Saturday, June 16, 2007

Seeking Poker Feedback (+Script Progress)

Well, I spent today being pretty darn lazy. I was hoping to get out and go write some in a little coffee shop somewhere, but I wasn't feeling great this morning. I think I might have a sinus infection or something, because there is a pretty intense pressure on the left side of my nose, way up there. I think it has been the cause of my hacking stuff up for the last week or so.

Anyways, I did get some writing in today. After a few games of starcraft, I fired up Full Tilt and played in a $5 tourney. I've been feeling really good about my tourney game since about a week before Vegas. I got 2nd in the Mookie ten days ago, then 4th at the Summer Classic, then 2nd at the donkament last night.

Last night was the first time I got deep in the Friday donkament, and I had a blast. At the break, we had the top 4 stacks of the tourney at our table--mostly thanks to Waffles inability to flip coins well. There were four of us sitting at M's of 75 or so, so we had TONS of room to play. Not being a cash-game player, this didn't really benefit me too well, but it was a fun experience. I pulled off a few bluffs along with the rest of the table, and hung on to a healthy stack into the final table.

In the last few weeks, I've been willing to gamble, and I've also been doing a much better job at realizing why people make the bets they do. Is that guy in seat 6 raising the three limpers because he hates it when people limp? Or does he have a hand? Understanding why people play the way they do makes it much easier to pick your spots and win pots without showing down your cards--or showing down winning cards.

Back to the $5 tourney today, I worked up a very healthy stack, probably in the top 20, when the wheels started to come off when we were down to the last 100 out of the initial 500. I flopped top two pair and got it all in against a shorter stack who hit his flush draw on the turn. That probably took half of my stack, but I would have a hard time playing his hand any differently if I were in his situation.

I treaded water for a bit, then got into a pretty weird hand at the 200/400a50 level (1k in the pot preflop). Action folded around to the button who had 6k behind, and min-raised it to 800. The SB is chip leader at the table with 20k, who calls. I'm in the BB with 8s6s, and think about pushing, or at least raising. I think the button might be willing to fold, but I'm not really sure what the SB has, so I just call.

We see a flop of Ts 5h 6c.

SB checks, and I quickly bet the pot (1,600). The Button min-raises to 3,200. SB folds, and I opt to call. I think the button could be making a move here, because there is 3,200 in the pot, and he's only got 5k behind, so I call.

Turn is the 5s.

This opens up some more outs for me, and I am pretty much committed to the hand. If the turn blanked, I was thinking about folding. I check/call his all-in for another 2.3k. He flips over JsTd, and I don't hit my 13 outter on the river.

After the hand, I didn't like either my preflop or flop play very much. I also think what makes this hand interesting is the chip stack sizes. We've got M's of 7, 13 and 20--fairly deep in a tourney. The short stack doesn't have much room for play, which in hindsight makes me think his non-all-in re-raise on the flop SCREAMS strength. It is conceivable that the SB had A-K thru A-7 or 99,88,77--and folded to the raise and re-raise in front of him on the flop. But I think if I pushed preflop, I probably could have taken the pot down. The short stack still has enough chips to wait for a better spot than JTo, and really, the SB had been nut-peddling with his large stack since I joined his table.

As for the flop, I don't really like my flop bet. I don't like the size of it, and I think a check might be a better idea. If the Button pushes, I'm probably making a good fold, and if he bets out, I'm seeing the turn for cheaper than if I get check-raised. Although, I'm not sure if I'm folding when I pick up the spade draw on the turn.

Any thoughts on this hand?

After that hand, I was down to about 7k in chips. The blinds went up and I eventually pushed A-x into AA about 15 players from the bubble.

I started up a $2 tourney afterwards, and only made it ten minutes past the first break. Surprisingly, I was only about 50 from the bubble in that tourney too. I tripled up really early on, then decided to have some fun. I tried raising at least twice an orbit. It worked out pretty well until I flopped a set of 4's and got it all in against an OESD on the turn, and got rivered. I was then short-stacked and chopped a hand with JJ v. JTo preflop when T987 came on the board. A few hands later I push UTG with Jc8c and double up against 9d9h when I flopped a J. I was short and was pretty live against anyone calling me, so I went for it. The very next hand I'm in the BB with 8c8s and I push over the top of the CO's stealy-looking raise. He thinks for a few, and calls with QJo and flops a Q. What goes around comes around! :)

As the tournaments were going on, I made some slow progress on my script. I'm up to about 5.4k words. There is no way I'm going to hit the 15k words by Monday goal I set, but I don't mind too much. I am about 99% sure I will finish this script, regardless of whether or not I make 20k words by the end of the month, or even 20k words total. And really, isn't that what it is all about?

The two kids in the novel have now met up with the hermit, and the story is starting to write itself. I haven't really experienced that before. The quirks I've given the characters basically write the story for me, and although most of it is scripted, there are moments where I want to go one direction, and I'll stop and say to myself, "Wait, wouldn't Mel say this? Or want to do this instead?" And it will be something I wouldn't have even thought to write until that moment.

The bulk of the story starts now. How and what I'm going to weave in, I'm not sure, but it just seems like one of those things that I know will work out. The characters are in place, and ready to interact, and the way I've molded them so far can't really lead to anything less than a good, fun time together. I might throw in a few ninja attacks to spice things up (or not), but I'm in a good spot, and it feels good!

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