Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Poker League Heads Up Recap

The tournament is over. I was trying out the new iPhone and updating the blog from the bar. I thought about taking everyones picture, but it didn't seem right. But, updating the blog while out is pretty cool.

36 people signed up to play in the Minnesota Poker League Heads Up Tournament at Brother's Bar & Grill. I've been really excited to play in this one since it was announced. I really like playing heads up. It's so mentally challenging!
The structure goes like this - each player starts with 2000 in chips. Blinds start at 25/50 and go up every ten minutes. The rest of the blinds are 50/100, 75/150, 100,200, 200/400.

I was really worried about my first match. Prof Jenson. I've played him a lot and he's a very solid player. He's also got experience heads up. My only hope against him was to be switching gears frequently. I decided to start slow and play very tight. We went back and forth for awhile, but eventually, I had all the chips in front of me. Whew! 1 down 5 to go.

Next up Hudson Lanier. He's a college student majoring in Classical Guitar Performance. He was very agressive. He like to raise it up. I decided to be selectivly agressive myself. I folded to him frequently, and then mixing it up and make strange raises. The first hand of the game did start out well. I was dealt 99. He was betting like crazy. I had a feeling he was week and called him to the river. The river actually gave me a straight, so I reraised him. He folded, but this put a serious dent in his stack. We tussled for a while, but not before I had him down to about 800 chips. He raise, I pushed him all in, he called. He actually had a hand in A 10, but my K J spiked a J on the river to win it.

Next up is Evan Kramer. I've played him before and he's also very solid player. He mixes it up and is good at spotting weakness. Early on, I had got the feeling that he was focusing in on my weakness. So I started limping and playing weak with strong hands and playing weak hands strong. This really turned the tide. This worked well and I got him down to 700 chips with the blinds at 100/200. He started to move all in and I found cards.

Randy Wobig, who always reminds of the character actor Carmen Fillipi. I've played this guy before, and of all the people I played tonight, I always find him the easiest to read. His eyes change when he hits and the guy plays his cards. I mixed it up well against and won a lot of small pots raising into him when he missed. Worked well and we were done pretty quick.

I had to sit around for about 30 minutes waiting for the last match to finish up. The basketball player and the Well Manicured Guy. I actually was hoping to play the basketball player. He thinks well and tries to play too tricky, like Bodie25. I felt I had the best chance against him. The 60 year-old gentleman is much more of a gambler. He's just risky and you never know what he hit. With more time, I'm sure I can unravel his tell. He bets with a different pattern when he bluffs.

He name is Terry Annasasi and he won the match to play me in the finals. We agreed to play best 2 of 3. He won the button and off we go.

He likes to bet, bet, bet and bet. I didn't want to get really short playing small pots with him, so I folded a lot. He whittled me down for a while, but I bluffed my way back to even. The blinds got up there and we fought back and forth. He finally busted me when I hit a set of nines on the river. He also hit the set, only his 7 was the better kicker. Man...that sucks.

It was really strange, but I kept thinking about our first meeting. I was tilting. I don't normally let hands bug me too much at the table, but I was getting frustrated. He kept hitting something on the flop and even his junk was better than mine.

I decided to mix it up and play the next hand agressive. I had 9♠3♠. The flop came 10 7 3. He raised like he always does, so I went all in over the top. He calls...he turns over 77. DAMN!

I finished 2nd. I was very disappointed. I really wanted to win it all. I'm definitely proud of finishing second, but it's still not fun.

I'll be on vacation next week. No poker league in MN. 2 weeks from today, we start the fall league. 16 weeks. I feel like I've been playing good live poker...going to California would be fun.