Saturday, 30 June 2007

Live poker, blah

Last Sunday I played the Venetian 1k event which had 10k chips to start and a 1 hour clock. The automatic shufflers also meant we saw a lot more hands per hour compared to manual shuffling. The Venetian card room itself is very nice and has really comfy chairs something that is a rarity in card rooms. So onto the tournament itself and I drew a really weak table, but couldn’t hit a flop or hit a draw for the first hour and dwindled down to 5k. A guy then opens UTG+1 for 400 (4xBB), and I flat call in the cut off with JJ, the BB also calls. The flop comes K J x, two hearts, BB checks and original raiser fires 1200, I move in and he calls with AK. A king hit the turn, at which point my opponent celebrated, and went to shake my hand when a blank hit the river. He was clearly under the impression that his 3 kings now beat my 3 jacks, lol. That pot put me back over 10k, and it was pretty one way traffic to the dinner break. The next big pot, a tight guy makes it 1200 UTG (bb = 200) and I look at QQ in the BB, all fold to me and make the call, with no real idea what he has. The flop is Q J x, I check and he checks behind, turn is another low card and I check again, this time he bets 1600, I make it 4k total and he immediately ships in his 12k stack. I call with the nuts and he tables AJ, wp gg. I managed to get my stack to around 50k at dinner with blinds starting at 600/1200 after dinner.

I reckon my food was spiked in the dinner break as I played so bad afterwards it was scary. I don’t remember any specifics, but just playing generally horrible, bluffing in terrible spots and just wasting chips needlessly. This led me to being short stacked in the 800/1600 level, and I re-raised a guy all in with AQ, unfortunately someone behind found AK and even though I flopped 4 to the flush it wasn’t to be. Very disappointing, but only myself to blame, it is an excellent set up at the Venetian and I will be playing the 1k event again this Sunday.

Just relaxed the next couple of days, playing some online tournaments with no success. Thursday saw the start of the $5k short handed WSOP event which I final table last year, so was confident going into this one. My starting table included Toby Maguire (spiderman) so that was pretty cool and he seemed like a nice guy, very quiet. Unfortunately I made my quickest exit to date in a 10k chip event lasting a paltry 35 mins, ugh. I raised with TT and a tight player on my left who I had played with for some time in one of the 1500 events re-raised, I called and we saw a 789 flop. I lead at the flop for 600 wanting him to fold AK etc, or define his big pair now. He instantly raised me to 2k, now is where the fun starts. I was almost certain he had and over pair, AA, KK QQ etc and was also aware he was a good player. I didn’t think he would call off his whole stack, 10k total with just an over pair on such a scary board, and even on the slight chance that he did, I still had outs. So with this in mind, I shipped in my 10k, and he goes into the tank for about 2 mins. He eventually makes the call with 88 for middle set, didn’t expect that hand, and I fail to hit a T, J or 6 and exit stage left. Some my view my play as reckless and unnecessary, but I have no regrets about the play and think it gets through a very high % of the time.

Later that night I went to Pete Haslam (bullitpetes) house to relax , have a few beers and play some mindless gambling card games. We first played Chinese poker, I’ve never played before buts it pretty simple and managed to luck a small profit. Then we played Shoot, and I ran so bad, constantly losing my bank to people shooting and winning, and also shooting and losing for $1k. Pete ‘walks on water’ Haslam, was the big winner never missing when shooting, including a $2k shot, lol. All good fun even though I was stuck $2k, so rigged. Just gonna chill out for a few days before the Venetian on Sunday where I can hopefully amass a good stack again, but no muff it.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

A small cash

After the early exit on Monday, came back to my hotel and played a few comps online, made a final in the UB $120 bounty for about $1.9k, was very short for a long time, very frustrating. After that decided to head downstairs and relax in the $1/2nl game and have some fun and a few beers before bed. That somehow turned into 12 hr session, ended with me stumbling to bed at around 10am. Some guys who work in the Irish bar came and sat just as I was preparing to leave, and we got talking and started doing shots ugh, and I couldn’t get away. The game was pretty wild, and anyone who plays properly would easily make a fair amount of money. I on the other was playing more and more reckless the more drunk I got, but still managed a $200 profit, lol

The silly 1/2nl session meant Tuesday was a complete write off as I didn’t wake up until about 8pm, played a few comps online, and came 2nd in a full tilt 6 seater event for $4.5k. Dominated the final but my heads up game is average at best, and cost me in this encounter. It is the part of my game that needs real work, as even when you get to HU in a tournament, the difference between 1st and 2nd is still pretty juicy.

On Thursday, I got talked into playing the $1500 event at the wsop, the huge field and dodgy structure was off putting, but, when in Rome. I made a steady start, taking down several small-medium pots and doubled my 3k starting stack after the first 2 levels and that gave me a fair amount of breathing room until we made the money. My table was pretty week and was able to build chips until I was the only one remaining from my original starting table, all the other players had been replaced. A notable pot comes up at he 200/400 - 50, level. A new player at the table makes it 1200 in LP, with 5.5k behind, I make it 3.5k on the button with 99, obviously committing myself to his stack. This didn’t phase our hero though, and promptly put the rest in with KQ, ugh and flopped a Q. He made this move with no information on my play whatsoever and I crush his hand so often its scary, but there you go. I kept my cool and just gave one bit of verbal, I asked him if he would passed if it wasn’t sooooooted, lol.

I go card dead for a long time after and no good situations arise, so am around the 12BB mark when the bubble bursts. The hand for hand play seemed to take forever and the clock was running the whole time, marvellous. Just after the bubble bursts, I double up with AK vs. QJ and fold the rest of the day, and finish on 29k with 147 players coming back the next day. We had 35 mins of the 1k/2k -300 level remaining on day 2, so my initial plan was to look for some1 opening too many pots and come over the top with any2 to utilise my re-raise fold equity while I still had some. Unfortunately after going through the blinds twice, no such opportunity had arisen and was forced to look for a spot to open shove. On the button I look at QJ suited and am reading to gamble with a LP raiser or move in myself, but to my dismay the tight guy UTG raises and I pass. 2 hands later, I have 18.5k and it folds to me, I look at K9, the level was about to go up in 3 mins, so a no brainer really. I found a call from AQ, but didn’t manage to spike and exited 118th.

Not much I could have done differently on the 2nd day, apart from maybe shoving blind UTG before the blinds hit me again, use my position to project a strong hand and stay above water. So, I cashed for $4300, which makes me $300 up from live comps, lol. Went to play the Venetian $500 today, but was sold out, nightmare. Am going down again tomorrow to try and play the $1k event hopefully wont be as popular with the more expensive buy in. I think my next WSOP event will be the $5k short handed event that treated me so well last year, : -)

Monday, 18 June 2007

My WSOP has started

Hardly played poker in my last few days in the UK as I had so much stuff to sort out. Didn’t check my final poker tracker stats but was around $7k down playing cash and up roughly $40k on mtt’s, so achieved my target pre WSOP. My journey was long and uneventful, I was catching naps whenever I could and watched a few shit films on the plane, alpha dog was especially bad. Temperature was 105 degrees when we touched down in Vegas, so my jeans and sweater that I left Doncaster in where a little too much. No wait in the taxi line at Vegas airport (running good?) and a speedy check in to my hotel and all sorted.

After arriving mid-afternoon yesterday, I had a few hours sleep then went and wondered round the casino a bit in the evening and contemplated sitting in a live cash game, but was very tired and gave it a miss. Some food and a few beers and I was passed out by midnight, waking around 7.30 am today. Was undecided weather to play the $2.5k 6 handed event at the Rio, but felt refreshed after a good nights sleep, so didn’t see a reason not too. Had heard horror stories about the lines to register for tournaments so went down at 10.30am to register for a 12pm start. No line whatsoever and im all sorted by 10.40am, lol. Starbucks and a copy of card player made the time pass by and before I knew it, it was go time.

5k chips to start, but missing levels from last year apparently make the structure worse in this years tournaments. My table started with just 3 people, and the first hand I flopped a flush with 89 spades but no action. Next hand I have K6 in the BB, and just the guy in the small blind completes. Flop is K 6 5, he checks I check, turn A, bringing 3 spades on board, he bets I call, river 7, he bets 200 and I call to beat his 1 pair of A’s. Our table is soon complete with some random French donkey and a random American donkey, more commonly known as Phil Ivey.

I get nothing at all, Ivey is in most pots and winning most without showdown. He is 2 to my left so on the BB when its my button. My first button raise is at the 50/100 level and I make it 300 with QT hearts, Phil defends as expected. The flop is K high rainbow and he check raises my 400 continuation bet to 1200, oops. Next notable hand is pretty sick, folds to me in the SB and I make it 300 with KQ clubs, crazy old guy defends in the BB. Flop comes J T 2, two clubs, I bet 400 he calls, turn is off suit 5, I bet 650 he calls, the river is an off suit 7. I cant help myself and fire 1k, he dwells for a little while and moves all in, he has me covered and I have about 3.5k behind, I pass and he flips 74 clubs, put a club up there 1 time. A few missed flops and stabs later and I go to the break with 1.6k. First hand after the break and the blinds go 100/200 (no 75/150) so I am in big trouble. I am on the button and both blinds are not back from the break, utg folds, tight lady folds and cut-off makes it 500 to play. I look at A3 hearts and shove, I hate shoving with this type of hand but the situation was so, that he would open almost any two cards to take the blinds as I cant play back without something of a hand. He calls me with A6 in the end and it was all she wrote.

Not quite the start I was looking for, but didn’t really play that badly just never got going and in these events with pretty shallow starting stacks, a good start is vital. Was cool playing with Phil Ivey though, he was constantly harassed from the rail by people wanting autographs and also some random old woman who wanted his email, lol. Not sure what tournament ill be playing next, but I think my next wsop outing will be the $2k pot limit on Friday, but will probably play at Bellagio or Venetian before that. Will try and take some decent pics to make the blog a bit more colourful for next time.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Funny how things turn out

At the start of my blog, I was saying how I wanted to play some mtt’s to get in some practice for the WSOP. After a week of running bad I gave up and decided to set a monetary target of $20k from cash games in June. Well as I pointed out in my last post I had achieved that target all in good time, but then I sat down to play cash at the weekend. It couldn’t have gone any worse; I had a few coolers early doors then made some errors, and then started chasing the money, never going to end well. That was Saturday; on Sunday I just played the one mtt which was the main event of the crypto festival. A great structure, but I never got going, and finished about 85th I think. Another dismal cash session on Sunday evening left poker tracker looking rather bleak for the month of June.

On Monday I had already decided not to play any cash, and didn’t start playing until really late anyway, entering a few of the 1am mtt’s. 5 hours later and I make the final of the full tilt 150, but short stacked. Go out shoving JJ into 99 and the flop duly brings a 9, I cashed for just over $3k if my memory serves me correctly. Yesterday I decided to abstain from cash again and try my hand at tournaments, lucky for me I did. I entered 4 tournaments in the evening, party $150, F.tilt $150, stars 100r, and $300 Ladbrokes daddy. An early exit on party and then finished just outside the money on full tilt paved the way for me to concentrate on the remaining 2. I eventually came 2nd in the Ladbrokes tournament for $12.4k, and managed to win the stars $100 rebuy for $19k+ (no deals).

Won’t be playing much more poker now before Vegas as I have loads of stuff to sort out, as well as going for farewell drinks with various friends and family. I have animated the hand history of the 100 rebuy win using pokerxfactor and the link can be found here:

Seemed to have it all in this tournament, got chipped up straight after the rebuy period by the table donkey, then went really card/situation dead until the 300/600, 400/800 level. Then lost a huge race near the bubble with AQ vs TT, had be really patient and play a good short stack game for long periods up to the final. Then everything went right on the final, and I dominated.

Friday, 8 June 2007

WSOP preperation update

So my preparation for the WSOP is going according to plan at the moment. I played 3 mtt’s on Tuesday, making a final table in the $150 freezeout on F.tilt. I came to the final with a slight chip lead but ended up finishing 4th. My only real bluff of the whole tournament got snapped off, then I proceeded to go card/situation dead until my exit. Shame I couldn’t bring home the win as it would have completed my $20k profit target but it wasn’t to be. Wednesday was the England match obviously so drinking takes full precedent over poker, and we even managed to win my more than one goal, what a shocker!

Thursday saw me enter 5 mtt’s in total, again making a final table, this time in the $100 f/o on stars. This is my exit hand from that comp, does anyone think I shouldn’t push this hand, and what do people reckon to the call?

It is a well known fact that emptyseat88 is Scott fischman online, so I was very surprised at this hand we played in the stars $100 rebuy. It is possible that a friend is on his account or something but I wasn’t best pleased at the result.

I have spent just under $3000 buying into online mtt’s this week and have a total return of $4890. So made a small profit on them, but with luck on my side in either of the finals and I would have booked a 5 figure return, o well.

I have been playing cash games still and today I rediscovered Party Poker. I have never really given it a chance since they blocked the US, but had heard that the traffic and action was still pretty good. I was looking for some 5/10 today on my regular sites but not much on offer, opened party and they had at least 10 6 handed games going. A quick visit to neteller and I’m away 4 tabling. The action was pretty good and I witnessed one of the most remarkable calls ever right at the end of the session. It doest say the bet amounts on the turn for some reason, but you can work it out if you see how much he started the hand with.

Inspired I am sure you will agree. Poker Tracker shows +$18594 for June, so with the winnings from my mtt’s am over the $20k target, but I need to stay there now, lol

Contemplated going to walsall for the midland masters main event but It seems too much hassle for a comp that is likely to be short on runners due to the WSOP. Crypto have the £1k main event of their online festival Sunday so will probably end up having a pop at that instead.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Down then back up again

I made the decision to avoid all the Sunday Major tournaments this week to try and press on with meeting my target of making $20k from cash this month before flying to Vegas. Early on it seemed as though I had made a good choice as I was $4k up and listening to bad beat stories from a few other players on MSN who were on the tournament trail.
Then a run of bad play, bad situations and missing countless draws saw me end that particular session down over $6k.

I knew I was playing badly and decided an extended break was required. I went and had some food, played on pro evo 6 for a bit then watched a couple of Cardrunners videos, one by Sbrugby and one by Green Plastic. When I watch their videos, I don’t often take a lot form watching them play, but extract a great deal from their commentary. It is always very insightful and stimulates my thoughts on my own game, how I played in previous sessions etc…

After this I had a quick review of my losing session earlier and soon realised I had not managed my image at the tables well and was blatantly obvious the moves I was making were going to get snapped off. It was now the early hours of the morning and all the action had dried up on the European sites I play, so fired up Full tilt and they had 3 tables of 10/20 running, perfect. I played for about 1hr 30 mins and managed to book a $6k win almost erasing the session from earlier that night. I took a screenshot of my recovery which can be found at the bottom of the blog entry. I played much better in this session, and had a nice AAvsKK situation for a full buy in at the end.

Monday saw the start of the Crypto golden cup series of poker, which looks a pretty good online festival with superb structures to boot. The first event was a £100 f/o with 4500 chips and a 20 min clock. I never really got going and was stuck at average or below average stack for my entire stay ion the tournament. The blinds were 300/600 – 75, and I had just over 10k. Since moving to this table I had not played a hand in 3 orbits so I presumed my image was tight. A fairly active player opened for 1800 in mid position when I held KQ on the button, I felt my tight image and chip stack would mean only a really solid hand would make the call. I shipped it in and the original raiser beat me in the pot with AJ, ugh. I lose the 40/60 and exit stage left about 30 places short of the money. I also played 2 other mtt’s on crypto at the same time and failed to cash in either of those, leading to -$800 in tournament buy ins and no return

The cash session later that evening was only 50 mins but was a profitable one, $6.7k in profit, mainly from a £10/20 game that was 3 handed. I had 2 $10/20 tables at the same table but only made a $300 on one, and lost $100 on the other.

Pokertracker for june, now shows +$13763

On target so far, but my aim is to be +$20k after deducting the tournaments I play over this period as well. Also, less than 2 weeks till Vegas, :-)

Sunday, 3 June 2007

WSOP in 2 weeks

Ok so I leave for Vegas in 2 weeks, which i am pretty stoked about, I have been itching to go back since last year but my timing hasn’t been right with other things ive been doing. This year of course, there are no online satellites into the main event, well there are but they just put the $10k in your account then it’s your prerogative. Even if I won a satellite, I couldn’t justify using that money to enter 1 tournament, I guess i am just too cautious.

As I am bankrolling myself for this trip I am going to play a lot of side events instead of the main event. I will be playing the 2.5k and 5k short handed events at the WSOP, possibly a 2k event as well. The Bellagio have a 5k event as part of their festival which has 10k starting chips. Also the Venetian are running a festival with $300, $500 and $1k events with 6k chips in the $300 and 10k chips in the other 2 which seems excellent value. I have estimated spending about $20k on tournament buy ins during the trip.

I am not really one for challenges, but I have a target for my online play before I go. In June I want to be $20k in profit playing cash, so then Vegas is essentially a freeroll, I know its not but winning the money before I go would be pretty cool. Online tournaments are on the backburner for me at the moment, I only plan on playing some of the cryptologic festival and the 1k buy in tournaments on F.tilt and Stars. I will deduct these buy ins from my running cash game total and will hopefully still be $20k to the good come 2 weeks today :-)

My poker tracker says for June so far - +$7606

A promising start, but with 2k coming out for the full tilt and stars tournaments on Monday and Tuesday, still work to be done. One positive thing about this is that on Monday I won’t have my normal dejected review of the Sunday majors as I won’t be in them.