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, July 10, 2011
Consider it scratched
42 people signed up for the 6pm tourney last night. Not a bad crowd as there was a charity tourney running when we got there and the normal 8pm tourney was scheduled that night as well. We like the set up of this tourney, the buy in is only $50 with a starting stack of 4000 and a $5 add on gets you another 2000 chips. Almost everybody starts with 6000 which gets you some play with blind levels at 25 minutes. The WSOP it ain't but it's not a bad little tourney.
I start out as usual, getting crap for hands. This pretty much was how it went for me all night. I make a couple of position steals but otherwise I stay out of almost every hand. A little while in I get AQ of diamonds in late position. Guy a couple of seats to my right raises and I call along with one of the blinds. Flop is A89 with one diamond. Blind leads out for a 1/3 pot bet and the original raiser just calls. So I pop them both 4x their bet and the blind goes away but the original raiser calls. Turn is a 2 of diamonds. Top pair, 2nd kicker with the flush draw. Raiser checks so I put in a 3/4 pot bet. He looks at his cards, thinks a bit, then says "For some reason I think you have AK so I'm folding AQ" and he folds it. "Thats because you're smart" I said as I mucked. Having a tight image can pay off I guess.
I wasn't getting much in the way of cards after that and not too many opportunities to steal but I did make a couple of hands with not so great hands but . By the first break I had taken my 6K up to 10.5K. I felt pretty good about how I was playing, I took a couple of opportunities to steal, made some chips when my not so good hands flopped good, and most of all, avoided trouble. I was careful when people called my raises and I wasn't strong and without much in cards, I wasn't involved in too many crazy pots.
Talked to the PQ at the break and she had gotten knocked down to 3K early but was back up to 7.5 at the break so she was relatively satisfied as well. After the break I stayed tight as my cards were not cooperating and took a couple of opportunities to steal on a couple of limpers in position. I really payed a lot of attention to position when getting involved in a hand and used it to my advantage on bad flops. Took down one flop in a limped pot in the big blind with 85 when the flop was 236. Figured no one had any of that and just took a shot. Pots that got folded to me in late position I went after even when I had nothing and that succeeded as well. I showed down no hands except for an AJ that went to showdown and I won with. So for the most part I got credit for actual hands.
Then came a pivotal hand for me. We had lost some people and another table had broken and we had a few new people. Guy next to me was new to the table as was the lady next to him. I watched this guy and he loved to stay in on flush draws and actually hit a couple for some big pots. Next time on the button a couple of people limp to me and I raise 4x to 1600 with complete air. Guy next to me gives me a look and dumps it as does everyone else. Next time around I'm on the button with 10h-10s and raise it up again. This time he gives me a long look, goes back and forth and finally dumps it but the lady in the big blind on the short stack calls me. Flop is Q 3 2 with 2 spades and she pushes in on me immediately for about 4k. There's already 4k in the pot and I'm guessing she hit the queen or she has the spade draw but also feel as a short stack she may be pushing me off with nothing figuring the flop didn't help me. I figure the odds are about 25% for a Q at best, 50% for a spade draw, and 25% with nothing so I call her. She flips over Q7. Offsuit. No spades. Q7?? Really, you're short stacked and you'll call a 4x raise with Q7? I guess she put me on air and was planning on moving in on just about anything. I flip over my 10s and hope for a miracle.
The roof of the poker room opened like a retractable roofed dome and a ray of sunlight lit up my hand as the dealer turned and burned a 7 of spades and a jack of spades and I four flushed the lady's queens. Funny thing was no one else saw the roof open or the sunlight. Well the mind is a terrible thing to waste isn't it? The old dude next to me was kicking himself as he tossed A6 of spades. This guy really liked playing those flush draws which was why I always made sure I raised him up pretty good when I played a hand he was in. That hand put me up to about 17K when the average stacks are 12 or so and I'm feeling pretty good.
I then avoided getting into much for a couple of orbits. Finally I called a 2x raise in the big blind with 5-6 of hearts. Guy was pretty new to the table and had played a fair number of pots already. 3 others called him as well. Flop was A34 with 2 hearts. Everyone checks to the raiser who puts out a half pot bet. I'm the only caller. Turn is the Q of hearts. I check to him again and he puts out another half pot bet. I more than triple his bet and he takes a second and gives it up. This pot puts me up over 20k at the second break and puts me close to the lead at my table.
PQ had been struggling but also made it to the 2nd break as well. We got down to 2 tables right after that and I was feeling pretty good about my chances of making it a lot further at that point. I figured I had to get some better cards soon and if I did, I would really be able to make some noise. Alas I was wrong. Not too long after the break I get involved in a hand with a guy who just moved to my table. He had a decent sized stack but I was bigger. I raised in position with crap (again) and he was the only caller in early position. I had to give him credit for having something there but he never raised preflop so I didn't think it was a great hand. Flop is ugly with an Ace and Jack. No help for my 7-8. I bet out hoping he had a small/mid pair and would fold to my pair of aces but he immediately called. Turn is a 10 making my position even worse. He checked and I checked behind him. I'm hoping for a 9 to make a straight as I know he has something, maybe even KQ for the straight in which case I can't win the hand. River is a low card and I give up. He puts a small bet in and I have to dump. That cost me over 4K in chips. I bit later I call a 3x raise by a small stack from the big blind with KQ of spades. Flop is Q6 of diamonds and the 3 of clubs. I check, small stack bets a couple of thousand leaving him 4500 more. It's folded back to me and I raise him all in. He calls and flips over KQ of clubs. Turn and river are both clubs and now I'm hurting. My over 21k stack is down to 10K in just a few hands.
Luckily a little later I get the best hand I had in the whole tourney when I get QQ in late position. I raise 3x to 2400 and get 2 callers. Flop is Jack high with 2 spades and it's checked to me. I push in and take down the pot getting me up to 15k. People are pushing in and going out and my hands are going from bad to worse after this. I stole a pot but could not make any other moves due to all ins happening. We were down to 12 people on 2 tables when a multi way all in happened. QQ vs 88 vs AK. The flop has nothing but an 8 hits the turn and a K on the river. QQ is gone and AK is crippled and goes out the next hand and we're down to the final table.
PQ is still there but is the shortest stack. I'm about 3rd shortest by now as I just got nothing to play with and steal possibilities are slim due to the raises and all ins of the other shorties. I got enough stack that I can make the larger stacks respect a raise all in as it would cut most of them down considerably if they lost. First hand PQ is in the big blind for 1600 and pushes all in over a preflop raise and call. Both other players call and the flop is Q high. First guy with the biggest stack checks and the other guy pushes in causing the big stack to fold. He flips over 66 to the PQ's K-10. She doesn't improve and goes out in 10th.
The cards just aren't coming for me, no aces, no pairs, no 2 high cards even and the hands are being raised preflop almost every time. Then some crazy things start to happen. We get down to 7 people. I'm getting very short now and find 10-9 in the big blind. There are 4 people with big stacks especially the guy on my right who is biggest of all. Everyone folds to the big stack in the small blind and he doesn't raise at all. If he did I was going to push all in as I had to at that point and 10-9 was about the best hand I had seen for 2 orbits. But he just called which made me leery a bit. He gave me some leeway as he had moved to my table a earlier in the tourney and raised my big blind in his first hand. I decided I would come over the top of him and when I looked down in my hand and saw 9-9 it was a no brainer so I raised him up 4x and he folded it. After that he treaded fairly lightly around me. This time I'm wondering if he has a big hand and is trying to sucker me in or if he really is very weak. So I just check figuring on seeing the flop and then deciding.
Flop is 10-7-5 rainbow. He bets 2/3 of my stack and I think for a second. I suspect he either has nothing or a big hand like AK or AQ. If he has a big pocket pair, so be it, but I suspect he got nothing on that flop. I push in and get my answer when he starts debating a call or not. He has enough of a stack that calling me would be a no brainer if he had anything or just about any draw or overcards but he thinks long and hard before finally calling. He flips over 9-6 and needs an 8 for a straight to win. The card gods reward me however and I get a key double up when I need it most. That puts me up to 5th in chips and I feel I have some chance to cash at least. Then it gets really outlandish.
A few hands later I fold under the gun. It gets folded to the small blind who raises about 3x the big blind. This guy has a good sized stack and he's a good player. I tangled with him twice, once taking a piece of him but once he took a chunk of me. The big blind is the biggest stack. He tangled with the small blind a number of times at my old table and his stack has fluctuated a lot over the tourney but he's sitting on about 60k even after giving up 10k to me. He is basically a lock to make the top 3 (4 get paid) but he calls the raise by the small blind. Flop is K64 and the small blind puts out a healthy bet. The big blind pushes all in! The small blind thinks for a minute and makes the call for his tourney. He flips over K9 for top pair and the big blind flips up A4 for bottom pair. I couldn't believe he did that but he had shown he was willing to make big gambling bets earlier. This time it cost him dearly knocking him down to 15K. The next hand he pushed in and the internet kid across from me (he had a hard time dealing with chips but was a decent player) took him down when his AJ hit a J to beat the former big stack's 77. Down to 6 and I'm barely 4th and still pretty short. But the craziness wasn't at an end.
The new big stack who is now directly to my right keeps tangling with the guy directly to his right who also has a good sized stack that he increases versus the big stack. The guy to my left makes a button raise to take down the a pot and passes me and now I'm 5th and struggling. The internet kid and the two guys to my right all have big stacks in relation to me and the old guy and lady to my left who is really short. But the 2 guys to my right keep tangling and we get another all in situation. Guy directly to my right is big blind and raises 3x getting called by the small blind. Flop is A-10-5. Big blind bets half the pot and the small blind smooth calls. Turn is a jack. Small blind bets and the big blind raises him all in which he thinks about for a minute and then calls. He flips over A9 for top pair but the big blind has KQ for the Broadway straight and it's good bye to another big stack. What is going on here. Now we are down to 5. We each pitch in $20 for the bubble person and get to it. Finally the old lady to my left goes all in and is called by the internet kid. She flips over A8 to his A5 but in true internet fashion, a 5 hits the river and she is gone in 5th. A couple of hands later I get KJ of spades under the gun. I push all in and the old guy to my left thinks about it and calls me. He was pretty tight so I figured I was in trouble. He flipped over 7-7, flopped a 7 and it was good night to me though I did get open ended on the turn to make him sweat. I got $160 for my efforts though and the satisfaction of outlasting a couple of yahoos from earlier in the tourney.
I thought I played pretty well. I was tighter than I had been but much of that was dictated by the cards and the preflop raises of some of the other players. I was lucky in that the few times I made hands I got chips off of people. I felt good that I didn't waste chips and was able to avoid trouble for the most part. Maybe I'm feeling a bit better about my game. I think of the actual good hands I got and they weren't much. In a 4 hour plus tourney I got QQ once, 10-10 twice, 9s 7s and 3s once. I got AQ, AJ, and A10 a couple of times but thats it. Not much for that long. Always thought it would turn and I'd start hauling some great hands for a while but it never did. Still I outlasted 38 of 42 which is not so bad. I shouldn't have as a couple of those big stacks got themselves knocked out when they didn't have to. But that wasn't my concern, mine was making it to the cash. Cuz that's what its all about. Hope everyone else had a good Saturday night. Probably won't play anymore poker live until sometime next weekend when we travel up to North Fla. Until then stay lucky you nuts.