Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Poker League Week 7 Recap

I came into this week having slipped into the points for the first time in over a month last week. I've been feeling very confident in my game again. The online account balance is positive and my confidence was bolstered by last weeks showing.

I tried something entirely new this week and went to bed early on Monday night. All the books by the pros make it abondantly clear that sleep is a key factor in poker success.

I've also taken to wearing my headphones and playing music on the iPhone. This really seemed to work last week to keep me concentrating on the game and chatting less with the people at the table.

My poker game has returned to a patient style with observant aggression. What the hell does that mean? Well, the is free poker and the skill level varies wildly. Just because you have top pair, doesn't mean that everyone will notice that your bet is be observant. Are the other people in the hand gonna notice your raise? Or is optimal play keeping the pot small and waiting until you have a monster.

Also this week, I really tried to concentrate on only playing in position. The hands I'd play in position were wide and varied. A lot more suited connectors and painted cards in really late position. Super tight when out of position. The advantage of this is the information you get by waiting to act. I think this is extremely important in free poker. Many of the novices will give tons of free information if you just wait for it.

But probably the biggest change this week was Bodie25 offered a lasts longer bet this week. This finally put some real importance to the night. He offered probably the most valueable thing he could without ticking off Mrs. Bodie25...Zuppa Tuscana from the Olive Garden.

The first real hand of not came with the blinds at 50/100 again TMoneyB. A limper UTG, I limped in late middle position, TMoneyB raises to 200, the blinds fold, the early limper folds and I call. I'm the last to act and I have KTo. The flop comes 89J rainbow. ended straight draw...I check, I see something that tells me that he's got a pair. He raises to 200 again. I expected a raise. I'm sure he paired something. But the size of the bet tells me my assumption was right. His bet felt weak. The turn is the Q. Those of you scoring at home will notice that I know have the nuts. I check as disappointed as I can. I give him credit for paying attention and working hard to figure where he is in the hand. He raises again. Now, I shoot for the academy award. I pull the headphones off and go in the tank. The bet was 400. Still not much of the pot, actually the better part of my stack. Now granted, a king on the river would suck, pairing the board would suck, but I really think the best way to make the most money is to just call here. Which is what I do. The river is a blank. I move all in as quick as I can. I want this to look like a move. TMoneyB goes in the tank. He thinks for quite a while, and even asks if I have a king. I just shook my head. In the end he calls and turns over JT. The nuts held. I really thought we were gonna split the pot in the end. TMoneyB really struggled with it and he was really worried I had it. It would be tough to lay that one down.

For the next hour or so, I just held my ground. I took out my nemisis again...that felt good, but his stack was already pretty depleated when I got there, but again, he died on a draw. I stuck to some pretty small pot poker. I wasn't really getting cards. The blinds continued to rise and the number chairs with butts in them were dropping.

Before I knew it, we are down to two tables. Wow...I was about to head into the points again and I barely played in hands! Yeah me! Interesting thought...4 Bouronators made it to the points. But even more importanat. Bodie25 and I are both still alive! At the break, we are almost even in chips.

During break, Bodie25 tells me how it's time to move the chips around. I only had about 6500 in chips and blinds are at 1000/2000. In my game plan, I need to find the right spot to push. I can no longer get anyone out of the pot, so I need to find a pot that I have a good chance of winning. I don't like to wasted chips hunting either. When my chips go in, I better be ahead.

I'm now in the middle blind. To my left is A2. How this guy got so deep, I will never know. Any how, everyone limps to him on the button. I look down to find ducks. My guess is A2 has any 2 random cards, so in theory, I'm ahead. Which is the case, I don't remember what he turns over, but it didn't improve and ducks hold up.

I gave some of these chips back to the table when my AQo loses to A♣9♣ . I look over to the other table and see Bodie25 standing. He's ALL IN! I'm now on the button, it has walked to me...I see A5...I can't play this...if I bust before him...oh the horror! Sure enough, Bodie25 busts in 10th place. A nice finish, but not enough to keep me from the zuppa!

Soon we collapse the other table and we are down to the final 8. I draw a middle position to start and the tournament chip leader on my right. His continual raises gets me to stay out of a lot of pots. I conserve chips and watch everyone take each other out. Even the chip leader, let's call him Tim Penny, busts in I think 7th place. One of the most spectacular falls from grace you could ever witness. He proceeds to bully, although ill timed, the table. He puts people all in...and guess what..the other people have it. He gave most of his chips to Jon B. A bourbonator!

Speaking of him, he sat down at the table with 1500 in chips. Less than the BB and proceed to become the chipleader! Nice job!

Which brings us to the end. Jon and I proceed to remove the remaining people from the table and end heads up. Pretty cool...two Bourbonators heads up. When we set up for heads up, Jon's got me about 5:1 or 6:1 in chips...he's got a mountain. Of all the people in league, I'm guessing I've played him more than anyone else in town. We both play some tricky poker. Trapping and then aggressive. It was difficult to get a great read on either of us. The hand that turned the table had me calling from the LB with 6♠2♠. Yeah, that's a pretty lose call, but if I hit the flop I could be back in this. I'm hoping to either make a move with a high flop or hit something low and win it out right. Well, the flop comes 543 (no spades). I check, Jon raises, and then I push all-in. He thinks for a second and calls. Wow..he's got 43! I'm in the lead...but he's not drawing dead. He misses and I'm back in this.

We tussle back and forth for a while. I seem to be slowly creeping back in. And before long I'm in the lead in chips. I'm also exhausted. This has been a long day and it's not getting any shorter. Before too long, Jon pushes all in after I call the blind. I look down and find J8. I think for a bit. What kinds of hands would he do this with. Basically, I'm pretty sure that I'm at worst 2:1, most likely. I call. I'm hoping to either go broke or end it here. He turns over one of the worst hands I could hope for. He's got K8. Crap! According to Card Player, I'm behind 26% to 76%. Well I suck out on him and hit a jack on the flop. The tournament is over. I really would have like to have won it with some brilliant play, but I didn't. I sucked it out...but victory does feel pretty good.

I feel like I'm back to form! Bring on the Zuppa!


bodie25 said...

Sucking out is definately back to your form... hehe Good Tournament. Zuppa's on me.