Friday, September 16, 2005

Head's Up Play Sept 15, 2005

I joined a buddy at his home for two heads-up tournaments, both of which were designed to go for about an hour, starting with a tiny blind with soft upticks, but getting into serious blinds about 45 minutes into game play. Between nice cards, the occasional blind stab, and esp-like pre-flop folding, I was able to take both tourneys. An enjoyable evening which I hope to repeat as we are able.

In the space of 2 hours of heads up hands (2 decks, so constant play) I must have seen at least 3 flushes and 3 straights, and at least 4 or 5 two pair offerings. I did not have to show a few of these hands, but I was able to milk at least one additional bet off of several of my made hands. Opponents Aces were also cracked as the decisive hand of the second game. He had made a 2BB raise (total 3 bb) and I called with KQs, and at that point in the blind structure, 20% of our total chips were in that pot. I caught perfectly on a flop of K-Q-x, and I managed to milk it for another 20% of the total chips, which was a major swing. At that point, opponent needed a solid hand quickly or would face blinding out. At that moment I picked up AKs, put him all in, and he called with KJ and failed to suck out.

If I were to critique my opponents play, I would venture that I saw a few differences in our playing styles.
1) I don't remember him folding the SB much at all. As the blinds rose, I was folding easily a third of my small blinds, and avoiding a world of hurt. Maybe he did fold SB as much as me, but it doesn't seem that way in my selective memory.
2) I think I was a little more agressive with bottom pair. While it occasionally came back to hurt me, it also made it tougher to tell whether I was betting bottom pair or something much better, such as trips, straights or flushes. On a few occasions, he called me down and won with middle pair, but on a few more occasions he called me down when I had top pair or better.
3) His pre-flop raises were less frequent than mine, which indicates that either I was getting better cards, or else he was still measuring his cards by a full table standards. You'd never raise A5s on a full table, but that's a decent raise in heads up play, I'd like to think.

These may have been enough to make the difference, especially when I started catching good cards.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Manassas NL Cash 9/14/05

Started at the .50/$1 cash table with the younger group, and after 90 minutes, nearly doubled my buy in. Then I switched to the $1/2 table with a generally more mature crowd, and nearly tripled my buy-in. A good night.

At the higher stakes cash game, I was only active in a very small number of hands, and when I had premium starters, I raised accordingly, as opposed to being coy. Sometimes my big raise simply got all four of the limpers to limp at a higher price, which was comical. After the second time, people did start respecting my raises.

Two hands before my scheduled departure (must announce 30 minutes before going is the house rule) I limp with QJos, and a guy who had just shown pocket aces a few hands before makes a 6 BB raise. I'm the only caller. The flop includes an Ace, and I've got a belly straight draw only. He bets half the pot and I'm gone. He flips over the hammer (7-2). It was definitely a good trick, pity I didn't have anything better than a belly draw.

My announced last hand, I call from the button blind. I look down at 2-6s and compare it with a board of 2-6-8 rainbow. The guy on my left (who I had taken some serious money from earlier) bets into me heavy. I call. Another x (no-paint) a big bet and I call. The river is also no-paint, and he checks. I choose not to get frisky with bottom two pair so I check and collect the pot.

There was definitely more action at the 50/1, but there was a lot more drama at the 1/2, better cards, a dedicated dealer and a nicer table.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Sep 9, 2005 Nerk Tourney

In the big tourney I lost patience after about an hour of catching very little. I went all-in with pocket 8's and was plowed under by pocket J's.

In a 10 player sit'n'go, I had one very exciting hand

Me: KK
P1 call, P2 call, me raise 4 BB, Call, Call

Flop: Q, 8, 3 rainbow
P1 Bet, P2 call, Me all-in, P1 call, P2, Call
P1- JTos , P2 AQos

Turn Q :-( Now I have exactly two outs :-(

River K !!!

I go on to take second when I grow impatient during heads up.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Sept 5, 2005 - Home Tourney

Is it bad form to win your own tourney? Sorry.

Played some solid poker, never got too far ahead of my holdings in terms of my betting, caught a few lucky draws and some nice starters, and laid down a few even where I felt there might have been a bluff. In a couple cases I paid to see cards even when I knew I was beat, just because pot odds dictated that I do so.

Perhaps my best suck out ever today.

Me: TT
Opponent: AQ

Flop A,K,J,x
Note that a T gives my opponent a straight, so I now have exactly 3 outs.
Q !!!!!!

This made me the big stack with just one opponent left, whom I had at least a 7 to 1 chip ratio on.

Great players today. Nobody went out for the whole first hour, which is pretty rare when you think about it. I think the first player went out on level 5 with 20 minute blinds, which sounds like a tight group of players to me.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Ne'rk Game Friday 9/5/2005

In the big game I was out in the first 45 minutes. I was pushed off of winning hands three times, got frustrated and made a suicide pre-flop call (small pockets versus an all-in from early position from a solid player). When I made the suicide call, I still had enough chips that I could have blinded for another hour, so that was a tilt.

Then I played a 10 person satellite. There was bluffy sucking down brews who was dominating the table, and there was nothing I could do to stop him, as I wasn't even catching small pairs, and after a few hands, I didn't limp with anything less than premiums. It paid off, in that an hour in I started catching and winning pots. An older CS who was running lucky the whole game had me by a 15 to 1 ratio when we got down to two handed. (He had just eliminated Bluffy McDrink) and even though I doubled up once, I needed to double up at least four times to have any chance at all, and this guy was calling everything, so he only needed to beat me once, and he did.

DE played on my left, a solid game. He called an all-in on the turn from Bluffy and was correct to do so, as he had a solid hand, and Bluffy had a four-flush. Much to DE's dismay, Bluffy caught his slim draw to knock him out, leaving him fourth in the tourney.