Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Busted 3k Borgata Main, Played Well...

"I got my shades on waitin’ for the sun to shine my way. Got my boom box, suntan lotion, waitin for action. They say when you play with skills good luck could happen." Jay-Z - Guns and Roses.

Well, I thought I was playing with skills, and I guess I was fortunate in some spots, but my luck ran out in the end I suppose. I busted the Borgata Main Event 3k buyin a couple hours ago. I went into day 2 with 20.4k with the blinds at 500/1k 100a. My starting table was amazing. I had Matt Brady (live poker pro who just won Aruba tournament for 1 million a couple months ago) to my direct left. Everyone else at the table besides one player was tight and straight forward. Since I was so short I decided I would sit back and see how the table was and determine what I could get away with, who would call me with what, etc.

I met Matt over the summer when I was in Vegas for the WSOP. We played together at Caesar's. He really impressed me today. He played great. I will talk more about that and him in a little bit but let me tell you how my day went.

The first hand I play I get.. ACES! YES YES YES! I have about 18k and make it 2600. Everyone mucks. Oh well, at least I know they exist! I get down to 16k and move in with QQ in middle position, everyone folds again. I also pick up JJ and shove, no callers. I am still hovering around 18-20k.

The first semi interesting spot that comes up is when a player on the cutoff makes it 2700 and I move in from the big blind with QKo. He folds pretty quickly to my 18k all in reraise and I move up to 24k in chips.

Another pretty sick/easy fold for live tournament came when the guy to my right, who was a very tight player, makes it 3700 preflop at 500/1k. He raised from the hijack and I am to his direct left with 88 on the cutoff. Normally this is a shove online all day long vs. an aggressive player but this guy was tight and it's a deep stacked live tournament. I decided to just muck. No biggie. This was the second hand this player had played I believe.

Now the levels move up to 600/1200 100a and the same tight player from above makes it 4300 preflop in 3rd position. I am in 4th position and look down at TT. This spot is soooooooooooo close. I mean I was baffled what to do here. This guy is such a tight player and this is really only his third hand he's raised. I have 24k in chips. I tanked it for a while. I figured I just had to let it go and wait for a spot where I know I am getting it in ahead. I thought for a little bit and decided to muck. He showed me AKo. He said if I shoved he would of had to think about if he wanted to call and gamble and race against me. Crazy to think I could make a player with 80k-100k fold AK to my shove there but he mucked AK later in the tournament so I believe him. I don't mind my fold here but I definitely think it was close. If I knew he could fold AK/AQ I think its closer to a shove but I didn't know that and I knew he was super tight and went with the muck.

I shove AJo on the hijack for 20k and move up to 23k. The blinds are still 800/1600 200a. Everyone folds. The player in the 3 seat was active and was tricky and limped for 1600. The button (who was also a tight player) makes it 4500. I'm in the big blind with 77 and 16k total. WOW. What made me fold here was two things. When the first guy limped he looked at my stack and then did something that made me believe he had a pretty good hand and didn’t mind gambling against me. Also the fact that the button was tight and I didn't think he would do this with a hand like 22-66 or anything. He could never fold either so I made an easy fold. The limper reraised to 12.6k and claimed JJ while the button raiser claimed TT -shrug- If it limps to me I probably shove but I don’t know if the first guy really had JJ. The button probably really did have TT though.

About an orbit later, I still am blinding down waiting for a good spot to get my chips in. There are 3 limpers in the pot when I am in the small blind with 23cc. I have 800 invested and call 800 more with 10.7k behind. Matt checks his big blind and the flop comes 22d8hh. We all check and the turn comes Jd. Putting two flush draws out there. I decide to check again and hope that someone fires. Matt bets 2900 and Jason Young (who was moved to the table a little bit ago with chips) calls the 2900. I then move in for 10.7k. Matt folds and Jason calls with K5dd. He hits the Ks on the river but it doesn't help him and I go up to 37k in chips.

The blinds are now 1k/2k 200a and I raise a couple pots with KJdd and A8cc in good position. I have a great image so nobody is playing back at me, although I've had it in the hands I've been in. I raise ATo one off the hijack and the tight big blind defends. It looked like he wanted to reraise me preflop but he decided against it. The flop comes 689ss and I had As. He checks to me, I bet 6800 and he tank folded. I imagine he had a hand like AQ here. Up to 44k.

This next hand is probably the second most interesting of the day. I make it 5200 preflop with 88 and the button calls and Jason Young calls in the big blind. The flop comes A73hh and we all check. The turn is the Kd putting two diamonds up as well. We all check again. The river comes the 7s and Jason bets out 8300. At this point I am almost positive my 88 is good against Jason. I really don’t think he would bet a King here and I don't think he has an ace in this spot. A seven might be the most likely of combinations but I really felt like since me nor the button showed any interest in the pot that he was going to take his stab at it. At this point I see the button show his hand to the guy next to him. When he looked at his hand originally in the hand he squeezed it so I knew he had some paint. I thought he might of had KQ or QQ/JJ. But like I said he showed his neighbor his hand which made me believe he didn't care about the rest of the action in the pot. The only problem with me calling Jason here is that I thought the other guy might come along with KQ if he didn't think I had an ace. Instead of just calling Jason I decided to raise the river. I made it 11k more on the river over his 8300 raise. I left myself with about 20k in chips. I feel like my hand definitely seems like AA or KK here. Jason turned over 45dd and said he had 14 outs or something and mucked. Normally I just call the 8k on the river and don’t risk the other 11k but I wanted to squeeze the button out. The button said he had JJ, so he wouldn't of called anyways, but I took a different line here which turned my hand into a bluff although I didn’t have to. I think its a pretty interesting spot since normally I just call because I was pretty sure I was good (which my read was right) but I wasn't sure about the button getting in there with a K. I am now up to 65k after this hand, awesome!

Things are looking good until this hand comes up against Matt. Let me give a little history to the day. Me and Matt have been talking all day about hands. I have been honest with him and shown him some of my hands and he has shown me some of his. Sometimes people lie about their holdings and other things at the poker table but I felt like me and Matt were being straight up against each other. We were staying away from each other because the table was so good and there were other spots at the table. We also talked about a hand where he said if he had 99 on a 752hh board sometimes he checks behind because his hand cant handle that much heat. With all that said this hand comes up:

I make it 5200 on the cutoff with AQo. The big blind is the tricky player who has been really aggressive playing back at Matt a bunch, but hasn't messed with me. Matt calls on the button and everyone else folds. The flop comes 222. Normally my hand is pretty good here on these flops. As long as he doesn't have a pair I am good. I also know that Matt could definitely have a pair here, or nothing, and float me. I decided to check the flop and see what develops. The turn comes an 8. I check again and this time he bets 6800. I wasn't really convinced at this point. I know my hand looks like AQ/AK but I still wanted to see what happened on the river. I could play AA or KK like this and super trap someone but I didn't have it this time. The river comes another 8, making the board 22288. He asks me how much I have behind after I check the river, and he moves all in (puts me all in for 48k.) Now this is where the psychology comes into play. I don’t think he ever has AK. I think he reraises QQ-AA against me preflop. I also know he could just have any suited connector or like QJ KJ KQ, etc. So I limited it to this: I thought he could have 99, TT, JJ. I also thought maybe 33-77 and he got counterfeited on the river. The only problem with the river is the fact that I'm calling the chop. I couldn't really see him just putting me all in on the river with 99, TT, JJ because he could still get value from me since my hand looks so much like AK/AQ. I definitely thought he would shove 33-77 since he got counterfeit and wanted the whole pot to himself. I also thought he would do that with all of his other bluff hands like 56 suited, qj, qk... I tanked it for a while and asked if this was one of those hands where he checks behind with TT because it can't handle the heat? I ended up thinking about it for a while, and decided that he was tricky and capable enough to play 99-JJ or even AA or something like this and it would be stupid to call for a chop. I ended up mucking and he later told me he had 33. I don't mind my fold here at all. I think it comes down to 33-77 and 99-JJ and I think he value bets 99-JJ but I could be wrong. Maybe I should call the river given that thinking but Matt plays good and I let him have it. I also could have bet the flop and went from there. Sometimes I fire two bullets on boards like that but I didn't want to do that against Matt because he wouldn't fold JJ or TT there against me.

Matt also made a sick laydown and gave me some insight to live play. Tight player makes it 5500 at 800/1600, other guy who won AQ vs. AK and got short again, shoved in 25k and Matt had AKo in the big blind and 50k. He ended up tanking and mucking. The first guy had AA and busted the other guys TT. Matt's reasoning for the hand was that the first guy was tight and opened big and that he didn't think the second player would move in with AQ again since he did that earlier and beat AK. So he would be flipping against the second guy at the minimum and he still had the tight first over raiser to worry about. His thinking was spot on. We talked all day until I busted and he really understands live play. It was interesting seeing his opinion on poker and talking to him about hands because it will help me in the future when I play more live poker. It definitely is a different game and he got me thinking differently which is good.

Okay, on to my tournament again. Jason Young makes it 5k at 1200/2400 from the cutoff and I have 89ss in the big blind. I call the min raise and the flop comes AT2s. He bets 5k and I muck. The next hand he opened Q3o, so I guess I could of shoved here in this spot but I didn't mind that I called. I had been patient all day I don’t just like moving in with 9 high praying they fold. A couple hands later a tight player limps for 2400 and I move in for 39k with AKo. Everyone folds. I didn't want to make it 8500 and have to brick a flop or have someone behind me flat call and I play out of position so I shoved to pick up the 8k in the pot. I am now up to 47k.

It folds to me on the button and I look down at KJo. The big blind has about 25k and the blinds are 1200/2400 300a. I think about what to do. KJo plays pretty good on the button, and I wont fold to the big blind either, or I wouldn't even raise. I thought about just moving in and that seemed like a little too much with 42k in chips, although I am picking up about 6k. I decided to raise to 6200. Matt thought for a little bit and moved all in. The big blind folded and I had a decision. I thought for a little bit and folded as well. Matt told me he had QK. I would never call it off in this spot but I wish I would of shoved preflop. We talked about the hand and Matt says he folds AT, QK, but better he would call. I know shoving for 42k there is a lot but I don’t mind gambling vs. the big blind with KJ or having a chance to pick up 6k. Also only a couple hands Matt calls me with have me crushed. If I knew he folds QK and AT there it's probably a shove. I don't mind how I played it again. Oh well.

So here comes my bust out hand. A couple hands later I have 35.5k in chips and the blinds are 1200/2400 300a. I am short stacked like I have been all day. I am in third position and look down at TT. I think the only right play in this spot is a shove and I moved in for 35.5k. It folds to Jason Young in the big blind and he asks me If I want action? I said "Yeah." He called. I thought for sure he called me with like 66-88 before he flipped up his hand. He turned over AQcc and the board came KQ2cc3hAh and I was out.

I battled hard and felt like I played pretty good today. I didn't do anything to jeopardize me having a shot. I got into a flip to get up to 70k and I didn't win it. Oh well. It is frustrating that I had some hands and didn’t get action and that all the pots they were unopened and everyone folded. It is also frustrating that I was up to 65k and couldn't keep increasing. I felt like I played really good today and did all I could. I am happy with how it went.

I will be leaving to go back to Florida probably tomorrow. It will be nice to get back home and start playing online again. FTOPS is coming up and hopefully I can have a better run than I did last FTOPS. I am DEFINITELY WINNING AN FTOPS EVENT! I'm getting better by the day and soon everything will come together. I will update the blog tomorrow or the day after and talk about my first experience to Atlantic City a couple years back. It should be a good read.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Made It To Day 2 Of The Borgata 3k Main...

"They say what goes up must come down, but I aint reach my cruisin' altitude. Take a look at what I did, but can you imagine what I'm about to do?" Ludacris - On Top of the World.

I made it to day 2 of the Borgata 3k Main Event. It wasn't pretty. We started with 50k in chips and 75 minute levels. The blinds started at 25/50 and slowly progressed from there. I ended the day with 20.4k. The blinds will be going to 500/1k 100a when we resume on Tuesday. Let me tell you how my day went today...

When I got to the table I recognized one Internet kid I know in the 10 seat who plays good. Aside from that I didn't know anyone else. The first interesting pot I get into was at 50/100 when I raised 74dd in early position and got 4 callers. The flop came 762r and I bet 800. Two call. The turn is 5 we all check and the river is 4 we check to the last guy who bets 3k. I tanked for a minute and didn't think he was bluffing and my 2 pair were no good. I folded and the other guy looked him up with 45ss. The other guy had AK.

Next hand I raise with 84hh and the sb calls. The flop comes J23hh and he checks to me. I bet 425 he calls. The turn is the Jh and he checks to me again. I'm praying he has QJ or something at this point and decide to bet 700. He raises me to 1500. I just call and the river comes the 8s. This is a good card for me if he does have a jack its less likely that the 8 fills him up since I have one in my hand. He fired 5k on the river. I tanked it for a while deciding if I should call. He could easily have 22 or 33 or a higher flush but I looked him up and he mucked. I was up to 57k after the first 2 levels of play.

The table is pretty crazy. One guy limps for 100, one guy raises to 350, I reraise cutoff with A5hh to 1250, and the small blind reraises me with J5o to 4600 and shows it. This was the first three bet I did which happened to be two hours into the tournament. I made an effort to not three bet light early but I guess people still feel the need to squeeze J5o against me lol. Nobody at the table has folded to a 3 bet either. There is probably a 95% flop rate. It's just crazy.

There are two guys at the table who are playing every hand. The first one limps UTG and another middle position player limps. I have QQ on the cutoff and make it 750 at 75/150. The big blind just calls (the guy who had AK and called my flop bet on the 762 rainbow hand) and UTG calls (the other guy who is in every pot.) The flop comes AQ7dd GIN!!!! It checks to me and I bet 1650. The big blind makes it 4650 total. He has two 10k pink chips behind him along with four green chips totaling 20.1k (green chips are 25.) I can tell he loves his hand on this flop and I thought he had 77 or AQ/A7 for sure. Maybe even KJdd. Sometimes I just call his reraise on the flop here but I could tell he wanted to get his chips in the pot. I didn't want a bad turn to peel for me or him and scare him away so I decided to make it 13k (10k more than his raise.) He went all in and I snap called. He threw down AA on the table and I bricked the one outer. I really couldn't believe this guy who was playing every hand ended up having AA here and just called preflop and hit the perfect flop. Oh well. I went down to about 31k after that pot. He had 26k or so to start that hand before I doubled him.

Another aggressive player was 3 betting a lot at the table. One guy made it 400 preflop, he made it 900 and I made it 2650 out of the small blind with 89ss. He called and the fop came QT3cc. We both checked. The turn came 9c and I decided to bluff here and bet 3800. He made it 10k and I folded. This was probably a really bad 4 bet but I hadn't been crazy preflop and this was before I realized that nobody at the table was going to fold to a 3bet. Also I was out of position and wasn't deep enough to make this play. This was horrible by me.

A couple hands later the same aggressive guy makes it 400 preflop and gets 3 callers. I call with 89o on the cutoff. The flop comes Q92r and he bets 1125. I call, the others fold. The turn comes Q we both check. River comes J and he bets 2800. I thought this hand out for a while because the Jack hits everything and I really don't beat anything on the river. This guy had been betting every flop and really just trying to bully people which made me ultimately call him. He mucked his hand and I was back up to 28k. I got a couple really good reads off him and hopefully I play with him more in the future of this tournament and can use them to my advantage.

This next hand is pretty ridiculously sick. Oh let me also add that I was straddling or blind raising under the gun every time for the early levels. This generated some crazy action and I'm sure people thought I was a nut. I learned this from Stu lol. Anyways, really the only showdown I've been in that was a big pot was the QQ vs AA pot. So I raise 63dd on the hijack and the button, who is an active player, calls. I know hes flatting here with a million hands. The flop comes KQ6 one diamond. I Bet 750 on the flop and he floats me on the button. The turn comes A and I bet 2200. He calls again. At this point I really think hes just floating me to outplay me again on the river. I probably should of changed my line in this hand on the turn or river but I thought my line screamed JT or AJ. The river comes T making it KQ6AT and I fire 3850. He snap calls and I say "Jeez what do you have AQ?" I tell him I have a 6 and he flips over Q4dd. He called me with a pair of queens on the river. Pretty crazy. I would imagine hes good there probably 5% of the time by just calling. I could be bluffing with a K, A, etc. -shrug- I'm not sure his thought process on the hand but that was the first pot I really fired into so I was shocked to see him call there. Good call though I guess he had a read on me or something. I am now down to 21k.

At this point I realize if people are calling me with Q4 on a board of KQ6AT then I am doing something wrong and I need to tighten up lol. The level goes up to 150/300 and 200/400 and I play exactly 3 hands during these levels in these 3 hours. I have never been so card dead/played so tight in my life. I open one pot with AK and the bb defends and it comes J45hh and I fire and he raises me and I have to muck. Since I had built a tight image (in the mind of some players) I pulled off this squeeze. The Internet kid I talked about earlier who plays good made it 1100 on the hijack and the cutoff called. The cutoff was a new player to the table who seemed tight. I had 74o on the button and make it 3900 with 10k behind. I know the Internet kid knows that I have tightened up a lot and will respect it unless he has a big hand. Also I don't think the other caller will go crazy when I only have 10k behind. They both muck and I go up to 17k.

My third hand I play during this level is when I have 16k in chips and make it 1100 preflop with AhKc on the hijack. The cutoff calls and the small blind reraises to 6k total. I move all in for 10.1k more and he calls with K7hh. Wow. The flop comes 93hh45 HE HAS SO MANY OUTS!!... and the river is the Js and I double up to 34k!

The blinds are now up to 300/60 and I raise a limper with AJhh. He calls and the flop comes T83h and he checks and I take down the pot with a continuation bet. I also opened 64ss and got 3bet. Thanks for the reminder that I have to stay tight and wait for a hand at this table guy. I finally get a decent hand with TT on the cutoff and the big blind calls my 1550 raise. The flop comes A66 and we both check. The turn is a K and we both check. River comes 5 and he bets 1500 and I call and he mucks. 35k.

I have now blinded down to 27k. I don't think I've really played any pots. I am really card dead. I have never been so card dead ever in my life. There is a limper for 600 and the guy to my right on the cutoff makes it 1600. A small 1k raise. At first I thought this shouted strength. I looked down at AJo on the button and decided to stab at the money in the pot already and made it 4600. It got back to the initial raiser and he put me all in. He had KK and I mucked. I wish I would of just called here but obviously I was just trying to pick up the dead money out there. Normally I just call in position I don't know why I didn't do that in this pot.

And from there on out I just blind down until the end of the night and end with 20.4k going into day 2 on Tuesday. I didn't get AA or KK all day once again. I got AK twice, QQ once, TT once, AJ twice. Those were my best hands. I looked at K3 and Q2 all day it was really bad. I need to get back to online play where I can play 20 tournaments in a day and see some hands! Just kidding =). I know the deck has to smack me in the face soon! Hopefully Tuesday I can run my 20k up to 300k in the first couple levels lol.

That's about all I have to say. Today didn't really go so well but I'm still alive and still have a shot. The blinds will go up to 500/1k 100a and hopefully I get hot. I have been pretty card dead my last couple of live tournaments so maybe things will change come Tuesday. I am proud that I switched gears and didn't panic and just dealt with what was presented to me. I didn't get out of line and try to force the play. Thanks for reading. Goodnight.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Close Again In The 2k, Yet So Far...

"People walk by and stare like I'm somebody Important. But more and more I'm just feeling like I'm dormant. This must be the calm before that big storm hits." Anonymous.

The theme of my trip to Atlantic city seems to be the same thing over and over again. Play all day, lose towards the end of the night. Yesterday I played the 2k tournament. It started at 11am and I busted around 11-11:30pm. I think it had 230 people and I got about 50th place with 27 getting paid. The tournament was awesome. You started with 15k in chips and 60 minute levels.

The first hand I play a guy to my right raises the cutoff to 200 and I call with JJ on the button. Flop comes KT8r and we both check, the turn is a 3. Check Check. River is a 9 and I bet 200 and he calls and loses with A8. Take note of this player because he couldn't win a pot and was visibly frustrated at the beginning of the tournament.

UTG limps, and the same guy to my right makes it 175. I call with KJo and utg calls. The flop comes AJ6dd. It checks to me and I bet 300. The guy to my right calls. The turn comes the Kh and we both check. He bet 400 on the river and I beat his A9cc and was up to about 16.5k

UTG raises to 125 and the guy to my right calls from sb and I call from the bb with 57cc. The flop comes K36hh we all check, turn is Kc we all check, river is 4d sb bets 300 I make it 800 and he folds. So this is three straight pots I have beat him out of.

The very next hand utg raises again to 125. Guy to my right calls on the button and I call in the small blind with 99. The big blind calls as well. The flop comes T94r and we check to the button. He bets 300 and I make it 1200. I made it more this hand because I thought he was getting sick of losing pots to me and would pay me off lighter. The turn comes Kd putting two diamonds up and QJ gets there. I decided what to do. I really thought the guy had a T here and didn't think he had a drawing type hand. I should of lead the turn since I'm not going to fold anyways but I wanted to see what he did. I checked to him and he bet 1600 with about 6k behind. I thought about it for a minute and decided to move in and maybe he would call me light with just a T or a JT QT type hand. He mucked and showed KThh for top two. I guess I should have lead the turn and played that street bad.

I raise QJo at 50/100 the bb calls. The flop comes J55dd and I bet 400 and he called. The turn came the 9h and he lead for 700. I really thought he turned a 9 here somehow, maybe with a flush draw. I called. The river came the 3d and he bet 800. I didn't think he would bet this small if he hit the flush and decided to call. He turned up A9 and lost. I am at 22.6k now from my starting stack of 15k.

UTG limps 2nd position limps and I limp button with 66 red. Flop comes 882ss and UTG bets 450. I decided to call here and see what happened on the turn. He checked the turn which was the 4h, I checked as well. On the river he bet 700 after the Th fell and I decided to look him up. He showed QKss for a missed flush draw.

I had two Internet players at my table, BadgerPro(andy) and fratboy247. Andy was active early and I didn't really mind. Sometimes I mix it up since was two to his left and apply the pressure early but I decided to wait and apply the pressure when the antes were in play and blinds were higher. So I decided not to 3bet him until those levels unless I felt I had to. He made it 450 in middle position and the guy to my right called. I called as well with TTd. The flop came J45ddd and they checked to me. I bet 800. (The blinds are now 75/150.) Andy folded and the other guy called. The turn comes Jh and we both check. The river comes the Ts and I bet 1900. The guy looked me up with 66 and I scooped the pot. I am around 22.5k

UTG limps for 150. I limp in 2nd position with QTss and sb and bb are along for the ride too. The flop comes 972sss and I flop the third nuts. It checks to me and I bet 350. The sb calls. The turn is the Ad and I bet 700, he calls again after checking. The river is the 8c and he checks. I bet 2200 into a 2500 pot. I thought he had the As and would call the river, he mucked. 24k

There are two limpers at 100/200 and Andy makes it 900 in middle position. I have JJ on the cutoff and decide to just flat. Fratboy calls as well as one limper. The flop comes A44cc and we all check. The turn is the Ah putting two flush draws up. I wanted to bet after they all checked to me but I thought Andy could have KK or QQ here and would call. I guess I should still bet to see where I am at considering the fact that I think I have the best hand here unless he has KK or QQ only. I didn't really think about it in the heat of the moment. There was about 4k out there and I just knuckled. The river came the Ks and we all checked and Andy won with a rivered QK.

Andy had chips until he got into this pot. I want to talk about a lay down he made that not many people would make. He raised to 600 preflop and the guy in between us called. The flop came 852ss and he bet 1100 on the flop. The guy made it 2200. Then he reraised to 5600. His opponent was pretty straight forward and hadn't gotten out of line or anything. The turn came As and Andy checked (after already putting like 6k into the pot with a set of fives) and the guy instantly bet 4k. Andy had about 10-12k behind still and folded his 55 face up almost instantly. The guy showed T8ss and he won the pot. It's tough to not fall in love with your hand here on the flop and continue to go with it. He made a good fold and didn't try to fish on the river or anything. He knew he was beat and got rid of his hand without trying to talk himself out of it.

I raise J9hh UTG to 800 at 150/300 and the big blind calls. The flop comes T8hhQ. He checks to me and I bet 1200, he calls. I turn the straight flush with the Qh. We both check. The river comes the Ac. I am praying he has AQ but he checks into me, I bet 2k and he mucks, up to 26k.

Guy limps 2nd position to 400. Active hijack player makes it 150 and I call with Qjss in the big blind. The small blind calls as well and we go four to the flop. It comes Q74r and we all check. The turn is a 2 and I bet 2300, they all fold 32k.

A new player gets moved to the table UTG his first hand, he limps. A couple other limpers and I have JJ in the sb. With the antes and dead money out there I decide to make it 2700. The utg limper then makes it 4k more. It was a weird spot given the potential psychology involved, but after playing with the guy for longer, I realized he was a nit and most likely had AA or KK there. While the hand took place though I thought I could be getting outplayed lol. I guess I always think that.

Blinds now 300/600 and this tight guy makes it 3150 on the hijack. I pick up AQo in the bb. He has about 12k behind. He has been really tight and I wasn't sure what his big raise meant. I was worried about him having AK and I tanked it for a minute. I really was stuck in this spot because he raised so much preflop. I had seen him raise larger preflop but never this big. I decided my hand was too strong to fold and I moved all in. He instantly mucked and I was at about 30k.

I went to dinner break with about 12k in chips going into 400/800. I got back and the very first hand Andy makes it 2100 with 18k behind and the guy to my right calls 2100. I have 88 on the hijack and tank it for a minute. I didn't know how wide Andy was opening but I figured he would open a lot of hands here still, since he had been all day. With the extra dead 2100 out there I had to shove I decided. I moved all in, Andy folded, and the guy between us thought for a while before calling the 12k more. He had 33 and I won the hand and was up to 32k.

At this point I stopped writing hands to my blackberry. The table got really crazy and one of the players was having a fit. We had the floor called to our table probably 10 times in the span of 2-3 hours. I tried not to get upset. One hand I had the clock called on me after only a minute of thought because the guy said "he thought I was going to fold." Anyways, it was kind of crazy, people were mad and it wasn't good poker environment. I didn't want to write the hands down to my phone and potentially get in trouble while I was writing on my phone and I didn't want to get up from the table every hand I had to write about. Also, there wasn't much to write about after this point.

I was card dead, and I had a stack size where I had to just wait for hands. There were two players at the table who were basically in every hand and I tried to hang in there. The blinds were 500/1k and I only had about 20k and shoved AK one time. Other than that there wasn't much that happened.

I got moved to a table with a couple Internet players when we were down to about 60 left. I had about 20k in chips at 600/1200 200a. I moved in one hand with JTo on the button and picked up the blinds and antes. Another time a player to my right who was limping a lot limped UTG and I shoved AJo in 2nd position and picked up the blinds and antes as well. I was just hanging around trying to find a spot to double up when this hand came up.

An active Internet player (not sure who he was) made it 3200 on the cutoff. A tighter player called on the button and I looked down at JTo. I had 1200 invested and had to call 2k more in about a 10k pot. 5-1 on my money, I'm not folding many hands here. I call and the flop comes T64cc. I check and the Internet kid thinks for a minute before betting 5600. The button had about 25k behind and I had about 20k behind. My first instincts were that the Internet player wouldn't bet here because he would be worried about the tight guy calling on the button. After I thought about it a little more I realized the Internet kid had 60-70k and that he would probably bet here any hand he raised because we both either have to shove or fold. Neither of us can really call vs. him in this spot. Also maybe he wasn't worried about the guy calling on the button because he had more history with him than I did since I just got to the table. I only saw him limp AK utg and then tank it for a minute to call a short stacks all in, so I figured he was a tight live player. Anyways, the button folded and the decision was on me. I came to the conclusion that the Internet kid would bet here his whole range considering hes only rising 5.5k to win the 11k in the pot and the fact that we either shove or fold on him. I moved in for about 15k more and he asked how much more it was and said call. Dang. I told him i had a T and he said he did too. I prayed it was 9T suited or something but he flipped over KThh and I didn't improve and I busted in about 50th place.

I think the last hand I can't get away from. Also the blinds were going up to 800-1600 300a in about 3-5 minutes. I really couldn't get anything going in this tournament. Again, it was a tournament where I didn't get AA or KK at all. I had AK twice with no showdown and QQ once. I did pick up JJ about 5 times though lol. I keep talking about this. I know you see a lot less hands live but after playing for 10-12 hours and probably seeing 300-400 hands the odds are supposed to catch up. I need to stop talking about that haha. Anyways, It's frustrating getting deep and playing for so long and getting nothing out of it. At least it's experience.

I have a good Atlantic City story. Today my buddy Hans left his shower on while he went down to sweat our friend Tim who was still in the 2k but bubbled it. He was supposed to check out of his room but he wanted for it to appear as someone was there in the shower. He probably left the room for about 30 minutes. We get back to his room, and step inside and immediately step into a puddle of water. LOL. We open the bathroom door and the whole bathroom including the side room where the toilet is is covered with water. The floor had at least 1-2 inches of water on it. It had even seeped through into the closet, outside the hotel room, and on the outside wall of the bathroom lol. It's a pretty serious water disaster. I know how bad water damage is so I'm not sure what the deal is. We spent about an hour cleaning up the bathroom with towels and ringing them out in the sing and the shower. We haven't been back to the room in a couple hours. We were supposed to bring towels from my room to go clean the rest of his room but we went to White house subs (awesome sub place in Atlantic City) and then have been in my room ever since. Hopefully the damage isn't anything serious and he doesn't get in too much trouble lol.

I'm not playing until the 3k on Sunday/Monday. I will probably play on Sunday and avoid playing online that day. Hopefully the 3k is my tournament since none of these other tournaments have panned out for me. I would hate to leave Atlantic City empty handed. Talk to you guys later.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another 13 Hour Day, Another Bubble...

"I've been real all my life, they confuse it with conceit. Since I will not lose they try to help him cheat. But I will not lose, for even in defeat there's a valuable lesson learned so it evens it up for me." Jay-Z - Blueprint 2

Today Was the $560 Deepstacked NL Event at the Borgata. You started with 30k in chips and 45 minute levels. The levels went 25-50, 50-100, and so on. I felt pretty good going into today. I really like deepstacked tournaments. They have a lot more room for play and it allows you to make more mistakes and you also have higher reward. When I got to my table I noticed some players. Online player "JOEYTHEB" was to my immediate left, Mike Sica, and Jacobo Fernandez.

I played a couple small pots here and there feeling out the table. I raised J8ss UTG to 300 and the big blind called. This is in the second level of play. The flop came 862r and I bet 400. She called. The turn came another 8. She checked, I bet 600, she made it 2k. At this point I thought she had a 6 and was feeling me out. She wasn’t that experienced of a player. I decided to call. The river was a 4. She checked to me again. I didn't think she had anything at this point and decided to value bet 1200. She immediately raised to 3500. I thought about it for a minute. Her line made absolutely no sense and I figured she was full of it. I called and she mucked her hand claiming AK. -Shrug-

The next interesting hand came when UTG limps for 100, sica limps and the cutoff makes it 325. I called in the small blind with 66. UTG mucked, Sica called. The flop came A64r and I checked. Sica bet 575 and the raiser called. I made it 2300 and Sica mucked and the other guy called. The turn came a T, rainbow board. I bet 4k. The guy said "CALL" really distinctively. He was really vocal when he said it. I don't think he believed me what so ever at this point. The river was an 8 and I thought for sure he was going to call the river. I bet 11.5k and he ended up thinking and folding. I wish I would have bet 9k or something. I think I might have played this hand too fast on the flop or bet too much on the river. It's a really dry board on the flop but I wanted to get some more money in the pot there, especially out of position and vs. two players.

I get a little more aggressive and have some chips now. Jacobo raises the lady to my right calls and I call with 77. The flop comes K73ss and Jacobo makes it 700. I make it 2250 and Jacobo calls. The turn comes the Td putting two flush draws up. He checks and I bet the same amount I did on the turn in the hand before, 4k. He makes it 11k with 18k. I thought for sure he had AKss or KT here or maybe 33. I definitely thought he had to go with his hand at this point for raising the turn. I decided to move in and he tanked for a couple minutes and folding AK face up. I had 56.5k at the first break.

Sica makes it 400 at 75/150 on the hijack. I reraised in the small blind with AKo to 1475. He called. The flop came T89r. I checked and he checked. The turn came Jd putting two diamonds and a one card straight. I figured this was a good card to bluff at because he basically needs the Q here to continue. He could have JJ also but I think he either raises the turn or folds. I bet 2200 and he made it 7k more. I ended up mucking I think he had QQ here.

I raised to 400 with AKhh and JOEYTHEB makes it 1200. I decided to just call here out of position and keep the pot small. He hadn't done anything crazy and I didn't think he was 3 betting me light. The flop came 962hh. I flopped a flush draw. I checked and he bet 1400, I called. The turn came the Jc, putting two clubs on board. I checked and he bet 3100. At this point I figured he had AA or JJ. He played a hand earlier where he only tried to get two streets of value on someone with a big hand and played it cautiously. I think he might think I could smooth call his raise preflop with monster hands like AA or KK so if he had KK after this action I think he might check the turn for pot control. When he bet I figured it was AA or JJ because he wasn't worried it seemed. I decided I could call 3100 and get paid of 7 or 8k on the river if I hit. I decided to call. The river bricked and we both checked and he had AA and won the pot. I am now down to 46k.

The guy I beat out of the pot earlier with a set of sixes raised to 500 preflop at 100/200. I called on the hijack with A5ss and the big blind called. The flop came QT4ss and he bet 1500. It was about a pot sized bet. I called. Heads up to the turn. I turned the nuts with the 8s and he checked. I bet 2400 and he made it 7400. I decided to just call here with the nuts and maybe let him bluff/fire at the river and hope the river didn't pair the board. This guy wasn't out of line at all so I think he just has a set here or a smaller flush and KK AA and small shot of AQ. The river bricks 6c and I still have the nuts. He checks pretty quickly, I bet 13k and he snap calls. I win the pot and am now up to 69k. He told me he didn’t have a set but he had a huge hand which probably means KK.

Jacobo opens to 900 at 150/300 25a after winning a big pot. The cutoff calls with only 7k behind. I have AQo in the big blind and decide to put in a raise. I make it 3400 and Jacobo makes it 9600. I mucked. Down to 65k. This hand was good because I think Jacobo might have just had enough of me. He plays pretty aggressive, continuation betting every flop he raises etc. I think he was tired of me too but I wish I would have just called preflop like I normally do. It's alright though, I was mixing it up.

The girl to my right just lost a ton of chips all in preflop QQ vs. KK. She has like 7k left at 200/400 on the cutoff and moves in. I have AA on the button and call. She wins the pot J85QK.

I am now down to about 42k. The girl limps for 800 I limp with Q9hh. Two others limp and small blind and big blind are in as well. The flop comes AQ5r we all check the flop, turn is the 7 we all check again, river is another Q. The girl bets 2500. I decided to just call but I think vs. her I am supposed to raise here because she was in this spot a couple times in the tournament and made bad value bets on boards like these. I am up to 50k.

I raised JTo in third position before the break. This new guy at the table who is getting a massage, a younger kid, calls in the big blind. I made it 2100 preflop. He had about 20k to start the hand. The flop comes AJ5r and we both check. The turn comes the Ac putting two clubs up. He bets 3500 and I call. The river comes the Ts which I really hated and he moved all in for 14k. He gave a speech about how he could only win the hand if he moved in on the river and then moved in. Now he gave off a tell in the process of this action on the river and everything. I don't want to give off the tell but it's a tell that I discovered from myself doing it. So basically a tell that I had/have when I am bluffing he did it. I engaged in a little more conversation with him. I asked him what happens if I call and bust him and the massage girl has to leave what happens with your massage? He said I am hurting him and her and some other comment lol. It was a good comment actually, but in the end I thought he had QK or straight nada. I decided to call and he mucked his hand and I was up to 69k again.

I picked up a couple small pots and was now up to 73k. I raised A4ss on the button to 2600 at 500/1k. JOEYTHEB moved all in in the small blind for 16k. I wanted to muck but convinced myself he shoves QK here, which I know he does. But still I think I should have mucked. I'm never ahead only of QK even though I know A4 plays good on the button he had been relatively tight throughout the day, especially short stacked. He had 77 and the flop came 745ss. Action! The turn was a 6 so it brought chop outs and he rivered quads. I go down to about 57k now. This hand I should of went with my instincts and folded instead of calling off 13k more. Oh well it was a small mistake.

A new player who hadn't opened any pots yet who seemed pretty tight raised it to 4k at 600/1200 on the cutoff. I have QQ on the button and decide what to do. He had about 60k, the same as me. I decided the best play here would be to just call and see what happens post flop. I didn't want to get blown off my hand preflop and wasn't sure about the player. The flop came T74r and he checked. I bet 6800 and he mucked. I am up to 63k now but when we go on dinner break I blind down to 53k.

I ate some dinner, did some pushups and stretched and got some fresh air. I got back to the poker room ready and refreshed to take some big pots down.

We are now in level 800/1600 200a I believe. The girl to my right had really bad tells with her raises and body language. She was making larger raises with good hands. She made it 3600 one hand. I looked down at 45ss and decided to three bet. I made it 9800. The button, who was a relatively new player to the table flat called. In a live tournament against normal live (non online players) this flat here is either JJ or AK almost 90% of the time. I guess QQ is also considered here but KK or AA they will get it in and don't know how to trap for the most part. I was banking on him having AK and the flop bricking and maybe me taking it down. The flop came 998s and I bet 14.8k He called. I immediately knew he had JJ or QQ. The turn came 7 and I picked up 4 outs. I checked and he was motioning with his hand on the table knocking it on the table with his fingertips and it was taken as a check. He said he meant to bet. The river came Q and I checked. I decided to just give up on the pot. I had about 32k behind and didn't think he would fold the turn or the river regardless. He shoved with JJ and I folded.

A couple hands later the girl makes it 5k on the button. She had been really active in late position as of late. I looked down at KJss in the small blind and shoved 28k more. She tanked and called with 99. The board ran out J24A2 and I scooped the pot. The next hand she made it 6k preflop at 1k/2k I believe on the cutoff. I shoved in ATcc on the button and she mucked again. I am now up to 80k.

A tight internet kid who was moved to the table who was playing really solid raised the cutoff to 5600 and I reraised in the small blind with AJo to 16.8k he mucked and I was up to 86k. This was the first time I had played back at him. He played well. He was tight but had a lot of big hands while at the table. He showed 6 big hands during play.

One interesting spot is when the girl limped in the small blind once it folded to us and I checked my option with Js5h. The flop comes AQJhh and she open shoved for about 50k. She did this earlier in the day with a flush draw and got called. I figured she had baby hearts. I didn't really tank it but I guess maybe I should have. I am a 65% favorite here. I wish I would of thought about it more because I really 100000000% know she has a flush draw here. She could have Kxhh but I couldn't see her playing a combo draw like that. Just a pure flush draw. Oh well. It was a ton of chips to call when I only had 2k committed but I think it might be a spot I need to think about again, just because I am pretty positive of her hand like that. I even told her I go I know you have small hearts here. She’s like yeah how did you know! And shoes the 74hh.

Couple hands later girl makes it 9k on the hijack. I shove 64k more with QKo. She shows 66 and mucks I am up to 93k.

Here is probably where the hand that cost me the tournament happens. There was this guy in the 10 seat. He plays a lot of small cash and satellites he said. He made a lot of crazy plays while he was at the table. One time he open shoved like 60bbs+ into a 2.5x raise I made. He also open shoved 88 at 1k/2k for like 100k into 4 stacks of 30k, 40k, 30k, and 80k. He wasn't very experienced in tournament play and he made a lot of mistakes. One hand at 1k/2k I raised the hijack with QKo to 5200. He instashoved from the small blind for 60k and the big blind had 10k and called with A4. I wanted to call here sooooo bad. I told the guy I thought he had cheese and that was it. At best I thought this guy had 44 but I really thought he had absolutely nothing. I only had like 75k so I couldn't make the call although my instincts were SCREAMING AT ME TO CALL! I mucked and the guy turned up QTo. Good shove. The big blind tripled up with A4. Another hand that this guy played extremely bad was when JOEYTHEB made it 8.5k preflop at 1.5k/3k. The guy reraised to 25k and it came back to Joey and he moved in for 30k more. There is about 100k in the pot and the guy has to call 30k to win 100k. He has about 35-45k behind. He tanked it for 3 minutes and folded. It was crazy. He was getting 3-1 on his money, turned his hand into a bluff, and folded. I couldn't believe any aspect of the hand.

I have about 80k now and the blinds are 2k/4k. JOEYTHEB is on the button and I am on the cutoff. There is a dead small blind since he just busted and the player above is in the big blind. It folds to me I have Ad4s. I raise it to 12k (more than I normally would to tell the big blind, look buddy I am NEVER FOLDING HERE!@!!!) He moves in for 33k total and I snap call. He turns over Q9o. The flop comes JT3dd I have the ace of diamonds. The turn is the Kd giving him the straight, and I bricked the river. He won the 70k pot and I went down to 48k.

I folded a couple hands and there were only 10 minutes left in the night. I wasn't stressing it though. If I had to go back to day 2 with 30k so be it. The blinds would be 3/6k on day 2 and I would be extremely shortstacked. I was still looking to shove in since people wouldn't want to bust so late in the night or lose big pots. I would pick up 10k every pot I picked up without a call. I folded a couple hands where I could have shoved. I ended up shoving 78o for 38k on the hijack into the two tightest guys at the table’s blinds. The small blind had about 33k and he called with 77. Damn. I was surprised to see 77 here because he snap called me and I thought he was way tighter than that. I could see him maybe folding 77 there but oh well. I didn't hit a T or 8 when the board ran out and I was down to 4.3k. Brutal. There was 10 minutes left in the night and I put my last 4k in with the 400 ante and lost to JJ. The guy who won with the q9 against me busted a couple hands after he doubled when he defended his bb with 67o vs. the tight internet kid who had QQ on a 688 board. Sucks. That 70k would have been much better in my hands.

I don't think I could have done anything differently. I set everything up early and just didn't get the hands when I needed. I had Aces once early in the day, Kings once in the middle of the day, and AK only twice. I really didn’t pick up any hands in the end either. It kind of seems like I say this in all my blogs. I wonder if it's me or if it's just me running below expectation? I mean I am going 40-50 hands without seeing a premium hand. Maybe I will log all my hands and see if I'm crazy or what. In 10 hours of play I probably see 300-400 hands and I should be getting more hands than I did. If I could have picked up some more hands I could have trapped some of the looser players, etc.

I don't know what else I can do in these tournaments. Honestly, it's rough. Playing for so long and getting nothing both times. At least I am able to play the 2k now on Thursday. I would have had to miss it if I made day 2 of this tournament. I would rather still be in this tournament though. I spent 13 hours today grinding this tournament and I hate losing. I wouldn’t have cared to miss the 2k one bit. Oh well, maybe the 2k is meant for me. I'm going to stay positive. There are a couple more tournaments to play and those are where the big money is. I am meant to win the big money not the small money!!!

Also I wanted to give a shoutout to Johnnie Walker who is currently blogging for the Borgata. He said some nice things to me about an article I wrote for pocketfives and I really apprecited the positive comments. Thanks again Johnnie.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Borgata 1k. 54 Paid, 55th Place...

"I know the process is so much stress but its the progress that feels the best. Cause I came from the projects straight to success and you're next. So try, they can't steal your pride it's inside. Then find it and keep on grinding cause in every dark cloud there's a silver lining... I know." Lil Wayne - Tie My Hands.

So let me just explain how I went in with 142k blinds 2k/4k 400a with the average 100k 8 to the money and still bubbled.

I get to the tournament area about 10 minutes before we start and find my bag and my table. Couple people have about 160k, some 100k, one guy has like 30k, and a 200k stack to my right. I played with 2 of the guys previously yesterday. I decide to just hang around and wait and see how people play and not get too crazy. The third hand of the day a guy in middle position with 160k makes it 12k, the small blind calls, and I have 55 in the big blind. I call 8k more. We see a flop of 862ss and the initial raiser continuation bets 30k. The guy to my right makes it 90k. I muck, the other guy tanks 99 for 2 minutes and folds.

I fold an orbit or so. I haven't raised a pot yet. I pick up KJo on the cutoff and make it 10.6k I normally raise to 9800 or something but figured I would make it a little more since the big blind was a looser Asian player. He calls and the flop comes 864r. He checks, I bet 14.8k and he calls. The turn is 7d. He checks and I was planning on bluffing here, but I figured I would rather see his river action before I tried to run a bluff on this board. I checked as well. The river came Kh and he checked again. At this point I can very likely have the best hand and I decided to check as well. I figured if I bet the river I am only getting called if I am beat. He turned over K6cc and scooped the pot with two pair. I am upset that I didn't bet the turn because I probably would of won the pot but I think I played the hand well. I was planning on firing the river and it just didn't work out the way I planned. No biggie.

I now have 90k in chips. I had gotten hit by the blinds once or twice. The very next hand I am in the hijack and a guy in middle position makes it 12k with 56k behind. I look down at 99 and decide what to do. I decide to move in. I declare all in and everyone folds back to the guy. He started agonizing about his decision. He thinks for 2 minutes before asking if I will show. I shook my head up and down telling him I would show him my hand. We are about 3-4 people away from the money and I never want a call here. I can have the best hand here only if he has AQ or AK. I doubt anyone would ever call here with less than 88. I was pretty worried when he was taking so long that he might of had TT or JJ. He agonizes some more and wants to fold. Somehow I just think people want to beat me. They just think I am a jerk or I look like a jerk. I don't know what it is. I'm respectful and polite for the most part I guess it's just my image. He ends up saying he calls and I turn over my 99. He doesn't look too happy and flips over AQo. The board runs out AT8T8 and he wins the 150k flip on the bubble. Sigh...

I now have about 19k in chips. I fold a hand then shove T4hh in middle position. Everyone folds I go up to 28k. I shove KTdd two hands later UTG+1 and everyone folds. Up to 38k. I am now in the big blind and the cutoff limps for 4k, the small blind completes, and I squeeze A5o. I shove in my stack. The cutoff tanks for a while and folds and the small blind folds. Now I'm at 48k and we are going on break, on the absolute bubble.

I come back from break and the blinds are now 3k/6k 500a. A couple hands into hand for hand play the guy with AQo above limps for 6k in second position. I am in middle position and move in with QKo for 43k total. It folds to the big blind who has about 65k and he tanks for 3 minutes while everyone crowds around the table. He is tanking it pretty well. I figured him for JJ or AQ. He looked like he didn't want to call. He thought about it for two or three minutes deciding what to do, counting his stack, what he would have left, and he ends up putting in the chips to call. The limper folds and the guy opens up AKo. He started claiming how "He hates AK so much.." the board runs out J522A and I lose in 55th place on the absolute bubble.

Not sure what else to say. Sucks. Felt really good going into today. I like how I played every hand. Sure I could of played differently but I think I did my best. On to the next tournament though.

I was pretty bummed after I lost and went for a walk around Atlantic City. It was pretty cold but luckily my buddy Brian gave me this awesome North Face jacket when I came up here and I'm glad he did. I enjoy the cold weather but the cold up here is way different than Florida cold weather. I was out walking and hanging out contemplating for an hour or two until it started to get dark and the temperature dropped considerably. I couldn't feel my hands when they were out of my pockets and decided it was time to walk back to the Borgata.

I will be playing the $400 tournament tomorrow. If it doesn't work out I will come to the computer and play the 1k online and scoop it. Either way I'm having chips tomorrow or winning something online. End of story. I am going to win something at the Borgata too, without a doubt.

Also the quote at the top of the page is pretty powerful. When Lil Wayne does deep songs like that he really can put things into perspective. These are the kind of quotes I talk about when I think rap music is just a lot more than some of the garbage that they talk about. Goodnight guys.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Made Day 2 of Borgata 1k...

"Treat my first like my last and my last like my first and my thirst is the same as when I came." Jay-Z - My First song.

Hey guys I am pooped. It's 2:30 am right now and I just got back to the room after playing for 15 hours. I wrote down all the hands from today and I might as well do my best to type them up. I ended the day with 142k and the blinds will be 2k/4k 400a when I go back. Average is 100k and we have 62 people left with 54 people getting paid. First is around 150k I believe.

Start with 12k chips, 60 min levels; I liked my first table originally. Steve was also at the table. Out of 550 person tournament we had the lucky draw to be at the same table. I hate playing against friends but you gotta do what you gotta do. No mercy in poker. So I was splashing around early everyone is pretty transparent. We have been playing for about 30-40 minutes and a guy in early position limps for 50 and I limp for 50 with 73hh in late position. This Asian lady to my left makes it 250. The guy calls and I call. The flop comes 735dd. We check to her and she bets 450. I make it 1350 and she calls. The turn comes the Kc. I tanked it for about a minute deciding what to do here. I really didn’t like the turn card, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. I was just worried about her having KK. I also thought that I probably wouldn’t get anymore action from QQ. She will probably still call with AA and AKdd she will be in there still. I made it 2150 and she made it 6k. Wow. I thought about it for a couple minutes and figured she could still think I am drawing since the diamond bricked and I thought she would still play AA this way or AKdd. I thought about this hand for a while and then put in the rest of my chips and she called with AA and I was up to about 22k.

The blinds are now 50/100 and the lady from above moves all in for her last 425 utg. I am in the bb and blind call. I have 82h she has 66 and I turn an 8 on a 56hhJ8hx board vs. her black sixes to knock her out.

The table gets a little tougher with some players who showed up late and I didn't realize how much I actually hated this table in the end. I was at this same table for about 8-10 hours probably and nobody was really out of hand. There was one guy who was action but besides that it was pretty tough actually.

An internet kid who I was told is soggyvag but I am not sure makes it 275 preflop. The hijack calls and I call on the button with QKss, bb calls and we go 4 to the flop. It comes T63ss and they all check to me. Normally I bet here but I switched it up and checked. The turn came the Ah and internet kid bet 675 and it folded to me and I called with the flush draw and gutter. The river bricked 7c and he bet 1100 and I mucked.

I raise 66 in mid position and the button calls and the bb action guy calls. The flop comes 559ss and I bet 550. The action guy called and the turn came 8c. We checked and the river came 9d. He said he missed everything and he had ace high. He told the truth about 2 previous hands so I called his 1300 bet on the river and he had a9. I probably should muck the river but the guy had been telling the truth in 2-3 previous spots but after thinking about it I don’t think he bets the river with an ace, so I screwed up there.

I raise T7ss in middle position and get 3 callers. The flop comes J42ss and I lead for 725. A tighter guy calls and the turn comes the 6d. We both knuckle and the river bricks for me, the 9c. I decided to fire praying he would fold and I bet 1400 and he called with a J. I am definitely spewing off my stack at this point. I mean it wasn't the worst but I played some hands bad.

I get 88 in middle position and raise it. One player calls. It comes K82 and I bet 500 after making it 300 preflop. He calls the flop and the turn is the 3s putting two spades on board. I’m praying he has a K or something and I check to him. He checks quickly. The river comes another K and I bet 1225 and he mucks and I'm back up to 16k. (Yes I had lost 6k just splashing around being stupid missing hands/etc.)

Blinds are now 75/150 and the internet kid calls my 2nd position raise to 450 with ATo. He is on the button. The flop comes AJ8r and I check and he checks. The turn is the Td putting two diamonds up and I check again and he checks. The river is another Ace giving me a full house and I bet 675 and he calls showing KK. 17k stack now.

I raise ATo and the action bb defends for 450. The flop comes Q83dd and he checks and I bet 675. He calls. The turn is the 6c and he checks again. I really felt he was weak here on a flush draw and fired a bigger second bullet. I made it 1450 and he called again. The river comes the Td. I didn't want a diamond what so ever but I have showdown value now but that honestly didn’t matter because I really felt flush draw. He checks, I check and he’s like ahhh ahh I wanted you to bet the river I have the flush! And he's all bothered that I didn't bet the river for him. I told him he was pretty upset even though he won the hand. lol...

Another hand I raise AThh the internet kid defends his bb. Flop comes QJ2 we check check. Turn is 6, check check, river bricks, check check, he defended with A6dd and won the pot. I am now down to 12.5k Jeez.

Internet kid raises to 525 at 100/200. I call with QKhh on the button. The flop comes QT3ddd and the small blind, bb, and internet kid check to me. I bet 1225. The internet kid calls. Turn is the Ts we check check. River is the 8s he checks and I check. I figured he wouldn’t call with worse. He had AKd and I'm up to 14.5k.

I open 68dd to 800 at 150/300. Tight guy calls I get another caller. Flop comes K24dd and I continue 1350. The tight guy calls. The turn is the Qs and I check to him he bets 2200. There’s about 5k in the pot and I am pretty sure he has QK here. I decide that if I peel a diamond he is paying me off 100% of the time as long as it’s not the Kd or Qd to boat him up. I decided I was getting a good price and called. River came the 3d and I tank shoved in 9500 about the pot. He thought for a while and folded. He said he had QK but I can’t be sure. Up to 19k.

I tightened up pretty considerably since I realized I would not be able to give much action at this table I was at. I was also extremely card dead. I have about 18k at this point and the most active player at the table makes it 1600 at 200/400. Tight guy flats in late position and I flat with 99 in the small blind. The flop comes 882ss and I check. The first guy bets 7k, the flatter folds and I tank and fold and he shows QQ. Down to 16k.

Now the blinds are 300/600 75a. I have been pretty tight as of late not doing anything to crazy. I raise UTG with TT and a short stack moves all in over my 1600 preflop raise for 6k. I call. He has 99 and I win the hand and go up to 23k. Tight amateur limps UTG I have JTo on the button and make it 2600, now up to 26k after he folded.

Here’s a pretty interesting hand. Al Krux had just been moved to the table with a lot of chips along with another older guy. I make it 2100 preflop at 400/800 with QJo. 3 People call including the aggressive guy who was in tons and tons of pots. It gets to the big blind who was a tight older guy but who only had 5k behind and he thinks about folding.. and comments "this could be a 30k pot." He thinks a little more, thinks about just calling, and then moves in. I thought he was really weak here, and I figured I could shove and nobody could call behind me. Typical online spot putting in 5k to win 20k but you never know, some of these live guys just flat with big hands. I decide to move in for 22k more on top and it folds to the aggressive guy who tanks forever and he said he mucked AK. I made this play because I felt like I could get away with it and I had tightened up considerably so I thought it would merit some folds. The internet kid and another good player both thought I had QQ or JJ and were shocked I turned up QJ lol. The old guy turns up J5o and the board runs out A2467 and I am up to 39k.

They finally break the old table. We had like 6-7 of the original 10 at the table for like 6-8 hours it was crazy. When they broke it I still think 5 of us were original table. At the new table UTG makes it 3k at 400/800 and 2 people call in front of me. I look down at 22 and think it’s a good spot to set mine. One guy calls behind me as well in the small blind. The flop comes Q23d. UTG checks, first caller shoves in about 15k and I reshove my 22. He has QKdd and I pray for no diamond on the turn. It comes 6s on the turn 9h on the river and I go up to 66k.

I’m still new to this table and trying to figure it out. There’s a lot of chips but this one Asian guy was splashing around and in almost every pot. He would limp or raise every hand it seemed. He made it 5k UTG at 500/1k and it folds to me in the bb with AQo. I decided to just muck since he hadn't made a big raise like that before I gave him more credit and really didn't want to get myself in a tricky spot. He showed a K after I showed my AQ. He might of had AK or KK because all of his other raises were smaller -shrug- The new table I was at everyone was making huge preflop raises. It was crazy. I kept telling myself If I can pick up some hands I would get to pick up a lot of chips preflop without showdowns. I hadn’t picked up AA-QQ and only AK once to this point. I was really card dead and just folding a bunch.

***Here’s a hand I need some input from some math guys. Let me know what the math is behind this hand if it makes it a call or what.***

I raise 2600 UTG with 88. Blinds 500/1000 100a. Donkish guy makes it 10k with 8k behind and a tight old guy reshoves 17k. So basically its 16k to win like 42k in the pot. I knew I was beat for sure by the 2nd shover but I knew the first shover would raise any pair, AT suited, QK, maybe QJ. He was pretty bad. The 2nd shover's range is like TT+, AQ+. If any of you guys can crunch those numbers and let me know if I should call in that spot getting over 2-1 let me know. I mucked the 88. The guy who raised me to 10k had 77 and the 2nd shover had KK and it came J87xx. I am not trying to be results oriented just curious about the math since I thought about it during the hand.

Two hands later this kid on the cutoff makes it 3k. He was raising bigger like 4k+ with big hands he was showing. A 9d was exposed during the deal and I looked down at 95o in the small blind. Perfect hand to reraise here. =) I make it 9400. While I was counting chips he was telling me "be careful." The flop comes KQ5dd and I bet 12800 and he thinks for a while saying he knows he has me beat yada yada and mucks. He claimed JJ but throughout the time I was at the table he talked a lot. He's one of those guys that wants to appear tighter than he is I think. I have a sick hand with him coming up too. He was putting in a ton of chips preflop as well. 4x raises and like 4-5x reraises and also just shoving in 60k all in into 10k pots lol. I am now at 73k

I FINALLY PICK UP A REAL HAND and get KK utg and make it 3200 at 600/1200. The Asian station I talked about above calls. The flop comes JT6hh and I bet 5800 and he mucks. 79k. Guy to my right makes it 4200 at 600/1200 I have AQo he has about 30k behind I call. Flop 662dd and he bets 9500 with 20k behind and I mucked. Somehow I felt like I was ahead here but I don’t know. The guy ended up being fishier than I imagined but I didn’t know any better at the time.

We are now 8 handed and a tight guy to my right makes it 4600 at 800/1600. He’s the guy from the AQo hand above. I felt like his smaller raises were weak since he was 4x and 5xing as well. I had A4o and repopped him to 12.6k He showed AJ and instamucked. 71k Stack now.

Tight guy limps in 2nd position. I have JJ in middle position and make it 7500. He limped for 2k. Flop comes 445ss and he checks. I bet 8800 and he mucked. 80k stack.

The next two hands I raise AJo. This tight guy I know from Florida that I play with at the casino down there shoved in over my 5200 raise (at 1k/2k) for like 40k. He showed TT. I folded. Then I raise next hand again and the button repopped me to 15k. So I mucked again. Oh well. Back down to 70k.

Here's the craziest hand of the tournament so far. Well not really but it was a good spot for me. This active younger guy is raising and playing a ton of pots. He makes it 6k preflop. The kid I was talking about before who said he had the JJ makes it 28k. He has 50k behind and the first raiser has like 70k total too. We all are about the same. I start asking god to give me aces lol. I say please god can I look down at two aces here. I peel the first card, the ace of spades! I say it again "Please let me have aces here.." I squeeze the second card, the ace of hearts!! I can't believe it lol. Aces for the first time today what a great spot! I find out the stack sizes of everyone. There is already almost 40k dead money in the pot. I count my stack, Hollywood a while. Take my time and declare that I'm all in for 43.6k more on top of the 28k. The first guy wants an exact count. He finds out and mucks saying he mucked KK but there is absolutely 0 shot he had KK there. I believe I saw an ace when he was mucking. But there’s no way he folds KK there. He would of snap called 100000%. The second guy who put in 28k and only has 50k behind mucks pretty quickly. I tell them I had QQ and the guy who made it 28k said he had QQ too and I didn’t have QQ. I kept telling them I had QQ because I wanted to tilt them lol. After the hand the guy who said he folded KK was like you put in 28k reraise and don’t call that? He also thought the guy called him a scrub and the guy flipped, got up, and wanted to fight. So after all the commotion I told them I had QQ to rub it in a little lol. I am now up to 115k.

I raise to 5200 with JJ and the tight guy from the casino in Florida insta shoves 47k next to act. Folds to the BB who moves all in for 50k. I muck JJ and they show AKss and QQ. The K flops and the Florida guy doubles up. I don’t know if I would of called him. He just showed me TT in a shove but he plays pretty solid so I think I would of mucked.

Next hand the aggressive guy raising a lot min raises it. The small blind who only has 3k folds and I call with T7o 2k more. Flop comes 764 and I check. He bets 5k and I call. The turn is the 3 completing one card straight and I check again. He bets 13k. I really didn’t think he had the straight but I didn’t think he would fire again with AA here. But maybe he would. Anyway I tank for a minute and he shows an Ace saying he had a7. He probably did but jeez it’s like free money if I have anything lol. Down to 100k.

I raise to 7800 at 1.5k/3k and the kid from above defends his BB. The flop comes KJ9r and we both check. The turn is the 9h putting two hearts up and he bets 10k. I thought he was full of it here and had absolutely nothing. I still have outs anyways but I was floating to take away on river assuming I didn’t improve. The river comes the Qc giving me broadway and also completing a one card straight with the ten. He bet 10k again. So I have the nut straight on a paired board with no flush out there. I tanked for a minute as to whether or raise or not and figured it would be stupid to raise (REFER TO JJ HAND VS 56o for all you guys who hate my play there lol) and I just called his 10k bet. He said Ace high and showed a8 and I won the pot. 127k in chips now.

We are about 10 away from the money and play is nearing end for the night. There was already an Asian guy at the table who tried to angle shoot when he was utg and he said the dealer told him he was the big blind. So he put out 1600 but said he wanted to raise cause he thought he was the big blind and didn’t know he was UTG. I picked up on what he was doing and told him he had to keep his 1600 in there and he didn’t have an option to raise. One guy limps and I limp K9ss on the button. Blinds are in the hand and we go 5 to the flop. It comes Q23ccc and the sb moves in for 20k or something. The Asian guy who "thought he was the big blind" calls and turns over KKc. He turns the Ac nuts no problem and cracks the guys Q2hh.

So we are now 10 away from the money (sorry this is referring to the paragraph I started above) and I make it 7800 in middle position with A7o. The kid who is in every hand (the Asian guy who was in every hand had the Q2hh and busted) it folds to his small blind and he says "I raise ten on top." He puts out 13k and the big blind folded. I told him his raise wasn’t enough I made it 7800. He’s like "OHH I DIDNT SEE YOU RAISED, ETC ETC." The dealer claims he announced it, they call the floor and they make him put in 17800. At this point the dealer deals the flop and shows the 5c before I decided my action with the raise. We stop the hand and the floor tells him to put the cards down and let me act. I wasn't sure if this kid was angle shooting me or not. I tank it for a minute, try to read him and how he really feels about the situation, whether he’s genuine or just angle shooting. He has about 45k behind on top of the 18k and I have about 120k or so. I decide that if it was folded to him in the sb he was raising like that 99/100 and decide it’s a sick spot regardless near the bubble. I shoved on him and he tanked and folded. I might of had the best hand there anyways but still there was a lot of commotion and people surrounded the table and everything. It was a crazy hand because the night was about to end.

I ended the night with 142k in chips. Average is 100k. We come back tomorrow at 2pm to finish. 62 Players left 54 paid. Hopefully I can win the whole thing for 150k. I played pretty good, got in a couple nice spots (like with the AA and 40k pre in already) but I also avoided some situations and made some good folds. Hopefully I can cooler the hell out of some people tomorrow and run the tourney over. Just AA vs. AK every hand or something till it’s over =). After playing from 11am to 2am I am pooped and my body is drained. I did pushups and stretched during breaks but I am dead. If anyone sees some kid doing pushups or stretching his legs it’s definitely me, come say hi lol. I’m so tired. Gotta sleep. Can’t believe I just pumped this blog out lol…Goodnight 3:45am now. Writing takes a while, jeez.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Atlantic City/Borgata Tournament...

"Don't listen to anybody that knew me. Cause who have known me would mean that there's a new me and if you think Ive changed in the slightest could've fooled me..." Drake - Say What's Real.

Okay. I have a lot to write about. I just busted from my first Borgata Winter Open tournament. I will discuss the hand below but I am still shocked and can't comprehend what just happened. Anyways, I have a lot to talk about so let me get started.

In the beginning of January I played some local tournaments at a casino and they didn't go so well. I have the hand histories from them saved to my phone. They aren't too interesting so I probably will not post about them. Let me know if you want me to post them anyways. I plan on writing about every tournament I play over the next two weeks while I am at Borgata playing here.

Let me first talk about my exciting journey to actually get to Atlantic City (Yesterday.) The plan was to meet my buddy Steve at the Fort Lauderdale airport at around 10:30am to catch our flight at noon. I got there around 10:45am and Steve showed up a couple minutes later. He said that the flight was at 1:40pm and we weren't on it. What?? He booked the flight for us so I had no involvement in any of this. We get on his laptop real quick and find out that the flight was actually at 9:30am. GOOD JOB STEVE. So he starts talking to Spirit (the airline we were flying on) and they basically say they can't help us unless we want to leave the next night. No thank you. We end up finding a flight on Delta.

Instead of flying directly to Atlantic City, we now have tickets to fly to Ohio, then fly to Philly, and from Philly we need to get to Atlantic city. Atlantic City is about an hour away from Philly. So we have our new agenda and we rush to security to make our 1pm flight to Ohio. We ended up getting screened and had to wait in a separate line and get patted down and all our carry on bags got checked. That took about thirty minutes and we ran to our gate. The guy said we made the flight by 2 minutes, perfect. We finally get on the plane and are on our way to Ohio.

We land in Ohio and we find our gate for the flight to Philly. It was supposed to leave at 4:35 (it was about 3:45 now) and then they pushed it back to 5pm. Me and Steve hung out in a little coffee shop for a while then 4:45 rolled around and we figured we should go to the gate and see if they are boarding. Nobody is around and the ladies ask us if we are flying to Philly? We scream "YES!" and shes like we were about to close the gate in 2 seconds. First two minutes, now two seconds, jeez. She said the plane was supposed to leave at 5pm not board at 5pm. Oh well lol. We get on this little 60 person plane or something and end up making it to Philly.

We get our bags and we are trying to decide if we want to take a cab to downtown Philly and then take the bus to Atlantic city. We decided that a town car/cab is the best idea and we take a town car. We stopped at Famous Philly Cheese steak place Geno's on the way which was pretty good but I wish I could of spent a little more time there. We rushed our way to order and get back in the car and to Atlantic City.

We finally make it to Borgata Hotel and Casino and check in and get to our room. Steve and I are sharing a room. We went down and registered for the tournament the next morning an $810 buyin tournament. We went back to the room, I took a shower, we chatted a bit and then we ended up going to sleep.

I woke up at about 9:00am this morning and took a shower and woke up for the tournament at 11am. Steve and I got a bite to eat and then went to our tournament tables. Levels are 50 minutes long and the starting stacks are 10k. Nobody at my table was recognizable and they were mostly middle/older aged gentlemen. One guy was trying to take over the table, he was in about 75% of hands for the first couple orbits til about the first break. I realized immediately this guy didn't want to give up any pots and he was going to be making a lot of plays on pots and play a lot of hands. Some people didn't pick up on this as quickly. One hand UTG made it 250 at 25/50 with 2500 behind. It got two callers then one new guy who just sat down (younger kid) made it 1250. It folded to the maniac guy who then made it like 6k. UTG obviously wasn't folding and called off with AKss and the kid who made it 1250 mucked QQ face up. The maniac guy turned up 44 and lost the race. So my read was right on the guy about how he was going to be in a lot of pots and try to take them down. The blinds were either 25-50 or 50-100 but anyway the point is this guy put in a ton of chips preflop with 44 just because he thought he could take the pot away etc.

Instead of mixing it up early like I normally do, I decided to just relax and see everything that's going on and figure out how everyone is playing. I folded an orbit or so and picked up AKo and raised to 150. I got 4 callers, bricked the flop and gave up. I also pick up AJo and there is a late raise, the sb calls, and I call in the bb and brick and give up as well. I lost a couple other small pots as well. The first interesting hand comes up when I raise AQo to 300 preflop and the maniac I talked about above calls from the small blind. The flop Comes K85ss and he checks to me. I bet 450 and he calls. The turn is the 5d it puts up two spades, two diamonds. I decided he wasn't too strong and fired another bullet of 800. I figured with my image I could get credit for at least a king. He called again. The river came the 4h and he checked. I figured I had enough showdown value or that he had a King at this point and also checked. He turned over 67 for the rivered straight. I started with 8600 and now am down to 7k.

I'm not worried or anything, just waiting for a hand I can win some chips with. It comes when a new player limps for 100 UTG and an active player who was tight but aggressive made it 450 in 2nd position. I had TT on the button and decided to just call. The limper folded, we went to the flop heads up. The flop came T82ss and I flopped the nuts. He bet 900. I had seen him stab at flops continuation betting and folding previously so I decided he could have air and just called. The turn was the 9h putting two hearts up as well and he asked how much I had behind. I had 5500 behind and he bet 2k. I really felt like this card helped him in his mind. Either with JJ or QQ or maybe he had like AQhh or something. I shoved it in and he called with QQ and I held up and doubled to 14k.

This guy who was a little fishy limped the hijack and I completed the small blind with QTss for 150. The flop came AJ5s and the hijack limper bet 300. I decided to float here and maybe take away on turn or river. The turn came the Kh and I turned the nuts. I checked and he checked. The river came the 9d, I still had the nuts, and I bet 1200 on the river. A little more than the pot and he called and I won the pot and was up to 16k.

Three limpers before me I limp with QJo for 150 one guy limps behind then tight guy makes it 500 on button. We all call 5 to the flop. It comes JJ9hh and it checks to me. I don't think the tight guy would bet AA on the flop or anything so I decide to stab here even if it looks transparent. It folds back to the first limper and he moves in 5k or 6k (the guy i beat in the pot above) and I call. He has 45hh and he bricks and I am now up to 24k.

**WARNING SICK HAND** --- Also any input is appreciated on this hand. I would like to see what others think.

THE VERY NEXT HAND I get JJ and make it 400 preflop. Now I have only shown basically the nuts in 3 showdowns. I haven't shown any other hands. My image has to be tight but I think just given how people perceive me they think I am going to mix it up, especially since I have chips now. The crazy maniac guy defends his bb which his range is literally any 2 cards.

The flop comes J9dd4s. I flop the nuts once again. He checks and I bet 600. He looks at me like he thinks I'm just trying to outplay him and start running over the table and hes not having it. I know he thinks I'm full of it. Like I said, this is the guy who is in every hand and doesn't want to give up any pots ever. He calls.

The turn comes the J9dd4s 7h. Now T8 makes the nuts. He checks and I bet 1500. He doesn't think very long and he just calls again. Now I know he doesn't have T8 because I am 99.9999% sure he would raise the turn here with T8. I'm pretty confident and looking at him and everything it seems like hes still waiting to make his play on the pot.

The river comes J9dd4s7h 3c. It seems like a pretty safe river and the action is on him. He ends up betting 4500, which is about the pot. Now in my mind I know for sure he doesn't have T8 here. Other than that 56 beats me. Now he could have 56dd for the flush draw then turned the open ended straight draw on the turn. I also think that he would make this bet with any set 33,44,99,77 maybe waiting for the river to see a non over card come or a non diamond. He might also make this play with some kind of two pair like 93 suited or maybe 34 suited. With all this information and the previous history and things I have seen I decide to raise and get a lot of money out of him. I make it 14.5k, 10k more. He thinks and is like "man this is so sick, jeez this is so sick, blah blah blah." I only have like 5k behind and he has me covered by a couple thousand. After his little speeches hes like I'm all in. I snap call and he says straight. He turns over 56o and scoops the 50k pot.

I'm still stunned while I type this in the hotel room. I really felt like if I didn't raise the river I was losing value. I thought for sure he had 77 or 33 and he was going to pay it off. Once I make the big raise I don't think I can ever fold for getting 10-1 on my money when this guy could think J7 or some other two pair is nutted. I thought there was an outside shot he could have 56dd but given everything I felt like I had to raise the river. I'm honestly sickened by this hand. I had only shown the nuts and I played super tight in the three hours I played. For him to float the flop with absolutely nothing and hit perfect perfect to stack me is really frustrating. I don't really know what else to say about this hand. Steve is trying to say to just call the river, what does he ever call a raise with I beat, but I completely disagree. The only hand he can ever logically have that beats me is 56dd. I really felt like I had this player pinned all day. I knew from the start that he was going to be really active and try to win pots and not give up many pots. I guess that's why I played as tight as I did.

If anyone has any comments let me know. If I would of just called his river bet I probably would of had 16k or so in chips. But like I said, I think just calling is bad. I know a lot of live players with their big hands try to wait for the river to see safe cards. If he had 99 or any other set like 77 I think he might play it similarly. It's just really frustrating to lose a 50k pot at 75/150 in that fashion, in that way, to that player, etc. The tournament today got about 500 players and was over 100k to first. I will be playing tomorrows 1k tournament. Hopefully it goes better.

Hopefully all the bad luck so far in this trip has run its course and things will turn around. I will be updating the blog probably everyday with how things are going here at Borgata. I will be here for the whole Borgata Winter open series. I am definitely playing really good poker and plan on having a big score within the next two weeks. Hopefully everything works out in one of these tournaments and I take one down. I'll keep you guys updated.