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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bavarian Playerscup (PF=9.22)

Usually I don't advertise those "non-casino" tournaments from private organisers. Mostly they have a crappy structure and pay way to less in regards of the prizes. For those who don't know: In Germany Poker is by law a game of luck and therefore only allowed in licensed casinos. There is a small grey area that allows tournaments outside of casinos as long as the buy-in is low and the prizes are fix before the tournament starts (but no cash prizes allowed). This makes it hard for the organisers (as they can't be sure about the number of buy-ins) to provide prizes worth enough for the buy-in. And to get as much people at one particular night they usually have a structure that leaves you short stacked in the second level with blinds of 12 minutes or lower.

But the "Bavarian Playerscup" is definately different. They learned from the series they did before and changed to a great structure. Now they offer a deep-stack structure with 5,000 chips starting with 25/50 and 30(!) minute blind-levels. This tournament usually lasts a total of 5 hours. The first three win an entry to a big cash tournament held in Innsbruck (Austria) in November with a total cash prize of €50,000. The next four places get a voucher to play another qualifier for free. Is this tournament worth the €35,- buy-in? Well, that's your decision ... but at least you get the best tournament structure I have ever seen in Munich (and the other locations Ingolstadt and Regensburg) so far.

So did I qualify? Well, almost. I was able to maintain an average stack for a long time while we went down from 65 players to about 30 players ... losing especially those who don't know how to handle a deep-stack. Unfortunately the jump from 100/200 to 200/400 after 90 minutes of play left me almost short stacked. But that's the good thing with these blindlevels. I could take my time and choose my spot for the appropriate action. The dealer jokingly told me to un-check my autofold option ;-) But finally I woke up with QQ in MP. All-In ... the small blind thought for a long time and finally called with JJ (tough decision, but still a wrong call on his part). My QQ's held and I doubled up (and we lost this player two rounds later as he was now super-short-stacked). I could feel with him. Although I'm aware of the rule that it's a big difference between raising all-in and calling all-in, this would have been no easy fold for me, too.

Still not in comfort zone but good shape compared to the average stack I had some space to move. Somewhat later I got KK and raised them to 3 BB's. Everybody folded and I picked up the blinds and some bets. Although I very seldom show my hands I did here to make clear that I had a hand. This was a good decision as I got KK again in the very next hand. Raised it again and picked up blinds and bets. Of course I showed the KK's again and the table went nuts about my luck. From there my raises got a lot of respect and I picked up a lot of money with decent but improvable hands. Another key hand was a 99 that I raised from the button. Everybody folded except of the UTG caller. He looked at his cards for a long time until he decided to call my raise. O.K., he had something but it wasn't a power-hand. The flop was A73 and he checked. I was sure the Ace didn't help him. I put him on a pair lower than QQ's but maybe higher then my 99. So I pushed all-in. Had him covered as I had about 2 times of his stack. He folded his hand with a sigh and people started to think twice before testing my raises. From there it was a smooth sail to the final table. Although I increased my stack to 36,000 chips the blinds went up to 3,000/6,000. We had two big stacks (over 50,000) and one shortstack about 15,000. Everybody else was around average. We lost the two bubble-boys quite fast and then this situation came up: I got AJ in late position with a blind button and just the big blind (due to a busted player on 8th place). Everybody folded and the player to my right just called the BB. I expected a medicore hand from him and the opportunity to see a fold from the BB and him if I pushed it. Went all-in with the 28,000 I had left. To my surprise the BB called my bet with exactly the same amount of chips left. To add more bad surprise the short-stacked caller went all-in too. I took the worst possible spot for my move as my AJ was up against JJ and AA. Ouch! The only remaing Ace was my last chance to win at least the side-pot. But no miracle Ace showed up and I went out on 7th place winning at least another free shot to qualify.


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