Sunday, January 27, 2008

Solid Score, Getting Back to Normal

So today started around 2:30 AM. I got up, lounged around for awhile, watched Price is Right, and started to play some poker. I played heads up matches for awhile, winning 4/5 on the day. At 5 AM I started MTTs.

The brief schedule for today looked like this

1 $20 180 player SNG
5:00AM - $33 10k guarantee
5:15 AM - $5 rebuy
6:00 AM - $33
7:00 AM - $11
8:00 AM - $11 rebuy
10:00 AM - $8 rebuy
12:00 noon - $20 20k guarantee

I was chip leader in the $20 SNG with about thirty players left, and somehow managed to bubble. I had 22,000 in chips in the big blind and had 10 10. It folded to the button who raised 4x the blind to 1600. He had about 13,000 in chips. The 4x raise tells me that he has a hand, but doesn't want to get played back at. Still though 10 10 is too strong of a hand to fold or flat call a button raise, so I put him all in, knowing he would call, but also knowing that I had his range beat. He called with AK and won the flip. Now I was down below average at 9,000, which is how I managed to finish one out of the money in 19th.

The $5 rebuy went much better. There was about 500 players to start. I was in for like $45, but ended the rebuy period with over 10k. I wound up finishing in second place for $1320. This has been my first considerable score since starting the blog. There were two key hands which allowed me to coast to a massive chip lead at the start of the final table. With blinds at 1000-2000, I had an average stack of over 40,000. We were already well into the money, and there was only three or four tables left. One player limped from middle position, and to his immediate left, I decided to raise more than 3x with A 9 offsuit. I was in position, and likely had the best hand. Only the limper called my raise.

The flop was good for me, 8 9 3 rainbow, giving me top pair top kicker. He checked, and I bet 7500, and he made the call. The turn was a 7, and he quickly checked. I bet 20,000, leaving only 16,000 behind. He again made the call, and quickly checked the 5 river. I was very confident I had the best hand, figuring his most likely holdings were J9 - K9. I pushed in my last 16,000, and he called with A 8, leaving him crippled. I raked in the 100k+ pot, putting me in the top 10 in chips.

The next key hand was on the final table bubble. We were five handed at my table. Three of us had over 400k, and the other two were shortstacked with 80-100k. The blinds were 5k-10k. I raised UTG(first position) with Q 10 off suit. It folded to the big blind, another 400k+ stack, who made the bone headed play of minraising. So obviously I call gettingover 4 to1.

The flop came 89 J, giving me the niggedy nuts. The big blind checked. I knew he had a monster hand that he was so noobishly slowplaying, so I bet out about 65k, knowing the check-raise was coming. Sure enough, he moved all-in, and I called instantly. He showed AA, and was drawing almost completely dead.

I came into the final table with over 900k, more than double second place. The first hand of the final table I picked up pocket aces, and busted a shortstack, giving me over 1 million in chips with 8 players left.

Later on, with 5 players left, I raised as the big stack with J 9. The small blind make the call, with about 350k in his stack. I had over 900k, still the chip leader. The flop came down J 9 3 and he checked. I bet right out for 50k. The small blind minraised to 100k. Sweet. I moved all in and he called with AJ. Turn, A. D'oh. So that about evened out all of our stacks. Four handed it was pretty close, but I managed to get down to heads up with about even stacks.

A few minutes into heads up play, I was trailing 1.5million to 1.1 million. With blinds at 20-40k, I raised on the button to 100k with AK. He reraised to 280k. I reraised all in, and he called with AQ. "Holdddddd!" I shouted. I was delighted to see the flop of KQ8. However the turn brought another Q, and I was eliminated in second place. How much more obviously rigged can one site get. ; )

I was very happy with the way I handled this tournament. I played the shortstack patiently at the final two tables, being lucky to pick up a few hands, but not pushing anything I shouldn't have out of frustration before that. I was down to about 60k with 8000-16,000 blinds. Before the blinds hit 10-20k, I was over 400k, and well back in the game.

I also made kind of a good fold at the final table, 4 or 5 handed. I had A 6 on the button and raised. I was faced with a reraise, where it looked like I still had fold equity. I considered pushing, since the big blind paused for a few moments before raising. I was thinking he might have two face cards, but I decided to let it go. I was right about him having two face cards. Unfortunately they matched. He showed KK.

I also cashed in the $11 rebuy for $50 or so. On the day altogether, I was up over $1200.

While playing the $5 rebuy, I began chatting with a guy who was from France, who spoke English quite fluently. We started talking on AIM. He had a microphone, so I could hear him talk through my speakers. It was pretty cool, though I would just type back to him on AIM since I don't have a microphone. He helped me with French a little, and I gave him some pointers on poker. He was excited to be playing they Sunday Hundred Grand, an $11 tournament on Sundays with a massive 20,000 player field. I hope to keep communicating with him in the future so I can practice French. When I was in Europe this past October, I felt like I was ignorant being in a culture that speaks no English, and I don't know any of their language, like in Barcelona and Rome. I did OK in Paris, because I took French in high school, but since then I've wanted to get good at it. It's almost impossible to do though because in order to be fluent in any language, I believe you have to be either truly gifted, or live in a culture where the language is spoken. So hopefully this will at least keep me practicing my French on a more consistent basis.

I stopped playing poker around 2 PM, not registering for anymore tournaments because I was tired and had to get to the bank. A friend of mine came up to give me some cash so that I could send money to his account. It wasn't until he got home that we realized there is a problem with his account that he needs to sort out before he is allowed to make real money transactions. So he is taking care of that and I'll probably send the money again later tonight or tomorrow, since it showed back up in my account, and not in his. He was here for maybe 20 minutes, after that I went to the bank and got lunch.

I called my friend Josh to make plans for next weekend, which I will have off from basketball. He was actually on his way back from his girlfriend's college in Massachusetts, to Marist in New York, while I was getting lunch at 99. He stopped in and we ate together. It was pretty fun. While we were eating out other friend Jake called him. Jake is on some Naval boat for school in Panama, which I didn't even know until he called. Josh looked at the number and was confused by the 011 area code. "What planet is that from?" I pondered. Planet Panama apparently.

So next weekend is our other friend's birthday, so he will be back in town, and we will probably all get together then.

After that meal, I came home and tried to help my friend sort out his issue with JokerStars. Then I started my blog, and now I'm going to bed. I'm getting pretty tired. I'll check in tomorrow.

Until then,

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