Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Once upon a time....

If you play enough times you might just find a decent starting hand in the first hand of a cheap single table tourney:

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to FrankNagaiJr [Jc Jh]

And you might just limp as 3rd to act, since there always seems to be one person at these events who will raise Q8o, K2s, or even 92o.

Dealt to FrankNagaiJr [Jc Jh]
beefcutlet: calls 20
xinxa: folds
FrankNagaiJr: calls 20

And miracle of miracles, nobody raises on the first hand....
thatsenuff: folds
Hershamboy: folds
NVDobson: folds
trawr: calls 20
mik18: calls 10
ZORG1969: checks

And you might just catch a perfect flop for a cheap table where there always seems to be someobody who loves weak aces
*** FLOP *** [Js 4s Ad]

And if you make a micro-bet, certainly somebody will give you a little bit of action for your nutty set with their weak ace.

*** FLOP *** [Js 4s Ad]
mik18: checks
ZORG1969: checks
beefcutlet: checks
FrankNagaiJr: bets 40
trawr: folds
mik18: folds
ZORG1969: folds
beefcutlet: folds
FrankNagaiJr collected 100 from pot
FrankNagaiJr: doesn't show hand


But I did go on to win the dang thing, so it all works out.

*********** # 173 **************
PokerStars Game #6003216021: Tournament #30402737, $5.00+$0.50 Hold'em No Limit - Level X
(400/800) - 2006/08/21 - 19:36:03 (ET)
Table '30402737 1' 9-max Seat #6 is the button
Seat 3: ZORG1969 (6030 in chips)
Seat 6: FrankNagaiJr (7470 in chips)
ZORG1969: posts the ante 50
FrankNagaiJr: posts the ante 50
FrankNagaiJr: posts small blind 400
ZORG1969: posts big blind 800
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to FrankNagaiJr [Ks Kc]
FrankNagaiJr: calls 400
ZORG1969: raises 800 to 1600
FrankNagaiJr: raises 1600 to 3200
ZORG1969: calls 1600
*** FLOP *** [Qs 4s 7h]
ZORG1969: bets 2780 and is all-in
FrankNagaiJr: calls 2780
*** TURN *** [Qs 4s 7h] [4h]
*** RIVER *** [Qs 4s 7h 4h] [Ah]
FrankNagaiJr said, "gg"
*** SHOW DOWN ***
ZORG1969: shows [Qc Js] (two pair, Queens and Fours)
FrankNagaiJr: shows [Ks Kc] (two pair, Kings and Fours)
FrankNagaiJr collected 12060 from pot

Sunday, August 20, 2006

COCC Visit #2

I went for the second time to the CO card club, and it was quite similar to my first visit.

Tourney #1 - I couldn't seem to get any hands at a table of Calling Stations, so I saw a lot of flops and folded. On my penultimate hand, I had second pair on an A-7-x rainbow board and 3 of us checked the flop, I bet half my remaining stack and a CS calls. I didn't bet the river because she turned over the Ace, of course. I pushed from the button w/Q6o, and the BB has QJ. I'm out.

Cash Interlude 1 - Not a CS table, the 1/2, but occasionally beatable. I limp K8s early position, and BB raises to 5, which I call. I flop second pair and we both check, then a King turns and I figure I'm ahead of AK or AA, and that KK would have bet the non-ace flop in preference to giving away a freebie. We both check, and the river is another 8 for my full house. He bets 20, I reraise all-in, and he calls with his aces, for whatever masochistic reason. Not many other exciting hands that I was involved in, but lots of cheap flops, and I occasionally buy a pot.

Tourney #2 - I'm at a table with at least four people who haven't a clue, but I fail to get cards much, and I see a lot of flops, and get close to the felt in level 3 when I call a raise w/AKs, miss, and fold after checking the flop and turn with 3 tens on the board. Don turnsover ATo. Then I have a nice turnaround as follows:

Blinds 100/200 - I have 1000 left.
UTG all-in 6 way w/KTo, no calls.
BB 45o, two limpers and I flop the straight draw, everybody checks, and I turn the straight. The guy on my right bets and I reraise all-in and he calls with a pair of 6s, ace kicker. (These folks LOVE Axo)
And I get up to 4500 before the 200/400 level, where I make a 4bb raise w/AQo, get a call from a total CS, we check it down, and she bets 500 on the river, and I call to see ATo, which flopped a pair.
Then I make a raise of half my stack w/ATs, get a call, an ace flops, and he puts me all-in, and I call to see AQo take my remaining chips.

Cash interlude 2 - Uneventful, except the same 20 year old kid who last put me all-in when I had rockets, raises me when I have QQ and I go all in. He calls with 79s, and rivers the inside straight to win.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mistakes on that big hand in the big tourney

I've had 24 hours to reflect, and can see a number of specific mistakes I made in the hand where I made the big laydown to the bluff the guy was kind enough to show me.

1) Reaction Time. This was a big tell on my part. I play much more internet tourneys than I do live, so I need to practice this more. As Harrington says, if you have to, count to ten before making your action, but don't be so quick to move. My pre-flop raise, flop reraise and turn check were nearly instantaneous, and this certainly telegraphed my intentions.

2) Reflection time. Also as Harrington says, I've put in quite a bit of money and time into the tourney, the least I could have done is taken more than a minute to figure out my best moves on the turn and river. There were some clues that I didn't take into account.

3) Missed Clue #1 - Stack size. This guy had a huge stack. Did he get it by consistently winning big hands, or was he agressive in nature? Given the two hands I'd seen, he was clearly agressive in nature, so there was a reasonable chance he was pushing a bluff.

4) Missed Clue #2 - Stack size again. I'm a medium size stack, which is the stack that is most easily bluffed. Another reason for him to consider pulling a bluff.

5) Missed Clue #3 - My table image. I had the notebook going (I was taking notes on scrap paper anyhow.) To any thinking player, this implies that I'm probably not a calling station, so one more reason to consider a bluff.

I knew I wasn't ready for the WSOP, and apparently I'm not quite ready for a 500$ tourney either. The first table made me think I was doing well, but then I came across somebody playing at the level that I wish to play at, and it's clear I'm not there yet. I will most likely wait a year before playing any more tourneys at that stake, unless I continue crushing the lower stakes tourneys. Ponzi scheme.

Monday, August 07, 2006

My Big Tourney

While I usually play very low stakes tourneys, I decided to give myself a shot at a higher buy-in yesterday. $330 at the Gold Strike, 90 players, 40 minute blinds.

Level 1 - blinds 25/25 - 600 in chips.
Started out slow but solid at my first table, there's nobody who's very agressive, but a couple of people playing way too many hands, cheaply.

Hand 13 - I make a 4BB early pos steal and get shot down by a loosy goosy who calls with Kd 8d and hits the flop well. I'm down to 5375.

Hand 16 - I call a raise to 125 in the BB w/ 7c 8c and flop the nut straight and check. When I 1/3 pot bet the turn, the initial raiser and the caller both fold :-( Chips=5625.

Hand 23 is the last hand for the level. My chip stack is still 5626.

Level 2 - Blinds 25/50

Hand 25 - I didn't write down the specifics, but I think I limped cheaply and bought the pot four way with second pair. Chips 6575.

Hand 39 - No notes, but I raise in the SB, and drop down to 5450.

Hand 41 - I call a raise to 225 by a very loose seat 8 who is called by seat 9, and I have pocket 3s. I know that if I hit, I can collect beautifully from these two. Seat 4 raises to 1225, Seat 5 calls, Seat 8 calls, Seat 9 calls, so there is now 5200 in the pot and 1000 for me to call w/33 and close the action. I've got the chips to do it, so I call and miss the flop. Chip count 4225.

Hand 41 - Last hand of level 2, chip count 4225.

Level 3 - Blinds 50/100

Hand 42 - I call a raise to 400 in the BB and miss. Chip count 3825

Hand 43 - I make a loose call and hit a straight on a flush board. I call down the agressor, who bets a lot of stuff, but knows what he's doing, and we show the same one-card straight. Chips 4025.

Hand 49 - In the BB I flop second pair, and bet 1/2 pot into 3 players, no callers. Chip count 4275.

Hand 56 - I raise 88 into the red-hatted CS in seat 9, and he calls. I make a continuation bet that he calls on an AQx board, no surprise, but it doesn't mean he has anything. We both check the turn, and he bets the river (a 2) about 1/3 of pot. I call with my 88 on this board with 3 overs, and he has a pair of 2s. Chip count 5150.

Hand 63 - I raise to 500 w/77 in steal position, and the flop is K8x with two callers, and I bet the pot on the flop. Seat 7 calls for all-in with an 8 and is getting up to walk away when I tell him he's ahead. He turns two pair, and I spike my set on the river. Chip count at the end of level 3 is 7450. Lucky.

Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 Chip count 7450

Hand 65 - I button limp in w/7d 8d and call a raise to 1000 from the BB and flop a runner-runner draw to straight or flush, and the raiser does not bet the flop. The turn gives me a straight flush draw, and the raiser goes all-in for another 2000, and I call. He's got a weak ace, and I turn the straight flush, 6 to 10. Chip count 11,150.

Hand 69 - I get into a dream situation w/89o against a CS where I flop trips, and he makes a weaker boat on the river, so I get another several thousand chips. Too busy to count and note, but about 15K in chips.

Hand 70, I call AKo and the player to my left pushes all-in for 3000, I call and am happy to see KTo in his hand. The ten hits, the ace doesn't. Chip count is now 12, 625.

Hand 74 - Up against the red-hatted CS in seat 9 again. I call his river bet when I river a small pair. He made a pair of aces on the turn that he didn't bet, and had aces up when he bet. That was virtually the only value bet I saw him make. Chip count 11,525.

Hand 75 - I raise w/AQo, miss and go away quietly multi-way. Chip count 10,925.

Hand 76 - Last hand for this table, which is a bummer as I felt I had very accurate reads on everybody.

Hand 77 - I am now in seat 10 of a new table.

Hand 78 - This is the hand that put me on tilt.

S9 calls 200, I raise to 1000 w/AKo and only s9 calls.
Flop xh Kc xh.
s9 bets 1000 (1/2 pot) , I raise to 3000, s9 calls.
The call smelled like a chase call, so I'm leary when the turn is an Ah,
I have two pair so a boat draw if I'm behind.
s9 Checks, I check.
Turn X (no boat for me) and S9 puts me all-in, he's got twice my stack.
I fold after a moment or two, and he flips 4c 6c and tells me that he put me on AK.

Fuck! That's some good play on his part, and I'm wondering how I could have played that differently. I'm now on tilt going forward, with the guy who put me on tilt on my immediate right. That's not so good.

Chip count is now 6950.

Hand 81 - Blinds up to 150/300 w/25 antes.

Hand 82 - I limp AKo utg, hoping to trap the trapper in the BB, who likes to raise frequently, from what I've seen in the last few hands. the SB goes all-in for 2500 in chips, BB folds, and I call. She turns over AJo and fails to suck out. Chip count back up to 8875, but I'm still on tilt.

Hand 98 - I haven't been involved in any further hands at this very agressive table, especially my nemesis in seat 9, who has turned over QQ, KK, AK and a few other hands, as well as been obliged to show a blind steal w/Q7o. He's got a huge stack.

End of level 4, blinds go up to 200/400 with 50 antes.

Hand 102 - This is where my tilt truly kicks in. I've got 7M and catch Ad Jd utg and push. A player has KK and insta calls for 80% of my stack and I'm down to 2M.

Hand 103, I'm in BB and I'm happy to see 8s 9s, and I call seat 9s raise. Seat 9 turns over aces, and I fail to suck out.


Friday, August 04, 2006

New Link

Preacher's rant fest just made my list of Links. Bishop is off since he hasn't posted for a year. If I know you and you've got a blog, send me the link.

Or in the words of Preach:

Look right, Monkeys.

It's a Plateau

I've hit a plateuu on the learning curve. I feel like I can generally beat the low-stakes limit games (with cards of course) and I'm no longer shy about playing low-stakes no-limit, and I'm generally happy with my tournament record so far.

However, it doesn't feel like I'm learning as much about poker, or about my own game these days. When I sit at a table for 45 minutes, I generally feel like I've got a read on most of the playing styles at the table, but that doesn't always put me in a good position to capitalize on it.

Let's set some specific goals and see what happens.

On-Line, my current balance is 78$, and I think I should be able to grow it, but I don't seem to do so. Here's the game plan:
Current balance till 120: Only play the 1.20$ 45 player tourneys. Nothing bigger or more expensive. If killing time, play cash at ultra low stakes. (never risking more than 3$ at a throw.
120 - 200: Allow the $5.50 single table tourneys and 45 player tourneys into the mix. Risk no more cash than 10$ at a throw.
Let's not dream about what happens when I get past 200 till I get much closer.

Tournament Play: I should be very picky about what tourneys I play going forward. No more crap shoot tourneys, but only those where the blind structure allows for solid play to be rewarded. If this means paying extra, so be it.

Cash Games: I think I'm ready to move to 6-12 limit, and should stick to 1-2 NLHE. For NLHE, I must become a little more daring and a little less tight.