The post title refers to the Amateur Poker League Monthly Venue Championship that I played in two days ago. Each month, every venue has a monthly tournament for the top finishers in the previous month's games. By placing third in two games in March, I qualified for Tuesday night's tourney. I started out slow, getting very few hands worth playing and staying tight for the first couple of levels. Actually, I played tight just about the whole night, and caught some cards a few times just when I needed them to build my stack.
I can't say that I made any brilliant plays or smart laydowns or anything like that. I just stayed with a conservative strategy and bet my good hands hard. By the end of the night, I had won the tournament. It's only the second time I have finished in first place in an APL tourney; the other was last January when I won a trip to Las Vegas. The win this week qualifies me for the Semi-Annual Regional Championship tourney which will be played in August, at a date and location to be announced later. I only hope that they don't schedule it for the time when I am in Vegas for the Trek convention. The top eight finishers at the SARC go on to the National Championship tourney, which will be played next April. The winner of the National Championship gets a package to a major WSOP or WPT event. The 2007 Nationals will be played not far from here, at Sneaky Pete's in Lewisville TX, on April 28. I'm tempted to go out there to check it out, partly to see what happens and partly to try to enter the side game tourney, which has $100 cash prizes for first and second place.
I played in the WWdN Second Chance game when I got home Tuesday night, I guess because I felt like I was on a roll. The game was PLO 8, and I didn't get a premium starting hand at all. I folded my way to the final table but busted out soon after I got there, finishing ninth out of 34. Other than that, not much online poker for me this week. I did play in a 20-table SNG on PokerStars on Sunday, and made it to 21st place. I should have lasted longer but made a very stupid play to cripple myself. In the small blind, it's folded to me with J8o. I raise 3X BB to try to get the BB to fold. He calls. Flop is 8-6-6. With top pair, I bet about 2/3 the pot; BB raises me 2X my bet. I think to myself, "He has a 6 and I'm way behind." But what do I do? I push all-in, and he instacalls, showing 64o. I typed in the chat box, "great call with 64" and he says, "You forced me to because you kept trying to steal my blind," (which was true, I had raised him a couple of times from the SB earlier). Still, I don't consider 64o a blind worth defending to a 3X BB raise and would have folded it in a heartbeat in that position. Oh well, whose donkey move was worse, his call or my push when I "knew" I was beat? Hopefully I will know better next time.