hand that made me especially realize that I should immediately tighten up was when I bet turn and jammed river in a 3-bet pot versus a player that didn’t continuation bet. He called the turn but then agonized over the river for several minutes.
When he finally made the fold, a player at the table said, “Courtney just made her first bluff of the tournament.” The aggro player that had 5-bet with 63s versus me said, “FIRST bluff?! She hasn’t had anything the entire tournament!”
Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t take advantage of the image I created because I couldn’t make any hands the second half of the day.
There was actually one hand where I misread my hole cards and thought I had a flush on a 4-flush river. I bet in position after the two aggro players to my left checked with what I thought was a ten-high flush.
They both called with weak flushes because they didn’t believe me. When I saw my hole cards and realized I had nothing, I mucked and one of them cried triumphantly, “I knew she had nothing!” Sick brag that I got value from such weak hands; when I learn to read hole cards, I’m gonna get rich ;)
I spent the latter levels of the tournament mostly staying afloat by winning small pots. The original aggro player to my left 1-outed someone for a massive tournament chip lead, so I wasn’t really able to take advantage of increasing blinds and antes.
I was basically stuck between 60k and 80k from level 4 of the tournament all the way until the end of the day, which finished at level 10 (500/1k 100 ante).
At the end of the day I had 76k chips, around an average stack. In part two of my WPT trip report, I’ll write about the successes and failures of my Day 2 in WPT Montreal. Stay tuned!