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Archive for the ‘Poker’ Category

Anyone that’s played poker for any period of time knows just how different tournament play and cash-game play are.  I’m fortunate enough to ‘think’ that I’m a decent tournament player and above average cash game player.  Many players I know either prefer one over the other or quite simply won’t play one or the other.  So, after busting out of the NL$2000 on Thursday, I took the afternoon off to unwind and then dove into the sea of cash games.

Quite simply from the moment I sat down after the tourney, the cards started coming, almost instantly.  The hands I had great hands, I got paid off….the hands I was bluffing, I was never called.  Great combination.  A couple of my favorite hands follow:

Hand 1 – (9,6) I’m on the big blind and four limpers total for $20 in the pot.  I have 9,6 offsuit.  Flop 9,6,2 rainbow.  I lead out with a $20 bet and am min-raised to $40, then a guy that was somewhat tight, but who’d run his $1200 down to $316 after Jim and I pummeled him left and right went all-in.  Ugh…I have top two and this guy overbets a $80 pot.  Set of 2’s???  And what does she have?  If she had a set, would she just min-raise?  Maybe he has 8,7?  Fortunately I was up on the session and didn’t mind ‘gambling’ with top two.  The moment I threw in three bills, The conservative woman who’d min-raised me says ‘all-in’.  What?  Now I’m certain she’s got a set…someone’s got to.  I sighed….but it was only $180 more for me to call into the now  nearly $1,000 pot.  I call and the first guy mucks (likely K9, A,9, 8,7), she turns over QQ for an unraised pre-flop mistake, and drag the $1,300 pot.

Hand 2 – (KK) Jim raises to $20 and there are three other callers.  I’m in the small blind and see two  kings.  I almost never ever limp here although occasionally I will to switch it up so as not to define my hand.  Lots of times if you raise, people will put you on JJ, 1010, QQ, AK, 99, 88.  I don’t want to play a big pot with Jim out of position as he’s a solid post-flop player.  The pot was plenty large at $82 already.  I raised it to $95, a $75 raise.  Jim, with three other players to act goes all-in.  Other three fold and it’s ‘only’ $490 for me to call with KK.  I’m thinking of the range of hands he could put me on, but also the ones I could put him on…QQ, AA, AK, or the other albeit unlikely KK.  I don’t think he would make the move with any other hands, but never know.  He could be thinking I have AQ, or any of the hands noted above.  After the fact, I think he thought I had AQ.  I folded face up and he kind of looks at me, but shows one Ace.  Next day he says he had AK.  Even if he did have AK, I’d have lost that hand 12-15% of the time.  I was running good and the last thing I needed was a guy from my own home game kiting 500 from me.  I’ll leave that for our Friday night game.

Cash games recap on the trip – plus $1,700.

Two Clauds from NY, donkey 1 and donkey 2! 

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Last Bicycle ride

Had an old bud in town, Alec, this weekend and he and I hit the Bike on Thursday evening.  They were having a NL120 event which had ‘only’ 615 participants.  Busted out after six rounds and no cards.  I made one big laydown but even in hindsite I’m thinking maybe the right one.

Starting chips, 2000 and 30 minute rounds.  Blinds were 50-100 and I have about 2,200 in chips and this was the last hand of the round before the break and next round of 100-200.  I raise to 300 in late position with KQ suited and called by the button and BB.  1000 in the pot and a flop of J,10,3 two diamonds.  I bet out 500 and the button goes all in.  I’m left with a decision for my tournament life…a draw.  He could be on a diamond draw, could be AJ,… Either way, I’m likely behind.  I opted to lay it down after a minute of debate.  He later said he had AJ, which means I had probably 12 outs (three Kings, three Queens, three Nines, and three Aces) so I was likely just a slight dog on the flop.  I figured I could still work with 1400 in chips even in a 100-200 round.

I built my 1400 up to 2,600 and when it was raised to 800 buy the guy ahead of me, I pushed with my JJ.  He had AQ and flopped two queens,turned an ace and I was done.  Get your money in with the best hand.

Alec didn’t fare as well busting a round earlier.  The good news is that it was only a $120 tourney.  I made over $400 in the cash game so it was a positive evening.

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NL2000+100….really? Kind of.

Tooling around the last few weeks ready to head back east, been logging some hours on Pokerstars while working.  Recruiting can be a tedious business, with a lot of research and downtime.  Nothing wrong with having some small tourneys going on while working right?  I mean, c’mon, others may find porn their cup of tea, or online shopping, or IM’ing, or checking stocks, or sports…of which I at times do the latter two….so now and then I dabble into small tourneys.

Well I find myself in an interesting predicament.  I’ve been playing the Steps, which is a series of progressive tournaments.  You play a one table sit and go for $7.  If you finish in the top two, you play Step 2, which is a $27 sit and go.  Finish in the top two of that and move to Step 3.  Step 3, is an $82 tourney…finish in the top two of that, move to Step 4, a $200 sit and go.  Finish in the top two there and move to a $650 Step 5.  Finally, finish in the top two of that, and move to Step 6 – a NL$2000+100.  First place at this final sit and go is $10,000 seat to the 2008 WSOP plus $2,500 in spending dough. 

Well, I unexpectantly made it to Step 6 and will likely play that level this coming weekend.  Kind of nerve-racking, but I’ll play it like any other sit and go.  6th place makes $500, 5th and 4th $1,000, 3rd $1,500 and 2nd $2,000.  Obviously big drop off from $12,500 from 1st to 2nd (over $10,000), but the kicker of it all………………………………

…………..if I win….I cannot play in the Main Event. Stockfield #2 is due in July.  Woops.  Root me on and buy my seat!  LoL.  Wish me luck.  Results after I play….whenever that is.

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Vegas is only about two months away.  Here’s my itinerary should anyone want to catch the same flights:
                                

Wed 11JUN DELTA 39       LV ATLANTA       520P     12C////AR LAS VEGAS     640P       
Mon 16JUN DELTA 1058  LV LAS VEGAS     330P     19D////AR ATLANTA       1030P     

Staying at the Rio and have room.

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After a 4th place finish on Thursday night, I played in the noon NL$340 tourney.  10,000 in chips, 25-50 blinds, 30 minute rounds.  Hand one, I’m in the big blind, looking down at 8-8 and called someone’s 150 chip bet.  Flop 8,3,2 two clubs.  I bet out 200 and one caller (ie. flush draw).  Turn, J of clubs, shucks.  I check, he checks.  Hm.  River, ‘3’, bingo.  I bet out 400, he raises to 1600….I re-raise to 5,000 and he goes all in.  I actually hesitate a split second (JJ?), but call and he turns over his A5 clubs.  Nice to double up hand one.

I pick up QQ shortly there after and raise and am raised by the guy on the button.  I call and flop is 10 high with three hearts (I have the Q of hearts).  I check, and he bets a good amount.  I call.  I check the turn (low non-heart card), and he goes all in.  I actually fold face-up and ask him if he has AA with the Ace of hearts…and sure enough he turns it up.

I get my JJ beat by QQ and down starts the spiral until a 5th round exit.  Ugh.  Here’s hoping one of the tourneys I play in this week fares a little better.

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NL$180 @ Borgata

Borgata?  Yes, I’m in Atlantic City this weekend for my annual baseball fantasy league draft which takes place tomorrow (Saturday) evening.  I arrived in town yesterday morning on a redeye and wound up doing some work and then catching up on some sleep.  Played in the 7pm daily NL$180 tourney.  87 players, 10K in chips,25-50 blinds, and 20 minute rounds.  Played pretty solid, but got very unlucky early on, in order losing AA, KK, QQ and JJ and I still had chips (over 6K) after this debacle.

I lost AA when JJ short stack flopped a set of Jacks…I lost QQ when I flopped top set and the board ended up with four diamonds on it, thank goodness for runner runner flushes; I lost KK when and Ace flopped on the board and the guy with A5 suited made a nice read on me for all his chips, lol; and I lost JJ when a short stack reraised all in after my pre-flop raise with AA.  I finally and thankfully moved tables and my very second hand of KK and all in by me got called by 10,10 AND 55.  Flop K,5,J….  I was now in good shape.

From there I played good solid poker, picking up blinds, antes and bullying short stacks without risking too much.  Down to 11 (they pay top 9) I’m actually chip leader and pick up KJ off under the gun.  I min raise and the two short stacks push in.   It’s a nominal amount for me to call and I’m up against KK and AK.  Woops!  Flop brings a Jack and the turn and river, no Jack….but….someone says ‘FLUSH’ and I realize there’s four hearts out there and I have the fifth.  Woohoo.  Now I’m a huge chip leader 270,00 with 870,000 in play, down to nine.  I proposed a deal, based on percentage of chips but two guys weren’t interested. 

We quickly lost 9th, 8th and 7th places as I picked up no cards.  Then I raised late position with Q,10 hearts.  Two callers.  Flop AQ8 only one heart.  Two checks and I bet only to be check-raised.  I folded and now was a commoner with about 150K.  No cards, no cards, no cards down to four people.  A10 raises under the gun and me on the button with A9 pushes (blinds were a crazy 10-20K).  I flopped a four-flush but no help and I bust in 4th place, still good for $1,178.  They played out the whole way, no chops, the sickos. 

At least I got off my tournament shnide.  I think I’m a more respectable 2 of 8 now for 25% cashing.   Gotta go…NL$340 starts in 30 minutes!

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Poker – not much to write home about there regarding Saturday afternoon’s NL335.  No cards in the first two rounds and I pick up 99 in mid position.  We’re just n the 25-50 round and I have 1,400 chips (out of 2K).  Raise UTG to 150, two callers then me.  I should have pushed but I didn’t, I called.  Two other callers, so ‘only’ six to the flop with about 900 in the pot.  Flop – 7,3,2 rainbow.  Three checks then a 400 bet by Mr. Tight on my right.  My gut’s telling me someone’s flopped a set, but c’mon…how often do we listen to our guts (just me when I’m hungry).  I shove my stack in and he calls and flips over 3,3.  Sooo….  Like a ball player in a slump 1-7 now for .143 batting average, I need to find a way to ‘right the ship’.  Another one of those tourneys I wasn’t into.

The good news is that I won back my tourney entry plus a bennie in the cash games thanks to a couple of donks.  I limp in with those same 9s.  Woman on my left (whom I’d knocked out of a tourey back in November and she opted to wait around giving me the evil eye awaiting my demise stating she couldn’t wait for me to bust – I finished 4th in that tourney) raises to $20.  Five callers!  $100 in the pot and a beauty of a flop of K,9,4 two hearts.  A couple of checks and I bet out $40, she raises to $100 (sweet).  Woman on my right goes in the tank and she is really thinking but eventually folds (later stating she had 4,4 – bullshit).  Anyway, I smooth call.  Turn a relativly innocent 10 (QJ would make the nuts).  I check, she bets $100 and I raise to $300.  She puts her remaining $300 in on just KQ!  River nada, yay for me!  Went card dead after than and blinded my way down to a $100 win on the night actually getting home by midnight!

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Sunday brought a windy day in So Cal but a baseball game and non- pitcher’s duel.  We rallied for six in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie 19-19 before the game was called.  I had a decent day 2-3, RBI, 3 runs and 2 BBs bringing my season stats to a robust .571 average and .700 OBA.  Ah, bless poor pitching (I wasn’t on the hill for those ready to chime in!).

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