Saturday, September 26, 2009

You won't see this everyday

Here's Bodie25 and DeeBakes tippin' the 40's.

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Being a good short stack ninja

I think I normally play the role of short stack pretty well, at least in live tournaments. I think it's an essential skill for bar league poker. Most players are loose passive or loose agressive so a logical counter is tight/agressive. Bar league blinds are also pretty fast so you'll reach a short stack pretty regularly.

I've always struggled with super shortie pile and when to just gamble. Case in point, a hand from last week.

We were playing 5 handed and my stack to blind ratio had evaporated to 2 bbs. When I get this low, I figure I'm getting action so I might as well just see what cards I get.

I let the bb go by. 52o is no hand take to battle with action ahead of you. LB? 82s. Again, more action ahead of me.

When I finally get the button with my .5 bet, I'm of course dealt AA. Sweet!! I quintuple up and the blinds raise. Sweet. Back to two bets.

This is where I struggle. My next hand was 58c and the table really seems weak looking at their cards. I seriously consider shoving but muck in the end.

Sure enough, it goes blind vs blind and they just check it down. I would have had a full house and tripled up.

What are your thoughts when you get very short stacked? Any two cards? Wait for something pretty? I hate shoving into action, even when very short. Seems like suicide.

I'd love to hear some thoughts on this!

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's calling station night!

Nothing like a table full of calling stations and I'm stone cold card dead.

Time for chip up so I just went from 10 BBs to 7. Battling the boredom is the hardest part. Or is it watching 2 people go all in. One with king high the other with queen high and knowing my 74o would have hit two pair.

At least I can play with my phone and try out this new blogging app. Oh well. Chip up means pee break.

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Noob's First Blogger Gathering: Just making sure I get this part out...

"Good lord." I can just hear Kat now. Nine months have past and here I go resurrecting the the title "A Noob's First..." I really have a purpose for doing this...just bare with me...

A few weeks ago, discussion started heating up about the Winter Gathering. The golf, the pinball and especially the poker in Vegas, I can't wait for it! We've got one small fly buzzing around our ointment. OhCountess is scheduled to have her tonsils out exactly 2 weeks prior. She's not sure where she stands...until we know more, firm commitments are gonna be a problem. Make no mistake, I'll be there, but OhCountess is planning on sitting on the fence until we get closer. They have ice cream in Vegas, right?

All this talk about the gathering has me thinking about some of the details I really wanted to write about 9 months ago. (Christ, 9 months ago?) So, if you really want to see where I left off with the recap, the links are here, here and here.

It was kinda funny, we had a whole bus full of bloggers, having just attended the wedding Gracie and Sweet Sweet Pablo, show up just in the nick of time for the WPBT Tournament at the Venetian. Most of us needed to make a quick pit stops to change close, or get stuff, I think everyone made it...

The Venetian is a great place to play poker. It's beautiful and the card room was set up with our little game of skill tucked nicely in the back. I'm gonna recount some things that may or may not be accurate. It's been 9 here we go.

I had Snuffy, emptyman, Joanada and BadBlood at my starting table. Of course there were others and I probably go digging to find out how. Seems other people wrote their recaps months ago, but alas, I'm lazy. I went looking for a few hand recaps I remember being outstanding by Snuffy and emptyman, but I can't find them...bummer.

Meeting Snuffy was kind of a surprise. When I sat down at the table, he introduced himself to me, "You must be OhCaptain." I had been reading The Corporation Poker blog for quite some time and we had exchanged many conversations on Twitter. I think it was my Minnesota Twins jersey that gave it away.

I had never played live poker with any of the people in the tournament. I was really excited to see what parts of people's online game would make it to the felt. I was comfortable live, but still pretty new to casino run games.

I played one hand that was recapped somewhere else in which I layed down a king high flush draw and gut shot straight draw in a multi way pot with emptyman and Snuffy. I seem to think emptyman had the ace high flush. First bullet dodged. Whew.

Now, I think it was later, I raised in middle position with a suited hand of the devil (AQ). Now, I've read and heard on many occasions that one should never tell others of a man's tells and since this is about a specific person, I won't go into specifics. If he ever wants to know, I'd be glad to tell him, but this is what happened.

My raise was just a table standard raise and I had been pretty much playing like a rock. It got around to BadBlood, he looked at his cards, and in a glance I saw something that told me he was about to make a move and with that, he reraised me. It folded back to me and I had to make a decisions. He'd put in a nice little pile of chips, but I was confident that what I saw was correct. I move all-in (or made a huge reraise...not sure). He thought for a moment and then folded.

Now, this was where live poker differs greatly from online poker. I'd played a few times with him online and new that he was a fairly aggressive player. I'd also been sitting at this table with him and had observed his game. Online, I would have probably just called him there, but with this new information, I had a feeling that he would fold to massive pressure from the rock/super tight player across the table.

This wasn't the last time I was positive I saw something in a player that helped me make a critical decision.

For pretty much the entire first 2/3's of the tournament, I played extremely tight. I worked really hard to stay very patient and pick good spots. Some where around the 2/3 spot, I found myself very short and got it all in with King high. My shove was for like 5 BB's and it was a multi-way. I can't even remember how many people were in the hand, but it was the hand the brought me back to life and got me chips to play with.

If you looked ahead, you might have seen that this post has some pictures. These pictures are the main reason I really wanted to write this post.

I'm a big fan of history. I love to read and study it. In preparation for last years gathering, I'd been working really hard trying to think about what to bring for my bounty. Tradition, I was told, was to bring something that has something to do with you as a person. I brought a framed copy of this picture. Early on in the tournament, a tight ass like myself wasn't collecting many bounties, but I had some momentum and started to bust a few people.

I was really disappointed just how few people were handing out their bounties. In fact, after busting out several people, In the end, I collected only one bounty...

VinNay and I played only one hand that I remember and didn't end well for him.

The details in my head are sketchy. I do know, that I had JT and had raised from the button.

In the LB, VinNay looked at his cards and again, it was a glance that I noticed something in him that told me he was making a move. In fact, this information told me that he was really making a big move.

He shoved.

I thought about what I saw and what hands he would play that would have him giving off this little nugget of unintentional information. I was ready to gamble with this and called with Jack high.

He makes an "oh shit" grunt and turns over 5 or 6 high. He was making a huge move and just trying to pick on me. He doesn't improve and I took him out. Dejected and shocked that I would call him with Jack high, he walked away from the table.

Now, I was gambling that jack was good, I admit that. I've already told him what I saw that gave his move away, but it was from this moment that I later got a piece of blogger history.

You see, he walked away from the table with not so much as a hint of what was to come. I busted a few more people before the end of the day. I remember taking out Dawn Summers when I shoved my ducks from the small blind into her AKo in the BB. I seem to remember busting PokerWolf when I attempted to bully his weak looking raise. I had A9h and he had JJ. I had him covered and hit my ace. I think there might have been a couple more, but that's all the details I got.

So, what's this all about? When I got back to the Imperial Palace after finishing 5th, I was approached by VinNay. I don't know about you, but when I get done playing several hours of live poker tournament, my brain is pretty much jello...he wanted to talk to me.

He handed me this bottle while we walked to the Burger Palace up one floor at the IP. Interesting. And wanted to make sure I knew the story, which was good, cause an airplane bottle of cheap whisky ain't the coolest bounty and I had wondered if it was like tipping a waitress a penny.

"I got this bottle at my first blogger gathering," he begins. "I really thought it was important that I give this to you but was a bit shocked at the table and forgot to give it to you."

"If you look at the sticker on the back you'll see, it's signed by Dr. Pauly. He gave this to me when I bust him. It signed and dated."

We went on to talk about how we were both fans of traditions and history. I really thought this was pretty cool. We had a really nice conversation over some rather unimpressive food. I can't say that I recommend the food up there...but when you are hungry and it's eat what you can find.

I needed to share this before I show up this December. I'm planning on presenting this as part of my bounty again...if I have to give one...

I'm thinking I'm gonna track down VinNay and have us both sign and date it. Maybe we can get a little tradition going. I'm also hoping that more people bring a bounty. It's a really fun way we can share something of ourselves with people we don't get to see as often as we'd like.

That's probably the last of the recap from December. I'm not closing the book on Eh Vegas, that might still happen...but you never know. So..see you in December!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Summer's last breaths

Summer is winding down. Figured I would finish it the way I started
it. Sitting around the fire.

My thoughtful neighbor dragged his TV in the backyard so we could
watch the feabile Twins pitching look terrible against Cleveland. The
TV is that square glow you see.

Back to my bottle of Fat Squirrel...