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, March 18, 2012

And it was a Happy St Patrick's Day after all.

Though I am part Irish, St Patrick's Day is not normally a big day for me.  I don't find it to be much of a fun day to go out as you're fighting massive crowds in any bar you go to and many of the people there are drunk, obnoxious, etc.  My few memories of going out on that day involve waiting a long time for a table at an Irish pub in one instance.  In another, some drunken senior citizen wanted to fight me and my buddies because his equally drunk paramour decided to kiss my buddy's cheek which ended with us non drunken twenty something year olds taking the smart way out and leaving before a brawl ensued.  I have no doubt we'd have won the brawl but spending St Paddys night in the Dallas County jail for coldcocking some toothless drunk would not have been the most pleasant experience either. 

So based on this history, my expectations for the holiday are pretty low.  It didn't improve when I was woken up in the morning by the dog whining to go outside.   I could hear the shower running which let the PQ off the hook so I dragged my ass off of my nice comfy bed and took her outside.  At least she waited till 8 but I didn't sleep all that well last night so I was still kinda tired.  And I had a massive headache to boot.  Not the way I want to wake up in the morning.  At least I slept until 8. 

After the dog did her business I cracked open a couple of Aleve and waited for the brain pain to stop.  A bit of iced coffee and a donut helped ease the pain some as well.  I was hoping to go into work but felt too lousy to bestir my bones so I relaxed, caught up on some online reading and watched the NCAA tourney.  The PQ took her sis and 2 nieces to the mall for some shopping therapy economy stimulating and a nice lunch.  I made do by taking the remains of some rotisserie chicken and chopping it up into chicken salad which I had on some croissants.  I made a damned good salad I thought but the lack of both onions or celery in the house meant I had nothing crunchy in it and chicken salad lacks a little something if there's nothing crunchy in it.   Hmm  thinking about it now I wonder if I had some water chestnuts I could have diced and added to it.  Didn't think of that at the time.

So I basically lollygagged the day away waiting on my headache to depart.  I did catch a little nap so that was a plus and the PQ and I went to her sisters house for dinner.   No corned beef and cabbage as I'm probably the only one who eats that but we did have shephards pie.  Seemed Irish enough for me.  After that the PQ and I had a poker tourney to play.

Let me preface this by saying I don't think I played all that well in the tourney even though I had a decent result.  We got there just as the tourney was starting.  We got seated at different tables - we always start at different tables and the poker room prefers we do in a tourney though we sometimes end up at the same table.  Usually the result after that is the PQ busts me and goes on to the final table while I slink off to the bar and drink away the humiliation while I bet on dogs. 

The tourney started well for me.  Early on I was dealt AK in mid position and raised to 200 (blinds of 25-50).  The gal on my right had played almost every hand at that point and had limped in with another guy by then.  Everyone else folded but she called.  Flop was K 8 5 with 2 clubs.  No clubs in my hand.  She checked, I bet 400 and she called.   Turn as a non club 10.  She checked and I made it 1200.  Both bets are nearly pot sized but she calls them both.  Of course starting with 10K in chips gives you a little room.  Last card is a club 2.  She checks a third time and I decide to check fearing she was on the draw but she flipped over KJ and I took down a decent pot at the start.  Not long after I played my first hand wrong I fear.  Tell me what you think.

Still early in tourney, blinds are 50-100.  2 people limp and I look down at 7-7 in mid position.  I hadn't played much since the AK hand and decided to limp and see what happened.  Gal on the button who was playing fairly tight raised to 300.  One of the blinds called as did a limper and myself.  I'm sitting on 12K now and the raiser has around 9.  Flop is perfect.  A73 rainbow.  It gets checked to the raiser who puts out 500.  Everyone else folds and I smooth call.   Turn is a 10 putting 2 diamonds on the board though I'm not fearing the draw.  I check again and she puts out 1500.   This time I look at it and delay a bit then decide to raise her up.  I make it 3500.  I'm hoping she will call and pot commit herself or push over me thinking I'm bluffing.  I put her on AK or AQ.  She thinks for a minute and then mucks her hand.  I don't show and rake in a decent pot putting me up to 15K.  I'm still debating if I misplayed that in my mind.  I didn't want to smooth call again because I'm acting first on the river and betting on the river is gonna be suspicious.  Also I figure if she has TPTK and another diamond hits the river she'll back down but if she puts me on a weaker A and thinks I'm stealing since I didn't raise, she may play back at me or at least call my reraise on the turn.  Maybe I got all I was gonna get that time. 

I started playing a bit more aggressively as the blinds increased to 75-150.  I lost a few chips when my A-10 suited did not improve and gladly tossed them when 2 others decided to go after each other post flop.  I got them back when I raised up AJ of spades and flopped top 2 against A7 who floped top and bottom.  I was unlucky not to bust that guy as a 3rd heart on the turn slowed him down and he dumped to my turn bet.  He flashed A7 of diamonds.  I noticed a lot of guys played A low like they were big hands and I think I have to adjust to that more.  The next hand I pick up 10-10 in mid position.  I decided just to check since I had been playing kind of aggro at that point.  Gal in the small blind who had been very active and aggressive was down to about 6K and raised it up.  I called as did the guy on my left.   Flop is 10-8-3 with 2 diamonds.  Can you say bingo?  Small blind bets 1200 which I smooth call and the guy on my left folds.  Turn is the deuce of diamonds.  Small blind goes all in for a little over 4K.  I really don't put her on diamonds unless she started with AK or AQ of diamonds.  After all why not check in that case and see if I'll bet?  I really think she hit a set of 8s and doesn't want me hitting a flush so I call.  I'm surprised she shows 66 but I happily take her chips.  Now I'm up to 21K and we still haven't reached the break. 

I take it slow for an orbit and a half then in the cutoff decide to steal a pot.  I raise to 600 over one limper with 74 of spades.  Guy on the button calls which I didn't care for.  He is sitting on 15K or so and had fluctuated up and down.  He had played a number of hands and been aggressive at times.   And not always with big hands.  He was willing to show down a naked ace or 3rd pair and had won a nice pot that way already.  Flop was A92with A2of spades.  Not too bad.  I bet 800 and he calls.  I had to put him on an ace at least.  Turn is the king of spades.  I check and he puts out 1500.  I wondering if he was playing 2 pair at that point or had an ace with a big spade.  I decide to end it there and reraise him to 4K.  He surprised me by calling.  River is UGLY.  3 of spades.  Oh shit what now?  I'm not sure if he was playing 2 spades, one big spade, no spades or what.  I thought he had to put me on some spades at that point.  So I said screw it and bet another 4K which was a bit less than half of what he had left.  I pretty much committed myself to the pot if he pushes in for his last 9K at that point which may not have been a good idea.  Did I misplay that hand as well?  YES.  I should have raised to 6K or just pushed in after hitting my flush on the turn.  He actually might have called that.  He did not put me on a flush it turned out and I don't think he put me on an ace either.  But betting 4K into 4300 when he only needs to put in 2500 is almost giving him the right odds to call if he has a big spade in his hand at that point.  6K or all in doesn't give him those odds.  Sometimes I don't keep track of the pot amount well enough though I have done a better job of it.  Anyway it worked out for the best.  He just called and had A of clubs 6 of spades so my 7 4 of spades took it down.  But I hated that hand and hated how I played it. 

I gave back a little bit but when we reached the first break I'm sitting on over 28K which is a big stack.  Guy next to me is about the same.  He got knocked out early, rebought (you can rebuy in up to the end of the 3rd blind level) and in his first hand back he gets QQ and pushes all in getting called by A6 and 99.  He beats them both and triples up to 30K right there.  He was a gambler pushing A middle into raises etc but it worked out for him for the most part.  He did give back some chips when he slow played AA in position.  The gal to my right had called with K5 sooted and flopped 2 pair.  He pushes after the flop and gives up 8K just like that.   Why didn't you push preflop when you have a couple of limpers plus you know the blinds will come along?  The guy did end up making the final table and went out 8th when he pushed A8 into AQ.  Buh bye. 

After the break my luck turned bad and fast.  I pick up AA in late position.  Blinds are 100-200 with an ante of 25.  3 people had limped to me and I wasn't gonna fool around with this hand.  I popped it to 1300.  I was thinking of only 1k but with a lot of these people, if one guy calls they all call and then I have 4 others seeing the flop with me.  Didn't want that.  If I take it down there, that's fine, I still get about 1200 from the blinds and antes.  I can live with that.  The UTG guy calls for another 1100 and everyone else folds.  He is new to the table and is sitting on around 10K.  Flop is pretty good, 10-7-4 rainbow.  He checks and I bet 2200.  He then pushes all in almost 6k more and I start thinking.  First off I don't put him on 2 pair.  You don't play 10-7, 74 etc into that big a raise.  I also don't put him on 10-10 as UTG that is a definite raise.  At this point I figure 7-7 is a probably a raise as well though maybe not.  I have him on 3 different scenarios, well really 4.  4-4 for a set.  8-9 or 10-9 suited for a draw or pair and draw.  Or 6-6 or 5-5 and putting me on AK.  Or complete air and bluffing me.  Though I think a bluff is better done as a straight bet out rather than a reraise so I'm leaning more to 10-9 or possibly 4-4.  Adding it all up I think it's a better than 50-50 shot I'm ahead so I call.  Big mistake.  I'm shocked when he shows 10-7 suited.  10-9 or 10-J I can see all day.  A set of 4s or even 7s I am not surprised.  But you call that big a raise on suited 10-7?  Unless you hit perfectly like he did or 10-9 flops with 1 or 2 hearts you've just waisted over 10% of your stack.  But mine not to reason why.  I didn't improve of course and he actually rivers a boat.  Tell me what you think there.  I didn't have much to go on as the guy was new to the table.  Do you put him on a draw, steal, set?  Would you dump it for that reraise?  I didn't and there goes 10 grand like that.  I'm pissed but at least I have almost 20K so it's ok. 

A bit later I get 10-10 in mid position.  I make a healthy raise and get 2 callers.  Flop is a crappy AQ9.  Horrible for 10s but maybe they give me credit for Ak or AQ.  Checked to me and I bet out 1200.  Both call.  Ok in my mind you both have Aces, I'm pretty much done with this hand.  Turn is a J.  Its checked to me but I'm not putting in any more chips.  River is another J.  Early position bets, other guy calls, I'm done.  They show down A-10  and AQ.  No raise from either of them with those hands?  Weird.  Nothing is working for me.  I tighten down and am getting crap hands anyway but I'm still bleeding chips from blinds and antes.  Luckily the table breaks and I get a chance to get away from my bad luck (I hope).

I get seated in the 10 spot at my new table.  I like the 10 seat, it hides me from some guys and also puts me closer to the flops.  Yes I cannot see the one or 2 seat well but I can live with that.  They cannot see me either.  And I can see the board and my opponent's bets better.  As I age I notice I cannot see the flops as well from the outside seats like 3 or 8 and I hate being right in the middle where I really have to work to protect my hand.  Nope, give me the 1 and 10 seats all day.  It didn't help me much, not at first anyway, as my chip bleed continues.  I get to the table with a less than average stack of 14K.  I take it slow for an orbit or 2 then make a raise with KJ clubs in early position.  Gotta give me credit for something don't they.  Not the old dude on the button (who I see later will play any ace) who calls me.  Flop is all low, 2 hearts.  That's ok, again you have to put me on a decent ace don't you?   He calls my bets on flop and turn and shows A6 of clubs to win.  Really?  He had a big stack which apparently he got from making crap hands.  The PQ got knocked out not long after the first break as she couldn't get anything going.  She had seen this guy and didn't think much of his play.  But he got me that time. 

My chips go down then I start forcing action.  I take down a pot in early position when I push KK all in for 8k and get no takers.  Maybe I should try to slow play that one a little but I figured it was the kind of hand where a raise looks suspicious as I only have 8K with 600-1200 blinds and if I just call I probably see 4 or 5 other callers, if I raise to 3K or 3500 I'm pot committed even if an ace hits and it looks suspicious to my thinking when a shortie leads out with a less than all in raise.  At least I pick up blinds and antes which are worth 3k.  Later on I get JJ in the small blind.  There is one limper and I push all in for 10.5K.  Big blind calls with AK and I fade the outs to double up.  I'm still well south of aveage at a little over 20K but I'm getting there.  We are down to less than 2 full tables so the average stack is about 35K.  Not too much later I get JJ again in the small blind.  Blinds are 800-1600 with 200 antes.  3 people limp in so I see almost 7k in the pot already.  Ok, I'm all in.  Take that down and I'm around 28K.  Slowly grinding my way up.  Then I lost about 8 thousand when my QJ loses to KQ on a queen high flop.  Could have been worse.  I'm sitting on just over 17K and know I have to make moves again.  I just can't get over the top and build a stack which is really frustrating after starting so well.  I had more in my stack before the first break than I did when we're down to 2 tables. 

But did things turn in a hurry after that.  I am in mid position with A-10 of hearts.  Shorty is UTG and just calls.  I'm not sure of that bet but I don't think he has a monster.  Then again, even if he has AA, I cannot afford to wait.  But he had been playing kinda weakly (I picked on him a couple of times already and he hadn't done much) and I really think a big hand for him was a raise or an all in.  Next two guys fold and I push all in.  All fold to the old guy in the big blind and he calls.  I am not that concerned as I can see him with another A6 or A8 and calling.  And I want my chips back from him.  Shorty thinks for a minute which means I know he doesn't have a big hand.  He puts in all his chips and flips over K9 of clubs.  I show A10 hearts and the old guy shocks me with 99.  I'd seen him play a number of hands and Ace mid was the best he showed.  At least one of his other 9's is gone and I have 2 overs to him.  Flop is nice, A83 but there are 2 clubs.  Still I dodge clubs on the turn and river as well as the last 9 and I have a huge triple up.  Now I'm over 50K and sitting on a slightly above average stack.  It gives me such a warm cozy feeling.  It also plays into my next big hand. 

I lost a few thousand on an Ace 4 of diamonds when I didn't catch my flush on the turn or river but am still sitting on a healthy 46K.  And the key good hand for me occurs.  I'm in the big blind and look down at 2 big black kings.  All I need is for someone to raise.  I get my wish when the quite large stack on the button raises to 8K.  Now I know I'm gonna reraise but how much is the issue.  I start to count out 22K and realize that's just about half my stack.  So I say screw it and push all in.  I don't mind taking it down there, blinds and antes and the raise is worth 12K or more.  And unless he is sitting on AA I'm ahead if he calls.  After I push in the big stack starts thinking.  He wasn't at this table when I doubled up with JJ but he did see my A10 hand.  Grrouchie did a post recently and he talked about observing your opponents when you're not in a hand to help you see what they're doing.  So he keeps thinking and going back to my A-10 hand.  And he talks himself into calling thinking he's at least a little ahead and may be way ahead.  Bad call.  He flips over 88 and I flop my pair of kings.  Which become a set.  That cost him 38k more and doubled me up huge.  Now I've got a stack to play with.  I'm over 90k and that makes me chip leader at my table.   Afterwards he kept commenting "You played KK the same way you played A-10" which made me smile inside.  After all TJ Cloutier said you shouldn't vary your bet size so that they can't figure out what you have by your bet size.

The same guy loses another hand for a bunch of chips then gets it all in against another big stack when he has 55.  The other guy has JJ.  55 has a flush draw after the turn and the guy with JJ says no diamond.  Well it wasn't a diamond, it was a 5 and the guy on my right is back from the dead with a big double up.  We get down to the final table a little after that.  I am second in chips with just over 100k.  Most of the play at the table is pretty tight and I take advantage of it to chip up to about 120K and the lead.  There is 8 left and I played badly again.  I should have just taken it easy then and waited for the small stacks to implode but I pushed actions.  In mid position I get 99.  Blinds are 1200 - 2400 with a 300 ante.  I raise to 11K and get called by the gal in the small blind.  She had been tight but aggressive.  I liked my chances on a flop of 223 with 2 diamonds.  I put out 21K as I want this pot now but she calls me.  Now I gotta think.  She started with 60K and she now has put half of it in the pot.  She has committed herself and I gotta decide where she is.  She didn't reraise me so I don't think she has JJ, or better.  She might have AA and be slow playing but I think the best bet is AK of diamonds or a mid pair like 8s or 7s and she thinks I'm stealing with AK.  Turn is a 6 and I stay with my read and put her in.  She calls and I flip over 99.  I'm right she has a mid pair, she has 10-10.  OUCH.  I give away half my stack with that one.  What do you think, did I make an idiot move?  I think so in hindsight but I also felt I had to trust my read.  Then again, she played that pretty passively, maybe I should have expected aces.  What I don't understand is that she never made a move to find out where she stood.  I could have QQ or KK and play that the same way.  And she could be calling all in blind with almost no chance.  Still the error was mine and it cost me dearly.

After that I couldn't make much happen.  At 7 people we made a deal and the 2 big stacks got 1100, the rest of us took a little over 500.  So I scored ok but am pissed that I played so badly on that hand.  Why not just give up after she calls my flop bet and save myself 30k.  I still have over 80k and am a big stack.   Nope, gotta push push push.  But for the first time in a while I cashed a tourney and that felt pretty freaking good. 

So you see I had a pretty good St Paddys Day even if I screwed up the final table.  Well that's enough for now, I thought this would take me an hour and it's taken me 3 to write.  Gotta go pick up a couple of pies to have at dinner.  Stay lucky you nuts and don't give up your big stacks.


Rob said...

Nice, long, well detailed poker post, Neo. Congrats on the success. Yeah, I know, it could have been better. That's poker, to coin a phrase.

On the early hand with the set of 7's, I thinking the PR raiser missed and made a continuation bet, then thought she would try one more bet to see if you fold. If you call the turn, I doubt she bets on the river, figuring you must have something. So you probably got as much as you could out of that.

Guy with 10-7 is out of his mind and got lucky. It happens.

Not sure about the 99 hand. When you are the big stack you are supposed to bully the table right? She played those 10's the way a lot of tight players would play it, not sure how could read that. Your thought process was good, but maybe you were in a position where you could slow down after the flop? Tough to say. She could have just as easily had 88.

I'm with you not liking the corner seats, can't see the board or the other side of the table from there. But I love the middle seats (1 & 10) are my 2nd choice. Don't understand the comment about worrying about "protecting your hand" from there.

I'm fairly new to the blog. I assume "the PQ" is your wife? And so what does PQ stand for?

Good read.

The Neophyte said...

Thanks for the comment Rob. The PQ stands for Poker Queen. Her results have definitely been better than mine and when we last in Vegas she didn't play much regular poker but dominated on both 3 card poker and video poker to the tune of about $3000. So sometimes I call her VPQ for Video Poker Queen and sometimes APQ for All Poker Queen. This all came about in February of last year I believe. I think you may be right about the 7's, maybe she had a pair like KK or QQ and was hoping I didn't have an ace. Which of course I didn't.

Josie said...

Hi Sugar, Good post and congrats on the cash. The luck of the Irish! :)

Rob said...

VPQ would be ok. But if she became the VBJQ she'd have to start given lessons to Tony.

The Neophyte said...

My mind cringes at the thought of that, then again I might get quite a laugh from it too.

lightning36 said...

Good to see the REAL St Pat's Day celebrated. At the university here, there is a huge celebration called Unofficial St. Patrick's Day, or just Unofficial. It originated since St Pat's was usually during spring break. On Unofficial amateurs drink all day long and make complete folls of themselves. This year was the first in many that someone did not die.