Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fallsview Recap

I played the $2.5k and $5k events at Fallsview this weekend and it proved to be a wise decision not to go to PCA. Both events were as soft as I expected, but the $2500 being scheduled for a Saturday and Sunday really drew a huge field and was even juicier than I could have guessed. 444 players showed up and the prize pool exceeded wan mirrion dorrars.

I got off to a good start flush over flushing a guy to double early but then hung around 25k for quite a while before reversing back to the 10k starting stack. Things were looking grim as the blinds were big and my first shove with Q6s was snapped of by 77. I flopped 2 pair though and then I won JJ>AQ vs the same guy a few hands later. Shortly after that I busted another guy somehow, I think another flip, and I had chipped up to 80k before I knew it. The rest of the day didn't go as well and I had to rebound at the end to finish with 56k. there were around 68 left with 40 getting paid.

On day 2 I just crushed from the very beginning. First I busted a short stack calling his shove with ATo and holding vs 76s. I then raised over an UTG limp with 88 and the guy next to me, who had just taken like 3 minutes to call a 20bb reshove with AK, moved in for an amount that gave me almost 2:1 on a call. I sighed and threw in the chips hoping to see AK, but instead he had 55(!). Then I stole some blinds on the bubble to have 210k when we reached the money.

They did a redraw for seats at 40 and Timex got moved to my table with 280k. Now guaranteed money people were willing to gamble again, so it was a rather opportune time for me to pick up QQ, AA, and AA within the first couple orbits. I busted a player each time, the last being timex himself when he jammed pocket 2s over my pocket 1s (he had already lost some of his stack by then). Then I opened AQ UTG, got flatted by some guy who likes to call, and the BB shipped 15bb. I called and held vs the 93o. Actually. Then I won another big pot when I opened 66 UTG+1 to 23k and got repopped to 50k by a guy who had flat called me with AK in the same spot the orbit before. I was therefore very confident he had a big pair so I did some math and decided to call getting a bit over 9:1 implied odds, which is probably a small mistake. Even though I'm only 7.5:1 against flopping a set I don't automatically win when that happens, but fuck him for minraising me and maybe I score some image points as being the bully chipleader who doesn't fold to such nonsense. Obviously I flopped a set and held vs AA. After that I won another smaller pot and had over a million when 2nd place was barely 500k. I made the final table with just under a million and was still chip leader.

The first hand I played at the FT was huge. 2nd in chips who had almost caught up to me opened in EP to 41k at 6k/12k/1k and the guy on my right called. I called with 77 and the three of us saw a flop of T73 rainbow (easy game). They checked to me and I bet 72k. It seemed likely neither was very strong but I have to bet anyways and I was thrilled to see the original raiser bomb it to 246k! He had around 450-500k behind and from playing with him I knew he was capable of spewing, but I really doubted he would be bluffing in this situation. In the end I still decided to just call afraid he might somehow hero fold if I shove as it's live poker but he'd probably autoshove the turn with an overpair anyways. Plus if he does happen to have AK somehow he might accidentally make a pair. The turn was a king and he shoved as expected, I snapped and beat JJ. After this pot I had 1.85M of the 4.4M in play with 9 left. 2nd in chips would have had maybe 600k.

Unfortunately from there I did not run so hot. I lost two flips against short stacks and later AJ vs AK to drop below a million. Another player from Waterloo, David Quang, had stolen my God-mode and run up the big stack. We eventually ended up heads-up with me behind 3:1 in chips. The heads up was incredibly one-sided. He probably made the best hand at least 75% of the pots that saw a flop and there just wasn't anything I could do about it. I was down to 500k when I got all-in A6 vs A9, but flopped three sixes to get back where I'd started. I then coolered him AQ vs AJs in a pot that would have put me roughly even in chips, but he rivered a J-hi straight to take it down. Second paid $141k obviously a great score, but payouts were pretty top heavy and first was twice that. Nonetheless I was still thrilled to get the year started in such a positive way.

I played the $5k on Monday and was able to double my stack without playing any particularly interesting pots, but then I went card dead and eventually lost JJ vs AQ. I'm off to Australia tomorrow for Aussie Millions where I'm planning to play basically everything except the 100k. If I can be even half as successful as I was there last year 2011 will be off a to a great start indeed.


Tuesday, January 04, 2011

On to the Next

2010 was a good and bad year for me. The good was that I succeeded in having a lot fun and enjoying life, which was my main goal. The bad was that with respect to poker I was in the red on the year. This was mainly because I stopped running hot at nosebleed PLO and I didn't do anything spectacular live, despite starting off the year cashing the PCA and having a great run at Aussie Millions. My lack of success at poker isn't really surprising. When you play as little volume as I did in 2010 at the stakes I played your results are going to vary wildly. Focusing more on other things and less on poker is unlikely to help. That being said, poker was not my main goal, and losing never really affected my mood. I still had a great year overall.

Losing in 2010 didn't really change my situation financially, though you probably won't see me playing much nosebleed for a while. That being said it's not something I intend to repeat in 2011. Since I got back from Asia I've been rededicated to grinding somewhat. I've spent a lot of time playing 25/50 full stack PLO and mixed games in the 40/80-250/500 range. Some of my limit games still need some work but I'm really enjoying the new 10 game mix as Badugi and NL 2-7 SD are both fun games and games I feel I'm relatively strong at compared to the field at this point. I think if I keep putting in hands as much as possible while being smart about game selection I'll have success. Making some more steady income from cash is important as my tournament results are always going to be erratic, that's just the nature of it.

As for 2011 I am doing a lot of the same traveling I always seem to do with a few changes. First, I'm skipping PCA this year. Instead I will be playing the 2.5k and 5k
events at Fallsview. These events will have a lot of value and are much easier to travel to. PCA is overrated once you've done it a few times anyways, and while the main event is one of the best tourneys of the year most of the $2k+ buy-in side events are nothing special. Immediately after Fallsview I'm off to Australia again for Aussie Millions. The schedule looks great this year and Melbourne is infinitely better than Atlantis in terms of a vacation spot in January-February. After the tournaments are over I'll be kicking it with my mates down under for the first 3 weeks of February. Finally, I'm heading to LAPC again on Feb 20 for the final week of events there. That's as far as I've got things planned at this point, hopefully I get off to a great start to a great year on and off the felt! Happy New Year and best of luck to everyone in 2011.