Monday, June 22, 2009

Final WSOP Update

Couple people have asked me about the summary of the trip so here goes:

  • Ended up abt $2.5k for the trip. Most of this came from cash games obviously as my tournament results were not too good. I obviously had to pay to get out there, hotel, cabs, etc. so the end results were probably half of those winnings.
  • I actually didn't play any WSOP events. The schedule didn't really work out well and perhaps I picked the wrong week to go. This week there were two Omaha Hi-Lo events that I would have liked to have played in. The one day that a $1,500 was scheduled I woke up with no desire to grind out a big field event so I just skipped it.
  • The cash game play was ungodly bad. I was talking to my wife and I really feel that I could bank some major cash just playing cash games for a week or so. But I like the lure of the big score in tournaments and feel that I play tournaments well. Unfortunately, there is just SOOOO much variance in tournaments that you need to play a lot of tournaments to even out that variance. There are plenty of stories of pros playing 15-20 events and having zero or 1 cash and losing all of those buy-ins.
  • Next year I may go for 2 weeks: one at beginning of Series and one week later. I will try to schedule around certain specific events (i.e. lower buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo events) and then fill in the rest with cash games.
As I said before there is still an outside chance I go back this year but that is pretty unlikely.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Final Day

Thursday was my final day of playing in Vegas. I played the $550 PLO at the Venetian and didn't last long. Arrived at the table to find a bunch of old men and no internet kids so that is a good thing. Didn't play many hands until level two when I got involved in 2 pots. The first I flopped top 2pair and check raised a player who had raised preflop and took down that pot. Then second was the end basically for me. A young asian kid had been moved to our table when the following popped up.

Me ~14k; him ~13k blinds 50/100...I am in SB and asian kid raises to 350 from EP. He only played a few pots so no real reads other than he seemed spewy to me. 3 callers so I call with K78T (trashy hand but a lot in pot) from SB and BB calls. Flop comes pretty dry 56J with 2 hearts. So I flop up and down str8 draw and K ho flush draw. Check to Asian kid who bets 1500 after a few seconds of thought. Folds back to me. No way that flop hit him. If I had to guess he has AA here and doesn't really know what to do so he bet. I check raise pot to ~6200. He then tanks for a while and finally calls. Now I know he has AA and doesn't have Ax of hearts or he would have reraised all in. Turn is an 8 giving me more outs so I ship and he calls to show dry AA. Wow people play bad. I am 2-1 favorite on the flop and with the pair I picked up I am still nearly 3-2 favorite on turn. Unforunately I brick and am down under 1k in chips. He then says "I knew you were on a draw". To which I replied "I was but I am ahead when you put all your chips in the pot sir". "How can you be ahead when you have no pair there" he intelligently replies. I start to explain the fact that I win with any heart, 9, 4 on turn or river and any of same plus K, 8, 7 or T on river but I don't think he will get it so I shut up. Few hands later I ship over a raise with TT9Q and brick off halfway through level 2.

With that I raced back to the Rio to play the $340 nightly which has been getting a good first place prize of nearly 15k. Get a rush of cards early including AA, KK, AK and a set and am up to 12k in chips within 2 levels (started with 5k). Then I made a pretty good call for a lot of chips. Old man opens for 600 at 100/200 and finds 3 callers before me. I call button with A3ss. BB calls as well so nice pot. Flop comes 45T with 2 spades. Raiser bets 1200 and only I call. Turn is a 3 giving me bottom pair. Action goes check check. River is an offsuit 7. He insta donk bets 3200 and I go in tank. His line makes no sense here. He raises in EP representing a big hand most likely a pair or a couple of big cards like AK or AQ. He c-bets flop which doesn't really change that analysis. Then he checks turn. At this point I can eliminate big pairs over T and probably all pairs really. I can also eliminate 2 pair hands or sets as he would have bet turn to protect flush and str8 draws. So I am only left with Ak-AJ or KQ-KJ type hands. Chance he has KQ of spades. I ask him if he has 66 which I know he doesn't have and he starts getting nervous. Finally i call to see KJ of spades. Scoop a nice pot. He couldn't believe I called with a 3.

Little later I raise TT to 600 (still 100/200) in LP and BB who hasn't played a single hand ships all in for 4500. this over bet sure looks like AK so I call and he shows AJhh. Flop 678hhh leaving me one out the 9h which never materializes. After that I go cards dead but I chip up to ~16k when the biggest pot pops up. Dude I had played with before in the week and I are in the blinds. Blinds are 600/1200/100a and he open raises to 3500 from the SB. I elect to call Q5dd from BB and figure why no play a huge pot with this shit No really I playing here since I have position throughout the hand and can really out play him after the flop. Well I flop the world on 9TJ with two diamonds. I will wager all my remaining chips here every single time. He donk bets 4k and I think and think and think and decide to jst ship it in. I win with a Q (most likely) any diamond, any K or 8. The he is agonizing and I start telling him I flopped the world and I know I am ahead (I am even ahead of him if he has JT). Finally he calls off with I am over 3-2 favorite but of course I miss and am done. Oh well get in ahead and lose is how I do.

I then killed the cash 20-40 Omaha Hi/Lo again for nealy another $1k and packed it up around 3. Came home Friday on a rather bumpy flight which is not a lot of fun.

Very small chance I may return for Main Event in early July if I win a seat on line.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Better Results

On Tuesday i woke up and went to the Venetian for their Deep Stack $340 rather than play the WSOP $1500. Just felt like I needed a break from the Rio. So I got there and got in abt 12:15. My initial table was ok with a few weak spots in the bunch. There were 2 very aggressive internet players, however. Not much happened for me until the 50/100 level (2nd level). UTG was an aggressive young internet player and he raised to 300. I flat called the cut off with A2 of spades and we were heads up. I like to play hands like this in position particularly against an early position raiser. Typically their hands are stronger since they are raising in early position and makes it harder for them to get away from them. Anyway flop comes A2T. He leads at pot for 600. I think for a while and reraise to 1700. He then min-reraises to 3000. I flat call because his hand is pretty much face up as AK. Basically any non king or ten turn card and we are probably getting it in. Turn, of course, is the T counterfeiting my 2 pair. Action goes check-check. River was a blank and he bets 1250 and I fold face up and tell him was lucky and his AK is now good. He shows me AK.

Stack continues to drift down to abt 5000 when I 3 bet all in at new table with blinds at 1/200/25ante. Action in front was raise to 600, 2 callers and I wake up with AQ and ship it. Original raiser calls with 99 and I actually won a coin flip. Got me up to abt 11k. Little later I win another all in at 150/300/25with QQ vs. AK and all of the sudden I am pretty deep stacked with 22k or so. Table was pretty weak tight and I was raising and 3 betting a good bit preflop and got my stack up to about 26k before losing a few medium pots and drifting down to 20k. Then big hand of the tournament came up at 3/600/75a. I raise to 1800 under the gun holding AKsuited. Terrible female player shoves all in for 12.5k. Folds back to me and I call to see AJ offsuit. Flop comes JTx. Here we go again! urn is a! River is a Q for a chopped pot. That was a gay river card 4 sho!! Instead of having over 30k in chips I am stuck at 20k +/- still. Her play is basically ell-oh-fucking-ell. Then she has the nerve to tell me "I thought you might have that". Ma'am if that is true "Why the fuck are you shoving over an UTG raiser with AJ?"

ANyway once that happens I go card dead and basically can't win shit and am getting blinded down. Finally at 4/800/100 I am down to about 14k in chips and am looking for a good reshove spot. this is a play where a late position player raises then I can shove over him with any hand basically but more likely a hand that flops well. Broadway cards, suited connecters, etc. Finally I get my spot. Button raises to 2400. I wake up with QTdd and shove over him with abt 14k. BB then tanks. Uh oh. He is a good internet player and I'm sure knows exactly what my play is. He finally reshoves for like 30k to isolate and button folds. BB has 88 and off we go the races for a big loss for Bri-Bri. Oh well. Gotta win races to win poker tournaments. So out at abt 175th of original 750ish.

With that bustout they were starting a nightly 2nd chance for $125 and I just jumped in for shits and giggles. Wow was the play bad. Totally full of weak tight donkeys who couldn't wait to get all fo their money in with one pair hands and AT First hand I played I flopped a set of 5s and value towned this old man who kept commenting how he knew I only had AK on every street and that he was a soul reader...blah blah blah. Finally I shoved the river to look weak and he caled with pocket 7s on a 5TJ33 board. Good thing is that this donkey kept busting the other idiots out so he kept getting more chips to donk off to me. Little later I flopped a 9-K str8 and value towned him every street again so he could show a pair of kings. These guys were hysterically bad. That put me up over 25k in chips with abt 75 remaining. Blinds got silly and players were busting out left and right. With 5 tables left I got moved to find a new table of donks (though there were 2 solid players there). I slowly kept building chips up to abt 60k when the big hand came up. We were down to 30 players and 27 cashed or so with blinds at 1500/3000/500. I raised the button with AK suited to 8k (I had been raisng basically every other hand and they had all but surrendered). SB thought for a while and shoved all in for abt 80k, covering me. I thought for a few minutes and new he wouldn't do this with KK or AA so lets go. I call to see 55. Good aggressive play by him if I am raising as much as I am. Well I win the race and am now the chip leader with over 120k. I burst the bubble by shoving every hand all in to pick up the ~9500 in chips in the middle and finally getting called by AT. I had A6 and spiked a 6 on the turn. Stack up over 200k at this point. Once the bubble burst I tightened up again and played solid while the short stacks went all in with each other over and over again.

Big hand popped up again when I raised 77 UTG at 4/8000/1000a to 22,000. SHort stack shoved for 34k. Button then agonizes and calls 34k. Unfortunalely I can't reraise since the shove was not a complete raise. Button has to have 2 broadway cards here or medium pair. Flop comes T34. No way that hit him like ever if he is a decent player. With over 110k in the pot and with him only having 50k behind, I shove. He calls with AT...HE HAW HEEEE HAW. Calls off half his stack with AT. Very good sir. Turn is a blank but the river is a gorgeous black 7! Bust him out and have over 250k at this point. Finally a player busts and we are at the final table.

Here I decided to play a bit tighter and wait for my spot. Pay range was 500 for 10th all the way up to $7,700 for 1st. There were 2 or 3 players basically telling us that they were trying to move up the pay scale. So I chose to attack them when they were in the blinds. Unfortunately, I raised to 55k at 10000/20000/4000a with QTdd on one of their BB and he reraise all in for like 30k more. I have to call and tell him his AA is pretty money he laughs and shows AA. I hit a T on flop and brick off and am down to 120k or so. Go through the blinds and am suddenly one of the shortstacks. Basically looking for a good spot to ship and didn't get any. Unfortunately the table captain big stack was directly on my left so I couldn't raise him very light. Finally I had A5 and shoved. Smaller stack 2 to my left called blind and spiked a T for most of the pot. Down to 50k. Last hand was 15k/30k/5ka and I am in small blind. I shove blind for 55k or so and big stackcalls. I let the board play out and squeeze....23 He has A2 and wins. Out in 6th for ~1k. So close again.

Today I woke up and had no interest in tournaments so I just played cash games all day for a ~$500 profit. Tomorrow I will be playing late in the Venetian PLO $550. Looking forward to that. then back home on Friday. Hopefully PLO will be the ticket to a deep run.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not a great start to the WSOP

So I have not been running well at all. Whether cash games or tournaments I keep finding myself in these ugly sopts having to make tough decisions for a lot of chips. Having a straight with a flush on board, having overpairs to the board, etc. Just been very frustrating. Here is a quick rundown.

550 Omaha H/L @ Venetian

My first real tournament out here and got off to a good start. Ran my initial 10k stack up to about 15k in 2 levels. that is pretty hard to do in a limit tournament. Then I fluctuated between 14k and 22k forever. One interesting hand.

Me ~16k, Old Man to my right ~4k. I hold A2KJ with a suited A spades. Flop comes 67Q with 2 hearts. There is a bet, Old Man calls, and I call on button. Turn is a 9 putting out 2 spades. Gives me Nut low draw, gutshot draw to nut str8 and nut spade draw. Initial better checks, Old man bets 1200, I call and other dude folds. River is a K hearts. Old Man checks and opens his hand to me. He has QQQ. I can't win if I don't bet. I bet 1200. He is like "I thought you checked". "No sir" I say. Floor comes over and Old Man gets irate. Old Man is like "I thought he was checking so I showed my hand?" Floor says I have right to make my action. So I have nothing but missed draws. There is 6600 in the pot and I can't win without betting. He thinks for a long time and is like "Well if you bet after seeing my hand you must at least have the str8" and folds. I say no I had a baby Folded with 1600 chips behind.

Anyway continue on to the final 2 tables with some decent run of cards up to abt 60k at 2 a.m. Monday morning. Have to come back at 4 p.m. on Monday with 20 players. 18 get paid from the original ~180ish. I am probably 11 or 12 in chips but the blinds are high. If I don't get some cards early I am in trouble.

Come back and I am completely card dead early. there is one pro at the table who is raising virtually every hand (as he should be) on the bubble. He is to my left so I can't really do much. I blind off abt 20k in 2 orbits when we finally burst the bubble. I then get moved and first hand in I have A356 with 2 hearts. I raise it up and only BB calls. Flop comes 882 with 2 hearts. BB leads for 6k, I raise to 12k and he reraises to 18k. So I stick it all in to see. KK8T no hearts. Turn J, river T hearts. That helped! Back up around 60k. Same guy raises my BB and I call with KJ9T single suited. Obviously flop comes all low and I have to fold. Blind off a little more and go card dead again. Finally I am down to ~30k at 6/12,000. I am in late position and am dealt. A35Q with A3 of hearts. I decide that if I am going to go deep in this thing I need to build a big pot. So I limp 6k whats normally a raising hand. Button calls and both blinds call. Flop QJ5 rainbow. That's pretty good! SB leads out, BB folds and I decide SB likes his hand so lets build this baby now with 2 pair. I raise to 12k and only SB calls. Turn is just so bad, another J. He leads again for 12k this time and I am sick. There is now 56k in pot and I only have abt. 15k behind. I can't find teh fold button and put it in. Obv he has some random bullshit hand with J5 and I miss my Q. This is the risk I have when trying to build a pot. If I raise he folds in SB and I pick up 9k in chips uncontested. Not sure what the right play is there honestly. Anyway out in 15th for yet another bullshit min cash of like $900. So tired of doing that.

Came back to the Rio and played the nightly tournament. Was going along ok when i was dealt TT on button (I have abt my original stack of 5k) UTG player makes it 600 at 1/200 and I call. Flop comes 952 with 2 clubs. He fires 1500 and I call. Still might have Ak here. Turn pairs the board. And he ships all in. WTF yet another ugly spot for Bri Bri. He has me covered so I have to call all in. Think and think and cannot find a hand that I can possibly beat other than maybe AK of clubs I guess. Finally i fold TT face up and he shows me QQ. But lost almost half my stack there. I grind it back to 4k when funny one happens. A seemingly decent player is in BB. I am UTG and am dealt AA. Raise to 600. BB calls. Flop Q57 rainbow. He checks I bet 1k and he ships all in. I call expecting to see a set or some sort of 68 hand (maybe AQ, KQ I guess as well) and I see Turn 6 oh boy here we go again...Must be time for Bri Bri to get donkstacked. River is a blank and I bust the goof and nearly double up. I again go card dead for 2 or 3 levels. Finally, I am back down to 5k at 3/600/75. UTG is short (maybe 3k at most) he ships it in. I am on button and folds around to me. I squeeze KT suited and am pretty sure I am ahead of UTG, So I ship to isolate on him. BB then starts bitching and moaning and I now know he has woken up with something here. Most likely TT-QQ. KK or AA he is snap calling. Probably AK as well. He finally makes the call and tables QQ. I miss and am out. I run good.

2/5 cash I built my 400 stack up to abt 800 pretty quickly. Then drifted downward. Finally I raise AQsuited to 40 (there was a straddle of 10). My immediate left calls. Flop KKJ. Check check. Turn rag. Check Check. River T. Check he bets $100. God this is so gross. I river nut str8 and he probably has a boat. I call to see TT. Drops me down to ~350 and I pack it up for the night. Can't stand it.

Because I am running so bad I think I may skip the WSOP 1500 today and just play the Venetian 550 NLHE. The field is probably 600 vs. 1600+ with better structures and more than double the chips stacks. Will decide here in the next few mins.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Safely in Vegas

Got in yesterday afternoon and proceeded to play a lot of cash games last night. Did not play the $1k Main Event satellite I was planning on playing.

Was up about 1k in 2/5 No-Limit and shouldn't have gotten up. Went to play some satellites instead. Played 2 $275 No_limit sats and 1 $275 PLO sat and bricked off in all three. Then went back to play 20/40 Omaha Hi-Lo and ran like absolute death. Down abt 600 in that so I am down ~500 to start the trip. Hopefully that is as bad as I will run.

Key hands:

2/5 NLHE-Called 15 on button with Flop comes 3 hearts J high. BB was weak player led for 40 into pot of ~60. I flat on button planning to steal turn. Turn Ac. He donk bets 80 and I raise to 220. He quickly folds. I show Kh.

2/5 NLHE-Raise 22 in cutoff. Button calls. 2 more callers. Flop comes Gin A2x rainbow. I lead for 50 into 60+ pot. Button calls. She ALWAYS has an A here and I pretty sure she will put it all in on turn. Turn x. I check she puts it in for ~150 I call to see AJ.

2/5 NLHE-This is a funny one...Raise to 15 with QJss. Flop comes J8x. Checks to me on button. I bet 35 into 3 way pot and get 1 caller. Turn is Q. I go check check. River is blank. She checks. I bet 80. She insta calls and says I have a read on you sir. and turns over 99... lol. I say "was your read that I have top 2??" Nice pot.

$275 PLO sat. 25/50. I somehow fold middle set in previous hand. and am left with ~900 of original 1500. Next hand. Action goes. Limp, limp, raise to 175. Call call and on me. Too much in there and I ship QQJT double suited. So I ship and big stack in BB calls with AAxx and holds. Blah!!

$275 NLHE sat..50/100 blinds. Bad early spewy player raises to 300 I call with 1800 behind on button with T9hh. Flop comes HUGEEEEEEEEEEE JQ with 2 hearts. She leades for 400 I raise all in. SB calls...ewwww. He has 333 and obviously I brick off turn and river.

Oh to Venetian for Omaha Hi-Lo at 4 p.m. Just run a little better please.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Close but no cigar..

My family was at the beach this weekend so I played a full menu of tournaments over the weekend including the two Sunday majors on Tilt and Stars. I won like 6 seats for the Full Tilt 750k and I think 3 or 4 for the Stars Sunday Million so I was way ahead before I even started.

Had deep runs in two events and "almosts" in 3 others. First, I bubbled both the two majors mentioned above. On Tilt I was sort of nursing a short stack for a while and inside of 100 before the cash I got TT all in pre flop and lost to A# when the monkey flopped an A. On Stars I lost a flip when I got my 55 in vs KT and lost.

I did final table the Pot Limit HA (Holdem/Omaha) event on Saturday night for ~$400. Don't really remember any exciting hands but was pretty much at or near the chip lead from 30 people left until I eventually busted in 4th.

I also had a lot of chips in the Full Tilt 40k (69+6 entry) on Saturday night. 63 cashed and with 70 or so left I got pretty aggressive. I was probably average stack and in the SB when a late position player raised to like 6k (blinds were 1/2000/200a). I reraised to 17.5k with T8suited. He jammed all in and I had to call 20k more and he showed KK. Fuck me. Get out of line once and he has the goods. Flopped a T but didn't improve and I am out. High risk play but I need to get chips and slipping in the money for a $125 cash is worthless to me when top 3 all get $5k+.

Last night I went deep in the Stars 40k guarantee (27.50 entry). I got to the final 2 tables from the original 1500+ players. There were a lot of big hands including one where I cracked AA with my 33 with abt 40 left. But at the final 2 I had abt 75k at 3/6000/500a on the button. The cutoff was a big stack and playing uber aggressive. He open shoves ~300k and I have AJ suited. Based on his play I am pretty sure I am good here so with 12.5BB left I need to take this opportunity to get chips. So I call and he tables 67suited. SO far so good. Flop 7xx, very bad. Turn J, VERY VERY Good. River 6, mind blowingly fucking bad. 5.5 hrs of grinding to cash for ~200 when first pays ~7k.

I also had deepish runs in the Tilt 40k (same as above) and the $11 cubed on Stars last night for medium type cashes.

BUt I keep getting very deep and sooner or later I should win some of those big pots. NOw maybe the winners will be in Vegas?? We can hope. 5 days and counting.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Big Comeback-Chip and a Chair!!

The other night I was goofing around watching TV with the wife when I remembered that every Monday is the $5k guarantee $75 Omaha Hi-Lo (limit) on Full Tilt at 8:45. So it was like 8:40 and I thought it would be good to play since I don't get a chance to play a lot of tournament limit Hi-Lo (mostly play pot limit on-line). So I jumped in and here we go...

Was basically pretty stagnant for the first 45 mins or so and then all of the sudden I got a good rush of cards and picked up a lot of chips right before the first break. Was up around 6k (starting stack=3k) and actually ran that up to around 9k at one point. Then I lost two huge pots in a row at 200/400. In the first I A3JT in the BB and there were 3 or 4 limpers. I checked and flop came JT4 rainbow. I led and got raised by a monkey. I reraised and he called. Turn was a 6d putting a four flush out there. I again led. Monkey raised, I reraised and he capped. River was probably the worst card in the deck, 9d. Any low and I have a good shot at low. As it is I now can not beat a flush and a straight that just got there. Really not much I can beat so I have to check call. Next hand I lost in a similar fashion and all of the sudden I was down to 126 chips. Less than the 200BB. Not good. So I was basically ready to stick it in with any A-low hand.

SO that was a start. Couple hands later I stuck it in with trash and low and behold...

Then I got lucky...

Couple hands later this guy makes a strange fold...

Next I pushed off the villain with a pretty weak holding on the turn...

Finally I had a beautiful spike on the turn...

Another good one a few mins later for 3/4 of the pot...

So now we have over 7k in chips and can play a bit. I ran that up to 22k pretty quickly and with ~30 left I was actally top 5 in chips where I would stay for the rest of the tournament. I was able to abuse the cash bubble pretty aggressively (12 paid of the original ~110 players) and picked upa lot of chips at the expense of the medium stacks.

At the final table there was one player who was a psycho aggressive bomber and was basically just drawing out with his shit holdings. But he was busting people left and right. Before long we were 3 handed and the one dude had about 2/3 of the chips in play (preston0505). I had no experience with him but it seemed like he was just a kamakaze that was getting pretty lucky. If either I or the other guy (USVI_Jimbo) could scoop him once we would be right back in it. Unfortunately Jimbo was the one who scooped him and I was pretty even in chips with preston when the final blow came.

So my play here looks pretty spewy but I was up against a real maniac. Sometimes against guys like that you have to go with your hand and keep betting. The turn and river are just brutal cards for me. The turn particularly kills my shot at the low and puts so many scare cards out on the river. Suddenly a flush draw, multiple str8 draws and better lows are now in play. But 3 handed this deep against a spewtard I need to play my 2 pair and stronger hands like this. Obviously the flush hits the river and I get scooped. In this case he was stronger than I had expected but even monkeys have a hand some time. That left me severely crippled obviously and I was out a few hands later in 3rd for approx. $1k. Not bad considering I was all the way down to 126 chips at one point.

Also playing a good bit of Hi-Lo cash games on line. That same night as above I won abt $1,500 playing 10/20 and 15/30 limit Hi-lo. Did give about $600 of that back over the last few nights however as the winds of variance starting blowing against me. But I am ready for Vegas and the last 4-6 weeks have been a big bankroll boost. I think I am ready for a nice score if the cards are kind.