Last Saturday I played in a $240 buy-in NLH Bounty tournament here in Scottsdale, AZ. As promised, this week I am going to recap some of the more interesting hands from this tournament and I can tell you that my table was filled with them. I had a very eclectic mix of players at my table and got some really good examples from watching these guys play in both examples of excellent poker play and also some horrid play. The Bounty chip in this tournament was worth $100/player so it really created some odd situations that you would not find in a normal NLH tournament, as players made plays to vi for those Bounty chips.
As luck would have it I got one of those hyper-aggressive players on my right (so he acted before me in every hand) and he chipped up early. He played a lot of pots, so his chips were occasionally leaking back into other players stacks when they hit big hands, but for the most part, he played aggressively and had some excellent luck besides as you will see. Keep in mind, I am not saying he was ‘lucky’ and that’s the only reason he had chips. You tend to make your own luck in poker tournaments by your play, but the first Knockout of the day went to this hyper-aggressive player because he put himself in position to get lucky.
An older fellow in seat #2 had his chip stack crippled by getting too attached to TPTK and running into a flopped set several hands earlier, when he pushed all in for around $2,700. The action folded to the aggressive player on my right in seat #7 and he made the call for about 15% of his stack, which is a no-brainer player when a $100 Bounty chip is at stake. My hand of 7-3 off suit could not even come close to justifying the call, even though I would have been in position later in the hand. I was sitting at around $9k in chips at the time, so that makes this an equal no-brainer fold. There is no way I can justify playing a crap hand for 1/3 of my stack even if it is for $100 Bounty.
To make a long story short, the flop was 9-2-2 and the short stack showed A-T and the aggressive player showed 8-2 suited in clubs!
Of course, his trip-2’s held up to get him the Bounty of $100 and a nice pot besides.
Many poker players would view this as a Donk play made by the aggressive player, but in a tournament like this it was not really that horrible a play. I am not going to go so far as to call it a great play, calling an all-in with 8-2 suited, but it is the type of play that you will frequently see in a Bounty or Knockout tournament. While I wasn’t happy to see this guy take down a $100-bill, I had to admit that I probably would have made the same play in his position: it game him the shot at $100 and it didn’t cost him much of his chip stack to do so. Plus, it made it harder for players like me who had yet to act to get into the hand because we knew we would be up against a hyper-aggressive player with a big stack after the flop. Knowing that, you know that you might not see the River, so you have to have a big hand to call or raise in that position.
The players who could have had an effect on this hand were the players in seats #3-#6