Friday, January 27, 2006

Bad Night/Good Night

Well I had quite the night last night. I was the 9th one busted out in the tourney, think I lasted less than 30 min. Three times I flopped two pair and made significant bets, but people kept chasing and I lost to trips all three time! Oh well, the only bonus was that the first nine out get a spot at the ‘losers table’ for a chance to get back in.

I admit that this was my first time at the loser table, and it was quite aggressive. The guy across from me took three people out in a row and had quite the stack. He then naturally began to steal the blinds. Soon after Rafael took someone out so he ended up with a decent stack relative to the chip leader. I was playing quite tight as the other two short stacks were starting to throw their chips in. I took a small/medium pot or two before the chip leaders took out the other two.

Rafael had about 2.5x my stack and the chip leader had about twice his stack (about 5x mine). Fortunately, I have been working on my short handed table skills, and before too long I took about ½ of big stacks chips, which put us all roughly even. I was actually hoping to go heads-up with Rafael but it was not to be, as I took him out shortly thereafter.

The former big stack and I spent some time pushing chips back and forth across the table to each other before we both made our moves. I had Ac5c and he had Tens. I ended up with two pair, 5’s and J’s and 4 to my flush and he had his T’s and J’s. Oh well, that left me with about 2000 in chips and the break was almost done. If you get back in before the next round starts, you get back in the main game with 2000 chips, not just 1500. I just told him to take the game and go get his extra chips, after all, there was still the raffle to let eight people back in, which I did get. Did all right until I went all in with a flush and got called by a boat. That’s poker for ya!

As it turns out, I busted out just in time to join a side game. That was one of the best side games I had ever played. We were playing a rotation of Hold’em, Omaha, and Seven Card Stud. Since I have never actually played Omaha or Seven Card Stud before, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I had a blast and finished in 3rd place on that one. It was wonderful having to approach each hand differently, so your mind is always shifting between different strategies appropriate to the game being dealt. It was quite refreshing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Decent Night...

Yesterday was not too bad for me all in all. I signed up for WWdN #12 OzCDN Invitational, a $10 + 1 semi-private tourney, and then had an hour to kill so I hoped on to a $.05/.10 Limit ring game. I’ve been trying to learn how to play limit as Sue and some of her friends want to head up to one of the casinos up in Milwaukee after everyone gets their tax returns back. I actually pretty much doubled up in half and hour and that left me with about 15 minutes to deal with the dogs before the tourney started.

I did not fare well in this one. I took some good pots early on then I just could not make anything work for me. My trips lost to flushes, straight to a higher straight, and a couple just getting out kicked. In the end, I went out a whole 40 minutes into the tourney to the person who ended up winning the thing, jk87.

I had a JT and made a nice 3x bet. I think jk87 called and the flop came TQ9. I did my 3x bet again and jk87 raised me. My stack was pretty damaged and pot was a decent size, I had a low pair and good draws so I went all in. After using up about ½ his allotted time, jk87 made the call and turns up 78. We were both on an open-ended straight draw and jk87 riverred a 6.

Oh yeah, during that tourney, a pop-up announcement for one of the .10 + 0 with $50 added tourneys poped up. I tracked it down and signed up for it. It started about 10 min into the WWdN tourney and was pretty distracting (all in’s every other hand, and if you’re not ready to bet at least half your stack on a hand then just don’t play it), so I just clicked ‘Sit Out’ so I could focus. As it turns out, they are super-turbos with the blinds increasing every 5 minutes so I was blinded out in like 515th place (of over 2000) before the WWdN tourney was done so I really didn’t get to play, but I did finish in the money and added .15 to my bankroll!!

Then I hit the $1 + .20 SnG’s. Finished my first one in twentysomething place (seven paid). The next one I played pretty well and was struggling to stay awake during the final table, but I did win that one and added $14 to the bankroll.

In total:


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Play Money, the Bane of Poker Today

Well well, you’ll never guess who finally qualified for a Monthly Tournament! I suppose the finally may be too strong a word, after all, making it in one of two isn’t all that bad. I guess I’ll finally get to see if the fact that there is a nice little sum for the winner if that will have any effect on peoples play, but I doubt that it will.

I can never get over hearing how people will play crap to the river making big calls all the way down because it’s a “free game.” And every single one that I have asked if they play on-line always say yes, and that they rock on the play money games on Stars, Party, UB, etc. In short, they play the same way all the time because they play nothing but free games or the occasional $5 or $10 game. When they play in Vegas or up in Milwaukee, they go to gambol and their variance (I trust a few of their reports) is consistent with that.

And every one of them also makes the claim that if they were playing for real money they would play differently. That is something that I just have to question, after all, there is money at the end of these games, up to $50 in the nightly’s and up to $500 in the monthly’s, but because they do not put money down to play, then it just doesn’t matter how they play. Funny thing is, when you sit down with them to play a $5 or $10 game, they play the exact same game because now it’s “only $5” or “only $10.”

Free games and low buy-in games should be played the exact same as a $100, $1,000, or $10,000 (pick whichever one would make you think) game. These games can be the perfect chance to learn and study your game, to develop your game, and work on your presentation and reading abilities all with minimal risk to your bankroll. Even better, if you want to work on a different style of playing this is also a perfect opportunity. But alas, most people prefer just to gambool, after all, it’s free. Put some money in their hands and they will be so accustomed to playing a J2o that they will have no option but to play it, after all they rule in those free games!

So far it has worked for me. I have made it to the last two or three tables every time but once this month and almost doubled my final table showings. I have been working on my play, the amount that I bet relative to my position and who’s at the table/in the hand. I’ve been working on learning how to read people, by far my weakest skill at this time. Because of all the loose aggressive play at the tables, I’ve had to learn how to play tight and yet still play enough to build up a nice little stack to carry me along as the blinds go up.