Pokerama-rama! Now with more beer!

Beer, brewing and poker, with possibly some inane drivel on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

My first PokerStars SNG:

Upon the realization that I can log on to Stars at work, I loaded in $50 and jumped right into a cheap SNG. I’ll just preface this by saying that my company has since blocked PokerStars, which is a definite good thing for me. At least I got in when I did.

The first thing that I liked about these SNG’s as compared with Party, is that you start with an acceptable T1500, vs. only T800. Another thing I like is the long blind levels, but this has it’s drawbacks, as well. Both of these factors are suitable to my tight nature, as it’s a great thing to be able to pick better spots to punish people with a decent hand. I’d like to say that I’m tight/aggressive all the time, but that’s probably better decided by someone I play against, rather than just calling myself that. Truth is, I have my moments where I’m tight/weak, and it’s a part of my game that I absolutely need work on. I realize this. The downfall to the larger stacks and blind levels in minutes, rather than orbits, is that once you get heads-up, or even three handed, it can take a considerable chunk of time to get someone to commit to their half-assed hand when they have a stack of T5000.

As far as specifics in this NL SNG go, there weren’t that many that I remember, only that one guy busted everyone out being aggressive/maniacal, only to back off with T11000, as opposed to T2000 for the guy in second place, and me with T1000. I didn’t understand the chip leaders tactics at all. He had almost a 6-1 lead over 2nd place, and an 11-1 lead over me. At the very least, he should’ve been pounding away at my stack when I appeared to be making a weak call, but he would never do that. If he’d limp in, I’d push all-in, only to have him fold time and time again. Could he possibly think that my cards were that good that I could go all-in 5 times in a row? All the blind stealing I was doing had recovered me to about T1500. Face it, banking a $4 win doesn’t do anything to my bankroll, so of course I’m going to try to double through him every chance I get. When he finally caught on and called, I held 10-10, to his Ax. The board didn’t help him, and I was up to about T3000.

Believe me, this three handed crap went on for about 30 minutes before this hand came up; I’m in the BB with 10-Jo. Big stack folds and the SB makes a minimum raise, and I call. The flop comes out x-J-x. Hmmm…what should I do? I check and he fires out 200 into a pot of 400 and I call immediately. Turn is a rag and he bets out with 200. I call. The pot is, what, 1200 now? The river is another craptastic card. He thinks for a bit, and he bets 800. Hmmm. Looking back at the turn, I should’ve raised him to see what his reaction was, but this was my stupid passive/chickenshit side coming out again. Stupidly, I call and he turns over Ajo. By being a calling station, I’d whittled myself down to T800, with the other two being about even at T6000. Don’t quote me on that, though.

My BB again, this time, the guy who had once been the big stack raises, and with only T400 left, I push in, and he of course calls. I had J4o vs his AQ. Does it really matter if it was suited? Not really at this point. Plus, I’m writing this in Msword, and it keeps changing the Q to lower case, and it looks stupid. Anyhow, as I’m already counting out my $4 win (wooooo-fucking-hoo), a 4 spikes on the turn, the board doesn’t help him at all, and I double up. To make this story shorter, I’ll just get to the end; I won it. The guy that was once a gigantic stack went out third, and we had a good laugh at his expense.

Overall, I’m not so sure the SNG’s(don’t worry, I played many more after I got home from work last night. I’m not just making an assumption based on one win) at Stars are any tougher than Party. However, it does seem that they are tighter. I can’t even count how many times I went all-in-in position and way out of it- only to have everyone involved fold. I’d say that it was close to 15 in the first game. And it’s not like I’d portrayed this rock-like table image, either. I cashed in 4/6 I played yesterday, and I know that’s not a large enough sample for me to scream out “I’m going pro!”, it’s not a bad sign right now.

A funny thing happened last night, and I’ll probably do a crappy job of relaying, but here’s to trying. For all of you that play at Stars, you know about the 4 player pictures on the Main Lobby page, showing the Stars’ players that were at the WSOP final table. It’s like a little round picture of their face that they can use as their player image when they place on the site. On the right of the image is a small little “PS”, signifying that they were sponsored by Stars for WSOP. Anyhow, in my last SNG of the night-and mind you, I’m playing $5+.50- there’s a guy playing directly to my right that had an image exactly like those in the main lobby. A picture of his face with a small “PS” to his right. I didn’t think much of it, until he started berating the play of people that were eliminated. He definitely thought he was King Shit. Finally, someone he knocked out asked him about the icon, and he said that he got it because Stars sponsored him for the WSOP. Cool, I guess, but why are you slumming it at the $5+.50, when you claim to be this incredible player? His response “I’m waiting for the big one to start.” Oh. Ok. Yeah, that sounds about right.

Being new to the site, who am I to say was sponsored by Stars? Not that I even care, really. After looking at the pictures on the Main Lobby, and comparing them to this wads’, they look different. His was a little fuzzy, and it just looked “off”. Who knows, he may be legit, but the fact that he was bragging in the cheap tables will always make me think he’s a tool. I think his name was “Charlatan”, or something similar. Eh. How funny would that be if he was reading this right now? I’d get a laugh out of it.

$3+0 Stars NLHE tournament:

A portion of Party that I’d never gotten into-because of their incredibly poor timing-is Multi-table tournaments. I really do like them, and ever since I left UB, I missed entering them. Oh, can I just interject one aspect of aspect that I think UB does better than any other site I’ve joined? Too bad, I will regardless of how my (two) readers answer. UB’s table shift-so that your point-of-view is always bottom center- is great . I love that because I always know where to look for my cards, and it’s just familiar. Even at Party, I tend to seek out seats on the bottom of the screen. With that being said, for this Multi, I was seated in the upper left hand corner of the screen, somewhere that I never, ever sit. It felt awkward from the get-go, and all I could hope for was a table move, but it never came.

My cards were horrendous, to say the least. The times that I did get great starting hands, bad things would happen. For the first hour, I pretty just held back and did nothing more than grab at a few small pots. After the first break, I was exactly where I had started; T1500. Bah on that. The first hand after the break, I’m in the BB with KK. Nice! Yeah, it’s not so nice when it’s folded around to the SB, and all he does is call. In this position, I can’t really raise my normal 3XBB because I feel the SB will fold, and that does me no good. I raise the minimum, and that’s something I absolutely hate doing, but I didn’t feel I had any other choice. Did I? He calls my minimum raise, and the flop comes down 3-A-4. I’m not really scared by this flop, and after he checks, I bet out the minimum because I know he has nothing. The turn is a brick, he checks, and I bet out the minimum again. Come on, man, raise me! Nope, he folded. Crap, my first good hand in over an hour and that’s all I can milk out of him. Oh well, I’m up a little over my starting amount, but well below the average.

About 20 hands later, I’m getting frustrated because the last hand I had played was the kings. I muttered out “Come on, give me some cards, damn it!”. Somebody, somewhere was listening because I was immediately dealt AA in MP. I guess all I have to do to get good cards is ask for them? Damn, I wish I would’ve known that sooner. Anyhow, it’s folded around to me, and I raise to 3xBB. This raise leaves me at about T600, and not enough to do anything with if I had to bail. I was riding this hand into the ground no matter what. I felt that if I pushed all in pre-flop, I’d get no callers and starting the hand with only about 10x the BB, I needed to double up badly, not steal blinds. Just surviving wasn’t an option. With the large stacks at about T12k, the average at about T3k, and me at about T1200, I had to make a move fast. So, I raise to 3x and it’s folded around to the BB, who calls. The flop comes out x-Q-x, and I waste no time pushing my last T600 into the pot. I know it’s not possible to do online, but I think the BB beat me into the pot, and turned over Q7d and I there’s no way I can hate that I’m an 80/20 favorite here. Of course, the river brings another 7. Out in about 450th/1600 by a crappy 7. I wouldn’t have felt so bad if he’d spiked a Q on the river, but oh no, it just had to be a 7. Whatchya gonna do? I think I played well, just got nothing to go along with the few good starting hands that I did get. That won’t be my last MTT, that’s for sure.

WPT 101 Bay Shooting Star Tournament:

I just wanted to hit on a few things about the WPT episode. I’ll try to be as succinct as possible, seeing as how I’ve babbled on long enough already.

Phil Gordon: From the times I’ve seen him play, and anything else he’s been involved with, he seemed like a genuinely decent guy. From congratulating people that have been knocked by saying “You played great the whole tournament” to just being upbeat, he seemed cool. But-and this is a big but-he looked pissed as hell on a couple hands, which I’ll talk about under another section. Oh, and do you think that Phil could be any bigger? Good lord, he’s a Gigantor! His playing style doesn’t lead to a table image, his size is his table image! I’m know I’d be pretty damned intimidated.

Chris Moneymaker: Speaking of intimidation, was it just me, or did it look like Chris was deathly afraid of Phil Gordon? In the hand where Phil called the small stacks all-in bet with 99, and Chris came over the top with AQ, I thought Chris was going to crap his pants, ala Murdock in Rambo: First Blood, when Phil screamed out “I knew you were trying to steal!” Chris looked unsure and nervous the whole night, but perhaps that had more to do with that GIANT bottle of Dew he was chugging from than anything else. Kudos on, what looked like, some weight loss, though.

Presentation: Obviously, the formula that the WPT has adopted is working for them, but at the rate they’re going, all tournaments are going to turn into a circus. Come on, those spotlights are more annoying than Vince Van Pattens attempt at humor! Many of the pieces of the show are very well done, but they need to do away with all the hubbub. The next thing you know, they’ll be shooting off cannons, blowing whistles, and throwing confetti for every hand that’s won, just like on Party Poker!

Shana Hiatt: Yes, I still think she’s hot.

…Holy crap, did I just write all that? Holy crap.


At 7:02 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I also noticed Moneymaker's reaction to Phil's anger. He was just speechless. Then afterward he lamely said "I shoulda stayed out of that pot." Odd to see stoic Moneymaker shaken up. He seemed to play well otherwise tho.


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