Poker strategy often involves seeking patterns, particularly in the play of our opponents. Reporting on poker tournaments sometimes also involves looking for patterns, such as when a particular player turns up repeatedly at final tables or in winners’ circles.
The Bounty Builder Series recently rewarded such pattern-seeking as we inspected the results from Tuesday night’s events. In fact, this was the kind of example it was impossible to miss.
As noted in the BBS report yesterday, player “sjae98” achieved a remarkable feat on Tuesday. That’s the handle of Seung-Jae Yu of Canada, and Yu did something truly notable in Events #41 and #42, two of the last Bounty Builder events to complete that evening.
He won both of them.
Both tournaments began during the four o’clock hour (ET) on Tuesday afternoon, and both took until after midnight to complete.
One was a $5.50 buy-in NLHE 8-Max tournament. That event drew a whopping 6,299 players and after more than eight hours Yu claimed the last knockout to win. Between the first-place prize ($1,846.22) and bounties ($1,290.41), Yu collected more than $3,100 for his efforts.
The second one to complete was also an NLHE 8-Max event played in the usual BBS progressive knockout format, this one sporting a $55 buy-in. There were 2,481 players in that one, and it took until almost 2 a.m. ET before Yu scored the final KO to earn his second first-place finish in a little over an hour.
This time the first-place prize ($7,818.81) and bounties ($5,316.22) added up to more than $13,100, making the total haul over $16K for the evening for Yu.
We had to find out from Yu what it was like taking down two huge field events in one night.
“The lower buy-in tournament progressed much faster than the $55 one,” says Yu. “So while I was playing the final table of the $5.50 one, I was at the final two tables of the $55. As a result, I wasn’t forced to play two final tables at once.”
As it happened, when both final tables did begin, Yu was in favorable position in both cases.
“Thankfully I was the chip leader in both tournaments, so I had a relatively easy time. I remember there was a crucial all-in in the $5.50 where I had AQo vs JJ for a 50-ish BB pot. After that it was the hottest run of my life where I was winning all the 70-30 and 60-40 all-ins as the underdog.”
“In fact, in the winning hand I was all in preflop with A-7 (I think) and my opponent called with K-10 offsuit. He flopped the king, but I hit runner-runner for the rivered straight.”
Having closed the deal in the $5.50, Yu turned his attention to the $55 where things continued to go his way. Not only did he have the chip lead to start that final table, but one of his opponents was handling the heavy-lifting when it came to cutting the field down further.
“In the $55, I just sat back as the runner up to the tournament was knocking people out all over the place,” says Yu. “Before I knew it I was heads up versus that player. I managed to gain the upper hand and knock him out for the win.”
Winning one tournament can be stressful enough, but two at once? How did Yu handle the double-dose of pressure?
“The $5.50 win came as a bit of a surprise to me as I was much more focused on the $55,” he explains. “To say the very least, I was not sweating the smaller tournament at all. It was only when we got to the final four that I realized I had a chance to win.”
“I was definitely more nervous in the $55 tournament since there was much more money on the line. But once I won the $5.50, it gave me the confidence to close out the $55 as well.”
Yu says he’s been playing off-and-on for the last three years, but recently chose to devote greater focus to poker.
“This year I decided to take a year off school do poker full time and see how it goes,” he says. “Thanks to the wins in these tournaments, a large portion of my success came this year. Hopefully this run good continues!”
Congrats to Yu for his incredible double-victory. We’ll keep an eye out to see if anyone else manages to come close to providing such a conspicuous pattern of winning.