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 24, 2011

Saturday Night Poker

I mentioned I was going to play some poker last night.  We got to Derby Lane just in time for the 6pm tourney.  Not too many players, only 3 tables but it is a fun tourney.  You get 4K in chips and another 2K add on for $5.  Everyone pays the extra 5 for the add on.   Blind levels are 25 minutes so you get some play for your money.

The tourney did not start well for me.  I tried to bluff a guy who I thought was on a flush draw but instead he flopped 2 pair.  Ooops, my bad.  At the end of the first blind level I was down to about 3500 from my original 6K.  Then things turned a but.  I called from the button with 66 and flopped a 6.  I slow played and called the post flop bet along with 3 others.  I checked the turn but unfortunately no one bet.  The river was a low card and this time I led out.  Unfortunately no one hit much of anything and they all folded to my river bet.  Still I added 600 or so to my meager stack.  I had a pretty good read on a couple of weak players to my right, one was an older lady who played a lot of hands.  She was willing to make calls with very light holdings.  I saw her call down to the river and even bet out with 2nd and 3rd pair. 

A little later I get JJ in late position and raise to 400.  She had already called the blind and called my raise along with 1 other.  The flop was Queen 3 2 with 2 hearts and it was checked to me.  I bet out 800 and the lady called me.  Figured she was either on a flush or straight draw or possibly had a weakish queen.  She checked the turn 7 and I checked behind her.  River was an ace and she checked again.  I didn't think she liked the ace and might put me on one.  I also didn't want to check and lose JJ to a crappy Q6 or something so I bet 1600 and she folded it.  Now I'm back over 5K. 

A little later I flopped a K to my KQ off and my bet got called by 4 people.  When none of them could beat me I was suddenly over 7K.  Now we're talking.  About then the PQ came by and said she had been knocked out.  She had raised AK and an A9 went all in which she called.  He caught a 9 and she was in trouble.  A little later she pushed all in with AK and lost again and out she went.  She made the right plays but got bad results. 

At the first break I was sitting on over 9K and felt pretty good considering my starting point.  I went pretty card dead at that point but I paid closer attention to my opponents and found spots to take down pots.  I was getting some respect to my raises and though my stack wasn't increasing much, I wasn't losing.  Still as the blinds accelerated I was and I didn't want to get short stacked now.  My table got broken a little later so now I am at a new table with a not so big stack.  The table is full and my hands aren't so I watch my opponents.  Guy next to me has about the same size stack as I do but he keeps limping preflop.  A lot of hands then get raised and he dumps so he's getting shorter and shorter.  Before too long he is pushing all in with an Ace rag and losing to AJ.  I decided I would wait and only come in with preflop raises. 

It took awhile but I picked up AQ and raised it up over 2 limpers.  Because I hadn't been involved in any hands I got some looks but everyone folded.  After that I just picked my spots and kept getting respect.  It may have helped that the only hand I did take to showdown was a full house when my 88 flopped a set and turned a boat.  That got me up over 25K.  The shorties started falling pretty fast as the blinds kept rising and before we reached the 2nd break we were down to one table.  I was feeling pretty good sitting on a bit under 30K but 2 of the guys moved to the table were sitting around 45-50K.  I wanted some of that but knew I'd have to be a bit careful. 

It didn't take long for fireworks to start.  I was in seat 2.  The 2 big stacks were in 8 & 9 and the guy in seat 10 had started next to me at my first table and was really up and down early.   He played a lot of hands when first seated at my table.  He had an average stack by the time we got to the final table.  Early on the guy in seat 1 got knocked out.  After that the shorties kept doubling up.  The biggie in seat 9 tangled with the guy in seat 10 and pushed a marginal hand into him.  Next thing you know seat 10 is a biggie after doubling up and seat 9 is down to about 16K.  Another shortie doubles up through one of the medium stacks.  I took down a couple of pots with position raises over the guys on my right.  Next time around I get QQ on the button and raise to 4K.  Guy next to me pushes all in for about 11K and the big blind folds.  I was hoping he was just making a move on me figuring I was doing the same to him so I called and flipped over QQ.  He frowned and showed A8 but he smiled when he flopped an ace.  I was not so happy myself.  We hit the 2nd break and I'm down to 18K.   Blinds are up to 1K-2K so I got no time to fool around.  The guy who I doubled up then took a shortie out and he is over 40K so I'm really not too happy. 

I went to visit the PQ and her luck has transferred to the cash tables as she's getting a bit of a beat down. I talked to her a bit then ran into one of my favorite dealers.  She's actually the aunt of a girl I work with so we talk from time to time.  She was dealing another tourney that was also on break so we talked a little and she told me now was not the time to panic or push a weak hand as even with the high blinds I still had some time to wait to take my shot.  When the break ended I sat down determined to grind it out. 

Even losing with the QQ did a lot for the respect factor for me and I managed to take down some pots preflop.  Then I tangled with a biggie.  Seat 9 got big again when he tangled with seat 10.  He pushed all in preflop from the big blind after seat 10 and another guy had limped.  Seat 10 calls and flips over AQ to seat 9's A3.  A three on the flop got him the double up and then he started pushing some hands while seat 10 steamed.  Seat 9 had raised me up preflop a couple of times and I figured if he did it again I was coming over the top while I could still hurt him.  So everyone folds to the button and boom, 4500 raise.  The small blind folded and I waited a beat then went all in for 22K.  He thought for a minute and I new he wasn't very strong.  And the last hand he saw me show was QQ so he gave me some credit too.  Finally he folds and shows KJ.  I showed nothing but actually had 66.  KJ became a big thing with him a little later. 

I next got involved with the other big stack.  I woke up with JJ in late position.  Seat 8 raises to 5000.  He's sitting at almost 60K and has been pretty tight so far.  I had played with him for a bit on my second table and he was a pretty good player so I didn't want to go all whacko.  I figured him for anywhere from a big ace to a pocket pair.  I didn't want to go all in and have him call me with AK then river an ace or king so I thought I would be better off just calling and seeing a flop.  A small flop and I push to take it down then, a big flop and I can get away without losing too much of my stack.  I'd been playing pretty well to that point and didn't want to put my whole game in preflop.  Flop is J42.  Bingo.  Big stack leads out for 6K.  I made a show of cutting out my chips and counting my remaining stack then flat called.  Maybe I Hollywooded it too much.  The turn was another 4.  Biggie checks and I check behind.  River is a 10.  He checks again and I bet 6K at him but he folds pretty quickly.  Damn.  Should I have raised the flop or bet at the turn?  I wondered.  I know I screwed up a couple of hands with how I played them but that one I was unsure of.  I probably should have flipped over the full house for show there. 

Seat 9 then went nuts.  Seat 7 calls from UTG.  He was pretty short and I thought he was in push or fold territory so his call was very suspicious to me.  I read him as Aces or Kings. Seat 9 raises to 7K.  I fold, everyone else folds it back to the UTG shorty who pushes all in for another 11K.  Again, this is a position the biggie doesn't have to play.  He started the hand at over 60K, losing 7K is not that big, he can still bully guys.  But he calls and the UTG flips up AA against biggie's KJ.  He gets a jack but nothing else. 

The very next hand he raises again.  I thought about calling with A3 suited but figured I was over 35K and didn't need to get involved with a speculative piece of junk like that.  So I fold but the guy 2 seats to my left pushes all in over the top for 21K.  He had played a bit looser than the first guy but I gotta give him credit for something there.  Mr Formerly biggest stack did not and calls him.  This time he is in a race as the guy to my left has 99 against KJ again.  Neither of them catch a card and the ex biggie is now down to around 20K in two hands.  A couple of hands later I open raise under the gun with 10-10.  The guy next to me pushes in over the top to 20K or so.  It gets folded back to me and I'm not liking a call with 10s but after he pushed over my QQ with A8, I'm not necessarily putting him on a monster.  He'd gotten short again by tangling with Seat 9 earlier and giving up nearly 15K. 

I call and flip over the 10s.  He flips over a jack and I thought the second card was also a jack and I was drawing thin but the second card was an ace.  Flop has a 10 and I've taken him out to move up over 50K and get a little revenge for my queens.  Not to long after I get 99 and Mr ex-bigstack pushes all in before me.  Again I have to think a bit but he is now down under 15K and I can afford to lose this one not to mention he may have KJ again and it would be sweet to take him out with that.  So I call and he flips up Q8.  Neither of us improve and he hits the rail while I go over 60K.  We're down to 5 players and I'm the big stack.  Next the kid in seat 6 takes out the former small stack in seat 7 then seat 4 who took a nice chunk off the former big stack in 9, takes out seat 8 and we're in the money.  We play for a while and talk about chopping and determine a 3 way chop puts us all at a little over 2nd place money.  Stacks are pretty even, I'm leading with around 70K while the smallest stack is 50.  I'm getting tired so we chop it up.  $370 is ok with me and we all leave happy. 

I was pretty pleased with my play.  I made a couple of foolish bets and bluffs and misplayed a couple of big hands I thought but for the most part I had picked up pretty well on my opponents, avoided some trouble, and kept a strong table image.  I was able to use my image to bluff one of the guys who cashed off a pot when he had a weak King and a king flopped.  I also felt I made a good play at another pot (it failed) when the board came up 3-3-4-9-9.  I bet the 9 on the turn and got one caller and then bet the river 9 harder.  I got called but the guy didn't want to and thought he was beat.  He had pocket 4s and flopped 4s full of 3s and slowplayed them, right into a loss he thought.  I just had KQ that time but it paid off later when I flopped a K and he called on the river when his AQ hit a queenUnfortunately twice I made bad plays when I hit big hands.  Once at the final table I flopped a set of 8s on a 10-8-2 board.  3 checks to me and I probably should check here but I bet a bit less than half to try to induce someone to come over me (I didn't raise preflop) but they all folded.  Another time I hit a flop well and bet out again only to watch everyone fold.  I need to learn some patience sometimes.


Lucki Duck said...

Nice score Sir. Congrats!

The Neophyte said...

thanks Lucki.

lightning36 said...

Nice job, Neo!

"Should I have raised the flop or bet at the turn? I wondered."

Theses questions bug me all the time. I try to mix up my play when a big hand hits (usually a set on the flop), but you just never know. Flat call and you send the signal that you have a monster. Raise if the other player is on air and you might get a quick fold. As for the turn ... it seems to me that checking is a crapshoot. You give a free card which could come back to haunt you, but you might get lucky if the opponent gets a good card, giving him something like two pair, meaning you extract extra chips on the river.

Anyway, it sounds like you switched gears nicely, which is often a key in a good tournament run.