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Posts Tagged ‘jhdss’

JHDSS Main Event

March 21st, 2011 Poker No Comments »

The Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series Main Event is one of my favourite events of the year.  For a $550 buy-in you get a 3 day event, a decent enough structure, a pretty soft field and a pretty good prize pool.  I’ve played it twice for a 25th and a bubble, so I was pretty keen to get an opportunity to play again this time around.

I played Day 1b, with the mindset that I had a second shell to fire with the repechage on Saturday should I feel like playing again.

I arrived at my table to find Mat Hawker on my left and had to chuckle when I saw Nobbi Tanaka sit down to my right.  After some fun times against Nobbi in the 6-handed event, it would be nice to have position on him today.  I didn’t know anyone else at the table but there were a couple of faces that I’d seen before.

There was one Asian guy who decided he wanted to be table captain as he lagged it up pretty early.  I made a nice call down against him with ace-queen on a scary board, pretty early when he triple barrelled.  A few minutes later I gave some back when I called with KT on an AKx22 board.  It was a limped pot and I was in the small blind. The flop was checked, I check-called turn and river.  I knew he wouldn’t bluff me twice in a row, so I should’ve folded the river.  But I paid him off and he showed 2T – the only way he could win was with running deuces.  Sigh.

Nobbi was continually iso’ing the limptards, so I was trying to find a good spot to punish him for it.  When the cutoff limped, and Nobbi raised the button, I decided I was going to three-bet the small blind with any two cards.  I looked down at Kd7d which seemed reasonable enough.  It was 100/200 and he iso’d to 700.  I made it 2,100 but he came back over the top to 5,100.  My instinct was that he’s so full of shit, so often, that the right play would be to basically shove on him here with my entire range.  But I decided it was early enough to let it go.  It’s disappointing as my instincts were right, but I was just outplayed as Nobbi later told me he had Q7.

I lose a chunk of chips with pocket deuces on a baby board when I fold river, and next hand I find AQ under the gun and raise it up.  Mat Hawker is next to act and he three bets me.  I respect Mat’s game and he had been pretty solid up until this point.  I haven’t played with him before, and I know he grinds solidly online, but I guess I assumed his style was probably similar to my own.  I don’t often raise a full ring table light from UTG, so I wouldn’t normally 3-bet myself pretty light.  I didn’t want to call and play OOP, so I let it go.  He later told me he had As7s.  Owned again.  Sigh.

I didn’t find too many spots over the next few levels with my opens getting three-bet and my c-bets getting check-raised.  It was just one of those days where nothing stuck.  I was down to around 15BBs when Nobbi opened the cutoff and I shoved KdQd from the button.  He called with Ah8d and I spiked a queen on the flop, only for an ace to crush me on the river.

I was pretty frustrated but the next day, decided that it was worth raising some funds to take another shot.  Day 1c was the complete opposite to Day 1b.  I had a super-soft table full of nits, with Julian Cohen the only solid player on the table.  I had a Scandi on my left who was pretty bad, Michael Haddad who was good fun as usual but donked his chips off, and the rest were fish.

I called the Scandi down with ace-high in a blind versus blind and he showed queen-high, and I made a couple of other nice reads/calls to chip up a bit in the early stages.  With the blinds at 100/200, I opened to 525 with pocket kings and the Scandi called before Haddad moved all in (without looking at his cards) for around 5,000.  A nit in the big blind then moved all in for about 13k.  I wasn’t thrilled but I was never folding.  Scandi folded, Haddad showed Q4 and the nit had TT.  40k pot and of course the fkn ten hits the flop.  I was back down to 13k but kept chipping away.  I got a lot of good raising hands like QJ and KT in late position, and they just kept letting me steal their blinds.  Unfortunately the antes hadn’t yet kicked in, but I was happy to chip up and keep the table guessing.

Three times I raised with small pocket pairs, hit baby flops, and got called by fish with nothing but overcards.  Twice they hit their six outer, and the other, I called a guy down who had king-queen-high.  However everytime I’d chip up, I’d have something go wrong and get knocked back down.  I rivered two pair in a pot against a fish who already had a bigger two pair.  I thought for a moment about donk value-betting the river but I checked and for some reason he checked behind to thankfully save me some chips.  I then had pocket queens and had to fold on the river to heavy action on an ace-high board.

A failed bluff attempt against a super-nit put me back down to around 8,000 when I picked up AA in the big blind.  Two limps at 200/400/50 and I made it 1,200.  They both called and the flop was 678.  I bet, got check-raised, shoved and he snapped with 9T.  Game over.

I learnt a lot on Day 1b on a tough table, while there was nothing I could do on Day 1c after having AA, KK and QQ all cracked.  It’s been a tough few months poker wise, so I’ll be taking a little break with a few events coming up that I’ll be working at.  Hopefully a little run-good is around the corner.

However the week wasn’t a lost cause as I was able to rail Josh “procession” Bell onto 3rd place in the Main Event.  Well done mate!

Next stop Perth!

Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series – Prelim Events

March 17th, 2011 Poker No Comments »

So this week was the Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series at Crown Casino. It was the sixth instalment of the popular low-limit series and one of my favourites to play. The buy-ins are a perfect level for me, the fields are usually extremely soft as most of the interstate pros don’t travel to play it, and the structures are pretty good. They do get pretty shallow later on in the tournament, but you get plenty of gameplay for your buck so it’s pretty hard to complain.

Before heading over to the Crown Casino in Melbourne, I’d decided to play the $340 Terminator and $340 6-Max and then maybe some of the cheaper midday $180 events if I felt like playing. I’d also play the Main Event later in the week.

First event was the $340 Terminator event which I’d gone very deep on the last two occasions at the JHDSS, only to cop a couple of rough beats late. We got a 15k start bank and 30 min levels, so there was plenty of room to move. Trung Tran was the only notable on my starting table, but I started off by dropping 1,000 on the first hand of the tournament and pretty much went South from there. Not much went right, at all. Took a pretty bad hit when I raised AJ from early position and found one call from your generic old-school live player to see a J87 flop. I bet flop, then check-called turn and river for him to show me T9.

A few hands later there was a limp from the cutoff into my small blind. I completed with K9 and after a flop check around I check-called two streets on an AKxxx board. Of course the cutoff had “craftily” slowplayed his AA. WP sir.

Down to around 12BBs, action folded to the SB who completed and I shoved A4s in the BB. He thought for a moment and called with QJo. I guess the $100 bounty was too much to resist. Queen on the flop and I’m out around 110th of 156.

A few days later and got talked into playing the $340 8-Game Mixed Event. I used to play a fair bit of HORSE but haven’t played much PLO or 2-7, so I planned to tread lightly in those games. Turns out I knew 2-7 better than most. lolz. Within the first 6 hands we saw someone raise with high cards (it’s lowball dude), showdown ace-high (ace is high not low dude) and then a straight (straights count dude, or and before you play another hand, so do flushes). lolz.

I didn’t lose a single pot for the first two hours, only chopping one pot during the Stud H/L round. Unfortunately as solid as I was early on, it was the complete opposite for the next two hours where not much went right. I got outdrawn in three 2-7 hands, and rivered in PLO. I made one mistake in Stud H/L where I put in a third bet with a low draw and bricked.

In the end I made my last stand with 2345J in 2-7. I tossed the J and drew a 5. Tossed the 5 and drew a Q. Tossed the Q and drew a K. GG. Roughly 30th out of 56.

The next day was the event I was most looking forward to with the $340 6-Handed event. I love having a six handed event at that price range but surprisingly it only got 105 runners. I arrived a few minutes late to the casino and was pretty sick to see Nobbi Tanaka on my direct left. Probably the most hyper-aggressive player in the field. Sigh. Fortunately I knew how he played, and I suspect he didn’t know much about me. I was able to get a couple of 4bets in against his aggression to keep him in check, but unfortunately things didn’t go so smoothly around the rest of the table. I tried to triple barrel Jimmy Ghobrial off what I perceived as a flush draw – I was right except that the running aces gave Jimmy trips to go with his flush draw and he quickly called me down.

I found myself down to around 4,500 of my original 15k start bank with only about 20BBs. This was a level I pretty much maintained for the next few hours as I continually chipped up and held my spot without anything too special happening. I got one double up with AJ vs Nobbi’s 99, but he quickly got it back when his QJ paired up against my A8.

Andrew Scott and James Potter joined the table to make it a little tougher, but we were the next table to break. Nobbi 4bet himself into Andrew’s pocket aces, and I pretty much stayed out of trouble, other than getting berated for my min-raising!

We then broke to a new table where I sat with Manny Stavropoulos as we inched closer to the money. I doubled up with QQ against Manny’s 66, before flopping a flush in a battle of the blinds and getting three streets of value. I got myself up to around 90k at 1200/2400 which was about as deep as I’d been since the start of the tournament. I was above average with 20 left and 12 finishing in the money.

I raise-folded KTo preflop to a young Internet kid’s 3-bet, before a few hands later he opened the button into my big blind and I looked down at AsJs. In hindsight, I should’ve just called to keep things small ball and see a flop, but I wanted to give the impression that perhaps I was just playing back at him light, so I 3bet him pretty big. If he 4bet, I was ready to jam, but he surprisingly just flatted.

This indicated to me that he was intending to “outplay” me post-flop, with perhaps some sort of marginal holding. The flop was a draw-heavy QhJd6h. There’s lots of ways I could play this, but at the time my thinking was that I wanted to get the last bet in. If I c-bet and am raised, it’s pretty yuk. But if I check, I’m certain he’s going to be aggressive and bet. I can then check-raise shove which looks strong and shuts out a lot of the draws which he is likely to have on that sort of flop. Unfortunately he snap-called with QTo and the board bricked out. I don’t really like his call preflop, and there are like two hands (AK and AJ) that he beats on the flop, but I guess once he flops top pair he kinda has to go with it.

It was a disappointing end after I’d fought back from the short stack. I don’t mind so much how I played the hand, but perhaps I didn’t need to let the pot get so big preflop, when I had a decent stack to work with and continue to chip away small ball towards the money.

So I was 0/3 in the prelims before the Main Event in the Crown Casino on Friday. Hopefully I can turn it around for the big one!

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.