Thursday, April 29, 2010

Borgata Spring Open Main Event wrap-up

Before I get into that I was disappointed with the Caps exit from the playoffs in round 1. There is not much in sports as exciting as a game 7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Unfortunately, some shaky defense/goaltending throughout the series coupled with an amazing defensive performance by the Canadiens and their goalie was too much to overcome. Hopefully they continue their run and beat the freaking Penguins.

Ok so now onto the Borgata. I mentioned previously that I had a min-cash in an event last week and would get back to that. However, my Iphone dumped the notes I took on that so I can't really remember a lot about it. What I do remember is that we got inside the money and I took a calculated risk to acquire some chips. Blinds were 1500/3000/400a and I opened AK to 7800. Shortstack shoved for 27k and next player reshoved for 57k (I started hand with 55k). Normally this is a snap call on-line but a fold in many cases live. People just rarely 4 bet shove live less than KK. So really his range there is QQ, KK, AA and AK and that is really about it. So I am losing to half that range, chopping with a quarter of it and flipping with a quarter of it. Not a good recipe for getting it in. But in this case I took a calculated gamble knowing if I hit my hand I would have ~140-150k in chips and would likely go deep in this thing. ANyway the original shover had TT and the re-shover had QQ. I bricked off and was out for a min-cash. Oh well, if I see their hands then this is a snap call as I have ~40% equity in the pot yet it only costs me about 35% of the pot. So poop I am out.

The main event was a really good experience even though I didn't cash. This was my highest buy in event ever and, predictably, the play was significantly better than most of the $300-$1k buy in events I typically play in. Play was super aggressive with a lot of 3 betting and 4 betting pre-flop. But with deep stacks and a great structure I was able to play solid and develop a good, tight table image and pick my spots. My table was very very tough and featured 2 well known internet players and a very accomplished live player with over $1.5M in career live winnings at the ripe old age of Unfortunately, this player was 2 to my left and was going to be a thorn in my side all day.

Well to say I was card dead would be an understatement. A steady diet of 49off, J5off and my seemingly most common hand 37 suited was really brutal. In fact, in the first 3 levels I saw about 5 flops and folded all but 1 flop and that one I folded the turn holding JJ on a KxxA board. So I was slipping down a lot. Finally I won a decent pot, however, that got me back up close to my starting stack. I limped 22 UTG at 100/200/25a and got 3 callers. An aggro young kid then raised the button to 1100 and found 1 caller in the SB. He was raising every other hand and loved to 3 bet in position. So I decided to make my hand look like AA but re-raisng to 3400. This is a pretty common play with AA UTG and looks very strong especially since I haven't played many hands. All folded and I scooped a nice ~3k pot. I then played a hand with Chris Klodnicki, the player 2 to my left. I opened JJ at 150/300/25a to 800 and he re-raised the button to 2100. The BB called cold and I came along as well. Flop was 665, BB checked, I led for 3800 and he shoved. I don't like my bet at all. It basically turns my hand into some sort of retarded bluff and is just bad. I should have check-raised him all in. He is continuation betting here like 100% of the time and if I CR he can fold AK, AQ type hands. But whan I lead he is just going to bomb like every time. Poorly played. I folded to the shove and just hated that one.

Finally our table broke and that was a relief. The new table was a bit weaker and I needed a break from the relentless 3 and 4 betting. First hand I played at the new table was with a middle aged dude. He opened in early position and I called the button with JJ. Flop comes 25Q which is pretty good. He c-bets and I call. Turn is a 2 and action goes check-check. At this point I know I am good and he likely has 77-TT or AK. River is really good-6. He checks again and now I know I am good and bet 2/3 of the pot which he calls and shows 99. Few hands later I make a great river call. Old Russian dude (ORD) limps in UTG +1. I check in the BB with 86 off. Flop comes 946 and I lead at the pot for 60% and ORD calls. Turn is a 9 and action goes check-check. River is a Th putting 3 hearts on the board and I check. ORD then suddenly pops up and bets big (like 100% of the pot). I tank a little bit and can't see how I am beat. The T like never hits him. He never has a 9 or he would have bet the turn. The only hand he can possibly have here that beats me is 44. He doesn't bet 77 or 88 for value with a paired board an over and three to a flush (though unlikely). So that leaves some sort of missed hand like A4s, 35s, 57s. SO he either has 44, 66 or total air. I called and he shows A4s and I scoop a nice pot to get pretty close to even (~28k) for the day.

Then in the last level the shit hit the fan. Now mind you I have not flopped a single set, made a flush or str8 and frankly, haven't even flopped a flush DRAW. So when I open 55 to 1100 in late position at 200/400/50a and get called by the button and BB I'm thinking "I'm due to smash a flop". Sure enough flop comes 58Q and I am salivating. I bet 2200 and only button calls. Turn is the 3 of clubs putting 3 clubs on the board and I bet again this time 4100. He thinks for a bit and reraises to 11,000. SO this is it what do I do. His hand range includes AQ and KQ with the A or K of clubs, a set (most likely 3s or 8s but rarely Qs) and some sort of combo draw with 46 or 67. my hand doesn't really play that well against that range but I can't find the fold button and ship to see 88 and he has me covered by ~2k in chips.

So with 15 minutes or so left in the day I am busto and out of the tournament which was very disappointing. Up to the room I go to sulk a bit. I fire up my laptop to check emails, etc. and decide to pull up Full Tilt and Poker Stars and lo and behold 4 hours later I win a smallish tournament with 150ish players and $1k or so. So that helped perk me up to play again the next day in the $400 event. I will review that final table run later.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Borgata Spring Open Part 1

I went up this past Monday for the first part of the series. Before that on Sunday night I played a handful of tournaments and actually made 3 final tables. Final tabled the Big Double again (the one that I won in the previous post) ultimately finishing 3rd and two Omaha 8 or better tournaments on Poker Stars. So it was ~$3k profit night which is a good way to start off the post tax season poker play.

Got up there abt. 10:30 for the $560 Deep Stack event and found my seat. To say I was card dead/missing flops would be an understatement. It was really bad but I stayed patient and finally found a good spot. I had drifted down to ~13k in chips from the 25k starting stack (basically raising and missing flops and having to fold).

Finally at 200/400/50a I raise AK to 1100 and BB calls (older bad player). Flop comes A88 and big fella ain't folding. BB leads for 1300 and I call intending to get it all in on the turn. Turn is a 5 and he leads again for 2,200. I ship ~10.5k and he insta-snap calls with AT...obv T on the river and I am out...weeeee. I did give him a parting shot of "I guess you thought I had A9 sir?"

I then played 1/2 cash for some strange reason with a buddy of mine who only plays that level. Well 90 mins in these donks had me 3 buy-ins down (i.e. $900) and scratching my head about wtf was going on. The coup-de-gras was a pot raised to 10 and 3 callers. I make it 100 to go with KK and get 2 callers. Flop comes 35T (with 2 clubs). I ship the remaining ~200 and get snap called by 37cc and he obv gets there. Good call pre monkey. But I told myself I was not getting up until I was even. Took about 5 more hours but ended up about $130 at about 4 a.m. and went to bed.

Tuesday was the $350 tournament and got a few over 200 players. I min-cashed this event and will do a separate entry on it because there were a lot of interesting spots and really tough folds that I had to make.

Wednesday was the $200 with 1 re-entry meaning if you went broke in the first four levels you could re-buy one time. Well I wasn't sure I was going to play so I hadn't pre-registered. Dumb move for Bri-Bri. Ended up having to wait over an hour to register and finally got to my seat in the middle of level 3. Chipped up rather easily from 10k to ~12.5k when the re-entry period ended. We go on break and come back to find that I have the button for the first hand back. This tournament was full of total retards since the buy-in was so low. Just needed a good spot and I thought I would pick up a lot of chips. SO first hand back from break, blinds are 150/300/25a and a complete donktard raises to 1300 (lol). Funny how when tards raise so big they essentially turn their hands face-up (this is almost always JJ-AA but more heavily weighted to KK-AA). I call the button with 33. If I hit this I am getting all the chips in since donkey boy can't fold what is obviously JJ-AA. BB calls as well and 3 to flop. Flop comes 237 with 2 spades. Ding ding ding!!!! But I suspect that this won't end well for the big fella. BB bets 2500, original raiser shoves and I obviously stick it in. BB tanks then which is great because if he has 77 his chips are insta going in. Finally he calls and reveals TT, original raiser shows KK and they are both surprised that I am ahead with my A good internet player was at my table and knows me and how I play and before the hands were exposed he laughs and says "set in seat 8 is the winner". Obviously I was in seat 8. Anyway I prepare to scoop a ~40k pot. Turn is a spade and river is Q spades so Mr. KK shove-tard wins when his Ks back doors the flush. Well played by all. The TT call is the lol-best.

So I'm out and started playing 2/5. For once I was able to completely run over the table. 3 limpers then raise to $25 in late position by a pretty loose aggressive (i.e. LAGtard) player who thinks he is Tom Dwan. 2 callers. I squeeze AKs in the BB and make it $175 to go. Guy gives me a speech: "Do you realize you are only getting called by a better hand?" Finally they all fold and as I am dragging a ~$100 pot I ask him if he has any more pearls for me so I can take notes. Few hands later he raises again, I 3 bet JTs from the button and only he calls. Flop KT3. He checks I bet 3/4 of the pot and he folds. "I will trap you sir" I hear to my right. I ask him if he takes lessons from Phil Hellmuth given all of the inane chatter I am hearing. Couple orbits later I 3 bet him again...this time with AA. He raises a few limpers to 30. I make it 150 from the SB and he calls. Flop I don't love QJx. I lead 200, he shoves ~450 total and I call to see TT. I hold and he slinks off. Anyway I ended the session up nearly $1,500 and then moved to the Omaha game where I eeked out another $200 profit session before off to bed.

I head back up on Sunday to satellite into the ME which is a $3,500 buy in affair. This will be my biggest buy-in tournament ever and features 30k starting stacks and 75 minute levels. I am playing Day 1b which starts on Monday.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Take a month away from tournaments...ship one

Easy game right??

Click image to see better