Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Briefer History of Tourney Part 2.

With under 100 left I played very very few interesting hands. I doubled up with QQ against a guy who called my preflop raise and then raised my flop bet on a 644 flop. I pushed and he folded getting close to 10:1 on my last few chips. Then with about 275k in the BB I called an open raise from the SB (who had me covered) with AQ. Often I reraise there, this time I didnt. I flopped top pair on a Q93 two club board. The SB check callled my bet, and the turn was a 3rd small club. The SB check-raised all-in and I called and beat his K9o with no club. I drifted from 550k all the way back down to around 250k by having to fold to raises and doubling up short stacks. Then I called a shortstack's push when I had AA. Busted a shortstack's push when I had 87o and he had AA. and I was pack up to 500k and we were down to around 30 people. With under 20 people left, I reraised an open raiser all-in with AA and he called with QQ. Then I picked up AA again and won another nice pot, and that put me in the top 3 in chips at 800k.

I played very aggressively after that, often reraising LP raises from players who quite clearly wanted to make the final table, and not risking losing with 11-15 players left. It was really smooth sailing and I built my stack up to 2 million with only 1 player showing any desire to fight back and reraise me. With 5 players left I had roughly 1.9mil-2mil the button who was short stacked pushed all-in for 600k (blinds were 50k/100k). I called with A8s but lost to his A4. So, now down to 1.3mil I was on the BB next orbit with AJo, and once again called a push from an LP player. This time I had AJ, and he had KT. The flop was the terrifying xK...........A. Phew. Another player busted and I was the shortest stack 3 handed. The first hand the button raise to 300k, the SB called for 300k, and I pushed my 2 mil stack all-in from the BB with K9o. They both folded giving me a nice increase to my stack. Apparently though, my all-in opened the flood gates. My two opponens began reraising all-in (both with stacks of over 30BBs) on the vast majority of hands. Correspondingly, I tightened up hoping one would knock the other out, or I would pick up a big hand and double-up. The second stack got all-in with 66 against the big stacks AJ...but the 66 held, so now the guyh with 66 had 6.6mil, the guy who had AJ was down to 2.8 mil, and I had bled down to 2 mil again. On my last hand I opened for 300k from the button with QQ. As expected the player with 2.8mil reraised all-in. Now the BB (with 6.6 mil) began thinking and after a relatively long think he called the 2.8 mil. I was obviously thrilled and called with my QQ. SB had the reasonable AJ, and BB had KQ!? The flop was all low cards, but the turn came with an A to end my day in 3rd.

All in all, the ending sucked but it was still a super nice payday.

Monday, March 27, 2006

A Brief History of Tourney

As with any tournament where you make the final table, I ran really well for most of the tournament. I'll give a brief overview. In the first hour, I doubled from 4500 when I limped and called a raise with 44. The flop came A4x and I doubled through against AK. I won a bunch of smaller pots (including calling a river bet on a KT643 with A6 and beating A3). I was around 13k when I ran my first semi-bluff. I raised preflop with QT of diamonds to 1500 (blinds 300/600) and got called by a stack that had me covered. The flop was A high and I bet out 2k. He calls putting about 9k in the pot. The turn was a 2nd diamond and I pushed...he folded.

I was around 20k for a while...untill I raised a couple of limpers with 77. The SB called, and both limpers called. The flop was AQ7 and the SB bet out for almost the size of the pot. I pushed and doubled up against AT. So I'm now at 40k, and a big stack. Unfortunately I was moved to a table with 3 other big stacks as the bubble approached. I didnt have any opportunity to bully on the bubble, but after we hit the money I took a stand. I defended my BB from an LP raise with 64s. Blinds were 600/1200 and LP big stack raised to 3500, I checked the Q63 flop and he bet 5k, I made it 15k and he folded. After that I went on a huge run, and got all the way up to 130k without really breaking a sweat...then i lost a 40k pot with AA against KK.

I hovered between 70k-100k when my 2nd semi-bluff hand happened. With the blinds at 2k/4k I had about 75k and raised to 10k in EP with 78 of clubs. The player right behind me, with about 100k called and we saw a Q97 flop. I bet 15k and he called putting 50k in the pot and 50k in my stack. The turn was a 5 giving me a gutshot straight draw along with my pair, and I pushed. He thought for a long time before folding what he said was JJ. At this point there were about 100 people left, but I'll leave that for another post.

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

Well, actually I have a failure to communicate. Thats because poker sucked for a while.

I just took 3rd in the Pary Poker 750k Guarenteed prize pool. Poker no longer sucks. I am back to sucking out a lot and winning money. I rule. More to come when i havent just played 8 straight hours.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Looooord I Was Born.....

I am so excited for Aaron Sorkin's new show. Set behind the scenes of an SNL type show I can't see how it would not be good. The only thing that worries me is casting Mathew Perry. I think he will be good (he was quite good on West Wing) but his presence will turn some people who would be fans off I think.

Shouldnt the play-in game for the NCAA tournament be between the last 2 at-large teams? The whole reward for little schools making the tournament is their shot at a big time school. It seems unfair to punish them by taking away that chance.

I admit it. I'm completely addicted to sportstalk radio. Its shameful and embarassing, and I probably need an intervention, but I just can't help myself.

I don't particularly like NASCAR, I don't particularly like racing video games, but I seriously cannot make myself stop playing NASCAR 06: Total Team Contol.

As my attention span has gotten shorter Ive moved from being a movie buff to a TV buff.

After having not played live poker for like 3 weeks now, I really miss it. Online is fun enough, but man, it doesnt hold a candle to live poker.

.....just trying to make a living and doing the best I can. And when its time for leaving I hope you'll undersand that I was born a ramblin man.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Who has some Cheese?

in the last 20 HUs Ive played Ive lost in the following ways

AK v A9 preflop.
A9 v KQ on a 9 high flop.
Q5 v KK on a Q52 flop.
76 v QQ on a 89T flop.
A8 v 56 on a 5679 board.
35 v AA on an A249 board
62 v K9 on a K62 board

This is in addition to the normal assortment of HU running 104 of clubs in J5 of clubs on a 3 club board. or top 2 in an OESD or getting all-in with QQ v KK. Yeah, so poker sucks the last few days but is my blog and I'll whine if i want to.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

HU Play

The last couple of weeks ive been playing a lot of the Stars $200 HUs. They are fantastic as there are many many braindead opponents. For example, there's the one who will push whenever he has 2 broadway cards (even if he has 75 BBs). Or the ever popular I just rivered the nuts why don't I bet twice the pot and hope he calls bet. Another opponent will minraise every hnad, and minbet every street regardless of what he has. This is at a $200 level buy-in folks. Poker is good.

Playing HU though will make you think about the luck factor of poker a lot differently. For example, today I was playing a pretty decent opponent, and it seemed like everytime the money went in I'd have the worst of it and suck out. to some degree or another. While playing him though, I still felt in my gut that I was running bad....while it would seem that I obviously wasnt. Looking back over the games though, my gut was right. I flopped very few real hands. This isnt a huge problem against certain bad opponents because they don't apply enough pressure to make waiting difficult. However, this player was applying pressure well, and had a good aggression level. Not making very many hands with legitimate showdown value left me bluffing, semi-bluffing and bluff catching the majority of the time. So, the majority of the time I was folding and getting ground down and then being forced to make a stand and sucking out. So while I did get lucky in some big pots, (often when I'd pick up a big hand and he'd pick up a bigger one) that can be misleading.

HU is fun, if I run good at it next week I may take some selective shots at the 500.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Jolly Fat Baseball Player

It is undeniable that baseball is about stats. More than any other sport, thanks to Sabermetrics, and groups like Baseball Prospectus we all understand exactly what skills make baseball players tick. However, there are players that just break the mold. Kirbey Pucket's stats weren't that amazing. In fact, when you compare them to other borderline Hall of Famers, he doesn't even seem to be a lock to be there. His career stats are roughly on par with Don Mattingly and probably behind Jim Rice...but there was never any doubt that Pucket was a HOFer, nor should there have been. Kirbey was one of those rare players that transended stats.

I'm 22 so I was just developing baseball consciousness was Kirbey was in his prime. I feel particularly robbed of the end of his career when I would have been old enough to remember his career more fully. However, I think it speaks to Pucket's universalism that even I as a 9 year old remember the leaping catch against the plexi-glass and the game winning home run later that night. I mean, I was freaking 9, I don't even remember 75% of the Yankees from 1991 (well looking back I kind of do, but I dont have any memory of watching them play) but for whatever reason I remember that game. While he played, Kirbey was a character beyond comparison. I've tried to come up with a comparison so that people younger than me, who have absolutely no memory of his career might get some sense, but I think the biggest complement I can give him is that there is currently nobody like him.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

On the Road Again

I'm off on another trip, this time to D.C. No poker involved this trip, just visiting college friends. This is one of those things that nobody reading the blog could possibly care about but I get to write anyway because its my blog. So there.