Saturday, June 9, 2012

WSOP 2012

Meh. For some reason the paragraph's aren't working. I don't know how to fix it. I'm in a poker rut, but I can't expect anything else given how little I play lately. Its just like any other pursuit- you have to practice, you have to think about it, you have to study it. Its not really like riding a bike. Of course, I was never that good at it anyway, so the analogy sort of fails. For the past several years I've come to Vegas for a week or long weekend to play prelims. Back in 2006 I cashed in back-to-back tourneys, including a $2500 6 max that I thought was "easy." Well, perhaps in 2006 it was. I've played 4 tourneys here so far. I'm registered for the $3k 6max on Monday but I would rather head to LA to catch the Kings hoist the cup. $1500 NL Shootout: This was a first, and hopefully a last. I sit down in seat 2 and post the 25 big blind. James Van Alstyne sits to my left. A guy to his left raises to 75. Its folded to me and I call with 89o. Flop: 6-T-Q. Double gutter. Cool. I check, he bets 125, I call. Turn: Ace. I check, he bets 225, I call. Now, I'm at like zero level thinking here. All I'm concerned about is that if a Jack or a 7 shows up then I've made a straight and win the hand. Easy, right? Well, the river brings a 7. That's a Bingo! I lead 625 at it. He raises to 2000. Wat? I look at my stack, look at the juicy pot, realize its a shootout tourney and I have to win all the chips on the table at some point and what the fuck could he have anyway- some random two pair with AQ, right? So I shove. And then he shows me the nuts. And I bust a WSOP tournament on the very first hand. $1500 NL 6max: Not a lot on the highlight reel. Before the break I raise with KK and the BB calls. Flop KJ9. Woot! Fortunately (?) for me, the turn and river run out 8, T- and I lose the minimum to a flopped straight who had QT. Whew. I get all in with 77 versus AQ of Ashton Griffin's of ultra marathon fame. A Queen hits the flop but pocket 77 never loses and a 7 comes on the turn. Woot! Still, I don't really get anything going and slowly chip down. I raise with KQ, get shoved by a shorty and tank-call his 77. Of course he holds (cause they never lose.) I get the rest of my chips in 89s vs Ax and I'm out. Boo-urns. $2500 Razz: Being my first ever live Razz tourney I think I played pretty well. Lasted until level 7 and didn't make any egregious errors. Its a pretty fun game in small doses. Lasted pretty long with under 6 big bets, choosing my hands very carefully to get my money in. Alas, eventually this strategy fails. $1500 NL: Sigh. This started great. I won orphan pots. I three bet opens. The table feared me. Then they started playing back. There was an open to 150, a call, and I make it 400 from the SB with JJ. Flop is A-9-4. I lead and the caller raises. I fold. Iffy for sure. I think I lose value when I hold 77 on a A-7-9 flop and make a pot-sized shove on the safe river. Should have left the villain a little more rope. There's a raise and I flat with TT--then 4 of us see a flop of 8-5-4r. It checks around. Turn is a 2. Checked to me and I bet 2/3 pot. Two people call. River is another 5. Check-check and guy bets 2300. Yuck. Its about 2.5-1 to call. I'm not sure how I can fold. He's trying to buy it with a whiff a lot, and sometimes he just has A8 or the like. I call. He shows me 65s and I puke a little. I get relatively short and inpatient and make a stop and go with A9 that almost works, except I run into a guy who flopped a set and I'm done.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Raw Deal-- Venetian $1600

It continues to amaze me how similar my annual Vegas trip has become. I look forward to it for weeks. Get so stoked. Then I put up with days of dreams getting crushed, money being lost, and overall misery. Why do I do this?

Today was no different. Just like the last, oh, 3-4 years, after failure at the WSOP I go to the seemingly softer fields at the Venetian. Today I guess I run better. I chip up some and find myself in position on a raised 7-5-2d flop with AKdd. Young internet guy leads smallish, I shove, he calls with QQ and I catch an Ace. Woot. Today's my day.

I bust Kevin Saul when I raise KK 3x and he overshoves with AK. Nice.

I witness a super sick hand where a guy calls a raise oop with 53s. Board goes Q-9-5-4-9 and the oop player calls 3 barrels of increasing size from the raiser. Bottom pair is good vs the bluffer's JT.

After dinner I get moved to this fantastic table where I can 3bet and 4bet often and its juicy. Unfortunately it doesn't last and the next table is internet- scandi row, many of them with huge stacks. My stack remains around average the whole time--which was somewhere between 50 and 60 big blinds. I find some good spots and generally chip up.

Another maniac I meet gets in a raising war with a solid player. They make it 4 or 5 bets preflop and see 4-4-5. More money goes in on the flop and all of it gets in on the 5 on the turn. Good player has KK, maniac somehow got to the flop with A4. Amazing.

The eventual villain of this story has been running in god-mode. Early on he found himself 5-betting one of the internet kids and his QT binked vs AK. He gets AKs vs super tight girl's AKs and flushes her. So obviously his rungood is on. I find myself one of the shorter stacks at my table. There are about 50 players left, 40 minutes left in the night. We are at 800-1600/200. I have about 85-90,000 chips-- villain has a mountain. He's been splashy.

So I find 22 in LP and raise to 4000. He 3bets from the BB to 11k. I ponder and call. I'm gonna flop a set and double through this guy. Then I'll have a big ole stack when it comes time to abuse the impending bubble. Fun fun fun. Here's the flop- 3 in the door- next card is an Ace and BAM there's the prettiest deuce I've ever seen. OK, sure, he could have 45 but I doubt it. Let's figure out how to get this in. He bets, I raise, he calls. Turn: Ace. OK. A-2-3-A. Well it looks like he has an ace in his hand. So this is pretty awesome. He checks. Cool. I bet a bunch. I have to bet a bunch so that I can ship the right amount on the river. He might fold though. Oh well, its a big pot already. He calls. Hmmm. Well shit, maybe he's got the sneaky A2 that knocked me out yesterday. Or A3?? He could have 33 I suppose also. These would all be a big drag. AK seems the most likely culprit, but now I'm starting to wonder what he's thinks I have. Sure looks like my hand is faceup. I went a-mining and struck something. A 4 rolls off on the river and this changes nothing. If a King or Queen popped up I'd be scared. He checks. Ugh. Now the sirens start to go off. I even thought to myself as he 3bet me "Do I really want to play a hand with this guy who is running so good?" Well I did and here I am. So I can check behind and leave myself a playable 20 bb stack, or I can ship it which was my plan all along. Stick with the plan. Ship. Snapcall. Two red Aces. omg. I am not a happy camper. Again.

Friday, June 24, 2011

$5k shorthanded

I think I will continue to play this one, despite the questionable EV. I mean, it makes way more sense economically to play 3 1500's or similar. But man oh man, I do get a rush playing this. 6 handed you are playing every hand-- basically you are EP one hand per orbit. Every other hand you are either HJ, CO, BTN or the blinds. So much action so many options.

My table draw was pretty good-- I didn't recognize any of the other five players which is somewhat remarkable given the field. My runbad at draws did have the most aggro guy at the table on my left. Kinda funny guy also. He raised and reraised very often the first 20 minutes or so. Each time, as he dropped the chips on the felt he said "I raise" with this somewhat hard to place mid-eastern?? accent. The guy in seat one got a bit tired of him and asked him where he was from. He answered, clear as day, "New York."

I don't play very many big pots. Trying to play small ball and chip up. I get JJ in position and 3bet and this friendly asian guy in seat 6 calls. Blinds were 50-100 and he made is 200 to go to start things off. Hmmm. Flop comes T-6-5 or something like that. The guy then barrells all three streets, with a rather large bet on the river. I did consider just folding on the flop, but wtf, how do we manage to do that with an overpair in this tourney? After he throws like 3500 out on the river I tank. He tells me "you have to call, you have pocket Jacks." Wat? sigh. I fold. Says he had set of tens. Could be.

I call a 3bet oop against aggro guy with 66. Flop comes 3 diamonds with the Ace. No more diamonds come and flop and turn are checked. He bets 75% of the pot on the river and I soulread him as FOS and call. Nope, he has A9o sigh.

I get short. I get tight. This goofball in seat 4 has 3bet shoved on me a couple times and I've folded. I pick up TT, he does it with A2 and we double. Ship it.

I get to see a family pot and 5 see the AJ4 flop when Im holding 44. Goofball bets 1200 , shortish guy in 5 calls and I have about 6000 behind. I shove. Goof folds, shortie tanks. It would be most of his chips. Sure looks like he has an ace. I feel like my hand is face up. And maybe it is cause he tanks a bit and finds a fold. Still, good hand.

After the second break goof raises to 500, asian calls and I call in the BB with K5s. Let the butchering begin! Flop comes K-J-2. The flop gets checked. First mistake. Turn is a 4. I'm pretty sure my King is good. I know it is. He bets out 1300. Blech. I just wanted to get to showdown. I call. Second mistake. River is another deuce. I like it. Takes my shitty kicker out of play. I beat all the Jacks. I lose to AK, KQ and KJ, but it just doesn't seem like that. I don't think villain has a King. Nope he doesn't. Set of 4's?? unlikely. I hate the fact that I got to this spot. Why the eff am I playing K5 in the BB anyway? Blech. Well, I have about 5500 left. Next mistake- I decide that bet/fold is betting than check/call. So I throw out some redic bet of 1675 or so. Villain tanks a bit, then shoves. Wtf? So much fail here. Ugh. Well, now I tank. Of course, calling off your tournament really sucks ass, especially in a spot just like this. Chopping this pot now seems highly likely-- villain would certainly make this move to try to get the whole pot if he thought he was going to chop. Think Steve. You lose to the big Kings. You chop most of the rest of them. You beat all the Jacks. You beat his air of course, which is always a part of range. The pot is laying me over 2-1. I need chips. I have under 20 BB's if I fold. I can work with that. But its no fun. Sick Hero calls are fun. Aren't they? All the vibrations tell me my King is good. Kings and deuces with a Jack. Yeah, ship that pot! I CALL!! and he tables Ace-Deuce! omg brutal. gg me. I'm an idiot.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Same thing, different day

$1500 NL event at the WSOP.

Good table for the most part. Nothing particularly exciting happens. I play a pot with a mad dog Italian (different one from yesterday) where my AT beats his KT on a Q-T-6-x-x board. Chip up here and there from 4500 starting to maybe 6k at one point. 3rd level, 50-100 I call a 250 open with 45cc. 5 see the flop including mad dog in BB who does this little hitch before he calls--like he was planning some bankjob steal. Flop K-5-4 rainbow. Checked to me- I fire 900. BB makes it 3100 and I'm sure he has little. I shove and he shows 67 for the OESD. Ah. Bout time for a stack! Turn and River are both 7's though and gg me. Argh.

2011 WSOP

Long time no post!!

So II'm getting a late start this year. My first bracelet event is the $2500 NL. 7500 starting chips, 1 hours levels. My table is quite competent. The player to my left is a scrawny Italian kid who has this very annoying habit of raising my BB when he's UTG. In fact, he does this every time. He raises other times all over the place. One time, he opens UTG and gets called. Hand goes to showdown and this villain tables the mighty 42s for trip twos. I'm sure the whole table appreciated the call.

Not too much happens. Some small pots, a few hands that I call raises in position that don't work out as planned. I get to about 9000 chips when I play a hand with the Italian Job. I has AQo and he calls my raise. 3 babies goes check-check. Turn is small also and I throw out a 3/4 pot size bet that gets called. Meh. River Q. That should be good. I bet 3/4 pot again, he calls and is disgusted.

Later in the first level I pick up red 77 utg and make it 150. 5 callers, including Little Italy. Sometimes Italy handles his cards in such a way that a catch a brief flash when he looks at them. This was one of those hands, and i spotted a "mid-diamond" something between the 6 and 9. Flop: Jh 9h 7s Wee haaa we has flopped a set. We lead, villain raises. Well, he can't have a flush draw. He could have pocket 9's, but not pocket Jacks. He could also have an 8 for the gutter. I think I'm good. If for some reason I'm not, then this board will just have to pair. It will, right? I mean this is the time for the poker gods to show themselves. Pair the board, Hero gets a nice stack, and douche villain hits the rail. He will be gone! No more douchey guy who raises UTG everytime I'm in the BB. I 3 bet, he four bet shoves and we call. He flips over the 8d Th for the flopped straight. Booo poker gods. Now pair the board. It doesn't happen, I lose half my stack, and throw gasoline on the Italian fire.

I manage to get some life when I goof off raising with 35o. I get 3 callers. Flop comes A-4-T, 2 diamonds. Checked around. I start the mantra in my head deuce deuce deuce deuce deuce deuce bam!!!! DEUCE. Its a diamond though, completing the flush draw. I bet, girl raises I shove. She calls. Now I think I'm toast because a baby flush is well in her range. Nope- She shows A4 for two pair and I get back to where I started.

I play a hand badly with KJ when I flop top pair and have to fold to significant pressure on the flop and turn. There just isn't enough room in these things to lose several BB's when the average stack is in the 20-30 BB range. I drop down to 2800 or so at 75-150 and find A9s folded to me in the SB. Well, just as the sun comes up each morning, if I limp here the Italian Big Blind is going to raise. Every time. And A9s crushes this guys range X 1 mirron. He raises to 475, I snap shove, he snap calls with KJo. gg me.

Head to the Venetian and play a few hours of 5-10 NL cash. It goes pretty well. People like to fake it in this game, figuring out when they are doing so is profitable. I grind upwards and feel confident, but at the same time I find myself playing too many hands and start dwindling down my profit. My bluffs get picked off as much as the other guy, and i end up ahead a couple hundred bucks for too long of a session.

Later I end up at the Rio and try a $1030 satellite with a $500 last longer. I win a couple hands, then lose a bunch of chips when I 3bet with QQ preflop to find myself out of position and facing an Ace on the flop. Blech. bad spot. Check-check. Turn small and I bet and get called. RIver completes a flush and doesn't help me. I check-fold. gross.

I raise with KQs and flop comes 8TJ Aggro guy utg bets and I call. The rest fold. So I may have 14 outs here, maybe not. Another card of my suit on the turn and I'm going all the way. But its the 6c and villain bets 2k, which is close to the pot and also more than half my stack. Gross spot. I think a lot of folks would shove here--you have to win these satty's so aggression pays off. I give up.

Then a guy opens standard and I look down at KK. I 3 bet, leaving about half my stack. He ponders and calls. Flop is JT8, not the best flop for my hand but its all going in anyway. As happens every single time I come to Vegas for the WSOP, villain tables Aces. No help and I'm busto.

Tomorrow is the $1500 NL. Should play very fast with only 4500 starting chips. gogogogogo!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2010 WSOP Main Event

WSOP 2010 Main Event

Day 1A

Amazon Blue 262, for those of you who want to run straight to the photo store and get a picture of me looking fairly bored. Not sure why I look that was as this was easily the best Day 1 table draw I’ve ever had. I recognized no one (a first) and I convinced myself I was the best player at the table. The breaking order wasn’t established until the first break, but Chris Spears seemed to think we wouldn’t be breaking that day. Awesome. Seat 1 was a stars qualifier about my age. I was in 2. Seat 3 was a real life cowboy. He had a rectangular metal card protector that looked kinda like a small belt buckle and it had a horseshoe sticking out of it. The rest of the table was a mix of internet qualifiers and meek older guys. We started with 30k in chips at 50-100.

I was able to do a lot of the same stuff that I did in Australia—won a lot of orphan pots, 3bet when appropriate, and generally won more than my share of pots. Just before the first break I picked up T7s in the BB and see a flop 5 handed. I flop bottom two pair with A-T-7. Nice. I lead and get called by seat 4. Turn is 6. Not the greatest card, but I keep the lead and then get min-raised. Hmmmm. Kinda gross. Decide that I’ll see what the river brings and try to make a blocking bet to get to showdown. River 7. Nice. Grab one of each color—6625 and what is now a value bet gets paid off by the guy who turned a str8 with 89o. Nice river. I go to break with 47k.

Play a lot of small pots for the next level winning many of them that I really shouldn’t win. I love my table and get up to 56k.

Then we break.


Its really not that bad, its just that the first table was so good. The average age dropped by 8 years at least, and there is a complete maniac who raises every pot and I later learn is Owen Crowe. He beats me basically every hand I play with him. Except one—I get tired of him raising my blinds and I 3bet with 54s. Flop 3-6-7. I bet he calls. Turn 8. I bet, he raises a shitload, I shove, he folds. Big hand.

There is an Irish guy to my left. He seems pretty snug. At 150-300 the button open-limps. I raise AQs in the SB to 1050, and then the Irish guy makes it 3750. Yuck. I fold and he shows me KK.

In any event, this is the last hand before dinner break. Hero has about 60k, villain about 42k or so. He raises from MP to 775 at 150-300, hero calls on button with AQs

Flop: (Pot 2000) Q78

Villain bets 1200
Hero calls.

Turn: (Pot 4400) T

Villain bets 2500
Hero raises to 7000
Villain calls

River: (Pot 18,400) 6

Villain bets 13,000 (leaving about 20k behind)

And then I tank/fold. After making him call the clock on me as it was cutting into dinner break.

This left me with 45k heading to dinner.

After dinner wasn’t much better. At one point I flop bottom set with 33 on a 8-6-3 two-tone flop. I lead two streets and then bet/fold to a river shove when there is a flush and 4-card str8 on the board. Yuck yuck.

I end the day with under 20k. Pretty miserable considering. Still, its 50 big blinds and a lot of poker to play.

Fly to Reno on the 6th, work all afternoon, and then work Weds and Thursday morning and fly back to Vegas on the 8th.

Day 2A

This table doesn’t look too bad. Two girls to my right. Player to my left is scandi who is solid. In fact, he has a very good day- going from about 30k to start the day to well over 120k to end it.

In seat 9 is this guy nicknamed “Snake” who is annoying. He took 7th in the seniors event some years ago. He has a custom jacket with a giant cobra on the back and “Snake” scripted on the front. He has a bag full of custom made mini-snake sculptures that he uses to top his chip stacks. At times he brings out these custom engraved signs that say things like “WARNING: Attempting to steal a snake’s blinds can be fatal to your chipstack” He must have half a dozen of these signs. He hangs around awhile but when he calls a pleasant Spanish guy’s 5 bet and runs Kings into Aces the table is greatly relieved to see that we have a mongoose present.

I am horribly card dead and any spots I can find don’t pan out. At one point I have roughly 24k and with blinds at 200-400 I think I have enough for one 3bet that won’t pot commit me. 2+2er Steve O’Dwyer (Mr.TimCaum) opens late, I 3bet to 4k and he tank-shoves. I believe I had JTs and snap-fold and he shows me TT.

I chip down and find myself with about 14k. I raise with AK and get shoved on by a guy who fairly easily covers. I call, he turns over KQ and proceeds to catch a Queen in the door. Ugh. Ace on the river keeps me in the tournament back up to 28k.

I pick up KK and raise EP only to have 4 people see an Ace-high flop. It gets checked around and I basically bet into an orphan pot on the turn and pick it up.

Prior to dinner the guy from the KQ hand raises UTG+2, tight girl flats in LP and I 3bet with a really awkward stack in the SB with JJ. Everyone I’ve mentioned this hand to says I have to flat in this spot and after thinking about it they are all right. The KQ guy calls and the girl folds. Flop comes A-6-4 two diamonds. I have 19k left, he has maybe 23k, and there is 12k in the pot. Sheesh. This is why my 3bet is so bad. I can c-bet 4-5k here I guess but I sure don’t like the way my stack will look if he shoves on me. I can check-fold but that seems entirely weaksauce also. Bloated pot out of position- sigh- position is to poker what air is to breathing (or something like that says Tommy Angelo.) I check. He checks behind. Hmmmm. So now I basically soulread the guy and “know” he doesn’t have an ace in his hand. He could have QQ but given how he’s played I really doubt he has anything like AQ+ or TT+ as he would have likely 4bet shoved preflop. The turn comes another 6. Sooooooo…. I shove. He calls pretty quickly and now I’m doubting my soulread. I table my jacks and he flips over……. Pocket 8’s!!?!??!! What the fuck did he think he was ahead of here? Zomg horribad play, arguably by both players but the guy with the 52k chipstack gets to laugh last.

After dinner the guy shoves over my open with 99, I have AK and bink a King on the river to send him home.

The rest of the day is decent and I end up with 60,600 going into day 3.

I fly home again and play volleyball and drink beer at Lake Tahoe....

Day 3

Don’t really like this table draw. Two seats to my left is Dan Carter, and the two guys to my right are JP Kelly and Barney Boatman. These three brits all know each other and have played a ton of hands together. I chipped up to 70k at one point after playing a hand against Barney. He raised from the button and I called with K8 from the BB. I check-called the flop, we both checked the turn, and then I led the river to take down the pot. Reverse float- great when it works.

My demise began against Carter when I played another hand way behind and out of position. When am I gonna learn to give this crap up??? He raises UTG+1 and I call in the BB with T9cc. (bad) Flop is A-7-4 one club. I check, and because I’m not going to check-fold here I call. (worse) Turn is an off-suit 8, giving me the open-ender. Now I decide to stab at it—he min-raises—now my pot odds are outrageous and I call. (super questionable here as well) So my only hope in this bloated pot holding Ten-high is to hit the straight. The river pairs the 8. I’ve dug a pretty big hole here. No sense just laying down in it and dying, right? Of course not! I mean, I’m playing against a crazy young brit who has 32o here sometimes. Probably not this time, but sometimes. I cover him anyway. He must fear that I have a monster! So I fire out 16k, which is about ¾ of the pot. He tanks a little. I have an earbud in and I hear someone say “all in” and for a brief moment I think its from the table behind me. Fuck. It isn’t. I’m screwed. I ask for a face-saving count and then sheepishly muck. Really awful hand that got worse on every street and I bluff off about half of my stack. Idiot.

Eventually I get down to about 22k and become a short stack ninja. I shove TT and hold against AK. I chip down, shove again and double back up. I’m at about 35k when I shove 99 into AK and finally lose a flip x-x-x-x-A, and now I’m super short. Next hand I get 77 UTG, shove, and everyone folds. Next hand I have AQ in the BB and shove over a late raiser who calls me with A9 and I hold and double.

Everytime I try to play some poker I get worked. My opens get 3bet, my cbets get raised, and I can’t hit a flop. I do work one squeeze with 55 and both players fold. I chip down again. I shove TT, get called by AJ and win another flip. Back to 45k. But that’s not a lot when the blinds are 1000-2000/300.

I get down to a CSI of 4, per the “Kill Everyone” terminology. M of 4 if you read Harrington. About 23,000 chips. It gets folded to me in the SB. I’m supposed to shove about 70% of hands here, and unfortunately I’m supposed to get called by about 50% of them also. I have the mighty T7o and get my chips in against KJ. Villain binks a Jack and my WSOP is over. 7319 entries, I bust out with about 1600 left, about 850 spots from the money.

I keep advancing one day each year I play this, so only another 7 years or so and I will obviously win.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jack Ury

So I realize I never posted anything on the WSOP main event. I have some notes, so perhaps I will later.

For now, here's what I wrote on July 7th after busting late on Day 2:

About 15 min into level 6 at 200/400-50 I get into the hand with Jack Ury that is reported on Pokernews and should be on ESPN. I raise EP with 67hh to 1100. Jack doesn't really know what is going on- he can't seem to hear, he can't seem to see, and he can't follow the action. How he got to day 2 I don't know. After I raise he throws out 4 black chips, as if he is limping. The dealer informs him (several times) that the pots been raised and he can't limp. He then says "well, I just go all-in" Obviously he can't do that either, so he ends up calling.

Before the hand started I think he had about 8-9k and I was sitting around 27k or so. The flop comes 6-6-7 and now I have mixed feelings cause I'm gonna be the bad guy who busts the old man. Oh well, his chips will really look good in my stack. He fires out 1k, and then I say "Hey Jack- lets just go all in- you wanted to go all in before the flop right?" Now, I'm not sure how this really came off. I assume that if I did this to any of you that you would take it in stride and fold most holdings. I felt like I was really taking advantage of him. Not respecting my elders. So, I shove, and then he takes a few seconds and gets his chips together to call. As soon as I see he's actually committed I table my cards and the table gasps. Wow. Flopped the boat on the old dude- Seat nine looks at me and says "You had to be the one"

Now I'm not even paying attention to Jack's cards because as far as I'm concerned, I'm a total lock. But I hear him mutter under his 96 year old breath-- "I think your in trouble" as he table pocket 7's for a bigger boat. OMG. The table explodes and I just have to laugh to myself eventually because a spot this sick just doesn't come around very often. At least he didn't stack me!

Monday, June 8, 2009

$2.5K shorthanded

6 handed events are fun. You get to stretch out, and not get elbowed or kicked by the guy next to you. You also get to play way more hands and the intensity level is higher.

My table is good. I don't know anyone and 3 of them are probably internet kids. I make some light 3-bets early on and run my 7500 to about 9K. Near the end of the first level I call a raise in the BB with Q9s and flop top two pair, Qs-9h-6s. I bet, he raises, I push, he calls, and this time the villain doesn't have the set of 6's I fear, but he's got spades and whiffs. Now I have 16k or so and on top of the world. Finally- long ball pays off! Woot!

I hit some more hands- I have AQ, flop come A-A-4 and I get two streets of action. I have 89s, flop an open-ender and knock a guy out when he shoves two pair on the turn when my str8 card comes. Its all good. Today's the day I make the deep run.

Or so I think. I spew a little. Big stack- play more hands, make more raises. Get played back on some and chip down a bit. I call a raise with 86hh in the BB and flop a flush K-9-4 I think. I bet, and the villain shoves about 6500. I snap call and he shows the Ah4s. The board pairs the 4 on the turn. Not a good sign- this increases his outs by a whole bunch, although I should still be a 2-1 favorite. (This guy has already dodged his exit when his JJ beat AK on a A-7-4 flop and he turned a Jack.) If a comes on the river I'm gonna have over 22K I think and be near the chip lead. Boom- 5 of hearts and my knees feel cut off.

Its not that big a deal really- I still have a healthy stack and am playing pretty well. But I don't know if its the 5 days in a row or what, but I'm really tilted. I pick up 6c6d and raise to get 2 callers. Flop comes 3-4-5 all clubs. Its checked around. Turn is the 6s. I don't know if this is a good card or not. If the board pairs I'm good, but otherwise there's a 4 card str8 out there and 3 clubs. One of the blinds fires out 700 and two of us call. The river is the 8c. Not the gin card 7c mind you, but the 8c. The lead bettor fires 1800 or so and I get disgusted and muck. So gross. Got to be one of the prettiest second or third best hands you can have, but worthless at showdown in that spot. I get KK the next hand and raise with no callers. grrrr.

The guy to my left is very aggressive. He's three bet me several times, and at the first break he got 3 streets of value from a flopped set against a player with TPTK. I call a raise with KJ on the button, and he comes along in the SB. I flop top pair on a J-7-4 flop and he bets and I call. I call his escalating bets on the turn and river also and he shows me 44 for a flopped set and most of my chips. What the hell? This is exactly the kind of play that I'm expecting from donks in the main event. Except I'm the one with the flopped set and they call me down 3 times with top pair. Idiot.

Absolutely nothing good happens after that. I fold garbage constantly, building an image to reshove on someone and try to build my stack back. It just doesn't happen though. I misplay my last hand, raising Alan Gohring with KT, flopping K-9-x, and instead of shoving the flop I shove the turn when the 9 pairs. He has the nine, I have no more chips and I'm ready to walk home to Reno now. Just brutal. adsfh9eqwfh9qewu9wevni

Venetian $1K

Uh, I'm not sure how much I remember cause its all starting to blur, but yesterday I played for 11 hours and then ran a perfectly planned and executed stop and go right into aces. I had straight outs and in fact made a flush but he had the right suits. I had KK five or six times yesterday and I won pots with them without showdown each time.

Afterwards my new Canadian friends showed me a craps table that I could win at and that may have been the highlight of the trip!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Event #13 $2.5k NL

I draw a fantastic starting table. Half the table seems like they've never played before-- two of them actually ask the dealer if its OK if they take a bathroom break. Several of them make these insane beginner bet sizing errors that just waves a big flag screaming "I'm a donk- take my chips" Unfortunately, my spots are thin and while I do chip up somewhat, I don't get that big double up opportunity. I am being pretty good at not calling anything from the blinds though, and when I enter a pot out of position its for a raise. I'm just going to make this a policy.

I raise in MP with AJs and one of the bad players calls from the BB. Flop is T-T-4 and I have the flush draw. He checks, I bet 600 and he check-raises to 3000. Sheesh. He really shouldn't do this if he has a ten in his hand, but he is capable of anything. He also didn't really leave himself enough chips to fold, but I don't know if he knows this. If my overcards are good, I have between 14-15 outs if I shove. I really want to shove, but I also think that the definition of a semi-bluff is that I have some fold equity, I decide that I don't and I give it up. He shows me red 77 and I'm wondering if I left my balls in the hotel room.

I get up to 13K or so chips and raise in EP with 66. Only the BB calls and I cover. Flop is Q-T-9. Check-check. Turn is a 6 and I think I have gin. He bets 800, I make it 2000, he tanks and after a very long time he shoves another 2500. Damn- I wasn't expecting that. I call and he has 99 for a better set and I'm not happy.

I get moved to another table with Shaun Deeb, Brandan Shaffer, Svetlana something or other who won the ladies' event one year, and "The Boss" An Phan or something like that. I pick up KK and somehow get 3 streets of value and get my stack healthy again. Nothing remarkable happens and I go to dinner with about 12K- below average but playable. Back from dinner I pick up 99 in EP and raise, only to be called by An Phan in the BB. He's very aggressive and I was hoping he would raise so I could just ship it. Flop is T-high and I c-bet and he calls. No more money goes in the pot as the turn and river bring a queen and an ace and he tables AQ. Yikes and blech.

The player next to Phan is pretty short and has open shoved a couple times. He does so again, shoving 6500 at 200-400/50 and I have ATo in the SB. Not really what I'm after, but I only have about 8000 chips myself and I need chips. His range should be 22-JJ, Ax, and KJ+ I suppose, so I think I'm either in front of his bad ace or I'm flipping and that's OK. I call and he tables AQ and holds and I'm crippled. Deeb takes me out a couple hands later. Blech. Went out around 390/1088, paying 117. A little closer than yesterday, but not close enough!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Event #11 $2K NL

1646 runners, 6000 starting chips, 1 hour levels. Court Harrington is at my table and he's the only person I recognize. Table plays pretty tight, and I'm able to maintain my stack by the occasional 3-bet that gets respected. At one point I raise UTG with JJ to 300 and Court makes it 750. I call and we see a Q-8-5 flop. Check-check and he folds to me bet on the turn. I try to setmine and make things happen but my stack fluctuates from 5000-7000 for the first 3+ levels. At the end of level 4 with 5000 left I pick up AA and get all the chips of a guy with KK. I get to about 9K which is the high water mark. After the break I pick up JJ in MP and a girl to my right opens to 700- I make it 2000 and then this guy with a big stack shoves. F-word. Girl mucks, I muck, and just like that I go to having a stack around 25 big blinds. I pick up AQ the next hand, raise and fold and I must be getting a little tilty. So with about 6000 left at 100-200/25 I make this fantastic play: Asian kid raises to 650 and I call in position with 66. Flop comes T-9-4. He c-bets, and I call. I've decided that there is a very good chance he'll check the turn and I'm just floating the flop to take the pot. Good plan so far. Besides, I'm ahead a lot of the time here anyway. Turn is an Ace and he checks according to plan. Now I make the error. I only have about 4600 left. He has probably double that. My choices here are to shove now, or pick some bet that gives me a last barrel on the river if I need it. I also think that when you're this short, shoving often looks weaker than betting half your stack- so that's what I do. And it looks like he doesn't like the ace at all. He tanks a long time, then throws his 2K in. Damn. Now I'm fucked. The river is some kind of card that isn't a 6 and he checks again. I see no way I can win a showdown, and my only hope is that he can somehow decide he is beat and save the 2600 I toss in the pot. He doesn't put me on an ace though, and his pocket jacks are good and I'm done.

Except I'm not really done. I go to the Venetian to play 2-5 and run good and people throw their money at me and I'm up close to $1800 pretty quickly. I give most of it back in two hands: First one I raise to $25 with QJs. I get called by a youngster in position. Flop comes Q-J-T, two spades and I fire $60. He calls. Turn is a 7 and I bet out $120 or so. He raises me $250 more. Hmmm. I call. River is a 6 and I bet $400. He tanks a very long time, finally calls and says "I got very lucky" and shows me pocket 6's??? WTF? Guy is some kind of witch I guess. Either that or he doesn't like money. Table lets out a collective groan. Then, I call a raise in the SB with 56o and flop 5-5-6. Now, I'm supposed to win this hand everytime. I check, MP bets $45, LP who raised pre-flop calls, and I call. Turn is nothing and it get checked around. River is a Jack and I bet $80 for value. MP folds, but the LP player raises to $600. Again, I ask- WTF?? I just look at him and point out that I only bet $80. So now I have to figure out what percentage of the time he has pocket Jacks and how often this is some insane donkey play to get the pot, especially since I've been playing like a lagtard and have a big stack. Somehow I decide its the second, I'm wrong, and that's the last hand I play tonight. I end up even and grumpy.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Its WSOP time!

Get to the Rio today and I pick up my preregistration. For the main event I'm on table blue 3 I think. I don't know if that means it breaks first or last, but its probably one or the other and I will definitely find out! Any plans for dinner fall through so i decide to play the nightly to check things out. Its $340, 30 minute levels, 5000 starting chips. First hand as I'm still getting my stuff together at the table I find A6s and I'm the second limper. The button makes it 200, two people call so I come along. Flop is A-6-5 all spades and there is a bet, a call, and then I make it 1050 and take it down. Too bad it was a monotone flop because one of the villains surely had a big ace and I would have had more. Anyway, its a nice first hand for the 09 WSOP!

I play very tight, and I'm surprised how active the table is. There is a an old guy a couple seats to my left who plays every hand. Three people get all in on a J-9-5 flop and sure enough all have flopped sets and the Jacks hold up. At 50-100 I'm the third limper in late position with QJo. Flop comes J-J-3, two spades. Yippie. The SB leads out for 400 and then this older woman to my right makes it 1400. Uh oh. Not good. I have her covered, but what on earth can she have that I'm ahead of? The only hand I can come up with is JT, and I think that's definitely a big part of her limping range. I don't think she has AJ, but she might have KJ. Pocket 3's are also a distinct possibility and what I'm really worried about. Any decent player also has a flush draw sometimes here. I feel like I should muck, but damn it I just flopped trips! I decide, screw it, I call, and I'll just ship the turn. SB folds. Turn is an offsuit 8 and she ships it. I tank. Now I narrow her range to one hand: 33. Thing is, I'm getting almost 2-1 on the call, I kind of want to know if my read is right, even if I'm not good, and even so I still have 7 outs. Somehow, against my better judgment I find a call and sure enough she tables pocket 3's. Case Jack comes on the river and I find myself berating my bad call as I stack the chips. Trust your reads son, trust your reads.

A good player makes an open-button raise to 450 and I 3-bet from the SB to 1250 with T8s. He calls. Flop is A-7-7, check-check. Turn is a 6 and I fire 1300. Its about half his stack and he tanks and folds.

I make a terrible mistake later after I get moved to another table. Easily the worst hand I've played in sometime. I raise in MP with AJo to 550 at 100-200, and get called by a big stack. Flop comes J-9-8, two spades and I bet 650. Villain makes it 2500 and I'm pretty sure he is just messing around trying to take the pot after the automatic c-bet that he expects from me. I should just ship it here but I call. Turn pairs the 9 and I bet 3000. He tanks and calls. Hmmm. Who is floating who here? River is a very ugly Qh and since the one card I put him on when he raised the flop was a Ten, I'm now pretty worried he made a straight. Besides, the board is so ugly my top pair shouldn't be good given the action. Meh. I check-fold and someone at the table says "show the bluff" and the villain turns up one card-- the 6d. wtf? I give up half my stack on just a miserably played hand and I remind myself that this is a hard game and every single hand is the one that can make or break you.

I chip up a bit more and then find AA in late position and raise three limpers to 1000. I get two callers, including the older guy from the first table who plays every hand. Flop comes 9-5-4 rainbow and old guy bets 1500 and I ship, he calls with K9o and I know the King is coming when he turns his hand over.

First bracelet event tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Running Good!

Just took down a $55 Stars tourney for $3300 or so. Sweet. Had one donk play early on where I shoved 88 into KK on an underboard and rivered a set. Other than that, got it in good and held.

Yesterday won my WSOP seat on the Stars $650 qualifier. 1100 entries or so, 55 seats. The bubble was insanely brutal. For the most part people played well. I got pretty short, hovering around 54 out of 60 or so for awhile. One hand its folded to the button who has 22900 at 2000-4000 blinds. I have about 34000. He shoves, its folded to me holding AKs and I tank and muck. I'd call with Aces, but that's about it I think. If a math geek looks at it I'm pretty sure a fold is correct there. My big hand was when I as down to 17K with blinds at 2500-5000 and its folded to me in the SB and I shove 62o. I get called (?) by Q9o and I catch a 6 to double up and get to a safe spot from there. Why the BB, who barely had me covered, would call with Q9 there is bizarre.

So I'm excited to play the Main Event, as I haven't played since 2006. Pokerstars has rooms for its qualifiers at the Palms and I've never stayed there so that's cool also. And for the next two months I'm going to dream of going deep and then do this doctor thing as a hobby or missionary work.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Yet another Poker Post! whoot!

No happy ending for those of you who want to skip to the end....

So I play the $200+$30 NL at the Hilton, eh, Grand Sierra again. 6000 starting chips. Here's a few hands:

Early on 25-50 I get QQ and raise, to be called by the BB. Flop J-9-4 and I must be good. He checks, I bet 2/3 pot. Turn is a little rainbow card and he check-calls 3/4 pot this time. River is another brick and he checks again. Now what? I tell myself he's got AJ or KJ and I must be good, but I ate a big bowl of "Nitties" for breakfast so I check behind. He tables JT and I steam a bit for not getting another 1200 out of him.

I get QThh in the CO and raise, the BB calls. Flop comes Kh-Qs-Jh. Wow. OK, count at home with me-


yep, 20 outs. Especially good to know when the BB check-raises me all-in with K6o. Turn 4c. River 9d and I'm a winna.

I move tables and my unfortunate tendency to raise at will causes my opponents to 3-bet me often. Since I don't have much in the way of cards, this blows.

Then I play a hand very badly. Like KK vs Aaron Kantor badly. I have T7hh in mid-position and limp after a couple limpers. The button has a monster stack and he comes along. Flop is T-9-9 with one heart. I bet when it gets to me and I'm headsup with the bigstack. Now here's the weird part. I'm thinking to myself "I need an 8-- an 8 would give me an OESD- that would be good" So the turn is another heart, giving me the flush draw as well as top pair. I check, button bets, I call. I have about 15K left at this point. He has a zillion chips. The river is the 8c. I check, he bets 2000. Now this is the part where I have to do a piss test or something. See, my brain is still on the turn. I'm still thinking "I need an 8 (or a heart" In fact, I'm pretty sure that I have a straight at this point. I snap-raise to 5K. He shoves. Holy crap. That was unexpected. F word. Well, my straight is hidden and might be good. Let me think about this. OK, whats the board? T-9-9-4-8. What's my hand again? T7. 7-8-9-T-- oh shit. Well kiss my gritz if I didn't just turn my hand into a bluff without even knowing it! I fold. Please to be taking 1/3 of my stack Mr. Don't-need-anymore-chips-from-me.

At one point my BB of 300 is raised by the CO to 1200. He has another 3500 behind, and I'm sitting with about 10-11K. I have ATs. So I ponder my options here. I could just push, or I could wait for the flop and then push. I tank awhile so he must know I have a hand. Its sort of strange, because I know all my chips are getting in the middle, but for the life of me I can't decide if it should be now or later. I call. Flop Q-T-5. Before I can act, the CO shoves. Dude, your stop-and-go is all backasswards here. So he pulls his stack back. Now I ask the dealer, just to make it clear, that if I shove he can still fold. She agrees. I say "OK, I'll give you another chance, I'm all in" Snap-call with the mighty Q4 off suit.

I drift below average. At 400-800 a short stack shoves for 2450. The Q4 guy calls. Another shorty goes all in. Action to me. I look down at AA. Got to get the rest of Q4's money in, so I make a neon-sign blasting raise to 5000. Q4 either can't see the danger, or is overcome with the pot odds and calls. Flop 6-2-2. Q4 shoves with 77. I snap and hold, knocking out the two shorties and putting Q4 on life support. Above average at this point.

After this I suppose the best description is that I failed to change gears. I went from 35K in chips down to 17,100 at the dinner break, with blinds at 800-1600/300. I did this not with any big hands, but by raising and then getting re-popped, or having my C-bets raised or just plain old playing shitty. With a low M after dinner I really just wanted a double up opportunity. There were 37 left, paying 18. We re-drew at 3 tables and one of the guys from the previous table who knows I'm somewhat maniacal is in the SB. I have him covered by 5500 chips. (How do I know this you ask? Silly rabbit...) At 1000-2000/400 its folded to me in the CO with AQo. I consider shoving, but I make it 6000. The SB shoves and there is really no way I can fold this spot so I call. He has 66 and turns a set and rivers a boat and I bust out 25th.

Playing the charity kidney jen harmon tourney on wednesday, the 3K on thursday, and I'm holding my decision on the 5K after that.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Quads is good.

So it seems there are at least two people out there who look at this blog from time to time and say "hey- haven't been playing cards lately?"

Been playing a lot actually, just not writing about it. I've been playing online once or twice a week. This consists of logging on sometime between 6 and 7 PST and playing all of the FTP tourneys between then and the Turbo Fifty at 10 PM. Sometimes later. If you look at the OPR site, you'll see that I've run pretty good for the most part, although there have been stretches that I would like to forget. And I have more evidence for the ultimate doomswitch-- I'm 8 tabling FTP tournies the other night with decent stacks in most of them and getting close to the bubble when I get in good on each table and lose to a 2-6 outer or runner runner about 6 times in a row over a 5-8 minute span. BAM! No soup for you!


So I'm at the Hilton (Grand Sierra) and I donk out of the Omaha tourney fairly early and decide to sit in the 3-5 NL game with $1500. The game is really good. There's an old guy in seat 3 who comes in for $20-$30 every single hand. Awesome. The guy directly to my right seems OK, but he's one level behind me I figure, as he'll fire out the flop but give up to my float steal on the turn. The people to my left are all stacked and solid, and for now I think that if they are repopping I can get out of the way. So I'm at this game for about an hour and I realize that its a school night and I better be getting home. Just stupid to even sit down really. I call up for some chinese take out, so I'm on my last orbit. On my 2nd to last hand, I get 44 in EP and raise to $15. I get 4 callers. I flop 4-4-7. Fun fun. I check. Guy with a $500 stack to my left bets $60, and then the kid to my right calls. Oh my. I hope one of them flopped a boat. I call. Turn is not a 7. I check. Old guy fires $200. Kid folds. "How much you got left?"-- "OK, I'm all in" He calls but I never get to see his hand.

So its pretty cool when they are betting into you when you flop quads. Even nicer when the card room has a bonus for a high hand. And it just depends when it hits. So quad 5's for instance was worth about $45. Quad 8's must have just been hit, cause it was only $30. Quad 4's though, were worth over $375. Very sweet.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The best Rock show ever?

For me I think.

I've never seen Led Zeppelin. In high school we were getting prepared to go on the all night ticket buying adventure when John Bonham died. So it didn't happen.

But I've seen a lot of shows. I think I might try to recap them somewhere here. The first concert I saw was Rush on the Moving Pictures tour at the Fabulous Forum in LA. Sat in the Colonade, 1981. Loved it.

Back at the Forum last night, AC/DC just amazed and wowed me. Hard driving rock and roll from guys who are mid-fifties plus (Brian Johnson is 61!) Their setlist was about perfect, their sound insane, and Angus Young is clearly the most under-rated lead guitar player ever. At least to me he was-- In fact, I'm going to give Angus the nod as the "best" (fwiw) rock guitarist I have ever been privileged to see live. The genres are somewhat different of course, but I will take the Scottish-Aussie Mr. Young over Pete Townsend, Eddie VH, David Gilmour(!), Jerry, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Alex Leifson, Steve Howe, Robert Fripp, and so on.

My ears are still ringing 24 hours later. I hope I get my shot at letting Jimmy Page make em ring at some point soon.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Vegas recap Part III

This must be the part where I run goot, right?

After the Bellagio we played some 10-20 at Venetian. There was quite a bit of cash on the table- I had $4K, and one of the local pros had about $75K! One older tourist had about $10K, and he was everyone's target. I got my chance with KK and after someone had opened for $80 I made it $260 from one of the blinds. I get called by the tourist. Flop comes T-8-4, two hearts and I get real squirrelly and decide to just check-raise and take it down. He co-operates by putting two stacks in the middle. Now, I get confused and have my second "live misclick" of the trip when I announce my raise as "a thousand straight" Ooops. Devo quickly says- "wait- you can't do that- he made it $800" Oh shit. Yeah, he did. I thought it was $400 (in my defense I had been playing mostly the $5-$10 game with $10 chips) Fortunately I snap-switched to "No- I raise one thousand-- $1800 to go" and that was enough to take it down. Leading would probably have been better, but I am very aware that I lose most of my money in the first hour of sitting at a new table and simplifying things when I have less information seems to work.

Dinner at Capo's was excellent, and I got a free Benjamin when the poker worlds favorite runner-up decides to prop bet me on where Keller is playing in Tahoe. (Nobody plays the Cal-Neva) 5 games of bowling later I'm up $500, despite my best efforts to throw left handed and into the gutter. Oh well, when you bring your own cue-stick to the pool hall you are supposed to win I guess. I then picked up a massive one dollar thirty cents on the head-up ebay machine making me ridiculously ahead on the nights props. Finally, I make a gross suckout in a very fun 1-2 game where we lag it up real nicely. Devo does everything exactly perfect to get my money in when he's holding KK to my AJ on a whiffed flop-- only to have me make runner runner str8 to take it down.

Looking forward to next time

Saturday, November 8, 2008

More from Vegas

After busting the tourney, I played $1-$2 with turkey's wild on election night. Pretty fun.

The next day I play the $540 2 PM tourney at Bellagio. The first 20 minutes were just amazing. We start with 6K in chips. About the 10th hand I get QQ, raise and get a caller and flop K-Q-8. Nice. Check-check. Turn 9. Not as good. I bet out, get raised, and call. Hmmmm. River is another K. So I check and villain bets about 2/3 pot. I don't know why I got so nitty here- I have to be good, right? I just wondered if he played K9 like this. I ponder a bit, just call and he has a str8. Nice pot.

Two hands later I get red TT and flop a set on an all spade flop. I take it down.

About 3 hands after that I get AA and raise to 150. A MP player makes it 400 and I make it 1800. He tanks a long time. Finally he shoves into me with KK and I hold up.

Next hand I get JJ and everyone folds. Nice start I think!

I get up to 14K or so and then donk off 5K on a hand where I raise a limper with AQ and he calls. I miss the K high flop and try to represent AK. The guy check-calls both my flop barrel and then my turn shot to put him all in and he's the one with the AK. Oops.

From there not much happened. We get down to 11 people and they are paying only 3, so getting some chips would be a good idea. I make a button raise with KQo and this spewtard in the SB pushes. I'm getting about 1.6-1 to call, and it s a healthy stack if I win and crippled if I lose and I should be decent against his range here. I call and he tables A5s and he holds. Blech.

I go back to Bellagio the next day for the same tourney. Paul Phoc Nguyen is there--I played a long time with him a couple years ago. At 100-200 the short stack to my left pushes for his last 1400, Paul calls with his huge stack and I instashove about 7K with pocket deuces. Paul has to fold (99 his told me later) , I hold up over QT and get rewarded for my sick play. I'm up and down, but play well and then double up with QQ>TT. As I'm stacking my chips I look down at KQo in the SB. It gets folded to Paul on the CO and he raises to 1000. I call. Flop K-Q-T and I just check while I stack chips. Paul then shoves. OK, well, he might have something here, but he wouldn't shove with it. I call, he has AA and I'm drawing to a chop after he turns an Ace. Crap a smack a ding dong. I get it in way good for the chip lead with 9 people left and it doesn't happen. Pokah.