Thursday, February 28, 2008

Battle of the Blogger Tournaments 3

Although I don't know how many BBT3 events I will get to play in, I want to pimp this series as a tip of the hat to Sir Al Can't Hang, who has worked his cheeks off to set these things up. I hope to score some wins soon on FullTilt so I will have the necessary bankroll to play often enough to qualify for the ridiculously fabulous prizes being offered. Check out either of the links above for more info on this fantastic opportunity.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Riding the Bodonkey roller coaster, all the way to the end

I think the wild ride started when I folded AA preflop.

In the Bodonkey last night, things went slowly for me early on. Not many hands worth playing, not many pots won when I had something. I stayed tight and didn't try to make any tricky or fancy plays. "Keep it simple" was my motto, and I stuck to it.

My stack dwindled down but I hung in. When we were down to about three tables, I picked up AA in late position. One player raised to 1,550, it folded to me, I min-raised to 2,500, hoping for a reraise all-in so I could call. On cue, the raiser pushed. I reached for my mouse to click the "Call" button, but my finger clicked the left button as the cursor was crossing the "Fold" button, and my bullets vanished. I nearly jumped out of my chair. I couldn't believe that I had screwed up my chance at what might have been an easy double up. Lucky for me, I still had a barely decent stack of chips left, but I was sure that my doom was sealed. I have been telling myself ever since that the Aces probably would have been cracked.

Then again, maybe not. Not long after that hand, just about everything started going my way. I picked up some strong starting cards. I bet them, and either picked up the blinds or won the hands on later streets. If someone pushed, I had a strong enough hand to call, and it held up. I still played extra tight, folding hands like AJ and 88 when I was out of position or sensed strength in my opponents. It got to the point where, by the final table, I could do no wrong. Mostly, I got my chips in ahead and came out ahead. I remember one suckout where I got all my chips in with 99 against Columbo's A-x. He flopped an A, but I turned a 9 to cripple him. A few hands later, Columbo doubled through me when he came from behind on one hand. But my rush would hold out and I started knocking players out one after another.

The end of the final table went so fast that I was able to pull these from Bodog's hand histories without much trouble:
Columbo pushes with JK; I call with 66. A Jack flops, but the turn is a 6, and I bust him.
Three hands later:
Kurokitty pushes with 44. I call with 88 and bust him.
Next hand:
Newinnov pushes with 99; I call with TT and bust him.
Two hands later, blinds $1K/2K/200:
I raise to 3K from the SB with J4; TFG in the BB calls.
Flop: 3h 4c 5c
I bet $6K; TFG raises to 12K; I call.
Turn: 6c
I check. TFG pushes for 8,856. I have over 116K so I call. TFG shows Ad 2d for the flopped straight, which has become a 6-high straight on the turn.
River: 2s
We play the board and chop the pot. TFG goes on tilt.
Four hands later:
I have Ac Jc on the button and open raise to 9K.
TFG in the SB pushes for 20,356. Pokerpeaker folds. I have over 120K so I call. TFG shows Ah Th. Board comes Q-3-J-6-J rainbow and I bust him.
Very next hand, heads up:
Pokerpeaker in the SB/button pushes for his last 8,684. I have 4d 3c but I have $150K so I have to call. Peaker shows Kc 6d.
Board comes 3s 5s Ad 5c 9s. My pair of 3s busts him.

Come on, say it with me - sick, sick, sick.

Stop the presses - I won my first ever blogger tournament. My previous best finishes in any blogger tourney were one second place, and two third places. But I'm not fooling myself by thinking that I won last night by my mad skillz. The Card Fairy dumped a boatload of good luck dust on me, and I know it. Now I plan to use the bankroll boost and T$ to play a few extra games and practice so I can improve my play. I don't want to depend on the good graces of the poker gods every time I sit down at the felt. But if they choose to smile on me again like they did in this week's Bodonkey, I will take any favors they are willing to bestow on me.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Poker hara-kiri & break time

Last Tuesday in the Bodog Blogger Tournament, I performed the poker equivalent of throwing myself in front of a moving train, even though I saw it bearing down on me, and knew that the chances of it stopping without running me down were slim to none.

You see, I had been dealt KK in MP, raised 3XBB PF, got reraised by a LP player. The flop came with an Ace. I bet big for information and got raised. Gee, do you think he has an Ace in his hand? I called anyway. The turn was not a King, but I pushed. Of course he called, of course he had AQ, and of course I was out. 54th of 56. I would be hard pressed to think of a more foolish move to make.

I did not play poker for the rest of the week; I needed some breathing room after such utter donkery. I spent my spare time reading, watching a little TV, and hanging out with my family. I enjoyed it, and found that I didn't miss playing. But I wasn't giving up poker for Lent; just for a few days.

I broke my poker fast Sunday. I had (and still have now) the vestiges of a cold and wasn't feeling like running errands with my wife and son, so I stayed home and looked for a tournament to get into. I found a 180-player $4.40 SNG on PokerStars. Busted out in 83rd place after a long stretch of getting few hands to play and having to fold the ones worth playing. Then I decided to look at the guaranteed tourneys on Bodog because they so often have big overlays. I found a $4k guarantee with a $30 + 3 buy-in that only had about 40 people signed up. Normally I wouldn't play at that level, but with the $T that I had won in earlier Bodog Blogger games, I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to get into a tourney that could really pad my account if I could cash in it. By the time the tourney started, the guarantee had been exceeded, so there was no overlay. But, what the hell, I thought, might as well see how the mid-level play is. I didn't find it to be much different from what I am used to in the blogger games. I did OK for a while, and lucked out a few times to stay alive. I eventually finished 46th out of 140 runners. I know I could have played better on a few hands and possibly gone deeper, but I wasn't altogether unsatisfied with the decisions I made overall.

Once I busted out of the $4K, I felt like playing one more, so I jumped into a single table $2.20 SNG on Bodog. I very rarely play one-table SNGs because the payouts are negligible, especially at the micro-stakes where I play. But I figured it wouldn't take too long and I could scratch my poker itch one last time for the day. I ended up taking that one down for a $6 win (= a whopping $3.80 profit). I had to suck out a couple of times while on the short stack, but once again I felt like most of my decisions were good, or at least reasonable.

So far in 2008, I am roughly at the break-even point, bankroll-wise. I still have a nice cushion in $T on Bodog, so I can play the Tuesday night blogger tourneys for several more weeks without touching my cash there. I may not be able to make it regularly on Tuesdays, though, if I get cast in the play that I auditioned for Sunday evening. We'll see how that cuts into my poker playing time, if at all. If I am out of the Tuesday night games for a few weeks, I may have to seek out some of those other Bodog tourneys and maybe catch one where the overlay is in effect when the game starts.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series begins February 4

The official announcement is out, and Bodog is pumping up their Tuesday night poker blogger tournament series. Here is the scoop, straight from the Bodog's mouth:

Bodog Introduces Poker Blogger Tournament Series

Bodog is proud to host the Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series opened to any Online Poker Blogger. Join up and challenge other Poker Bloggers each week in our Bodog Poker Room and live to tell about it. Earn points and work your way up the Tournament Leader Board for a spot in the final tournament for your chance to win a $12,000 World Series of Poker* prize package and be a part of Team Bodog 2008.

How it Works
The Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series is composed of a series of 18 qualifying tournaments that run weekly beginning Tuesday, February 5th, 2008 to Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008. The top 30% of finishers in each qualifying tournament will earn points based on their finish. These points will be used to rank players over 4 months of qualifying. At the end of the qualifying series, the top 18 players on the Tournament Leader Board will play in the Final Tournament on Tuesday, June 10th, 2008 with the first place finisher winning a $12,000 WSOP* prize package!

Weekly Tournaments
Buy-in: $10 + $1
Prize Pool will be distributed as per Bodog's standard multi-table payout table. In addition, the top 5 players each week will also win T$109 to be used to buy-in to the $100,000 Guaranteed Tournament held every Sunday at 4:00 PM ET. The top 5 bubble players each week will win a free buy-in to next week's Weekly Tournament. (T$11 will be credited to these players' Bodog account within 24 hours after the completion of the tournament)

Final Tournament
Buy-in: $0 + $0 (must finish in the Top 18 on the TLB to be invited)
Grand Prize: $12,000 WSOP* Prize Package with Team Bodog
2nd place: T$540 to be used to buy-in to (2) World Series or Players Choice Semifinal
3rd place: T$379 to be used to buy-in to (1) World Series or Players Choice Semifinal and (1) $100,000 Guaranteed Tournament
4th: T$270 to be used to buy-in to (1) World Series or Players Choice Semifinal
5th: T$109 to be used to buy-in to (1) $100,000 Guaranteed Tournament

Bodog Blogger Tournament Leader Board
The Tournament Leader Board will be available at
throughout the course of the Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series. It will provide the point totals for every player that has played in the qualifying tournaments. The top 30% of players in each tournament will receive points according to finish which at the end of the qualifying tournaments will ultimately determine who will move on to the Final Event. The top 18 players on the TLB at the end of the qualifiers will earn their way to the Final Event.

How To Register
To register for the Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series, poker bloggers must first go to and sign in with their Bodog account information in the upper right hand corner. Once this is completed, they then must click on "REGISTER NOW" to register themselves into the tournament series. Bloggers will each have to do this once in order to play in the series. Once this is done, they then need to find the "Online Poker Blogger Tournament" in the software and register as they normally would each and every week.

Bodog Blogger Tournament Host Site will host this tournament series and will provide poker bloggers with weekly updates on:

* tournament results for winners and losers
* announcements for special promotions or guest players
* the latest in Bodog Poker Room news and gossip
* tips on how to succeed at Bodog Poker

Follow any of the links above to get more info. Props must again go out to $mokkee for hosting the Tuesday night games and working with the Bodog folks to sponsor this weekly tournament and now up the ante to make it even more attractive for bloggers to enter.

See you there!