Glenn's Poker Journal

Husband to FeliciaLee.. here are some of my poker adventures in 'bilking the internet poker machine, six dollars at a time' (--quoted from Sean, Anisotropy).

Location: United States

NOT a poker blogger!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Address: Final Table

While I've been having a good run at tournaments lately, I've been getting killed in cash games. It's so weird for me, for it used to be the exact opposite! At one point I told Felicia that she could continue to play tournaments if she wanted to, but I would only play cash games.

I think what eventually got me back into tournaments was trying to win her satellites/lammers during festivals. At Rio, Foxwoods, Commerce, Orleans, etc, I would play a ton of satellites. After I won or chopped a few of them, we found that I had a knack for it. It soon came to be: I would play the sats, give her the lammers, and she would play the tourneys.

From then, well, most of you know about my freeroll tourney successes. This sort of got me back into it a bit. Once I won my seat to the WSOP, we started playing more here at Laughlin. For whatever reason, I seem to only win at Riverside. (Although, I was all but locked up for the money once at the River Palms, until a one-outer straight-flush took me out..Doh!)

To give an idea how I'm running in the tournaments, I just got through chopping another one last night. The lady I chopped with had me a little outchipped, asked my name before shaking it for like the 3rd time (she was just 'pickled', as she put it, to 'be here', to chop it). Curtis had just pushed into the box (sorry, Curtis, I should have made her at least play one hand so that you could earn money on the down); he said, "His name is Glenn; address: final table. He lives at the final table."

With currently running so badly at the 4/8 (to the tune of -$20/hr! these past 3 months), it was a nice compliment. Back when Felicia and I used to play the tourneys at the Belle, we used to win enough that they would accuse us of cheating (no matter how many times I refused to soft-play Felicia, they figured that we were somehow colluding..yeah, I really wanted to keep knocking her out instead of both of us getting paid..yeah, that makes sense).

Anyway, it felt good to finally have some recognition :)

Now, I just need to work on the cash game!

Posted by Glenn

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Poker Nightmare

Last night I had my first poker nightmare...

I'm in a tournament and just as I'm trying to look at my cards, the guy to my left raises out of turn. As the dealer is pushing his bet back because I haven't acted yet, I see AA. Of course, I limp. Guy on my left follows through and raises, and gets called in a couple places. I shove. Guy to my left calls, as does others. I see him turn up pocket 77's and I turn up my cards and see... pocket 77's. Huh?!?! I see someone else across the table has my AA! Then I also see that a 3rd person that called AI with... 77. Fouled deck. Redo. I was still wondering how my AA's got into someone else's hand when Felicia woke me up. Thank goodness, just a dream!

This was probably born out of the nightmare of a tournament that I played last night.

Early on, I limp in the CO w/ T9s after a few others, and the BB decides to raise. It's the first level at 25/50 and he makes it 250. He gets FIVE callers before it gets to me, so I go ahead and call too. Flop is T-high and he bets 500...? There's a possible straight and flush draw, and he's betting 1/6th of the pot? Sounds like he missed. It gets folded to me, so I make it 1500. BB just calls. On the turn is an offsuit 3 and he bets 1500. We started with 3000, so this puts me all-in. Now I'm thinking that he really had an overpair, but I still have my rebuy chip and figured that I might have 5 outs and that I'll call with all the money in the pot. Five outs? No, three. He had tried to steal the bringins, I'm guessing, with ATo and just got lucky. No 9 on the river and I do the rebuy.

This is where trying to put people on a hand in these small tourneys is really insane. All those draws out there and he bets so small with a relative monster of Top Pair Top Kicker. Then he does a small bet on such a vunerable flop. Too bad I was the only one that had anything, I would have folded my TP.

Later on, I flop a set of 4's on a board of 3c4h6h. It's 50/100 now and a middle position player bets 500 (there were 6 players to the flop). I make it 1000 and I get cold-called by the button and the SB, folded to the middle position who mucks (? I think he took a stab at the pot, and since he knows me, folded, probably any pair). Turn card is a death card: 7h. SB pushes in. I can either call all my remaining chips and hope to fill with only one card to come, or wait. I chose to wait.

Before the break, it's 100/200 and I have just under 4000 chips. So, my M (see Harrington's books) is > 10, but with the blinds about to double, I shove with AKs. Carl, a local that I've played with many times before, thinks he's making a loose call with... AKs. We both make K's full of A's and chop the pot. I made a whopping 100 from chopping the BB (Carl was the SB).

Very next hand, someone raises in front of me and I find KK. "Let's try this again", I said, and shove. BB moves AI (he covers me and the original raiser) and the original raiser goes AI and shows 88. BB shows AK. As I'm thinking "no ace, no ace", the dealer flops AA7, and I'm drawing dead. Ugh! I head to the cash game.

On a brighter note, I did chop the tournament at the Riverside the previous night. Combination of good play and good cards that mostly held up.

In the beginning of that tournament, I had to rebuy early (again) because my AK ran into the powerhouse of A6s (UTG) that choose to call my heafty preflop raise. Then he check-raised me and I called, getting about 2-1 on my money. He had flopped 2 pair and it held up. AK another time did NOT hold up and I thought I was doomed for the tournament. Before the break, I had AK yet again and was able to survive this time.

After the break, I choose my spots and shoved at times that I felt were either good timing or good hands. Once I got lucky to have A9o vs A8o and kicker played and I doubled. Made it to the final table, but only 4 paid on the relatively low turnout.
I had some really passive players, unfortunately to my right. However I did get lucky that one of the heathier stacks was directly to my left. Once or twice I stole from him because I knew that he didn't want to jepordize his chip position before the money (once it was him in the BB and passed to me in SB and I raised with 97o cause I just knew he would fold.. and he did).

The kid to my right was way too tight. Once he limp-opened [LO] the SB, and I found A4o in the BB. I shoved and he folded. To really show how tight he was, it happened again later in the tournament. He LO'd the SB and this time I found AA. Since I had done it once before, I was hoping that he might have something if I went ahead and shoved again. He folded ATo face up! He was even short stacked! I would have insta-called. (Really, I would have shoved pre given his chips stack; if I was up against AA, so be it.) Then, I showed him my AA to enforce his tightness -grin-.

I was lucky enough to have AA early against an early raiser, whom ended up calling my AI with KJs(?). Guy is even a dealer there and should have known to lay it down. I think he figured he had raised too much and felt he had pot odds and would try to out draw me. Once we were 5 handed, I managed to capture the chip lead. First from the AA vs KJ hand, then with QQ vs another early raiser with JJ. I had probably twice the chips of anyone. I'd have played the bully, but 2 of the other stacks were desperate and would call me with anything, probably, in order to double up. So, I just waited. Soon the bubble finally burst when it was short stack vs short stack in the blinds. Then the kid with the ATo busted himself as well and we were 3 handed.

Local guy [LG] to my left asked about chopping. I still had 1/2 the chips at the table, so I repectfully declined. Very next hand UTG/button limps. He's an older guy [OG] that has been playing well and I see him kind of like keeping his head down and I'm thinking he has a good hand. I only have 23 in the SB, but it's soooted, so call, hoping to bust OG slowplaying something with 2pr or straight. LG checks.

Flop comes down 764 giving me a gutshot, but no clubs (my suit) and I check. LG shoves and OG shoves. I turbo-muck and sit back to watch. LG has K5o for open-ended straight draw, and OG has 77 for top set. Set held up and OG had him slightly covered. With blinds at 400/800, and OG having only 20k less, we ended up chopping. With only 80$ difference between chopping and first, I figured it was best to chop.

Felicia brought up a good point after, however. I should have agreed to a chop of most the prize pool, but put aside like $50 or so and to play it out for that extra amount. Get some HU experience.

Next time, definitely!

Posted by Glenn

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Card Dead at WSOP

Well, I made it for 13.5 hours, but that still wasn't good enough to survive day 1. I got knocked out when I shoved vs what I figured was a steal attempt of my blind. Dude's 66's held vs my AJo and I was out at 1:30am. I'm glad I got to play, but just wish I had more to work with.

Felicia asked me the day before how I was feeling. It was really weird. I was more excited when I initially won the seat. I think all that we went through trying to get the seat transferred, then to get actual confirmation, was such an emotional roller coaster that once I got there it was kind of like just another tournament.

It was a little surreal to be there at WSOP, having 10K in tournament chips, but still condensed into one stack. Seemed so anticlimatic. I wanted a pyramid of chips! If I remember correctly, we got 7 1K chips, 4 500's, 8 100's, and 8 25's. So almost a stack and a half. Hummf. (-grin-)

Anyway, during the first few rounds people were being tight. I was hoping to catch some hands, maybe sneak in with a suited connector, catch good and make some chips. I think the only suited connector that I limped with was 54s in late position and didn't get anything. I did get a draw and was priced on the flop, but didn't get there. Turn, guy bet the pot, the guy in between dropped, and I didn't think that the implied odds were there, so I just folded.

Few rounds later I'm in the BB with 97o and I got a free flop. This one Hungarian guy two to my left had limped in UTG+1. I think he'd only come into a pot 2 other times. So I kind of got a tightish impression of him, but it was still within the first hour, therefore, I didn't have a hard cast read of him. He could have just been card dead for all I know.

Flop comes Q99 with two hearts. I flopped trips. With two draws on the board, I lead out. This also disguises my hand to many, who would think that if the blind flopped trips that he'd naturally check in the hopes someone else would bet. The Hungarian guy [HG] called, one person folded, and a late position guy [LP] called. I figured that they were on a draw (possible hearts, possible JT); so when the turn brought an 8 that would complete the straight, I checked. HG checked, LP checked. Both heart draws? River is another offsuit (no flush), but a 7! I filled.

I think I bet 200 (half the pot) on the flop, so getting two calls, there was about 1000 in the pot. I did a weak-lead 200 bet again, hoping to be raised by a straight. HG raised to 500 and LP cold-called. Great, I thought, just what I wanted. I added 2 yellow 1k chips to the two black I had out there to make it 2200 to go. The HG dude looks at me for a little, then makes it 5000. Excuse me?

Meanwhile, the LP guy, who had called the bet and raise to 500, cold-called the 5000. Wow! I immediately started thinking that the HG must have limped with QQ and slow played his top full house to the river. Trying to put the LP on a hand, I was wondering if he had the straight or the case 9, but wasn't full. Can't raise because he can't beat a straight, or he slow played the straight on the turn, but with the raising thought a full house was possible, but won't lay it down.
So I figured I had at least had LP beat. What about HG? The alarm bells were blaring and he seemed confident. I tried talking to him: "Did you really just limp with QQ?." No response. "You have Queens full, don't you?" He says, "Excuse me?" in such broken english that I'm finally understanding that I'm not going to get any reads on him because he doesn't understand what I'm asking! Aiyaa. I looked at the pot that has over 12k chip in it and that I have to call 2800 more to make sure he didn't just raise with a turned 88's full or straight since the turn was check-check-check.

I really didn't want to be under 5k within the first round, but I didn't want to fold and find out that HG had a straight and LP had the case nine and my hand was good. Getting better than 4-1, I called and got shown what I feared: QQ for Q's-full on the flop. Back to the drawing board.

I kept folding hand after hand waiting for cards. I called a small raise once with 88 since there was another caller in between. No set and too many overs and I folded.

As time went on, I got shorter and shorter. I stole when I could. A couple times I got nothing and my flop bet was called. I wasn't able to defend a river bet, so had to give it up. (Once the pot was 3 handed so I couldn't call the bet when he was betting into 2 people; the other the flop was KKx. Since the player I was against was there during the Q's full hand, he knows that I'll bet trips. So when he called, I didn't think he was just trying to take it away, I think he really had it and was trapping.)

My best hand of the night was when I was in the blind and there was an UTG raise from a new guy at our table. I found AKs in the BB and shoved; he called with ATo. That really surprised me that he called, but it was good for me. There was a moment I thought I was out when the flop came ATx, but the river was a King and I had doubled up. I was almost back to the original 10k with about 9800.

After that, I was mostly card dead again. As my stack got below 10x the pot size, anytime I had a good Ace or a pair, I was AI. I did this once with AQs vs an early raiser. But I knew he didn't have to have a better hand then mine to raise. I was right when he folded. He saw how tight I was and said he had folded AJ. Once I tried to raise in late position with KJo. Same guy, who was the BB, remarked that the raise scared him more since I didn't just go AI. However when both HG and the BB called my raise, I figured I was dead. On a flop of AQx, HG bet and the BB raised, so I folded. I made a production of it though. I wanted them to think that I was still playing tight and that the raise was a huge hand. I sighed and said, "The one card I didn't want to see on the flop", referring to the Ace. I was hoping that they'd assume that I had raised with KK and that now I'm folding because of the bet and raise with the Ace on board.

This might have been able to allow me to steal a couple times that I did only raise and not go AI; once with J8o and once with K6o. The majority of the time, however, others were raising and I wasn't able to steal. And I never had a hand to come over the top.

My best hand, besides the AK where I doubled up, was 99. There was already an UTG raise and a cold-called by someone that I knew had to have AK or better (basically group one) to call, if not reraise. I figured with the implied odds, I'd call with my 99 and hope to flop. Flop was QJx. UTG bet 3/4's the pot and the other raised. I quickly folded, figuring the raiser for either QQ or JJ. He had JJ, the other KK. Just as I thought, if I had caught and they didn't, I could have doubled through. No set for me though, and I was back to the fight.

I kept getting blinded down, and no one would call my AI's. Once went AI 3 times in one round (AQ, AQs, AJ) and no one called me once! After that, it was the standard fare of 52o, etc. Once I stole UTG with 22. Again, no call. I thought about being maniacal, but at the same time, like I said, most of the time someone was raising ahead of me. That kept me from having the ol' "first in vigorish".

Finally, my last hand was that 66 vs AJ for me in the BB. It was 200/400 with a 50 ante. The guy who raised, I had seen raise with KTo, so he didn't have to have a hand. Plus, with my tight image, I know people attack my blind, and since I mostly didn't have much, I couldn't fight back. This time, the raiser was in late position and when I saw the AJ I figured 2 things: I could have the best hand; and/or with my image, he might fold. Either way, I had only about 7000 in chips when it costs 1100 to go around. If I didn't have the best hand, I hopefully had at least one over, if not two and it would be a coin flip. I was glad to see it was (my best chance to double), but no go.

Although I didn't make it past the first day, I outlasted over a thousand of the 2100 or 2200 that they had that day. I know I can do it, but some cards might have helped :p I never held a pair above 99 and that AKs was the best Ace that I held. Hopefully I can win a seat again next year and get another chance.

Until then, back to the grind!


Posted by Glenn