I started playing poker when I joined SIG in 2001, and many exceptional SIG players offered me free lessons if I sat to their right. The big hands I’ve won over the years all run together, but sitting at a fun and chatty table is my favorite aspect of the game. I’m currently a Technology Team Lead at SIG’s Bala office and enjoy gaming, music, cooking, and nerding.

After two unremarkable early rounds, I began Round 3 with 10,650 in chips and plan to make a better plan if I survived to the night’s sushi dinner.

My initial table was pretty passive with lots of limping, small raises, and almost no re-raising preflop, so it was a good opportunity to open up my starting hand and position requirements. I did a bit of that but didn’t find any big payoff, and as we hit the 3rd blind level, I found myself increasingly short-stacked with about 8BB when the table leaders had 20-25BB. I went into jam or fold mode and won more than my share of blinds and small pots with some combination of position, aggression, and (a couple) showdowns.

With about 15-18,000 chips, I regained the option to do something other than push all-in preflop and our table was broken up, so I had a good opportunity to change gears again. Some players from my previous table had grown suspicious of me raising in position (from the earlier all-in or fold festival), so raising for value was especially successful when I picked up quality hands.

As we neared the end of play short-handed, I opened for a table-standard raise with 99 under-the-gun and it folded around to a reasonable smaller-stacked player on the button who put in a modest re-raise. The blinds folded, I re-raised to commit the button and try to represent a big pair. He pushed all-in quickly. I immediately regretted not putting him all-in but eventually called for about 20% of my stack, figuring his range included many high card hands that were a coin-flip. He turned over JTo, my pair held up, and I finished the day with a healthy stack heading into the final round.

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