Monday, January 09, 2006

Vacation Kickoff Treat

Long rambling post warning, but good results and some interesting hands I think.

This week I'm off to St. Lucia to hit the beach with Mrs. SoxLover as well as Mr. and Mrs. Weak Player. The last week at work was a bit busy, so I fell behind my posting a bit, but not as bad as Weak, who after an impressive first month of frequent posting has trailed off--I hope he comes back refreshed and puts some more well thought out posts.

My online travails (notwithstanding a 3rd place finish in the WWDN earlier this week) have generally continued as I've managed to get my chips in on several tourneys with best of it (most memorable TT v QT and AK v A6) and bust out.

And then there was Veneno. In our heads up stupid side bet number 2, which was a race to 5 hu, she sprinted out to a 4-0 lead on Christmas Eve and Christmas. I rallied, winning 2 in a row on the day after Christmas, closed in to making it a match with win 3 last week, and actually caught up on Friday night, then finally agreed to the rubber match on Saturday, just after the aforementioned QT cracked my TT in a 50+5 sit and go on Stars. I was on tilt I think, but it really didn't affect my play. I was up for awhile, then she caught some cards, played well and I found myself down 600 to 2400. Got them all in with K7, unfortunately she had A7 and that was it. My banner will be changing again for a week once I get back--I have partially renegged on the bet by declaring I'd rather shut down my blog than post anything pro-Yankee (Veneno's husband's cruel suggestion, I suspsect she'd only suggest it to get me--I'm fine with Angels though if I have to).

Side note: I also got Gracie to play me Friday, later claiming she was drunk but so was I, quick match 1 hand I won with KT versus QT on a ten high flop--she blamed the unfamiliar UTB buttons!

I did manage to have a decent day yesterday despite that start, rallying to win a 50+5 sit and go and 3rd in a 20+2 (should have been at least 2nd but managed to fail to bust out the same guy in two chances after getting him all in preflop dominated).

So I at least had a bit of momentum going back into the 250+25 Sunday night deep stack tourney at the club. This is the same tourney I had cashed 3 of 4 times, including one first place the first time I played it in September.

I got there at 5 and we started with 20 players, including Alfonse, a New York fixture who I used to play with at Playstation and who showed his special style (crazy motherfucker aggro freak crap talker). This guy is tv famous, a real character in Boston-New York NESN-YES poker challenge. Click here to see him suck out massively on Robin, a Boston pro. This guy historically has a had a talent for putting me on tilt, but this time I just cranked up the Led Zep on the MP3 player and waited for my shots (later, I even got a chance to reply to his bullshit "I can read you like a book" with, "Sorry, the sound of me stacking your chips is distracting me").

Also in this tourney was the same South Asian freak (utterly un-PC, I'll call him Abu) who in a 1-2 cash game a few months ago came over the top all in 160 more of my 50 raise of a 15 UTG bet (I had queens) with AJ--I knew he was a maniac so I called him--he turned a flush on me. Very fortunately, I had position on them both in the 3 seat with them being 8 and 9 respectively.

On my immediate right was Chris, a player I'd busted out before in the same tourney in September by setting him up to call my QQ with his 99 (he's the "Snapper"), who I've since played with at the club and another as well. He's someone capable of making moves.

Another player I knew from Playstation I hadn't seen since May, looks like a Franciscan monk so I'll call him Monk, a creative player, not insane but also willing and able to make moves, was two to my immediate right, and on my left, fortunatley, were 3 tight-solid players who I could trust that if they raised me, I was beat. Another nice thing about these tourneys at the club is that by now, I know most of the players when I sit down. All in all, it was a dangerous table starting, but one with opportunity and one at which I had a very good position with the maniacs and tricksters on my right and the solids on my left.

Most of the most interesting hands happened on my initial table (we had 20 players on 2 tables to start).

Hand 1, "the call":
Blinds at 50-100, in late position (1 before cutoff), Alfonse, Abu and Chris limp to me with my 9000, I look down to TT. I decide not to raise as I want to see a flop with these characters. Three more callers including the blinds and flop comes J75 two diamonds (I have none). 3 checks around to me, I think I might have the best hand so I bet out 400 as a probe to find out if there is a jack out there. They all fold, except, suprsingly enough, Chris (who started the hand with 8000) on my right who calls.

Ok, what does he have?

I just can't put him on a jack because he really had to bet it there, and he really can't put me on a bluff. So it's got to be a big flush draw, probably with an ace. Turn comes a 7 of clubs, making some straight draws but not completing the hand I'm worried about. Chris checks and I bet out 1,000. Chris thinks for a few moments and then calls.

Ok, crap, am I wrong?

How can he call that with a flush draw out of position? River comes a 4, making a 4 card straight. Chris bets out 2,500 and my head is spinning. Crap, what a fucking card. Did he hit it?

What to do?

Calling here risks dropping down to 5000, not super short but not where I want to be 45 minutes in after starting with 10,000. Folding leaves me with 7,500, not great but most aspects of poker still available. Then something seems familiar, not with Chris but something that's happened to me a few times in the last few months, someone calls my bet with a flush draw, misses, and bets big on the river. I, after some thought, fold, and fume like hell when the bluff is shown to me. Not this time. After all, would he really bet 2,500 with a jack, over pair or straight? The first two, aside from being inconsistent with his flop actions, he'd have to be afraid I hit my draw so I can't see him leading out--calling a river bet from me yes but probably not leading out, certainly not 2,500 which is far greater than a blocking bet. The straight, shit, he wants that to be called so he'd probably bet 1,000-1,500.

But he bet 2,500.

What does it mean?

It means a busted flush and I'm pretty sure of it. I call and he moans, flipping AT diamonds. The table is shocked I called. I got chips.


Hand 2: "the fold".

200-400 blinds, I have about 13,000. Alfonse, Abu and the Monk limp through to my small blind. I have 4-6 clubs, not bad for a 200 call. I make it and the big blinds lets a flop come. There it is 8-6-4, but 2 spades. I need this hand to end on the flop, and I am pretty damn sure Alfonse will bet out this flop, so a check raise is in order. Checks to Alfonse, who bets out 1,500 just as requested. Abu folds. Then the Monk makes it 4,500. Oh crap that's not in the plan. I know the Monk knows Alfonse could have jack shit here, so he doesn't need much of hand. I have two pair, it's got to be good? Maybe. But there are two spades out there and two players (albeit one a hyper aggressive mofo who will play any 2). Do I really want to get involved in this hand? It hurts, but I lay down bottom two. Alfonse makes some noise about having an 8 before finally folding. The Monk flips over 8-6 and I feel great.

Hand 3: "the Call 2"

200-400 blinds. 4 Limpers to the Monk, who with 7,000 makes it 1,200 to go on the button. He either has a monster or nothing much. I, in the small blind, look down and see fishhooks. Crap, hardest hand in poker to play, big pot and out of position. Raise? I'm not sure. Fold? I can't stomach it. Call? Not usually my style, but it seems the best option under the circumstances. We're heads up.

Flop come T-7-3 rainbow, a very good flop for JJ but of course no good against a bigger pair. I check (aguably a mistake) and the Monk makes it 2000 to go. I go into the tank--I am either way behind or way ahead. If I have the best hand, I want the most chips in the pot, if I'm way behind, I want out of there. I'm just not sure.

If I raise, he'll call me with only hands that kill me and fold those that I want to play against.

On the other hand, if I call and check, I'll be seeing the other 4,000 in the pot. So if I decide I'm not going to lay this down, call-checking is the option.

I make it so with a deuce turn. He pushes and at this point I've already decide to call. He had an up and down straight draw and my jacks held up. Now I've got more chips.

Hand 4: "the Check Raise"

300-600 blinds. Folded to Alfonse in middle position, who makes it 1,800 to go. Abu thinks for awhile, and smooth calls. Fold to me in the big blind and I have 45 clubs. Alfonse makes many comments about how I like to "wait for aces" (hard to believe), but I have 20k+ and figure it's a good spec hand against animals. I call. Flop comes 854, two hearts. Very similar to hand above but the players are different. I decide to try it again and Aflonse like clockwork opens with 3,000. Abu calls again. Ok, I am 98% sure I have to best hand here--Abu loves to check raise himself, but he'd never not raise there, and Alfonse, well, he'd do that with a lot of hands and if he has a set, oh well. I'm not getting counterfeited for cheap here though so I push. Alfonse without much protest folds (later claiming QJ) and Abu folds, flipping over AK suited and bitches about being sucked out on. Yes, this dude actually whined after playing that hand that way. Alfonse jumped on him, telling him he was an ass for not raising--pointing out there was no way I was in there if he did (he's very right). It was great to see these two snipe at each other, both going on tilt, as I sat back and stacked my chips.

A few hands later, we busted another player and consolidated to the final table. I had direct position on Abu, with Alfonse short stacked 3 to my left, sandwiched by big stacks. I had rough parity with 3 others, a bit behind one guy with a bigger stack and well ahead of 6 short and very short stacks. Alfonse went out 9th and Abu 6th, both with the worst of it when the chips went in. We played for several more hours--I think I avoided any blunder, stole the amount I could get away with, saw some atrocious suckouts that prolonged the game quite a bit as eliminations were hard. When we got down to 4 (top 3 paid originally), we carved out a tiny 4th place, such that 3rd and 4th paid crap, 2nd paid decently and 1st paid handsomely. I had the 2nd biggest stack and the two little ones hung on for quite awhile until one busted out. I had a scary moment later when the big stack called my all-in post flop raise with JJ on a T high board--he had a T and turned a flush draw for 14 outs on the river--but I doubled up. We finally busted the 3rd stack and were heads up with he having a 4-1 lead. 1st paid 3800 and 2nd 1500, and I refused his offer of 1800. First hand we were all-in preflop, my KJ versus his 88 and the snowmen held up. Oh well.

Except for maybe that last hand (and I very much had odds when the chips went in), I was extremely happy with the way I played. In this tourney, over 5 1/2 hours, I never once had a starting hand better than JJ. But I made the best of it, with a few well timed bluffs, some manipulation of very aggressive players, and most of all a few very good (IMHO) situation-based reads leading to tough but lucrative calls.

That's a good tourney for me no doubt.

Now off to the islands.

3 Comments:

At Mon Jan 09, 04:23:00 PM 2006, Blogger Kid Dynamite said...

on "The call": well read... similarly on "the fold"

the call 2: i hate the way you played this. why give him a free chance to make his hand on the river? once you check the turn, you have to check-raise all-in. your hand is likely vulnerable.

i personally would either CR the flop or bet the flop... then i'd bet the turn.. but never check-call, check-call...

congrats though.

 
At Sun Jan 15, 01:02:00 PM 2006, Blogger Veneno said...

You are so right about Weak! It has been a long time since a post. And nothing for 2006. If he keeps this up, I might have to have you replace him on Veneno's top 10...lol

Enjoy your trip! And your new banner is awaiting your return.

 
At Thu Jan 19, 03:07:00 AM 2006, Blogger Veneno said...

What a fabulous looking banner!!

 

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