Thursday, June 29, 2006

Up and Down in Hollywood

Had a really bad limit session on Sunday, starting at Gold Strike Tunica, moving over to Hollywood Tunica. Hollywood was the toughest to bear, since I was clearly at a very soft table where I would have collected a decent pot with any winning hand. I bled slowly for the first three to four hours, then I'm afraid I loosened up, and made more calls on the flop against long shots, so I was then bleeding twice as fast. In the space of 8 hours, I may have taken in three decent pots, and three tiny pots, which seems like a statistical anomaly. The guy in the 3 seat was taking up the slack, seemingly doing no wrong, playing at least 60 percent of his hands, and winning at least half of the hands he seemed to be in. It was very demoralizing, but I did put in my hours to play the 'free roll' on Tuesday night.

So I come back for the free roll, which has the following chip structure:

Entry and 1000 chips - Free with 10 hours of playing time at their casino.
Add on 5000 Chips at start - $20
Add on 10,000 Chips after the fourth level - $40

As you can see the add-ons are pretty obligatory.

In the first four levels, I pick up a couple of small pots, very few playable hands. I did get some very accurate reads on my table mates, who could be bluffed, who would pay me off when I had a hand, and who would defend their blinds. I was down to 6M at the break, and buying the 10K in chips brought me up to 15M.

Then I had a QQ v QQ confrontation. No flush, but we got some limping chips. I pushed in SB w/A9s when a much smaller stack had pushed from mid-position, and BB folds and it's A2s I'm against. Board pairs and we chop. I also pushed against the same player in the same circumstance w/T9o one round later to flop a pair and beat 88. Then I get QQ to beat 33 and double up, and KK to double up when a flush draw pushes on the flop and fails to make their flush. We're down to the final table and I'm a chip leader.

Most of the final table was either very short stacked and/or very predictable. The one loose cannon pushes JJ against AA and wins to become chip leader, which means that I've got some work to do to win this. We're down to four, and the second time one of the low stacks survives an all-in and suggests a four-way chop, I agree, and the other low stack agrees. The loose cannon isn't happy to do so as he's got my by 2 to 1, and everybody else by 3 to 1 or better, but states that he doesn't want to be the jerk, and agrees.

I should also mention bluffing success frequency. I think I made five bluffs or semi-bluffs during the tourney and got away with three of them. The ones I didn't get away with were against the loose cannon.

The prize was about a hundred more than I bled through on Sunday, the overall net was about 50 bucks (add-ons $60) for 14 hours of play. Whoo-hoo!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

RM's tourney Dublin

We had a major tourney for our social group on June 24th, with a field of close to 70 players, starting at 4:30 PM and playing till the wee hours of the morning. I went as a player/dealer and felt like I did neither well, but still managed to make it to the final table, just barely in the money. I really enjoyed the tourney, and was pleasantly surprised to make it as far as I did in the mental state I was in (perma-tilt).

I don't have time to blog right now, but here's some themes if I did.

* SB v BB situation late game with a min-raise (killbuck discussion)
* All-in v BB late game with KTo in BB's hands (other discussion)
* Railbird etiquette (don't sit AT the table please, and don't talk with the players)
* Some bad decisions I made
(Calling an all-in w/KJo rather than folding or coming over the top)
(Not pushing A9o in a textbook Harrington scenario as the button with no action before me)
* Some good decisions I made that paid off
(staying with 22 four way after limping, being raised, and closing the betting)
* Some good decisions I made that didn't pay off
(calling a frequent all-inner w/AQ, and losing to KJ)
* Tilty behavior on my part
(misstating my chip count in an all-in situation)
* Why I was on tilt
(one player at my first table was having an astounding/unbelievable run of cards, and I had to lay down on two consecutive heads up flops. I had never played with him before and couldn't tell if we was in my head or actually getting cards.)
* Big all-in hands for me
(v Bishop to survive, v Jeff to survive w/79s, v DAB w/66 to lose to QJo and get knocked out)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Local Tourney June 23

Played at a 20$ tourney that is only 5 minutes from my home, which is a refreshingly short drive. The next closest, the N'erk tourney is more like 12 minutes, and has a bizarre blind structure at a steep price.

There were 13 of us playing basement poker. I mostly sat tight, since there were very few raises respected all night. At a minimum, seemed like the SB and BB would call with damn near anything. This meant I got to observe other people playing, some well, some atrociously.

Had pocket aces early and managed to collect without incident, and I busted a guy with my Ac Qc after he called me with AJo and couldn't let it go on an AKQ flop. In other games, I would have expected him to have AK, and so I had a big relief on the river when a queen fell. Comical that I didn't require the extra card. Generally, I needed cards to win a pot since somebody was always calling down with second pair, sometimes even ace high on a busted draw. There were a couple players whose raises were respected by the group, which was also funny since one of them was raising pre-flop and betting into pots with a frequency well outside of any reasonable card distribution.

After nursing my short stack well, (I doubled up once on KJo after pushing on a J-high flop), I got knocked out when my AKo met AQs all-in pre-flop. That was after 3 hours of play with four of us remaining out of 13.

Then I played cash for a little while. I enjoyed the tourney, but I don't think I can play ultra-low cash games anymore. (There was a single blind of 0.25 to win.) There's no buzz in it for me.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Tunica Miss Updates

I've been too busy driving to the casino and playing to deal with blogging. Here's highlights for the last week.

Sunday - Hit the Gold Strike, which was smokier than I remembered (not a smoking room, but very much adjacent to the smokers), and they had easily 15 full tables going. I played NLHE 1/2 while ordering eating dinner, and lost a big chunk to guy who hit his set on the turn to beat my aces. I was not as observant as I needed to be, and I could have saved a bunch of money on his river bet if I was at all alert. Note to self - play LIMIT while ordering and eating dinner, so mistakes don't cost so much. (They bring in free bar food for tips, by the way.)

Then I switched to LO8, and it was the bummer table of all bummer tables. Everybody knew each other, and everybody sat and waited for A23, so there were very few big pots to fight over, and nobody lively enough to break the boredom. I love O8, but a tight/dull table is unbearable.

Tuesday - Hit Sam's Town looking for a tourney, but misread the flier, so I went next door to Hollywood, found a soft 3-6 table and stuck around. The toughest part of limit is when you can't hit a hand at a soft table. I went out 10 bucks ahead after 4 hours of play. Their buffet was 'okay' but the best so far is still the Grand Casino.

Wednesday - Went to the Hollywood again to accumulate table hours for a 60$
'freeroll' tourney next Tuesday. There was a drunk who was slurring his speech on my right who was still playing limit reasonably well, and making money chasing his flushes. There were two very soft players who left 20 minutes after I sat down before I could get their money in circulation. The minute the drunk left, I left as well. I went out ahead 10 bucks.

Then I went next door to Sam's Town for some 1/2 NLHE. I lost my first buy-in early when I called a raise w/Qh Jc in position, and flopped the high straight on a one-suit flop (hearts). The same guy who raised had shown down Ah Kh three hands earliers, so I felt he was on a high pair with a heart draw, and that he didn't already have the flush. That was my thinking when I pushed on the no-heart turn, and he insta-called w/Ah Kh. It took me a couple hours to get to profitable, but I shucked and jived, stole a lot of small orphan pots, and found a couple of spots to double up or collect big.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ho-hum a 10-high straigh flush

Last night at 180 player $4.40 I played 6c 9c in the SB at the 10/100 level after 2 others had already limped in. I flopped the inside draw to the straight flush, which is 12 outs. As first to act I lead bet the flop, and I lead bet the river for the same amount without improving. A couple players stayed with me, and my magic 7c came on the river. I bet double the amount of my lead bet and was fortunate to get one caller. The caller must not have had the ace-high flush, or else it was a decsent player.

Reprint - Poker Stars Goal

My current balance on Tards is 332.65, most of which is from 11$ sngs, and an occasional PLO8 cash table. I have been playing 180 player 4$ games and losing money there, but I think I am improving my tourney game with those. I'm reprinting the goals I set a while back. Looks like I might get past 400 if I keep up my streak on the 11$ sngs, and then I can consider the 20$ sngs.


1) Stick with the $5.50 tables till I get to $200.
2) When I pass 200, play the $11 tables till I'm either back down to 150, or up to 400.
3) Evey time I get past 500, do a little cashout rather than squander it.
4) Accumulate frequent player points, and use those to chase the pipe dream of playing in a major event.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Blinds and Straddles

At casinos I like to keep my table lively, so I'll occasionally go into manic mode. At least once a night, I'll make a big deal about playing my blind cards blind, betting the flop blind, and looking on the turn when I get action, all the while yakking it up.

Last night at Gold Strike I did this once, asserting I had aces, and I called a small raise, and a bet on the flop blind. He bet into me on the turn and I looked, and I had AT, and there was an ace on the board, so I reraised. He was incredulous and called, and we both checked the river. Turned out he rivered two pair with his QJo, but I was indeed ahead when I called on the flop, and when I looked and reraised.

Last hand of the evening I'm UTG, and so I decide to straddle, and I make a big deal about what I've got, and at least 3 callers. and I make a quarter-pot bet and get only one caller. The flop is A23, and now I'm joking that I've changed my mind and I've got 45. He bets into me, and I look, and this time is AKo, and I reraise again. He calls, and I check the turn blind, and he checks two. The river was a king, and a pair of aces was good anyhow.

Usually this tactic doesn't produce immediate results like this. It usually just loosens the table, if I'm lucky, but a money-loser in the short term.

Tunica Miss - Gold Strike

I liked the card room a lot, but the buffet was better at the Grand Casino.

Played 90 minutes of Omaha Hi/Lo, 3-6, at the only card room that has it regularly, started out hot and won a few pots, then kept missing monster draws both ways and switched back to 1-2 no limit.

The 1-2 NL has a min buy-in of 100, no maximum, which means that it's dangerous compared to LA. The first table I sat down at (for about 10 hands), half the table had at least 600 in front of them. After I swapped out tables to a newly created table, everybody had 200 or less, which was more comfortable for me.

I was both catching hands and running some decent bluffs, so all-in all it was a good session. NL 1-2 where everybody limps is nice in that I can play a lot of tricky trash, but it also means that when my trash hits, I might not get any action. There was one young lady in particular where I bet a made hand on the river that she refused to call, then I bluffed her off of two rivers with busted draws in fairly short order. In one case I was holding a busted 4-6 straight draw, so it was damn near impossible that she didn't have me beat. It was fun.

Met a guy named Michael from a small town outside of Little Rock. He had been in a car accident two years prior, burned 55% of his body, lost his girlfriend in the accident, and spent 10 months in the hospital after the accident. He was in Tunica with his new girlfriend from across the country who he met through an on-line support group for burn victims. She had also lost her boyfriend in a car accident. Nice guy.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Tunica Missisisip - Grand Casino

Played the 4-8 for two hours, and walked away with 12.5 big bets, so it was a fine session. The guy two seats to my right raised any hand he played, and he seemed to play any face card, no matter what it was partner with. This meant I generally had to tighten up a lot, so I mostly collected on playable big blinds, (two decent pots) and Aces (they held, and he did me a favor by raising so I could 3 bet pre-flop), and other wise tossed lots of mediocre limpers that would have been playable if he hadn't change my pot odds. I left five minutes after he did, as there were too many competent players at the table at that point.

Loved the buffet. Great ribs and southern/soul food.

Nobody told me that Tunica was a baby vegas! A whole bunch of poker options here.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

N'erk Tourney June 9th

I should have played tight and tighter. As it was, I raised 3BB once UTG and got no callers, and pushed UTG twice and got no callers, all three times with hands where I preferred NOT to see a flop, so that was alright.

I called a 3BB raise in BB w/A7s, and the flop came Axx all of a different suit, and I tossed my top pair based on having a weak ace, and none of the suit. The dude (Clay) flips over his pair of kings with one of the suit and asks for a rabbit hunt, and he hit his flush. So, it was an incorrect fold on my part, but a fortuitous one.

I won the very first hand (about 4BB of the first level) and otherwise did not take down any pot in which I saw a flop. Bummer evening. I tossed mountains of trash pre-flop.

Monday, June 05, 2006

A night of heartbreak on 'tards

I allowed myself one more 180 player tourney, and I tripled up early with a flush draw to the nuts three way. Sure, it was a risk, but I figure a body needs decent chips to do anything in this tourney, otherwise you'll get blinded out too soon. The other two all-ins were top split pair and a set, so I got lucky. Then I played reasonably well, making some decent moves and staying out of trouble for quite a while, till I pulled another all-in on a flush draw on a 334 board two-way in a raised pot. I was drawing to Ace-Queen with no pair yet, and my opponent was drawing to king-eight flush with no pair yet. That means he had six outs in two cards, and I was roughtly the 75 percent fave here. He rivers his king, and if I had won I would have been the chip leader among 70 remaining players, but instead I move on.

Then I'm in a 45 player sit'n'go, where I get involved in few hands, and eventually find myself pushing QTo from early position at 5M. The person who calls me has AQo and enough chips to look me up. The first four cards are A-Q-T (ouch!) and then another Ace to mean that my two remaining outs are now gone.

Guess I'll go back to the single tables if I'm killing time tonight.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Overs versus pair and runner-runner flush draw

Playing a 4$ 180 player on tards, and a mediocre chip stack about 4 levels in. I had just won a hand with a large pair without a showdown, and caught JJ and made a bigger raise (5BB) with this lesser pair.

The flop is a rainbow 892, and I had just observed the one player I was up against push pre-flop with a pair of 8s for no particular reason, as his M was reasonable. I had a feeling that he probably didn't have trips, and would call my all-in on my overpair with as weak as ace-high.

I was correct, he called with second split pair and a runner-runner flush draw, making me the 75 percent fave with all my chips in the middle.

His runner-runner hit. D'uh.