Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday: Different game, same result

Instead of playing the usual online tournaments yesterday I was playing the $10K PLO tournament at the WSOP. I was pretty excited for this one being a big buy-in in a game I feel confident I am picking up very quickly. There's an awful lot of gamble in PLO though and I ended up on the wrong side of one I probably would have done better to avoid. I had built my stack up to around 29K mostly by winning a big pot with double suited aces against a wrap hand when this hand came up:

A weak player opened to 1500 UTG at 250/500. He had just won a huge pot off of Toto Leonidas when he made a really terrible flop call, and Toto was now pretty short. Next to act, Toto re-potted to 5250 with very little behind, maybe somewhere in the 4-7K range I'm not really sure. The way he/everyone was playing this is almost certainly AAxx, though having just lost a big pot he could be steaming a little and possibly doing this with worse, though I certinaly feel it's some kind of big hand. A T6 Poker pro who seemed good cold called quickly in the cutoff with a big stack and I found 8765ddss in the SB. Generally when a pot is going to be multiway like this one will be if I call this is exactly the type of hand you want. However, in this case there are two important factors which I think lean the hand towards a fold:

1. This is a tournament not a cash game. I'm getting into an extremely high variance situation where my edge isn't that big and I'm going to have to commit my entire stack on a lot of flops not knowing how much equity I really have. There are lots of weak players and I can surely wait and find better spots to get my money in. Usually this is the excuse of the weak-tight player as he makes a bad fold, but I feel like this is exactly the type of situation where it applies.

2. The CO, being a competent player, will often also have a hand similar to mine, and if his wrap is slightly higher than mine he will have me in really bad shape. Flops that it looks like I hit really hard he will have hit even harder. I think this is the more important reason. Without this consideration folding preflop would be passing up way too much EV, but when you factor this in you realize I'm not in nearly as profitable a situation as it may appear at first glance.

Still, calling is hardly ever going to be much of a mistake with such a strong hand, and that's what I did without much thought. The raiser decided to come along for the flop as well of course. The flop came As8s7c. Seemingly a monster flop for my hand, but there are lots of obvious possible problems:

1. My spades may no be live.
2. Toto probably has top set so my two pair doesn't do me much good.
3. I could be up against a better straight draw. Only a 4 gives me the nuts.

However, with so much money in the pot my hand clearly has way too much going for it to fold. Toto doesn't have too many chips left so if I end up all-in my two pair may hold up in a side pot against another draw that also calls. I quickly lead out for pot hoping to clean up my spade outs and get value from other draws. The original raiser ends up folding the nut flush draw luckily, but Toto and the CO both quickly call. Toto shows AAQJ for top set, and the CO shows 9865 for a wrap. This is a great spot for me however. My spades are live to scoop the whole pot. I have 6 additional straight outs to chop the entire pot, and even if I miss my 2 pair is a big favourite to scoop the large sidepot against the CO's 9865. Unfortunately a 6 hit on the river giving the CO a 9-hi straight and busting me from the tournament.

There are only 3 WSOP events left. Today is the final 1500 NL event which I will be playing. Tomorrow is a 1500 limit holdem shootout which should be good value too, and then the main event. I will be playing Day 1B on Friday. However the Bellagio Cup is also getting started soon so there's still lots more poker to be played. One final table finish could still easily salvage the entire Series for me.


Friday, June 27, 2008

First Cash!

Well I finally cashed a WSOP tournament today. Things got off to a very good start when I won a whole bunch of smallish pots to get up to over 90K. Then I played this hand really bad which killed my chances.

I raise to 5500 in MP with TT and the BB Ben Fineman calls with around a 53K stack. I'm already super scared because I think he is trapping a big pair a whole lot but there's other stuff in his range as well. The BB who is a big donk also calls. Flop 443 two clubs, BB checks and I decide to check and see what happens since I'm not crazy about my hand. He bets 8K, BB folds and I'm not sure what to do. I was sort of planning to just call and play the hand passive but then I decided we were short enough that making a goofy sized checkraise and stacking off might induce him to get it in with worse hands so I did that and he obviously just had AA as I suspected all along. As much as I hate bet/folding overpairs this is the perfect time for it. If he raises my bet he always has a bigger pair than me except for the occasional time he has a flush draw which folding too is fine since he'll always have overs with it anyways. I seriously need to stop stacking off to this transparent bullshit it's so obvious and I know it but I still let it work.

Anyways then I basically folded into the money and eventually shoved KTo into AK. I got 69th for ~$8700. I then played the $1500 Stud Hi/Lo tournament which did not go well. Every time I play this game I realize I'm worse at it than I previously thought even though I do a lot of things right. So tomorrow is a $2K NL event. Hopefully now that I've got the first one under my belt I can start making deep runs more frequently in these things.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

$1K Rebuy Day 2

I'm through to Day 2 of the $1K rebuy with 61K in chips which is about average. I'm now 4/4 in making Day of these tournaments at the WSOP, and I'll be looking to make it 2/4 arriving on time for Day 2 and 3/3 in cashing when I actually do eventually show up on Day 2. Today was a typical day when nothing went my way but I outplayed my opponents so badly that I was able to get by. Some quick examples:

Hand 1: Down to 3500 at 200/400 a50 I move in with J6o in MP. Button calls with TT and I make jacks up on the turn to double.

Hand 2: Raise KTcc and a shortstack shoves a small amount such that I have an automatic call. He has KJo and the board runs out 5 diamonds for the chop.

Hand 3: Raise AQo in EP to 1650 at 300/600 a75. Button instahoves for 7K more. Through a combination of pot odds and the fact that I showed down the ol J6o not too long ago and my image probably isn't stellar I take myself into calling. He obv has AKs but I show why it's superior to have 2 flush draws by running out a 4-flush.

Hand 4: I have 12K at 400/800 a100. Folds to this huuuuuuuge fish in MP. He looks at his cards. Starts pushing them forward like he's going to muck them. Pulls back. Looks at them again. Starts playing with his chips with a clear look of pondering on his face. Eventually he reluctantly decides to throw in 800 for a call. It was actually one of the most hilarious displays I've ever seen at a poker table. There is basically zero chance he's angleshooting, he's just that huge a tellbox. CO limps. I find A2s in the SB, and have to decide between shoving and raising big then shoving any flop. I decide to make it 5K. Fish folds, CO quickly shoves and I have to call off. He has ATs. Board runs off 6444J for the chop.

After that I basically just coolered some people to get to 61K. A true example of how the superior player doesn't need to rely on the luck of the cards to win at tournament poker. Anyways I intend to continue implementing the play bad run good system to it's full potential tomorrow, hopefully the poker gods are cool with that and supply the run good for me.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back on the Grind

Now up to 0/15, -51.5K. I had relatively quick and painless exits in the $1500 NL and $2000 PL events last week. I skipped the $1500 NL event on Saturday and $1500 mixed holdem on Sunday to play online those days, and there was no event on Monday so I had a nice little 3 day vacation from losing real money. On Friday night we went to Treasure Island and did the drunken mixed games thing. Hilarity ensued when one usually more reserved 2+2er went a bit overboard on the Jagerbombs (see the thread on 2+2), but good times were had in general before and after we had to worry about taking care of him. On Saturday I slept in a bit and only played a few tournaments and more cash. I finished 2nd in the $50 rebuy on Stars after losing a 10:1 chip lead because I run good like that. It was only $6500 though, I forgot how small the prize pool was in that tournament since I don't usually play it. In cash games I had a lot success (read: luckboxing) in the PLO games but I've been getting killed in holdem. I've been playing the 25/50 cap PLO game on Full Tilt and find it's often pretty good, as well as some 5/10 and 10/20 on Everest and Mansion. My holdem play was mostly 10/20 on Everest and Mansion and a couple times I sat 25/50 on Stars when I saw a softish looking game but that's basically just gone terribly, though my play has been fine.

Speaking of Everest, I finished 7th in their big Sunday tournament for $3K. It is basically the softest tournament ever, like playing on Paradise 3 years ago sort of. The structure is really bad so it becomes a huge crapshoot except everyone plays way too tight waiting for big hands and you just run them over and pick up the blinds constantly. They doomswitched me at the final table though, my KK was obv no good vs AA. I also went deep in the $200 rebuy on Stars but busted on maybe a questionable shove, though given the information I had at the time I think it was definitely fine. So it ended up being a breakevenish Sunday with those 2 cashes and a min-cash in a $100 rebuy on Stars as well.

Monday night I skipped tournaments and went for a late dinner at Wing Lei, a very nice Chinsese restaurant in the Wynn, with a big group of mostly online players. After that we ended up doing some -EV gambling and playing beer pong at O'Shea's, which was pretty hilarious. I couldn't stay out too late though because I was playing the $1500 PLO8 event today. This event was my best finish in the WSOP last year when I finished 10th after getting countefeited on the river, and though I still don't consider myself especially good at the game, my expectations were still high as basically everyone in this tournament is waaaaaaaay worse. Unfortunately I couldn't repeat my performance. I chipped up a bit in some small pots and had a few semi-intersting spots that I think I played well, but in the end I played a really standard hand against Joe Hachem where I got over a third of my stack in preflop with AAQ8 double suited and lost to his AJ43 with the suited ace of spades when he flopped a low draw + flush draw and turned the flush. There is another stretch of consecutive good tournaments coming up though. Tomorrow is the $1K rebuy and the next day is the $5K 6-max. These are definitely two of my favourite events and I'm looking forward to them very much. It's actually kind of a shame I may have to miss the 6-max if I make day 2 of the rebuy. After those two there is a $2k NL on Friday and then on Sunday it's the $10K PLO which I've decided to play. It should go without saying that I would not be opposed to running good in a few of these.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Still an idiot

0 for 12 -46.5K now. Gave all my chips to JC Tran in the 1500 PLO rebuy today like a true holdem donk after luckboxing a stack early. Played meh in the 2500 6-max on Monday and didn't last long. Gotta go lose another 1500 now. How can I be this bad?


Thursday, June 12, 2008

I am an idiot

Scott Freeman Eliminates Michael Watson

Michael Watson raised to 4,440 and Scott Freeman called from the cutoff. Both players checked the {A-Diamonds} {8-Diamonds} {5-Diamonds} flop, and when the {7-Hearts} turned Watson bet 7,200 and Freeman called. When the {6-Diamonds} fell on the river Watson checked, Freeman bet 10,500, and Watson moved all in for his last 22,800. Freeman turned over {A-Hearts} {Q-Diamonds} to Watson's {K-Spades} {K-Hearts}, and Watson was eliminated. Freeman now has 142,000.

There is actually a small amount of logic to the river bluff. I'm almost certain he never has a king in his hand when he flat calls preflop, or at least extremely unlikely (KdQd or KdKc are about the only possibilities). And it would clearly be suicide for me to ever be bluffing here. Checkraising all-in for a minraise is completely retarded as a bluff. I'm pretty sure he almost always has the Qd or Jd but I *might* be able to get him to fold because I *can't* be bluffing, but my line makes no sense. Why would I ever checkraise the river with the nuts with < pot left, and he's getting 675:1 on the call. Anyways I'm gone for the weekend, back for the $2500 NL 6-max on Monday. I'm going to start updating a little less regularly because most of the tourney reports have got to be as boring for you to read as they are for me to write. Just assume I lost a few grand every day if I don't write anything to say otherwise.


On to Day 2

Today was an up and down day. I ran really good off the start but then messed up some hands at the end to lose a lot of my chips. Early on I flopped the nut flush against a set after chipping up in a bunch of small pots to get to 22K. Then I got some guy on my right to spaz out and put 21K in the pot at 100/200 a25 with TT vs my KK. I had not reraised preflop once in 3 and a half levels but he obv still never believes me. I used to try to use that image to 3-bet light. Now I just nit it up because people from the internet never believe other people from the internet in live poker. So I had 44K or something, got as high as 50K when 88>AQ vs a short stack. Then I misplayed a couple hands where I restole with K-hi and forgot to bluff him off A-hi postflop when he called. I also defended 55 against an LP raise and put in way too much postflop before finally folding and obv getting shown AA from the guy who kept instapotting very street. I grinded the short stack for a bit and ended the day with 26K. I'm supposed to catch the red-eye to Toronto tomorrow night so hopefully I min-cash and quickly bust with lots of time to make that or final table this shit fo sho. I think there are around 120 players left and 72 cash. Average would be around 60K to start the day at 800/1600 a200.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fast Structures Quick Bustos

Well Monday was a $1500 Shootout event. The $1500 events only give you 3K starting chips (all events have twice the buy-in starting chip bank) so if you don't run good early your day is over pretty quickly. I lost most of my chips on the first hand I played.

25/50 I open KQcc UTG 9-handed. MP calls, button calls, BB calls. Flop Ac7h2c. I bet 300, button calls. Turn 6d. I think I can represent AK pretty easily by firing a decent sized bet. The button is young kid who looks like a live player though so I think I can probably get him off stuff that can't beat AK. I fire 750 and he minraises. Fuck. I'm getting odds to call and try to hit my flush, though it's a weird spot if the 7c or 6c hits. I think I can check/fold the 7c but I might have to shove the 6c. Anyways I brick and am left with 1050 chips.

I later double with an A on the river AKs vs QQ but shove AQ over a raise and get called behind by QQ to bust. In the PLO not much good happened and I busted on the first hand after the break getting half my stack in preflop with double suited aces and the rest went in on the flop drawing pretty dead against the mighty KJT3 on the QJ3 flop. Tomorrow is a $5K NL event, the first pretty big buy-in NL event. I have a flight scheduled Thursday night to come back to Toronto for my grandpa's 80th birthday party with a lot of family for the weekend so this is the last event I'll be playing this week.


Monday, June 09, 2008

A Big Sunday Final Table!

I finally made my first final table in one of the biggest Sunday tournaments! I final tabled the $750K Guaranteed on Full Tilt. It was a bit of a strange tournament where every time I started getting chips I would lose the next pots I played and become short, but once I was short I would always win the next big pot and get back in contention. Unfortunately I couldn't get anything going at the final table and busted 6th for $23K. Between that and my 5th in the Stars 320 on Wednesday night for $10K I almost made up for the $40K I lost playing 200/400 PLO trying to get back my equity for missing Day 2 of the $1K rebuy. It was good to finally make one of these big final tables beating almost 3500 players, but obviously still a little disappointed not to win. But with JCarver at the final table in a Full Tilt tournament I clearly never had a real chance. I gotta give another shoutout, this time to my friend Leo Wolpert who finished 3rd in the $5K NL Shootout event. He made a deal for $300K which is obviously pretty sick. Tomorrow is the $1500 NL Shootout event, hopefully I have a little extra run good left. As much as I enjoy seeing all my friends make tons of money at big live final tables I'd prefer it was me.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Another Quick Day

Today was a $2500 NL event and I busted before the first break again. One interesting hand:

25/50 5K starting chips. I have a little under that CO covers. Folds to CO who is a youngish guy who seems to have some idea what hes doing who raises to 175. I call in the BB with ATo. Flop T82r. I lead 250. I've started leading a bit in situations like this and I think it's a really good way to play the hand against aggressive players. They don't expect a thinking player to lead this type of hand into them here and you will often get called down light or induce bluffs. Checkraising makes the pot too big and I'm just not getting called down by worse with my image, so leading allows me to try to get one bet in on all streets which I think is basically the ideal situation with my hand. It does lead to some really messy situations but I think it's worth the higher risk to go for extra value. He calls and the turn is an 8. I bet 525 and he raises to 1500. I think there's a pretty good chance hes just decided to make a move out of confusion, and I don't think he raises an overpair very often here so he basically has trips+ or a bluff most of the time. I call. River blank, I check/call some stupid tiny 1K bet when I probably would have called off my stack and lose to A8. Then I later fold for a bit and lose A9o vs T9s for my last 1300.

After busting I found Aaron and Steve and hung out at their place with Timex who came down when Aaron final tabled Event 2, and we got tickets to see Mystere in the evening, the cirque du soleil show at Treasure Island. It was really good, the best of the cirque shows I've seen (though I haven't seen "O" yet which I've heard is the best one). Playing online today, then back on the live grind Monday. Tom finished 2nd in the $2500 O8/S8 event for ~$150K. What a badass.


Saturday, June 07, 2008

Such bustoness

No luck in the $5K shootout. My table wasn't that bad though it was certainly tougher than most. I was the first eliminated. I got off to a good start but then lost every pot I played after that. I then played some 5/10 PLO with a $25 straddle on the button most hands but just never made much in the way of hands there either. It was around 2 hours before I won a single pot. I ended up losing another $2K there so that sucked. Today is a $2500 NL event which figures to be pretty huge being on a Saturday and all. Maybe I'll run good or something. Also, today is my housemate here Tom's birthday. To celebrate he has made the final table of the $2500 Stud 8/Omaha 8 mixed tournament. He's 4/8 coming in and play starts up again at 4pm so good luck to him! Good to see someone in our house not sucking at least, winning a bracelet on your birthday wouldn't be a bad feat.


Friday, June 06, 2008

Double Busto

I played both events today with absolutely no success. The noon event was a $1500 6-max NL event which is usually pretty awesome because playing shorthanded against live donks is the best. I lasted 3 hands:

25/50 3K stacks. UTG who looks like mostly not very good opens to 150. I reraise AKs to 500 UTG+1, he calls quickly. Flop KJx, he check/calls my 625 bet. Turn T, he checks to me I think a bit and decide the T should basically never help him. If he has AQ or TT then great, but if he's that bad he's probably also bad enough to stack off KQ or JQ or QQ or something here so I shove my last 1875 and he snaps AQ. NH sir.

Then I waited around and played the $2500 half Omaha H/L half Stud H/L event. Most of my table was pretty bad but I never really made any hands and died a slow painful death. Tomorrow is the $5K NL Shootout which should be fun because you get to play shorthanded more. I expect a relatively tough field but obviously am pretty confident about my chances.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Didn't make day 2

12:45pm: Call cab since everyone else drove in for 12pm event. 10mins to an hour wait time. OK could potentially be cutting it close but no worries.

1:15pm: Call back cab company. No one in the area wait another 10-15.

1:30pm: Call again. No one making any attempt to get here still.

1:45pm: Call again. Lady says she's going to try to get me a cab gets on phone. 10 mins pass she has no luck. Tells me to keep waiting.

2:05pm: Bond comes through the door busto before the first break as usual. I run out into the street chasing his cab waving my arms. Sprint for a block but I'm not closing distance.

210pm: Call back cab company offer $100 tip for a ride.

2:30pm: Have basically given up since I can't think of anyone that can come get me and I will probably be blinded off.

2:35pm: Kicking empty router box around the house on life tilt.

2:40pm: Call from Deeb wondering where the fuck I am. Explain situation he says he can find me a ride.

2:45pm: PokerNews posts update saying I have 4K in chips.

3:05pm: Geoff (mini-Thayer) and Shaun still not here. I am certain I will have been blinded off by the time I get there so I tell them thanks for trying. Sorry guys for making u come this way but I appreciate it.

Anyways a similar thing happened to me in a $1K rebuy event last year but I was able to get a ride in and only miss a couple orbits and we were in the money by the time I got there. Las Vegas cabbies who won't leave the strip because it costs them money can all go fuck themselves. Ace cab company when I do finally win a bracelet I am going to celebrate by going to your head offices and burning you to the ground. If you see an Ace cab kick the door in for me.


Made a day 2

Today was the $1K+rebuys. I ended up in for the "minimum" of $4K and never really had a ton of chips. I had one mini-rush where I picked up AK on back-to-back hands and reraised to win a nice pot on the first, and then basebaldy decided to shove 66 over my reraise on the next hand for some reason and I actually won the flip to get to around 35K. I quickly lost those chips raising good hands, continuation betting, and then getting checkraised out of my seat. I grinded the shortstack for the rest of the day and finished with 16.5k with blinds starting at 800/1600 a200 tomorrow. So I'm very short but hanging on. It looks like there are around 106 players left and 72 will get paid so I'll have some work to do right away tomorrow. Also, huge congratulations to Aaron "Pacmann" Coulthard for finishing 6th in Event #2, the $1500 NL event with almost 4000 runners. He won just over $200K for the finish. Aaron was stevepa's roommate in Waterloo, another sick player who sort of stays under the radar since he doesn't play a lot of volume at all but he still crushes.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Another Miss

So I skipped event 2 and played online this weekend with little success. The only thing I seem to be winning at online lately is PLO strangely enough. Today I decided to play the $1500 pot-limit holdem event at noon. Here's a report of how I lost that buy-in:

Hand 1: 25/50 3K starting chips. I've basically played exactly one pot in the first 45 mins or so. Folds to guy in MP who raises to 150, CO calls, I decide to squeeze it up to 600 with T7s in the BB. Raiser flat calls, damn. Flop 532r I check but he checks back. Turn 6d giving me a flush draw and gutshot. It turns out the raiser only has 1250 left. I should probably have shoved but I decided to check. He checks back again so I'm pretty sure he has AK. River T. I bet 600 and he calls and mucks.

Hand 2: This one was reported online but they butchered the details pretty bad.
75/150 4 limps I complete KJdd in SB. Flop Td9d5d, I check for some reason and it checks around (I normally just bet out here and I think that's better). Turn 6c I bet 625 BB calls one limper calls. River 7h I shove ~2300, BB calls with a lower flush and I'm up to ~7500.

Hand 3: I got as high as 9600 but my super soft tight/passive table got broken and I got moved to a new table. 150/300 I have ~8K now. Some guy limps, I complete the SB with KQo and the BB checks. Flop Q96r, checks to limper who bets 600. I usually just call here but this time I decide to raise to try get a little more value and make it 1600. The problem is I know nothing about this player and when he then makes it 3600 I throw up in my mouth a little before eventually deciding I guess I better just fold.

Hand 4: 300/600 I just moved in on my friend Leo's raise to get back to 7400 at yet a another new table and post the SB in this hand. Folds to me in the SB with 55 and I decide to limp. I had raised this guy's blind the last 2 times it folded to me and I thought he would defend against a raise a lot by calling which would make postflop kind of gross on my stack size. I can just reraise if he raises my limp but he checks. Flop K22 I min-bet and he calls. Turn 6 check/check. River Q. I'm pretty sure he has a deuce and there's a good chance he'll pay off a bet. I should have the best hand unless he happened to hit his kicker. I bet 1200 and he quickly calls and shows Q2. Dammit.

Hand 5: 300/600 I have 5K before posting. Folds to old guy in HJ who raises to 1700. He's not especially tight or anything and I find J9cc and decide to try the ol stop and go since i think he'll give my flop shove some credit. Flop Js8c5c. Ding! I abort the stop and go to let him bluff. I check he bets 1700 I shove 1600 more he calls with AdTc and I'm slightly ahead. Turn Ah river brick hyachachachach.

Tomorrow is the $1K rebuy NL event though which is always fun. I cashed both of them last year so hopefully that trend continues.