I went deep in the Abosolute league freeroll last night. It is the best freeroll to do well in because there are usually 150 or so runners. I experimented with a number of different playing styles that I would normally never use and they worked really well (until they didn’t!)
Early on, I tried to see more flops than usual since some of the freeroll types were making wild, wild plays in the early going. I managed to nearly double with suited connectors when they made a flush. Playing so many hands against difficult to read players put me in some tricky situations, but I was pleased with my approach to the early levels. I’m pretty sure I laid down the best hand a couple of times and my stack went up and down, but I was never really short until the late stages. The contrast between the foolhardy freerollers and the tight ITHers is really amusing to watch and it is important to make sure you figure out who is who quickly.
I also did a ton more passive calling. I had at least two hands where I called all the way to the river with second pair and I was pretty confident I was best both times. In the past, I would almost always check-raise and drive the person off their hand. This way, I gave them outs to whatever they held, but I extracted a lot more money. I also limped KK twice from EP, which I normally never, ever do. The first time, I got two callers and then the BB came over the top for a nice raise. Since I do that move from the BB myself with a number of hands, I thought he could well have nothing. I pushed all-in anyhow, because he was almost certainly committed with his raise and I was happy enough to pick up the pot if not. He insta-called with QQ and I busted him. In hindsight, he probably would have ended up all-in no matter how I played it, so I’m not sure what I gained. The other hand I limped, there were two callers. One called my half-pot bet on the flop and he folded to a similar bet on the turn. Since I showed a big pair with that trick, I also limped twice with suited connectors and won a nice pot that way too. No one raised any of my limps after I busted the QQ guy. heh.
I caught a huge straight flush from the blind when a short stack moved all-in and got a number of callers. It was a paired board and I managed to get another player with a boat to call me all-in and I almost tripled. He was talking trash about how happy he was with the result on the river as the chips were sliding to me. I guess he missed that it wasn’t just a flush, it was a straight flush. I think RocketPlayer got knocked out on that hand.
When we got down to about 16 left, I got moved to Tanya Peck’s table and we got into a couple of tussles right away. We both like to control the action when things get short, so I figured we were going to get into it. I tried to steal her BB (maybe SB) with A9 from the CO and she restole. She had me way outchipped, so I was all-in if I called the resteal. I decided she would try that with a wide range of holdings and decided to make my stand. To my great dismay, she was playing QQ and I needed some serious help. Of course, an Ace flopped and I was able to move into a chip lead and start playing very aggressively. Tanya was now too short to cause me too much trouble and I chipped up nicely to enter the final table with a big, big lead.
The first hand of the final table sparked a signal to the freeroll specialists that they were supposed to go all-in and I think four of them wound up all-in with crap hands all around. I had AK and I think someone with a ten hit a one card straight. I was still chip leader, but it was a lot closer. I busted most of the remaining players, but started to lose enthusiasm for the project as it got late and Suited was already in bed. I had a big lead heads-up and continued my trick of letting aggressive players bet into me. It was MxRider, me and a guy I didn’t know. MX was pretty short stacked and I had the other guy almost 2:1. I should have won easily, but I donked it up. First, I flopped a straight and let him bluff a bunch of chips off on the flop and turn. The river filled a runner-runner flush and he made a nice value bet that I had to call. He had the flush. My calling station plan no longer looked so good.
Now I’m slightly outchipped and I defended my blind against the same guy. I flopped top pair and again let him bluff chips off and just called. I turned two pair and did the same, looking to put him all-in on the river. Unfortunately, the river brought a straight on board and he pushed into me. I knew he had it and I knew I should fold, but I decided that two more overall leader board points weren’t worth the hassle. I paid to see his straight and went to bed.
I feel a little bad, because MX and Cript were in a pretty heated back and forth with the guy and his buddy and I felt like I should have played him better, but I just wasn’t into it. If I finally win an ITH league event and it doesn’t give me a seat to the WSOP freeroll, I’m just going to be mad.