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Monday, August 30, 2004

PokerStars $20+2

After getting knocked out of the Monty Memorial Classic Invitational Tourney, I logged on to Stars to see if they had a tournament starting up soon, and I saw that there was a $20 PLHE tourney starting in 30 minutes that only had 45 people entered in it, so I said "What the hell." and registered. I thought there would be, maybe, 150 people entering, what with the $500, end of the month tourney being played. Nope, 400 people signed up by the time 10pm rolled around. Ah, that's no good. I was hoping to play against far fewer people.

If you've read my journal recently, you know about my recent foray into PL tournaments, and how I pretty much just got blinded away. It was pathetic, really. I fired up Party at the same time, arguing with myself that if I was going to waste $20 on a tourney, I may as well make up for it by winning that back playing PL ring games. That's sound reasoning, right? Right. Let's get right into the action, shall we?

Looking back at the tournament summary, I didn't play a decent hand until well into Level III(I think that means 3). And then, the floodgates opened up. I won a hand worth t700 to get my stack back up to where it started, and 4 hands later, I got this hand.

Ah, crap, BisonBison's hand converter doesn't support the PL games on Stars. Ah, that's definitely going to make this much more time consuming. Crap. Sigh.

3rd level Blinds 50/100 (t1540)

I'm dealt AKo in MP and raise 3xBB, get one caller, (the guy to my left calls 30, and the guy directly to his left goes over the top, all-in. I reraise all-in thinking that the short stack is on a steal, with t750 already in the pot. The guy directly to my left folds, and I see that the short stack has Kj0. The guy that folded typed in the chat "had KQo LOL" LOL, indeed. I wouldn't have minded tripling up, but I'll make do with doubling, as the board comes out 6-2-7-2-2, and I win the hand unimproved. Nice!

Two hands later, I get dealt AJ in MP and call the BB of 100. Folded around to the SB, who raises to 200, the BB calls, and I call. Now, I absolutely detest the minimum raise, and I probably would've called a modest size raise because I had position, but the SB let me get in cheaper than he probably should've. That being said, the flop came out A-2-T. SB bets 300, BB calls(that put him all in), and I call. Turn is another Ace. I can't possibly understand why the SB does this, bet he pushes all-in for 700 with 2 aces on the board. I call immediately and what does he have? KK. Stupid minimum raise. The BB has A7, the river is a blank, and I eliminate both of them while pushing my stack to about 4500 before the first break. Nice!

I pretty much hold steady for a few levels when the following hand came up.

Level V (75/150) t4260

I'm dealt AKo in...yup, wouldn't you know it, MP again. There's one limper in front of me, and I raise to t450. The SB folds, and the BB and original limper follow me along for the ride. The flop comes out 5-5-A. I don't know if I'm all that happy about the two fives, because I can't count the number of times that I've seen someone call a raise with Ace-crap, so the limper could've very well had a 5. The limper bet out 750, and with TPMK, I decided to find out if he actually had a 5, I put him all in for about t1000. Looking at this now, I'm not sure I like my play here. He could very well have had AQo, and I'd be back to about average stack. The BB folds, the limper calls and turns over A30. He doesn't improve and I'm up to t7000 in the matter of about 10 hands.

Two hands later...Level 5 (75/150) t7000

How in the hell have I always been in MP when I get these hands? Maybe I'm reading this summary wrong? I don't think I am, though. Anyhow, I'm dealt JJ in MP and first to act, so I raise it to t450. Damn, this would be so much easier with converted hands. Gah. Well, immediate left of me called so quickly, that either he had his "call any damn bet" button marked, or he liked his hand. A lot. It scared me a bit. It's folded around to the BB, who calls the extra 300. The flop fell 2-7-3, rainbow. The BB bet out 450 into the pot, and being a little afraid of the guy to my left with position, I flat call and hope he just folds. He does, and I feel better about my jacks. Ok, one question; when you have nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, why would you ever try to steal with such a small bet? Sure, you don't want to commit too many chips, but when your chances of pushing a preflop raiser off with a 1/3 sized pot bet are slim, why commit any chips. I don't get it. So, the BB was on a steal, I guess, because when the turn came a 6h, (the board read 2-7-3-6, just to clarify), he checked. With 2500 in the pot, I pushed, and he immediately folded. Hmmmm. t8500

Ok, I'm going to skip ahead because this is going to be really long. I did want to touch on a hand-and a situation that's been happening to me a lot lately- that bothered me; people limping with AA. Not a limp, reraise, mind you, just a limp. Why do this? Ok, so it worked against me. Without going into great detail, I was sitting at about t12000, which is more than double the next biggest stack at my table. I'm dealt 66 in the BB, and it's limped around to me, and I just check? Why? I have no idea. The flop comes out x-6-A, which I think is the best thing that could've happened to me. I bet out a pot sized bet on the turn and a limper called, while everyone else folded. I put him all-in with my next bet and he calls immediately and flips AA, for flopped trips. Doh! How could I have possibly put him on that? Lucky for me, he had a shortstack and only got a small portion of mine. Still, this has happened to me more in the last week, than in the last 6 months. Is there a new book out that's telling people to limp with aces? If there is, I'm going to burn it.

Two hands later, I'm dealt AA and ended up pissing away about t3000 when I knew I was beat when there were 4 diamonds on the board, with neither of my aces being a diamond. Looking at the hand history, he had a straight flush draw on the flop, so it's possible that he would've called any bet I made. He seemed to me to be a fairly strong player, and finished 5th, but I guess I'll never know if I would've been able to push him off his hand.

I also gave away another 2000 chips on a botched steal while holding 77 on a board that read x-A-K when I knew that the person I was heads-up with didn't have an ace or a king. He made a minimum bet on the flop(t300), and I raised it to 1200, which so wasn't enough. I should've pushed in a pot sized bet, which would've been about t2000(?) and that might've been enough for the steal. He did, however, use almost all of his time bank, and then finally called. Drat. The turn and river went check-check, and he turned over JJ. I knew I was beat when he called my flop raise bet, and by that time, I didn't want fire again to win the pot. Maybe I should've?

Well. Hmmm. This is getting long, and if anybody is still reading this...kudos to you! I'll make it more concise, yah? Yah. This late in the tournament, it seems that everybody is shortstacked. It's either a push or a fold, unless you're one of the extremely big stacks. I'd made it into the money, and unfortunately I was one of the shorties, with about t4000. In a blur of cards and chips, I somehow managed to work my way back up to t14,000, good enough for 10th out of 17. Was I going to make my first final table? With 1oth making only $50 more than 17th, I wasn't going to sit around much longer. I wanted to double up, and quick.

Level XIV (2000/4000) t14000

Damn, the blinds near the end come around so quick! I'm pretty much pushing with any paint here, and luckily, I pick up KQ and push without even thinking. It's folded around to LP, who has me outchipped by about t8000. He thinks for a bit, calls, and turns over K-10, which is better than anything I could've hoped for. Better, that is, until a 10 flops...and I go home now. Well, I was already home, but you know what I'm sayin'.

I guess that I should've been out of the tournament in Level X when I sucked out against pockets kings, making my wheel on the river. Gee, I almost forgot about that. Heh. For my troubles, and over 3 hours of work, I made...drumroll please? $95. It sure would've been nice to win that $2000 top prize, but I feel good about the way I played the whole night. I finished barely out of the money in the Monty Memorial, and lasted deeper into the money in this tournament than I thought I would.

With that, I called it a night. Or tried to call it a night. Don't let anyone that doesn't play poker tell you that this isn't a tough game to play. It drains you mentally and physically. It laughs in your face and pisses in your beer when you're not looking. I felt good about the way I played, yet I knew that I probably could've done better in both tournaments, and that dug into me. I'm not a person that asks "Did I play this wrong?" but something was still wrong about the whole thing. I know if I played something wrong, and I can immediately realized it.

I got knocked out of the tournament at about 1:30am, and tossed and turned until 4am, and I'm starting to think that my tournament "success" is the reason for it. Sounds strange, no?


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