Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Does time really fly that frikkin fast??

So not a lot of poker lately. I completely neglected to bring a few posts over from ITH so I have updated those. Of the poker I have been playing lately I must say I love the PartyPoker 5/10 6 max tables. I have nowhere near enough hands to say if I am beating the game, but I am up 78 BB in 2100 hands. I cannot believe how fishy some of the players are! I played these games once before in my life and had a 2 hour 40 BB session and thought it was a fluke. I guess not. Funny that I crush 2/4 and apparently crush 5/10 shorthanded but I lost my ass at 3/6 full ring. I just don't get it. Dat dere be poker! I am moving my WPT reports over here, check them out. The trip could be called a success. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

PokerStars WPT Event Side Tournament Report

My last trip report was on the main event. As you may know by now, I was busted when 'Miami' John Cernuto raised with 22, called my 3x reraise, and cracked my KK. I made it through one day in the tournament and felt good about the way I played throughout.

On Sunday I played a side tournemant. $300 buy in, 131 players. With 1500 starting chips and 30 minute levels I decided to play a little tight and see what happens. Early on I doubled up by limping with A4o from the SB. A weak player who had limped in EP reraised my checkraise on a rainbow flop of A84. I pushed all in and he called with QQ. (!!) This allowed me to coast through a string of rags. I built excellent table image at the table I was moved to by folding every hand for about 5 circuits.

Late in the tournament a player known by the others as "knucklehead" pushed all in to resteal my blind steal. I folded my 33 and he showed me T6o. He was incredibly aggressive. Much later I raised UTG with AKo. He asked for a count on me, saw he had me well covered and pushed in. The BB called immediately and I grudgingly called. Knucklehead has 66, the SB had QQ and I flopped an ace, tripling up. We got into the money which was the final two tables. Then one of the craziest hands I have ever played came up:

The blinds are 400 800 with a 100 ante. I am on the button with King of Diamonds 9 of Clubs. I picked up 7 purple chips and announced "raise to 7000." OOPS! The purple chips were worth $500 each and I had meant to raise to 3500, my standard raise. I was held to the raise I had announced and had to put in 7000 chips. The SB remarked what a big raise it was and he pushed all in for about 10,500. With more than 18,000 in the pot I had to call the additional 3000. Of course he had Ace of Clubs Ace of Diamonds. The flop came 8 of Clubs 5 of Hearts 2 of Diamonds. I felt like an idiot. The turn was the King of Hearts and the river was the 9 of Spades. He was gone and I was the chip leader! It was the wildest mistake I have ever made!

At the final table I was about 7th in chips but not far out of first. The shortest stacks doubled up and it looked grim. Finally people began falling out. I picked up QQ and JJ back to back and busted two players. When we were four handed we made a deal that I was not too keen on: $5500 each and play for the last $3500 in the prize pool. I was about even with one player and had about 1/4 more chips than each of the other two. I took the deal because the table was very unpredictable.

After we busted the other two players I found myself HU with none other than knucklehead. He was hyper aggressive and had about 4x the chips I did. I managed to double through him to get the lead and then doubled him up when I had J8o with top pair and he had 69o for the nut straight. It took me a little while but I figured him out. He would move in preflop with junk and try to trap with monsters. I avoided his traps with AA twice (min-bet on the flop after limping in from the SB is a dead giveaway). Finally he pushed on me when I had ATs. His J9o was no good to my nut flush and we were even again. He pushed again with K3o and I called immediately with KTs. I made another nut flush and he was nearly ammboed. He was all in on the blinds for three hands until I got him out.

I made $9000 for my efforts, making it a very profitable trip. I think I would rather be HU against a very aggressive player than a careful player. Once I figured out his betting patterns it was a matter of time befor I let him trap himself.

The trip was amazing. Atlantis Resort is a beautiful place, full of palm trees, exotic marine life exhibits, good restaurants, and waterslides. It was a tad expensive, but the extra $1000 PokerStars chipped in for spending money was not even exceeded. I will definitely try to qualify for this event again next year. Never once did I feel like I was outclassed at the tables even though I may have been. The vacation was great and the poker was even better. See you all there next year!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

PokerStars WPT Event Day 2

I was seated at a table with Hoyt Corkins in the 10 seat, I was in the 6 seat. I took his blinds once, that was fun. Kathy Liebert got moved to the 1 seat early on in the first level and paid me a great compliment. She looked at Hoyt then looked at me (I sat on her left yesterday) and said, "Oh great, I picked a great table." Her sarcasm was heavy. Laughing

I ran my stack up to 24,000 by busting a short stack. He was the weakest player at my table yesterday so when he defended his blind against me a second time I decided to push on him with King of Clubs Queen of Clubs. He showed Ace of Diamonds 4 of Spades. I turned and rivered two pair and he was gone.

A while later the player on my immediate right made it 2000 to go on a 600 blind. I looked at King of Diamonds King of Hearts and reraised him to 6000. He called. The flop was 2 of Clubs 7 of Spades 9 of Hearts. I pushed my remaining 13,000 into the pot and he called immediately with 2 of Spades 2 of Diamonds. He received an additional 2 of Hearts on the river to seal the deal. I am out.

I have given some thought to that last hand. I wanted action. Taking the pot preflop was not an option. He had shown that he could make loose calls and raises earlier so I felt good about giving a good price to him. My wife said push preflop but I had 21,000. I did not want to overbet and get him out. Oh, well. If I never got sucked out I would win every event.

I will enjoy the sun and hopefully make another one of these trips. I feel like I played great poker and if I can avoid getting unlucky I have a great shot at these things. I will return with an added boost of confidence. Hopefully I will make some cash in the side games to pay for the overpriced food. Laughing

Friday, January 07, 2005

PokerStars WPT Event Day 1

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure got started with about 425 players. The first day was split into two ‘flights’ of ~200 people each. I was assigned to the first flight so I played on Thursday. People in my flight included Greg Raymer, Chris Moneymaker, Hoyt Corkins, John Juanda, Kathy Liebert, Erick Lindgren, David Williams, Tom McEvoy, and more. I also met up with another ITHer, Mets2602. He is a nice guy.

Players were seated alphabetically rather than randomly which I thought was odd. My table was full of internet players who I did not know. It turned out to be one of the toughest tables imaginable. There were few reraises and a relatively tiny number of showdowns the whole time at my table. It was a tight table.

With 10,000 starting chips and 75 minute levels it was no surprise that no one on our table was busted for the first 5 hours. We just passed the same chips around while other tables were accumulating chips and busting players.

I made a little bit of headway early, adding about 1500 to my stack. I had AA once in the first level and won the blinds. I had JJ as well but just called a raise then folded on a K high flop. I blinded down for about an hour and a half to 5200 chips before making a late charge. I ended the day with 15,200 in chips, just about average. Some key hands:
Blinds 25 50: I have Ace of Hearts King of Spades in MP. I raise to 175 and a player in the BB reraises me to 350. I call. The flop is Ace of Diamonds Queen of Spades 5 of Hearts. He leads 500 into me. I give a little thought then reraise him to 1500. He immediately folds his kings face up.
Blinds 200 400: I have Ace of Spades Jack of Hearts in the SB. An aggressive player limps first in from the CO. This would be a warning bell but last time he did this he had A9o. The flop is Ace of Clubs Queen of Spades 10 of Hearts. I have top pair and a gut shot. I lead out 1200, the BB folds and the aggressive players asks how much I have. He puts me all in for my last 4K and I call. He has A4o and I double up.
Blinds 200 400: A few hands later I have Ace of Hearts 10 of Hearts. We finally busted a player and he is replaced by Kathy Liebert sitting directly on my right. She raises to 1200 on a 400 blind and I call from the button. The flop is Ace of Diamonds 9 of Clubs 3 of Hearts. She leads out and bets 2000. I immediately say “Raise” in an authoritative voice because I had been planning on raising with an ace. When I looked at my chip stack, I realized that a good raise of 3-4K more would commit me. Instead I raised the minimum, 2000 more. Kathy thought for a little while and then said “That was suspicious,” and folded. By sounding tough then making a weak raise because I was short on chips I let her think I had a monster hand. I felt like I accidentally outplayed a pro! Laughing The truth is I probably had her beat.

On the whole, I spent the day respecting raises and looking for any opportunity to raise first in to steal blinds. I raised with J4o (and folded to a reraise), 86s (won a nice pot when I hit the 6 vs. QJ from the BB), 55 (folded to a reraise), and 88 (defended my blind and took a nice pot). I had decided to get aggressive and take advantage of tight play but I seemed to run into a lot of monsters. I am thrilled to start day 2 on Saturday with more chips than I started with.

Mets2602 on the other hand… he had been asking me for advice on MTT play. He finished the day at 42,000 in chips, good enough for third! He was also at a table full of pros! He had John Juanda, Erick Lindgren, Steve Zolotow, Alex Brenes and Dewey Tomko… and he crushed them! Laughing Way to go, Mets and keep it up!

Another amusing side note; I have met a lot of nice and friendly people. Many of them have screen names that I recognize as aggressive or bully, or weak. It is funny to put a face to the avatar on Stars! Laughing

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