Tuesday, April 13, 2010

NAPT Tourney and Last Week...

Last blog I updated quickly before I left to head to Connecticut. Let me continue off of that post.

I arrived to the airport in the morning and immediately ran into my buddy Matt Waxman. He was already in line to check in. A couple minutes later Jason Mercier showed up and we started to check in and try to get seats together so the flight wouldn't be so bad. We were chatting it up and along came another person we all are familiar with, Mike Beasley. Beasley was one of the first people getting on the flight so he said he would save us some seats. I ended up sitting next to him and Matt, but I was stuck in the middle seat. I don't know anyone who likes sitting there lol. We played some Chinese Poker and talked the whole flight. Beasley is a good guy and pretty infamous in South Florida.

We arrived to CT and all jumped in a van to head to Mohegan Sun. I was really impressed with the casino/hotel. It was very nice. I will definitely be going back there in the future for poker tournaments. I took a nap and later that night headed to the PokerStars party. There were a lot of people down there and I hung out for a couple of hours and talked with Beasley. He ended up heading to bed and then me and some other guys went to Bobby's Burger Palace and ate dinner. I must say, that place is delicious. I recommend anyone who goes to Mohegan Sun to eat at that place for a quick meal.

Let me get into how the tournament went. My starting table was very good. I didn't recognize a single person. There was only one other younger looking guy and all the other players were middle aged or older. I started off with my typical min raising blind under the gun strategy for the first couple of levels. I do this to generate action and give me a looser image. The first interesting pot I got involved in was actually one of those pots.

I blind raised UTG in the second level of play at 75/150 to 300. I received four callers and looked down at AsAd. I thought for a second and wished I had an option lol. The flop came QT7ss and I decided to check. The last player in position bet 800, I called, and one other player thought for a little bit and called. The turn brought the Ah, giving me top set. I noticed the other player in the pot who called jump a little and get excited. I wanted to see how he would react and checked. He also checked and the third player bet 1725. At this point the other guy was looking very uninterested in the pot. I read it as strength or ultimate weakness (he's folding) and just called. When the action was on the other player he immediately made it 10k. The player in last position folded and I thought for about 20-30 seconds before I mucked my AA face up. My stack was now at 28.5k from the 30k starting stack.

I showed my hand for a couple different reasons. Some of the players went crazy and commotion insued. I then got into a bet with another guy at the table who gave me 2-1 odds after almost getting 3-1 odds. I said that the player had KJ and he was allowed to have every other hand in the deck. We booked the bet, the other guy agreed to tell the truth, and I won the bet. He admitted he had KJ and turned the nuts. My fold was correct and I felt good about it.

Later on in the level I 3bet an aggressive player who was opening a lot of pots. He made it 800 and I 3bet to 2250 with A9o in position. He called and the flop came Q25cc. He check called my bet of 2850 and we saw the turn which was the 6h, putting two hearts on board. I fired 6425 and he mucked. My stack grew to 32k.

I opened to 800 with KhJc and the small blind and big blind called. The big blind was the aggressive/loose player from above. The flop came AcJdTd and we all checked. The turn was the 9d and the big blind led for 2400. I raised to 6800 and he called. The river was the 2d and he checked again. I bet 8300. He tanked for literally 3-5 minutes before having the clock called on him. He said he flopped the nuts and eventually folded the Qd. I did not see his hand but I wouldn't doubt it here. I'm up to 40.5k

I also ran one more big bluff where I floated a flop and barreled the turn and river to win a sizeable pot. My image was very good because I hadn't been in any showdowns and people perceived me as tight. I also realized that by winning these pots without showdowns people would start getting suspicious.

The aggressive/loose player opened the button and I looked at ATo in the big blind. I previously only 3bet him once with the A9 and figured since he was opening so light here 3betting would be the best option. He flat called me and I checked a J53 board. He checked back and I check folded to the 9 on the turn. The very next hand I had AJo in the big blind and he raised again to 1525. I 3bet him for the second time in a row and he actually folded which was surprising to me.

The very next orbit when I was in the small blind again he opened to 1525. I looked down at AJss and decided to flat call. With our recent history and me 3betting him often, I wasn't comfortable getting all in preflop with this hand, although I definitely think 3betting was an option with the plan on 5betting all in. The big blind also called the raise and the flop came AT6 rainbow. We checked to him and he bet 2525. We both called. The turn was the 3d and we both checked. He fired a second barrel and bet 7350. I flat called again and the big blind folded. The river was the Qh and we both checked and he said I got it. I was now up to 57k in chips at the 300/600 level.

I finished day 1 with 58.5k after being moved to a new table with about 30 minutes left in the day. I was happy with my Day 1 performance considering I only hit one set and had to fold it. I didn't hit any flushes/straights/etc either. So definitely a good finish to Day 1 when the average stack was around 45k.

I went into day 2 feeling great. I recognized one player at my table, Mike Martin (Martine23) he was to my right. This table had a couple younger players so I was pretty sure some of them were online players. Mike is a nice guy and we chatted it up for a bit. The first interesting pot I was involved in was vs him. He raised from the small blind to 2800 at 600/1200/100a and I defended with J6hh. We both were about 60k deep at this point. The flop came 823 rainbow and he bet 3300. I decided to float the flop. The turn was another 8 and the board was absolutely rainbow. He checked and I b et 5500. He called and the river came the Q. He checked again, I bet 9300 and he called with 89dd. I like my bluff here although I ran into the top of his range.

I mixed it up in a couple pots after that bluff. I limped with 33 in the small blind with about 32 big blinds. The big blind raised me a real small amount. He was definitely an internet player and I jammed on him, having him covered barely. He folded fairly quickly and I showed a 3. A couple orbits later I raised the button with KJo to 3k. He 3bet to 8300 from the small blind with about 25k behind. Given the couple of pots we played I thought he could fold here in real time, although thinking back on it its probably unlikely. I 4bet shoved on him and he called with TT. I was in a race situation and I failed to improve my hand. I was now down to about 11-12 big blinds.

I shoved K3hh UTG for 11800 at 600/1200 and one short stack isolated me. He had QQ. The flop came 864 and the turn was the King of spades. The river bricked and I was back up to 20bbs. A couple players busted from the table and new players sat down. The very first hand this one guy got to the table he raised, and I shoved KJo on him from the button for about 15k more. He thought for a little bit and folded. Immediately after that hand I picked up 22 on the cutoff and shoved for 19bbs. The small blind reshoved immediately with AKs and I lost another flip when the board came K97xx. I busted a couple hours into day 2. Bummer.

Overall I felt like I played real well. My two shoves on day 2 are pretty marginal although I was flipping. The table had gotten considerably tougher so I don't mind making some higher variance plays, but I probably could have waited for better spots. Trying to play perfect in an imperfect game is tough though so I won't beat myself up too much. I really want to do well in the next months leading up to the WSOP. I'm trying to clean up everything and make my game as sharp as can be.

After I busted the NAPT Main event I got on a flight to LA with Roothlus, who is also a DeepStacks Pro. Although he lives out in LA we both were going to teach a camp at the Commerce. We first flew from Connecticut to Washington DC then from DC to LAX. We had exit row seating on the flight from DC to LAX and nobody came and sat in the middle seat. That was good for us as we had a little extra room. We talked and played some Chinese poker. I was able to win a little money off of him. The flight went by fast and we were in California in no time.

Let's see.. California was a little different this time around. The first night I stayed at the Commerce and didn't leave the casino. I actually didn't leave the casino/hotel the whole time. Mike Matusow played a $200 NLH Tournament someone asked him to play (and to take seriously) and he final tabled it. He ended up getting 3rd place and some of the DeepStacks guys and I stayed up and watched him til 3am. It was pretty fun and exciting to sweat it. Mike could have won it but he screwed around a couple of hands and didn't seem to care too much about it in the end. It was a good time though.

On Saturday/Sunday I taught at the camp and met a lot of interesting and good people. The students seemed to enjoy it and got a lot out of it. Scott Huff from PokerRoad came through on Sunday and I somehow managed to get on the radio show once again. I don't know how I'm so lucky but here is the link. Poker Road Radio - Scott Huff/Mike Matusow/Roothlus/Me

On Monday I flew back to Florida and here I am now. I grinded online a couple of tournaments tonight and got deep in the $100r 6max on FTP and the $300NL. I cashed in both but had a couple rollercoaster hands in the 6max tournament. I was trying to push the envelope tonight and play a couple hands differently. I haven't played online in a week so I was mixing it up. I busted 18th in the 6max and 67th in the $300 NL.

I'm excited to grind online for the FTOPS/SCOOP and get my game prepared for the WSOP which starts at the end of May. That's it for now. It's 4:40am. Gotta get to sleep. Goodnight.

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