Friday, February 5, 2010

Let's Slow It Down...

It feels like I've been all over the place lately. I have been out of my comfort zone which is typically attached to the computer. I normally spend the majority of my days on the Internet. That hasn't been the case lately. In the last week I've been to Orlando, Tampa, Atlantic City, Orlando, and now back to South Florida. Let me touch on all of that.

Like I stated in the last blog I went to Tampa to a DeepStacks workshop. That ended around 9pm on Sunday night and I had a 8:30am flight out of Orlando to Atlantic City for the Borgata Winter Open Main Event. I only got about an hour of sleep on Sunday night. I packed and went to bed at around 4:45am and woke up at 6am to make it to the airport for my flight.

The flight to Atlantic City went well. I slept most of the way there. I wouldn't actually call it sleeping. I guess it was fading in and out of sleep while bobbing my head around the headrest. I'm sure everyone knows what that is like. It's hard to sleep comfortably on a flight. Regardless, I got a little rest on the plane and made it to the Borgata at 11:15am. The tournament had already started (11am) and I quickly bought in.

I went to my table and seat and someone was already sitting in it. I grabbed a hold of the floor and we tried to figure out what was wrong. Apparently the guy in my chair was at the wrong table (table 29) and should have been at table 28. They told me I had the option to pick either table. I could pick my original seat, or I could take the guy's original seat. I surveyed both tables and decided to take his seat at table 28. At moment's like this I always wonder if destiny runs it's course. Did I alter my destiny, or was this a curve ball to have the stars align for me this tournament? That's what I asked myself after I sat down at table 28. Did I make the right decision?

The starting stacks for the Main Event were 30k. The blinds started at 25/50 and the levels were 75 minutes long. I was sitting in the nine seat and the table looked good. Irv Gotti was in the two seat, and the table was mostly middle aged men. Eric Buchman (who finished 4th in the WSOP Main Event) was in the five seat. I thought this player looked familiar, but I didn't recognize him at the time.

I started min raising blind UTG. Every time I was UTG at 25/50 and 50/100 I min raised blind. It generated some good action and gave me a nice, loose image. I typically do this in some deep stacked live tournaments and see how my opponents react.

The first interesting pot I got involved in was actually at 75/150. The small blind made it 700 with about 5k behind. I had QThh in the big blind and called. I wasn't really worried about his 4x+ raise. The flop came T99r and he checked to me. I bet 1k, he shoved all in, and I called. He turned over A4o and rivered an ace for about a 12k pot. I didn't let it phase me. On to the next hand.

At 75/150 UTG made it 700. He had been fairly active and his opens were always large, in the 4x area. I called in 3rd position with QQ and two more called. Eric Buchman moved all in from the small blind for 10.5k. The UTG raiser thought for a little bit and folded. He was the only one I was worried about in this hand having me beat, aside from the all in player. I thought about it for a little bit, got a read on the player, and moved all in myself. The other two players folded. Eric turned over AQo and I held to go back up to about 35k.

This next hand is a tricky spot but it was a fairly easy fold. It was the hand before break and I opened to 400 with 66 in 2nd position. The button called as well as the sb and the bb. The flop came A86r and I bet 900. The sb called and the big blind made it 1300 more. The sb was a very tight/straightforward player and the big blind was an active, more aggressive player. I didn't think I would get much action from the sb if I just flat called so I put in a small reraise to 4700 total (2500 more.) The small blind thought and he made it 5k on top of that. The big blind mucked and I thought about it for a little bit. Obviously I could rule AA out of his range. So therefore his range was... well he had no range. His hand was exactly 88. I didn't think this was a spot where this player would ever try to bluff or take this line with two pair. I still thought about it for a little bit and told him he had to have 88 here. I mucked bottom set and he showed me 88, for middle set. I made the correct fold, but it was an easy fold. If the sb would have flatted my reraise on the flop I think I would have shut down as well. It was just a player dependent situation. Down to 28.5k

Mike Gracz was moved to Eric Buchman's seat and made it 600 UTG at 100/200. The tight player from above called in 2nd position and I made it 2200 with KKs in middle position. Gracz flat called with 10k behind, the other player called too. The flop came AQJsss and they checked to me. I bet 3300 and they both folded. 43k now.

Hijack opened to 625 and the cutoff called. I made it 2125 with AA on the button. The hijack folded and the cutoff called. The cutoff was the same player with the A4o vs my QT and he only had about 5.5k behind after calling. The flop came T75r and he checked to me. I bet 600 and he called. The turn was a Jack and he moved all in. I snap called and he turned over AJ and I held. My stack had grown to 51k.

A couple hands back from break the blinds are now 150/300. I open AcQh in 2nd position to 800. A short stack player called to my left and the big blind called as well. The flop came TT9cc and I bet 1600. The big blind raised 2500 more. He was by far one of the most active players and was also a thinking player. At this point in time my image was really good. I had stopped min raising blind and all of my showdowns I was involved in were good for my image. I won't explain too much thought process but I thought there was a chance he was on air and I could float for clubs. The turn brought the Kc and he checked to me. I bet 5600 and it looked like he wanted to fold, but he decided to call. The river was the 8h and he lead for 8500. I thought about it for a little bit. I was fairly certain he did have a ten at this point and was trying to block bet the river. I took everything into account and made it 15k more on top of his 8500 bet. He tanked for a little bit and folded. It was a little risky bluff but I knew what he held, knew my image, and knew he was capable of folding. I was now up to 69k.

The very next hand I get AKo and make it 800 again. The short stack player to my left made it 2k with about 8kish total. It got back to me and I put him all in. He called with TT and won the race. I was down to 60k.

Nothing too interesting went on throughout the night until one hand before we were about to end for the night. The online player "AreTheseUtz" came to my right. I wasn't sure who he was. At first I thought it was him because he chopped the Aruba tournament that I played at the end of 2009. I just thought he was shorter. We started chatting and turns out it was him. Anyways...he was playing well. Playing pots in position, didn't build any unnecessary pots, hadn't 3bet yet. I pick up QQ UTG and they announce we have 3 more hands until the end of Day 1. So 3 hands after this hand. I make it 1300 at 250/500. The most aggressive/active player at the table calls in 3rd position and AreTheseUtz makes it 5100 from the big blind. I was really in a tough spot. He had 37k behind and I had him covered, having about 65k. The other player had probably 80k or so. I knew that if I flatted the other guy would flat too. I thought and thought. I can't remember the last time in my life I folded QQ in this spot to a single 3bet, in position, semi deep stacked. I decided I didn't want to call (which is my norm here) and play a 16k pot three ways, so I folded. The flat caller said he would have called if I did (which I already knew) and I told AreTheseUtz to tell me what he had when the last 3 hands were finished. He later told me he had AA. I am not sure if this is the truth or not, but I do believe him. Either way it was a pretty insane spot and I am happy with how I played it. I obviously had more information than just what I wrote, but I thought it was an awesome hand regardless.

We wrapped up play for the night and I finished with 62k. The average was about 49k. I was happy with my performance and felt like I made minimal mistakes. I was also excited that I got through Day 1 on so little sleep. That was my goal. Get through Day 1, get some sleep, and kill it on Day 2.

When I woke up for Day 2 I tried to take a shower and the water was absolutely freezing. I am not even talking about COLD water. This water was FREEZING water. I can't operate being dirty and decided to get my hair wet so I could wash it. I stuck my head in the water for 3 seconds and it was immediately frozen. My head was hard as a rock and colder than ever. I washed my hair real quick, rinsed it off with another 3 seconds of freezing water and decided to wash the rest of my body with a wet rag and soap. It wasn't the best time getting clean but it worked out. I made my way to the tournament area and found my seat.

I only had about three hands to talk about from Day 2. There was one guy who was really spewy/loose. He played a couple pots early and bluffed off about half his stack. For example he called an early position open with K6o on the button which got to showdown. Remember him for later.

Anyways, the first fun pot I played was when a player limped for 600 in second position, the cutoff limped, the sb called, and I checked my option with ATo. The flop came J33r and I bet 1100. The first limper called and the other two folded. He had been pretty solid so far and I felt his range was pretty polarized at this point. The turn was the 3c which brought two clubs. I fired again, 3300. He called once again. Now there was about 12k in the pot. The river was the 4s. I thought for a little bit, he started chatting it up, and I bet 20k. He ended up folding rather quickly, saying he had KJdd, and saying that he would have called up to 8k and didn't want to call more to chop or run into quads. They asked me to show it but I declined for obvious reasons lol. I know this bluff seems suicidal, because nobody is probably folding a Jack here ever, but hey... it worked.

The next spot I was involved in was when the cutoff limped in for 600. He actually threw out one black (100), one purple (500), and two greens (25 each.) He quickly grabbed the green chips back, so it looked like his intentions were to limp. I picked up 99 on the button and the player who limped only had 27k behind so I made it 2600 so he could call without having to make change. This is probably a stupid thought but something I do every now and then. It folded back to him and he thought about calling, and made it 4k more to 6600. He had about 21k behind and I went into the tank. He had been pretty snug but I really thought he meant to limp. His reraise sizing was pretty small too and typically these type of players would re-raise larger with their big hands here. I decided to move all in and he snap called with KK. I didn't get lucky and lost a big pot to go down to 40k. I went with my read and really thought the player meant to limp since he grabbed his greens back so quickly. His sizing was good and he said after the hand he had meant to raise. Oh well.

The last hand of the tournament happened after I had been fairly active and it was my second hand raising in a row. I made it 2100 at 400/800 with AKo. The guy I 3 barreled with AT earlier (who had commented on my play/wanting his chips back/almost called in the big blind when I made it 2600 with 99 with 46o so he said) made it 7k in middle position. The button (who was the crazy loose spewy player I first talked about) flat called the 7k. It got back to me and I moved all in for 30k on top. With all the dead money out there and me being about 99% sure the flat caller doesn't have KK/AA it's an easy shove. The 3bettor called and the flatter folded. He turned over KK and I didn't get lucky and was eliminated.

I immediately booked the next flight back to Orlando. I was pretty happy overall with my play but of course disappointed. I still made mistakes and messed up in certain spots I shouldn't have. It happens.

I got on the flight and it took a little bit until we got on the runway. They said we had weight distribution problems. We finally got ready to take off and the engines cranked up. We started moving and after gaining some speed, the plane started swerving left and right. Holy crap. We ended up coming to a stop, which is exactly what I was hoping for! The pilot got on the intercom and said the engines didn't balance out together and we were going to go to the end of the runway and try it again. Uht oh. I sent out a last second Tweet in case I didn't make it lol. We ended up taking off and I made it to Orlando safely.

I relaxed for a day in Orlando then played some online poker Wednesday night. I got deep in the 100r 6max on Stars but didn't close it out. I made a 4bet bluff shove and didn't get lucky to bust in 33rd. It will be nice to get back to grinding online. Like I said earlier I have been on the go and haven't been by the computer too much.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow. I have to do some things and definitely hit the gym. I wrote an article for Ante Up Magazine in their February Issue. It's on page 52. Check it out here Ante Up Magazine Cre8ive Article Page 52. That's it for now. I've been writing for a while with interruptions here and there. Hopefully this blog came out alright. Will update again soon. Goodnight.

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