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...