Monday, February 27, 2006

2nd In PSO League

I have now officially broke into a Final Table at a MTT. It was a goal that I set for myself when I took on the challenge of learning the MTT game. I've only bought into around 5-7 MTT and I felt more and more comfortable as I progressed my game. I always went out on solid decisions and good reads. The poker gods were finally with me last night and I didn't get sucked out on once, that I can remember anyways. There were a few interesting hands but I dont remember all the specifics as I was pretty excited just to be still in.

My tournament started off slow, I stayed about average for a long time until level 4 or 5 when I called off 80% of my chips and got out kicked at showdown. I didn't feel comfortable and I knew I was beat but could lay it down. I was made at myself but didnt just tilt away my remaining T660. Thats right, I was down to T660 with 90 or so people left and came back to get second. I pushed my little stack around and picked up some blinds, then doubled up, then doubled up again. I wasn't pushing aimlessly, I targeted other small stacks and waiting for good opportunities. I even folded A10 preflop with 700 chips. I waited and got a better chance and it payed off. I don't think I would of been this patient if it was for my buddy ODIEONE sweating me at this point. I hit a low and he kept me focused. He even stayed up and watched the Final Table.

The most interesting hand came when there was 4 of us left. Winner getting $180 + $300 in PSO points, 2nd paid $140 + $200 in PSO points, and third receiving $180 ish in total. At this point I think 4th only paid $60ish.

UTG (Me) T55000
Button (Villain) T60000
SB (18000)
BB (70000)

Blinds were 1000/2000ish with a $200 Ante I think. (details are fuzzy)

I was dealt AKs UTG and made my standard raise of 3x BB which was for 9000 total.
Button reraises to 18000 total, folded to me with 15000 in the pot and a raise of 9000. I thought for a second, I would of thought for longer but my time ran out and Folded.

The expected Value of this play was the only thing I was thinking. If I get into a confrontation with someone who out stacks me and lose, Im out in 4th and give up a lot of +EV for 3rd place and up with the added money by PSO. I think I may have pushed if the added money was not there? I put him on a PP and I would of had a race and if I won garunteed 2nd, but If I lost 4th. I think its the only play, I might even fold AA in this situation???

What so you guys think??
If it was AA/KK do you fold? Call? reraise?
If its AK do you call/fold/reraise???

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The upside of variance

I just killed again at Martins. The deck is finally hitting me in the face and I have stacked 4 guys in an hour. Im sitting with a stack of 305E at a NL100 table. This is easily the most I've sat with, my previous record was 250ish. I had to cut the session short because I am travelling in about 10 minutes, but I'm pretty pumped to be up 375E in 2 days of playing maybe 2.5 hours. Wow what a rush, I hated the downswing but the upswing is that much sweeter.

I guess I will continue on with the promotion and not cut it short like I was going to. I better keep playing solid poker and not let this go to my head.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

PSO League

Well I played a great tournament until an hour and a half in. I was top 10 in chips for the first hour and a half and looking good. I then lost half my chips when I lost 66 vs 55 when I called a short stacks all in and DONION hit is 2 outer. Then I lost another race when I knew the raiser had AK (or high cards) and I came over the top having him covered and he just couldnt lay it down, I think I had a mid pocket pair and lost 3500 chips. Then finally went out when I was short stacked and pushed with 22 and lost another race to the same guy who called me a few hands earlier and out raced me.

Final place was 57th and I felt like I belonged for a while, making good plays until a 20 minute span happened and I tried to push to hard. Ohh well If I win one of those races I would of been sitting pretty.

I hope the rest of you faired a bit better.

Sweet Vengence

Today I decided to play some 6 max NL100 since the full tables had long waiting lists at Martin's. I finally got my vengence on that site, Within about 30 mins I was up just over 150 Euros. I am finally even after quite a long downswing. I feel like a weight is lifted off my shoulders and that I can get the cards at that site and have a hand hold up. I havent taken too many bad beats but rather mad a lot of costly second best hands.

I managed to stack someone with AA vs KK. Lets play a long and see i fyou would of folded the King's if this happened to you. 6 Max NL 100:

UTG with AA raise 3x BB (my standard raise for the last 30 mins) my stack is $125
MP (KK)reraises to $7 total
Button Calls $7
Blinds Fold
I reraise to $35
MP (KK) goes into the tank and flat calls. (at this point I think he is worried, I pretty much annouced my hand as AA cause I was happy with taking it down right there.)

Flop comes Q 8 4 Rainbow (my only worry is that he has QQ and im gonna get stacked)

I insta Push for 80 more and he goes into the tank again, at this point I know I have him beat and he calls off the rest of his stack.

Turn is a 8

River is an Ace

He flips KK and proceeds to leave 3 hands later. (he took it well no whining, etc.)

I rake in a 208E pot and profess my love for Martin's.

So is 6 max that different than full ring games, I've laid down Kings before in a NL100 game when I raised, got called, then got reraised like $30. I know some people say never lay down KK preflop but when someone announces there hand like this dont you HAVE to fold???

Food for thought

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

No Poker

I haven't been playing very much lately. I am in the middle of getting ready to move into the house I just bought and work is starting to pick up. I want to be playing more but its just not in the cards I guess. I did manage to get in some live poker last weekend. I helped host a 22 player $50 buyin plus rebuy event and donk'd out of the tourney first, and I rebought once too. I am definitely going to arrange more of these tournies cause in the long run I should kill them. I had a guy call off his whole stack to me twice with 610s and j7s. He hit the flush both times after all the money went in preflop but I will take a 70% chance to double up any day.

I managed to win a few SNGs over the last week, I don't know why I don't concentrate on those more. I consistently kill them but never seem to take the time to do a lot over any period of time.

Im looking forward to the PSO league, I even redeposited to Absolute for this series of tournies. It will force me to play MTT and work on my game and be serious about my play. If you haven't signed up yet go do it, but only if your a donkey!

Im almost done Harrington on Hold'em Vol. 1 and its excellent, I cant wait to re read it to get the full effect of what he is portraying. I will take down the PSO league for sure now, if you see me taking a long time to make a decision, im probably just reading HOH and seeing what he has to say. :)

This post was brought to you by the tourist at my home game that thought that with any 2 suited card he was an 80% favourite.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Im a Donkey

This will be a self reflection post of how bad I played today. I decided to play another MTT with the last of my free money from pokerroom. About 45 mins in I decided to slow play kings from EP and limp in hoping someone would raise behind me. Of course not, SB completes, BB Checks and we see a flop of J 3 5, two hearts. I raise get reraised and all 3 of us are all in. The flush draw got there the BB had 2 pair, and im out.

NEVER Slow play KINGS!!! Dont be a Donkey!!!!!!

This definitly keeps me honest to write about my bad plays. Im glad it was just for 5 bucks.

I did manage to win a 10 + 1 at Absolute last night. Absolute was nice enough to give me $10 free so it was perfect. I did play solid and wasnt in too much jepoardy the whole tourney. I was card dead for the first 3 levels but got the hands when it counted. It felt good playing a SNG, I've been concentrating on ring to get through my Martin's bonus.

Speaking of the Martin's Bonus I dropped $50 3 talbling NL100 tonight. Nothing too eventful other than having 99 about 5 or 6 times, and not hitting a set with about 15 PP's. When I had a good hand I didnt get any action, when I was trying to force the issue I was getting played back at. It was one of those days where the flops just didnt help me. I think I was in the wrong seat, I saw one guy with a $400 stack by the time I left, he hit all his draws and got paid off on his monsters. I am looking forward to the day the deck hits me in the face at Martins. Im now back down $115 there and struggling with the idea of giving up the rest of my bonus. I can't seem to get anything going there and I can only play on their down hours due to work. I just don't think its the ideal circumstance to make money there. I think I would make more money playing at party of another prime time site for me. Who know?? I'll probably give it another week and set 600 as my stop loss number, I still have $470 in bonus money i've made there so no matter what its been a profitable site, it just sucks that I cant play atleast break even poker there.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Internet is Back

I have been without internet for about a week or so, Life pretty much grinded to a halt (meaning I didn't play any poker). I got my internet back up and connected at 4:30 and proceeded to play 2 hours of 3 tabling NL $100 on Martins to try and clear some more hands. Im currently at 1100 VIP points out of 3000 or 3600 if the bonuses dont clear concurrently. Meaning I have to get my ass in gear and play some cards.

My game today didn't go so well, I was getting decent starting cards but the flops just weren't hitting me. I only hit one set and luckily stacked a guy for $30. My only other big hand was when I hit trip Kings on the turn and sucked $50 out of him by the time he called my river bet. So two hands out of 200 probably and the other ones left me down $30 for the session. I was down $30 after my first hand, ill spare you the donkey commentary but someone sucked out on me after calling a 5x BB raise with 59 sooted, hit his flush on the river. I was down a buy in at one point but managed to crawl back to a somewhat respectable level.

I made one play that i'm sure most of you think is standard put it was the first time i've used it in my arsenal of tricks. I had the guy two to my right steal my blind with 3x BB raises a few times in an hour and I decided to fight back with any two cards the next time it happened. He raised his usual steal amount and I popped it up to 8x the BB and he called and then I threw a pot size continuation bet on a Q high flop. He folded I didnt show my j3o but he didnt attempt that move again. I always seem to know when they are stealing but my attitude is that its only a buck and not to want to play a monster pot with nothing. I think I was reading Phil Gordon today and he was talking about it so I tried it. Im sure it only has to work a few times to make it +EV but you guys should try it every once and a while to change things up.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

MTT Suck

I have to vent, I played about 4 hands to get to this point and I didnt show down anything and the blinds are at 300/600 and I have about 3500 in chips. Im dealt KK in the BB, LP raises me, I reraise 2000 and he reraise me all in with a5 and hits a damn straight on the river. ARRRGHHHHHHH!!!!! I was about 40 people from the money and KK was my only playable hand all tournament. The positives were that I did play SOLID poker the whole time, tight and made a few plays to keep the blinds from catching up with me. I feel great with the way I played but Im not used to investing an hour in and half into something and getting knocked out with a moderate bad beat.

I will move on and chalk this up as experience, I think this was a confidence booster for sure, but just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.


After running pretty flat during the last week or so I've decided to invest some time in some $5 MTT on pokerroom. They gave me some free money as well so this experiment won't cost me very much. I just received the Harrington on Hold em volumes 1 and 2 in the mail so I will see if they make any difference to my game after I read them.

My biggest area of weakness is switching between loose and tight aggression in these large tourney's. I'm used to playing tight aggressive in order to navigate the NL 100 ring games and I can't seem to switch gears. I have a friend who gets killed in ring and I can't out last him for the life of me in any online tournaments we play together. I think some players are created for different type of games. Its the same in sports, thats why there is different positions and superstars at all of them. Im a goalie in hockey and a cash game player in poker, we will see if Mr. Harrington has anything to say about this.