I played in my first blogger tournament last night. It was fun, but no one knows me or this blog. Probably due to the fact that I have 5 readers. Cést la vie. There were some highlights though. I dropped my first hammer. blinds 150/300 and I raise from UtG with the hammer. Got no callers and showed the goods. Lot better than last time when I got busted out bluffing the hammer.
As far as the Pauley freeroll went, I did pretty good. 18th out of 153. As TJ Cloutier would say, "You're gonna have to beat AK and you're gonna have to have AK hold up." In other words, there are gonna be a couple of races and you need to win them. I cracked AK with my JJ and then had my QJ outdraw a short stack with AK. I hate being all-in with AK as I can't apply any pressure after the flop. You have to just sit back and take it.
Let me digress for just a brief aside here. Doubleas posted an excellent post about what NL is all about. http://doubleas.blogspot.com You need to read this post. It is excellent. I would say I don't agree 100%, but that is sort of like the stable boy telling Socrates that he is full of shit. Poker can be attacked from two different angles:
1. Make less mistake than your opponent. (The key to limit poker)
2. Force your opponent to make mistakes. (The "key" to NL poker)
Doubleas feels that NL is a game of pressure points. I look at it as more of a balance between pressure and opportunity. But as far as credibility goes, I need to think more about what makes him more right than me.
Opportunity plays a big role in my mind. Let's return to the synopsis of the freeroll. The eventual winner Pii, has LESS chips than me. He is about to go on a tear with some good cards. I watch him double up twice, right past me, as he gets better cards than his opponents who seem eager to tangle. There are 40 people left and I have about $6k in chips, which is average. But this is a TURBO freeroll and the blinds are already 300/600. The UTG limps and its to me. I have JJ. What is the bet here?
I bet 3000 of 5xBB. I would have been happy to win $1500 right here. But the button goes all-in for $4100. The blinds and limper fold. (I was right there). I have to call the $1100 more just to see KK. Still, how else do you play that?
Now, a bigger dilema. I am in the BB with only $3000 in chips left. A MP goes raises to 2xBB (lame steal attempt?). Another player goes all-in (has me covered). Another players CALLS the all-in. Now I am against 3, maybe 4, opponents and look down at 99. Do you play here or fold? I heard arguments on both sides all morning. Me, I folded expecting to see a bigger pair or pairs. The original raiser folds and the players show A9 and Ax. They both miss the board. I would have tripled up.
BUT, fast forward 20 minutes and I have $6740 in chips. I am playing aggressive and have picked up chips. The blinds are a Asphyxiating 500/1000. There are only 20 players left. I get 5To in the BB but another player is all in from MP. I just muck it.
BUT, fast forward 2 rotations and I have $7000 in chips. I am still playing well and picking up blinds here and there. Again in the BB for $1000 and a short stack goes all in. The SB calls for $3100. I look down at ATo. Now when someone decides to pick off a short stack, they could have A-anything. I think AT is good enough and may even be ahead here. I re-raise my entire stack for another $3500 and he calls with A9. Perfect. Except a 9 comes on the flop and I am dead. (The all-in guy had A3). So, 18th place and I am not a donkey. Still, no 9 there and I had at least a chance at the final table.
Got to play with the blogfather http://guinnessandpoker.blogspot.com/, allcanthang http://www.alcanthang.com/poker/ , poker nerd http://pokernerd.blogspot.com/ , and some other characters.