Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Home Game ($50 SNG)

Got invited to play in a home game near my local golf course (that I love) through an Internet home game finder type website. They send me emails often about 5-5 NL ring games around town, but this time they were having a $50 NL tourney using an online poker type SNG structure, not the best structure (these guys just like to have fun) but there is certainly a lot of skill to SNG tournaments; when you get deep with high blinds and small stacks knowing what to do in almost every spot if HUGE and I feel I definitely know most of what to do based on the amount of them I've played online.

They capped the amount of people to come at 18 for 2 full tables.

Payout was:
1st - $360
2nd - $270
3rd - $180
4th - $90

1500 in chips, 15-30 blinds to start, 15 min levels. I have no idea of any of these guys' playing tendencies so...

First hand of the tourney, BLINDS 15-30:

UTG+1 limps 30, I limp behind with K-Q for 30, Button limps 30, SB completes to 30, BB checks.

Flop: (Pot: 150)
K-Q-7, two diamonds

SB checks, BB checks, UTG+1 checks, I bet 150 (don't know anyone and don't wanna give any draws a chance to catch up), Button folds, SB folds, BB folds, UTG+1 calls.

Turn: (Pot: 450)
3h, it put two diamonds and two hearts out

He checked quickly (common sign of weakness, like a draw), I bet 400 to price him out of calling with a draw, He called 400 anyway.

River: (Pot: 1250)

The backdoor flush got there, but I can't put him on that.

He checks, Now I'm clearly sure that I have the best hand and need to value bet like 600 which I do, he folds.

After one hand I'm there chip leader. Don't play any memorable pots for the rest of 15-30.

BLINDS 20-40:

2 guys limp in early position for 40, the Button limps for 40, I complete from the SB with 2-2 trying to flop a set for cheap, BB checks.

Flop: (Pot: 200)
10-3-2, two spades

I check (looking to check-raise whoever bets, I'm confident that someone will bet this flop as it hits a lot of hands that people are limping with), BB checks, UTG checks, guy in early position min-bets 40, the Button raises to 320, I make it 1200 ready to get it all-in with bottom set, everyone folds to the Button, he moves in 125 more, I call.

He has 10-9.

Turn - brick
River - brick... and he's out and I have a big stack, like 4500-ish. Chopped my way to near 5000 by the end of the level via late position raises and continuation bets, etc.

BLINDS 25-50:

Everyone folds, I raise 150 from middle position with K-K, guy on my immediate left calls 150 (he has a lot of chips like 3500-4000 range), everyone else folds.

Flop: (Pot: 375)
A-7-2, all clubs (I have the Kc)

I check, he bets 150, I raise to 400, he just calls.

Turn: (Pot: 1175)
6c, I now have the nuts.

I bet one single $500 chip to look kinda weak by betting small to try and maybe showdown cheaply, he moves in, SWEET!, I call. He has A-6... only 6 outs to fade.

River: (Pot: ~9000)
The Ace of Spades, UGH!

Down to like 1000-1500 range. I steal a few rounds to stay afloat through the rapidly fast blind levels.

BLINDS 40-80:

UTG calls 80, the Button shoves for about 900 (he's a real loose player, likes to be "all-in"), I call from the BB with K-K, UTG folds.

Flop a King, and he was out.

Went into the final table with about 2000 at 50-100 blinds.

BLINDS 50-100:

A tight player UTG makes it 350, it folds around, a tight player in middle position makes it 1200, the SB just calls 1200 (almost 1/2 her stack), UTG moves all-in for a few thousand more, the guy in middle position calls, the SB goes into the tank and finally calls with As-Js!!!

UTG (His name was JC) = K-K
Middle position guy = A-A

Nothing comes until the River brings... a King! The chick was out and the guy with AA was down to nothing. JC was up to over 10,000 when on the next hand he finished the guy with 7-7 vs A-10.

BLINDS 50-100:

I'm down to like 1400 and I pick up A-K on the button, I plan on moving in if anyone limps/raises, and making a standard raise if everyone folds.

It folds to JC, he makes the motion of mucking his hand, so I say, "Raise", he says, "Wait I haven't folded yet", I get the host who is the 'floorman' to come over and making the obvious ruling (that he is able to act on his hand and my out of turn action means nothing) HE rules that JC can still call (which is correct so far) and when it gets to me I have to make a min-raise to 200 and then action continues (WTF! That's a horrible ruling, which could ruin my chances of chipping up here because the min-raise will price in a lot of people that I want to PRICE OUT!), SB calls 200, BB calls 200, JC calls 200... Fuck!!!

Flop: (Pot: 800)
A-9-5, rainbow

They all checked, I moved all-in, they all folded. I was lucky to get that flop and get extra chips from the blinds. If it had came 10-9-8 I was gonna throw a chair... in my mind.

So I up to like 2000 and change.

BLINDS 100-200:

This is a real interesting hand! I have 2000 even (10BBs).

UTG limps for 200, middle position limps for 200, SB completes to 200. These course of actions are so weak, the possibility of any of them having a hand good enough to call another 1800 (if I move in) is super slim. It doesn't matter what my cards are if I feel I'm gonna pick up the pot pre-flop. I thought the 2 guys in early-middle position might call with a wide range because they had decent stacks so I bailed on the idea and just checked my BB with 10-8.

Flop: (Pot: 800)
8-7-2, two hearts

SB checked, I bet 600 (looking back this is very marginal, I don't know if its the best play in this spot... but I made it here), UTG calls quickly like a draw, MP folds, SB calls although he doesn't look happy about it. I was ready to kinda be done with the hand once I got called in 2 spots, but I just really felt form their body language that they were drawing.

Turn: (Pot: 2600)

SB checked, I find this to be a safe card for my hand. As long as they didn't call with like a flush draw that had a Q in it (or slow played a big hand which is unlikely based on their body language) they can't call an all-in here, so I moved all-in for about 1200 and they both folded. Phhhhew!

I was up over 3000 with 7 people left (top 4 get payed).

BLINDS 150-300:

UTG makes it 900, it folds to me on the Button with 6-6. This is weird spot, with only about 10BBs its simply all-in or fold, he's so commit ed to the pot though that if I move in he has to call with most hands he's raising with. And because he's raising UTG, at best (for me) he'll be calling with like A-Q/A-K/K-Q, but a lot of the time he'll show up with a bigger pair and I'm near dead. So in this spot I think that it is a definite fold since we have almost no fold equity. I folded and don't regret it.

BLINDS 200-400:

I have about 2500, so I'm very short. We were down to 5 people at this point (on the money bubble).

It folds to the Button who is as short as me and he moves in for a little more than me, SB folds I have Ks-Qs in the BB and insta-call fro my last 2500, he had 5-5 and it was a race. I flopped a King and held for the double up to over 5000.

The very next hand: UTG tight player makes it 1200, the Button (JC) re-raises to 2500, I'm in the SB with A-Q and can't see how it is good after a raise and a re-raise from 2 solid players so I fold, UTG moves all-in for a little more, JC calls with A-J. UTG had Q-Q so I was right in folding.

BUT, the flop was Ace high and JC busted the guy with a two outer.

BLINDS 250-500:
I had about 5000 and we were in money.

JC folded on the button, I was in the SB with K-8 and the BB was very short and virtually pot commited from his blind. King high is way ahead of his range of two random cards, so I moved him all-in. He made an easy call with A-2, but I flopped an 8 and held on to win the pot an get heads up. No big deal there, just won a 40/60 that I had to play.

I went into heads up vs JC about a 2.5-1 dog in chips.

BLINDS 400-800:
We were near even in chips like me with 12k and him with 15k (he had about 3000 more I know that). I had been raising my button almost every time (to my standard 2.5 x BB when heads up). So I did the same here:

A-A in the SB raise to 2000, he flat called.

Flop: (Pot: 4000)
J-8-5, rainbow

He bet 4000, I moved all-in, he called with K-J and my hand held up.

Now I was in great shape with about 23,500 vs his 3500.

He shoved the next hand, I called with A-5, he had K-10. He made Kings Up to double through to 7000. He stole his way back to even when I went card dead

BLINDS 500-1000:

Stacks were about 14k vs 13k. He didn't look like the type of guy who cared about making a deal over a $90 difference, so I didn't mention making one.

I was in the BB with A-K, he min-raises to 1000 on the button, I move in for 13k, he calls with 3-3, flop came King high and I held on to win that pot.

He's down to like 600, he wins 3 straight hands all-in pre-flop with rags vs rags to get to like 2500, until I move him in with K-J he calls with 9-5, I flop a King... again! I hold to win the pot and I win the tourney.

Really fun time. They started a side game (1-2 NL) right after like 4-5 guys were out. So they were all obviously there to just play poker and have a good time even though they were out of the tourney, which is great. I didn't get to play in the side game (everything kinda wrapped up when the tourney ended) but I don't really care. I probably wouldn't have done that well since I was kinda tired and have been really focusing more on tournaments lately as opposed to cash games (which I used to love over tourneys).

Things are going great for me right now in life. My team won the Fantasy Football league I had with my friends (more $ coming in!). I'm really happy these days. Kinda could care less about school right now, which is a problem I need to turn around, but for the most part everything is awesome... I could use more golf though. Yeah, def more golf!

Monday, November 12, 2007

My first really big online tournament

I've mainly stuck to SNGs and cash for the past few months and I've built enough up to where I'm gonna start playing more big MTTs. I started today in a 20k guaranteed on Stars. $10 for $3500+ would be nice...

I played really patient early on. Lost a small pot with A-K that I probably could of won pre-flop. Then chopped my way back to 1500. In the 50-100 level I flopped a straight with J-8 out of the BB against an early position limper's top pair and won a sizable pot to get up over 2500. Then...

Blinds 75-150:
UTG raises to 450 (pretty loose player, he just played a huge pot with 8-8 pre-flop vs Q-Q and sucked out to grab a massive amount of chips).
MP player calls, folds to me in the BB with A-K, in my opinion there's only one move here with the amount of money that is out there, and I make it - all in for about 2500. UTG insta-calls AND MP player calls. I'm dead right?

UTG - Ah-Qh
MP- Ac-Tc

No one pairs up or makes a flush and A-K holds for the 6000 pot.

A few hands later with the blinds at 100-200:
I raise in MP with As-Js to 500, Button min-raises to 1000 (he's been very active with min-raises preflop), I call 500 more (Looking back I hate the call here out of position, I can just dump it and find a better spot).

Flop: J-7-3 rainbow

I decide to check-raise here because he's short (mistake 2), and we get it in with him having K-K and I lose a big pot I shouldn't have played. So now I'm down to 1900 (under 10BBs).

Still 100-200 level:
Loose player min-raises in late position, I ship it with J-J from the BB, he folds.
--2 hands later--
Same player min-raises to 400, I ship it with A-K and he calls with Kd-Qd. He flops Jd-10d-x so I have to fade a ton of outs and I do so to double through to 5000.

Go card dead as the antes come into play around the bubble (grrrreat... [rolling eyes]). Didn't get to rob the squeakers too much. Got into the money with about 10BBs and started getting some hands to pick up all of the dead money. K-Js in LP, K-Q in LP, A-A UTG and won every pot before the flop. Built myself up to about 7000 going into 300-600 w/50 ante.

During that level I blinded down to about 5000 and made a standard play of moving in a very short stack from the SB with A-10, he woke up with 10-10 and doubled through me. I was down to 3000.

Went down to 2800, moved in from the button with K-5s, SB woke up with A-10 called and busted me. I doubled my investment but could care less, I played well, ran okay, and I know I'll hit one of these with time.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Live 6-Max Tournament at Deuce 9

There was a tournament planned for today, Saturday, but few people were available to come. It ended up being just 6 people, which isn't all that bad I guess. I love 6-max SNGs, this will be like one of those with a 100 times better structure.

I started out playing pretty solid/tight as I like to do when the blinds are so low. I don't see much need to get out of line early on when you're that deep in chips. I picked up a few hands that helped me to win a few decent size pots and I stole a few small pots here and there when I saw fit. The first real pot I played was:

Blinds 100-200
I'm on the button, with A-K off.
UTG (tight) folded, UTG+1 (loosest player at the table) limped for 200, MP1 folds, I make it 800 total, SB (tight) folds, BB (fairly solid) calls 800, UTG+1 folds.

Flop: (Pot: 1900)
K-Q-2, no suit.

He checked, I bet 1500, he called.

[I'm putting him on like K-J, K-T, J-T range of hands]

Turn: (Pot: 4900)
J, putting 2 spades out.

He checked, I wanted to bet here but he gave the impression that he was looking to check raise (just his personal demeanor) and that turn did hit a lot of hands I'm putting him on, so I checked behind hoping to keep the pot small in position with just one pair. If I bet and get check-raised all-in I can't really call and expect to be ahead of many hands.

River: (Pot: 4900)
4, rainbow board.

He checked, so now I obviously have to bet. I bet 2500 hoping it was K-T, he called with A-Q.

Final pot: 9900

That pot and few others really padded my stack up to over double the starting stack (of 10k) to around 22k and change. From there I just cruised while a couple people went out. Joe (from the A-K vs A-Q hand) ran into A-A and was out in 6th. Don (who had built up a nice stack close to mine) played a big pot against Kurt with A-J vs A-A which left him crippled, he then lost a semi-race 2 hands later with K-Qs vs A-J (against Kurt again) for the remainder of his chips and finished in 5th. Kurt busted in 4th to Will with Q-J vs A-Q on a Q-5-5 flop. The action was fast and furious until 3 handed and then everything sloooooooowed down, alot. We played 3-handed forever.

With the blinds at 400-800, I had about 18-19k when this hand went down:

Corey folded the button,

(Will had been limping a lot from every position, from his SB I had been punsihing him a lot with raises; something I usually don't do a lot of but his weakness was so vivid I knew I could pick up the dead money pre-flop)

Will limped in for 800.

I had Ac-Kc in the BB and made it 2k more to 2800 total. Bigger than my normal opening raise, but (A) he doesn't pay attention to that and (B) he actually looked like he had a real hand this time so I was obviously hoping he played back at me. He just called the 2k more

Flop: (Pot: 5600)
K-K-J, two spades. - BINGO!

He led out for 4000, I decided I didn't have enough to call without giving away the strength of my hand, but if I moved it I could have a huge range of hands (flush draw, straight draw, lower pair). I moved all-in for another 11k. He thought and thought forever which led me to believe he had like Q-J or J-T and was thinking of making some heroic call if he thought I was being a bully. He did call, with... honestly I'll give you 3 guesses as to what he had and you'll NEVER be right. Go ahead guess...




He had A-8 off suit. Haha. Like that's ever good against a nit like me.

Shockingly my hand held up against his monster Ace high. So now I had like 37k of the 60k in play - pretty insane.

Corey got low and made a lot of move ins to pick up the blinds a few rounds because nobody ever got a hand. He moved in with 2-2 and I called with A-9s and lost that race. He eventually got called by Will too, who had... Q-5 off. Corey had J-T and flopped a J. Then Corey and Will got it in again with T-T (Corey) vs 6-6 (Will). The flop had a 6 in the window, but was followed by a Ten. Will got low (like 12k) when...

Blinds 600-1200
Corey folded the button, Will min-raised to 2400 from the SB, I called 1200 more with Ac-7c.

Flop: (Pot: 4800)
7-4-3, two spades and a club.

He checked (for a first in a long while), I bet 4000, and he called leaving himself 4900 behind (I know - stupid).

Turn (Pot: 12,800)
2c, giving me top pair top kicker with the nut flush draw.

He checked, I put him all-in, he called with Kc-Qc.

6 outs with 1 pull from the deck and...

River: (Pot: 22,600) ALL-IN
Qs, Ugh! So bad...

All I could say was, "Wow, that was a nice flop for Kc-Qc... nice hand."

That dropped me down to like 20k. Nothing big happened during 800-1600 and then the blinds went up to 1k-2k with everyone having about 20k (10BBs) and it was move in poker time.

Eventually Corey limped the button with A-Q, Will raised from the SB, I folded T-5. Corey moved in and Will called with... J-6. He didn't pair and Corey and I were heads up and "in the money."

Heads up went back and forth just trading blinds for a while. The blinds went up to 1500-3000 with Corey having about a 2-1 chip lead after busting Will. We made a small deal since the blinds were so high (I only had like 6BBs) - Corey $80, Me $60, with $10 up top for whoever won the tournament.

On the final hand I had 29,500 and Corey had 30,500 with the blinds at 1500-3000:

I moved in with 5-5 from the SB, which I have no problems with given the stacks.

Corey called with K-J off and we were off to the races with him having two $500 chips left if he lost.

Flop: (Pot: 59,000) ALL-IN
Q-Q-T, great now he wins with any Ace, King, Jack, Ten, or Nine.

Turn: T
River: 9

He got there twice.

So Corey won, he ran well at the end which is kinda key in these SNG type tournaments. He played very well also, but maybe a little too tight late in the tourney in spots where if he hadn't picked up hands against other hands like he did (T-T vs 6-6, A-Q, etc) he most likely would have blinded down too low to win. But whatever, it worked so there must be a bit of logic to it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Long time, no post

I haven't posted in a while for one reason - haven't played live in a while. Which is basically the only time I ever post on here. School has kept me from playing as much as I would like. The past few weeks I've been crushing the 45-SNGs on FTP when I get the chance to play, though.
Here's 2 wins just these past 2 weeks:I wish I could get 'em bigger, but this is 'large' (not so in my opinion)
[Yes, I do enjoy changing my avatar weekly...]

I don't keep much track of the 4ths and 3rds, but I did have one 2nd last week.


I played live a few days ago. 4 handed NL cash - 25c/50c - with some friends.

I ended up down $5 (out of $50) after losing a big pot early and grinding myself back to near even. There were 2 exciting hands that happened the whole night - both all-ins both between the same 2 players.

Hand 1:

UTG (Corey's little brother who for some reason decided to play with us. He doesn't really do anything but open shove with marginal hands - AJ, KQ, KJ, QJ, small pairs) open shoves for $21, UTG+1 folds, I have Ah-Qh in the SB, BB jokingly folds out of turn.

I was ready to fold because calling here just doesn't seem right. I can fold and keep grinding away a profit (like I've been doing VERY well up to this point - up $10 without showing a hand). I was ready to fold when I decided I'd show him (even though I was 90% ready to fold) just to see if I get a reaction, then maybe I'll reconsider. I say, "It's not a tournament so I can show before I do anything..." I flipped over the A-Q of hearts and he then (without me saying anything) flipped over Ks-Qs and said, "Okay." He gave the initial impression that he thought I had called - which I then quickly did after seeing how far ahead I was. He was confused and said whatever run the board. I differred from running it twice obviously.


10-9-2, rainbow


J, "ugh."


A, "nh..." [rolling eyes]

Hand 2:

The hand before Don raised UTG to $2, I folded, Corey folded, The Live One min-raised to $4, and Don moved in with J-J and picked up the pot. The Live One had K-10 I believe.

I had A-K off UTG and made it $2, Corey folded, The Live One min-raised to $4, Don folded, I thought if I shoved he might call with a lot of hands (he looked bored and ready to do something "exciting"), I shoved for like $35 and he beat me into the pot with an insta-call with... 5-5.

I chose to run this one twice as I didn't really wanna flip a coin for $70.

1st Flop: A-x-x Turn: x River: x

2nd Flop: 5-4-3 Turn: x River x

So we chopped it up and that was basically it for the night...

We should be having a tournament sometime soon. I can't wait.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Day on the Links...

We, Dino and I, had decided that after our morning orientation at school we would play 18 at Jax Beach Public Golf Club (only for one reason: the price. period). During the orientation Brett voices that he wants to come, which is totally cool, so we set our tee time for 12:00 and a group of 3. After we get done with our school shit, we go out for some breakfast, head over to my house to grab my bag and shoes, and fly to Jax Beach to make it in time to hit up the driving range.

We didn't get many balls because it was Satan-degrees-Fahrenheit and we didn't wanna get too tired before we even tee'd off. So we downed a single bucket between the 3 of us, when an older man gave us a whole bucket of range balls and said, "Here boys, its just too damn hot out today." Don't worry we didn't use them, we left them for whoever wanted them because it indeed was 'too damn hot out.' So its now 12:00 on the dot. We jump in our carts and head over to the tee box. The starter looks unhappy with us. Why? Well, apparently we are 5 minutes late!!! Oh my God, 5 minutes! ... So after I get the speech about how we should have been there at 12:00 and how because we were SO late he had to let the guys with the 12:37 tee time take our time. Okay, whatever... no big deal. We tee off after them and things are going okay.

I think I speak for anyone who has ever played the hellish yet additively amazing game that is golf when I say, Sometimes you get really fucking frustrated. What is a man to do when he's full of steam in a field of grass (not even nice grass, after all its a public course) with a large club. This directly translates over years and years of history... like a caveman with his big wooden club banging it on the ground when his prey outruns him. Soooo, yes, I did make divots on some fairways (and a green or two) with my iron/putter like a big greasy lumberjack. I wasn't the only one (I won't name names because I'm not like that). Really, honestly, who doesn't sometimes... ?

During this round, I nearly hit a man from the group in front of us with an amazing shot from my 3-Hybrid over a gorge. When we (Dino and I road together) got up to the ball I said, "Sorry about that." He responded, "Don't worry, I couldn't hit a bull in the ass with a snow shovel today if I tried... just one of those days." Funny saying... I think I'll use it.

So we get all the way through the course without any problems. All the way to our 17th hole. I'm on the green in 4 (Par 4) with a putt for bogey. Of course I lip it and have to tap in for dubs (double bogey). Its hot + I'm not playing my best = I take my putter and fucking axe that shit into the green sooooo hard. Alright stop right here and just picture this: A man out in the woods with a big axe and a log of wood beneath his feet, he swings the axe down over his head and crushes the log. Now paste that image onto me, on a green, with a putter... I mean hard, that putter was deep in the green. Hahaha.

So I turn to see the guys (3 middle aged men) behind us watching the entire charade. I make eye contact from 150 yards away with one of them. They all pile into they're carts and come flying over the bridge to the hole. During this time I know whats about to happen, so I start preparing in my mind (fake name, lies, etc.) The "leader" jumps out and walks up to our cart as Dino and I get into it (Brett is already up at the next hole waiting for us, btw he's parked slightly on the grass). I'll just give you the entire dialogue as that will be easier:

Prick 1: What's your name?!

Me: [quickly] Scott Peterson. (lie #1)

[Yes, the husband who murdered his pregnant wife and chopped her up]

He apparently doesn't hear me correctly and says:

Prick 1: Scott Peters?

[I didn't feel the need to correct him, as Scott Peters is a perfectly fine name]

Me: Yeah...

Prick 1: You're done for the day you guys head on in to the clubhouse. You've destroyed this golf course...

[Prick 2 starts calling the clubhouse]

Me: Destroyed? I put one divot in one green. (lie #2)

Prick 1: One? Does it look like I have *STUPID* written across my face [points to his forehead, at this point Dino is holding back laughter]. We've been watching you guys all day. I counted 4 [holding up 4 fingers] greens you've ruined.

Me: 4? Do you have a list?

Prick 1: W-w-well... Hole 4! You put 2 BIG divots in the green.

[This is actually not true. I par'd hole 4]

Me: Hole 4? I...

Prick 1: [sarcastically] You know what hole that is?

Me: Yeah, its the par 3 with th creek down the left side... they just finished the green so we don't have to play on temp-greens anymore (temp=temporary). I par'd that hole, I'd have no reason to be upset...

Prick 1: You're gonna pay for all this. You head on up to the clubhouse right now.

Prick 2: I'll follow 'em up there!

Prick 3: [to Brett] You know there's cart paths for a REASON!

Hahaha. I love Prick 3's contribution to the situation...

Me: Okay [at this point I've already got the plan 100% figured out]

The cart return/exit is obviously right next to the parking lot. All we have to do is park the carts, grab our shit, and haul ass to the car. I quickly tell this to Dino, who gets the message in only a few words, "We're getting the fuck out of here, grab your shit while you drive." So as Dino drives closely behind Brett I say to Brett, "Brett, collect all your shit while you drive, then park it, and haul ass to your car, we're leaving."

So we get to the cart rental return area. Park the carts, while the "manager" walks out and says, "I heard you were tearing up the course."
"No, I slammed my club on one hole I was out of line."
"Why'd you do that?"
"I don't know, pure frustration, you know what I mean?"
"Yeah, yeah well don't do it anymore or we're gonna have to ask you to leave."
"Oh I won't, I'm really sorry, I just lost my cool. This game will do that to ya."
"Okay, well good day."

He walked back inside. We grabbed our bags and ran to the car as one of the pricks was approaching the cart area.

On the drive away Brett realized he'd left his glasses in his cart, so he had to go back in and get them from the pro-shop.

I do feel that I was totally out of line, tough. I took it a little too far...

Fun day...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Deuce 9 Poker Classic

Everything about this tournament appeared to be good. The turnout? Great - 12 people (two tables of six). The structure? Nice and slow - should provide a ton of play for the better players later in the tournament. The field? As a whole very soft - should not be difficult to get your hands on some chips early as long as the cards break even for you... Ahhh, that last part turned out to be just a LITTLE bit important for me this time around.

Last month, in the tounrament that I won, I didn't really run *that* good. The cards broke about even, basically when I had the best - I didn't lose... be it with the cards face down for a small pot or face up for an all-in showdown. And, obviously, that is always nice.

-12 People
-$25 buy-in
-10k starting chips (same structure as usual)
-Paying top 3

I have a fun statistic I'll share with you at the end, to avoid any spoilage in your reading experience... so here we go.

Right off the bat my table draw sucked. I draw a table with 4 (including myself) tough players and 2 weak players, while the other table is the inverse with 2 tough players and 4 weak players. Of those 4 tough players at my table, they're all pretty much nits - so it won't be easy to get a hold of a lot of chips at this table. While at the other table, they [the 2 good players] essentianally have 40k in chips that is pretty easy to obtain, while I only have 20k that is easy to get and there's 30k I really have to work for. This wasn't a shootout tourney, I'm just presenting an example of how more chips will be flying at their table than mine.

I don't recall very much happening, for me, during the 25-50 level at my table... besides occasionally limping and mostly folding. I noticed, in between mucking 6-3 off the 500 times I got it this level, that the 2 weak players at my table were playing MUCH worse than I thought they would be. I mean they were playing so bad that if I got any kind of a hand I had a really BIG chance of just doubling up to 20k in a spot where I would normally win a decent sized pot, but nothing too sizable.

Example: During the 25-50 level, 2 players managed to play a 7,000 chip pot on a K-10-9-8-9 board WITH 3 spades (most of it went in on the river) with Player 1 (who had gotten a little low early on) moving all-in on the river for 2500 into a 2000 chip pot and Player 2 calling 2500 (over 1/4 of his stack) with just K-Q off. Player 1 showed the same hand an they split... wow. Just... wow.

I could not get anything going during the first 2 levels and I dwindled down to about 8k (still plenty), stole a few small pots to get it back up to 9k when this hand happened.

Just a note- One of the bad players had been rasing almost every hand, the only 2 times he was re-raised were by Corey (who isn't doing so out of line) who obviously had a hand, but the bad player called anyway. Even if he was out of position, something he probably didn't even understand.

Blinds 75-150:

I'm UTG. I get Q-Q, first real hand of the tournament, I limp for 150 in hopes that he raises just as he has been so I can re-raise and try and trap him for a big pot. Everyone folds to him and he... just calls from the SB - UGH! One time, just raise as you have been! The BB checks. 3-way to a flop, atleast I'm in position.

Flop: (Pot: 450)
Q-4-3, two hearts.

I flop the nuts, top set. Our villian checks, the BB checks, and I make what looks like a typical stab that I usually make at a raggy flop like this. I bet 250. Villian folds, and BB calls 250.

Turn: (Pot: 950)

He bets out 600, it looks like he might have called on a flush draw and is now leading out but I don't have anyway of knowing that. I don't want to raise for 2 reasons:
  1. If I raise, and then he re-raises, I'm in a tough spot. Against most players, if they put in the 3rd raise on the board - they have a flush. But this guy isn't very good, and is liable to re-raise me with a weak 2-pair here, like K-3. So to avoid getting into a guessing game with a BIG hand that would be really really tough to throw away if he moved in over the top I should just call
  2. The second reason is that by just calling I show no strength at all. So say if he does have the flush, and then the board pairs on the end with a 4c, he will most certainly bet to get paid off, and the I can raise almost any amount and he will call it because in his mind there's no way I could have a full house.

So I opted to just calling the 600.

River: 7h, putting four hearts on board.

He checked, I think betting here is stupid as I'm only getting called by something I can't beat, and this guy will likely call me with almost any heart based on the way he plays. I checked.

He showed J-2 with the Jh and won. He called the flop with J-2 high, I don't know why and he probably doesn't either. I dropped to about 6.5k+ after that.

Blinds 100-200:

I had won only a few pots and was slowly sliding downward, I was looking for any oppurtunity to get chips, even if that meant risking slow-playing big hands that could get cracked.

2 people limped in early position for 200. I was in the SB and called 100 more with A-A. Corey raised 500 more to 700 total from the BB, a play that Corey is only making with Q-Q, K-K, A-A, maybe A-K suited. The 2 limpers folded, and I re-raised 1200 more to 1900 total. He reluctantly called, a call he would only make with Q-Q or A-K, he's re-raising with K-K or A-A.

Flop: (Pot: 4200)

Q-5-2, rainbow.

I bet 2200, and he moved me all-in. He can really only have one hand here and that is Q-Q. He knows for a fact that I'm not limp-re-raising him without a HUGE hand pre-flop, so he would naturally be scared with Q-Q and just call pre-flop, as he did. When the flop comes and I lead, he can easily assess that I do indeed have K-K or A-A, so he isn't gonna bluff here with A-K knowing what I have aswell as the fact that I've become pot comitted. The only hand he can have is Q-Q. As tough of a fold as it is, it is actually a pretty standard laydown that I didn't take too much time to do after the whole table thought I was retarded because I mucked "Two Aces, Man!" Corey TOLD me he had Q-Q but didn't show. He never shows, though... so...

I lost another pot after that where I flopped top pair and bet it, the Player from the J-2 hand called with K-9 high with no draw and hit his 3-out King on the turn to win another pot from me.

I entered the final table with 3200 and blinds at 200-400.

I was BB first hand. UTG (chronic limper with shit), everyone folded to the SB (Mr. J-2) who completed (limps with shit aswell). I had K-4 suited. I regret it now for a lot of reasons, but at the time I saw UTG's 400, the SB's 400, and my 400 (BB) sitting out there. I thought that since niether one had raised, they were just limping with air once again, and they would fold to a 2800 chip raise all-in if they just had some suited connectors or something. So I moved in for 2800 more. UTG called. SB folded Deuces.


Bad News. I didn't get lucky and was out.

In hindsight I really hate the play, only because of who were in the hand. If the two limpers had been like... Mike and Corey, I'm picking up that pot most of the time. But the two guys who were in having a much larger group of hands that they deem 'fitting' to call off big portions of their stacks. Don't get this wrong, I'm not saying his call with K-Q was wrong, it wasn't. I would've called there too. I'm saying that he is liable to call me with K-8 suited or A-2 or 3-3 there because that is just the way he plays. I don't think its right but its his style and I failed to realize that when I made the move-in...

Vincent "Mr. J-2" Marino cashed 3rd, and Mike and Don got heads-up with Don taking it down.

I won a little in the cash game afterwards, but not too much.

It was an okay day, I just never caught any breaks or got anything going. I still wonder what COULD have happened if I just check-fold the K-4, pay the SB the next hand, and then I have 6 hands in a row where I don't have to pay blinds and can wait for a hand with my 2600, double it to 5000+... who knows. It may not sound like it, but I am over it. I just wonder what I could've done with my chips seeing as I am without ANY doubt the best short-stack player in that room.

There's always next time I guess...

Saturday, July 7, 2007

MTT Homegame: Part 5

Before everything else:

I got two new hats from Lids, I really like them... that is all.

--Resume Blog--

The same set-up as the past... although, its been pretty much a rotating cast. Which has its pros and cons, I'm getting good tournament experiecne by not playing against the same people every time (much like tournaments I will be playing when I'm older) but this intern makes it a TAD bit tougher early on... but not much because of the softness of the field. If it was a tougher field it would be better training, but less profitable. And the main goal right now is building a bankroll, so I'll go with the profitability anyday, because when it comes down to it thats what poker is all about - making money. Thats why we keep score with it.

Before I get started I will say that I don't like the payout structure for this homegame. $100 buy-in, 18 people and they pay top 4. I really feel that thy should pay top 3, but its not my game so I let it go. Although, I did mention it to the host, he obviously just wants to make MORE people happy by paying an extra spot.

Anyway, here we go:

Did I tell you these players suck? Oh, well if you forgot.

First hand:

Donk min-raises to 60 UTG, a couple folds to MP Donkey who moves in for 1500!!! with A-K, gets called by player on his left with A-9, folds around to SB who calls 2 al-ins on the first hand with K-Q?!?!mA-K manages to hold on for the early TRIPLE UP! And we're all 2 places closer to the win...

Do these people care about $100 - obviously not!

Very next hand, the guy on my right bluffs off all of his stack excpet 200 with 3-2 vs. some crazy player with top pair. He went out shortly after, so we had already lost 3 players from my table this early on - WOW!

I spent most of time folding early on and watching these guys build HUGE pots with mid pair, or a flush draw, or top pair weak kicker... yeah, it was that juicy.

The great thing about these players is that they played their cards... and thats it! They didn't care that I was folding every hand. If I finally came in for a raise (obvisously a big hand - duh) and they had a 'good' hand (good in THEIR minds) they were ready to go off for a huge pot.

The bad thing is that I didn't get any big hands to do this with... so I sat there folding and folding and folding. My 7-3, 8-4, 5-2, 9-5 wave of hands just wouldn't stop. We lost another player during all this - 4 players! Jeeze.

I lost a small pot with 10's when the flop came King high, one of the few tight players bet, I mucked and he flashed K-Q to the table.

I had dwindled down to about 1000. Then...

With the blinds at 30-60, 6 handed at my table:

The CO raised to 180, the button called, the SB folded, and I made what I feel was kind of a loose call with Kh-9h from the BB for 120 more. I just felt that if I could flop a hand these guys would pay off BIG.

Flop: Ac-9s-4s
(Pot: 570)

I checked, CO checked, Button checked.

Turn: 9c
(Pot: 570)

Gin! No free cards with 2 flush draws on board. I bet 300, CO folded, Button called.

River: 7s
(Pot: 1,070)

I checked, he bet 400, it didn't add up. Unlikely he has the spade draw and checked the flop the way HE was playing (this was the AK-guy from the 1st hand of the tourney), so I called. He had A-Q off and I won a nice pot.

I picked up 2 decent pots with A-K after that where I raised, got called, missed the flop, continuation bet and picked it up.

I entered the final table with about 2,900 and 50-10 blinds so I was "okay", but it was obviously now a waiting game from early position (to pick up a hand) and a stealing game in late position (to pick up the blinds with minimum risk and maximum profitability).

With the blinds at 80-160 and 2,100 in chips:

It folded to the chip leader on the button who min-raised to 320 (an obvious AND poorly executed steal play, he's trying to steal the blinds cheaply... very cheaply... as cheaply as possible). SB folded and I woke up with A-K in the BB. This is obviously a standard re-raise vs. a weak button raise. I made it 1k total, leaving myself 1,100 behind. I did this because I wanted action from weaker hands. He just CALLED my re-raise. So now I'm super committed and will be mving in for the rest on almost any flop. The flop came Ten-high, I moved in and he thought FOREVER before finally folding.

I've got about 3,600 now. With 100-200 blinds:

Folds around to the button who limps, I complete from the SB with A-Q, BB checks.

Flop: Ad-Tc-7c
(Pot: 600)

Draw heavy board, no free cards. I bet 400, BB calls quickly. Button folds.

I put him on 9-8 so I thought, "NO JACK OR SIX!"

Turn: Jh
(Pot: 1400)

Yuck. I checked. He bet 1400 (the pot), I thought for a few seconds and folded it face up. I just couldn't make a case for calling such a big portion of my stack in a spot where I felt strongly that I was beat. So anyway I mucked face up and said, "9-8?" He kindly showed me 9-8 off and I felt a little better.

That left me with 3k, I built that up to 3.7k where I hovered for a while. I was just stealing pots in position due to the lack of any real action in my 'hand department'... but we were on the money bubble with 150-300 blinds. So basically anything can happen with these blinds and these stacks. The reason for the crap-shoot so early is that one Guy was sitting on all the chips at this point (Like 11k). So they weren't spread out as evenly as usual. One guy was folding every hand and only had about 1200 so not exactly the best strategy as he won't last very long doing this with 200-400 blinds. BUT he ends up squeeking into the money with 700 in chips.

So now we're in the money, and I've got about 6k with 200-400 blinds just from sharing the role of table thief with my new buddy Mr. Big Stack.

The chip leader, other mid-stack, and the tiny tiny stack play a Big multi-way all-in pot. The mid-stack doubles up to 10k, busting the short stack, and leaving the previous chip leader with about 10k.

With the blinds at 250-500 and only about 4500 in chips. The button folded, I had A-8 in the SB. This is a standard move in with only 9 BB's. Unfortunately, the BB woke up with 10-10 and I didn't hit an Ace. Out in 3rd...

Cashed for $360 in 3rd Place.

Making this my 4th cash out of 5 visits to this homegame - pretty incredible.

I have a 1st, 2nd, and two 3rd's.

I'm feeling really good about how I'm playing and confidence is so huge in this game.

I wil be playing in the Deuce 9 Poker Classic on July 14th, there should be 2 full tables much like this tournament - except it will have a really good structure, unlike this one. I'm going into that tournament with a lot of confidence so I feel really good about how I'll do. I will obviously blog about it afterwards, rain or shine.

I will also be golfing with some friends on Sunday, I may blog about that if its worthwhile to talk about.

I'm out...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Deuce 9 Summer Poker Open

Finally! The Deuce 9 is (pretty much) back to the way it used to be. A minimum of a full table STT (single table tournament) with a shot at a decent occasional MTT (multi-table tournament).

9 people showed up (which is good, GREAT considering the recent attendance problems), $25 buy-in, top 3 get payed, 10k starting chips with 20 minute levels and a blind schedule that closely resembled that of the WSOP Main Event's (a link to that schedule is posted in a past post titled January Tourney that was posted (duh!) in January...

As I had planned going in to the tournament, things (for me) went slow early on. I was very critical on myself that I would NOT bluff off a bunch of chips when you just don't need to. The blinds start out at 25-50 and you have 200 BBs with your 10k starting chips. You don't need to be stealing tons of pots until later... there's just NO equity in going crazy by firing 3 bullets at a pot to pick up, what, 300 in chips... which is like dirt when you consider how big the pots will be later on that are actually worth stealing.

So I limped a bit, folded a lot, and raised rarely just trying to get a feel for how the table was going to be playing, which in my opinion was pretty good for guys who play casually a couple times a month. So at a table like this there was no reason to get out of line, just play ABC... well, ABC kinda limits me to a nitty style, so lets go with playing ABCDE style, hahaha.

I turned a small profit (like 1k-1.5k) in the first level, which is very good.

With the blinds at 50-100 I played a pot in which I feel I played a hand VERY poorly and felt sick about it afterwards.

It was folded to me in the CO (cut-off, 1 off the button) and I limped in with A-T (T = Ten). The button folded, Corey limped from the SB and Tommy checked the BB.

Flop: (Pot: 300)

Corey checked, Tommy bet 200, I called, Corey folded.

Turn: (Pot: 700)

Tommy bet 600, I called.

River: (Pot: 1900)

Tommy bet 1000, I felt like he had either the nuts or a weaker Ace (like A-8 was the one hand that I put him on), I made a crying call, and he showed Q-7, I mucked. Next hand...

Still in the 50-100 level:

I limp in MP (middle position) for 100 with 9-9. No raises, and we saw a 4 way flop.

Flop: (Pot: 400)

The SB (Danny) bet 200, I min-raised to 400 only becuase I had very little respect for his game and thought he was a fish who would call a min-raise with a weak hand... he called. Lol. But seriously, I speak the absolute truth here, I'm not gonna sugarcoat it, at this point in time I tought very little of his game (after the tourney I think he played alright, and he's an okay player in general). So anyway, he called the 200 more.

Turn: (Pot: 1200)

Danny checks, I bet 800, he calls.

River: (Pot: 2800)

Danny checks, I bet 2000, he calls with A-J and loses. Next hand...

During the 75-150 level:

It folds to me in late position (I was 2 off the button) and I just limped in for 150 with K-K. Corey limped in on the button, Tommy completed the SB, and Don checked the BB.

Okay, not what I was hoping for, but whatever, play the hand...

Flop: (Pot: 600)
J-9-8, two spades

Gross! Thats the nastiest flop I could see. Tommy bets 300, I just call to keep the pot small, all others fold.

Turn: (Pot: 1200)

Tommy bets 500, I call just trying to get to the showdown as cheaply as possible.

River: (Pot: 2200)

Tommy bets 500, I made it 1500 total because I was 100% sure he had a Jack. He called with J-T.

So now, I'm actually starting to build a stack here. It feels good to just grind, grind, grind and see the outcome be successful. Much better feeling than playing some huge coin flip for a big stack.

Don't recall too much from the next 3 levels, kinda went card dead and just stole occasionally (or randomly picked up a hand [BTW Don, that hand where you thought I was using my image to 'make a play' I had A-K... so you were a little off] when I needed to steal blinds) in order to keep my stack afloat over 10k. Somewhere during these levels Brendon decided to donk off 10k in chips with 10's before the flop, hahaha. Sawyer had K-K and basically busted him. He got bad beated for his last 800 chips vs. Don. (A-J vs. Ah-3h, Don went heart-heart to bust him). Also, right before this hand Don went broke to Sawyer on a Q-J-5 flop, Don went all-in for A LOT with K-Q and Sawyer called A LOT with K-T (an open-ender!!!???)... Turn = Ace. So gross, so now Sawyer had a shit load of chips.

During the 300-600 level:
(What I feel was the most important pot for me of the night, its what sticks out when I think of the tournament as a whole.)

Sawyer limps UTG, I raise to 1500 with Ad-Jd (d = diamond), Corey calls on the button (kinda scary), Danny (who was really short stacked, I mean like 2 BBs) went all-in from the BB for 2.6k total.

Sawyer called 2k more, I had to call 1.1k to win like 7k so I called, and Corey called 1.1k more as well. 4 ways to a flop with one guy all-in.

Flop: (Pot: 10,700)

Sawyer checks, I check, Corey checks.

Turn: (Pot: 10,700)

Sawyer bets 1500 into a DRY side pot, I smooth call with the nuts, Corey folds Ac-Kc face up.

River: (Pot: 10,700) (Side Pot: 3000)

Sawyer bets 2500, I raise to 5500, he calls with A-Q and loses. Danny is out.

That was a BIG pot for me. Before that pot I was in the grind-zone and was constantly floating in between 12k and 18k. Now, I was comfortably sitting on over 30k. 50 BBs at the time, which is a lot that late in a STT.

Corey busted Will in 5th, and then shortly after busted Kurt in 4th to grab the chip lead, but not by too much. We were now in the money, Sawyer, Corey, and myself.

Blinds 500-1000:

We traded blinds for a few hands. Then...

Corey limped for 1k on the button, Sawyer raised to 4.5k from the SB, I woke up with K-K and thought if I just moved in Sawyer would call me with a zillion different hands that I had crushed. I shoved all-in over the top, Corey folded, and Sawyer insta-called. He had J-J. Cooler for him. God given gift for me. The flop had a Jack in it... but a King too (A-K-J). He missed the miracle, and I was heads-up with Corey with a slight chip lead. We each had about 40-50 BBs so we had A LOT of chips to play with, which was nice.

At the beginning of heads-up play, I don't know what the fuck was going on! It seemed like either he was getting hit by the deck or totally outplaying me, because I couldn't win a pot. If I bet, he raised. If I raised, he re-raised. It was sick. Thank God the stacks were deep enough, otherwise I might have been busted really fast. I got my head straight and calmed my crazy brain down and then everything just started flowing. I won a big pot with K-K, where he flopped a Jack and did all the betting for me.

Then he started playing very aggressive again, and that style of play combined with my total card drought at the time left him with about 3-1 chip lead on me and the blinds going up to 1k-2k wasn't that good either, as there was not much room for error (ie. bad calls, etc.) anymore.

With the blinds at 1k-2k and me only having 24k:

I limped in with A-4 from the SB, he checked to a flop.

Flop: (Pot: 4000)

Corey bet 3k, I made it 10k total, he moved all-in. I didn't want to call but I had put so much in already, plus I felt like he had 1 of 3 hands:

1) 9-6, I'm in pretty bad shape not much else to say.

2) 8-7, I wouldn't be surprised to see him make this play.

3) A-5, Even though its technically ahead, I split the pot against A-5 about 70% of the time, so...

Like I said, I'm so pot comitted I had to call, I didn't like it but I did. Fortunately he showed 8-7 and he bricked out. Now we're back to even in chips.

I made a few good reads here and there (call downs with mid-pair, etc.) that were right and before I knew it I had exaclty 70k to Corey's exactly 20k.

With the blinds at 1k-2k and the above chip counts:

I got 7-7 in the SB and moved Corey all-in, he called fast with A-8, and we had a race for all the marbles... well, all of his marbles.

The flop was gross... Q-9-5 all diamonds, Corey had a diamond so now he's got a bunch of outs. Any Ace, 8, or diamond.

Turn - 4c
River - 9h

I win.

I really enjoyed the entire tournament and can't wait until the next one... although the next time we play will probably be a cash game (I wonder how many people will play in that? I hope a bunch like that one we had last summer)...

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

MTT Homegame: Part 4

I had been playing pretty sharp going into this tournament, so I had high expectations from the start.

Same details as usual. If you don't recall it, it is under several other posts of similar titles.

The action was fast early. Second hand in just about everyone limped to me in the BB (I checked rags), some whack-o went broke with Top Pair-3 kicker vs. Top Two. Some Chicago White Sox fan was the beneficiary of that present.

Three hands after that we have a 3-way all-in on a flop of A-7-4. One guy's got A-T, one guy's got A-4, and one guy's got A-7. The board bricked out, and the guy with A-7 (Some college kid in a Dogtown T-shirt) won a 4,000 chip pot.

I played REALLY tight positional poker, because I knew if I flopped a hand, I'd win a big pot. But until then I wanted to keep the pots small and try to side step the land mines when I had marginal hands.

I won played like 3-4 pots during the 15-30 level, and won 2 of them. A small pot with Qd-9d and small one with 6-6 on a 3-2-2 flop.

I played a pot with K-9 that was interesting.

2 guys limped in late position, and I checked from the BB (with K-9 off).

9-6-2, two hearts

SB bets small, I flat call, Button also calls.


SB bets the pot, I put him on a strong hand, it felt like maybe a straight or small flush... so I folded. The button flat called.


SB bets small, Button min-raises, SB calls.

SB: 10c-7c for the straight
Button: Ah-5h for the nut flush

Very next hand, it folds around to me in the SB, I limp in with A-8 off, BB thinks for a while and then checks.


I check, he bets 80 (the pot), I flat call the 80.


I check, He checks

[ I'm putting him on a hand like Q-J/K-J. ]

River: (Pot: 300)

I bet 300 because I thought he'd pay off a larger bet with his Jack, he called and mucked showing a Jack.

So that got me up to over 2,000. Where I floated around for a little while. I'd steal a pot here, make a small bluff there, and I broke about even during the whole 25-50 level... mostly folding, though. Just waiting for a big hand where I knew these guys would double me up. (Especially one of the big stacks).

It finally came, but was against a guy who had a stack about my size.

We're playing 5-handed on the final table bubble with 50-100 blinds (I've got about 1900)

I had A-K off OTB (on the button). 2 guys limped in early position for 100. I made it 450 total. Everyone folds except 1 guy.

A-Q-4, two clubs

He shoves all-in, I call.

He has As-8s.


He's drawing dead and I've got about 3500 in chips going into the final table. (35 BBs is not bad for an event like this).

At the final table, I won a decent pot with 8-8 on a 6-5-2 flop when noone called my 400 bet.

Very next hand I get 9-9 in early position, and limp for 100. A couple others follow suit, and Dogtown makes it 1,100 total. I fold, because with my stack I don't need to (best case scenario) flip a coin for my tournament life.

7-Handed at the final table there was a BIG pot.

2 Short Stacks got all-in and we're called by BOTH big stacks (Dogtown and White Sox) and were both knocked out by Dogtown's Kd-Qd (pretty loose call on his part, but that was his middle name). So now we're on the money bubble.


With the blinds at 80-160, I raised to 480 UTG (under the gun) with A-Q off. White Sox insta-called on my left. And we saw a flop 2-ways...

Flop: (Pot: 1200)
A-9-6, two diamonds

This not a time when I wanna keep the pot small, there are a lot of draws on that flop and I want him to pay for them. I bet the pot, 1200, and he calls.


I move in for my last 1k and change, he calls with A-5 off (WOW!) and misses his 3-outer.

I'm up to 5.5k.

Next hand I call a guy on the turn with nothing because I felt weakness, I bluffed the river after he checked and I was over 6k in chips with 100-200 blinds (Pretty DAMN deep stacked for a crapshoot like this)...

A little later I pick up J-J, 1 guy limps in early position, I make it 900 total. Dogtown calls, all others fold.

Flop: (Pot: 2,200)
J-10-8, rainbow

He checks, I bet 1400, he folds. Now I'm the chip leader with a little over 7k.

I go a little card dead, and dwindle down to about 6.5k, but I'm picking my spots well and playing pretty cautiously, just wating for another good spot to bust somebody. I don't need to get creative against these kinds of players becasue they won't understand any cute moves I try and pull. You can just wait for solid hands and they'll give you action with weaker ones. So that is my game plan vs. these guys.

Over the next few hands, I start catching cards (Top Pair with a flush draw, K-K, etc), but noone else is. Thats actually not bad, though, because I'm perfectly fine picking up all the dead money every hand since the blinds are so high. I built my stack up over 8k during this time period with the blinds at 200-400. But dwindled down to the 6k range after a few pots here and there (with the blinds as high as they are, my standard raise is 1200 so its not hard to lose a couple thousand).

With the blinds at 250-500, we were STILL 5-handed on the money bubble. Until White Sox got a guy all in with A-2 off, the short stack showed A-Q, and of course the flop came 4-2-2. So we were finally in the money.

The blinds were eating away at my stack so bad, and I couldn't steal a single pot as White Sox and Dogtown were making huge raises EVERY hand. So if I could just pick up a hand, I'd be GREAT! But it was 8-3, 6-2, J-3, 8-4 over and over. White Sox had like 15k as he showed a pocket pairs/big cards like every pot.

The short stack got all-in with 5-5 vs. Dogtown's K-J. He flopped a 5, but Dogtown went runner-runner to make a straight and we were 3 handed, with me having almost NO CHIPS.

I shoved with Kc-9c, OF COURSE, White Sox has 8-8 and calls. Lucky for me I rivered a King! :) But I was still REALLY low on chips! :(

Next hand, I shove the button with Q-Q, White Sox beats me into the pot with A-4 off. He misses and I'm up to 8k.

Two hands later, White Sox shoves the button. I wake up with A-Q in the BB and call. He has Ad-6d.

A-J-7, two diamonds.




FUCK! One Time let me fade it... bullshit.

I'm out in 3rd, after playing so good and building my way back into SERIOUS contention.

White Sox went all-in EVERY hand heads-up because he thought thats how you're supposed to play ("What? That's what happens on TV...") and Dogtown picked him off a couple times to win it.

As usual, I gave no bad beats and got my money in good all but once (in which case I was even money and the blinds forced the hand to occur), but ended up going broke when I got it in as a 3.5 to 1 favorite... boo hoo me! ;)

I've played in this tournament 4 times now and I've faired pretty well:

March - 1st Place (+$720) - My Hands Held Up
April - 2nd Place (+$540) - Bad Beat
May - Didn't Cash (-$100) - Coolers Galoure
June - 3rd Place (+$360) - Bad Beat

So overall I've done VERY well in this game, and I hope to continue doing so...

I should have a New Blog up this weekend, after I play with my friends on Saturday Night.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Little Live Play with Friends

I played a little bit of live poker with my friends this weekend. Not anything BIG or exciting, but basically intended to be fun, while practice at the same time. We played two turbo-SNG-esque tournaments back to back. I felt like "overall" I played VERY well... unfortunately I spent all of my time "playing well" on the short stack... ugh! I must admit, I am a GREAT short stack player, and its not really from me constantly being on a short stack in tournaments, because thats just not true... especially the way I play. Its mainly due to the fact that A LOT of my tournament experience is online, where you hardly ever have chips to play with... you're almost always low on chips compared to the blinds. So, you get the point.

6 People
10k in chips
15 minute levels

Not the structure we usually use, but based on the low turnout of people I decided to just play two turbo-tourneys rather than one long well structured one (which I would have preferred).

-Game 1-

I was playing just how I wanted to, seeing flops cheaply with "fun hands" and keeping the pots small/stealing orphan pots. Everything was going well and then...

With the blinds at 50-100, a semi-loose limper just limped in up front for 100. Two people limped behind him in position, SB folded and I was in the BB with Qh-Qd. In my opinion, raising here is wrong.
A) The blinds are low enough that, if I put in a raise devised to "take down the pot right now", it will have to be fairly big, like 800-900, maybe even 1k. Which is far to much to be raising with the stacks as deep as they are.
B) I'm going to be out of position the whole hand if just ONE of them calls the raise, which is kind of likely since there are three of them... I mean realistically ONE of them will probably try to see a flop if I raise.
C) Much like above, it is realistic to believe that I will be seeing a flop anyway, so why not just try and keep the pot small, all the while disguising the strength of my hand in case one of them does hit weakly (like they have 9-8 and flop a weak top pair on a 9-5-2 flop, etc.) I'll get payed off.

So I did, what I felt was the best play, and checked.

The flop was junk:
10-7-5, rainbow
(Pot: 450)

I led at the pot for 350. The semi-loose gy from up front min-raised to 700, and everyone else folded around to me. Well, it certainly looks like an information raise with a Kinda-Strong-Ten. He wants to find out if his J-10 or Q-10 is good based on what I do. Now I know evrything there is to know about info-raises (even though I don't even use them that much), so if I re-raise he's gonna put me on some goofy BB hand for 2-pair and if I flat call he'll feel like his Ten is probably good. So I flat called, let him think his Ten is good, that way he'll keep leading at the pot [with the worst hand] for me.

(Pot: 1850)

I check, to keep in line with the story of the info-raise flat call of "I'm weak, you keep betting your Ten and I'll just pay you off." He checks. Which I kind of expected him to do on that turn if he had like J-10 or Q-10.

(Pot: 1850)

I felt that I had the best hand, even with the two overs, so I value bet it hoping he'd make a bad call with a Ten. I bet small small hoping he could call it, 500. He makes it 2500 total! Wow! There isn't a hand I can beat, so I guess he got lucky with A-10 or K-10, I fold. He shows me Qs-Qc... LOL! Haha, give him credit for the raise... it is semi-dumb/stupid/risky and everything else, but it worked. Nice Hand, sir.

I kinda floated around even as I couldn't really get anything going, but boy oh boy could Mr. Qs-Qc, he might have won EVERY pot he played. NO JOKE. I know sometimes poker players say, "Dude, that guy won every pot." But I'm fairly sure that he actually won about every pot he played... it wasn't funny. He was buildning a huge stack after he busted 2 players in the same in what I thought was a VERY VERY loose call of 2 all-ins with A-K off. I mean there was just NO WAY A-K was good there, but of course he cracked 10-10 and Q-Q when he flopped a King.

With the blinds at 200-400 and about 9k in chips and 4-handed. I got Q-Q in the SB, made it 1200 to go. Got 1 caller (The guy who's running really hot)

10-9-2 rainbow
(Pot: 2800)

I contiune with a lead for 2000, he calls.

4d (puts 2 diamonds on the board)
(Pot: 6800)

I only have about 6200 and I'm 100% sure he has a Ten or worse. The pot is big enough for me to move in, so I do so. I was shocked when he made the call with Jd-8d... only a draw (albeit a good one, but not one you'd call off 1/3 of your chips with and only one card to come). Of course...

The river came a:

I'm out. :(

The card rack went on to win, and at the end of the tournament he had eliminated all of his 5 opponents... wow!

-Game 2-

I don't remeber much of how it happened, but I was short stacked the whole time during this one. I don't mean I had like 5-6k after 3 levels. I mean I bluffed off like 9k in the first level... hahaha. They were really well orchastrated but people were just making dumb calls against me with weak hands that are almost never good. Anyway, while on the shortstack I just kept chopping and chopping but it was only keeping me afloat, it wasn't getting me anywhere. I think the most I got my chips up to was like 5k, and that was with high blinds (so the chips were easier to get a hold of as there were more of them being anted and posted). I ended up going broke during the 600-1200 (w/ 200 ante) level with 8-5 os vs. K-4 os. He flopped a King and I was all but out...

Not a good showing, but I can honestly say that I didn't play very well in the second one and I knew that as I was playing in it. I wasn't focused, or applied... probably based on the stakes of play but still I'm mad I didn't put foward my best effort. I should of tried harder and layed off of the bluffs but I was just trying to have a good time with my friends... haha.

Thats all for now, I should have another one up soon...

Friday, May 11, 2007

MTT Homegame: Part 3

Same one I've been going to for 2 months now.

-$100 buy-in
-18-20 people
-1500 in chips and 15-30 blinds to start


Mostly new people at my table, only knew one guy, the pre-flop action was fast and furious early on = no limping for me, at least not as much as I'd like.

I didn't play a hand for a while early on. It had some to do with all of the new players, but more to do with the cold run of cards - which is okay, it happens.

With the blinds at 20-40 and about 1400 in chips, the following hand occurred:
(first hand of the tournament that I had played, boy was it foreshadowing)

Guy in early position limped in, a couple folds, a guy in middle position limps in, couple folds to me in the CO with Kh2h (Not a good hand at all, but I was fairly sure the button, who was a rock, was folding behind me so I'd have position the whole hand at the very least), he did fold, SB limped in, and BB checked.

5 players see a flop of:
Ac - Kc - Ks
(Pot: 200)

SB checked, BB checked, Early position limper bets 200, middle position player folds, I just flat call the 200 (for a couple reasons**), SB folds, BB folds.

[** - He's obviously betting a decent amount (the pot) to protect a good hand, how good? I don't know. He could be betting A-J thinking its the best hand trying to protect it from a flush draw. Or he could have limped with a hand like K-Ts or K-9s and I'm crushed. If I make the popular information raise to find out where I'm at, it would cost about 600 to do that (call his 200 + a 400 or so raise). Instead, if I just flat call his 200 on the flop, I'll probably be faced with a 400 bet on the turn, which I'll probably have to flat call. Now, I'd be at the river for a total cost of... 600. If I made the information raise to 600 on the flop, I'd still be all the way back there. Instead I've made all the way to the river for the same amount. How did I achieve this? I KEPT THE POT SMALL! Pot control is such an important part of NLHE, and too many people forget that... if you ask me, that is the number one mistake amateurs make. Its right up there with over-valuing hands.]

(Pot: 600)

Early position player shoves all in for over 1,100. (Bad, bad poker. Betting 1,100+ to win 600. "Trying to protect my hand" is not an excuse for that bet. You can protect your hand by betting the pot - 600. But lets not forget, I'm not playing with pros here...)

I can't call this bet. His bet screams, "I have a marginal King, you have a flush draw, get the hell out, I'm happy with taking down the pot right now!" I thought for a minute, but I wasn't calling. I mucked, next hand... He told me he had a King and he seemed sincerely honest about it, but who knows.

So now my blood's pumping! I'm not steaming, but I'm certainly awake now. Everyone folds to me in the hijack (2 from the button), and I make 120 to go with the Ks-Ts. Everyone folds to the BB who calls the 80 more.

2 Players to a flop of:
Kh - 4c - 2h
(Pot: 260)

BB checks, I bet 160, He moves in for 1,190... [rolling eyes] (again, what a joke. I make it 160, he makes it 1k more... BAD poker, just bad equity. Risking like 1,190 for a 400 pot. A reasonable raise would have been like 300 more to 460 total... /end rant)

Long story short, I have a gut feeling he is making a play against me since he just saw me make a BIG lay down the hand before, but there's noway I can call off my tournament with top pair ten kicker after I've been check-raised all in by what appears to be a solid-tight player. I muck, next hand...

After those 2 hits I was down to about 900 of my original 1500. Which is GREAT, considering the two hands that just occurred... more so the first one.

Going into this hand the blinds were 25-50, so with 900 and change I'm getting near the 'blood red danger zone'. Everyone folds around to the guy from the 'K-2 Hand' who limps in for 50, folds around to me in the SB and I complete the 25 with 8c-7c, BB min-raises 50 more, we both call.

3 Players going to a flop of:
8d - 8h - 4h
(Pot: 300)

BINGO! Right? I'm gonna get right back in this thing, right?

I check (I wasn't too worried about the hearts, you can't shit you pants over every possible draw... just because there's a draw doesn't mean your opponent has it.)
BB bets 300, middle position guy shoves all in and immediately looks back at his cards... then looks back at the top one only for the 2nd time in 2 seconds... [rolling eyes, jaw dropping]
WOW! Are you serious? I'm not worried about the BB, I'm sure he's just making a continuation bet with air, and even if he does have a hand its probably an over pair (which I'm crushing). Its the same guy that's got my head spinning. How could he NOT have an 8 after coming over the top like that and then doing all that looking back and shit??? Could I possibly open fold (fold w/o putting any money in the pot, which I haven't, I checked and all this shit happened behind me) 8-7 on an 8-8-4 flop??? I think I have to. I feel like 90% sure he has an 8... and like 10% sure he has 4's full... LOL. I think forever and muck it. The BB folds and All-In McGee shows Q-8 off.

That's right, he limped from middle position with Q-8 off, then called a raise, and then cost himself a huge pot by just shoving in (if he flat calls the BB's 300, I'm shoving in over the top).

I felt like jumping up and screaming, "I can dodge bullets, baby!" But I controlled myself. That open fold left me with around 800. I tried to fight my way back carefully with no chips and no cards, but ultimately busted when I shoved Ah-Jh into 5-5 and lost the coin flip.

It was my first poor showing in that tournament. Out of the 3 visits, I've got a 1st, 2nd, and a goose egg... not bad.

Its hard to win tournaments when you have to keep making BIG lay downs, and I sure made my share of those. Any top pro will tell you that, and that goes for the deep stack tournaments that they play in, let alone some SNG that starts the players with 50 x BB. I was destined to do poorly this time around, if any other player there would have had my seat they would have been felted 3 times in the first 3 levels... BIG lay downs look cool when you watch people make them, but no one enjoys making them personally...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

MTT Homegame: Part 2

Same one from last month, that I took down for $720. They have one every month so I'm gonna start going every time.

Same set up, 1500 in chips, 15-30 blinds, $100 buy-in, pay top 4, yada, yada, yada.

I will continue to advocate that these are possibly the worst players I've ever seen.

First hand I'm in the BB with Ac-5c. Everyone folds to the button who limps, SB limps, I check. I flop the world. Ah-Ad-9h. I lead out because I won't get credit for an Ace most of the time, and plus there's a possible flush draw out, so I bet 60. Button calls, SB folds. Turn is a 3c, I bet 150, He calls. River is a 2d, I bet 200, he calls with J-9 claiming that he, "Couldn't put me on an Ace because I didn't raise before the flop..." Apparently these guys expect someone to raise with A-5... lol. A few hands in I fired 2 bullets at a pot, but gave up and didn't fire a 3rd on the river... it was a shame because I don't think he was calling another bet as he checked behind on the river(he called me down with bottom pair, Deuces... heh, good read?).

I proceeded to chop away, just picking up tiny pots here and there, overall playing pretty close to the vest, as my table was kinda loose. I won a decent sized pot with 10-10. Someone made a decent raise before the flop, I just flat called hoping to improve (ie. set) and felt him, 2 others called so the pot was kinda big going to the flop. It came Q-Q-5 flop, everyone checked. Turn was a blank, and I picked it up with a feeler bet on 4th street.

The host added in a few 'breaks' in between a few of the levels. Some of the guys smoked, pissed, maybe even took shits during them, idk... All I know is, going into the first break (after 3 Levels of play, 15-30, 20-40, & 25-50) I had a decent stack of about 2,500. Mostly from just stealing small pots here and there. As reckless as these guys were, they didn't go real crazy after the flop with air. I mean they'd stick in all their money with K-J before the flop, but they'd fold fold fold if they didn't hit the flop, leaving tons of orphan pots for me to take.

Shortly after the break with the blinds at 30-60, I picked up A-A in early position. I thought about limping (I certainly would have earlier on since they were playing so fast) but the table seemed to be slowing down so I opened for 180 (3 x BB of 60). Got one caller from the blinds. Flop was Ks-Q-10s, he checked, I bet, he called. Turn 6. He checked, I bet, he called. At this point he's totally commited most of his stack to this pot (I'm guessing an open-ender with a Jack or a flush draw). River 3h, he checks, I bet, he folds. He claimed to have J-10. Either way he had very little left. He shoved the button a few hands later and I woke up with Q-Q in the BB and busted him.

We got down near the final table bubble, I lost about 2k with A-K when I could've gone broke if I would have re-raised before the flop. I got away from it on the turn and still had 2500 left with 50-100 blinds. The flop was A-5d-4d with two diamonds, I bet, got called, turn was a 6d, I bet, he raised all in, and I had to let A-K go.

The action was fucking HARDCORE at the final table. I mean 3dr hand in there's a 3-way all in between 8-8, Q-Q, and Ac-K. Flop comes 8-high all clubs. Mr. 8-8 jumps up! Turn is a club and Mr. A-K (w/ the Ac) jumps up! River pairs the board and Mr. 8-8 wins a 9k pot...

I folded almost every hand (I can't steal pots when someone is all in every hand before the flop) and its not like I'm getting cards to play with 'em... and the blinds are totally dictating the action. I finally win a hand... with 5s-2s. I made the wheel on the turn, got a few bets out of an Ace, but he was the only other good player at the table so he didn't go crazy with it... a bit of a shame, a double up would've been nice.

With the blinds at a MASSIVE 100-200, and an average stack of 2500 it obviously became a bit of a crap shoot (okay, lets not kid around it became a total crap shoot)... oddly enough, we were STILL 9-handed. No one would go broke. I mean there were 3-way all ins every hand... and the worst hand just kept winning to double up. The guy on my right was the worst... his cards were face up just about every hand before the flop, yet he kept pulling it out. He finally busted someone and we were down to 8. Then I got nearly all-in with A-Q on a A-5-3 flop against A-9 and busted him. Then there were 7.

Okay, this next hand may frighten small children. If they are in the room please remove them.

Blinds are 120-240

Crazy guy on my right limps UTG for 240 (which means nothing, except that he knew it was his turn to act). I pick up J-J and make 1k straight, I'd like to just pick up the pot, but with these blinds I have no problem getting it all in against this guy. He juts calls the 1k. Flop is Q-9-5. He checks, my stack is about the size of the pot so I just move in, thinking that *this* guy would most likely bet a Queen. He thinks and then calls kinda fast. UH-OH. Here it comes he's gonna show me Q-8 or some shitty Queen like that. Nope. He tables the old 8-5 suited. No miracle and I double up to about 7k... I sat there for a few seconds while staking my chips thinking, "Wow. I should have 3,000 in chips with 150-300 blinds around the corner. I should be worried about when to make my move... yet for some odd reason I'm stacking 7k in chips... huh???"

Then we went on the last break. I had roughly 7k which put me 2nd in chips, 2nd only to Mr 8-8 from earlier (but he only had like 8.5k, so it was close). Everyone else was playing jockey to try and make the money with their 2k stacks and 150-300 blinds. I felt like I should just lock up the shop for a while while these guys took turns shoving in 2k each hand before the flop... so I did. I only raised about 1 hand per round so that I could keep re-couping my blinds from each round and basically stay afloat at 7k. I got a short stack all in with AQ vs Q-9, but he flopped a 9-ball and took my for about 2k. So I dropped to about 5.5k with 200-400 blinds.

Then I busted a super short stack with K-3 vs A-9, turned a King. Couple hands later I raised UTG with Q-Q, a short stack shoved with A-6 and I busted him. Down to 5, on the money bubble with 10k in chips and a good shot at a repeat performance... blinds go up to 250-500.

The crazy guy on my right finally bubbles and we're in the money. Which is pretty minimal, like I mentioned last time... I wanna win. I've got like 12k and the nearest guy has about 6k, so I'm feeling good, but still he's only one double up away from switching stacks with me so I'm gonna be playing very smart poker.

Mr. 8-8 busts a guy in 4th. So now its down to Mr. 8-8 (14k), Mr. Q-9 (1k), and myself (11k). Next hand Mr. Q-9 gets checked out and I'm HU with Mr. 8-8 about even in chips. After about 5-10 minutes I chop him down to about 8km while I've got 18k. Then it happened...

Blinds 500-1000. I limp in from the SBw with A-9, he checks to a A-J-3 flop with 2 clubs. He shoves all-in, I can't see how I can fold, I call and he shows Jc-9. His 9 is dead, so he needs a Jack or running clubs... club, club! That stung! So now he's got 16k to my 10k. Ican tell he's getting tired off this and the difference between 1st and 2nd is about $250. With the blinds at 500-1000 and our stacks being 16k and 10k, I don't wanna flip coins for $250. So I proposed a chop. We add up the 1st and 2nd place money and split it (but leave $50 on top for 1st). So he agreed. He shoved the button blind the next hand (he seemed kinda tired, I think he forgot there was still $50 up top) I woke up with 6-6 in the BB and called. He had 5c-3c. Flop came 10-6-K, one club. It's over right? Nope... club, club! How appropriate...

It was like a win just to make it that far with those blinds. I made the smartest play, and that was to chop. $250 is a decent amount of money and I don't wanna flip coins for it... I only do that for like $40, lol.

This cash brought my 2007 "Live" earnings to a little under $2,300. Which is good considering I haven't played *that* much live so far this year. I wanna do this for a living in a few years so it's reassuring to know that I'm not just an online player... I like to think I play just as good if not better live.

I missed High Stakes Poker, I'm gonna go watch it now on TiVo...

Sunday, April 8, 2007

For the record...

For the record, I do play a lot everyday. I just don't update this thing like I should...

I'm gonna start being more active with this thing. I feel bad that I've been slacking on it. I enjoy posting hands and discussing them, but I often opt not to due to the amount of time it takes to make a decent (IMO) post (that means like 500-1,000 words+). And to do that everyday... at some point you're spending too much time talking about poker rather than playing it.

I'm also gonna try and humanize myself in some of my entries, you know - I do stuff besides poker... just not a lot of other stuff, lol.

Today I didn't do much. Sat around waiting and waiting and waiting for the new episodes of The Sopranos and Entourage (My two favorite shows, well... dramas, nothing beats High Stakes Poker). They were great season openers, I was expecting a slow start to the beginning (of the end) of The Sopranos, but I was WAY wrong. I love the subtleties of that show (Entourage too), I mean the monopoly scene is spot on. Whenever you play Monopoly there's always that 1 guy who wants to pay all the Community Chest money into a 'pot' and then give it to the first fucking luck box to land on Free Parking, its bullshit! Its not in the rules, yet they insist... then an argument breaks out... its an unwritten law of Monopoly for this to happen EVERY time...

Entourage was okay. Kinda of simple. It was certainly nice to have a new episode, though. I really only enjoyed Drama's billboard lights being out... but I'm sure it will get better. Why that show can't be an hour long pisses me off, but what can you do?

Tomorrow's the season finale of High Stakes Poker, JDags plays some massive pot with sbrugby so that will be fun... I guess. This season really kinda sucked. I mean REALLY. It just felt like a different show... I hope they stop booking tournament specialists for a cash game show.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

MTT Homegame: Part 1

So, I met this guy on, a place where you find local home games. He has a big home game every once and while in town, way in town... so I decided to go. Mostly because I just wanna play live poker, but everyone from my home game is either busy or very hard to schedule for a single date... argh.

So here's the set up. He is hosting a $100 buy-in, 18 man (2 full tables) tournament (more like SNG). You only start with 1,500 in chips and 15-30 blinds, just like online (that's where he got the idea)... My table seemed okay, I didn't know any of these people, but most looked pretty serious about the whole thing... YES, a couple of them had sunglasses and iPods on... lol, I know!
Based on the crazy structure I felt like playing really tight early on would not work out well, so I thought I'd try and get in a lot of pots and mix it up... keep in mind I wasn't gonna get too crazy, just a little. You may argue, "But you don't know how any of them play, you should wory about that first." Well, just from looking at some of them I could tell I was in for some ESPN poker if I played a pot with them (all in with any middle pair or AK/AQ/KQs), but the great thing is that that that coin flips both ways - they know nothing about me, so they will mosy likely stay out of my way early on until they get an idea of how I play. So...

On the very first hand I ended up winning a $600 pot... pretty sick.

Everyone folded to me in the cutoff and I made it $90 to go with 10d-6d.

( I know, I know, "the poker books say that's a shitty hand", well most of the poker books are terrible peices of literature that were printed to make people into drones... I didn't raise because I think 10-6 is a monster hand, I raised becasue its been folded to me in late position so I only have to beat the 3 people behind me, and even if they do call I will most likely have position after the flop.)

So I make it 3 x BB with the 10-6 suited and the button calls behind me, followed by a call behind him from the SB, BB folds. So we go 3 handed to a flop of Ah-10h-2c. Not too bad, not great either. I raised before the flop so I can easily represent an Ace by betting the flop. I do so - $120 total. Button folds, SB calls. Either the SB has a weak ace or some type of draw, he may put me on nothing and is calling the flop just to bluff the turn. Turn is an Ac, and he bets $200... this is a weird bet becasue its so small compared to the pot. If he had an Ace for trips he would not be betting such a small amount when there are 2 flush draws on the board. Therefore, it's most likely a bluff... maybe even a semi-bluff with a heart draw. I just called behind, to see what he does on the river. River is an 8c. He checks and I check. He mucked Q-Jos. I really liked the way I played this hand after the flop, but in the end it was a pretty easy call on the turn. On the river, I don't think he has a thing so I don't see much value in betting there... even if he does have a middle pocket pair (a hand that could possibly call a bet on that board) he isn't gonna call after I looked him up on the turn.

After about 10 hands in I was feeling very comfortable, and was not only the chip leader of my table, I had total control over the table... I was the clear leader. I raised a lot of the pots in those first few hands and then picked 'em up with continuation bets after the flop. Then this hand came up...

I was in the cutoff with 4-4 and there were 2 limpers in front of me, I limped behind (something I almost always do with these hands) and hoped to flop a set. Well, things were going good so of course the flop came A-4-2 with 2 clubs. The player to my left bet $120, I had re-popped him a couple times already so I figured, "What better time than 2 to re-raise 'em again!" If he has an Ace he most likely get fed up and play back at me... so I raised to $540 total. He just called which screamed 'Mid-Ace'. Turn was a Q, he checked and I shoved for a little more than what was in the pot trying to make it look like a steal. He reluctantly called with A-9os and was drawing dead. So BAM! Just like that I've got a little over 3,900 in chips with the blinds at 15-30, WOW!

With the fast structure they used, I felt like it was right to lay low a little, not totally because afterall - I was captain of the table. But I did slow down some since the blinds were starting to speed up. After I raised 3 pots in a row to take them down pre-flop I finally picked up a real hand...

With the blinds at 25-50, I was in the BB and as I said had raised the last 3 pots pre-flop, so needless to say people were getting a little annoyed. So the cutoff limps in, the button raises about 4 x BB, and I look down at Ah-Ad. Again, "What better time than now to re-raise, right?!?" I mean it will 100% look like a steal, so I do the 'ULTIMATE STEAL PLAY' - I just move in (No human would ever waste A-A like that, right?... hahaha, so she says, "You wouldn't do that with a real hand... I call!" BINGO. I table A-A and she shakes her head tables Ac-Tc. No miracle = I win. Hey, I got another equation for you, Fish + Mind Games = Fish Goes Busto.

So now I've got over 4,800 with the blinds at 25-50. We're down to 10 people so we play hand-for-hand (5 handed) at each table. I do my short handed magic and get myself over 5,000 before the final table. Going into the final table I'm the chip leader with 5,100 and with the blinds at 50-100 I still have a lot of room to play poker, with 50 x BB. I play fairly tight early on because, (1) I don't know half the people (because they were at the other table) and (2) It's 9-handed with a bunch of short stacks... and for those of you who can't put those 2 together, that means constant action being pushed - action that me and my 5k just don't need to get involved in.

With the blinds at 100-200, it was folded to me in the cutoff with Ac-6c and I raised to $600. The SB (who was the chip leader with over 7k) called and the flop came 6-5-4 and he just shoved... ??? It was really weird. I put him on 2 overs and a flush draw which means he's actually a favorite going to the turn. I HATE flipping coins for your tournament life so I mucked it and when asked he said, "Sorry, dude... I don't remember." LOL... that's not funny, bro. That line is played out. Fucking queer... he looked like some college kid.

I bounced back the next hand with 9-9 against A-K, the guy raised pre-flop and I just called, flop came low unsuited and he shoved, I called and he blanked off. GG him, down to 8.

A couple hands later with the blinds at 150-300 and only 5k in chips, UTG limped, MP1 limped and I looked down at K-K in middle position, I made it 1k total. Mike McDermott Motherfucker re-rasies all in and the BB (short stakced) calls all in! WOW! In most cases someone has to have A-A here, but with these blinds you just can't fold K-K. I call and now there is 12,000 in the middle between the side pot and the main pot. Mike McD (LOL) shows 10-10, and the SS shows Ah-5h... he gets up and starts SCREAMING, "Ten! Ten! Ten!" THANK GOD, no ten or ace came and the K-K held up to scoooop me a 12,000 pot. WOWOWOWOWOW!

So now I have 12,000 in chips. The closest person to me has 4,000... seriosuly, no joke! There are 7 people left and I can taste the money, but that's not what I want... I want that $720 1st place prize... I wanna come onto their turf, first time there and take their title for pride! (Not really the later, I just wanted the money... LOL!)

After Mr. Tax Collector from Orange Park busts we're down to 6. And 6-handed = My speacialty... so I felt REALLY good. You have no idea how it feels to have a 'safety net' like 12k when the closest guy has 4k... I now understand Jamie Gold. You can just stab at every flop, and statistically people miss more than they hit, so you win more than you lose!

I got the rest of Mike McD's chips in with A-Q vs his A-5, but the board came 9-A-K-10-10 and we chopped... so gross... fucking luckbox. Very next hand he busted the SS to put himself 2nd in chips at 4.7k and we were down to 5 people... on the money bubble with the blinds at 200-400. And me still barely over 12k. Then Mike McD busted the guy on my left and we were down to 4 people (in the money) but Mike McD had over 6k... not good.

Veyr next hand I get Kh-10h and raise to 1,200 (blinds 200-400 still), SB calls, BB calls. Flop came Ah-As-6h (I flop nut flush draw), everyone checks to me and I take a free card. Turn is a Jh, BINGO. SB checks, BB bets 2k, I just flat call 2k. River is a blank and he shoves, I beat him into the pot he shows A-8 for trips and we're down to 3 with me having over 18k! No lie, very next hand Mike McD busts the SS in 3rd and I'm heads up against Mike McD of all people!!! I'm serious, I thought it was ironic aswell.

We trade blinds for few hands and then it happens... :(

He limps on the button and I check from the BB with 5h-2h. Flop comes Q-4-3 with 2 diamonds. I check, he bets 1k and I call with my open ender. BAM! Turn is a 6c, I make the Nuts. I check again, he bets 2k, I just call. River Jh. I check the Nuts!!! I'm serious... I knew he would bet it. He shoves with Q-7, I call, I WIN!!!

$720, baby! They had a 1/2 ring game afterwards, that I was emi-obligated to play in (the winner always stays and plays the ring game I guess...) I just played really tight as it was 9-handed and semi-loose. I won like $45 by the end of it (which wasn't much based on the money they were throwing around) after winning a couple small pots here and there.

For those skeptics out there, I know it seems a bit ironic that he quoted Rounders, so I started calling him Mike McD, we ended up getting heads up, and the last hand was played exaclty like the final hand against KGB.... but for those of you who know me, you know - that's what I do, I slowplay and trap people... so it's just a mere coincidence that I "checked it the whole way because I knew my man would bet it"...

That was a HUGE confidence builder... I'm out.