Monday, September 22, 2008

USPC at the Taj

Played in 2 events at the USPC at the Taj last week. The Taj is really dying in my opinion. Watch Rounders and they talk about how it is the center of east coast poker. Well that was the mid-late 90s before the Borgata opened. The Borgata now blows away everything in AC and has the best poker room by far. But the Taj was where this event is played so...

The USPC used to be televised by ESPN and was one of the big events outside of the WSOP. It is now a dying series. The first event I played in (Limit Omaha Hi-Low 8 or better) had 109 players and the second (Pot Limit split event 1/2 Holdem-1/2 Omaha) had only 55-60 players. Doubt this series will be around in 2 or 3 years.

Omaha Hi-Lo

Not much happened here really. We started with 5k in chips and 25/25 blinds. I made it to Level 6 with abt 6k in chips. I then lost ~1.5k (at 150/300) or so in chips with top set on a pretty uncoordinated board. I had KKxx and the board was K92 (I think). Good flop for me with no low draw on the board and no flush draw either. Don't really remember the action (though I do know I got 4 bets in on the flop) but I know I put the guy on AA by the turn. Obv an A hit the river and I had to check call and donkey had AA. So I lose a big pot.

Lost a few other hands that were fairly meaningless. The play was really bad with people drawing to weak lows like A4, etc. and I just needed to hit a hand and I could win a lot of chips. Well my final hand was a monster but look what happened...

I was in BB with AAK2 with the A2 of clubs and AK of spades. Blinds are 200/400 I elect to raise the hand preflop to try and build a pot. If I miss I can fold the flop. 6 people call and there are 7 to the flop (Pot 1400). Flop comes 78J with two clubs. Now this is not an idela flop but I have the nut low draw and the nut flush draw. Someone has 9T for sure but I have 20 cards to the low and 9 cards to the nut flush. With all of those chips out there I ain't folding and I want to continue to build this pot in case I hit. So I lead for the 200 (this is limit), folds to c/o who raises to 400 and button raises to 600. Well this is interesting. What do they have? I suspect the button who is very solid has 9T with perhaps a redraw (maybe a weaker flush or a draw to a good low hand like A3). Cutoff could really have anything as he had been splashing pots. I am down to less than 2,000 in chips and there is 2600 in the pot right now. This is my chance to get some chips. If I call cutoff might 4 bet then I can 5 bet (betting cap). But I raised hoping he would come along. Cutoff actually folds (probably had a set). Button then raises. He is solid so I know I am beat right now but I call the 5 bets (Pot 3800). Turn was a K I think. I lead out for the 400 and get raised. I put my last chips in making the total pot ~6200. So I need any club (preferably a high club (i.e. 9+)) or a low card between 3-8 to make the nut low and at least get 1/2 the pot. He turns over 9TA2. Yuck. So any low card splits the low. River is a Q and I am out. But I played it right I think. I needed to get chips and had a million outs.

Pot-Limit Split Event

I love these events. I love pot limit Omaha and a lot of the Holdem players are not as good at PLO. The table I was at was very tough and aggressive. I did take down a few pots with well timed raises and reraises. The end came for me fairly quickly however on the following action. Blinds were 100/200 (I have about 6000 of the starting 5000). I call on the cutoff with 3556 double suited. Button calls and we have 4 to flop (Pot 800). Flop comes 24K. Guy to my right has been very active and very aggressive on the flop and leads for 600. I think for a while and the 1400 in the pot would add 25% to my stack which would help a lot. I figure he can only call me if I reraise with KK. And even if he has that I am abt 40% to hit my str8 and win the hand (any A, 3, 5, 6 gives me a str8). So I reraise to 2250. All of the sudden the button reraises me all in. Ooops he has the KK... Oh well I have 40% equity here and I call off. He obv had KK. I picked up a spade draw on the turn keeping my equity at abt 40%. Whiff the river and I am out. Bad luck there. I played it right and just got unlucky that the button had the only hand that can call me.

Cash games were good to me. I beat up a 10/20 limit Omaha Hi-Low game on Wed night for a few hundred then got in a juicy No-Limit Hold-Em cash game after I busted from the Pot-Limit event. I usually play 2/5 or 5/10 live but just didn't feel like playing for big stacks so I only played 1/2. play was hideous. Lots of liming into pots and very passive play after the flops. Good example. I am on the button. 4 limpers into the pot. I raise to 16 with 23 offsuit. Yes 23 off. BB calls and one of the limpers calls (Pot 54). Flop comes 788. Very weak older woman leads into the pot for 20. This weak lead tells me she has a pair but not sure which yet. I call and BB surprisingly calls (pot 114). Turn is another 8 which is bad card for me. Players at this level do not lay down ANY boats. SO even though it looks like I could have a big pair the way I played it, she won't fold her 66 or 44 or whatever and I need to check behind (pot 114). River is another 7 putting a full house on the board. They check to me and I decide the only way I can win here is to bet. I fire 80 into the pot. BB folds and older woman tanks for a while. Now I am worried 99+ gives her a bigger full house and I think she has to call. But her hand doesn't look like a big pair as played. But who knows with these goofs. Finally she folds 55 face up and I flash the 23 bluff. Nice pot there.

Later a donkey who was very bad and very predictable raised from the BB when I had called from middle position with 99 and we went heads up (Pot 30). Flop came 8JQ which is not good for me. He leads for $25 and I call (Pot 80) Turn is a T and he checks. Strange check for him but he could have AK for the bigger str8. I check behind but I feel like my hand is good here. River is another T and he quickly announces all-in. SO he has me covered and it costs me ~$300 to call. This bet makes zero sense. If he had QQ, JJ (for a boat) or AK (for the bigger str8) he wants to be paid off not to bet me off my hand. Also he had made the same move earlier when I held A5 on a 459T9 and I almost called him with my 5s. So I decided he had to have some bullshit hand like AQ, AJ, QJ, etc and I was good. Made the call and scooped a big one.

That was about it and I ended up for the trip thanks to the cash games.

Have some golf coming up so I will probably not be putting in much poker in the coming weeks but check back often.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Haven't updated in a while because there hasn't been much to update. Haven't played a lot of golf or poker really in the last several weeks.

I did play in the MD Mid Amateur in late August and finished T8 (148 (+4)). Really should have finished much higher but as has been the case most of the summer, the putter was awful. I had 69 putts in 2 rounds of play and that is not getting it done. After this I did go to my instructor, Ted Sheftic, and had him look at my stroke, etc. He immediately noticed that I was set up WAY WAY open to my target putting line. This leads to a lot of inconsistent putts as it is hard to get the ball on line if your alignment is out of whack. I have been working on this pretty hard lately and hopefully that will help.

On the poker note I am going up to the US Poker Championship at the Taj next week to play in a couple of events. Hopefully that will prove to be profitable.