Sunday, July 09, 2006

Ohio Poker Roundup (Overdose)

Finally something nice to write about. Had a three-way chop for first in a field of 36 last night at JB's place. The two other players were playing heads up well, but I had a nice rush of cards to come back from distant third place to (marginal) chip leader. I was in three all-in showdowns that night in which all my chips were at stake (AA narrowly beats K8s in which K8 has a pair, a flush draw and an outside straight draw on the turn - 19 outs!; AA v A5s and an ace flops with no flush draw; JJ v KJ with no king ruining the party) but otherwise made a lot of laydowns to ABC players, and even to frequent bluffers when I didn't want to risk my chip stack on Q-high etc. I was down to 4M before my first double-up w/AA. Both of my AAs were against LJ, who was kind enough to call my push after betting half my stack the first time, and was kind enough to put me all-in when I reraised him with a healthy stack.

It's tough to beat players who think Ace-low offsuit is a pretty good starting hand and bet accordingly, but if the blind structure gives me enough slack, sooner or later they will overestimate their strength.

Last Sunday and Monday I took my brother to a couple more games.

We played an apartment game Sunday with 7 players total, 3 of them quaffing beer and playing any two cards. One player reraised me w/32s, and when I pushed with QJo, he called and hit a wheel on the flop. I failed to runner-runner KT to win that one. Another memorable all-in I had AQo and came over the top short-handed. He calls w/A9o and hits his nine to knock me out for third place. Feh. After that we played the paper and plastic floating game, where I had a very cold run of cards, with a nut-job at the table who was clearly working through personal issues via poker. I left in disgust when he declared two misdeals in a row. That's the dealer's job, right? If I had been running a little warmer, I might not have gotten upset, but it was a decent excuse to leave.

Then we played Monday at E's tourney, special Holiday Weekend edition. It felt like a family reunion, with players I rarely run into. Preacher, OEM, the Suit and others. I played some bad, bad poker that night. Here's my excuses first, then my bad plays:

1) Physical Exhaustion - I had a log splitter that weekend, and between my brother and I, we split and stacked a four-story elm tree and a two-story elm-tree.
2) Poker overdose. My brother showed up Friday night, and we played Friday night, then I gave him some on-line pointers for a couple hours (he took first at a 45-player $1.20 tourney on Stars), then we played Saturday night at a big tourney, then Sunday I gave him pointers for a while on Stars, and we played the Apartment and the paper/plastic game. At the all-you-can-eat buffet, I had consumed all I could eat.
3) Mental exhaustion. In addition to the log splitting, I ended up working a full day Sunday on work-work, putting together some design documents that couldn't wait.
4) Nostalgia-Goofiness. Preacher was on my left, and I was funning it up instead of playing tight-agressive poker. I lost a few chips that way.

Now here's the ways I screwed up.
1) Self-defeat with pocket cowboys.
I had KK and made a position raise early on and both the SB and BB call. The flop is something like 6TJ with a flush draw, and I make a 1/2 pot bet and get two callers. The turn is another ten and I bet and get two callers. On the river Q I haven't improved, and the second player bets into me about 10% of the pot. I muck in disgust with only an overpair to the very dangerous board. I asked him a few days later what he had, and he tells me top-split pair. Whether that's true or not, I still should have made the crying call with my overpair. Again, I was in a very pessimistic frame of mind and neglected the math.
2) Self-defeat with a pocket pair when an ace flops.
My brother makes a raise in steal position, and I've been tutoring him on this so have some idea what he might be up to. I reraise with pocket nines. The flop is AJx and he makes a continuation bet, and I muck my nines face up. He shows me pocket threes. Good play bro! In retrospect, my best option would have been to push pre-flop.
3) Not paying attention to what my opponent might have. I'm goofing it up with preacher and make a steal raise with J-8o, and flop trips. I neglect the board on the turn, assuming I'm golden with my trips and an inside straight draw on the turn. When he reraises my all-in on the turn I happily call, and he's got the made straight. I fill my inside straight draw to chop, and feel like an ass for not considering that he might actually have a hand.

4) Bad timing. I'm at 2M and push from early position with KJo at the final table. There are pockets eights, tens and Aces in that order behind me with progressively bigger stacks. The aces and tens are blocking my straight draws, so it's the thinnest draw ever four-way. D'oh!