Sunday, September 12, 2004

Atlantic City Trip Report 9/12/04

Feel free to read it and comment. I do this mostly for my own benefit, so humor me.

We drove to Atlantic City yesterday so I could shoot for a few satellites into the $1000 event at Borgata. We arrived at 7:30 and I jumped right into a single table satellite. I pegged all of the players correctly and was owning he table. One player kept going all in and showing 33, 44, etc. I finally called him with 99 and busted his 67s. I also raised UTG 5 handed with QJo. The BB moved in on me and I had to call. She had AJ but I pulled a miracle Q on the river to... AMMBO HER! Poor lady had one chip left! At this point I was the big stack, with only one other stack that threatened me. We were 4 handed. One of the short stacks moved all in blind from the button and I called with A9o. He hit a 2 on the river to beat me with... 72s. Ugh. A few hands later, the only other threatening stack moved all in from UTG 4 handed. He was an awful player who sucked out twice to stay alive, so I called with QQ and he showed A6o. Flop of A88 and I lose my chip lead. After that, I busted the other two short stacks and I was HU with the old guy with a slight disadvantage. He moved all in over my raise and I called with A4. His JJ held up and I was done with nothing to show. He told me later he would have let me take the seat for $500 cash. Ugh.

I played another satellite right after. Early on, I flopped a set of threes on a J73 rainbow board. A VERY loose and aggressive player bet $300 into a $200 pot. I raised him to $1000 and he folded. I hated that play afterward. It was a perfect slowplay opportunity and I messed it up. Next, I got KK UTG. I raised to $300 and a fairly loose player (from the first satellite) called me. Flop was A high and I check/folded, showing my KK. A few circuits later, with the blinds at 100/200, the same player raised UTG to 600. I moved in for $1100 total with AA. He called with KJo and turned two pair and I was done.

AA, KK, and QQ were no good in the single tables. The blind structures made it such a crapshoot that a lot of good hands were being cracked by desperate short stacks. I was not pleased with the structure or the level of play I saw.

I decided to buy directly into the $1000 tourny. This was a mistake. $1000 is too much of my offline bankroll, and I saw Paul Darden, Scott Fischman (who I swear was checking out my wife), John Myung, and Freddy Deeb (who actually hit on my wife... twice). I was outmatched.

My table was tough, with only one fish. Disaster struck on the first hand. I had AK in UTG+1. I raised the UTG limper to $200 and both the button and the limper called. Flop was J48 with two clubs. I bet $300 and both called. I then checked the turn and folded to a $500 bet from the button. 1/6th of my $3000 stack was gone on the first hand. I really hate AK. I blinded down for a few levels and then finally picked up QsQc UTG. I raised to $200 on a $50 BB. MP reraised me to $500. Hmmm... I called. Flop was all rags, two clubs. He bet $800. My instinct was to checkraise all in or fold. I thought for a long time and folded face up. He showed me the red queens. Gonna be a short day. I ground out a few small pots and lost a few until I was down to $1100 in chips. UTG raised to $400 on a $200 blind. I did not like the raise, it smelled. However, I had KK and moved in. He called with his AA and I was done. I lasted a little over two hours. I think the fact that I bought in over my bankroll affected my play and made me too passive. Ugh.

I then went to the Taj and ran over a single table satellite to win a $500 seat in an upcoming tourney. A few key hand was me flopping trip deuces (232) with Q2 in the BB. Three handed, I intentionally checked out of turn and then checked behind the BB. He bet the turn (Ah) and I moved in. He called, showing 92o! My kicker played and I took it. The very next hand My JJ ran into AA from the BB and I gave most of it back. The BB then passed the chips back up the chain when his 22 was counterfeited by a 33775 board, and the BB doubled with Q8. The short stack moved in and got called by the other player with A6s. He flopped the nut flush and it was over. We chopped the $1000 prize.

I learned a great deal on this trip:

1) Never play above your bankroll. The $1000 hurt me, not so much financially, but in how I played. I was too passive. When the money matters, so do the chips in front of you, and they shouldn't.

2) Don't get involved early. It is just bad business. I had no reads and no image on the first hand and it cost me.

3) Double check structures. The Borgata satellite structure had been accelerated to pack in as many as possible as fast as possible. The structures were godawful and I would not have played had I known that.

All in all, with this and my trip to turning stone, my bankroll is about even, maybe a little up. However, $1500 of it is now tied up in tourney vouchers... so wish me luck!

Friday, September 10, 2004

Turning Stone Trip Report 9/10/04

I spent the day at Turning Stone casino in Upstate NY today. I arrived at 1 PM to play the $50 shootout tournament. It went well until two crucial hands. With 5 players left (two advance), I raised UTG with AQ. An utter moron (my read) came over the top of me all in for twice my bet. I called, and his A3o paired the three on the river. Ugh.

A few hands later I was in the BB with 94o. SB completed. Flop was 344. He check, I check. Turn x. He bets 200 (the minimum) and I call. River jack. He bets 500, I raise to 1200, he moves in. I call to see his J4o and I am done.

I spent the next few hours folding hand after hand at a 1/2 NL game. I folded for two hours. Limp/folded with ATo at one point. A few big hands:

I raise to $10 UTG with Ac2c (we were 4 handed). Solid but wild player calls. Flop is QcTdTs. Checked around. Turn is 3c. I check, he bets $10. I checkraise to $70. He thought for a long time then folded, showing Qh9h.

I have QJo in the SB and limp. Six players call. Flop is QJ7, two hearts. Poor player on the button bets $20 and I checkraise to $70. He calls with 6h4h and catches a heart on the turn. I make a crying call of his $25 all in but miss the boat.

I have A2o in the BB. Flop comes AKx. Player on the button bets when checked to him. He would do this with any two cards, so I call. Turn is a blank, he bets $20, and I checkraise him all in for another $60. He thinks for a long time then calls with K9o. River K and I am dead again. He thought I would bet an ace.

I limp with KJo in MP. Everyone calls. Flop comes KQJ, two clubs. UTG bets $10, I call with another guy. Turn K. Sweet. Checked around. River is the 9c. UTG bets $20, EMP raises all in for $93. I think and think, as JcTc is the nuts, and KQ beats me. He is not a tricky player, so I call. UTG calls. They each have T7s and T8o for a straight, and I take a monster pot, erasing all of my losses. I had not realized that I held the Jc, making the straight flush impossible. Silly me, always memorize your hole cards!!

At 7 PM I played the 3 table satellite for the $1000 tourney in October. During the rebuy period it was nuts. I won a huge pot with Js7s and another with A9. After the rebuy period, I folded JJ and 99 on successive hands to a lot of aggression ahead of me. One of these was a huge stack who was doubling everyone up, but I did not want to gamble.

I clawed my way to the final table, taking advantage of some awful play. I was short stacked, but managed to wait four players out. I doubled up against a loose player with AQ vs. A3 and again with AJ vs. K3o. The player on my BB when I had the button played every hand, and would never fold. He had a monster stack as well. He limped with 67o and called a 5x BB raise with it to knock out 33. He beat AQ with KQ and AK with 79o. I managed to get to the final three as the second stack. Two seats were up for grabs. I played very cautionsly. Had TT in the BB and checked. The loose limper flopped two pair with QJ and I safely folded. Finally, a bad player on my right moved in for less than 2x the BB and I calles with 22 (sound familiar?). I flopped an unnecessary set, as his AK did not improve, so I won one of two seats. I will be playing the $1000 NL event on October 8th. Woot!

I played for 9 hours straight. I never saw AA or KK. I had QQ once and beat JJ in a small pot with AK on the flop. I had JJ once and folded preflop. It is surprising that I only lost the buy ins for the tourneys and was break even for the rest of the day. My cards were awful all day.

Memorable quotes: At the NL ring, UTG raises to $10. UTG+1 reraises to $30. MP calls. UTG moves all in for $70, both call. UTG has 99, UTG+1 has AA and flops a set, and MP has 88. UTG: "Boy, I didn't see that coming!"

In the satellite: "Did you know that with 99, you have a 68% chance of flopping a set? I read it in that magazine over there." Me: "I hope you did not pay for the magazine."

Big day for me, and a long post.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Playing Poker for a living 9/8/04

Sorry for the lack of updates. It has been a long week. Over the weekend I went to Louisiana for my sister in law's wedding, so no poker (even though I was across the street from Harrah's at the W).

After some rotten beats on Party, I have climbed from $700 after a $2K cashout to over $1700 in a week. I owe this all to the uber-soft $30 3 table tourneys. I am beginning to discover that my worst streaks are late at night when I am tired. I think my judgement is poor at these times. I need to know when to say when.

My bankroll on Pokerstars has been diminishing, due mostly to the $20K at night. I tend to do well and then lose to a 3 outer (it was my AK vs. and overplayed A9 this last time). So with a $220 bankroll on Stars, I dropped $109 into a tourney this morning. Can you say "Playing over your roll?" In the third level I was sitting on a massive stack of $410. I was all but crippled. I doubled once to $900. Some key hands followed:

I have As8h on the cutoff. I raise 3x and the BB calls. Flop is K47, two spades. I bet, he calls, leaving me with $410 in chips. Turn is the 8 of spades. He moves all in. I called with second pair and nut flush draw, desperate at this point. He has JdTd and my eights hold up.

Next hand I pick up KK. I love my image at the moment. I get raised all in by the CO and the SB (same guy) calls. Flop is KQx to best KQ and 77.

I get moved tables and pick up KK again. The BB calls and check-re-re-raises me all in on a flop of 3T5, two hearts. I think AhTh and call. He has 33 but I catch a K on the river to double and cripple him.

A few hands later I raise in MP with QsJs. BB calls (notes say overaggressive). Flop is K85, two spades. BB bets 600, I call. Pot is about 3600 now. Turn is 9h. BB checks, I bet 1200, leaving myself 3400. BB checkraises all in. I think for a long time and finally call with my gutshot and spade draw. The 2 of spades lands on the river and I bust him. Clear fold, but I decided to gamble with my amazing luck thus far.

From there I cruised to the final table, ultimately chopping three way as the big stack, 70K vs. 50K and 50K. $2500 ain't bad for a roll that was hurting badly.

So I have some B&M plans for the rest of this week. I will be heading up to Turning Stone tomorrow to play a few satellites for their October championship and to play their bounty tournament. Then it is off to Atlantic City to play in the Borgata Poker Open's $1000 tourney, satellite wins willing. If anyone wants to meet up at these spots, PM me and we can make it happen.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]