Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tournaments are hard

I have been playing a lot of tournaments on-line since I gave up on my Supernova 200k quest about 2 weeks ago. I could have gotten to 200k I think but just didn't want to put in the grind necessary to make it with the holidays, etc. I also grinded way too many NLHE hands early in the month in my quest and my results showed this (more in my monthly recap).

However, the variance associated with tournaments is staggering. I have no clue how some people grind out MTTs for a living. But I guess the one or two big scores every month or whatever compensate for the dry times. Here is a sampling of annoying hands I lost on Monday night to illustrate. None are particularly deep in tournaments but are shitty all the same as winning these hands give me workable to strong stacks at the mid stages.

First is FTP 40k Guarantee ($69+6 buy-in). His min-raise jam with 99 seems pretty bad since I am 3b an UTG raiser with 15BB...

Full Tilt Poker No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t80.00/t160.00 Blinds - 9 players - View hand 1095603
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

Hero (MP2): t2353.00 14.71 BBs
CO: t26233.00 163.96 BBs
BTN: t4937.00 30.86 BBs
SB: t7260.00 45.38 BBs
BB: t8475.00 52.97 BBs
UTG: t4758.00 29.74 BBs
UTG+1: t3240.00 20.25 BBs
UTG+2: t6159.00 38.49 BBs
MP1: t3330.00 20.81 BBs

Pre Flop: (t240) Hero is MP2 with A of hearts A of diamonds
UTG raises to t320, 3 folds, Hero raises to t555, 4 folds, UTG raises to t2560, Hero calls t1798 all in

Flop: (t4946) 5 of hearts J of spades 2 of spades (2 players - 1 is all in)

Turn: (t4946) 5 of spades (2 players - 1 is all in)

River: (t4946) 6 of spades (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: t4946
Hero shows A of hearts A of diamonds
UTG shows 9 of spades 9 of hearts
UTG wins t4946.00

This is not even mid-stage but at least his play is pretty standard from the Big Double ($75 buy-in)...

Full Tilt Poker No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t40.00/t80.00 Blinds - 9 players - View hand 1095607
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

BTN: t1785.00 22.31 BBs
SB: t2180.00 27.25 BBs
BB: t1915.00 23.94 BBs
UTG: t4459.00 55.74 BBs
UTG+1: t3610.00 45.12 BBs
UTG+2: t2750.00 34.38 BBs
MP1: t4650.00 58.12 BBs
MP2: t4810.00 60.12 BBs
Hero (CO): t2625.00 32.81 BBs

Pre Flop: (t120) Hero is CO with A of spades A of diamonds
5 folds, Hero raises to t222, BTN raises to t1785, 2 folds, Hero calls t1563

Flop: (t3690) 2 of diamonds 4 of spades Q of spades (2 players)

Turn: (t3690) 6 of hearts (2 players)

River: (t3690) T of clubs (2 players)

Final Pot: t3690
BTN shows T of hearts T of diamonds
Hero shows A of spades A of diamonds
BTN wins t3690.00

One of my favorites in the $20 rebuy 6 max. This is after the rebuy period was over and would have given me a nice workable stack of nearly 100BB. I guess he should never be folding the flop and probably should be getting it in. The turn, however, is a terrible card for him. I bet small on the turn to set up a 2/3 pot sized bet on the river that he might feel committed to call. River is pretty annoying.

Full Tilt Poker No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t60.00/t120.00 Blinds - 6 players - View hand 1095610
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

CO: t1715.00 14.29 BBs
BTN: t3300.00 27.50 BBs
SB: t11355.00 94.62 BBs
BB: t1160.00 9.67 BBs
Hero (UTG): t8529.00 71.08 BBs
MP: t9620.00 80.17 BBs

Pre Flop: (t180) Hero is UTG with 4 of hearts 4 of diamonds
Hero raises to t289, 2 folds, BTN calls t289, 2 folds

Flop: (t758) 4 of clubs J of hearts 2 of spades (2 players)
Hero bets t366.00, BTN calls t366

Turn: (t1490) J of clubs (2 players)
Hero bets t675.00, BTN calls t675

River: (t2840) A of hearts (2 players)
Hero bets t1970.00, BTN calls t1970

Final Pot: t6780
BTN shows A of clubs A of spades
Hero shows 4 of hearts 4 of diamonds
BTN wins t6780.00

Oh well. I did final table the nightly PLO8 on FTP that night but crapped out in 7th when I flopped Nut Low draw, K high flush draw and got it in vs. a wrap with pair and, of course, I bricked off (I held AKh2hT on a Q36 heart-heart board).

Finally, the Borgata announced the schedule for the Winter Poker Open which begins Wed Jan 19. Unfortunately I will not be able to "defend" my chop win from Event 1 last year due to a family obligation that day. But I will go up the next morning and play a handful of events. These are the events that I am interested in:

Event 2 11am Thu 20-Jan $300 + $50 NL Holdem 2 day

Event 5 1pm Fri $400 + $50 Omaha H/L 8B 2 day (I will likely play this rather than Event 4)

Event 6 11am Sat 22-Jan $1000 + $90 NL H 2 day OR

Event 7 12pm Sat $350 + $50 NL H 1 day (softer field, etc.)

Event 8 11am Sun 23-Jan $400 + $50 NL H DeepStack 2 day

Event 11 1pm Mon $300 + $50 PLO 2 day

Event17 12pm Thu $500 + $60 HOSE 2 Day

I really want to play the HOSE but it doesn't fit very well in the schedule for me. Perhaps I will go back up for that event specifically.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pretty good weekend

As the title suggests this was a pretty good weekend. But it didn't start out that way.

Thursday evening in my bi-weekly league, I needed a deep run coupled with another in the final week of December to get into our January freeroll tournament for $2k. Unfortunately, in 2 cases I held a Q on a QQxxx board (once with KQ and the other with QJs) and the same person held AQ. Those two hands relieved me of nearly 2/3 of my stack only to get polished off again holding KQdd on a Q74 board (though in this case I had checked the BB trying to play a big pot as I was down to 11BB). SB naturally had Q7 and I lose. Bitches no good for the big fella!!

But I destroyed the cash games for one of my biggest nights ever in this game. It was pretty sick as I made big hand after big hand and guys paid me off over and over. I even decided to pay off 2 bets where I had no doubt I was beat just to keep all happy. Is it a good sign when players are fighting to sit to your left and are sitting out if they have to be on my right??

Then Friday was my office Xmas party. I decided to do something different this year and took my staff to an upscale bowling alley. Well that was all well and good until then end of the second game when my lower back kept getting more and more painful. Still sore this morning. Then I went home and discovered that my PokerStars account was frozen. As I mentioned in a previous post, the sites are having a harder time processing deposits and withdrawals. After I had those two good sized scores on Full Tilt in November I had withdrawn a good percentage of it but moved $1,500 over to Stars to take a few shots in some higher buy-in tournaments (Sunday Million, USCOOP events, $50-rebuy, etc.) That didn't go particularly well and I plowed through most of it. Well 2 weeks later Stars informed me that my bank had rejected the transfer and they were zapping my account. No problem except I only had $1,400ish in my account. Because of the uncertainty surrounding all of this regulation I am keeping less and less $$ on-line. So since the account had a negative balance the locked my account. We have since resolved it but for about 24 hours I wasn't sure what to do.

Finally, Friday was the 6th meeting of my WSOP league. I was putzing along with 8500 at 200/400/50a when I opened 88 to 1025. As soon as I released the chips I realized that I had actually raised to 6000 as I threw in a 5k chip rather than a 25 chip. When it goes all-in for 2800 and all in for 4800 behind me I know I am beat and see JJ and, obviously, AA. I'm a fucking moron (though she is dumber).

That left me short with 10ish BB and I was out a bit later. I am now in 4th (3 get seats) though we are all relatively close together.

So in the course of one day I have:
  • Royally fucked up my back
  • Been informed that my Stars account is frozen with no way of knowing if it can be remedied
  • Busted myself in 1 of the 12 league heats for a seat in WSOP
Some day...

But then my luck changed. I got home from the league night about 10:30 and logged onto Full Tilt. So far so good. Signed up for a handful of tournaments including the nightly $5k guarantee PLO8 at 11:15est. I may have played this 2 or 3 times in the past at the most. Well 5 hours later I am at the FT. When we get 5 handed there are 3 losing players and me and another profitable player. The only other profitable player was really shortstacked. The other 3 were basically begging for a deal. I said I will do the deal if I get $1k (first was $1.4k and second was $925ish). I was chip leader and the ICM said I should only get $850. They went apeshit when I demanded that so I said play on. Then they stopped again and offered me $950 but I held my ground. I mean it isn't the $50 but I am giving up the opportunity to win first as well and I feel I am the best player with the biggest stack. Finally the shorties started busting and I got heads up with a pretty bad player. Unfortunately all of the bustouts occurred at his hands so he had me 5-1 in chips at this point. I doubled through once and then we got it in and he scooped. Oh well good finish. As you can see from the picture below this thing ran past 5:30 a.m.

Saturday night I also played a bunch of MTTs including the $5k PLO guarantee at 9:15 p.m. Fast forward a bit and I am at another FT. This one was a bit tougher with several winning, aggressive players in the mix. Finally, 4 handed I got it in with a flopped baby flush against a bigger flush. Not sure I can do much about that this deep in the tournament. But another decent cash and deep run.

With these decent runs I decided to play a bunch yesterday. Included in this mix was the Mini-FTOPS Main Event a $75 event with $1M guarantee (meaning there would be over 14k players). Well I was stumbling along and had built my stack to over 9k when i lost with a set of 7s to a flopped set of 10's. This chopped me down to around 6k when a real beauty comes up.

Full Tilt Poker MiniFTOPS Main Event No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t60/t120 Blinds - 9 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter By DeucesCracked Poker Videos

UTG: t2555 21.29 BBs
UTG+1: t6675 55.62 BBs
UTG+2: t22105 184.21 BBs
MP1: t6970 58.08 BBs
MP2: t11270 93.92 BBs
Hero (CO): t6352 52.93 BBs
BTN: t14850 123.75 BBs
SB: t10170 84.75 BBs
BB: t12130 101.08 BBs

Pre Flop: (t180) Hero is CO with T T
3 folds, MP1 raises to t300, 1 fold, Hero calls t300, 3 folds

Flop: (t780) 6 8 T (2 players)
MP1 bets t480, Hero calls t480

Turn: (t1740) 8 (2 players)
MP1 bets t1440, Hero calls t1440

River: (t4620) 9 (2 players)
MP1 bets t4750 all in, Hero calls t4132 all in

Final Pot: t12884
MP1 shows 8 8 (four of a kind, Eights)
Hero mucks T T
MP1 wins t12884

When he shoves the river I expect to see Ax with A of clubs or maybe the unfortunate 7 of clubs. But no I see the only other hand that can beat me....sigh.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

AC Trip-Mixed Results

As previously posted I went up Sunday -Tuesday to play the WSOP-C Main Event at AC Harrah's. I was pretty excited to play this as the structure really is good for my playing style. Got there a bit late and was seated at a table with a mix of players about midway through level 1. Not much happened for the first 4 or 5 levels as my stack hovered between about 18k and 25k (started with 20k). Then in about the space of 30 mins I was out basically with 2 hands.

First hand I was on the button. A player limped at 150/300/25a in LP and I squeezed AKdd. I raise to 950. SB was an uber aggressive internety kid showing down hands like 10-5o and K3o. He had spewed off to about 10.5k and I had 22k to start the hand. He promptly 3 bets to 2500. I consider my options and decide to try and induce a stack off by 4b to 5200 (folding in this spot to this player is not an option). He ships and I call to see one of the worst cases-KK. So I lose that and am down to ~11k. After playing a couple of hands and having to fold post-flop I was down to ~9500 when I raised AQdd UTG to 1050 (200/400/50a). Same player on my left 3b to 2700. Now this looks stronger since he is at least aware that I am raising first to act but I think raise folding AQ suited with less than 25BB might be bad??? Actually gonna post this on 2p2 to see what kind of response I get. Anyway, I ship and he snaps with JJ...ok well that is pretty good all things considered. The window is a J and I am drawing dead on the turn and headed out.

Coin flips are a weird thing in tournaments. They are an absolute necessity to win if you are going to go deep. However, ideally defer flips for as long as possible since they add so much variance to your results. For those non-poker players a flip is basically any spot where the money goes in and the hands are basically 50-50 to win (or more generally anything 55-45ish is considered a flip). The most common being a pair vs 2 over cards all in pre flop. However, a flip can also occur when all of the money goes in on the flop as was the case on Monday for me in the $230 event also at Harrah's. The stacks in this event were much shorter as we started with only 6k in chips but the structure was pretty good with the ever popular 25/25 and 50/75 levels. Another uber aggro player raised to 375 at 75/150 and gets 2 callers. I call in BB with KQcc and flop comes ATx with 2 clubs. OK we aren't folding now. I decide to check raise all-in rather than leading. The initial raiser bets 1200 and finds one caller. So now there is 3900 in pot and I have about 8500. I just stick it in and only original raiser calls. He shows AK. Obv I miss since I suck at coin flips at the moment.I have now lost the last 4 big all-in coin-flips I have played in live casino tournaments. All were for pretty significant chip amounts though these two were obviously still relatively early in the tournaments. Oh well maybe I am due for a big score in the Borgata Winter Open at the end of January.

Cash games were WAY better thankfully. I did lose a $1300 pot holding 44 on a 884 flop vs. TT and A8 when we got it in on the flop and the TT player binked a T on the river...sigh. But I bucked up made some nice hands and broke even on my first session. Then in session number 2 I made a great read and followed through.

C/o raised to $20 and I 3b to $65 on the button with QJdd. BB threw $20 in to make the call of the original raise not realizing I had said raise. Once he figured that out he decided to now raise me to $150...huh? The c/o folded and I decided to make the call since we were both relatively deep ~$750. Flop comes AAJ..I can sense he is uncomfortable and when he bets $125 I am pretty sure he doesn't have an A. I just call. Turn is a rag and he bets $175 again looking pretty uncomfortable. I go with my gut and raise to $425 and he insta-mucks. I show the table and the player in the hand is pretty sick. But I actually think I was good the whole way unless he decided to turn QQ or KK into a bluff. But with those 2 hands why would he just flat the original $20 raise? I guess more likely is that he held 99 or TT or just read me for weak pre-flop and tried to make a move. Anyway I finished that session and another one up a bit over $1k.

Well with all my bitching about missing flips here is a hand in PLO8 where I win with A-hi (though I do get it in as a 3:2 favorite):

Poker Stars $0.50/$1 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo - 5 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter By DeucesCracked Poker Videos

UTG: $305.05
Hero (CO): $100.00
BTN: $105.00
SB: $106.85
BB: $204.05

Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero is CO with 5 9 A 2
UTG calls $1, Hero raises to $4, BTN calls $4, 1 fold, BB calls $3, UTG calls $3

Flop: ($16.50) 3 J 4 (4 players)
BB checks, UTG folds, Hero checks, BTN bets $15.70, BB folds, Hero raises to $62.80, BTN raises to $101 all in, Hero calls $33.20 all in

Turn: ($208.50) T (2 players - 2 are all in)

River: ($208.50) J (2 players - 2 are all in)

Final Pot: $208.50
Hero shows 5 9 A 2 (HI: a pair of Jacks)
BTN shows 5 7 A 8 (HI: a pair of Jacks - lower kicker)
Hero wins $206.50
(Rake: $2.00)

Going to make one last push for SuperNova 200k to get the bonus before YE. I need 40k VPP over the next 2 weeks+ so I will grind for a week and then re-evaluate.