PokerStars Championship Barcelona

So I’m here in beautiful Barcelona, for a couple of weeks filled with sunshine and live pokers. The day after arriving I decided to hop into the “National Championship” €1,100 main event. This was of course also the same day as the horrific terror attack at La Rambla in the heart of Barcelona. Naturally, there was a lot of tension in the poker room. People were busy on their phones, getting updates on the progressions of the event while assuring their loved ones that they were safe. Truly horrifying stuff, again… Anyways, let’s get on to the poker.

Hand #1 – Rivering a full house and getting paid

We are playing 250/500/50, and the CO opens to 1100. For context, he was a private equity investor from New York, and he was splashing around a fair bit. Button calls, I call sixes from the SB and BB defends as well. Flop comes 369hhh, so we flop middle set on a monotone board. I check and so does everyone else. Turn comes Js, and we for sure need to bet now, to get value and protect our hand on this very draw heavy board. I bet 3,200 into the pot of 4,950 and the open-raiser calls. River is the 9c, giving me a full house. I figured that my opponent was likely to have at least a jack after calling the turn, or potentially a hand containing the ace of hearts. I fire out a bet of 7,600 into the pot of now 11,350 hoping to get some value. My opponent moans and groans for a bit, before calling. I turn over my full house and to my surprise, he turns over AhTh for the flopped nut flush. Seems like we got lucky there!

Hand #2 – Flopping a nut flush multi way

So UTG+2 opens to 1,800 on 400/800/100. I call AQdd OTB and the BB defends. They are both good and solid players. Flop comes 459 all diamonds, giving us the nut flush. They both check to me and I fire out a bet of 2,700 into the pot of 6,300. I think you could make an argument for going both bigger and smaller here, depending on how you want to size different parts of your range. Anyways, the BB calls and the turn comes 2c, changing nothing. He checks and I bet 7,200 into 11,700, with effective stacks being around 30k. He calls making the pot 26,100 with him having approximately 23k behind. River comes the 8d, not a very good card making a 4-card flush on the board. Most of our bluffs on the turn are gonna be hands that contain the ace or king of diamonds, so river basically leaves us with 0 bluffs. He checks and I try to come up with a size where we can get called by the K or J high flush, in case he has those. If he doesn’t have a medium-high flush here I don’t think we are ever getting called anyways. I bet 6,700 and he folds JTdd face up. FML

Hand #3 – Getting the rest of his chips

One orbit after we played the AQdd vs JTdd hand, we get another spot vs the same opponent. I open KK to 1,800 OTB and he 3-bets from the BB to 6,500, leaving himself with 18,000 ish behind. I thought this was a weird size for him to use, as it does not look like I have fold equity anymore, as he makes it more than 25% of his stack. At least it’s not a size most people would make, with the intention of folding. I also decided that flat-calling here would look too strong, so I put him all in. He snap-called and turned over AJo. I hold and he busts.

Hand #4 – Tough spot with AKo

We are now playing 800/1600/200, and UTG opens to 3,200. UTG+2 3-bets to 8,000. UTG is playing a 50k stack and UTG+2 has over 100k. I’ve only been at the table for a few orbits but UTG seems semi-fishy, while the 3-better seems solid and good.
I am sitting on the 3-betters direct left and I look down at AKo, with a 73k stack. So IMO I have a few options here. I can:

1. 4-bet and call all-in.
2. 4-bet and fold to all-in.
3. Flat call and play some poker.

I’m still not sure which of these options I prefer, and I would love some feedback here. I decided to go for the 4-bet fold option, as I figured it would look ridiculously strong, and he would maybe only shove AA/KK/probably QQ. We also have the best blockers for this play, blocking both AA and KK. So I made it 17,700 with 55,500 behind and the 3-better thinks for a long time before shoving. I fold my hand and he tells me he had QQ. He said he wasn’t expecting me to fold however, and he thought he had little fold equity. Meh, I dunno. Leave your input in comments through the last post on my Facebook page, and I’ll pick a winner who gets a couple of €10 tickets on Unibet!

Hand #5 – Flipping with AQs vs 77

Some orbits later we are playing 1,000/2,000/200 and I look down at AQs with my 44k stack from UTG+2. I make it 4,400 and get two callers from middle positions. BB squeeze-jams for pretty much exactly my stack and I call. He turns over 77 and board runs out A98 (yey), 7 (ney), 9 (meh).

So that was it for the PSNC ME. I’m not really sure what else I will be playing while I am here. Originally I was planning to play the €1k, €2k and the €5k, but I think I might skip €2k and €5k and just grind alot of cash games instead. Way lower variance and more freedom to do other stuff! I’ll make sure to write down some interesting hands from the cash game streets, so expect those in the next blog post!

Until then – thanks for your attention and stay safe out there!

Bonus picture:

The guy to my right was destined to be a nit.

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