Thursday, December 17, 2009

TT is my Kryptonite

I drove up early Sunday morning to the Borgata for the 200k triple play. Made it up in under 2.5 hrs even through the rain so I had plenty of time to get registered and find my table. Here is a brief description of what I found seat by seat at my first table where I spent most of day 1...

Seat 1 Heavy set middle aged woman who seemed very str8forward in her play and would later show a desire to get all her chips in with one pair..not worried about her too much
Seat 2 Older donkish guy who seemed more interested in milling around talking to people than playing any stellar poker..not at all worried about this cat
Seat 3 Older guy from Baltimore. Seemed pretty str8forward but played better than I expected...keep my eyes on him
Seat 4 Completely loose bad player...girlfriend/wife popped in a few times to wish him luck and talk to him. Appeared to just be killing some time while away with his wife...not a threat at all
Seat 5 By first appearance I thought he would be a tough internet kid. Looked like they all do....young, hoody, from NYC, good playing with chips, etc....Later proved this to be false...he no good
Seat 6 Heavy set middle aged Omaha playing guy...thinks he can play but in reality just another Joe trying to hit a score...oh wait I was in seat 6....nevermind
Seat 7 Older tight guy...he will get no chips from me
Seat 8 Very good aggressive young internet player...this was proven later when he folded KK preflop to Seat 7...stay out of big pots with him unless I am super strong
Seat 9 Strange middle aged guy...seemed to be a really bad Loose Aggressive player...called down with 3rd-4th pair hands....might be a good cash game player but I see this cat donking off later...not afraid to mix it up with him

SO that is the table dynamic. Let's see how Day 1 developed.

First few levels I found a lot of playable hands and flopped some pretty ones. First big pot I played was incidentally with the good internet player in Seat 8.

I raised 9Tdd to 300 at 50/100 and found 3 callers (pot ~1300). Flop was pretty good
Q84 with 8Q of diamonds. So this gives me T high flush draw...gut shot str8 draw and gut shot str8 flush draw. I lead for 1100 and Seat 8 raises to 3000. SB calls now and I call as well (pot ~10.5k). Turn is pretty good-Jd. I have the schnizzles now. Checks around. River is another J which kind of sucks. I still have the stone cold nuts but it might scare someone off. But SB checks and I bet 4500...My read is that Seat 8 must have a pretty stong hand with KQ or AQ being my best guess. He tanks for sometime and calls. SB folds and I scoop a 19k pot early.

Little later a LOL hand comes up at 75/150. I raise 77 UTG to 425 and get called on button and by spewy internet kid on my right in BB (pot ~1300). Flop does not disappoint the big fella...7AK with AK of spades. Spewtard checks to me and I bet 900, button folds and kid raises to 2500. I think and raise to 6500 and he insta ships to 23k. No chance I am ever behind here. If he has AA or KK he re-raises me preflop 100 times out of 100. Maybe he has AK or just a bare flush draw. Ummm no he has AJ...ok sir well played. I guess he thought I had In his defense I had been pretty active and running the table over a bit up until this point. But I will never attempt to run the table over this early without real hands to back it up. Picking up pots at 75/150 or even 100/200 is just not that big of a deal. So anyway that boosts the stack to over 60k and we are at 75/150.

Next hand was a bit of a tough one. Seat 3 limped in MP and I raised AQ to 750 at 100/200 in late position and got heads up with him after he called (Pot ~1750). Flop comes AKQ. He checks, I bet 1300 and he calls (Pot ~4400). Turn is a 9h putting 2 hearts on the board. He checks, I bet 2800 and he insta shoves like 24k which is pretty gross. So I took a few minutes to go through his hands and I come up with a few possibilities. His limp call preflop was one thing that really confused me. Had he raised and I called preflop this would be a snap fold as he could have AA, KK, AK, etc. But since he limped I took AA and KK out of his range. That left AK (maybe), JT, KQ and maybe 99 if he didn't believe me on the flop. The most likely of all of these is JT or KQ. So I can beat KQ but nothing else. After some thought I folded face up and he couldn't believe it showing me JThh. I think that fold helped my table image as well.

Now I go completely and utterly card dead until dinner break and my stack drifts down to ~55k at dinner (400/800/75a). We come back and I remain card dead and finally get moved at around 10 p.m. into the main tournament room. Table doesn't seem that strong but I continue to drift down taking flops, etc. Finally we are on the last hand of the night at 1000/2000/200a and I have 46k. UTG shoves for 44k and I look down at 99...oh boy. Well I doubt he has JJ+ but he could, of course, have TT, maybe JJ and then AK, AQ, KQ, etc. I decide to call and then BB starts muttering...uh oh! He shows me QQ and I tell him what a great hand that is and don't know how he can possibly fold that. He says he wants to come back tomorrow with a healthy stack (he had like 55-60k). I give him more reverse psychology telling him that is the 3rd best hand in poker, etc. He finally catches on to what I am trying to get him to catch on to and folds face up. Anyway I am up against AQ and win a flip and finish the night at ~96k with plenty of room for play. Older guy with QQ was like I was sure you had AA, KK or AK at a minimum and didn't want to risk it. Well all I can say is thank you SIR!

Day 2 was weird. Starts off well but I really don't think I played particularly well for the first few levels). First few hands a short stack shoves like 22k and I wake up with 99 again on button and call. He shows 77 and I hold (stack now ~140k as I had stolen some blinds/antes as well). Then a biggie comes up. Good young player is like 3 seats to my left. He raises in EP at 1200/2400/200 to 6500 and I defend the BB with J9clubs. Flop comes pretty good for me QTJ with one club. I check and he bets 12k. Now he has commented that I play really solid (which to a lot of the young players is buzzword for too tight). I have shown him a lot of tough but good laydowns so he knows I am not going to go crazy here. The only thing I am worried about is him showing up with AK or KQ. I don't even mind AQ but the other two are just killers. I decide given my image I decide to raise to 30k and am ready to get it in if need be. He starts really tanking now so I am sure he doesn't have AK so that is good. He knows I am not folding so if he had AK he ain't wasting this much time. Finally someone calls the clock and he shoves. I have to call which is not making me happy and I see the worst possible hand for me, KQ. That is until the turn and river are both J and big fella makes quads....weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Up to ~300k. Boy I played that hand poorly.

A few mins later a dorky kid calls my button raise from the BB. I hold 77 again and flop is 792 with 2 spades. He checks, I bet, he shoves 60kish and I call to see JT spades. I fade the outs and am up to 360ish. 2 levels later UTG shoves 140k at 2000/4000/400 and I find JJ on button and reluctantly call (I don't like calling 30BB with hands that are often crushed or 50/50 with). He has 66 and I am up to 500k+ and looking pretty good. I start flexing my chip muscles and chip up to 575k when I get moved to new table.

New table has 3 monstrous stacks with 2 to my direct left who seem intent on raising and reraising each other all evening long. Finally dinner comes and I am ready for a break. We are inside the money at this point though I am really only concentrating on final tabling this biotch.

So I talk to a few friends during break and we all decide that I should play a little more passively and let the short stacks bust each other out. Blinds are still 8k/16k/2k so I have PLENTY of room to play good solid poker. Well all of that worked in theory until my FIRST PHUCKING HAND after dinner. I raise AK UTG to 42k. Button then reraises me to 110k. He only has 275-300k so his raise is irrelevant here as I am playing for his stack or folding. Finally I decide his range includes too many hands I am flipping with (TT-QQ, AK) as well as AQ. Of course, the small re-raise sort of screams AA or KK but wtf lets ship. He snaps with AA and I lose half my stack. I lose 50k or so more basically folding when I shove AJ from middle position and UTG limper calls with KJ. I hold and back up to 450ish. Then short stack shoves 150k and I call from BB with KQ suited and lose to his AT. Back to 300ish. Finally we are at 10k/20k/2k with 33 left and it happens...AGAIN.

Folds to SB who min-raises to 40k. I look down and see AA...yummyyyy. I just grab a stack of 5 k chips and throw them in with no idea how much. Turns out to be 115k. I am willing to play a big pot this deep with AA every time. HE thinks and calls. Flop comes 9high with 3 hearts. HE shoves and I obv call. HE says oh shit you have AA I just have TT. Well maybe my luck is turning around deep in these events. Doesn't realize that he has Th and, of course, the turn is a heart. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

So I am out in 33rd for a bullshit 1k cash. Let's go out back dealer and I will let you kick me in the balls for 15 mins!

Oh well, like I said I really didn't play all that well and was fortunate on the J9 hand so I guess it works itself out. Everyone at my tables commented on how well they thought I played including 2 well known internet players. One even commented that he thought I was the best player at the table and the player that he least wanted to see accumulate chips. Always nice to hear comments like this from players whose games I respect. So I guess I am doing something right and playing well.

Next up for me on the live poker front is the Borgata Winter Open in late January. I hope to play 3 or 4 of their events as they have a pretty sweet series scheduled including some PLO events and one O8. In addition, the shithole that is the Taj is hosting the Trump Classic in early January and it includes an O8 that I may drive up for the day to play.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fun hand...

These are always good to see. Especially when the other guy has AKxx....

Off to AC in a few hours...

Friday, December 11, 2009

WSOP-C Tuesday Event

Busted ~80th out of 385 in Tuesday's $560 NLHE tournament. Played pretty solid most of the day and never had all of my chips in the middle until the last hand.

Last hand I had A9cc on the button. Active aggressive player raised to 4200 at 800/1600/200a from the cutoff. I had about 28k and should have shoved right there. He was raising a lot and, frankly, I had decided to reraise him regardless of my cards. But when I woke up with a reasonable (though not great) hand it made it that much easier. Anyway for some reason I tried to get cute and raise to 13k rather than just ship my chips. I thought that raise would look stronger than a shove especially to a solid thinking aggressive player. After a bit someone called time he made the call which I thought was kinda bad on his part (we both had similar stacks). Anyway the flop comes Q94 and he shoves. I have to call and he tables AQ. So yeah I outthought myself. If I shove I can't imagine he puts almost all of his chips in the middle with AQ. But he did say that he almost fold so I guess I put him to the test and unfortunately we both hit the flop. BTW I say his call is bad because I think he has to shove or fold once I 3 bet him. AQ is a hand he wants to see all 5 cards with an he should realize that I am not folding any flop once I put half my stack in the middle. But whatever he won. If the flop comes without a Q I wonder what he does.

I then went over to the Borgata and destroyed the 10-20 2 way Hi-Low game. Ran well, played with several total fish and just waited for good spots to win pots. Unfortunately the game was so good that I didn't want to leave the table. These guys just kept reloading for $300 at a pop and I didn't want to get up. At 7:30 a.m. the next morning I had to get some sleep and packed up a $1k winning session.

Back up on Sunday for the Borgata Triple Play.

Monday, December 7, 2009

First December Post

I am heading up tomorrow to play the $560 WSOP-Circuit event at Harrah's in AC. I may or may not also try and satellite into the WSOPC Main Event which starts 12/13. It is a $5k buy-in and I have never played that big of a buy-in before. If I don't satellite in I will go to The Borgata instead on Sunday for the Borgata Triple Play $200k guarantee. This is essentially the same event I final tabled in October only with a $340 buy-in rather than $560 and three opening days rather than 2. Hopefully a good run will come out of one of these events.

Online has been a real roller coaster. I have played no tournaments instead playing all SNG as well as some cash games mixed in (NLHE, PLO and PLO8). PLO8 has been very good to me though I got crushed in PLO ove the weekend. Every hand I got in with I was either outflopped or outdrawn. It was truly insane. Gonna stick to PLO8 on the cash games for a bit as that is historically where I have been the most successful (might mix in a bit of NLHE since it is easier to play a lot tables playing NLHE).

Finally, I am still pursuing the PokerStars Supernova status. I have ~70k VPP as of last night and need 100k to make it by YE. Seems like a lot and it is but I only had ~22k when I got serious about this chase in October. If I can get to 90k with one week left i will get there. Any more than that it will be a stretch. The Supernova designation is worth ~$4-5k which will come in handy as a bankroll for the Borgata Winter Poker Open in late January. I am planning on playing 4-5 events and making a concerted effort to satellite into their main event which is a WPT event with a $3,500 buy in.

Will update with anything interesting over the next week.