Monday, October 29, 2007

Frustration sets in

I played quite a bit over the past several days. I have been trying to win a $26 token on FullTilt to get me into either the Mookie or Mondays at the Hoy. Out of four tries, one $6 + 0.50 token frenzy and three $8 + 0.70 2-table SNGs, I have exactly zero tokens to show for my efforts. I know of at least one completely moronic play that cost me dearly in one of the SNGs (pushing with 99 to a reraise on a K-high flop), and another play that was almost as bad (calling a BB reraise preflop with A8 in the SB; he had 77). If I had played well and just not caught the cards I needed, it wouldn't be as frustrating, but knowing that I blew it all by myself makes it a bit harder to take.

I did play in the Riverchasers game last Thursday, though, and actually made it to the money! For my $10 + 1 investment, I finished in 18th place out of 104 and took home a whopping $10.40. Hey, at least I got almost my whole buy-in back. Who comes up with these payout amounts, anyway?

Now that I have run through almost 1/3 of my recent bankroll boost, it is time to go back to the micro SNGs and try to score some cashes there to build my roll back up. I still may play in the Riverchasers since the buy-in is only $10 + 1 and I was able to add another deposit through a swap. But I have decided that I don't want to buy my way into the $24 + 2 tourneys; it will eat up my stake too fast. I'm sure that I can score some tokens with smarter play, so I will be trying those again, hopefully before too long. I would like to score some more points in the Battle of the Bloggers series, even if my chances of winning the Aussie Millions prize are about as good as getting dealt a royal flush in my first five cards ten hands in a row.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Starting up again at FullTilt

With the help of a friend, I got some money into FullTilt. I didn't deposit a lot; just enough to let me play some low buy-in tourneys including some token tourneys or SNGs in hopes of winning a token or two that I would use to enter some of the blogger tourneys.

So far, I'm not making much progress. Since making my deposit, I have entered two $2 + 0.25 two-table SNGs, and one $6 + 0.50 token frenzy. I finished 8th and 6th in the SNGs and 95th out of 189 in the token frenzy. I feel like my play was not bad in these tourneys, but the cards weren't running in my favor much. In the SNG tonight, I sucked out once and avoided a suckout on another hand to stay alive as long as I did.

I am going to continue to play the small stakes games to work on building up my bankroll and trying again in the token tourneys. I may play in one of the $10 + 1 blogger games, but that will put a dent in my roll if I don't cash, and I don't want to run through this deposit too fast. I am playing my usual tight game, being selectively aggressive where it counts. It is possible that I am playing a bit scared, but I'd rather tighten up a little extra than take crazy risks in hopes of scoring big.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Give and Take

Some of my poker adventures of recent note:

I played in an APL tourney last week for the first time in a while; finished fifth. Mostly played tight while everyone else donked it up. On my last hand, I had Q7o in the BB, blinds were 2,000/4,000 and I had 8,000 left after posting my blind. UTG calls, the other players fold, I check. Flop comes Q - A - x. Although I didn't like the A, I knew I had to push with my pair of queens. Of course the villain had an Ace, and I didn't improve. C'est la poker.

World Blogger Championship of Online Poker (WBCOOP) on PokerStars - I was one of the 1,337 entrants in this tourney, and I had a good time playing. I got a lot of good starting hands early, but they didn't always get me many chips. I had AK several times, including one of the weirdest hands I have ever played:

Blinds are 50/100. I have 8,275 of my original 10,000 chips. UTG, I pick up Ah Ks and raise it to 400. Next 3 players fold. NeillyAA, with 6,275 chips, calls me, everyone else folds.

Flop: Kd 9d Qh. With TPTK, I bet 700, NeillyAA raises 950. Could he have JT for the made straight? Not out of the question, but I don't want to throw away top pair on that unlikely possibility. He could have two pair or a set, so I could easily have been behind at this point. So what do I do? I call. Perhaps not the smartest play I could have made if I had thought it through. In hindsight, I probably should have bet the pot instead of 700, because of the straight and flush draws on that flop. But that might not have prevented the raise anyway.

Turn: Kc. I bet 1300 on my trips, NeillyAA shoves with his last 4225 chips. I have him covered, and I just don't feel like I am beat here although there were lots of ways I could have been, such as if he had 99 or QQ or the aforementioned JT. So, not giving him credit for his possible winning hands, I call.

He turns up 6s 4s. I haven't seen a bluff more stone cold than that. The river is the 2h and I take the pot of 12,700.

Considering that I wasn't showing any signs of giving up my hand, I can't figure out why he would think that he could bluff me out on the turn. The next best explanation I can come up with is that he wanted to get out of the game and go do something else.

I went on to finish 383rd in the tourney. Not even close to my 26th place finish last year, and nowhere near the prizes, but I enjoyed playing, and railbirding some of my fellow bloggers who were in. Surflexus and BadBlood both made it deep and won 160 GB iPods, which is quite an upgrade from the 4 GB one that I won last year. Congrats to them both!

I also entered the Monkey Tourney last night. Out of 11 runners, I finished all the way up in 7th place. I did OK most of the way, managing to build up my stack and make a few decent plays. The fateful hand went something like this:

Seven players, blinds 75/150. I have 2235 before I post the SB. I wake up with Ah Kh. It's folded to me, and I raise to 450. Surflexus, with 3037, calls in the BB.

Flop: 2c Qh Th. I have the royal flush draw, which looks mighty pretty, but nothing else yet. Worth a bet, though, eh? I put out 550; surf raises to 1100. Even if he has paired one of the board cards, any A, K, J or heart could be an out for me, so I call.

Turn: Ad. Now I have top pair, top kicker, plus my draws. I only have 685 left, so I push, and surf instacalls. He shows Ks Js for the turned straight. Turns out the Aces weren't outs for me after all. A Jack would split the pot, a heart would win it for me.

River: Qc. None of my outs comes through, and I bust. A bit of a stunner, but I've had much worse beats laid on me. I'm not sure how I could have played it any differently; I was probably doomed from the start of the hand, unless I raise even more preflop and surf folds then.

I'm considering having a friend help me add some money at FullTilt, so I can play in some of the blogger games there. Except for the Monkey Tourney, all of the blogger tourneys seem to be on FT, and I don't get to hang out with everyone since I don't have enough on FT for the buy-ins. Plus the Battle of the Bloggers Tournament 2 is starting up over there, which should make the various tourneys that count towards it even more fun. See AlCan'tHang's blog for more info on the BBT2.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Just call me the "new" Luckbox

Last night in the Monkey Tourney on PokerStars, I had more suckouts than I have ever seen in one session of online poker. It was incredible what the PokerStars RNG was dealing me, and I rode the streak of luck to second place, my best finish ever in a Monkey Tourney or WWdN tourney.

A couple of examples:

PokerStars Game #12403376911: Tournament #62929419, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level II (15/30) - 2007/10/02 - 20:48:02 (ET)
Table '62929419 2' 9-max Seat #6 is the button
Seat 1: 65 pony boy (1040 in chips)
Seat 2: ISS Spock (3300 in chips)
Seat 3: yestbay1 (1335 in chips)
Seat 4: FishyMcDonK (2795 in chips)
Seat 5: ricoM (1940 in chips)
Seat 6: tree4twenty (2035 in chips)
Seat 7: JOHN-E-FLUSH (3120 in chips)
Seat 8: ringo6624 (1335 in chips)
Seat 9: 32midnight (1100 in chips)
JOHN-E-FLUSH: posts small blind 15
ringo6624: posts big blind 30
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to yestbay1 [Kh Qs]
32midnight: folds
65 pony boy: folds
ISS Spock: calls 30
yestbay1: raises 90 to 120
FishyMcDonK: folds
ricoM: raises 90 to 210
tree4twenty: folds
ringo6624: folds
ISS Spock: folds
yestbay1: calls 90
*** FLOP *** [Ks 3h Td]
yestbay1: bets 360 (gotta bet TP here, right?)
ricoM: raises 360 to 720 (should have smelled a rat here)
yestbay1: raises 360 to 1080 (in case he is trying to push me off the hand)
ricoM: raises 360 to 1440 (well, I'm committed now)
yestbay1: calls 45 and is all-in
*** TURN *** [Ks 3h Td] [2s]
*** RIVER *** [Ks 3h Td 2s] [Qd]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
yestbay1: shows [Kh Qs] (two pair, Kings and Queens)
ricoM: shows [As Ac] (a pair of Aces)
yestbay1 collected 2745 from pot
ricoM said, "nh"

I didn't stop to think that ricoM might have Aces there; a recurring fault of mine, not putting my opponent on a hand based on their betting patterns. I should have considered folding to his reraise, or just calling, or at least I should have given it a lot more thought than I did. Instead, it took a river suckout to keep me alive.

Next, another questionable call by me:

PokerStars Game #12404271698: Tournament #62929419, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level V (75/150) - 2007/10/02 - 21:36:22 (ET)
Table '62929419 2' 9-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: 65 pony boy (2505 in chips)
Seat 2: ISS Spock (1250 in chips)
Seat 3: yestbay1 (2327 in chips)
Seat 4: FishyMcDonK (4135 in chips)
Seat 5: ricoM (4643 in chips)
Seat 6: tree4twenty (3140 in chips)
ISS Spock: posts small blind 75
yestbay1: posts big blind 150
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to yestbay1 [Ah Jd]
FishyMcDonK: folds
ricoM: folds
tree4twenty: folds
65 pony boy: folds
ISS Spock: raises 250 to 400
yestbay1: calls 250 (hoping to hit the flop)
*** FLOP *** [Jc Kh 2s] (second pair, not bad but there's an overcard, watch out!)
ISS Spock: bets 850 and is all-in
(I have him covered, but if he has a K, I'm hurting. So what do I do?)
yestbay1: calls 850
*** TURN *** [Jc Kh 2s] [5s]
*** RIVER *** [Jc Kh 2s 5s] [Jh]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
ISS Spock: shows [Qd Qc] (two pair, Queens and Jacks)
yestbay1: shows [Ah Jd] (three of a kind, Jacks)
yestbay1 said, "oh man"
yestbay1 collected 2500 from pot
ISS Spock [observer] said, "..."

Once again, I can't get away from a second-best hand, which lucks into a winner on the river.

On this one, I think my play was good, but I still had to catch perfect to take the hand, and, well.....

PokerStars Game #12404606266: Tournament #62929419, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level VI (100/200) - 2007/10/02 - 21:54:08 (ET)
Table '62929419 2' 9-max Seat #3 is the button
Seat 1: 65 pony boy (11096 in chips)
Seat 3: yestbay1 (6904 in chips)
yestbay1: posts small blind 100
65 pony boy: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to yestbay1 [Ks 5s]
yestbay1: raises 400 to 600
65 pony boy: raises 400 to 1000
yestbay1: calls 400
*** FLOP *** [Kh Ts 5h] (hot damn, two pair, heads up, I'm gold)
65 pony boy: checks
yestbay1: bets 1200 (don't overdo it, hope for the call)
65 pony boy: raises 2200 to 3400 (he probably has a K with a good kicker)
yestbay1: raises 2504 to 5904 and is all-in
65 pony boy: calls 2504 (and shows Kc Tc, for top two vs. my top & bottom)
*** TURN *** [Kh Ts 5h] [5d] (Yahtzee!)
*** RIVER *** [Kh Ts 5h 5d] [Ad]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
65 pony boy: shows [Tc Kc] (two pair, Kings and Tens)
yestbay1: shows [Ks 5s] (a full house, Fives full of Kings)
65 pony boy said, "wow"
yestbay1 said, "good god"
yestbay1 collected 13808 from pot
65 pony boy said, "awesome"

My next chat comments were:
yestbay1 said, "this sucks"
yestbay1 said, "it means I'm using up all my luck in one night"

A few hands later, the tables were turned:

PokerStars Game #12404650696: Tournament #62929419, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level VI (100/200) - 2007/10/02 - 21:56:31 (ET)
Table '62929419 2' 9-max Seat #3 is the button
Seat 1: 65 pony boy (3992 in chips)
Seat 3: yestbay1 (14008 in chips)
yestbay1: posts small blind 100
65 pony boy: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to yestbay1 [3c Kc]
yestbay1: raises 400 to 600
65 pony boy: calls 400
*** FLOP *** [3s 5d 2d]
65 pony boy: checks
yestbay1: bets 1200
65 pony boy: raises 2192 to 3392 and is all-in (he shows As 6s for the gutshot draw)
yestbay1: calls 2192
*** TURN *** [3s 5d 2d] [2c]
*** RIVER *** [3s 5d 2d 2c] [Ah] (the river hits my opponent for a change)
*** SHOW DOWN ***
65 pony boy: shows [6s As] (two pair, Aces and Deuces)
yestbay1: shows [3c Kc] (two pair, Threes and Deuces)
65 pony boy collected 7984 from pot
yestbay1 said, "that's better"

We traded chips for a while, then I fell into a couple of traps and called off most of my chips to his big hands. Eventually I pushed with 6d 7d but 65 pony boy had a pair of 8s, and the 6 on the flop wasn't enough to save me.

Although I'm not sorry to finish as high as I did, I am not particularly pleased with how I played a lot of these hands. I have to do better because the cards are not going to fall my way as often as they did in this tourney.

I will, however, take my luckbox hands when I get them. I wouldn't mind having a few in the Blogger tournament mentioned in my last post. I managed to win an iPod in the 2006 Blogger tourney; can I match or beat that this year? Come play in this year's game and see how far you can go! Or cheer me on, if you are so inclined. I hope to see you there.

2007 PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker

Poker Tournament

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 1872371