Unibet DeepStack Open Malta

What’s up people of the internets!

Yesterday (and the day before) I played the €550 Unibet DeepStack Open main event here in Malta. This was my first DSO, but surely not my last. The structure was amazing, the venue was nice and the field was softer than a bag of marshmallows. I fired three bullets without making it to day two, but I blame variance…

Welcome to DSO Malta! (Photo by: Tommy Mandel)

In this post I will go through some of the most interesting hands I played throughout the tournament. There was quite a few to choose from, so let’s get to it!

Hand #1 – Folding bottom set?

The first hand is a pretty sick one, where I make one of the tightest laydowns I can remember making. CO (Italian looking middle aged guy, who has been playing well/solid so far) opens to 325, pre ante. I defend my BB with 55 and we see a flop of A95r. I check and the opener cbets 225 into 725, so typical internet reg sizing really. I make it 800 and he thinks for a bit before calling. Turn is a queen and there are now four different suits on board so no flush draw. I decide to polarize my range, and I make it 2,650 into 2,325, thinking that he would not put me on A5/A9 combo’s with this sizing (since he could easily have AQ). To my surprise and somewhat disgust he makes it 7,500 after deliberating for a bit. I think for a while before making the call. I don’t think there is any folding here as we are literally at the top of our range, vs a guy we don’t know too much about. After all, he could just be going for value with a hand like AQ. The river is a 4 and he quickly throws in 3x 5k chips for a 15k bet after I check. We are still at the top of our range (we never have 99/QQ/AA/straights), and it’s a really gross spot. I thought for a couple of minutes, and in the end decided that he was not gonna make this insta-15k bet with a hand like AQ and that I did not think this player was tricky enough to turn one pair hands into bluffs. I make the face-up fold and 3-4 people around the table utter “that is for sure a call”, “how can you fold there”, etc. Villain tells the dealer to show one card. The dealer turns over a queen and I spend the next 15 minutes worrying that I made a bad fold vs him overvaluing his AQ. He told me after I busted the tournament that he had QQ and that I made a good fold. I suspect he was being sincere as well since he was the guy who had just busted me. At least this is what I tell myself to sleep at night.

Hand #2 – Getting some thin value with AA

In the next hand, we are playing 150/300/25. Utg+1 limps and fellow Unibet ambassador Ian Simpson makes it 1k utg+2. I make 3k from the button with the American Airlines/pocket rockets/bullets/whatever you prefer to call this beautiful hand. Both of them call, so the pot is now 9,765. The flop is T95r, so not a great flop for my range, and a decent one for both of their ranges. I do however choose to make a cbet, as I am playing against two huge whales (bang bang). I bet 4,700 and the limper calls. Turn brings a jack, another card that helps his range more than mine. He checks and I decided to check back, to avoid bloating the pot with a losing hand. The river is a four, and he checks pretty quickly. I now figure that I have the best hand, but that it will be tough for him to call big bets here (unless he specifically has QJ/KJ). I make it small and bet 7,125. He moans and groans for a bit, before making the call and mucking his hand after receiving the bad news.

Hand #3 – Herocalling A high like a boss

We are still on the 300bb level and I open the button to 725 with ATo. The BB calls and I get the feeling he doesn’t really believe me (he was smirking and staring, implying that I was just going after his blinds). The flop is J52r and we both check. I saw no reason to bluff with my showdown value here, and I felt pretty comfortable manoeuvring turns and rivers vs this opponent. Turn is a six and he leads for 700 into 1,825. I call. Riv is a queen and he bets 1,200 into 3,225. It looks like thin value, but I didn’t really think this opponent would go for value with anything worse than a jack, leaving his range too bluff heavy. I call and he tables T8o for absolutely squadoosh.

Don’t bluff this guy. (Photo by: Tommy Mandel)

Hand #4 – Doubtful line with AA

We are now playing 250/500/50 and Ian Simpson opens utg+1 to 1,300. I look down at aces on the button (again), and I 3b to 4,000. The BB cold calls and Ian also calls. The flop is K74r, a flop that heavily favours the 3-betters range. I cbet 5,050 into 12,700, and BB folds and Ian calls. Turn brings a jack and Ian checks again. I think we could go both ways here, either value betting turn or value betting the river. I think going for 3 streets will be too thin on most runouts. I decided to check the turn, which in retrospect I don’t really love. I think betting turn here looks way bluffier than checking turn and betting river. The river was a six and he checks again, I now bet 10,050 into 22,800 and he folds after tanking for quite some time. Meh.

Ian Simpson making the correct fold. (Photo by: Tommy Mandel)

Hand #5 – Herocalling vs our good friend Lappin

We now get two more Unibet ambassadors on our table, namely David Lappin and Estonian Jesus (that’s his real and full name, yes). This is starting to look more and more like an ambassador SNG and the table is definitely not the softest one in the room. OH WELL. We are still at 250/500/50 and I open to 1150 from the CO with K5s and Lappin defends his BB. Flop comes Q53 with a flush draw and I cbet 800 into 3,000, he calls. In retrospect, I like a bigger sizing here, as the board is fairly co-ordinated. It’s also a flop I will check back a fair bit of 5x combo’s, but I decided to cbet this one. The turn is another queen and I bet 2,500 into 4,600. The queen is obviously a pretty good card as it makes it less like Lappin holds one in his hand. He makes it 6,900, and I call. I don’t think we can ever fold 5x here if we bet it, as there are sooo many bluffs he could have in this spot. Especially when we bet so small on the flop, his range is gonna be even wider on the turn. The river is an offsuit jack and he bets 6,625 into 18,400, trying to make it look like he is going for thin value. I don’t really think this bet makes too much sense, and I will explain why. On the turn, he is representing a queen or better. He is not gonna make this play on turn/river with a hand like 77/88/99 I think. So considering his range here is Qx+ and a bunch of missed draws, I think a bigger sizing is more appropriate here. He cooould make a super small bet with a missed draw, to fold out other missed draws, but then I think going even smaller than this makes sense. Anyways I make the call and he flips over the 64o for a missed straight draw.

Get rekt son. (Photo by: Tommy Mandel)

#Hand 6 – Busting out vs Ian Simpson

In our last hand of bullet #1, Ian opens to 2,000 UTG at 500/1000/100 and I jam JJ from the button with a 30,000 stack. I was considering inducing to 5800 and calling a jam, but decided to just stick it in. Ian snap calls and tables AQo. Flop brings an ace and he knocks me out of the tournament.

I approached Dara O’Kearney after the hand to ask his thoughts, as he is one of the people I trust the most when it comes to ICM/shoving/re-shoving ranges etc. In my opinion, AQ seemed marginal at best, while Dara thought it was a clear fold. I decided to run the hand in HoldemResources Calculator (HRC) the day after, and sure enough, it was very close indeed (I used ChipEV for these calculations).

Dara O’Kearney, human ICM-calculator. (Photo by: Tommy Mandel)

There are 3 main factors deciding if this is a call or not:

1. What range Ian is opening UTG here
2. What range I am shoving here
3. If I induce the top part of my range

If he opens a 20% range or 15% range will influence what hands I should shove, and therefore what hands he should call.

Visual representation of a 20% range vs a 15% range.

HRC says that vs a 20% opening range as pictured above, I can profitably re-shove: 66+, ATs+ and AJo+. If we assume that I re-shove this range, Ian needs to call 88+, AQs+ and AKo. If he however only opens 15% of hands, I should be re-shoving 77+, AJs+ and AQo+. Versus this range, Ian can only call 99+ and AK.

However, these ranges would be heavily influenced by me having an induce-range here, which I believe I do. If we assume that I induce QQ+ (and therefore remove them from my shoving range), AQ naturally becomes stronger vs my shoving range. AQo is still a fold thought if he opens the 14,8% range, and a call if he opens the 20% range (and I respond by re-shoving accordingly).

Hand #7 – Sick sick hand

I also played a very sick hand vs David Lappin. For that one, I will go quite in detail, so it will get its own blog entry in a couple of days. Teaser: He makes quads against my full house and wins a 150,000 pot.

That will be it for this one. make sure to follow me on social media to get notified when new blog posts gets posted!

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