Thursday, June 21, 2007

Poker! Poker! Poker!

Tonight is the first night in a while that I've played online poker against primarily non-bloggers. I've had a $26 token sitting in my Full Tilt account for a while, and I'm never around to use it on Mondays at the Hoy. I used it this afternoon to play in the $19k guaranteed tourney.

My third and fourth hands were QQ and KK. The QQ hand was brutal. Three limpers to me, I raise it 7x the BB. The BB calls, as do all three limpers. (710)

The flop comes As,Ks,Jc. Three checks to the limper to my right, who bets 220. Think about giving up on it right here, but I do have the straight draw and back door nut flush draw, as well as boat possibilities, so I call the small raise... as does the rest of the table. (1810)

Turn is the Kh, which makes the board As,Ks,Jc,Kh. No more nut flush draw for me! The action checks to me, and I think about making a play, but eventually check, realizing that someone has got to be slow-playing an Ace or King. I might get the Ace to fold, but I'm pretty dead to a king.

The River is the Kc. Which makes the board As,Ks,Jc,Kd,Kc. The BB thinks for a few seconds, then pushes with about 1k in chips, which is what all of us have left as well. We all fold. I'm pretty sure the BB had AK, but he could have made a good move on us. He slow-played a few hands in the next 30 minutes, which leads me to believe he probably did have AK. Either way, it was about as bad of a flop/board as you can see with QQ.

The very next hand I get KK. Third to act makes it 160, and I raise it up to 400. It folds around to the original raiser, who calls. (830)

Flop comes Ac,Qc,Js. Bah. He checks to me, and I think for a few seconds and push for 730 more. He folds. If he had pushed, I would have had a hard time calling off my stack with KK on that board, but probably would have grudgingly called. When he checked to me, it opened up the door, so I pushed, hoping he had a small/middle pair. So after QQ and KK, I come out even.

I fold for an orbit, then get AsQs UTG and raise it 3xBB. Both the blinds call. (270)

Flop comes 7c,Td,Jc. SB min-bets for 30 into the 270 pot. I guess he's trying to keep the pot small on a flush draw, but really have no idea, and the BB and I end up both calling. (360)

Turn comes Qh, for a board of 7c, Td, Jc, Qh. Checks to me, and I fire a pot-sized bet. The SB smooth-calls, and the BB folds. (1080)

River comes 9h, for a board of 7c, Td, Jc, Qh, 9h. SB pushes for 950 and I start to mull it over. Seems like I could have the best hand here, but I'm thinking at least half the time I'm beat here by an 8 or K, or two-pair. I end up tossing my TPTK into the muck, convincing myself he has the king. I've seen a lot of pushing with the best hand lately, and it isn't a half-bad play, because eventually people will play back at you with inferior holdings, like I've been known to do on occasion...

I'm left with just over 1k, and on the next hand I get to see a free flop with Ad8c from the BB.

Flop comes 9c,6c,Ah. SB checks, I check, and the next player min-bets. There is a caller and a folder before me, and I decide to pop it to 270, which is probably around the size of the pot by now. And it folds back to me. I could have tried to get tricky, but any pot was a good pot at this point.

A few hands later I pick up TdTh, second to act. First to act limps in, which always smells fishy to me, so I decide to limp as well and see if anyone wants to try and push us around. I like to mix it up every now and then, and liked this spot. If someone did get frisky, I would get to see UTG's action before making my decision. If UTG limp-pushes, I'm definitely able to fold the 10's. Next guy limps, then we get a few folders, and the Cut-Off pops it 3xBB, which is a kind of weird bet with 3 limpers already in the pot. None of the limpers are going to fold, most likely. Button calls the 120, then the shorty SB pushes for 775 total.

There is enough money in the pot already for the shorty's range to be quite wide here, I think. The BB folds, and the UTG limper also folds. I'm pretty sure I've got the best hand, and I am fairly short as well, so I re-shove for 1k. The two limper to my left folds, and the 3x popper folds, but the Button who called the 3xBB raise calls both of our pushes.

When I pushed, I thought I'd probably get heads up with the shorty, but after review, it makes sense that the smooth-call of the 3x BB raise could have a pretty decent hand. Probably not a higher pocket pair than 10's, but he flipped over AK and I winced a little bit. I can see playing his hand the same way. The shorty flipped over pocket 4's, which also made sense.

The board ran out Jh,6d,9h,4s,2s. The shorty more than tripled up, and I got the side pot of 680 chips. Damn booby prize.

Then a pretty weird hand happened. I'm down to 580 and there is an UTG limper, then a 3xBB raise with a call. I push with AdQc in a pretty marginal spot to push, but I'm short and willing to gamble. Folds to UTG, who calls. Doh. Original 3x raiser folds (still not understanding these 3x raises after limpers), but the 3x caller decides to play as well.

We see a hammer flop of 7c,7s,2d--but I'm not worried, cause there are no other bloggers around! Hah! UTG leads out for about half of the pot, and the other guy pushes. UTG thinks for a while and folds. Pusher flips over Jh9s and gets berated by the UTG guy who probably folded a pocket pair. Pusher picks up the 900 side pot, and I get the 2k main pot. Thanks :)

Next big hand I played very poorly.

I'm at 1.8k with blinds at 25/50. It folds around to MP, who limps. I've got the Button, and I pop it to 250 with Ah7h, under my assumption that MP limpers don't have shit. The blinds fold and the limper calls. (575)

Flop comes Qs,9d,Kh. We both check. I'm not really sure why I checked, but I thought an extra card couldn't hurt before the action picked up. And, I didn't have anything, so I guess that is always a good reason to check.

Turn is the 9c, for a board of Qs,9d,Kh,9c. He checks to me, and I try to make a strongish looking bet of 350 into the 575 pot. He min-raises to 700, with only 465 behind. I think he's a tricky player from a few previous plays, so I think he might have read my "strong" bet as weak. I decide to push for 1.5k and he of course calls with only 465 behind... with pocket rockets, and I'm dead in the water. Folding to min-raises is something I've been having trouble with lately. It is either a trap, or a fake trap, and ever folding seems like a big waste of odds, unless you know you're drawing dead. I pretty much was drawing dead to any hand at all, so this would have probably been a good spot for me to lay it down. But, this hand did disprove my "limpers from MP have sucky cards" theory. Damn.

I won a race with As6s against KsTc and got up to about 1k, then pissed it away somehow (hand history isn't there for some reason???).

I loaded up the Double-Double tournies on Full Tilt for the first time ever. Two $10+$2 tournies that have some bonuses for doing well in both tournies. Each had about 1,000 people, and I didn't notice the extra juice until after I registered. Oh well.

Both tournies started out very well. I don't think I showed a hand in either tourney, and was up to 3k in each tourney about 30 minutes in, from starting stacks of 2k. In the "A" tourney, in a four-hand stretch I had AsKs,77,99,AcQc. The AKs turned a flush, and I got a call on the turn, but he folded to my push on the river and I only picked up 730 chips. I probably could have played that hand better.

With the 7's I re-raised preflop and got a caller. The flop came Jh,4c,Tc. Guy checks to me and I bet 2/3 pot, he pushes, I fold.

With the 9's, the guy UTG raises it 3xBB and gets one caller before me, so I decide to call from the C/O, and the BB joins in the fun as well. (375)

Flop comes 7s,Ad,5s and the BB bets 240 with 460 left behind. Folds to me, and for some reason I don't recognize the strength in his bet, and feel (again) like he is making a play at the pot, because he's short and needs chips. The other two folds should have been a bit of warning, but I push hoping for a fold, and he insta-calls with ATo.

Not a huge loss, and I still have 1.7k--but this loose-goosey play against short stacks is starting to become a huge leak in my game.

Very next hand I get AhQd and it folds to me in the Hijack, so I pop it 4xBB. Only the BB calls. (255)

Flop comes Th,3c,4c. We both check.

Turn makes the board Th,3c,4c,Ts. We both check again.

River makes it Th,3c,4c,Ts,6c. He bets out 150 and I call, thinking I'm winning half the time here, so why not? He shows KdJd. I think I played the hand very poor post-flop, and let my chip-spewing mood influence my play--not wanting to lose any more chips than necessary. If a J or K hits the river, I'm probably still calling his bet and losing. Not too happy with this hand either.

In the Daily Double B tourney, I hit trip 3's on the turn after it checked around on the flop. Made a sizeable bet on the river and didn't get any action.

The junk-kicking hand for me in the B tourney was getting dealt AdQh third to act. It folds to me and I raise it up 4xBB. It folds around to the BB, who calls. (425)

Flop comes a difficult 7c,3d,Js. He checks to me, and I decide to check and see what comes on the turn.

Turn brings the beautiful Ah. He fires out 250. I just smooth call. He's a bit aggro, so I'm hoping to get a bit more out of him on the river. (925)

River comes a 6d, to make the board 7c,3d,Js,Ah,6d. He thinks for 20seconds, and pushes the rest of his 960 stack into the middle, and I call pretty quickly. He flips over 4s5d for the rivered straight. Doh. I steamed a bit after this hand. Whenever I look over a hand like this, I always make the distinction between cash and tourney poker. I don't like milking, when I don't have the nuts or near nuts in tournaments. I think tournament poker is about pushing your edges, using your stack to bully. When it comes down to it, I think it is smarter to win a smaller pot when you know you are ahead, then to risk losing your stack by being greedy and trying to milk more chips out of your opponent.

From this point on, in both tournies I pretty much bleed down over the next hour. It was a combination of things, but the first 30 minutes and the next hour were such stark contrasts, I couldn't help but notice. The first 30 minutes I was playing well, winning pots uncontested, chipping up and not showing down hands. Fun, good poker in my book. The next hour was pretty much fold, fold, fold. I got moved tables in the B tourney, and two of the top five chip stacks were seated there, raising every hand. When I usually see this, I lick my chops and try to steal some of their chips--but my stack was so small, they were pretty much committed to call anytime I raised. I didn't pick up any decent hands, and whittled away to push-fold, and lost my flips in both tournies.

The hands I got to play were also very contrasting between the first half and the second half of each tourney. In the first half, I got high suited connectors in good position, low pocket pairs to play along with limpers from late position, and that run of AK,77,99,AQ. Basically just fun hands to play. In the second half of the tourney, I got frustrating hands to play. When I got to late position, I'd have crap hands and facing a raise in front of me. When I was in early/middle position, I'd get hands like Ad2d, 22, A8o, KTo. Hands I wouldn't mind playing from late position, but with a short stack and at an aggro table, it just didn't feel good to play from EP.

Oh well, I did pick up a few things from tonight's play, so that is always a good thing. About halfway through my 19k guaranteed tourney, I realized I forgot to get Indian Fare packets at Trader Joe's today. I went right after work, because it was 80 degrees and sunny, and I needed to get food. I grabbed some lentil soup and more of those yummy enchilada packets, but I have been craving Indian Fare for the past week (and it was incredibly good camping on Tuesday), so that was the first thing on my mental list for Trader Joe's today. It is 20 miles away, and I don't really feel like going there again this weekend, so I guess I'll have to hit it on the way to or from the Reno Airport in the next two weeks.

Any comments on the hands are appreciated, I don't even mind a little bit of criticism, because I know I spewed chips in quite a few places tonight--and would like to stop those leaks!

In other news, this weekend is looking more and more fun as it gets closer. I might be heading down to Sacramento to play in the end-of-league ultimate tourney on Saturday. I'll probably ride down after work tomorrow, because there is going to be a party here tomorrow night, and I'll be hard-pressed to wake up by 7am and ride down to Sacto by 9am. After frisbee, there is the end-of-league party! Stacey and I went to one of these a few years ago, and it was awesome. They rent out a private pool, and we get to play fliers up in the pool, as well as have a limitless supply of beer from one of the breweries that sponsors the league. It is really a recipe for disaster, but it is very, very fun. I talked with DTran, and he might actually meet me in Sacto for both the frisbee and the party afterwards, so it'd be great to see him again.

Sunday, I'm riding back up to Tahoe, and we're having a going-away party for Jen at the lake I visited last Sunday, Angora Lake. The group of 18-22 year olds I saw there last week gave me a good idea for these other youngsters, and I'm hoping to have a good time floating and cliff-jumping (not diving! learned that lesson the hard way!). There has been talk of bringing a mini-keg up to the lake, hehe. Hopefully I'll get some pictures of scantly clad college girls for all you pervs out there. Yes, I'm talking to you. You know who you are. You'll be the guy at work with my pictures on a browser minimized, only to pull them up when the coast is clear.


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