Monday, December 31, 2007

Quick 2007 Year in Review

I kind of don't feel like writing a big long year in review, so I'm going to do the cliffs notes version instead. I started the year with basically a $50K roll online not counting the money I won live over WSOP that I didn't want to touch, and a PCA seat. In 2006 I had pretty decent success at the bigger tournaments online and had started learning 3/6 and 5/10 NL cash games online with a lot of initial success. Enter 2007, here's a post I made from 2+2 in an end of year reflection thread with some grammar fixed and extra details added:

Man what a sick year I had.... I started the year playing most of the big online tournaments and having a lot of success learning cash games playing 3/6 and 5/10 NL on like a 50K roll. I continued to do well in those games and also started shortstacking 25/50 and killing it. I was running good and winning pretty big, and I also had a few 20-25K tournament scores. Then I began taking shots with timex shortstacking nosebleed cash games on Full Tilt. Initially we just crushed the games, but we eventually went on a big downswing and quit as the players were adjusting, but still finished up pretty huge overall. During this time I had also moved up to fullstacking 10/20 and 25/50 cash games when they were good and continued to run really hot. Next, the World Series came and I didn't do anything great despite having a bunch of cashes, but I won Super Tuesday online for $75K while I was there.

When I got home from WSOP I decided I just couldn't deal with grad school anymore and there was no way I could finish. I dropped out and grinded 25/50 on Cake back before all the 2+2ers invaded when the games were really soft. I immediately put in a +$200K month, and decided this going pro thing was pretty ok. Since then I've basically just been losing a lot, but I'm still so far ahead of where I ever thought I'd be on the year that it's hard to be too upset. My goals for 2008 include breaking out of 0/17 slump in 5K+ buy-in events, first 6-figure tournament score, win anything on a Sunday, get back to putting in more cash hands, and the usual trying to live a bit more healthily. Monetary goals are kind of foolish since all you can really control is how well you play and the variance is pretty big (especially playing so many big buy-in live events). Also, you never how good the online games will stay as time progresses, but that being said, I'd like to make a million this year.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday: $100K bubbles and Aussie sats

This week's Sunday heartbreak comes from a new source! Pokerstars added a $5K 20-player winner-take-all tournament which I decided to give a shot. I'm an idiot and haven't fixed my laptop so I couldn't play Party Poker, and I couldn't deposit money onto some of the European sites I've started playing on either since I was in the US. That left a lot of open screen space early in the day when I'd usually play Eurodonkaments so this seemed to fit in the schedule pretty well. The field didn't look too bad, it was definitely pretty tough but there were some soft spots and most of the real top tier players weren't in it. I got off to a very slow start but as we closed in on the final 10 players I started making some hands and picking up a lot of chips. I won a couple huge pots against JCarver (taknapotin) when I flopped big hands. In the first he mistimed a big bluff and in the 2nd he ended up folding the river after putting in a fair number of chips against my flopped set.

Things were going well as we got to 4-handed play but I lost a key pot where I slowplayed QQ preflop just calling a reraise from TheCleaner, who would prove to be my nemesis. An A flopped, and when he checked the flop to me I knew I was in trouble. He bet the turn blank pretty strong and although I had expected him to bluff the flop with most hands I beat, I didn't really know his game that well and I decided folding such a strong hand for one barrel was too weak, and called. He decided to check the river so I got to see his AT. This hand really killed my momentum and I was shortstacked shortly thereafter as he was really attacking my blinds hard and I couldn't find much to defend with. I got lucky to suck out on the river with my KJ vs his KQ and then finally got action on a couple of my bigger hands against the other player (Rickiee I think?), winning AT vs A8 and AK vs A2 all-in preflop. I was still way behind heads up though and never got much going. I got as close as 35K to 65K but he played very well and I was probably a little unlucky also to not get much action when I had a hand. He ground me down and I ended up resorting to some really risky bluffs to try to hold my ground. In the end I moved in on one of his raises with KTs even though I felt he had switched gears and was not planning to fold to my push. I figured I wasn't in too bad shape against his range and I was so far behind and nothing was working that I'd rather just gamble to try to get some chips (of course my read could always be wrong also). He called with AQ and I outflopped him but he rivered an A for the win. Tough guy to run into HU, I'm told he's a very good Dutch midstakes HU cash player and he got the best of me. Anyways the exciting part of for me and all of you I guess is that the final table of this tournament will be replayed with hole cards of all players exposed, presumably some time during this week. So keep an eye out for that and we'll find out how badly I got owned or if he was just running good.

I had a few deep runs in some of the Sunday majors but no major cashes. I did however finally win a seat to the Aussie Millions main event. I've been playing the satellites on Full Tilt and Cake every Sunday for this and Stars finally started running some this week as well. I still run pretty ok in major satellites on Stars apparently as I won the seat on my first try. The play was really incredibly bad, it was kind of shocking. I'm used to playing against weak players who have won seats into these bigger buy-in satellites through small stakes subsatellites, but a lot of these guys were just on a whole different level of bad. Open shoving 10 times the pot with Q9o preflop in MP fairly late in the tournament bad (I obviously luckboxed into picking up KK to take the donation). So this saved my day more or less. Anyways I'm stranded in the airport for now, my flight is super late because of all the snow in Toronto. I thought it was only 5 hours late but it's actually going to be at least 7. Vegas was a lot of fun as always, but I think Australia is going to be even better.


Friday, December 14, 2007


Spent more time on the colour up to start the day than I actually played in the tournament. I folded a bit, moved in once, and was down to 7700 when the CO open shoved for 10K (still 400/800 a100). I called with AQo OTB and then the BB overcalled. CO had KQo, BB 99 and the nines held. Oh well I'm Vegas for the weekend, could be worse. I'll probably party a bit and play online. Home for Christmas soon!


12.3K for Day 2

Today was up and down, but overall pretty poor. I don't feel like running through all the hands again right now. My level by level chip count went 30K--->22K--->11K--->22K--->20K--->12K. I got dealt a ton of premium pairs but either got them beat or won small pots with them mostly, and I think every time I put chips in the pot preflop once the antes kicked in without a premium hand it got reraised behind me, it was really frustrating. I likely made several smallish mistakes throughout the day but avoided any outright blunders, so at least I still have some chips.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

"No, we're brother and sister"

I haven't played at all the last 3 days, my sister came down to visit me when she finished up with school for the term so I've just been hanging out with her. We saw a few shows, Wayne Brady on Monday night and KA by Cirque du Soleil on Tuesday. Wayne Brady was pretty good, if you're a fan of his you'd obviously like it, he did a lot of the usual stuff though, I wasn't overly impressed but it was fun. KA was great, the only other Cirque show I'd seen before was Love, the Beatles one, and I liked this one a lot more, I'm going to have to make sure to see the others when I get a chance. We also had some nice meals. Social House, the Japanese/sushi place at Treasure Island was the best meal we had by far. Unfortunately she left this evening so it's back to work for me with the $15K main event. I play Day 1B tomorrow.

In previous events I played the $5K tournament on Saturday. I grinded for 11 hours, never really getting much going. I peaked at around 22K chips (10K starting) when I sucked out on Roy Winston when I moved in on his blind with 87o and he found AKs. I couldn't do much with those chips and eventually had to push A8s which got called by TT and lost. I can't remember much from the $3K anymore other than a few key hands:

Hand 1: 200/400 a25. EP big stack limps, I complete T8dd in the SB and the BB checks. Flop Q82 one diamond, checks to limper who bets 1000. I call and the turn is the 3d. I check, he bets 2500, and I move in for 8200 total. He quickly calls with AQ but I river a diamond.

Hand 2: I somehow have around 35K now. I open in EP to 2200 at 400/800 a75 with QQ. The SB with about the same calls and we see a J64 2 club flop. He checks, I bet 4K and he raises to 10K. I don't know anything about the guy, and I can't really see folding this hand so I call and let him fire the turn if he's bluffing. Turn bricks and he shoves, I call and he says "nice call" and tables the AJo. What, you really thought you were bluffing? Looks more like he has no idea what he's trying to do but he had top top so he had to wager all his chips. I dunno people play bad. Now I have a really big stack, and I managed to build it as high as 85K winning small pots/

Hand 3: Unfortunately from there things didn't go well. I went a little card dead and was down around 60K when we got in the money. Now at 1500/3000 a500 it folds to the SB who is a tight guy and he makes it a suspicious 7500. I find AQs though so whatever, I make it a third of my stack or something and he instashoves so I call and lose to his KK. TRICKY RAISE SIZE SIR YOU GOT ME.

I'll probably call in some voice updates on TwoRags tomorrow during the breaks if people want to follow my progress live. Assuming I make it out of level 1 for a change that is.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Final Table and Another Cash

So I finished 2nd for $26.5K in one of the nightly $1K 2nd chance tournaments, and then 23rd in the $3K the next day for $5K. Let's see if I can remember how I managed to pull that off...

$1K 2nd Chance

Hand 1: I managed to double my stack to 10K by the first break. One hand that was sort of interesting was when I saw a flop with T9o in the SB at 25/50 after 2 limpers. Flop AJ8 2 spades, EP limper bets 200, button calls, and I call as well. Turn is a low spade and I lead for 500 and take it down.

Hand 2: I just got seated at a new table and arrive just in time to post my ante @ 100/200 a25. I'm still unracking my chips as it goes raise to 650 from EP, next to act calls, and I look at AA and make it 2050. Both call, the flop comes ten-high, original raiser bets 1K with 1100 behind (lol). Next guy folds I ship it and lose to his JJ that backdoors a flush to drop to 5800.

Hand 3: I open AJs in the CO to 1100 at 200/400 a25 with another 4K behind. Button ships on me and I decide to fold because he hasn't really done anything and it's live poker. As it turns out I definitely should have called this guy because he knew what he was doing but I think it was kind of a close decision.

Hand 4: 2 hands later open to 1100 with JJ, SB ships it on me with A5o for some reason even though he has no fold equity and I hold.

Hand 5: UTG ships around 5K at 300/600 a50 and he has shown he doesn't need a monster to move in already. 3 players later moves in for just under 9K, it fold to me in the BB and I find 99. I think for a while and decide their ranges should be wide enough that I should call. They have AT and AQ and I flop quads to get to 25Kish.

Hand 6: With 14 left a seemingly very tight player opens for 23K with 12K behind at 800/1600 a200 in MP. I really thought he had something like JJ or AK here given how much he shoved and how close to the final table we were and decided to pass TT in the SB. As it turns out this guy was not exactly a nit.

Hand 7: Guy from last hand now has a ton of chips. grafyx told me a hand he played with him that let me know he's far from a nit like I thought. He opens to 6K at 1k/2k a300 in EP. We're now playing 10-handed at the final table, 9 spots pay. I find AKo in LP and ship 35K, he instacalls with JJ and I luckbox the flip to not bubble.

Hand 8: After that hand I didn't do a whole lot. I was fairly card dead but made it down to 4-handed. The guy from last two hands has gone psycho. He is raising like every hand. I don't know what happened. The way he was playing and acting at the table I seriously thought he must have got high on the last break or something. He was spite calling any time someone pushed on his raises and drawing out on tons of players. Anyways I open TT to 11K at 2k/4k a500 in the CO with maybe 40K behind, he shoves from the SB and I call and outflip him again, he had AK this time.

Hand 9: I'm still really card dead and 2 of the other 3 guys are insane so I'm just staying out of the way, occasionally shoving on the guy opening every pot when I find an ace or something. Finally the guy on my left busts and we get to 3 handed. The crazy guy is just running over the guy in the middle and he's clearly not going to do anything about it except wait for a big hand. I'm treading water still by moving in on his raises from time to time, mostly card dead though. Crazy guy folds one hand and guy in the middle is now short and shoves his SB for like 65K at 4k/8k a1k. I find ATo and call but lose to his J9o.

Hand 10: I'm now pretty short and move in with some random SB hand to pick up the blinds and antes and increase my stack to 70K still at 4k/8k a1k. I find ATs on the button and ship it in. BB thinks and calls with A4s which has to be correct against my range but I hold.

Hand 11: I open AA on the button to 20K. This is the first button I opened 3-handed in a long time. Crazy guy folds, BB ships in his shortish stack and I hold vs his KQo.

Hand 12: 6k/12K a1K. I limp the button with 9s6h and he checks. Flop JT8 2 spades, he checks and I check. Turn Ks he bets 13K, I make it 40K and he folds.

Hand 13: I'm now around even in chips. He limps the button and I check Q8o. Flop AA4, I check/call a 12K bet because Q-hi is going to be the best hand here an awful lot. Turn is another A and we both check. River is a 5, I check and he bets 40K. I've seen him make a big river bet like this once and he showed the goods when the guy folded. I really felt like he had rivered a 5 or he had nothing, and he might be using the fact that he had it last time to make a bluff more credible. Or he might just have it again. I decide to call and lose to his 42o :-(, not sure if I like this one.

Hand 14: I open 66 to 30K, he reraises and I ship it and lose to his QQ, flop Q6x for extra spite.

Oh well still a pretty good score and it was good to make a deep run live again, and have a final table go reasonbly well again for once. Bed time, $5K event tomorrow I'll do the $3K report another time I guess.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Quick Cliffs Notes of last Couple Days

I went semi-deep in the $2K NL event on Tuesday busting 37th when 27 paid. Then I played drunken 2/4 mixed games at TI for 12 hours straight which was a blast. I didn't want to play the $2500 on no sleep up for 24 hours already so I crashed for 5 hours and then played the $1K 2nd chance at 7:15. 11 hours later I finished second in that tournament for 28.5K, managed to get home and get a couple hours sleep, and now I'm off to play the $3K event today. There's only a senior's event tomorrow so drunken mixed games are likely to follow tonight, but I'll write a tourney report for these eventually.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Venetian $15K Report

That was probably the worst 2 levels of poker ever. I didn't win a single pot that had anything in it. My table was actually pretty good. Other than Greenstein, Juanda and a couple good internet players, the other guys were awful. Here is what I can remember from the trainwreck, sorry if I leave out details I'm trying to do this quickly so I can move on to pretending today never happened.

Hand 1: 100/100 30K chips. I'm sure I've spewed off a bit already. Beth Shak limps in MP, I make it 500 with KQo and she calls. Flop KQT 2 spades, she leads for 1200 I call. Turn 2c making a backdoor flush draw, she bets 3K I call. River Ac, she bets 6K I fold. Given that she bet this river I'm guessing there's a pretty good chance she flopped the straight, either that or she had like KJ I guess. I didn't really feel like bloating the pot earlier since her line seemed strong and even she might fold a lot of worse hands to too much action.

Hand 2: There's like a million hands where I call once and fold to further action which are pretty sick. I basically always flopped something marginal that I just couldn't call down with and lost my stack a bit at a time. Either that or I fire the flop with nothing and get called then give up. It was basically awesome.

Hand 3: AllusivePinkBunny shoves 6600 at 200/400, I call with JJ and 5700 in the SB, terrible old guy on my left obv has AA in the BB and we both get to go home. Back to Bellagio tomorrow I guess. Weeeeeeee.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Bellagio $5K report

Yo. My 0-for streak continues in $5k+ buy-in events. Here's how it went down.

Hand 1: I made the nuts against David Pham a few times and managed to basically win the minimum by trying to play way too fancy. Oops. Still chip up to 17K from 10K starting stack by first break.

Hand 2: I got moved from my original table with Greenstein, Pham, etc... to a new table with a bunch of good online players on my left but it didn't really matter because I never played a hand anyways. My 3rd table is awesome though and I win an ok pot here: 300/600 a50. Spewy guy on my right raises to 2K in MP, I call with KK and gigabet (darrell dicken) unfortunately does not squeeze, just making the call on the button. Flop is an ugly QQ2, and it checks around. Turn is a blank, raiser bets 3K, I call, and gigablocks calls. Turn blank, raiser now checks, I check, and gigablocks checks and shows 88, raiser has AJ and I win a decent pot, but not a great flop.

Hand 3: At this point I just nit it up for a while as I'm pretty card dead. Finally, at 1k/2k a300 Max Pescatori opens to 5500 in the CO, I shove 25K on the button with AJo, and he calls and wins with 55 to bust me 30th (18 pay). Fun 11 hours. I'm sure there were other interesting hands I'm forgetting but so much poker it's all blending together.

Tomorrow I'm planning to play Sundays online, and then most likely I'll still play the 15k at Venetian on Monday even though it's probably going to have a small, tough field.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Vegas in the winter is wierd

Something just seems off here.... I have only ever been to Vegas in the summer during the WSOP. It's scorching hot every day, and the very thought of a cloud in the sky, let alone a raindrop falling from one, is laughable. While it's certainly much warmer here than Canada this time of the year, it's actually pretty cool out. Not only that, it rained all day today. I was in shock. However, one constant remains to let me know the world is alright. Me losing money in poker tournaments.

I was originally planning to play the $5K event at the Venetian today but their events have been getting basically no attendance. So instead I played the $3K tournament at the Bellagio. I still expect the $15K at Venetian to at least get a playable turnout on Monday, but that's the only tournament I'll be playing there now. The Bellagio tournament today attracted 220ish players iirc, so it was a pretty nice sized field. Unfortunately things didn't go very well for me, though it was partly my fault for sucking.

Hand 1: 25/50 I have 5750. Raise to 200 with AKo, 3 callers, BB makes it 650, I am extremely confused and call, only the last limper calls who is a seemingly aggressive but competent looking asian guy. The flop comes AK6 all spades. The reraiser now leads for 1K, I'm still confused as hell so I call and the overcaller instashoves. Reraiser now folds (wtf could you have had?), and I ended up tankng and folding. Pretty sure it's really clear that I should shove the first time around and then call. I was tired of calling and having live players show me the nuts over and over again, and I'm sure not wanting to bustout in the first level AGAIN came to mind, but I can't justify folding here at all getting big odds on the call. I figured it made way more sense for him to have 66 or some kind of suited connector preflop than a hand like QJo with the Ks, and it does, but whatever it's not like people don't play awful preflop, especially live.

Hand 2: Skip to bustout hand, I took a bunch of chips back off the aggro asian guy but then went card dead and got moved to a new table. 100/200 a 25, I have 7500. A seemingly tight/straightforward guy opens to 600 UTG. 2 people who basically never have a hand call, and I find JJ OTB. I'm torn between just calling and taking a flop and reraising. If I reraise I basically have to call a shove so long as AK is in his reshove range, but it's really not clear that's the case. In fact I'm sure a lot of live players wouldn't have to think too hard about laying down AK in his spot, but it's still pretty awful to reraise and then fold. In that case the fact that I have JJ is almost irrelevant if I do that. I'm basically just bluffing and I might as well have any two cards. If the two callers weren't there I would just call, but with their dead money in the pot it makes reraising a lot better, and calling a lot worse. So I made it 2500, UTG moved in pretty quickly. I really didn't think he'd be so confident with AK, but getting over 2.5:1 I call and lose to AA.

I then went to dinner at Mesa Grill I think it ws called in Caesar's Palace with Kyle (grafyx) and Jason (JP_OSU) because Kyle said it was really good. The waiter began by asking us if we knew about who their chef is. Ummm nope. It's [name]. OK... You've probably heard of him as the Iron Chef. Oooooh, I've heard of that show, cool. Anyways, he told us about how he uses a lot of southwest style spices, combining "sweet and heat" to bring out the flavour in the chiles and other hot spices he uses. At this point I was already getting pretty excited about the meal because I love those types of sauces, a bit spicy but with a lot of flavour, not just burning. And the meal delivered. My main course was a ribeye steak in a chipotle glaze with two kinds of chile sauces. Also, mixing mashed potatoes with a pesto was a delicious twist, and shrimp in corn-based sauce as an appetizer was also excellent. So kudos to the Iron Chef. I'm still not going to watch your show though.

After dinner we headed back to Bellagio and registered for the $1k 2nd chance tournament. We had some time to kill so Kyle and I played a shoe of blackjack and ran insanely good, I made $100. Perhaps i should just stick to -EV gambling. The $1K tournament was relatively uninteresting. The play was really really bad, and I got off to a good start but then went card dead and eventually pushed into the aces. $5k at Bellagio tomorrow should be a fun one though. Gonna get some sleep now.