Monday, April 30, 2007

You take the good, you take the bad...

Hello all, thanks for stopping by for a quick read. I haven't been playing much lately (babies are a bigger time sink than poker!). I have managed to play a bit more live. I still am doing much better Live vs Online. Today I think I realized why. When I sit in a poker room, I have chips in front of me, just like online. However, the chips at a casino don't seem like real money anymore, at least not until I cash them out. I have finally managed to work my offline roll up enough that if I do take a horrible beat, I have enough to reload a few times. It would take a pretty significant downswing now for me to have to get some money from "the bank" (aka Mrs IF).

Today I went to Argosy again. Took the day off from work to play in their Monday noon event. It has a $100+15 buy in. Since today was my birthday, I gave myself a buy in for a present :) It is a bounty tourney, and you get $20 for each player you eliminate. I have been running well live, and was hoping to take 1-2 down and maybe cash. I am still up in the air about this tourney. You start with 3000 in chips, but the blinds start at 50/100, and 20 minute levels. It's not too bad, you get quite a bit of play for your money. Unfortunately, my luck wasn't with me. I got to play in 3 hands, and should have played in a 4th. First hand of the tourney I'm UTG with 8s8h. I decide to see how this thing will play and raise to 300. One caller. Flop is 5 3 2. I bet out 600, and the caller folds. I'm the table Chip Lead!!!

Second hand that I thought about playing was right after there was an AK vs AA all-in. The AK ended up with 100 chips after. Guy UTG raises to 500, then the AK calls. I looked down one off the button to find KdQd. I think for a few, and muck. The button mucks, the SB calls 500, the BB mucks. Flop is 8 7 4, rainbow. SB checks, UTG checks. Turn is a K. Check check. River is a K. Ick. SB checks to UTG, who bets out 300. SB calls and we see AJ vs J10. All-in has A 9, and AJ takes the pot. Could have had a bounty. Bah.

Few hands later I'm in MP and get AcQh. I raise to 300. Around to the BB, who I had been playing 1/3 NLHE with for about an hour prior to the tourney start. This guy was going all in on the flop with top pair and a flush draw with really really bad kickers. He was down at least 300 in the NLHE game prior to the start of the tourney. He calls. Flop is 9c10cJd. He checks. I bet out 300 as a continuation. He insta-check-raises all in. No hesitation. I put him on Jc with a any kicker (his range is that wide, yes). I saw him make this play twice at the cash game, so I'm pretty sure I have a ton of outs. Any A, K, Q, or 8 gives me either a straight or a better pair. That's 14 outs (unless he is on the flush, but then I have redraw to the nut flush). I think about this one for a while. I go between mucking and calling about 3 times, and then think that I might actually be ahead with the 14 outs. Looking at, if he has Jc 6d I have a 50.8% chance, so if my read at the time was correct, it would be correct to call. If he has J-8 instead, I am about a 60/40 dog, so it is a close decision. I finally decide that to win this, I'm going to have to gamble sooner or later, and I decide sooner is a better choice, as I can try to get into a side game and make the buyin back up. I call. He shows Jc Kh. I lose my Qs (he would have the bigger straight) and one K. I now have 9 outs. Whoops. 10 on the turn, 6 on the river and I have 100 chips left.

Next hand I have Ac8c and call. One caller. Guy who played in my raised 88 pot raises to 1000. Yikes! I'm in trouble here. Folds to the limper who laughs and folds. Guy shows AA. One club on the flop, but there's also the case A. Turn pairs the board and fills up AA. I'm out before the first level ends.

I get on the 1/3 NLHE list again. I played some 3/6 LHE and some 1/3 NLHE prior to the tourney start and ended up -$2. So I have some catching up to do. 5 mins later I get called as they start a new table for the "losers" like me. This table starts out very very tight, as we all just busted out and no one wants to take a beat early. I steal a few pots. I get KK on the button, raise to 15 as there are 3 limpers, and everyone folds. An orbit later I get 88 in the CO with 3 limpers in front. I raise to 10. BB calls, as do the limpers. Flop is Q 7 9. BB immediately bets out 25. Folded to me. I smooth-call, hoping that something hits on the turn that I can bully this guy. I've noticed that he can get pushed off hands when he thinks he's beat. He's got a buddy "sweating" him and looking at his cards. Me and the guy to my right have noticed that he's complaining to this guy about being outdrawn a lot, including in the tourney. Time to see if my tight image can pay off. The turn is a K, and the BB actually winces when it hits. I thought it could be an act, but he immediately trys to cover it up and bets out $25 more and starts giving off a HUGE tell, rubbing his neck. I raise to $50 and go into Chris Fergusen mode, putting my hands to my face and staring at the cards on the board. Guy goes into the tank. He thinks for a good 5 minutes, then calls. River is a 6. He checks. I look at my chips and count out a bet of 50. I'm watching him out of the corner of my eye, and he's starting to count what he has left. I realize I have 35 more if I bet the 50, so I count it all out and then push it all in. He doesn't hesitate to fold and start hemming and hawing with his buddy about how I hit that K and how I'm such a donk for playing AK on that flop. Yada yada yada. I didn't have the K, buddy, and I knew he didn't either. This is one of the best plays I've made in a live game in a while and felt good. I took my read and used his "bad beat" thinking against the guy and scooped a nice $200ish pot. I debated showing the bluff to get some tilt out of the guy and advertise that I can bluff, as well as to loosen up the table a bit, but decided to keep it to myself. I think had I shown it some of my raises later would have given me some action with my KK, AK, and AQ all of which were folded by limpers after I raised PF.

After 2 hours, I was up to $389 from my $200 buyin. I had covered my tourney entry and lunch, so I decided to call it quits early. The table had turned over a bit with people moving to the 2/5 game, and a loose-aggressive guy had moved to my immediate left and was playing back at me pretty hard. I had topped out at around $420, and lost a little back on a 10 8 3 board when my AQ suited missed. Mr LAG showed me the 8 3 off that he had played to my raise and I decided it was time to move on.

I might try to play some more SnGs online, and some less cash games. Look for me on PokerStars or FullTilt as "Illinifan" I'll cya at the tables.

Friday, April 06, 2007

A lot of patience, and a little luck

Hello all, thanks for stopping by for a quick perusal of my thoughts. Today I hit the boat near Cincinnati again (Argosy) and played a little poker. No Iggy sighting (at least I didn't notice any midget housewife around), but the day wasn't a total loss. It made me debate why I still play online. Why? You might ask. Well, for the year, I'm -$425 online. Live play, I'm now +$930.

I had a good run when I was in LA for business. Had a slight winning session in the 3/6 game at the boat a few weeks ago. Had another winning session today, in the 1/3 NLHE game.

It didn't start very well. While waiting for a seat in the NLHE, I played some 3/6 LHE. With a lot of people off work for Good Friday (Cincy is a VERY Catholic town, lots of companies give the day off, mine included) it played like a weekend table, no foldem holdem. I had 6h4h from the SB in one hand, limped to me. I called. Flop was 6 4 2. I bet, three callers. Turn is a 7. I bet, two callers. One raise from the CO player. I muck, other two call. River is a K. Check, bet, raise, call, call. CO shows 53 offsuit. Gonna be one of those days.

There were a few things at this table that bugged me a bit. Not to rant about the dealers at Argosy, but the guy to my left, who was immediately to the dealer's right shorted the pot, not just once but twice. And pretty deliberately. I thought about saying something the second time (he would splash out his chips into the pot, and put in one red (should have been two) and two whites TWICE when it had been raised prior to his call). He looked at the dealer both times when he did it to see if she would say anything, but she didn't even notice it. I know, I know. It is up to the players to police the game as well, but I was going to get up to move to the 1/3 table and didn't want to make a scene. Guess it helped that I wasn't in either pot, so I was glad when my name was called for the 1/3 NLHE game.

I get over to a newish table and take a seat. I sat at 3/6 with 160, and was down to 112. I hit the cage for 100 more to bring me up to $212. I'm to the immediate right of the dealer, and come in on the CO, and don't have to post (nice thing here, not having to post). I sit and watch for a bit. I notice that there are two guys at the opposite end of the table that I will call "dumb and dumber" that are in a LOT of pots. Dumb is first to act and has a ton of chips, around $500 when I sit. I hear players talking about how he cracked dumber's AA on the first hand with KJ off. Yikes! Action table!!

After two orbits, I look down to find AsQs in the CO. As dumb and dumber are in EVERY pot, I decide not to risk the raise, as this is no-foldem holdem preflop. I tried a few raises and go zero respect, so I limped. Button raises to $15 and three callers back to me. I call.

Flop is 5A5. Checked to me. I bet out about $20. Button calls, dumb calls. Dumber actually FOLDS (one of his rare moments). Other guy folds. Three to the turn. It's the Ks, so now we have 2 spades. Dumb checks, I check, button checks. Hmmmm. River is 7, no spade. Dumb checks, I bet out $40. Button insta-raises all-in and has $41 more. I think and think. Could he have slowplayed AK? That might fit the pattern, or he might have A-x and we are looking at a tie. The pot is about $300, and it costs me $40 to call. I can't put him on AK, I think this is going to be a chop, so I call. He shows KK. Boat. Ick. Bad call. I'm now down to $30 in chips. Ugly.

One orbit later I'm down to $24 in MP. I look down to AsJs. Dumb and Dumber are the SB and BB. I push. Dude next to me with the Aces chuckles and says "$24 to win $4, huh?" I look back and him and say "I'm about to triple up, watch". Sure enough both Dumb and Dumber call. Flop is all low and I'm worried. Dumb bets $20 into the dry side pot. Dumber calls. Next card is low and we now have all kinds of straight draws. I know I'm in trouble, but they check-check. River is another low for more straight possibilites, and I know I have to be beat. Dumb bets $25, dumber folds and he takes the $40 side pot. He shows A-10 off and I scoop the main pot. I'm semi-back in business.

A few hands later I get AK UTG, raise to 15. Three callers. Flop is all under 8. I bet out $30. Muck, dumber asks how much I have left. I tell him $40ish and he mucks.

Then it is time to be patient. Fold fold fold. Few raises PF, with callers. Some I continuation bet, some I check-fold. I'm hovering around $100 and think about leaving. Promised the wife I'd be home around 6ish for dinner. It's 4:30 now. I decide one more orbit.

I get KdJd two off the button. new player that had scooped a few pots in the SB. 3 limpers to me, I limp, he completes, BB checks. Flop is J 9 4, rainbow. Checked to me, I bet out $15 into the pot. SB calls. Other fold. Turn is 8, no flush possible. I bet out $30. He calls. River is a 2. I bet out my last $29. He insta-calls, and shows J-7 off. I scoop. Up to about $140.

Next hand I have AA. I raise to $15 (my standard raise, no matter what I had for the day). Two callers. Flop is K 9 4. Checked to me, I bet $30. Dude in seat 5 calls. Turn is 6, now two diamonds. Seat 5 has about $70 left. I bet $50, and he folds KdJd faceup. Thanks for the info :)

Seat 5 then doubles up with KK vs AK. Gets to my SB, and seat 5 raises to $20. Folded to me. I didn't like this bet, something seemed fishy to me. I'd been playing pretty tight, so I decide I'm going to take this from him on the flop. I call. Flop is 9 8 3, rainbow. I look at kid, he's staring me down with the "Look of death". I picked up a tell on him earlier when he flopped the nut flush, and went into acting mode, shaking his head, etc. So I read him as weak here. I bet out $30. He raises to $60. I go all in. He calls and flips over 10 10. Whoops. Bad read. I have about $60 left here if I lose. Turn is 5. River is a 7. I hit my runner runner straight. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good I guess. After he leaves, guy to my right says "man, that was brutal. he just told us he got laid off work today as well". Whoops. I felt bad for about 2 mins, then I noticed that I'm up over $300 now. That makes me feel a bit better :)

My final big hand of the day I'm in the CO again and find KcJc. I limp into the pot with 6 others. Flop is KhJhJs. Bingo!! Now I have to see who I can hook. there are 7 of us, someone has to have a flush draw. Checked to me, and I check. I'm not gonna scare anyone off. Turn is 3h. Checked to me, I check. Someone bet the flush, dammit! River is 5h. SB wakes up and bets $15. Folded to me. I min-raise to $30, hoping he has a good heart. He reraises to $65. I think about it, trying to sink that hook. I annouce "I'm all in" and push over a stack of reds. I have him covered. He insta-calls and shows Ah8s. I show the nuts, and he looks shell-shocked. I scoop a pot that's around $300. I tip the dealer a $5er and say "Thanks for the boat". Three hands later I'm UTG and find QdJd, limp in with 6 others. Flop is A-hi, one diamond. I check fold and rack up $447. I look at the dealer and say "And thanks for getting that flush out there", tip him $5 more, he laughs and I got cashout $442. +182 for the day.

I think I need to get back to the boat more often. I'll cya at the tables.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Soooo close

And yet so far. Tonight's quest for points in the Battle started out well. A few hands in, I get the hammer.

I'm in the CO, and burtdogg raises to 90 with 15/30 blinds. I decide to do this the blogger way, and play it like it's the nuts. I reraise to 250, burt calls.

Flop isn't too dangerous. Two diamonds, burt checks. I hit him foor 300 more into the 500ish pot and he calls. Ugh. Overpair. JJ-KK.

Turn is the Ah there. That's a good card for me, actually. Now I can keep playing it like the nuts. Check again by burt, and I pop it for 500 more, leaving me with a whooping 405 in chips if he raises me off this hand. Luckily, he folds and I get to show the hammer, prompting a "nicely done, sir" from bdiddie (aka biggestron).

After that, I went on a bit of a tear. I was a card rack. I made it up to be sitting in 2nd place with 19 left. Then, disaster struck. KK vs AQ, river Q. That moved me from 4th down to 8th. Winning that hand would have put me in the lead by about 4000 chips. Such is life. Then, I slowplayed a flopped set from the BB. I tried to be sneaky and bet 600 into the 3400ish pot on the turn, but my opponent had picked up a flush draw. The flush made it on the river and I was dumb and bet out. What else would he be calling with there? He had the odds for the flush. I should have bet out on the flop but was trying to get someone to double me up. My attempt was thwarted by the poker gods. Such is life. I go out in 12th. Worthy of 53.20 points. Not a good start, but not a bad one either. A cash would have been nice.

More tomorrow on live play. I'm going to try my hand at some NLHE 1/3 for a bit, and then either move to the 2/5 table or go busto with my buy-in and move to 3/6 limit. We shall see.

WBPT leads to...

I was poking around Columbo's blog looking at WBPT event stuff when I noticed his post about the Battle of the Blogger Tournaments. This is a pretty sweet deal, and looks to be a lot of fun. I'm headed over there tonight to try my hand. Kudos to FTP for making the tourneys all juice-free. We pay it in, and they pay it back out as prize money, etc in the final event. Nice job to all who set this thing up, I'm looking forward to it. It covers a VERY wide range of buy-ins, so I have my work cut out to win some tokens for the bigger buy-ins.

In other news, I get to head to Argosy again tomorrow with Boats, and there might be a possible IGGY sighting (but still unconfirmed). I'm not too big on the blogger network radar, so I'm not sure if he'll make it or not. I'm sure that if it was one of the G-vegas boys, he'd be all over it. Being a family man myself now, I understand the pressures of family holiday stuff, so I can forgive him for missing the meet-up. Would be nice to buy the blogfather a mean and a Guinness, but who knows if that will happen.

I'll post a trip report tomorrow when I get back. I'll cya at the tables.