Friday, March 30, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I have been frustrated lately in my lack of cashes, especially in my blogger events. But I did notice one thing last night. The level of play in the blogger events is notable higher than typical events.
For example, I am playing in a local online series. There are about 21 regulars, and I am first in points after 7 events, cashing 3 times (only pays 3 places). The level of play is averge and decisions are not mind boggling.
I did push with an OESD and flush draw with one card to come, got called by two pair, and hit the straight, but other than that one hand, my money went in ahead every time. I took a devistating hit when I flopped a straight and a set rivered a boat on me with one card to come, but I battled back from last to end up second.
Now, here is my question/observation of the week:
How do you play a league tournament different from a MTT?
Here is my answer:
You locate the top 10 point players. Then you give yourself a "last longer" challenge with them. So, when/where you would normally "take a chance which could help you win the tournament, but if you lose it you are crippled" move, instead you check your standings in relation to the other 10 point leaders. If you are well in the running against them, you pass on the chance for now. If you are behind them sigificantly in this current MTT, then you take the chance.
Alot of this will get put to the test with the annoucement of...
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Suddenly, I get AA in the SB AND its folded around to me. Hoyazo is in the BB, fresh off his WSOP qualifier win. He is 2nd or 3rd in chips. Maybe 20% more than me. I dont want to waste this opportunity, so I decide to show weakness and limp, hoping that Hoy will try to punish me. He thinks about it (he delays all his decisions online) and checks.
The flop is like K83 with two clubs. I make a weak lead on purpose, trying to rope him in. He raises, but only to about 40% of my stack. I think for a minute deciding the best way to get his chips and opt for the push. He calls with...
That's right, AA in the SB and KK in the BB and no raises! MOST flops and Hoy goes broke with an overpair, but in this case he is the recipient of a 20% varience and IGHN.
Monday, March 26, 2007
The dates are locked in, the room block is made, all that awaits is you, baby!
When - June 6 - 11
Where - The Orleans Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
Who - Poker Bloggers, significant others, insignificant others and
Why - Because it's been months since we've all ambushed the hapless
tourists at a poker table and drank ourselves into insensibility
How - however you can get there, planes, trains and automobiles!
Anyway, all that bullshit aside, the Orleans has a block of rooms for
us held until May 6th. There are 50 rooms as part of the block and the
rates are as follows.
Wednesday - $60
Thursday - $60
Friday - $110
Saturday - $110
Sunday - $65
There is the typical $5 resort fee on top of this, plus taxes and
probably a disclaimer fee that the hotel it not responsible to any
damage you may do to yourself or your liver if you try to go
shot-for-shot with Al (that last bit's a joke, they won't charge extra
It will be a couple of days before they are ready to accept
reservations as part of the block, but should be good to go by Friday.
Annette in group sales was my rep and she was very helpful. I'll be
playing a bit of the cruise director as we go along and plan a few
informal get-togethers for later in the weekend, and of course, there
will be mixed games at the MGM on Friday night.
See you this summer!
Two rotations later, I got even with 88 when he raised and then pre-flop I pushed and dared him to call and he stood down.
The funny part was when Rich was down to the felt and got his money in behind against me 3 time and caught up all 3 times. He made a wheel against another player when he was all-in behind also. Now we make the final 3 and I run a huge bluff vs. Mark. Mark, despite not having ANYTHING insists on calling me down. I am aghast, yet beaten. How did I misread that one?!
Then Rich and Mark get heads up and Rich CANT POST ENOUGH FOR THE BB. He wins FIVE races in a row and takes the top seat. His luck that evening was unbeatable and unequivocally the best run of luck I ever saw.
Sunday was the WPBT Event #3, RAZZ!
I consider myself a decent Razz player and quickly was 5th in the field of 21. But after a couple of brutal hands, found myself playing uber-tight just trying to fold into the points! I made it when Drizz caught a second best 8765 vs 8764 and I squeaked in at 8th. The hands I lost, I was ahead until 5th. Just like RAZZ should be.
Sort of the Tetris of poker... nothing but falling bricks.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Here is a VERY interesting question though. Here is a hand I am NOT in.
A player in O8B, on a board of like K975 and two spades has 4 pairs. He has a hand that matchses the board. The single opponent across the table bet pot on the flop and now bets pot on the turn putting the 4 pair guy all in. Now, if a low gets there, he can only take half the pot. And unless the board pairs, I dont think he wins high either. But any board card pairing gives him the scoop nuts.
Do you call for all your chips here with 4 pair? Its 8 outs and the pot is huge. and 1/2 your stack is already in. (I KNOW, ignore the fact that you should not even be in the pot with this hand.) What do you do?
Me, I am really not sure what is correct. Drizz, you out there?
I cant see how I am better than a 5 to 1 dog to scoop, and anything else I lose both. Was it hope-a-tron gambling, or I am missing something important?
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I have got to figure out how to be more aggressive 5 handed without donking off my chips...
OMG! I was worried about how I was playing lately, but last night was a testiment to the fact that sometimes its just not going to be your night.
I lost 4 of 4 races and it did not matter if I was the pair or the over cards, the other player was going to see a beautiful board. In the Mookie, I lost 3 races in the span of 10 minutes. The first two against short stacks and by the third, I was the short stack. In my league night game (Detroit local #344) I played back from 18th of 20th to finish 7th. I got a raise from the button on what looked like a 1/2 steal, 1/2 legit hand. I push knowing he cant call with a small pair but he surprises me and calls with 66. I have the big overs and IGHN. The only race I played in the entire tournament, including when I was the short stack.
Ah well, no grousing. I am playing better again, and got my money in good all night, so I guess that is the real message. Right? Anyone? A little help here?
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Not to retell the entire story, but I ran into him in the hall of the RIO and said hello and reintroduced myself. He was very nice and polite and when I attempted to “break off conversation” he called me out on it. It was very funny. I told him I didn’t want him to feel like he had to talk to me. And he replied, it wasn’t going to work and he didn’t mind talking to me anyways. And although I probably could have monopolized his day, I am just too reserved of a guy to initiate such a bold action. So, I talked to him another 5 minutes and went off on my way.
But one thing that now strikes me as I learn about his depression. He act used to go on and on. He did over 90 minutes at the castle one night, declaring after 60 minutes that the show was officially over, but if you wanted to stay you were welcome. I reminded him of this and he said he went for quality not quantity now. But I never thought he was funnier than when he did everything he had in him. And now he is dead. And I hate that. And now I miss the Ramones again. And on top of it all, I can’t seem to win a hand lately.
Tonight I ran QQ into KK and then in a triple shootout, went out on the second hand with KK. I got called by two donks that decided the best way to win the first table was to push all in on every hand with any pair. These pairs were 88 and JJ. Thel board? Flop 567. Turn 9. (These examples look like variance, but I assure you there has been much worse play lately on my part.) And just like that it’s like I am a n00b all over again. I am making poor decisions and donking off chips. Oh yeah, and my company was just acquired. I guess it all adds up.
But then something finally made me less depressed. My favorite Richard Jeni bit (beside the JAWS 3 routine) was his take on Vegas. “I would never want to win the jackpot at the slot machine. I am afraid that if I won that nothing else would ever matter. Everything would be anti-climactic. “Hey Richard, I heard you got married.” Yeah, but it not like that time I put a nickel in a slot machine and won a million dollars!” Richard may have committed suicide, but it was depression that killed him.
Yes, I know we all have things to be thankful for. I do too. But you can't just wave the hand of reason and make all the emotion go away. That only happens on TV.
So, now I say to myself. Stop kicking yourself and remember that you have an outlet that you enjoy, that remains challenging, and you still have to work at to get better. Having purpose helps you deal with the low spots. I wish I had a more concise and poignant ending here, but I may actually be manufacturing one. I guess that is the Catharsis of writing that helps.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
So, I am going to play premium hands and when I hit hard, break players. Right?
Q6 in the BB vs. 2 limpers. ok, check. Flop is 566 rainbow. I check knowing that the first limper has a pair like 88 and will bet. Sure enough, he bets and the other limper calls. I dont have many chips, so I push. This simply doubles the pot and they both have me covered. The first guy, thinking his overpair is gold? calls. The second guy, using NO LOGIC other than he had chips, also calls with A7s?!!?!? wtf? Still, awesome for me. I am going to triple up and go back into stealth mode. Turn is the 8c putting a straight draw on the board for both and now a flush draw for Ac7c. Turn is the 9c and trips is the 3rd best hand. As a matter of fact, when the 9c was the river, I did not even wait to see my fate and got up. I already knew what they had when 77 pushed all in. What a donk fest. Ugh.
In the side SnG, I won that and ended up with a slight profit for the evening. But I had to do it by playing rope-a-dope again vs. players who were very aggressive and would over bet post with middle pair. Of course, they would pay off all made hands, so it was a matter of trapping with every single hard hit flop. Took forever. The ENTIRE SnG I am questioning my passive play, especially with I layed down TT on a flop of AA9 and the EP big stack puts me all in (mostly drunk too). I fold face up and he shows his only bluff of the entire night. The advantage was that everyone saw me as an easy mark, and I took alot of chips after losing that hand. Amazing what a face up fold with the winning hand can do for an image!
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Just like that I am OUT of the AIPS tournament today at the mega-bottom of the field. I got my money in ahead 4 times and lost 3 of them and had to slow WAY down on the 4th since the turn and the river put a flush and a boat possilble out there against my lame trips. Turns out he had lame lower trips.
All 3 others, I simple got caught from behind (no offense to the porno movie of the same name, which it turns out is pretty good. The title song is so 80's you almost want to scream.)
I just dont want to fall into the trap of being AFRAID to raise with good hands because you are on a losing variance. I just wont fall into that trap!
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
It all started when I broke my code and decided to play a MMTT (mega mtt). for me that's anything over 6 tables. This was 750 players. I was so card dead, that I folded over 90% of the hands, and at level 4 had yet to see a pair or better than A9o. I finally threw all my chips in (in disgust) when I notice the avg chips stack was already at 5k and I had 1k left. I had QJ. The blinds turns over AK. The flop is AKx.
I must have called some kind of curse out. I am at a bit of a loss. I can even blow a chip lead now, being sloppy with my chips. I am not in the zone and need to find my parking space again.
Friday, March 02, 2007
So after running well and posting as such, I have to account for the following:
DOPS: First player out. (I am still 2nd overall in the standing)
Mookie: Out half-way, but never a factor
CC's game: Was second in chips, playing well, and fell into a tiger trap.
So much for my game at a higher level?
Two things account for my flame outs. In the first two games, I think I simply played too many hands. With shallow stacks, I bled too many chips, which caused me to have to take marginal edge chances.
In CC's game, I was dealt TT in EP and raised it up to 500. Blinds are high compared to stack size, I think it was 75/150 and stacks were around 3k for the better stacks. I get called by the button. The pot is about 1200 already and the flop is J78 rainbow. I have MP AND I have a gutshot if he hit a monster. I like my hand here, especially in the case where the nuts needs one of my cards (9T). I bet 1000 and the button goes into the tank. He decides to play in and goes all-in. The pot is huge and I have about 1700 left. It doesn't take me long to call as I expect to see 99. But instead I see 9T and IGHN.
Should I really be surprised there? I was because I had a loose image and here's the thing with a loose image at the table. You expect that players will come back after you in a big pot with a marginal holding like A8 here. But the re-raise, despite giving away I might be in trouble, really came too late to adjust to. or did it? What do you think?
Thursday, March 01, 2007
I recently have come to understand how to be a true winning player (last nights results excluded). It not about the match, the odds, the cards, or the like. Its about competing with an opponent or group of opponents with a finite set of rules, and producing better results. Note: I did NOT say "out playing them". (Does the best TV Survivor player always the winner?)
In that vein, I give you...
Things that players cling to as truth in tournaments, but are not:
Myth: If the table is tight, play loose. If the table is loose, play tight.
NO. That is cash game talk. In a tournament: When the table is loose, Trap. When the table is tight, Bully.
Myth: Take flops with marginal cards against big stacks that will pay you off on implied odds.
RARELY (this only works with deep stacks). Most tournaments, its better to AVOID the big stacks as the field shrinks.
Myth: It's all about the chip lead/accumulating chips
ONLY in big fields. In a field of 50 or less, pick on people who have to go broke to call an all-in.
Myth: Play tight, play solid starting hands.
FEH! Do not have expectations for a starting hand. Select to play a hand for a reason, which can be playing tight, playing loose, playing by the book, etc as long as it is SITUATIONAL and changeable. And dont continue with a hand when you are being just because you were ahead BEFORE the flop. If you are losing, then get away!
Myth: Use pot odds to determine whether to make a big call.
Are you kidding me? Did you read Hoyazo's post yet? Don't use pot odds to make tournament survival decisions. If your beat, your beat.
Myth: There are the 3 levels of thinking. What I have, what I put him on, what he puts me on.
Ignore that "levels of thinking" crap. You are selling. Is your opponent buying? If he is, then your hand is going to push him to a decision (see doubleas and pressure points). If he isnt, then you make your decision on whether you are ahead or behind. Simple really.
Myth: Opponents using game theory or advanced math have a statistical advantage over us.
Ha, only if you are not following the above paragraph. Those advanced theories are just alternate ways of doing the above. Being different make you less predictable, but not necessarily better.
Myth: Hoyazo is the authority on bad play.