Random thoughts about my interests which include (in no particular order) poker, finance & investing, politics, football and whatever else I happen to see that piques my interest

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Back from points unknown

Been off the blogging thing for a while now but decided to get back into it again. Not that I have all that much to say but I may as well say it. I've been playing a fair amount of online poker, no big stakes as I almost solely play tourneys with a buy in of 11 or less, sometimes I'll do 20 but that's my limit. Also played some poker at Derby Lane but not too much. I have a nice (enough) stack of cash to play low buy in tourneys and still keep playing but the live stuff is a bit more expensive.

The wife and I did play in the Valentines Day tourney at Derby Lane. We have played all but one year and done pretty well. This time we did well again. It's a time limit tourney, you play 6 blind levels and then they add your chipstack with your spouse/partner's stack and the top 5 stacks get paid. They only take 50 couples and it's usually a fun relaxed tourney. Early on I noticed a couple of people at my table were people I played with before, one was especially aggressive. So I waited on him and made top pair top kicker and checked it to him. He made a very healthy raise and I went over the top of him big and took a nice chunk out of his stack. Also had a really good read on a couple of ladies at the table and took them pretty good. Wasn't getting great hands but was able to work with the few decent flops I did get. I had a little above average stack then the hands did come. I slow played AA in late position with only 1 caller and a lady I had a good read on was the only early caller. Flop was Q and 2 low cards and the lady kept calling my raises with KQ. She was shocked when I turned over AA on the river to beat her queens. This came into play later on when I raised UTG with AA and a guy didn't believe I had aces and pushed all in over the top with AK. I broke him and became the chip leader at my table. Few hands later I had KK on the button. Guy raises in early position with almost the as big a stack as me. KQ lady pushes all in with the short stack. Lady 2 places down pushes all in with a slightly bigger stack and I push all in. I was surprised when the original raiser pushed all in and then flips over 7-5 suited. KQ lady turns over KQ again, other short stack has QQ and I have KK. Unfortunately a Q hit the flop but I was able to fade the flush draw on the 7-5 and even though the one short stack quadrupled up, I still made chips on busting the other guy. A couple of hands later, the lady to my right pushes all in and I'm sitting on AJ. She had about half my stack and I was so wanting to call her. I had seen her play weak aces really strong and thought I had her but didn't want to risk so much on one hand. I should have. She had A7 and I would have broken her.

Little later the table breaks and I go to a new table where I proceed to get the worst cards for the last 30 minutes of the tourney. Everyone else is making moves and I am folding like a mad man cuz I can't pull any cards worth a damn. My wife is on an adjacent table and she was almost out but doubled up twice and had almost 10K in chips. When I got to the new table I had 30K and was one of the top 3 stacks in the tourney. Then the gal who was all in at my table and sucked out against my KK got hot. She hit EVERYTHING. In the last half hour of the tourney she went from about 15K to 60K.

When the countdown came, there was one guy with a huge stack who's wife was also in. They came in first with 77K. The ex shortstack took second and the wife and I took 3rd with 38K. Fun times and we come back with cash in our pockets. Always a good Valentines Day.

Since then the poker luck has been more miss than hit. Played again last weekend and did very well. Early on didn't have much for hands but hit some flops so I was doing ok. Guy just to my right was getting a complex because every time we got it in together I out flopped him. I didn't play many hands but most were against him especially blind vs blind. Then some hands came and I went to town. Busted a couple of people which won me $10 each time. Then I am sitting in the big blind, my buddy in the small blind. Everyone folds to the shortstack on the button who pushes all in. I'm calling with Q-8 suited, but to my surprise the small blind calls first. I figured he would push in with a big hand as he had been really short but made a nice double up and he wouldn't want to face me in the hand for all his chips unless he was big so I just called. Perfect flop of Q-8-7. Now I know I'm knocking out the one guy I'm sure so I put in a smallish bet to get the other guy out of the hand. He surprises me by calling. Next card is a 2 and he bets into me. I raise him and he calls again. Now I am a little worried. Last card is 3 and that puts a flush on the board. I'm thinking this hand down and the small blind checks to me. I think I have the best hand but have a sneaking suspicion he had 7-7 and hit the set of 7s so I decided not to bet so that he doesn't get the chance to come over the top of me and really hurt my stack. Luckily he has 2 pair, Q-7 and he is really disappointed to see my Q-8.

I knocked him out a little later when he pushes all in and I'm in the big blind with 9-7 and catch a 9. Make it to the final table with about 30K which puts me about 3rd or 4th. Then went completely card dead. Couldn't pick up anything to play with. I also started playing more conservatively as well. I did steal blinds a bit but since only 5 of the 10 of us got paid, I was being careful. Everyone at the table made a deal and pitched in $10 for the person who finished 6th. It was a good thing because I finally wake up with pocket queens, make a raise to 8K when blinds are 1-2 K and the big stack at the end of the table pushes all in. Here is where my brain went dead. Now I know he has seen me playing tight at this table so he has to put me on a hand. What can he be holding to want to risk 2/3 of his stack. If I had taken a minute to consider I would have put him on AA, KK or maybe AK suited. I'm a big dog to the first 2 and just better than 50/50 against the latter. Not a hand I should call. But I call like a moron and he flips over AA. No miracles for me and I'm out in 6th. Really enjoyed myself. Played good poker until the final table and even then I didn't play badly till the last hand but I put in that much time and effort and all I get to show for it is my buy in back plus the knockouts I had. Not a terrible day by any stretch but it could have been so much better.

Well that's all on my end of the field. I hope you've been luckier than I have. Have fun and don't be the Phil Helmuth imitator at the table, be the Mike Sexton imitator.