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Archive for November, 2009

No Love On Day 2

November 22nd, 2009 Poker, Travel No Comments »

Day 2 of the Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series Main Event held so much promise but only delivered disappointment. I ended up busting in 82nd place, just 19 places from a $1,000 cash. I desperately wanted the result, so I’m gutted not to cash after getting myself into a strong position on Day 1, the field being mostly soft, and the structure being so good. Unfortunately the cards just didn’t go my way today. I posted a scoreboard from the other day, well here’s today’s scoreboard:

AA – 0
KK – 0
QQ – 0
JJ – 0
TT – 0
99 – 0
88 – 2 – won one, lost the other in race to bust out
77 – 2 – won one with c-bet on ugly AKJ flop, the other raised and folded to three bet
66 – 0
55 – 0
44 – 0
33 – 0
22 – 1 – folded, would’ve lost with set over set
AK – 2 – doubled once, lost once
AQ – 1

Not exactly spectacular reading, and there’s not too much to write about since I didn’t get to play many hands and simply didn’t win any big pots at all. It all started in the first orbit of the day when I raised Jc Tc and saw a Ad Jd Th flop. The small blind had called and then donked out 3,000. I popped him to 8,500. He called and the worst card in the deck, the Qd hit the turn. We both checked and the river was the 8c. He fired 10,000 and I folded my two pair. As it turned out the turn saved me as he flashed K-Q for the flopped nuts. Not a good start.

The only other hand of note early was when there was a raise and call, and I called along in the small blind with As Ts. The flop of K-Q-8 was checked around and I spiked a jack on the turn to give me the straight. I thought someone would bet the turn but they checked again. River was a deuce and I fired 6,000 and got a call by Karsten Kobbing with A-Q. That was my only win at showdown for the day.

Every other pot I won was without showdown as I managed to keep chipping up without any confrontation, which was nice, I just needed to occasionally pick up a big pot with a big hand to get ahead of the pack, but it just never came. There was one hand which I thought was my missed moment, but it proved otherwise. There was a raise UTG by Karsten Kobbing, and I was next to act. Normally I would call to set-mine, which may have been the correct play, but with so many to act behind me I decided to just fold. The board fell 9-2-5-5-4 as two players played a monster pot. Karsten had pocket tens but another guy showed pocket nines. I would’ve lost my entire stack, and it would’ve been been the fourth time this week I would’ve lost with a set of deuces. As it turns out I saved my stack, and after the earlier J-T hand, I felt like I’d slipped through two nooses, and maybe it was going to be a good day.

At each of the breaks I went from 77.7k to 78.k to 96.2k to 90k. So I was maintaining my stack without ever find any cards or good spots to get something happening. I can’t recall getting even a suited connector or something like that to jab with. When I was raising, it was nearly always from position, with complete air, simply to steal blinds and antes.

Unfortunately I eventually ran into a hand. Following the third break of the day, I raised 77 from UTG and had to fold to a three-bet. Next hand a chick shoved for 8BBs from the cutoff. I played with her yesterday and saw her shove all in blind and she’d also shoved all in two hands prior to the break. I also know she’s mates with some good players, so understands the need to steal blinds when in position with her chip stack. In hindsight this was probably my only real mistake for the day as I insta-called with Ah Th. Online I think it’s an insta-call, but live maybe its more borderline. She shoves a lot of aces which I crush, a lot of K-Q, K-J type hands which I am front of, and a lot of small pairs which I’m racing against. Unfortunately she had one of the hands which crush me as she flipped black kings. Fuck. I hit an ace on the flop but it was followed by a king behind it. A ten on the turn gave me a glimmer but the river bricked. It felt like a standard call against a short stack, but I now obviously regret it.

A few hands later I raised K-J from early position and Peter Aristidou three-bet me. I only had about 10BBs behind, but Peter has always got a hand there against my short stack so there was nothing I could do. I folded, and he flashed pocket aces. Sigh.

I then found a double up after shoving with A-K against an opening raisor who was priced into call with J-T. Two aces fell and I had some breathing room. I took down the blinds with Ac Jc, before finding A-K once more. I raised 2.5x and the big blind called to see a 7-6-5 flop. He donked out with a bet, and perhaps I could shove with my overcards but I doubt I had fold equity with my short stack.

The blinds kicked up and again I was under pressure. Another orbit of lost blinds and antes and I was down to 39.5k at 3k/6k/1k when I found pocket eights in the small blind at a new table. Big stack limped UTG, old guy with smallish stack limped UTG+1 and other chip leader limped on the button. I wish I had more chips and then my shove would’ve had some more fold equity but I was confident I had the best hand so I shoved all in for 32.5k more. The UTG called and the others folded. I showed my hand and he cringed, so I thought he must’ve had a smaller pair, but he flipped As 9s. I guess he put me on A-8. Of course a nine hit the river and that was it. I was out in 82nd place, just short of the money. Not much I could do as the blinds and antes would’ve eaten me up and it was a good spot to grab chips. If the river was not a nine, then I’m up to around 100k and very likely to cash.

Very disappointing result, as the field was mostly soft, the structures were excellent and I got myself into a good position after day one. However despite getting some cards yesterday, I had all my big hands cracked, including a one-outer, and had no cards go my way today, yet I still came within a breath of cashing. I guess that’s a good sign, and I felt like I have played really well all week, without a result to show for it.

What’s next? I’m currently tossing up whether to go to Sydney to work the APPT, but at the moment I’m leaning towards taking a nice break and just grind online. Perhaps try to win an Aussie Millions seat. Thanks to those who supported me on ChipMeUp, and sorry we didn’t get a result, but I feel there’s something big just around the corner.

Chipped up in Main Event

November 21st, 2009 Poker, Travel No Comments »

I rocked up for Day 1b of the Main Event and found myself on the feature table, but disturbingly it felt like the final table as I looked around and saw some familiar faces.  As I sat in seat 5, I found Crown Player of the Year leader Peter Artistidou (Seat 1) and Jie Gao (Seat 3) who had both also final tabled the ANZPT Melbourne event that I finished 2nd in.  It didn’t get much better as I looked to my left to find ANZPT Adelaide champ Karl Krautschneider (Seat eight) and high stakes local player Billy Seri (Seat 9).  Things got even worse a few minutes into the day as PokerStars Team Australia Pro Emad Tahtouh claimed Seat 2.  Shiiiiiiiiiit.  “Wow, the chip leader is so coming from this table!” laughed Emad as he sat down and I buckled up.

I really didn’t want to tangle with Peter, Billy or Emad too much as I knew they would make my life hell.  Billy especially, I find very angry-aggressive and difficult to play against.  Karl isn’t too dangerous, and I felt Jie would spew chips to me and I could trap him if he gets overly aggressive.  The others were weak-tight and I since they were next to me in seats 4, 6 and 7 I wanted to try and be in as many pots as possible with those guys.

Not too much eventuated early and I was pretty quiet.  I then picked up pocket jacks, raised, and took it down with a c-bet on a king-high flop.  Very next hand I pick up pocket jacks again and raise from early position to 300.  I get three callers and action moved to Jie in the big blind.  He popped it to 1,300.  I felt like I had the best hand, and was happy to isolate the loose Jie in position, so I four-bet to 3,800.  The table folded back to Jie who tank-folded.  I three-bet Jie again a few minutes later with AQo but then I check-folded a dangerous looking flop and he took some chips back.

Peter busted when his two pair fell to Billy’s straight and flush draw, so that brought a little relief.  I remained tight and then my first big hand came in the 100/200 level.  Billy limped UTG, and Emad raised to 825.  I found Ad Kd and raised to 2,200.  I’m never raising Emad without a real hand there, and he probably should know that. The table folded back to Emad who made the call.  Straight away I felt like he was thinking of pulling something on me as we saw a Ac 2c 5d flop.  I immediately thought of our hand at the ANZPT Queensland (where he doubled me up with 52o vs my AK) and hoped that he didn’t have the same hand!  He checked and I bet 3,000.  He quickly called.  I was a little concerned and when the Qh fell, he checked and I decided to check behind.  I still think this was the correct play against someone like Emad for a number of reasons.  He is capable of check-raising me with virtually any two cards there, and I don’t really want to blow the pot out of proportion with just one pair.  He could have a better hand like AQ, but by checking I control the size of the pot.  Really the only river I fear is a club to complete the flush draw or perhaps a 3 or 4 to fill a funky straight, and by checking I’ve under-rep’d my hand enough to enduce a bluff from a bully like Emad almost 100% of the time, since he thinks I’m tight.  I was prepared to call most rivers, but I was a little sick to see the 8c peel off and Emad fired a solid 7,400 into the middle.  It was almost half my stack and I gave the decision plenty of thought.  The only hands he bets on that river are the flush or air, and his bet just seemed too big to make sense.  AQ might put in a small blocking bet, and a flush probably bets less looking for value.  Either way, I don’t see how I can ever fold against Emad as I’ve seen him float flops and fire rivers hundreds and hundreds of times.  I called and he turned over T8o for the airball.  I raked in the chips and moved up over 30k.  “How can you call with ace-king?” asked Emad.  “How can I fold?” I replied, “I’ve seen you do that so many times!”  Emad chuckled and said, “Yeh I guess I shouldn’t bluff someone who has seen me play every hand!”

Soon after and I picked up pocket sevens and put in a raise to 600 at 100/200.  Billy then popped me to 2,100 on the button.  I went set-mining and spiked it on the T72 flop.  I checked, he bet 6,500, I raised to 14,000, he shoved and I called.  He turned over pocket queens and I doubled through to be close to 70k within the first three levels!

Next level, Billy had doubled up Karl and the very next hand I looked down at pocket nines on his big blind.  I had no intention of really trying to steal or clash with Billy unless I had something as I expected him to put up a fight everytime.  Since he just lost a big pot, I expected him to come back over the top with any two cards when I raised to 1,200.  Sure enough, he shoved for around 9,000 and I called.  I was surprised to see he was as strong as AQo, but the board bricked out and Billy was gone as I got close to 80k.  Emad busted a little later when he tried another bluff against a guy who called him down with pocket sevens, and suddenly the three dangerous players were gone and I had a stack!

Jim Mastorkas took Emad’s seat and it didn’t take long for him to get active.  Jim raised to 1,200 and Jie called on the button.  It was the perfect spot for a squeeze.  I’d recently written an article for PokerNews magazine about situations just like this can be perfect for nits, as I looked down at pocket kings.  To everyone, my raise to 4,200 looks like a squeeze, but with kings I was deceptively super-strong.  I was hoping Jim or Jie might re-pop me, but sadly both called.  Even more sad was the A-Q-T flop. Against two opponents I decided to give up, expecting at least one of them to have an ace.  The flop checked around and an 8 hit the turn.  I checked, Jim checked and Jie fired 8,000, leaving himself 13,000 behind.  I considered that I was ahead but still folded, before Jim did some Hollywooding before raising to put Jie all in.  Jie thought for a few minutes but folded.  Jim obviously had a hand, my guess is AQ as he claimed to not have a set.

I was a little annoyed at losing with pocket kings, as the next hand was underway.  Karsten Kobbing opened to 1,200 and Jim called.  Incredibly I looked down at my cards in the small blind and found pocket aces!  Perfect!  I raise, a little bigger this time, to 4,600, and once again it looks like a squeeze and in fact it looks like a tilt squeeze.  It couldn’t have been more perfect.  Karsten folded (what he later said was QJs) and Jim fluffed around before making the call.  The flop was K-Q-8.  Not great but I’m only in trouble against KQ or 88 (maybe QQ), so I fired out 6,600.  He again danced around with his chips before making the call.  He seemed a little unsure, but I didn’t think he’d call with less than a king.  Maybe ace-king or king-queen.  The turn was a sick card as a repeat king hit.  I was sick.  I checked and he instantly checked behind.  Strange.  Strange, but I’m still unhappy with the situation as I feel like I now have to be beat.  The turn was another fucking queen, and I’m like WTF?  So sick, so I check and again he instantly checks behind.  Hmmm, he checked? Well, I guess I’m good as I show my rockets.  Jim then reveals Ad Qd.  After Karsten had folded a queen, Jim had just hit a one-outer to crack my fkn aces.  Fuck me.  Even being checked down, the pot was over 20k, and if the turn isn’t a king I probably bet again and take it down.  Unbelieveable.

A couple of hands later and Jie opened to 800 at 150/300/25 and I pop him to 2,500 with Ad Kd.  He made the call and the flop was Q-T-8.  Again not a great flop, and Jie only had 11k behind.  He checked and I decided to take a free turn card.  An ace hit and Jie comes out swinging for 5k.  He’s such a lagtard and I’m probably often beat here by a two pair type hand, but I decided he was too much of spaz for me to fold, so I put him all in and he insta-called with KsJs for the nuts.  Another dominated hand that gets there on a sick board.  Running good.

So at that point suddenly I was back down to about 45k and the walls were closing in.  I found kings again and had to fold on another ace-high flop before I find pocket jacks for the fifth time for the day.  Jie had limped and I made it 1,250.  Two callers and Jie also called to see a Th 9h 3s flop.  It checked to me and I fired 3,500.  One fold before and ex-Crown dealer named Jimmy check-raised to 10,000.  Jie reluctanly folded and I was in another tough spot.  I didn’t beat much but a big draw and even then I’m not far in front.  I gave it up and he later told me he had a set of nines.

Getting hit by the deck and playing well, the missing ingredient was a little luck.  From there I sat tight for a long time, probably the best part of the next two levels.  It wasn’t until the last level at 400/800/75 that I found a playable spot.  Karsten limped and Jie called, and I decided to punish them with a raise to 3,500 with ATo in position.  Karsten folded and Jie made the call.  The flop was Ac 7c 6d and he checked to me.  Perhaps the right play here would be to check behind for a little pot control with a weak ace and let him get overly aggressive at me, but there were also a few draws to worry about to I decided to bet 5,500.  He immediately grabbed his two stacks and slid them into the middle.  I had 28k behind and he had me covered.  I was pretty sick and took a long time to come to a decision.  I asked him a few questions to try and get a reaction but didn’t get much.  The clock was then called.   Now that I look back at it, it’s probably an easier call than I made it.  But it’s hard in the heat of the battle.  A set didn’t make much sense, but was possible, as was two pair, but I think he would take more time and raise me to something like 13-14k to get some value considering our stack sizes.  Why shove for so much?  He never has a better ace after he called preflop twice, so the only hand that made sense was a flush draw that was trying to take the big pot.  Since it was a repechage that was even more likely, and with 20mins to go in the day, it made sense.  That fact also meant that it made sense for me to make the big call and try to get a stack, ore repechage, rather than be left with just 28k.  I called and indeed he turned over Qc 8c for a bare flush draw.  The turn and river bricked and boom I was back over 70k where I belonged!  Justice restored.

I bagged up 77.7k in chips to put me in the top 10 for the day, and roughly the top 10% of the field – exactly where I wanted to be after day one.  It was an interesting day, that started with the table from hell, flew skywards with some big hands, hit rocky ground with some cruel luck, and finally climbed again with a big hero call.

For those keeping score at home, here’s how the deck hit me today:
AA – 1 – lost
KK – 2 – lost both
QQ – 0
JJ – 5
TT – 1
99 – 1 – won nice race
88 – 1
77 – 1 – hit set, doubled up
66 – 1
55 – 1
44 – 1
33 – 1
22 – 0 – thankfully
AK – 6 – lost 3
AQ – 2

My Day 2 draw looks good with only Ricky Kroesen and Karsten Kobbing as the names I recognize.  Big day of poker tomorrow!

Another Day, Another Beat

November 18th, 2009 Poker, Travel No Comments »

I forgot to mention last night, that after I busted out of the Terminator at around 3am I was walking back through the casino and just up ahead of me two guys were approaching and I noticed one of them accidentally dropped a wad of $100 notes out of his back pocket.  I quickly yelled out to him that he’d dropped it, and he laughed as the two explained to me that the notes were actually fake and they “had been doing this prank all night to people”.  Awesome.  Part of me wanted to tell these guys to get a life (seriously) but I hoped that Karma was watching as I was now one in front and was expecting a payback today when I played the 6-handed event.

I only got a few hours sleep last night, so I was pretty tired, but extremely focused and determined.  I’d been waiting for this event for a looooong time.  The only event I wanted to play in the PokerNews Cup was the 6-Max but due to lack of resources I had to work last minute which sucked.  However once again I found myself on a table with a fair whack of hyper-aggression, which I’m finding fkn annoyingly difficult to overcome.  This one guy just wanted to win every pot, so I had to wait to find a hand to strike with, but I kept getting royally bent over.  I raised pocket jacks to 500 at 100/200 and lagtard called in the BB.  Flop was QcTc3s and we both checked.  Turn was the Kc to give me a Royal Flush draw.  He checked, I bet 800, he called.  River was the Qs and he checked again.  I check behind and he flipped Qd4s.  I compliment him on his choice of starting hands and I’m informed that he “is going to call with any two cards for a raise of that size”.  Awesome.

Fortunately the guy couldn’t change gears and busted so I was able to get back into my groove.  After losing half my stack before the first break, I was able to chip up a little before Sean Keeton sat down and assumed the role of the maniac.  Very aggressive.  However I was able to trap him with what I felt was a nice play.  I raised As6s from middle position and he called the BB.  The flop was ace-high and he checked.  I checked behind for deception and pot control.  He fired 2,000 on the turn and then 6,000 on the river.  He put me to a tough decision but I was confident that he was full of shit and I made the call.  He had queen-high and I was back to my starting stack.

I maintained my stack before winning a nice pot against the weakest player on the table.  He limped the small blind, and I’m raising the BB there like 95% of the time, so I did with K3o.  He called and we took a K-5-3 flop.  He checked and I fired 2,200.  He check-raised me to 6,500.  There were no flush draws, so I decided to flat and let him hang himself on the turn.  A deuce fell and he fired 8,000.  I moved all in for around another 10-11k and he cringe-folded.  That put me up over 45,000 and in good shape.

At that point I’d say I relaxed a little bit and lost some focus.   There was some friendly banter on the table with Liam Moffett and David Gorr, which I was enjoying, but looking back I probably got a little distracted.  Normally I’m not a big talker, and I think I play better when I’m giving a stone-like image and get into a “zone”.  I probably loosened up a little too much and bled some chips away splashing around too much.

I misplayed two hands in a row which frustrated me.  I got into a mess with ace-king on the button.  Liam raised UTG to what I think was 800 and a random Scandi called.  I should’ve raised here, and I’m not sure why I didn’t.  I respected Liam’s UTG raise, but still I’m ahead of his range and in position.  I made a bad call, but at the same time my hand was disguised I guess.  David Gorr then re-raised to 3,300 from the big blind.  I’ve played with David quite a few times, and found him very tight.  He’s never raising here from the BB without a monster.  It folded back to me, and maybe I could’ve called here and taken a flop as we were deep enough.  But I knew I’d already made one mistake in the hand, and didn’t want to compound it when his range there is QQ+.  So I cut my losses and folded meekly.  Argh.  Next hand I have 88 and again get myself into a mess against a very solid player from the UK.  The Scandi raised to 1,000 and I called, before the UK dude made it 3,500.  Scandi called so I’m priced into call again.  Flop Q-T-4 and it’s checked through.  Turn is a repeat Q.  It’s checked to UK dude who fired 6,500.  Scandi folded and I thought long and hard as to whether I had the best hand.  There’s not many hands he can have here I dont think.  AK or pocket jacks are the two that sprung to mind, and I could beat one of those.  But I gave it up.

We were getting close to the dinner break and I had over 40k and told myself to let those hands go and get to the break with stack in tact.  So of course, what do I do?  Piss away my chips as quickly as possible.  The weak player to my right raised the button to 1,100 and I re-popped him to 3,400 from the SB with Ah 8h.  He called and the flop came down Q-Q-4.  I then noticed he only had 7k behind.  Shit.  I thought he had more.  I can either check and give up, or, as I chose, toss out 10k and pray he doesn’t have a queen.  He insta-called with Q9.  I actually pick up a flush draw on the turn, but the river bricked.  Nice call of my re-raise with Q9 for a third of your stack, I berated silently in my head.

Two hands later and the same guy raised and I flat with KQo in position.  The flop is 678 and he bet 1,600.  I decide to try and get my chips back and take it away from him with a raise to 4,300 with my overcards.  He made the call.  The turn was a brick and we both check.  The river brought the Ac to put three clubs out there.  He checked to me and I did hesitate as I got a feeling I was being setup for a snap-call here, but the ace also seemed like a good bluffable card so I toss out 5,200.  He insta-called and I insta-muck.  He didn’t show, but I’m guessing A7 or A8 for sure.  It didn’t matter.

Dinner break couldn’t come fast enough as I’m down to 17k.  After the break I maintain my stack for around two levels before my final hand came up.  The action folded to my fishy friend to my right who raised to 2,400.  I looked down at AsJs in the big blind with around 16k in my stack.  I thought for a long time, as I had a few options.  I could raise to 7k-ish but this fish had already shown me that he doesn’t like to fold, and he if flat-called my raise, I’m going to feel committed to most flops so it’s real mehhhhhh.  Since I’d shoved on him previously with my two pair, I figured a tank-shove would look really suss to him.  I’m confident I have the best hand, and he might make another spastic call.  It’s also not really too far from standard, as he raised 3BB and I shove for 20BB.  The plan worked as he thought my oversized raise was weak and made a hero-call with A4o.  I was in great shape to double up and get back in the game.  Flop K-8-5.  Turn 2.  River 4.

I grab my jacket and hastily exit before I break someone’s head like a coconut.  I walk it off along Southbank and decide to donate money to every busker I find along the way.  Karma, you better be watching this time, as I’m definitely back in front.  You can pay me back in the Main Event.

Terminated

November 18th, 2009 Poker, Travel No Comments »

Well it’s 4am and I’m steaming. STEAMING! I’ve just unluckily busted out of the $340 Terminator No Limit Holdem event in a hand for close to the tournament chip lead, with 37 players remaining. The best part is that we weren’t even in the money yet. FFS.

The day started at 12pm for another of the $125 No Limit Holdem events, and to be honest right now, I’m so steamed about tonight, that I can’t really remember the details of the earlier tournament. I remember I struggled to find cards, and being 11-handed its also difficult to find good spots, yet when the antes kicked in I was able to chip up nicely for the third straight tournament. The stinging hand was when I raised with T8o from mid-late position and got one call from a chick in the small blind. Flop T98. She leads for 6,000 with less than that behind, so I move all in and she calls with QT. Jack on the turn to give her a straight and I go from potentially having a 50k stack to being back to familiar 10BB territory. Soon after I shove 8BBs with KQo and the big blind wakes up with aces. Busto about 90th out of 257.

At the time I had a chronic migraine and I wasn’t sure if I’d play tonight. But I went home and took some painkillers and had a lay down, and felt nice and recharged for a long night ahead. If I was a little sleepy when I sat down, I was quickly awoken by my opening table. It was totally different to the passive tables I’ve had in the smaller events. I had Andy Meldrum, Jim Sachinidis and Nali Kaselias that I recognized, but it was quickly obvious the others were regulars. Third hand in and I pick up tens in the small blind. There were a few limpers, and then a raise to 350 from a guy in the cutoff who I didn’t recognize but later found out was a local named Tony Bennett. The button called, and I squeezed pretty hefty to 1,500. It folded to Tony who quickly announced a re-raise to 3,350 as the button folded. This re-raise was obviously a little suss, but it wasn’t too much extra to call and try and spike a ten. The flop was 2-4-5 which looked pretty good to me. I checked and Tony insta-fired full pot for 7,000. Argh! I was very close to getting it all in, and if he had the big pair then sobeit. Then e started talking and saying that my jacks were no good and then he called the clock after barely a minute. It really felt like he wanted me to fold, but it was so early, we had so many chips and I knew nothing about him or his style. So I folded my tens. The cocksucker then flashed 97o. WTF?

So I’ve lost a chunk and I’m tilted three hands in. Awesome. Fortunately Tony didn’t know how to change gears. He tried another bluff on me with ten-high and I picked him off with A-J on a KJxxx board. I then limped UTG for 100 with pocket nines and called a raise to 500 with three others. Flop was nine-high and after check-calling the flop, we get it in on the turn and he flips pocket jacks and I double through. A few hands later I have AJ in a limped pot in the BB and its checked around on a KQ9 flop. Turn is gin when a ten lands and the small blind leads for 400. I make it 1,175 and get two callers. River bricks, and I fired slightly over pot for 4,000, knowing that a lone jack has to pay me off everytime, and he did. The other guy folded pocket nines – nice flop check sir.

So I hated my table but had got myself up to about 35k pretty quickly. I then held on for a level or two until we broke. My new table was way softer and I liked it a LOT more, but nothing went right. I misplayed AQ and called a river bet on a QJ98x board, thinking that he either had the ten or was bluffing. He had J9. Sigh. Then against the same guy I call him down with K9 on a king-high board and he flips KT. I then fire at a nine-high flop with T9 and get re-raised. I folded and he said he had a set. I then get into a limped pot in position with 6c 4c and hit a 6h 4h 3c flop. It’s checked to me and I fire 1,200 for 2/3 of the pot. Two callers. Turn is a 3s. It’s checked to me and I put them on a draw and bet full pot, 4,500. One caller. River is the Kd. We both check and he flips over Kh 7h for a draw that rivered a better two pair. Fuck off.

I then slowly slip back but remain very patient since there were no antes in this event which meant there was no bleeding of chips, no reason to panic, and no dead money to fight for. I then finaly pick up a real hand with pocket kings and raise to 2,000 at the 400/800 level. The maniac to my left flat-called, before a solid TAG bumped it to 7,500. I don’t know this guy, but I’ve played with him a few times and I think he has a very solid game. I think he’s always got a hand here, so I move in for another 9,600 on top. Maniac folds and TAG tanks. He asks me a few questions which I ignore, and he tells me I look very calm. I was wearing my sunglasses tonight for the first time and I must say, they are helpful when you’re all in and someone is trying to stare you down. He eventually calls with pocket deuces which is about the complete low-end of his range there. The board bricks and suddenly I’m back over 30k again.

We then go on break and first hand after the break I pick up AK in the big blind at 500/1000. One limper and an old guy shoved all in for 18k. He’d done this weird overbet-shove a few times, and probably had a decent hand, but I figured I’m probably racing or in great shape so I called and he flipped AT. The board bricked again and suddenly I was up over 55k and flying!

One orbit later and I’m in the BB with pocket deuces. The maniac raised to 2.5k UTG and got one call, I called for set value and spiked it on the JT2 flop. Action checked around. Turn was a repeat jack to give me a full house. I checked and maniac bet 2,500. The third player, who was pretty tight, raised to 6,500. I re-raised to 14,000, maniac folded, other guy moved all in for 31k and I called. While I didn’t exactly have the nuts, and he was pretty tight, I’m never considering folding there in a live donkament, ever, but he turned over pocket tens for the bigger full house. Fuck off. If I win that then I’m up over 80k, but instead deuces fuck me up the ass for the second time this week and I was back to 22k.

I again tighten up and try to find a good spot to double. There are about 70 players left and I get moved to a new table and pick up 77 in the BB once again. With the blinds at 1k/2k, a short-stack raised UTG and I moved all in for around 10BBs. It wasn’t ideal but a pairs a pair and with 10BBs, it was good enough to gamble. He called with KQ and I hit a set on the flop to win the race and give myself some breathing room.

From there I stayed tight and found a few good spots to move in and take down the blinds to maintain my stack. Then a hand came up where a loose guy limped UTG for 3k and I shipped all in for 38k from mid-position with pocket jacks. The guy to my left then cringed before he moved all in over the top for a little more. A couple of guys asked for counts so there was a little confusion with chips out on the table, but UTG eventually folded pocket nines. The guy to my left showed pocket eights and the board bricked out, although a nine does spike the river, so if UTG had’ve called, then I would’ve been cruelly eliminated.

Then something weird happened. The guy to my left walked from the table and I say to him “I think you still have some change left,” since we’d already counted out his stack. He says “Nah you got me,” and the dealer also confirmed to me “You have him covered”. I say “Are you sure? You might want to check that…” and the dealer again replied “No, you have him covered”. Ok so at this point what do I do? If it was a normal tournament I would once again point out the error and make sure the guy gets his change. However this was a Terminator (bounty) tournament, so his scalp was worth $100 cash to me. I had asked them both twice to check and they both ignored me. So at that point I ignored my conscious, and stretched out my arms to rake in the chips. If you want to do the math to confirm, small blind = 1,500, big blind = 3,000, UTG limp = 3,000, I shove 38,000. Somehow I ended the hand with 92,000. He should’ve had 8,500 in change.

Maybe Karma is indeed a bitch. I shouldn’t blame Karma, as I am content that I did ask them to check the counts twice. I shouldn’t have to ask three times. But Karma obviously thought differently. After taking down a raised pot with pocket queens, I got myself to around 100,000 with 38 players to go. With a limp from a ridiculously bad player, I limped along with pocket deuces on the button. The small and big blind called and we took a flop of Ks 5d 2s. In a heartbeat the small blind announced he was all in (for 53,000 into a pot of 12,000, wp) and amazingly the retard insta-called!!! I immediately shipped in for 95,500, thinking that the retard couldn’t possibly fold. He then tanked for ages, (after insta-calling 53k, he tanked for 42.5k more, omfg), and I was convinced it was very, very likely they both had a king and I had them both virtually drawing dead. I could smell a 250k stack approaching the cash!

Perhaps I should’ve called the clock, to put more pressure on him to fold, but I honestly thought he could be very, very dead and I wanted him to call. After a few minutes he shouts out “call” and we have a pot for the tournament chip lead. I show my set, small blind tables KQo and the retard reveals the only hand I don’t want to see – the Qs 9s for a bare flush draw. He’s called off 100k with a bare flush draw. OMFG. Of course, the turn was the As to complete his flush and I couldn’t pair the board on the river. Busted in 37th place, with three terminator buttons for a $300 return. So disgusting. Words simply cannot describe the incredible level of retardation that this spastic had displayed in this hand.  I can’t believe that I can cop some of the beats and rough luck that I have this week, and still go as deep as I have. Soon the luck is going to turn, so you retards better watch the fuck out, because you’re going to be in deep shit. I’m no set, no fkn bet, you spastics.

Night.

Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series Kicks Off

November 15th, 2009 Poker, Travel No Comments »

So today was the opening event of the Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series and I admit I was a little excited.  Cheap buy-ins, great start banks and decent structures, only problem is that no matter how you sugar-coat it, live poker is still retarded.

Today was a pretty horrible day, and it’s pretty incredible that I actually lasted as long as I did.  It started off well, and in fact my best level was the first one of the day.   With a 15k start bank, I was happy to speculate early, so with a raise and call in front, I came along for the ride in position with 7d 9d.  The flop was a big one as it fell 4d 8d 7c.  The original raisor led out for 200, before the caller (who was the most aggro player at the table) popped it to 625.  I was now in a kinda weird spot.  I loved the flop and my hand, but with a bet and raise in front, I had to think for a moment about my next move as it was still the first orbit of the day.  A flat-call was strong, but still weak, so I decided it was super-strong to raise, so I made it 1,500.  They both folded, so a decent result and good for my image.  A few hands later I flat-called a raise to 225 in position with Ah Qh, and flopped a flush draw.  My opponent fired 350 and I called, before I picked up a gutshot draw on the turn.  He fired again for 650, and this time I raised it up to 1,600.  He let it go and I’d taken down another nice pot with some aggression.

From there, I remained tight before losing the chips back in a bit of a strange hand.  Action folded to me and I raised to 300 on the button with Qh Jd.  The small blind appeared a TAG and he raised small to 700.  I can’t fold for that pissy raise, so I called to see a Jh 9s 3c flop.  My opponent led for 1,100 and I raised to 2,800.  Pretty standard I felt, but my opponent then declared himself all in!  It was a big raise, and I figured I don’t really beat anything so I quickly folded.  My guess is he got a little excited with a big pair.

My table broke and I got moved to another table of randoms.  I won a small pot with A-Q after calling a river bet with ace-high to beat an opponent’s queen-high, before another weird hand.  At 75/150 and with three limpers in front, I decided to keep the aggression up and raised to 1,050 with the mighty 8h 3h from the cutoff.  Punish the limpers!  It would’ve worked, but the player on the button over-called as everyone else folded.  The flop was K-5-4 and I took a stab for 1,250.  The villian called and I gave up.  We checked down the bricks on the turn and river.  “You win,” I said, but my opponent didn’t move.  I wasn’t going to show my 8h 3h and was confident my eight-high was beat so I open-mucked.  “I’ll show you anyway,” spat my opponent and he flipped As Qs for ace-high.  Nice calling sir.  “I should’ve kept firing!” I joked.  “I would’ve called!” he replied.  Awesome.

I then tightened up and tried to find a good spot to strike.  It came in a raised pot on a 5d 4h 2d flop when I was holding pocket deuces.  The big blind led out for 1,000 and I decided to flat call to try and bring in the original raisor, and another preflop caller, but they both folded.  Heads-up to the 8c turn and my opponent fired 3,500.  It was a solid bet, but it left me with a decision.  I had roughly 12k in my stackm which made bet-sizing a little tricky.  I was trying to figure out the best way to get all of my chips into the middle.  I wasn’t particularly worried about the straight draws, as it was a raised pot and it was more likely my opponent had an overpair, but I wanted to raise to protect my hand.  However I felt a shove might scare him off and a small raise would just look too suss as it was committing so much of my stack.  In the end I decided the most deceptive option was to call, knowing that if my opponent bet a river brick, he was committed to call my all-in shove.  There weren’t many rivers that would be a worry, but the 6h was one of them as now any three or seven made a straight.  My opponent bet 4,000 and raising was no longer an option.  I flat-called again (yes I flat-called three streets with a set, yuk) and he flipped pocket fours for a bigget set.  My passive line had saved me my tournament.

I was down to around 4,000 with the blinds at 150/300/25.  So much for deep-stacked poker!  Fortunately I found a double up with pocket aces against pocket nines, but an orbit or two of folding and the blinds jumped again to still leave me hovering around 12BBs.  I then copped a pretty demoralizing blow when I completed from the small blind with K-9 with four limpers and spiked gin with a K-K-9 flop.  We checked around to the button who bet 1,000.  I called, hoping for a few more customers and only found one.  Then the turn was a sick 9.  Now I chop with any king.  We checked around again and an ace hit the river.  I moved my last 3,500 into the middle and found a call from K5.  So sick.  He was drawing dead to a chop on the flop.  Gross.  I wasn’t happy but luckily soon after I got the double ups that I needed as I picked up AK twice and doubled both times, once through KT and another eliminating a guy holding AJ.

Suddenly I was up over 20k and back in decent shape when I got moved to a new table.  It was significantly tougher as I recognized some faces for the first time.  David Zhao is a very talented young player who was four to my right, and Australian poker legend Leo Boxell was two to my left.  To make things more fun, I had the tournament chip leader with 170k on my direct right.

I only had to wait two hands for the 800/1600/100 blinds to reach me and get amongst the action.  A player under the gun moved all in for around 8,500 chips and it folded to me in the big blind.  I look down at A-Q.  I guess it’s kind of marginal, but online I’m way ahead of the range of an UTG-shove for 5BBs.  Maybe live, it’s a little closer, but he flipped K-J and I was in front.  That is, until a king spiked on the turn.  If I win that I’m up over 30,000, but instead I’m down to under 13,000 and in trouble once again.

I folded a few hands until I’m in the hijack.  The big blind was nit of the century from my previous table, so I felt it was a great spot to steal from with ATC with my 8BB stack.  I peaked at the Ad and that was enough for me to shove.  The button isolated and flipped As Qs as I squeezed out the rather disappointing 5s as my kicker.  No three-outer and I was out the door, middle of the pack.

A very rough day, but I guess there’s some light to come out of it.  I should’ve been busted with set over set, and despite being down to 10BBs very early in a deep-stacked tourney, I managed to recover and claw my way back.  A little luck at the right time, and I would’ve been a chance to progress deeper.

Not to worry, there’s always another day!  There’s some great tournaments coming up, and the decision is which tournaments to play!  Tomorrow is a big online poker day so I’m contemplating whether to make a big Monday morning assault or tackle the live vultures once again.