Monday, October 6, 2008

Live Tournament HH and More...

It's been a while since I've posted. I've been pretty busy but I will get into all of that later in the blog. First I'm going to talk about a tournament I played a couple days ago, Friday, at the Isle casino. It was a $900 tournament with two day 1's and the final table concluding on Sunday. You started with 20000 in chips with an optional $20 2k addon. The blinds started at 25/50, the structure was good early then took a couple jumps.

I sat down at my table just as the tournament was starting and I knew some of the players. There were two people I know Pat and Mike. Pat is just1cool online (I talked about in an earlier blog) and Mike is TheBlade9. I had played with a couple other guys at the table last tournament at the Isle.

Since I had so many chips I figured I would splash around and try to get the table to open up a little as well. I wanted to create a crazy image so I could take advantage of it before the table broke since we were one of the first tables to break.

I watched the table, observed the players and then started playing a couple pots. In one pot I bluffed with 56ss on a QJ34dd board when I called 300 on the turn and fired at the river brick for 750 and got called by Q9. I threw my hand into the muck when he called. A couple hands later I had QT in a limped pot and the small blind bet out 150 the other 4 people in the pot called on a 9T3hh flop and I raised it to 750 to try to weed some people out and see what would happen. The small blind folded and the big blind reraised me to 1500. I decided to peel off a card because I didn't think that he would just call with a huge hand with 3 people left to act behind and the turn brought a 4d. He bet 2200 which I called again. The river came the 4s and he checked. If he had T3 ot 93 his two pair was now counterfeited or if he had a big draw he missed. I decided I would check as well because I wasn't too sure where I was at. The guy looked nervous during the hand but he turned over 9Tss and his nervous look must of just been his nerves for being in a big pot. Oh well, I had the wrong read.

After a couple orbits and playing a bunch of hands I was now down to 17k of my original 22k and decided it was time to play better and get some chips. The perfect opportunity came when UTG limped for 50 and the guy in 2nd position (to my right) made it 225. I called with 77 and UTG called. The flop came KJ7hh. UTG checked and the raiser fired 900. I was pretty surprised by this bet and KNEW he had a huge hand here. Either AK AA KK or maybe JJ. I knew he liked his hand. My initial reaction to his flop bet was to just call and possibly call all the way if I put him on KK. He was a pretty tight player and wouldn't put chips in the pot without a hand. I decided the best option here was to just call his bet on the flop because I thought I could possibly be beat as well. The turn brought another 7, giving me quads, and the best possible hand. He made it 1600 and I raised it to 5k. He called pretty quickly and the river came 2s. I still had the best hand and all the draws missed. He fired a 10k chip into the pot and I pushed in my 11k stack. He called and I showed the nuts and he mucked his hand and I was up to 34k. The guy tried to claim he had KK lol, which I definitely don't believe. Obviously this guy had something. The most likely hand he had was AA, and that's what I think he had. After the hand he just said nice hand and didn't seem to upset at the time, but then a couple minutes later tried to say he had KK and how lucky I got. Although all the money went in when I knew I was ahead. My image paid off and I was now up and running.

My original table broke and I was moved to a new table that seemed very easy. I had about 40k or so at this point and the blinds are 75/150. A guy in 2nd position makes it 1k preflop and I hear one of the people at the table "Is it 44 again?" Giving me the impression that this guy will raise big on any hand hes going to play. I looked down at AQ and wasn't sure exactly what I should do. I figured I could call his raise and see a flop in position and see what he does. The flop came A79 he checked to me and I checked as well. The turn was a 6 and he checked again and I bet 1500. He called and the river was a blank and I bet 2500 and he called with JJ. I won another nice pot.

This new table I was at I realized was going to be very easy to play against. Most of the guys were tight and passive and weren't going to play back at me at all. I was raising limpers and winning pots and playing about 50% of hands, dominating the weak table. I raised a 200 limp with ATo to 600 and the flop came 896cc he checked and I checked behind,. The turn came the 8s and he bet 1500. I read him as weak and decided to call the turn. The river came 3d and he bet 2500. I really thought he was bluffing here, which he was, with the best hand 55. So he won the pot and I mucked my hand. I get in these situations sometimes where I read the players correctly but their bluffs can beat my hands which have showdown value. So sometimes I need to realize I can always raise in spots like this on the river, which I have actually been doing on the Internet lately.

I have a couple very interesting hands in this tournament I'd like to talk about and I'd like comments on what you guys think are the best ways to play the hand. I will write in italics the hands which I'm talking about. The next hand is one of them.

I'm raising just about every hand and its my third hand raising in a row and I actually have a hand this time. I have AKc and one tight kid calls. The flop comes A69cc. I bet 900 and the tight player calls. Now I automatically know this kid has AJ or AQ. I already have seen him put in large raises preflop with QQ KK AA AK type hands so I think his range here is strictly AQ and AJ. The turn comes the Jc and I decide to check. I have the Kc nut blocker but if this guys range is strictly AQ and AJ here do I want to bluff him off of AJ since I can represent the nut flush? Anyway, since he can still have AQ I decided its best to just check call his bet on the turn. I checked he bet 1200 and I called. So now he still either has AQ or AJ. I don't see this guy having a baby flush here with suited connectors or anything so like I said, strictly AQ and AJ. The river comes the Ks and I check into him again and he checks and had AQ. Now my question for this hand comes in to the fact that I should definitely be value betting the river. I shouldn't of checked it. I can beat both of the hands I put him on and he wouldn't fold AJ on the flush board and probably not AQ either given my image. It was a very bad check by me and I don't even know why I did it. I don't mind my check call on the turn but on the river I think I should lead into him since he can't raise no matter what he has since I hold the ultimate nut card the Kc. I don't know why at the time I didn't bet but I think if he is only capable of having AQ and AJ then I must bet the river, and if I don't hit my 2 pair then I should still check call if he does have AJ or AQ. Hopefully that isn't too confusing, seems pretty basic after thinking about the hand again.

The next interesting hand comes up when the cutoff limps for 200 the button limps and the sb completes. I check with 68hh and the flop comes 7c24hh giving me a gutshot straight draw and a flush draw. We check to the cutoff who bets 700. The sb calls and I call. The turn comes the Kc and the sb leads for 1200. I thought this was pretty odd to lead here but I knew he had a big hand. I figured my hand still has a lot of potential and I can still make a lot of money off of it. The river comes the 5c and the sb bets 3500. Now at this point I have the nut straight, but the backdoor flush got there. The small blind led when the flush draw turned. I thought he might of had A3cc or maybe a hand like 24cc. Some kind of mid pair or draw that happened to turn a flush draw and maybe hit on the river. Whatever he had I knew he liked his hand and I figured the best option was just to call his river bet with my straight. I'm not sure if the best play is to raise here or not. Tell me what you guys think. Why would he just call the flop bet the lead the turn? And also he fired huge into the river as well. He ended up having 777 but I think given the action in the hand I played it right. I could of raised him to 7500 or something small and if he reraised I would have to muck. It's probably best to just call. Let me know what you guys think. The guy was solid and didn't do anything too crazy so I definitely knew he had something here.

This next hand I decide to run a big bluff. I didn't really decide it as in "Oh hey let me bluff someone here in a big pot" but given the action, I knew what the player held (I thought I knew.) Anyway, 4th position limps I limp 6th position with Q2dd. The tight kid I talked about earlier made it 1200 to my left. He had been raising really big with his really big hands and showing them (AA QQ) and this raise wasn't as intimidating. I just felt like mixing it up and I decided to call the 1k raise out of position. The flop came 89ss4c and he bet 1200 after I checked. I decided to float out of position and see what happened on the turn. The turn came the 3c and he bet 1200 again after I checked. I was about 99% sure he had air here as in AK or AQ and missed completely (after making it 1200 preflop, on the flop, and on the turn.) I decided to raise to 4500. He called pretty quickly. I was worried at this point but I had seen this kid do some pretty stupid things in the hour or so at the table after flops. You could tell he didn't have much experience. But I just couldn't understand why he would call the turn. I guess my image played into this and he just didn't want to give up the pot. The river brought the 7s and I moved all in. He mucked saying man I had AK and I flipped over my Q2. The table had already been talking about how I was raising every hand etc so this added some fuel to the fire and I now realized I had to be careful in the pots I would be in the near future. People don't forget plays like that.

Exactly two hands later I get AKo and make it 600. The button makes it 2500. He has 32k behind and I have about 50k. The blinds are still 100/200. Now normally vs someone aggressive or someone who is capable of making a move I would reraise here. This kid though was tight as well and passive and I just knew he had QQ KK or AA here. He was pretty confident in his body language and everything. The thing that threw my through the loop was the fact that I have this maniac image and I finally have a good hand. I kind of laughed at myself and figured I didnt want to play out of position not really knowing if I would be good on K or A high flops, and decided to lay the AK down. Who cares. I have 600 in the pot and I know this guy is big here. I laughed and told the table this is the problem when you show a bluff and then get a hand, and flashed my AK and mucked. He showed QQ and said he was calling a shove.

The blinds are now 200/400 and I am still active in a bunch of pots. I pick up KKs UTG and make it 1100. The bb calls. THe flop comes 743ss he checks and I decide to check behind as well. The turn comes the Jd and he checks. I bet 1650 and he makes it 4k with 25k behind. This guy was pretty solid and I wasn't sure if he had me beat at this point with a flopped set, straight etc. I wanted to put in a raise here but thought it would give away my strength too. I just called. He bet 6k on the river and again I decided the best thing was to just call (river 2c). I showed my KK and he mucked and said he had JT.

The very next hand Im in the bb with red 77. Hijack limps and the cutoff limps. An old tight guy makes it 2500 from the button. Blinds still 200/400. He is pretty deep and I am deep, so I decide to set mine. The flop is perfect Qh7s5d. I check and he checks. The turn is the 2h putting up a flush draw and I bet 3600. He calls. He is staring at me like hes trying to stare at my soul. The river comes the 5h completing the flush and giving me a full house. Im deciding what I should do. The guy is just staring at me intently. I know he has something and is very interested in this hand. I didnt think he had KK or AA cause I think he would of bet the flop, so I thought he might of ran into AKhh for the backdoor flush. He was a tight player and didnt put chips in without it. At this point I really thought he had AKhh because I didnt think he would check KK or AA and I didnt think he would be staring at me wondering what I would do with QQ. It was possible he could of had JJ as well scared of the Q on the flop. I didnt want to check to him because he either has JJ here or AKhh so I decided to bet big in case he did have AKhh. I made it 10300 (in case he did check kk or aa on the flop or have JJ, etc...) and he called instantly with AKhh and I was up to 83k. This hand I really wanted to check raise the river but I just wasnt sure if it was AKhh or what. The way he was staring at me kind of gave away his hand and how he liked his hand but wanted to know what I was going to do.. I dont know. Other players would of went broke there but that guy was a solid player.

We go on dinner break and Im raising a bunch of pots. The hijack limps and I complete the sb with 92o. The flop comes J96r and the hijack bets 1500. (This guy had already doubled up a player after limping with 33 on the hijack, seeing a flop of 664, betting 2600 into a 900 pot and the bb shoved it in for like 7k and he called off with 33) The guy was pretty bad. I called his 1500 flop bet. The turn brought a 4 and he bet 8k. I decided to muck but this guy definitely wanted to play back at me. I might of been good there but I gave it up.

A couple hands later me and this guy go at it again. I raise with 73ss in early position and he calls in the bb. The flop comes J72cc and I bet 2250. He makes it 5500. I decided to call and see what he did on the turn. The turn came Ts and he now bet smaller, 5k. I decided to look him up one more time and see what happened on the river. The smaller bets were weaker to me. The river came 3c, which made my two pair but completed the flopped flush draw. He now bet 10k and I called. He had a7 and I was up to 100k. This hand I guess this guy was bluffing the river? Lol, the guy was so bad I really dont hate my play here but I dont know whats best. I was looking for a spot to get all his chips and I mean this guy was just clueless. He fired fired fired and never really knew. I guess he was bluffing at the river or maybe he thought I would call him with something worse, which I might of if i didnt hit two pair but the guy had no thought process im sure behind anything he was doing.

The tight kid i mucked AKo to earlier limps for 800. He had limped before with AJ and some other hands but he had about 20k now. I had JJ in late position and raised limpers like I normally had been to 2800. It got back to him and he made it 6k with 14k behind. Now given my image and me raising every single limp I thought that this kid might actually be making a move here and I had fold equity. I shoved and he had AA and he own the pot. I was now down to about 80k again. This hand bothers me a little bit because the guy was a nit, but when you play a maniac style and pick up hands like that you want to believe people are making plays at you. I guess he might of played AK the same way or AQ, im not sure.

Now at 400/800 I make it 2200 with AKdd, guy had repopped me a couple times he was a good player he makes it 7k with 50k behind. I thought about making it like 24k or something but I wanted to close the door and put him to the test. I moved in. He tanked it for a couple minutes and didnt think I would do it with KK or AA he said and called with AK. We split the pot.

The donkey I was talking about before limps in 2nd position for 800 I have A9o in middle position and make it 2100. He calls. The flop is 942 and he bets 4k into me with about 12k behind. I move in and he calls with A6 lol. So hes drawing to some sick runners. The turn is the Ts making him drawing dead and I move up to 105k. LIke I said, this guy was really bad, and I dont think he cared or even knew what the hell he was doing.

Just1cool was now moved to my table and we normally stay out of each other's way. Im raising every hand and this hand comes up right before the dinner break. Everyone is telling the dealer to not deal with 15 seconds left but im like yessss deal!!! Im raising no matter what! I look down at AKo and make it 2200. The tight kid to my left calls and then just1cool Pat makes it 9k in the bb. I was pretty sure this was a move like 99/100 times here and I shoved on him (he had about 30k behind) and he instamucked. He was on a move and luckily I had a hand.

Back from dinner break the blinds are now 600/1200 100a (antes been in since 200/400) and I raise with KJ to 3200 tight kid calls to left and the bb calls. Flop is 89hh3s we all check. Turn is the As and I bet 6700 and take it down.

Here is the hand that screwed my tournament and made me lose momentum and probably tilt as well. Let me tell you first of all the people at the other end of the table, especially this one lady, are talking crap about me the whole time. They are talking about how Im raising every hand and never have anything and this and that. New people sit down, this lady tells them. I honestly couldnt stand her. The solid guy makes it 4k UTG the tight lady makes it 12k total with 28k stack. I have KK in the sb and tank it out. I asked them both how many they had. UTG raiser had 50k behind or so. I think for a minute and I know this tight lady has a big hand, I was just hoping neither of them had AA. I move all in, the UTG guy folds QQ (he played good -- the guy with AK vs AK earlier) and the lady calls all in with AK. She turns the ace and wins the 70k+ pot and I go down to about 75k. I am pretty pissed I lost to this lady in that fashion and pissed I dont have 150k right now.

Couple hands later I raise the cutoff with ATo and the bb calls. The flop is 442 and he checks. I bet 4200 and he makes it 15k. He has about 22-23k behind and I know he has 66-88 or something like that. So being the tilted idiot I am I decide to push him off his hand because he has to know I obviously have the goods here, cause most of the time I would. But of course he cant fold 77, what was I thinking and I brick an A or T twice and go down to 35k.

I then get all my chips in bad with AJ vs KJ on a K93J board and lose the tournament.

I played awesome up until a point. I opened it up a lot, abused spots and people that I knew I could take advantage of, and didnt get out ouf control either. Everytime I was in a pot I knew what I could and couldnt do. Then I let my emotions get the best of me and I got away from my gameplan and tried to push a guy off a hand where he probably will never fold because these guys are bad and thats why I have an advantage. So basically, I blew this tournament. I was pretty upset about it and defending my title and having a ton of chips and then losing but oh well. It happens, Im learning, and I just have to be able to control everything all the time.

As far as poker online it has been going alright. After the heartbreak on Friday I took down the 50 cubed on Stars Saturday.

Then today (sunday) I final tabled the 109NL on stars and got 4th after losing a flip. Things online are starting to come together and I am playing a lot of volume and learning a lot more about poker in general. I am getting deep and having shots at closing a lot of small tournaments. I am definitely gaining confidence and it is fun. Me and thedonator (stu) have a PLB bet for October, which he probably doesnt care much about, so hopefully I beat him lol. This post has been pretty long already I have been writing for a while. I have more to talk about but I will save it for tomorrow or shortly after that. Good luck to everyone and goodnight.

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