Editor's note: Get up to speed with Part 1 of this trip report here.
Day 2 of WPT Montreal started with 302 players remaining. 73 players were scheduled to cash and I thought there was a chance the bubble would happen before the day was over, so I was hoping for another long session of poker.
My table was tougher than the table I left at the end of Day 1. I had a couple large stacks to my left, and there was someone I knew to be an online pro to my right.
It wasn’t an extremely tough table, but there weren’t any blatant donators like there had been at my first table.
The thing I noticed immediately after a few orbits was that the tournament had sped up significantly for short and middling stacks. The biggest reason for this was the gigantic antes; the first level of the day was 600/1200 with a 200 ante! Being unable to win pots during this level meant bad things for your stack.
Unfortunately I was among those having trouble winning pots. It was really easy to lose a quick 20 to 30bb just from raising preflop and failing to win post flop, and I only had 60bb to start the day in the first place.
After losing a portion of my stack, I managed to get up to around 75bb after a 3-bet pot where I was fortunate enough to flop a set with 77. It was a heads-up pot and on the flop I check/called when it came AT7.
When my opponent double-barreled 15k into a 30k pot with just 25k behind, I was pretty sure he had top pair, so I jammed. He thought for a very long time and then folded.
Thinking back to the hand, I probably shouldn’t have jammed on the turn. It was a small jam in relation to the pot, but people value their tournament lives a lot, especially live.
After the first break, I was up to almost 100k. The blinds, however, were at 1k/2k, so I had just 50bb.
From Medium to Short Stack
I quickly lost a lot of chips at this point. First I doubled up a short stack with KQ versus his AJ, and then I whiffed a flop against the chip leader with AQ and couldn’t take down the pot after raising his continuation bet. I was down to 28bb, which was the lowest I’d been all tournament.
The next big hand I played involved me raising QJ in early position and getting three calls at 1k/2k. The flop came Q9x with a flush draw, and the small blind donk-bet 6k into the 22k pot. He only had 17k behind, I had 50k, and both stacks behind had me covered.
To ensure that the short stack couldn’t prevent me from going all-in versus the larger stacks, I elected to raise to 23k. The stack directly to my left flatted, and the table chip-leader folded. When the action got back to the donk-bettor, he literally shrugged and tossed the rest of his chips in.
The turn came an off-suit A, and I went all-in, jamming 30k into almost 90k. This caused my opponent to go deep into the tank, which usually would mean that I wanted a call.
In this case, however, I was sure I didn’t because he started saying stuff like, “I am giving you SO much credit if I fold… If I fold and I’m wrong, I’m going to be so mad…” So I sat there and waited and waited, knowing that I was dead if he called.
After what felt like forever, he finally folded. The donk bettor flipped over Q3 and I faded the three-outer on the river, so I won the pot.
The player to my left said that he folded KQ and told me that my jam was good because he otherwise was never folding. I call that hand the “near-death experience” of my poker tournament :P
Sadly, that was the last interesting hand I played for the rest of the event. I just couldn’t get anything going moving forward, mostly because I couldn’t hit pairs and my opponents weren’t folding to post flop bets.
I also lost 30 per cent of my stack in one hand where I three-bet bluffed preflop and continuation bet a flop that I whiffed. My opponent flopped 2nd pair and won the pot after I gave up on the turn.
I had a push/fold stack when we came back for level 5 after the second break. I got a few jams through but ultimately busted after 3-bet jamming pocket deuces over the table chip leader’s CO raise with 13bb and losing a flip to KQ.
Overall I’m mostly happy with how I played both days of the tournament. I didn’t have a lot to work with and lost a few flips, so I don’t think there was much else I could do. I won a lot of my chips without showdown, which I’m pretty pleased with.
I definitely made a lot of mistakes, though. Most of my mistakes had to do with my inexperience as a live player, but my lack of stamina in multi-table tournaments also caused me problems.
I haven’t played full-time MTTs for a couple years now, so I’m no longer used to the long days. I can play nine hours of online poker at home on a given day, but usually it’s with a two hour break in between sessions. I had to work extremely hard to stay alert during the last four hours of Day 1.
Before I wrap up the trip report, I quickly want to say that Playground Poker was absolutely awesome.
The tournament was very well run, the dealers were overall excellent, and the staff was extremely helpful. It makes me wish we had a dedicated venue for poker here in Vancouver. I’m pretty sure I’d play live more often if that were the case!
Now that I’m home, it’s time for me to get back on the online grind. I’ll be back soon to update my progress when it comes to HU SnGs, but feel free to follow my other blog if you want daily post-session reports. Good luck at the tables!