Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter Break Tourney

I dropped the buy-in to $20 in an effort to get More people and create a social atmosphere and it kind of worked as we got 9 people. Pay top 3, 10k stacks, M.E. structure...

I've never seen one of our deepstack tourneys fly by this quick but everyone was just playing sickly huge pots every hand. Two guys would get 11,000 out there on an A-2-8-9-Q board and then turn over 6-6 and K-Q. So I was content to just wait for the nuts and then double through someone who had 2nd pair. However, I was never dealt a hand early so I just chopped a small profit for the first hour until the antes kicked in. Don went out 9th with top two vs a flush, Brett got 8th with the Kd vs the Ad on a four-flushed board. Joe got 7th when he lost a race with AK to 77.

I start this hand with around 18k, I'm up from just grinding small pots in late position and one nice pot where I flatted Ah-8h on the button and it came Ad-Kh-6h and he bluffed into me for around 4000 with 7-7. So 7-handed, I raise the hijack to 800 at 25-150-300 with Ad-3d, the button flats and the BB defends.

Flop: (Pot: 2725)

BB leads into me for 1000. I know I'm usually ahead in this spot, as the board is fairly coordinated and he's leading a lot of 8's and flush/straight draws here, but our hand is so marginal that building a big pot here seems so unnecessary and overly-risky. Especially considering we still have a player behind us and the stacks aren't really that deep. If we were to make it 3000 and he flats, now there's almost 8800 in the pot with effective stacks of like 12k-14k. So I just flatted the 1000 and was disappointed when the button flatted behind me.

Turn: (Pot: 5725)

Gin. Now the BB checks, I'm fairly certain his range is basically any eight K-8 through 8-7 or some kind of draw. If he is drawing I don't want him to fold, just draw at the wrong price because I definitely want value for this hand. I'm not that worried about the button here because he's been flatting bets and raises all night with a huge range since he doesn't really know that much about poker. So I bet 2800, the button folded, and the BB now check-raises to 5800. He doesn't do this with any 8's or an draws, he just isn't capable of making that type of play. His worst hand here is going to be an Ace. It screams super-strength, but I guess I'm not good enough to fold. I thought there was maybe a chance he had a pair over 8's and had just flatted pre since he had done that a few times already trying to be tricky. I called the 3k more.

River: (Pot: 17,325)

He now tiny-bets 2000 into me and with the pot odds and the fact that there's a small chance he's lost his mind with a spade draw or is blocker betting KK, QQ, JJ, TT, or 99 I call to see him table A-9. I think I should fold the turn, but my line wasn't that bad. I'm inclined to just call it a cooler... maybe I should be like Matusow and just always fold Ace-rag in late position pre, haha.

I built back up to around 20k just playing SNG poker when the blinds/antes started going up. Lost like 5k back when the same guy from the previous hand check-called 2 streets OOP with a gutter ball and got there on the river... only to check??? I checked it back with 2nd pair and giggled on the inside when he showed me his hand.

Then, Streeter went broke in a cooler on a K-Q-6 flop with AK vs KQ against a very active player. We were down to 5 at that point. Corey had yet to play a hand but that's not too far from normal.

Everyone had started drinking when the ante levels began, but Corey was downing them at a quicker rate than everyone else which lead to the biggest and coolest pot of the night.

Blinds: 100-400-800

Will and I fold. Button min-raises to 1600, Corey shoves for 1500 more (3100 total) from the SB and Chris, from my previous hands, flats from the BB. Gets back to the button and he flats the 1500 more.

Flop: (Pot: 9800)

Chris leads for 3000 into the dry side pot, Nick (the button) min-raises to 6000 and Chris flats.

Turn: (Pot: 9800) (Side Pot: 12,000)

Chris checks, Nick shoves for 8000 and Chris calls.

Chris - AA, needs A, 8, 4.
Nick - QJ
Corey - 93os, he's still live with 4 outs to win almost 10k, lol.

River: 4c

Chris scoops both pots and knocks 'em both out to put us in the money. The hand took so long to play that we rolled to a new blind level.

First hand of 3 handed and 100-600-1200:

Chris folds his button, Will lifts up his hand and tanks. I look at my cards and see a beautiful AK. He finally lays the cards back down and then says, "All-in." I Hellmuth-call sans the chip mess making aspect. We count down stacks and he has me by 400 for like a 30k pot. He tables Q3os; Flop 3, Turn blank, River Q. I'm out 3rd for $40.

HU lasted 1 hand, Will had QJ vs Chris' Ah-9h on a Q-Jh-Th flop, turn blank, river 8h. Chris got there twice.

Spent the rest of the night watching the 'Boys get raped by the Ravens and drinking way too many beers with those who stayed after the tourney.

Went to Corey's again the next day to watch football and chill.

Overall fun weekend. Kinda sucks I lost that crucial 65-35, but whatever, the whole thing was meant to be a social event. That's why I dropped the buy-in and had a couple beers throughout play myself.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

End of Semester Update

Well, after attending school at a ridiculously inconsistent rate for the past two years I've finished my first semester of college without a single absence. Subsequently, this enabled me to finish with a 3.75 and allowed me some assurance that when I apply myself, to anything in life, I have the ability to succeed greatly. I start back up on January 5th and am excited for several of my classes.

Aside from school, I played very little poker throughout the semester. Unfortunately, I just never had much time to sit down and play well structured sessions. I'd just play a couple SNGs here and there, but basically on such a relaxed basis that I became very much a recreational player. However, I'm honestly happy about this. I know that the limited amount of time I spent playing and following poker enabled me to focus better on school and everything that surrounded it.

Also, I've started running everyday. Now that it's too cold outside to swim on a daily basis, I've had to start running. I decided back in March that I wanted to get on a fairly strict workout schedule and I'm finally where I want to be in that area. Throughout the spring/summer I would just swim a bunch of laps, do some push-ups and sit-ups and call it a day. But, now that I've been running so much those final few pounds I wanted off are gone and I'm really starting to tone. I've lost 70lbs since February, and about 20lbs of that has come off during the fall/winter since I've been running. Additional to the running, I've started working out with my weights that were collecting dust. I do all my exercises everyday, eat healthy, and sleep well. I've have honestly never felt better than I do now in my entire life and I fucking love it!

Fantasy Football went bad this year, but there's so much variance in it (especially this year!) that I don't take it too seriously. I actually finished 10/10, sheeesh, lol. I guess there's always next year... at least I won the league last year. Uhh, other sports: The Jags had their worst season in years, but...

This past weekend my friend, Corey, and I were given tickets to the Jags/Packers game. Alex, who works with Corey's dad, is a season ticket holder but he and Corey's dad got better tickets for free. So we got the left over tickets, which actually turned out to be pretty good seats. The Jags got their first win since beating the winless Lions back in October, so that was great to watch. After the game we went back to Alex's apartment downtown and had a bunch beers while we watched the Ravens/Steelers game. Well, Corey didn't have any because he was the designated driver, lol. It's cool though Corey, they were kinda skunked anyway. ;)

My life long Gators are playing for the 2nd BCS Championship in 3 years. I'm really excited plus word is that OU will be missing Murray, which is like basically death to them. I'd love to be able to transfer down to Gainesville after 2 years, but I've got a few schools I really like.

Aside from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the highlight of my winter break is coming up this weekend on Saturday night. We'll be having our first poker tournament since July (we had a cash game in September). I'm looking forward to it, and hope to have a positive blog to report in a few days when I post how it went.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quarter-Fifty and Making Nitty Folds

Finally got to play some live. I got 6 people to come and play full stack BI cash poker. I was excitied considering how hard that can be sometimes.

I will just start off with the biggest hand of my night, not the biggest pot I played (not close), but definately the weirdest spot I was in during the whole session.

This was very early, probably during the first 10-15 hands played. This particular player is one of the tightest players there is. He is most likely the person at the table who I have the biggest volume of hands logged against (although it may be close with another player). I don't have a full stack heading into this hand as the exact pot prior to this I lost a big one in a cooler (which I'll post second). In this hand I think his range really only includes JJ, QQ, KK, AA, AK, and maybe TT (from my experience with this player he is flatting behind with AK and TT in this spot more often than not as he is the kind of person who would consider them to be "drawing hands" in this spot). I can't flat the raise OOP with almost nothing behind, imo. I'll only have about a half-pot bet left. If the flop comes 9-high do I still stack off? It changes nothing. With all of this in mind AND it being very early (which imo makes it very less likely for this player to be "fooling around" as he is the kind who will not want to bust out early, since he only has $20 in cash in his wallet if he were to go bust). I think I made a standard play vs. THIS player. I hate folding QQ with a ~64BB stack, but this player is so tight. He may have played 5 more pots after this one during the remaining 3.5 hours of the cash games...

The big hand from before was against the other player with whom I have a ton of hands played. The hands turns into a complete cluster-fuck on the river and I have to shut it down as I'm putting him on AK (maybe with Kd), AQ, maybe AJ or QQ/AA. Either way, if he wasn't already full he got there on the river. Turns out the Js was a great card for me to save money.

This hand with AK played pretty standard, I just flatted the flop as this is the kind of player who will barrell away if you let him, plus in my case I think raising the flop really defines my hand for him... and I like checking back IP on the turn to induce a bluff or thin value bet from him on the river. He claimed he had an 8... so I guess the check behind really did confuse him.

This is another hand vs the player from the AK hand, I called OTB because I feel that this player doesn't play very well OOP and we're both really deep at the time. With such a huge draw I like raising the flop vs. a weak flop lead. Once he leads the after getting raised on the flop I decide to slow down. Once I make Kings up it's hard to give him a 5 or a set (besides 66) so I make an easy call. I was lucky to dodge the heart outs and hit the pair outs. :)

Not much to say here, just a nice pot to win.

Same with this pot. He snap-checked the flop and looked upset with it, as he was losing a bit and not too happy. So that's why I think my J is good on the turn as he probably bets most mid-pairs on the turn after I check back the flop. I get a good river but I'm fairly certain that I was ahead on the turn anyway.

Did Don beat me in a pot? :/

Went after 2 particular people's blinds a lot (one was the mega-TAG from the QQ hand). Thomas has the ability to 3bet light (as seen he can open 9d7d after a limp). JJ are huge vs his BB 3bet range. (He had KQ).

This was one of the last hands of the night. I got sandwiched between both players but they raised such incorrect ammounts I was pot-stuck to call IP with deep stacks. Both players could not have looked less interested in the pot after the flop came all high cards. They both quickly checked and kept their eyes glued to the game on TV. After they did it again o the turn I couldn't give up that big pot out there. They each claimed 99 (SB) and 88 (UTG).

That was one of the last few hands of the night. We had 6 people come and only one busted out (then left). I booked a little more than a full BI win, which is great considering how bad things started out for me.

Thomas stayed in town for Sunday to watch (more like sweat) all the NFL games with our fantasy players. I've started 0-1 since losing to Thomas last week, as I write this I'm in good shape to beat Corey and get back to .500 but we'll see what happens on Monday night. In other sports news for me the Jaguars look aweful on offense for the second week in a row, but the Gators look great and should roll over Tenn this weekend.

After 3 weeks of college I'm still enjoying it, which is a good thing considering how much I've been bored with school in the past. I want to play some golf soon!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The very near future and very recent past...

I haven’t posted in a while as nothing interesting has really happened with poker since my score at The Poker Room; no home games (it is so hard to get a decent sized group together), haven’t been back to The Poker Room (it is really out of the way considering that (a) it is kind of far to travel to play 2/2 or 2/5 NL w/ 100max or a really fast tournament and (b) even if you’re rolled for some of those games you can’t realistically play them at a high volume on a daily basis), but I have played a bit online occasionally in some MTTs just feeding the tournament poker addiction. My last one ended with KK < JJ semi-deep in the tourney and a lot have been similar, but I can’t really complain as I’m logging a REALLY small volume recently.

As of late I’ve just been trying to relax. High school is over and I start college in a week, which I’m actually really excited for…, which is weird, sort of. This is probably the first time I’ve ever been excited for school to start, but I know that this is going to be a very fun and amazing part of my life and I suppose that that intrigues me. I love life currently; school starts soon, I’ve lost over 50lbs and feel amazing being in great shape, and my second favorite lust in life is starting in 10 days – Fantasy Football. As defending champion of our league I’m extra excited to start playing again.

I’m not sure how much poker I’ll play being a full time student, but I’m sure I’ll get my fair share of hands logged. I can joke about it but obviously school will have to be #1, as I don’t want to play poker for a living. I used to have dreams of that when I was younger and very na├»ve/immature, but I realized after logging almost 80k (I know a lot of ballers out there would yawn at that number but it was a lot to me then… and now even) hands in 2007 that poker is such a sick game to play in mass quantity. The swings are such that I really think most people out there (including a lot of people who currently play it for a living) should being playing in a part-time manner, as that is the way I most enjoy poker. I find it so easy to get burned out, even switching games. IMO, poker is most enjoyable as a very serious hobby, but nonetheless a bit of a hobby. I ran good for a long while when I was logging a ton of hands and built up a strong bankroll, as soon as things started going downhill I nitted up and stashed a bunch away in the bank. I believe this to be one of the best decisions of my life. This not because I was smart for doing it at the time, but because looking back on how I played a lot of the games with one years more experience and a better understanding of how to play I don’t see how I would have avoided going broke! I really think my approach in some situations was horrific. But that’s for another discussion…

I was rambling there for a bit. In other news I went to Universal Orlando on Sunday with my mother as a kind of late high school graduation/early starting college gift. I think Express Passes are mandatory to have a good time in places like that, as we never had to wait in lines for any rides until later in the afternoon. The wait was however long it took you to speed walk through the ropes. We had a blast at both parks and I look forward to going down there again to Halloween Horror Nights in October with my friends.

Also, it turns out I will be helping one of my two best friend’s little brother as a tutor when he needs it for his upcoming school year (8th grade) that just started. He’s actually been put into a few of our home games by his mother so I had a flash of teaching him a bunch of simple math involving poker… I saw the next Jimmy Fricke (because the kid is pretty overweight), haha, but for now I’ll just stick to what I’m being paid for (a pretty strong $15/hr under the table) – Pre-Algebra.

I’m hoping to get a home game going at the beginning of September. Preferably cash, but sometimes you have to settle for what you can get. :/

GL to everyone at the tables.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Poker Room $100 Deepstack

I’ve never played in their “deep-stack” tournament that they hold every Friday. I hate on The Poker Room a lot, usually for things of importance, but I researched this tournament and it seemed like a really good spot. t4000 starting stacks and the Friday night crowd equals a really good spot in my opinion, also it’s capped at 30 players so it’s not a daunting field (not that it really could be very big given The Poker Room’s size).

They got the full 30 players with top 5 getting paid and they don’t rake the $100 MTTs.
1st - $1100, 2nd – $700, 3rd - $500, 4th – $400, 5th - $300
4000 starting stacks, 25/50 blinds, and 18 minute levels. Basically akin to a normal speed SNG early on, but at the end the blinds/antes get super huge super quickly. The payout schedule is fairly standard though. They did something right - woohoo.

Despite the “deep-stacks” we managed to lose TWO players in 6 hands at my table. 3rd hand, TT stacked off pre-flop to QQ. 6th hand, Ah-2h shipped 2x pot on the Jh-9h-3c flop and was called by Q-Q. Turn 6h, QQ was the one all-in and was drawing dead. Next hand, UTG opened for 150 (25/50), MP1 flat called, I 3-bet to 700 from MP with AK, and everyone folded out. It isn’t hard to not play another hand during a level at The Poker Room, which is what happened to me as 25/50 flew by with me folding every hand.

-Blinds 50/100-
Folds to me (~t4300) on the button with Kh-8h, the blinds have played really tight, so I made it 3x which is what I’ve learned is the minimum you can make it live w/o getting called by everyone behind you. SB flat called 300 total, BB folded.

Flop: (Pot: 700)

SB led for 400. It felt weak and a bit of a feeler. I decided upon raising to represent a big hand and also create a good amount of fold equity with a strong draw. I made it 1300 total, 900 more. He flat called the 900 more OOP leaving himself with 2600 total. At this point I definitely gave him credit for a mid-decent Jack and I was done with the hand if I didn’t improve.

Turn: (Pot: 3300)

He checked. I think I make more money if I check behind and hope for a safe card where I can get another street of value. He probably folds most mid-decent Jacks (the range I’ve got him on) if I double barrel the turn once the over card comes and the heart draw gets there. So I check and pray for a black baby card.

River: (Pot: 3300)

Perfect card and he checks again. I settled on 1500 to be the right size to hopefully get a call. The guy tanked and then folded. He later told me he had 9-9. I hate his call of the raise on the flop with only 2600 behind OOP with 3300 in the pot. If you think you’re ahead – ship. If you’re unsure – fold.

-Blinds 100/200-
Active player shipped UTG for his last 1700 and it folded around to me in the SB with A-J. I didn’t want to isolate because the guy behind me was super tight. If I called, he was only calling with a big hand and only raising me with the nuts. BB folded. UTG had As-4s and my hand held. They broke 1 of the 3 tables and filled our table back up to 9-handed. I played really solid with the new table because most of the table was low; I stayed around 7-8k for that while. I played a funny hand with J-6 when were down to 6 on each table.

-Blinds 300/600-
It folded to me in the CO (~8000) with Jh-6h, and I raised to 1600. The button called and the SB called.

Flop: (Pot: 5400)

Beast-aments. SB checked, I would probably bet vs. most good players who pay attention but this is live poker after all, so I checked as well. Button thought for almost 30 seconds and then checked – dammit.

Turn: (Pot: 5400)

SB checked again, I bet 2500 this time hoping the Queen hit someone or that they’d call me with a naked heart. No luck as they both mucked, but picking up the 4800 profit was still huge considering I raised light and got called in 2 spots pre-flop.

I started running over people on the final table bubble and was able to really pad my stack. The guys who were low were really nitty and the guys with chips just didn’t ever want to play a pot with me. Two of the shorter stacks at my table played 60/40s vs. other people and lost. We then combined for the final 10 players. I had about 17k going into the final table which put me about 3rd or 4th in chips. On a side note almost everyone at the other table was drinking heavily during the final table bubble.

First hand of the final table the chip leader showed how he got such a powerful stack, lol. e people from the other table were mostly chip movers so I got pretty lucky to have the table I did on the FT bubble. It went raise, re-raise, all-in, call. Chip leader showed QJ, other guy A5. The A5 held and there was a new chip leader after a pretty weird pot.

Second hand of the FT I had AQ UTG and made it 1700 at 300/600. Another guy from the crazy table moved in for 6000 more. It folded back around, I have no read but these guys all seem to have wide ranges so I made what I felt was an easy call. He had K-Q and I held. I was then over the 20k mark with about 23k. I floated around 20-25k until we were on the money bubble. There were a lot of really low stacks moving in a lot but avoided ever running into hands so the big stacks played really carefully. The guy from the A5 hand on the 1st hand of the FT started busting all the low stacks. He rode a rollercoaster the whole FT, he had around 19-20k when my first and only tough decision of the tournament came up.

-Blinds 800/1600 Ante 300-
4 handed. UTG – Chip leader (~65k), Villain (19k), SB (5000), Hero/BB (~30k).
UTG folded. Villain thought for around 30 seconds before moving in for 19k total. Then the SB calls AI for ~5000. I look down at AQ in the BB.

The jump in prize money is only $100 if the SB gets eliminated, but the most important thing was that I thought the Villain is shipping a huge range here and the SB is calling almost ATC considering how low his M is (1.5). I think I have to call and did after about a minute of thought.

Villain – AK
SB – 55

Ha-ha. Wow, I thought I had the best hand of all three and couldn’t have been more wrong. Even so, it was still a very standard call in my opinion. Especially considering how wild and erratic the Villain had been. Prepare for more beast-aments:

Flop: (Main Pot: 16k+) (Side Pot: ~30k)
K-J-T rainbow.

I fade the chop and back-door full house to take both out and go HU almost even in chips. The guy I went HU with was a really quiet guy who got all his chip from picking up AT vs. A9 to double then the very next hand he busted a guy almost even with him to double again (he had TT vs. 99 that hand) right after we made the money. He had opened up more as we got shorter and shorter handed. HU this guy raised 90% of his buttons, but he was making it a full 3x which is a poor way to play if you’re going to raise that many hands. I’m not stupid, so I realize his range is a lot wider than most people’s HU since he’s raising 90% of his buttons. If he wants to play that way he should be making it less (like 2-2.5x) so that when he does get 3-bet (which will be more often since his range is wide) he isn’t spewing as many chips. I 3-bet 4 times before he finally woke up with a hand, but either way I don’t regret this hand:

-Blinds 1500/3000 Ante 500-
Villain SB (46k), Hero BB (74k)
Villain raises to 9000, Hero has As-3s in BB. He’s raising 90% of his buttons and has proven he’s not just on some kind of heater as he’s folded to the last 4 3-bets. This time the blinds just went up from 1/2000 so the only 3-bet size that’s reasonable is all-in. I back this play 100% of the time, no doubts. I move in, he calls quickly with 88.

He flops an 8 for the no sweat board. I river an Ace for fun…
I’m left with 28k, which I think is easily possible to come back from playing 1500/3000. He ships his next button and I call with K-Ts, he has A-5. Flop King, Turn King, River Ten. Back to 59k. VERY next hand he raises to 9000 on the button, I look down at KK and ship it in. He snaps with A-3os. Flop King, after the turn he’s drawing dead.

He’s left with 2000. He proceeds to run that 2000 up to 30k in the most amazing run of AIs I’ve ever seen in my life. It was truly unreal.

KT < 53
A4 < QJ
A2 < T5
AJ < A3 (flop 3, turn 3)
J7 < 95 (x-x-x-x-9, UGH)

Then he was up to about 30k from being out the door after the KK hand. I felt sick, literally. How could one not? We’re playing for $400 and The Poker Room doesn’t allow formal deals.

Then, I ship the button with AK and he calls A9. If he wins this pot we’re back to even at 60k vs. 60k after him having 2000 at 1500/3000!!!

Flop: J-9-2
Oh my fucking God, throw me off this fucking building!

Turn: 2
I usually don’t show emotions at the table just based on the fact that I’ve seen all of the different tournament scenarios over and over and over again. I’ve played a huge volume of SNGs and MTTs online to be pretty calm about AIs. I’ve just never seen anything so far to the point of anomaly in my life in a poker setting.

River: Kd
Wow. What a feeling that was to see the Kd on the river… I gave the biggest fist pump of my life with a loud, “YES!!!” after such a beautiful river.

I’m posting this on Sunday. The tournament took place on Friday night, and I was so tired I slept in pretty late Saturday. I rented Apocalypto and watched that Saturday night. I can truly say it is one of the most amazing films I’ve ever seen… and I watch a lot of movies. Just some of the best cinematography I’ve ever seen.

Wow. That King of fucking diamonds. It just keeps popping into my head. I don’t usually bask in something like this. You know, move on to the next hand and the next dollar to be earned kind of thing, but for some reason winning that little SNG the way it ended just makes me feel weird. I can’t even really explain it…

BTW, I still think that even giving you double stacks the structure is horrible. They don't realize that starting stacks mean nothing if you just double the blinds every few minutes anyway. It will still be a joke, you'll just get like an extra level of play. I was fortunate that people decided to bust out so quickly throughout the tournament (I'm sure this had 99% to do with it being Friday night).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Deuce 9 tourney starts and ends poorly

First time in a while we've actually had a good turnout for a tournament. 9 people is pretty huge considering what we normally get. 3 of the 9 players were complete first timers at the Deuce 9. I was expecting 10 (maybe 11 if his friend came), so I started the tourney out with 2 tables. Once it turned out that the guy wasn't coming (I received no phone call at the time or even an e-mail in the following days) I ended up collapsing it down to 1 table of 9. So we ended up playing a few levels 4 handed at my starting table. During this time I managed to lose almost half my stack (start with 10k) by getting drawn out on in numerous pots.

All mainly from one player, Shane (1 of the new players that I had no info on, other than some story he told about trying to bluff people at The Poker Room and how they always called him [yet he kept trying...?]), who if he couldn't hold over me would just out draw me. They weren't very interesting hands to get into:

Had J-J, raised pre, bet flop of T-8-2 (two spades), bet turn: 2 (no spade), check/called river bet when the 4s came. He had 6s-3s.

Had K-Ts, he limped UTG (which he did just about every hand from every position; utg, button, sb), button folded, I raised to 4x from the SB looking to pick it up sincing he was limping really light (I don't mind a limp just because I'm OOP, but I really felt like going after his limps since it was short handed), BB folded, he called. Flop: K-x-x, I bet and he calls. Turn: x, I bet and he calls. River: 4, after being called twice with no draws out I slow down and check, he bets half pot and I call. He tables K-4. Wow.

I combined to 1 table around this time.

I went into the combined table with about 5400 of my starting 10k with blinds at 300/600 w/50. Very first hand I picked up K-K in EMP and just shipped as its more likely to get action than a small raise (imo). MP tanked for a minute but folded, everyone else insta-folded. 3 hands later I had A-K UTG, someone said something about being aggro and moving in while I was counting out chips for a raise so I thought that some of the bad players that were in LP would read too much into this and call lighter, not that I wasn't moving in regardless. I just thought giving a little shoulder shrug after that comment and then moving might have helped get me a call, but it didn't. So I was up over 8k. There were so many suck-outs at that table towards the end, not that it means anything, but it provided a lot of excitement for the newer players. SS got it in with A-7 vs A-T, Flop: 7-7-A. He went out shortly after his double up though. Corey got it in with A-6 vs A-4, River: 4. We were down to 6 players when my big hand came up:

I'm in the BB with A-7o, it folds around to the button. The button is one of the 3 new players, not only is she new here but she is really new to poker (yes, a she.) and she was limping in a lot with marginal hands where she obv didn't understand stack sizes in relation to the blinds. So she limps the button for 1600 (at 800/1600 w/200). SB folded and I made a trivial ship vs her range and considering how much was already out there. She then tanked for quite a while but then finally called the 9100 more and left herself with about 3-4k. She turned over Q-2o. Wow.

Flop: A-J-2

Turn: 2

River: J


Obviously I wasn't that big of a favorite pre and I didn't get upset at the table about it (on the outside, lol) but it was pretty sick to just never have chips for the whole tournament because your fighting uphill with the deck, but to still get it and be 80% with 2 pulls for a 25k pot and lose was brutal. Atleast I didn't have to sweat it to the river... haha.

A few hands after that, Nick opened UTG for 5000 (still 800/1600), it folded to Don in the BB who shipped 4-4. Nick called all-in for another 15k or so with A-8 and they were flipping for the 40k+ pot that was almost half the chips in play.

Flop: A-8-4, wowzers.

Nick jumped up w/o seeing the 4, and Don yelled, "Yes!" Nick realized he was crushed and sat back down.

Turn: 2

River: Ah

Eruption of yells from all the new players (just like when the 2 hit vs me on the turn). Don nearly broke my table when the Ace hit the river.

It left Don with only about 5-6k. He shipped the SB the very next hand and Nick folded 4-4 with 1600 already in!!! So bad... The very next hand Don shipped the button with Qc-9c and got called by the girl in the BB with A-Q. Flop: Q-Xc-Xc, Turn: X, River Jc. Another suckout!

Don ended up doubling through Nick with T-T vs a naked Ace. Nick then lost a bunch of pots to Don and went out.

Thomas was down to about 8-9k playing 1/2000 w/300. He was in the BB. Don raised UTG to 6000, folded to girl in SB who moved in for 10k, and Thomas called AI with 9-9 from the BB. Don called the extra.

Don - AQ
Megan - 55
Thomas - 99

Flop: 2-3-4
Turn: K
River: K

Thomas jumped out of his chair screaming, "YES, YES, I finally doubled up with the best hand at the D9!"

She went out shortly after that since she was left with about 3k. They were in the money, Thomas, Don and Kurt (who played a standrd flip of TT vs AK early at the FT and didn't play a hand after that).

Blinds 1200/2400 w/300. Don folds button, Kurt limps SB for 1200 (~15k stack), and Thomas checks (~20k stack).

Flop: A-K-7, two diamonds.

Kurt open shoves and Thomas snap-calls.

Kurt - 43dd
Thomas - T9dd

The T9 held and they were HU.

Thomas made a bunch of re-steals early on getting Don down about 2-1 in chips. Then they got it in. Thomas Ah-8h vs Don's 6-6, Don won the flip.

Blinds went up, Thomas shipped the button with T-6, Don woke up with T-T and that was it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Recent and Not so Recent Sessions

I’ve been playing a lot of poker recently now that school is over, because of that I will be updating my blog a lot more often. In this blog I’m going to cover my less recent sessions (as best as I can) up to my most recent. I was lazy/busy and didn’t post them when they actually happened.

- March 14 -
I went to The Poker Room with my friend Don with the intent of playing the nightly $100 tournament that had a “good structure” according to their internet page (although it wasn’t posted there). We got there early and decided to play some 2/2 NL ($100 max buy-in). I sat down 5 off the BB and chose not to post. During the 5 hands I watched before being the BB, I noticed that the older Asian man in Seat 10 was not only in every pot but was getting large sums of money in with super-marginal hands. In the biggest pot he played he 3-bet an UTG raise with Ac-Tc, it folded back around and UTG 4 bet all-in, the Asian guy didn’t take long to call. UTG had K-K. Flop came A-x-x, brick, brick.

So I post $2 for my first hand. UTG raises to $6, folds to said Asian guy who just flats in MP, 3 other people called behind, and I looked down at Q-Q. I made it $30 total, UTG snap-called, Asian guy flatted, and other 3 fold.

Flop: 9-4-2, rainbow.

I’ve got $70 left behind with over $100 in the pot vs. players with enormous ranges; also with their lines in the hand AA & KK are unlikely so I make the standard shove. UTG tanks and then folds, then the Asian guy thinks for about 2 full minutes before calling. I table my Q-Q; he looks at them and mumbles something still keeping his cards face down. Turn blank, river blank; he turns over K-K… slow rolled! Ah, the first live slow roll of my life.

I re-buy another $100; float around/above even for about 30 minutes. Our tournament starts soon so I decide I’ll play one more rotation. I get 5-5 and limp up front, a few others limp behind for $2 to the BB who puts in a pointless raise to $5 after 6 people just limped for $2. Everyone calls obviously.

Flop: K-T-5, rainbow.

BB leads out for $15, I raise to $40, active MP player moves all-in, BB calls. With the stacks as shallow as they are this isn’t one of the times where you try and make the genius set under set lay down as their ranges include many 1 pair and 2 pair hands. I call.

BB = 6-6
MP = K-T
Me = 5-5

Turn: T
River: 6, from 1st to worst. L

So I get up to go play in the tournament stuck 2 BIs, and obviously I don’t have much confidence going into this tournament. The structure was horrible. 2k starting stacks, you start 25/50 but the blinds nearly double every 18 minutes. I didn’t play any hands the first level of importance. I had about 1700 during 50-100 when I get A-J in the CO, I open to 300 because 2.5x live is pointless. BB calls.

Flop: A-K-2, rainbow.

He leads for 200 into 650; I min-raise to 400 for info & value, and he just calls. I’m now fairly certain I have the best hand.

Turn: 6

He checks, I moved in for just under the size of the pot and he called me very quickly. He tabled… A-6. ARGH!!! I run so bad!!!

River: K, ship! Phew.

My table broke when that guy busted the next hand for his last 50.

My next table draw was beautiful, they were all incredibly tight from all positions and I pretty much just ran over them for 1hr building my stack up to 6-7k without ever showing a hand. At 200-400 I raised A-K to 1200 UTG full ring, it folded to the only guy who had played back at me the whole time I’d been playing LAG. He counted out a possible raise but then just called. A fat guy in MP shipped for 3k total, it folded back to me and I obviously moved in. The other guy folded A-Q face up. MP had J-J.

Flop: J-x-x, no sweat at all. Nh.

I think the A-Q is supposed to 3-bet me given how many pots I was opening. In which case we all probably get it in 3 ways and I make a profit on the hand in the side pot.

I shipped Ac-7c for my last 5 BBs during 300-600, got called by K-J and A-Q. I flop a 7 – zing! Have to fade any paint for the triple up back above average. Turn – blank, river – Queen. Don final tabled but went out on the bubble (7th out of 60). 1st was just over $1700.

- June 4 -
This was the day after I graduated high school. Thomas came up from Tampa and we (Corey, Thomas and I) went to The Poker Room for Corey’s first time. We got there just in time for the daily $45 30 max so we all jumped in. The biggest joke was that the structure in these is the same as the $100 & $200 tournaments. The floor managers find no problem with this. I drew Thomas two to my left (terrible draw). I lost a small pot with K-K early on vs. a guy who flopped the joint with T-8os. He instantly sat up in his chair and quickly looked down at his chips when the flop rolled out causing me to check it down right behind him. He bet 3BBs on the river and I just flatted.

I folded down to like 1300 at 50-100, then I lost 300 when I raised 3x in LP with 9d-8d and Thomas shipped on me from the blinds (he had A-K). A couple hands later I shipped Ac-9c from LP and Thomas snapped Ad-Jd. I missed a flush draw and the 9 to go out early on.

Thomas got moved, he didn’t play many hands there. Then it folded to the button who limped and Thomas checked 7-4 from the BB.

Flop: K-7-5; check, check.

Turn: 7; bet, raise, all-in, call.

Button has Q-7, GG Thomas. Sick.

So now the least experienced player of the bunch is left in Corey. He went into the final table really short, but doubled on the first hand with Ad-Qd vs. 7-7. He won a few sizable pots early on as well to build his stack up to about 13k at 400-800 w/ 100. Which was probably good enough for the chip lead (god those structures are bad). The other players at that table wouldn’t put a chip in the pot without the nuts, it was gross to see Corey nit-it-up like he did. They were at the designated final table that has rails around it so Thomas and I could sweat from very close. There was one player in particular whose hand we saw many of times and he mucking A-8, K-Ts, etc with a 5-6M stack (WOW!).

They didn’t have a break, so we couldn’t talk to Corey, although it was clearly something he should have recognized whether or not he knew the cards they were folding. Rather than pick up the aggression and run away with the tournament he anted off 8k just like everyone else and ended up bubbling in 4th (what is it with my friends bubbling?).

- June 5 -
The next night we were having a home game since Corey’s cousins were in town because of our graduation. We had 7 people and we played a $20 buy-in tourney, paying top 2 ($100 & $40). Corey’s cousin Vincent who has been in previous blogs was playing amazingly bad at the beginning but making hands left and right. Vincent thinks he’s the greatest at any form of competition, from video games to poker. So combine his ego with winning a few pots and he was getting really full of himself.

At 50-100 with about the 5000 starting stack still left, it folded to me in the SB and I made it 3.5x with A-J (big I know. But he was playing EVERY hand, not a lot of hands, but EVERY hand) so I figured it would take that much just to win the blinds, and even if he did call at least I’d be getting full value out of the best hand.

Flop: J-3-2, two diamonds (Pot: 700)

I lead for 450, he raised to 1450, I insta-shipped for another 3350, and he tanked and then finally called. I was hoping to see a misplayed J-Tos or something, but he turned up the worst hand for my hand – 72dd. He’s a slight favorite, but I faded the draws to double through to almost 10k.

I literally had no other showdowns until we were heads up! I just raised a lot in position, built my stack up. Mike (the other cousin) played well but a little too tight. He just went to Vegas where he played nothing but tourneys at his hotel, not sure how he made as much as he said he did playing such an exploitable style, I guess the daily tourneys in Vegas are as juicy as they say. The other guy who got heads up busted all the other people at the table, but still did not have the chip lead going into heads up play. We traded blinds for a while until…

He limps the button, I check Q-T.

Flop: Q-T-7; I check, he checks.
Turn: T; I check, he bets, I call.
River: 7; I lead for about half pot, he moves in, I call. (He had a naked 7).

I win the 100.

- June 17 -
I played my first Chip Talk tourney online. Only 6 people entered, but 6 max is definitely my best game so that was actually really nice. I ended up winning, but the only important hands happened heads up in my opinion. I was short and my opponent was shipping more than liberally. I woke up with 6-6 in the BB and called, he had A-K and I faded the overs. Two hands later he shipped the button again but this time for only the 3BBs he was crippled to, I called with K-9s vs. his 2-2 and he won the race. So we were back near even. Blinds went up, he shipped the button again, and I called with As-Js vs. his 6-6 and flopped the Ace. GG.

- June 18 -
I played my second Chip Talk tourney. There were 13 people this time, so we started out short-handed. From my experience most of the players on that site are super-passive. Flatting raises with hands that are definite 3-bets, rarely making c-bets, and not raising nearly enough short-handed (they prefer open limping marginal holdings with improper odds). I played well early on and then won a really big, but weird, pot with J-J.

TAG player makes it 3x UTG at 15-30, a short stack flats in MP, and it folds to me. I re-raise to 400 (I was already up to about 2800 winning a few small-medium sized pots with only one showdown). UTG makes a weird, and scary at the time, play of just flatting another 310 with only like 900-1000 behind. Then MP made a horrendous all-in for another 430. It was back to me and obviously I’m not folding. I’m not worried about MP, period. I just don’t see UTG flatting me with another behind with AA, KK, or QQ. He more than likely has like A-Q or T-T. I made what I thought to be a kid of easy move in and he called quickly.

UTG = A-K, the flat call of my 3-bet is pretty poor for ¼ of his stack. It is a clear shove.
MP = 7-7, no fold equity at all – definitely getting called in two spots.

Flop: K-4-3
Turn: 4
River: J

Busted both players and moved up to over 5k still at 15-30.

Played really tight after that since we were playing full ring at the final table. I took a few pots in LP. Then I picked up Q-Q, raised 2.5x from MP, LP player shipped for about 15BBs more, I call he has A-Q and misses. Very next hand (lol), I get Q-Q raise to 2.5x from MP, one of the blinds moves in, I call, he has Ah-8h and I flop Quads. TEN hands later (lol), I get Q-Q raise to 2.5x from UTG+1, both blinds call, flop comes 6-5-3 (two clubs). SB open ships for 3x the pot, BB folds. He was really LAG from what I had seen during the whole tourney. He kept putting it in REALLY bad, so I called. He had "THE GREAT" Tc-8c and I faded the flush draw (you can't beat me with MY hand, pfff). So got Q-Q 3 times in a very short span and stacked 3 different people, I was running good obviously. We got down to 3-handed with me having a pretty solid chip lead. The two shorter stacks got it in a race and I only went into HU play with a 2-1 chip lead as opposed to the commanding lead.

I made what turned out to be a bad fold, but without knowing the results I think it was right. My opponent had played about 5 hands during the whole FT and they were all really passive check-calls or check-folds. I made it 400 (during 100-200) OTB with Q-8, he called.

Flop: Q-3-2
He lead for 400, I raised to 900, he over ships for 5300 more. Ugh, wow.

With the information that I had at the time, its hard to believe his range is wide. I think QJ, QT, Q9, 33, 22 are played closely to this line (by him that is; its obviously not the most valuable way to play some of the said hands). Whatever, so I mucked feeling okay about it at the time. It turns out he had Q-4os.

Blinds 200-400 w/50, I've got 10k and he's got 8k.

I raised Ac-Kc to 2x. He just calls.

Flop: Jc-Js-6c (Pot: 900)

He checks I bet 450, he min-raises to 900 (he had been playing super LAG HU for a complete 180 from his other FT play), I 4-bet to 3000 with a hand I wasn't ever folding against someone playing that LAG. He moved in for like another 4000 with no fold equity at all, claiming he wanted to put me to a decision to make me muck 88 or 99 (LOL @ a complete lapse in understanding of pot odds and fold equity). He had Q-6os, I was 52% when it went in, but bricked out.

I was knocked down to 2000. I shipped A-3 OTB for 5BBs and he made a bit of a light call with 8c-7c, although it wasn't anything too bad. He turned the flush and I went out in 2nd. It stung not to win, but I didn't blow a huge lead to him or anything. He stacked the guys in 4th and 3rd and went into HU only 2-1 in chips. He moved me off the best hand with a very agressive play and then won a huge race. GG.

- June 19 -
Won the nightly Chip Talk tourney... but only 4 people entered (lol). Still a win. Everyone else is boycotting them because I'm playing them. It is really mature of them. [giant eye roll]