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.

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