Monday, October 08, 2007

Running Well

Played the nightly 8.80R $20K on stars just for kicks and planned to keep my losses minimal, only to rebuy 4x and add-on. Started off pretty boring enough and doubled couple of times with some premiums, my hands holding up. On the break I was slightly average after the add-on.

After the break I immediately lost 25% of my stack trying to find out if my QQ were any good. And on a 4d Jd Ks 9d board, I decided it wasnt good enough. Got some chips little later with AK taking out a short stack then ran into some trouble. Doing some aggressive late position stealing, I raised it up with 3x with 7s and got repopped all in by a mid stack. I had about 2.5 to 1 on my money so I had to call only to find 9s. Flopped a 7 though and turned a boat and was cruising. A little later I raise it up UTG with QJs and get reraised a bit by a shortish stack. I figured that I needed to hit the flop to go through with the hand and getting the right price I called. I flop an open-ended straight draw and made the mistake of checking to him. I was gonna call his all-in anyway because I had the pot odds to make my straight, but at least leading out would give me 2 ways of winning, him folding or making my hand. I called his shove and found out he was pushing anyway with his AKo. As I read my friend type 999999999 in the chatbox, it falls on the river and I get more chippies.

I was running well in the tournament and I never remember getting Queens and Big Slick so many times on the button. People always seemed to raise in mid or late position and repop them and call their all-in and win. It was pretty sick. I was fluctuating between 1st and 10th position overall. Once I made the money I really took things into overdrive and aggressively took chips away from those who didnt want them. I remember bluffing several times with gutshot draws and Ace high so many times. Its pretty amazing how many people will fold when there is so much money at stake. Its also amazing how many people think you are just bluffing when you are the chip leader. I also remember at least 2x seeing a raise and reraise and me having AA in late position to quickly chip up. A player in early position min raised to 2k at the 500/1k level and one caller in late position. I had AKs on the SB and reraised it to 10k. He calls and the late position player folds, heads up to flop. Flop comes 4s Ac 4c and I lead out for 15k. He thinks for very very long before calling. He has about 12k++ left and when the turn comes out a Ten I put him all in. He instantly calls and I fear he turned a full house. He fortunately turns over Jacks and I take down a huge pot.

With about 18 left in the tournament, some really big hands came up. As I mentioned earlier, I had been doing alot of steals and the player on my left was either getting very lucky or read my constant raises preflops as steals because he kept reshoving all-in. Of course I never had a real hand to call him with so I gave up quite some amount of chips to him. I finally wake up with ATs in the hijack and as scheduled he shoves. Im a little ticked off and say enough is enough and call, having him convered by only 60k. He turned over 9s, but this was "9s-cant-beat-me-day" and I promptly flop a Ten and send him to the rail.

But it wasnt all fun and games in this tournament, it had its moments as well. One hand was supposed to tilt me but it didnt, guess I was to sleepy to feel it. Raise from UTG all-in, a short stack and late position player pushes all-in as well to isolate. Unfortunately for him I wake up with QQ and call. I was up against K8o from the short stack and 9s from the other player. Everything was fine until the 9s make runner runner straight and hurt my stack a bit. I was very much alive in the tournament and the suckout did not hurt as much thanks to my chip lead. I get back at him though. He raises on the button and I reraise with 10s on the BB. He calls and of course the flop is A X T. I check and he bets. I reraise him a bit, and he reraises back. I reraise once again and he flats. I shove on the turn and he calls with AJs. "Justice prevails" is what I type, to which another player replies, "not very often in this game" A little later I wake up AKo in middle position and raise it up 5x to 20K after an UTG limper. The button goes all-in for 140k total and I have a decision to make. I have over 300k and was not sure what to do. My buddies watching all told me to fold, but I did not want to fold just because he might have AA or KK, which was a stupid and naive reason to fold. Then I remembered a PokerXFactor video wherein the player said something which helped my decision. It boils down to basically me saying that getting the 140K would really not help me at this particular stage in the tournament as opposed to losing it would cripple my play. I like to raise it up and steal and losing that amount of chips would stop me. Besides, I can make the 20k back by just stealing on 2 hands, so that made the decision of folding much much easier.

A level later I was in SB with AQo and an aggressive player on the button raised it up, I had drifted down short because of some caught bluffs and running into some hands and decided now was the time to gamble. I had him covered but only slightly and I pushed all in. The BB instantly called all-in, having him covered by at least 200k and the button folded. It was JJ against AQ and when the Ace hit on the flop, I had taken over the chip lead. Things were getting tense approaching the FT and everyone was playing tight including myself as everyone knew that I was very liberal in my preflop raise requirement, hehe. After a big hand where a relative short stack pushed with AJo on the button only to get called by the BB on my left with the ladies. Jack on flop but that was the extent of the improvement and another player busted at 11th place. Immediately after this hand, I am in the BB and wake up with AA! I say to myself, for the love of GOD, please give me some chips on this hand and not just give me a walk. I was pleasantly surprised to see the button raise it up 4x and was happy to just get this amount from him. I thought to myself, "hmmm, how do I extract maximum value for this", when suddenly the SB pushes over the top all-in. He has me covered and I go all-in. He turns over Kings and types "FUCK". Everyone says the same. That was pretty sick. He is severely crippled having. only 3.5BB left. I take him out later with A5s and its final table time!

On the FT, I see a bunch of players with middle sized stacks, but I have a huge chip lead, having double than that of 2nd in chips. I steal a couple of times but try to not overdo it. 2 three way all-in saw me eliminate 4 players, once with QQ against A8o and JJ, the second with AKs against 6s and Qs. The latter being sweeter since I river the King. I double up people a couple of times, losing some 60-40s where I was ahead, but never be hurt. When it came down to 3 handed, a sick cooler came out. I had 56s in the BB and it was me and the SB heads up to flop. Flop comes 9 high with a 6 and he bets 3x. He has been doing this alot and I flat call. The turn is another 6 and he quickly bets 3x again. I call quickly hoping to value bet on river. He bets the same amount on the river and I decide that I can get max value if I shove, since I had the done the same earlier and got value for my two-pair against his middle pair. He check or bets small on the river, I dont remember. Now I dont know which poker god possessed me to shove but I did. He called quickly and turner over A6 for a better set. Wow, that was pretty sick cooler. I dont think I could have gotten away from the hand though. If I had bet small, I would have value bet, he would have raised, and I would have all my chips in the middle anyways. After the hand, I had about 8-9BB left and was reduced to pushing with A8o in the SB and the CL calling with JTs. He turns two pair and I bust out in third. I get consolation, strangely enough, from him typing "sorry". I appreciated that, im not sure what he was sorry for, but I thought that was really classy.

This was my biggest cash to date, a whopping $2300! The tournament started at 10PM and ended for me at 5AM. I could not sleep as I kept spontaneously laughing and giggling to myself. The win really upped my confidence and helped me feel confident about my game.

Id like to give a shoutout to all my buddies that railed me during the tournament and all the wonderful people back home who introduced me to this great game.

Good Luck to all at online felt.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Patience is key

Whats been happening lately....

Well I played in the second round of the APPT Seoul qualifier and was late actually. I arrived at the end of the 2nd level and was blinded out a bit. I managed to pick up a couple of hands and all of a sudden I was 3rd in chips overall. But in true donk fashion, I got ahead of myself and managed to donk them off. Got them back, donked them again. Got them back, and guess what, donked them again. Its pretty sick if you think about it, I should be a massive chip leader but because of impatience I busted in 30-40th position. Oh well, at least I had fun.

Been having a terrible downswing in my 4.40 MTTs on stars and havent cashed in a long long time. I kept reviewing my game and trying to figure out what I was doing differently or incorrectly. It finally dawned on me that impatience was my thorn and set out to keep myself from being an action junkie by playing lots of games to keep my occupied. Low and behold, I win 2 4.40s back to back in 2 days. That was sweet, it really perked up my confidence. Also, I joined a $6500 guaranteed tournament on UB and got 9th for an ok payout of $130. MTTs there are pretty soft and I plan to play more in the future.

My live games have been profitable as of late. I have been hitting sets so much over the last couple of sessions, its crazy! I also seem to be playing well, keeping myself in check and always trying to stay out of marginal decisions by playing situations and then the cards. I pulled some pretty sick bluffs whenever I amass a chip stack and I have liked the results alot. Its almost like I employ the same big strategy for tournaments as I do in cash games and its been working for me.

Another big poker weekend awaits me, wish me luck.

Good luck to you guys in the felt!