I didn't play well in the Full Tilt FTOPS PLO8 tournament last month, but yesterday I tried again in the Pokerstars WCOOP PLO8 tournament. The entry was 300+20, and there were a total of 1567 entrants. Pokerstars guaranteed a 500k prize pool, so that was a little extra up for grabs.
I played pretty well to start, and was well above average in chips as we got to about 300 people left. 234 made the money. Then, a few interesting hands came.
I held ♣K♠Q♣J♦T in the cutoff and flat called an early position raise. The button raised pot and I decided to call. When I have enough chips behind, I like to play a lot of hands like these, although I don't tend to raise with them. If the flop is bad it's easy for me to get away from the hand, while if I hit the flop it will probably be a scoop hand rather than a split pot. The flop came ♠J♦J♠8 and I bet out putting the other player all-in. The other player called showing ♠A♠T♥4♣A. The turn and river were ♠6♦4 so I took a hit to my stack.
Shortly afterward, I held ♥A♥6♠Q♠2 from the button and called a middle position raise. The flop came ♣Q♦8♦4 and it was checked to me so I bet 2/3 of the pot. The preflop raiser check raised all in and I called as he showed ♠A♥3♦2♦5. Equity-wise, we were exactly even 50-50 when I ran this through an odds calculator. The turn and river came ♠3♦T so I was quartered and now had below the average stack.
Still with a below-average stack, I held ♠A♠2♦Q♦5 in the small blind. This is a very strong hand so when the cutoff raised and it was on me, I can see many players reraising here. However, I didn't want to risk my tournament here so close to the money and so I just flat called. The flop came ♣8♣2♠6 and I check folded.
We had all just made the money when I held ♠A♠2♠3♥4 in the big blind. The small blind raised and this is another hand that I see a lot of people raising and reraising too aggressively with. Yes it's a very nice hand, but wouldn't you want the option of not being pot committed when the flop comes KK5? So I call with position. The flop comes ♣A♥A♦6 and it's checked to me so I bet a little more than half the pot. The preflop raiser calls and the turn comes ♣Q. He now bets out for about half the pot. I'm not sure what's going on here, but I have the nut low draws as well so I flat call. The river comes the ♠T and it goes check to me. Figuring that I won't be called by any hand that I can beat, I check it down. I win the pot as the small blind shows ♠K♠4♥5♥6. Since we were already in the money, there's a lot to be said for him going for an all-in bluff on the river, since he took the aggression on the turn. It would be a tough call for me.
A few hands later, I get it all in preflop with ♠A♠Q♣A♣7 against ♥A♥K♣5♣2 and double up to a sizeable stack. Now I have more flexibility in my play. This allows me to later limp ♠A♠8♥9♦J under the gun, and call a raise from the button. The flop comes ♠T♥Q♥T and I check raise the button's continuation bet as a semi-bluff and take it down.
I get it all in preflop with ♠K♠4♣A♦5 against ♠A♠9♦A♥8. It might look like a really bad spot for me, but equity-wise, I'm only down 46-54. In fact, if he had the ♣9 instead of the ♠9 (in late stages of tournaments I find most will play AAxx extremely aggressively regardless of the other two cards) it would be 50-50. We split the pot.
The last big hand of interest I held was ♠A♠5♣A♦Q. I was on the button and reraised an early position raise. The flop is ♥9♥7♣6 which looks really ugly for my hand, but we're both pot committed so I put him all in. He shows ♥A♥K♣K♣2. I was a 56-44 favorite preflop, but became a 39-61 dog after the flop. Either way we were both pot committed, and I ended up losing this whole pot when the flush came on the turn. I did not really have enough chips or cards left after this cooler and limped my way through two more prize levels. In the end, I finished 66th after 9.5 hours of play, getting back 1075 for my 320 entry. I frequently make it this far in these tournaments, but still haven't been able to break through to a final table.