Monday, November 26, 2007

It feels like I've been kicked in the groin repeatedly

Today was the best Sunday I've had in a long time, I doubt I've ever gone deep in as many tournaments in one day as I did today. But it was the same story that's been happening every time to me lately, things just didn't go well when I got down to two tables. I final tabled the $530 tournament on Party but busted 9th for $1100. I went pretty deep in the $100 massive overlay $150K guaranteed tourney on Mansion before shoving all-in with 53o to win the blinds not realizing there was an UTG raise because the chip was almost the same colour as the felt in the interface, which is still a completely stupid thing to do, and I busted 35th when his AK sucked out on me. Next was the Full Tilt 750K Guaranteed, where I ran 88 into QQ to leave me with 400 chips at the 300/600 level. 90 mins later I had 50K, well above average in the money, but my cinderella run ended in 150th or so when I finally lost a race. Next up was the UB $530 tournament, again I made the final table, with a solid stack this time, but I made a small mistake that cost me a few chips, and then got busted when my AK was unable to hold vs AT on the river. Alright, well at least I have a few tournaments left I guess and I happen to be doing reasonably well in them.

The Full Tilt $150 buy-in was a roller coaster where I had a huge stack early, then donked it off, and then grinded my way back. In the end my AKs was no match for an opponent's Q2o (on the river yet again) in a pot that would have given me an average stack with 15 left. Nonetheless, I was running so good in the early part of tournaments today that I had yet another chance to make that big score. My last tournament of the day as usual was the Stars $200 rebuy, and it's a pretty big one. As we got close to the money, which was the final 3 tables in this case, I finally started to pick up some hands and by the time we got down to 15 players I was in the middle of the pack. Anyways we'll proceed to bustout hand I'll at least talk a little strategy because so far this entry is just me whining.

So it folds to me in the SB with 55. The effective stacks are around 21xBB deep, so against a good aggressive player like roothlus if it comes down to it I'm almost certainly going to have to play for my whole stack, my hand is just too strong to allow myself to get pushed off of in this situation. However, with so many short stacks still in and approaching the final table I'd prefer to play the hand in such a way as to avoid a big coinflip, but without forcing myself into a spot where I'm getting the worst of it. The standard play would just be to raise, and if he moves in on me I'm not happy about it but I'd have to call since there would be dead money in the pot and his range would be pretty wide. If he shows up with a bigger pair it's just unlucky. The problem with this is if he just calls I'm in the awkward spot of playing 55 out of position in a pot that is already big, or if he decides to move in on me as a bluff he's still going to accidentally only be a coinflip most of the time. So I feel the superior play I made was to limp. A lot of players will raise this limp with an extremely wide range of hands, and then I can move in on him putting the ugly decision back on him, and often just picking off a steal attempt. Of course if he ends up calling it's probably still a coinflip, and if he has a bigger pair I was likely destined to go broke anyways. If he checks behind I have a pair in a small pot where I have more room to maneuver. Of course as it turns out he did have the bigger pair and busted me in 12th.

In the end I probably made around $3K today I guess, too lazy to add it up right now. Oh well, so Thursday I head to Vegas which I'm obviously looking forward to. With any luck I'll break out of my tournament slump at just the right time for the bigger tournaments there. And of course that means more frequent and likely more interesting blog entries for you as well.


Monday, November 19, 2007

It was a good week until Sunday

I'm just on such a cold streak in tournaments right now though. The live final table at Foxwoods was great but busting 7th really sucked and other than that I've just had no final tables lately. I've busted with two tables left so many times it's pretty frustrating. Anyways I made the money in the big FTOPS $2500 event just grinding on a short stack the entire tournament, then sucked out to double up and then got it in with 99 vs 88 and held to get an above average stack for the first time in the tournament. From there I got outflopped in basically every pot I played and probably paid off more than I had to. I then busted out on this attempted hero call against a guy who kept calling my raises with weak hands and flopping gin on me.

The call was maybe bad because he likely thought I was a huge call station at this point and was therefore less likely to try to bluff me, but there's so many busted draws out there and I played the hand passively so it's quite possible I can have the best hand, especially as I doubt he makes this bet with anything except trips or better, or a complete bluff. I made a thread on 2+2 about the hand and a lot of good players said they like the call, though one guy who said he played with the opponent earlier in the tournament didn't think he was likely to run a big bluff like this, but of course I couldn't know that at the time from what I'd seen anyways. So it was a pretty crappy way to go from finally getting chips for the first time after 8 hours of play over 2 days to immediately donking them all off and busting for only $6k (first was over $400K) in 32nd or something.

I had no cashes in anything else on Sunday, and not on Saturday either iirc, so it was still a pretty bad weekend. Cash games had been going well all week until I lost $20K playing 200/400 PLO Sunday night. It's a lot of money but in relation to the stakes it's nothing to even write about really. Still up to $20K on the week at that, and also had good success in my 10/20 and 25/50 NL games though I didn't play a ton of hands, so overall I guess it was a pretty good week, just a sour end.

I'm in Toronto for another week and a half and then I'm heading down to Vegas for a bunch of tournaments. First is the National Poker League Vegas Open at the Venetian. I had never heard of it either but there's a $5K event and a $15K event that I'm going to play. I like the poker room at the Venetian a lot from the one tournament I played there over the summer. These will likely have smaller fields, which usually means tougher fields and not such huge top prizes, but it also decreases the variance a lot which isn't bad when playing such big buy-ins. After that I will be playing a ton of the Bellagio Cup events culminating in the $15K Championship event. Then I leave Vegas, fly back to Toronto for a couple days, and then head home to St. John's for Christmas. I'm back in Toronto for New Years and then off to Melbourne, Australia on Jan 2 for the Aussie Millions where I will be for just over 2 weeks playing most of the events in that series as well. I'll probably take a nice break from travel for a month or 2 after that, but who knows.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Back in TO, Sunday, FTOPS

On Thursday I played some live cash at Foxwoods, the big games were super tough so I mostly played 25/50 and lost around $5K. I didn't really make any hands and I made one bad river call for $2K. Steve busted on Day 1 also though so we left Friday morning. I crashed at his place in Kingston again after the long drive, and then I drove back to Toronto Saturday morning in time to play the FTOPS events on Saturday, and a full Sunday schedule. Saturday went pretty poorly for me, but Sunday was fairly successful. I made a bit playing cash, and then had several tournament cashes, unfortunately nothing really big though. Going deep in several of the major tournaments earned me the win in a sidebet I was in with 10 other people on 2+2 about who would do the best in the big tourneys on Stars/Full Tilt so I won like $3K from that on top of my cashes. Unfortunately I made a bad play deep in the 2nd Chance on Stars which cost me a chance at a big score and busted me in 15th.

Tonight I played some more tournaments including the big FTOPS event and a little cash. I didn't make the money in any tourneys though and I think I lost a little at NL cash. However I saw Gus playing a bunch of 200/400 PLO tables and decided to randomly take another shot shortstacking that game. Probably not a very smart thing to do but I think I'm prboably slightly +EV. The swings are so huge though but a little controlled shot taking isn't the worst thing. Anyways here are the big hands: - ty Gus? - I was going to quit after this hand regardless, an unfortunate end to the session.

Anyways I still definitely don't want to get in the habit of playing these games too often it's just too big and I'm not confident enough in my PLO game even playing only 20xBB deep, but it's pretty sweet when you're on the right side of these hands.

I'd really like to put in some serious effort to improve my PLO and HORSE games at some point but I just never get around to it, especially when there are still lots of good holdem games I can be playing and making money in instead. When I think about how long it took me to get to the level I'm at in NL Holdem and how there's still a lot I don't know it seems like a pretty daunting task to try to master more complicated games like PLO, O8, Stud 8, etc... but it'd definitely be a really good option to have when I get a little tired of playing Holdem all the time. Anwyays for now I'll be focusing mostly on FTOPS and the other usual tournaments and cash games.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Fucking gutshots

I believe I was either the 4th or 5th person eliminated from the main event today. I played some really crazy hands in level 1 today, most involving someone hitting a gutshot. Gutshots have really been killing me lately. Rewind back to Niagara last week I lost a $22K pot to a gutshot.

I was playing 25/50 NL cash again and was up like $3K just playing aggressively and winning a lot of small pots by following up preflop raises with flop bets most of the time whether I hit or not. Standard stuff (but not to the live nits). So I raise QJo in MP to 200 and get called on the button by some guy who likes to call my raises and then fold when he misses. Effective stacks $11Kish. The flop comes Q95r, I bet 400 and he instacalls which I'm pretty confident is a sign of weakness. Turn is a J, I bet $1000 and he quickly makes it $4000. In retrospect this is probably the easiest fold ever but I had top two pair and kind of thought he might be making a move getting sick of me running him over (hint: live players will never adjust they just try to "trap" you) so I shipped it in and lost lots of money to his obvious KT.

OK so back to Foxwoods main event:

Hand 1: 50/100 30K starting chips. CO limps, button limps, SB completes I check K8o in the BB. Flop K84 2 hearts, I bet 300 and button calls. Turn 3c, I bet 750 button calls. River 6h, I decide to go for thin value and bet 1500, he calls with 75o. OK wtf...

Hand 2: I've been pretty aggressive so far, raising a lot of hands and firing on the flop most of the time. Unfortunately I've been getting called a lot and having to give up so people aren't giving me much credit anymore. I'm down to 25K now and raise KQo to 400 in EP. 2 players call in MP, the latter being David Pham. Flop AJ8r, I bet 800 and Pham calls. Turn T, I bet 2K and Pham calls. River is a low diamond completing a backdoor flush draw, I bet 5K he calls and mucks. These gutshots are a lot more fun when you're the one hitting them.

Hand 3: So Im up to 33K and lose a little randomly raising and missing some more when I find KK in EP and raise to 400. An older guy calls in MP, he doesn't look like a huge nit but I have to assume he's prboably on the solid side and not going to mess around too much without a big hand postflop. Pham now reraises to 1500. He's since lost another big pot and only had 12.5K to start the hand (our table is crazy), and there's a good chance he's just steaming at this point. I decide to just call to trap since I'm not sure how often he'll get all-in preflop with a hand like AK or QQ/JJ even if he's tilting a little and the old guy also calls in the middle. Flop 89T, and it surprisingly checks around. Turn is a 3, I lead for 3K, old guy calls, and Pham now shoves for around 8500 more. I have no idea what to put him on here, I can't imagine he would ever check that flop with a big hand so something like QQ/JJ seems fairly likely, I guess maybe AA but a set should be unlikely. However I'm very concerned about the old guy in the middle it seems like he could very easily have a set and be willing to risk a bad river card to try to trap Pham. I end up folding and old guy instacalls with a set of 3s, Pham has QQ and busts out. It was pretty sick that this hand went the only way it possibly could go where I don't get his stack.

Hand 4: Guy limps UTG, UTG+1 who seems fairly decent makes it 350, I call next to act with QQ, we get one more caller and the limper calls. Flop QT6 rainbow, check to me I bet 1K (should bet a little more), folds to the original raiser who calls which is pretty weird. Turn is a J and he now bombs into me for 3K. I really didn't think he'd call the flop with AK, and he wouldn't have raised a limper with 89, so I figure he prboably has JJ or TT and decide to valuestack myself by raising and getting another 18K in against his AK. I definitely should have just called down here it was a pretty clear mistake in retrospect. So I have 2K left now.

Hand 5: Down to 1200 now at 100/200, loose asian guy limps UTG, folds to me on the button I shove 66 and he calls with A5s. I manage to hold and double to 2700. I then shove over a raise with AJ to get to 3600 when he folds.

Hand 6: I raise in EP with QQ, asian guy calls, guy after him makes it 2500, I move in and he calls with TT. 4 bricks and a river T later I'm the 4th or 5th bustout of the tournament :-(.

So Steve plays tomorrow. I finally got my wire transfer money today so I have enough cash to play some big cash games, so I think I'm gonna take another shot at them, I've heard a lot of stories about the games being pretty good. I also had a nice session playing 5/10 NL yesterday where I made $7200 basically just running over the table and hitting every flop. I got AA against KK twice and stacked the guy both times as well which was pretty insane. As long as I remember that they're never bluffing and and get back to making ridiculous hero folds I should do well.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Foxwoods $2K NL Day 2

Sigh I busted 7th for $22K. I basically just did my shortstack thing for a while and amde the final table with a whopping 87.5K in chips, easily last. Then I finally got dealt some hands and won some big pots with KK twice to get as high as over 600K in chips putting me in 2nd/7 place. Then lost K8<85s against the microstack and restole A7s over a CO raise from an aggressive player and he called with JJ and held on the JcTd5cQh9s board. Now I had like 200K left and with 44K in the pot preflop I had to open shove J9o in the SB and run into AQs. Sigh, 7th for $22K. When I finally got chips I figured I'd probably win. Oops. Anyways $5K tomorrow and $10K Wednesday. I'm pretty exhausted so I don't really want to go into any more detail about today right now. O ya Steve finished 12th when tight players kept randomly picking up monsters after he raised their blind.


Foxwoods $2K Event

So today was my first Foxwoods donkament. People here are really bad at poker. Steve and i both made it through to day 2 of the tournament, play starts up at noon tomorrow with 27 or 28 players left. I don't feel like I played very well today but I shortstack ninja'd my way along despite never getting dealt a hand. I have 73.5K going into tomorrow, average is around 130K.

Hand 1: I have around the $8K we started with. Limp behind an EP limp at 25/50 with J9cc. Flop JsTc9s. Checks to me I bet 200, SB makes it 600 I call. Turn Kc, he bets 1K I call. River 2s, he bets 1K and I kind of shrug as I'm going to muck my hand then realize the other flush draw just got there and I could almost certainly just shove and win the pot, but decide I've probably tellboxed too much to try to bluff now so I fold.

Hand 2: <3 Foxwoods. Guy raises my blind to 525 at 100/200. I make it 1600 with JJ and 3100 behind, he calls. Flop KJ6 two clubs, I jam and he calls with 42cc. Turn 6 leaves him drawing dead. Yeah that reads 42cc, I couldn't make this shit up.

Hand 3-10?: Fold til blinds get big then open shove my stack for various amounts with various hands, mostly complete garbage, and never get called.

Hand 11: I have too many chips to open shove so I raise to 2400 at 400/800 a100 with ATo. Some old guy on my left shoves 6K more, I have to call and he has A5s. Board comes 8828T. Woot.

Hand 12-20?: Fold a lot more then go allin a bunch and never get called. Highlights include shoving 20K with Q6o at 1k/2k a300 from the HJ and watching the button tank for a minute and claim to fold AQ. lol good times.

Hand 21: CO open shoves I call on the button with KK to get to 48K.

Hand 22: Open to 8K in the CO at 1500/3000 a400 with A3o. Old guy in the SB calls and leads for 8K on the J93 flop. It's kinda near the bubble but I'd do this anyways and shove like 35-40K more or something because he's never calling. He mumbled something about AT and folded. Up to like 70K and I make the money.

Hand 23: Open to 11K in the HJ with A2o at 2k/4k a400, the BB shoves like 19K more and I have to call getting 2.5:1. He has JJ and I river an A, everyone calls me a donkey etc...

Hand 24: Shortly after last hand I open to 11K in the CO with KJo with another 80K or so behind. Button makes it 27K and he's pretty aggro. I really want to shove because I think he's completely FOS but I decided to pause and think for a second before I do. Then he says something about A2 no good this time and whenever people talk I figure they have something so I fold. Sigh I wish I had just quickly shoved on him I play so bad.

Anyways 73.5K going to tomorrow. Steve is also still in with like 190K or something. Hopefully I can make some hands tomorrow I was pretty brutally card dead today.