Archive Feb 2008: Possibly too level-headed

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Day 2 (short, not that sweet)

To be honest, there really wasn't even much to say about today. Very early on, I made my once a month customary bluff with total air. Usually, that stuff works. Today, it didn't work, left me with 2K at 200/400 and a shot image. Thanks to the latter, that 2K quickly became 18K, but that turned out to be the high point and I eventually busted an hour or two later. When you don't steal a single blind at a good, aggressive table and improve on the flop once the entire day, that tends to happen. Then I went back to the room, played a $700 EPT Step 5 and promptly ran AK into AA again, followed by a KK < AA in one of the other few tournies I played. I've run really hot this week.

To put that in perspective, though, that's got *nothing* on Shaun today. Shaun busted out of the LAPC with aces when 100 BB worth of chips went in on a Kc9c4x board; he was up against the other aces and got rivered. All right, it's a horrible beat and definitely sucks to take in a 10K event, but, y'know, gotta move on. Shaun therefore goes back to the room, enters the 200r and eventually final tables it. He takes sixth when - you guessed it - KK < KK AI PF for about another 10-15K in equity. That sequence of events managed to untilt me simply by existing, because according to the laws of the space time continuum, it shouldn't really be possible.

And on that note, I'm signing off here and running to the airport to beat the morning rush hour, not really even having seen anything of LA. Perhaps next time, when I final table it because my aces > their aces.

Mid-tourney blogging

Getting this entry in fast because day 2 starts in 25 mins :)

Played a big sat on Friday, lasted long enough that it was too late for SNG's but didn't get an actual seat, bought in anyway on Saturday.

Saturday was mixed. My table was fantastic, playing something like 40/8 for four levels with no name pros except the first to bust Cam Hua/later arrival fslexicduck (Vanessa Selbst), but I was card dead for most of the day - at a table like that one, isolating limpers was pointless and overlimping just let me miss every single flop. I did chip up over the final level, though, and wound up with ~29K.

Today's first table seems, uhh...

EDLER WILLIAM 28800 21 3
JAMES KENNA 16750 21 4
RAVITCH SERGE 28850 21 5

I hope it breaks early! Wish me luck.

Two for two in the LAPC*

*in busting out before the first break, heh.

The Commerce is a very good cardroom; my impression is that the games are as soft as anything outside of Vegas during the WSOP season. This extends to their tournaments, which feature some incredibly soft play (example today: someone checkraised a 600 chip bet to 1200 with Qx on a Q65r board, bet 500 of his leftover 1050 on a 3 turn, then check/folded a 9 on the river - showing the queen.) Overall, these people are simply atrocious and if I lived here in LA, I'd probably never leave the place. However, the structure features low starting stacks (60-70 BB) with long levels. This is a great structure if you get chips early, because the late game features a lot of play, but it's not good if you're card dead or unlucky in the first few hours; you absolutely need to double or triple up early and cannot pass up any reasonable opportunity to do it. As a result, in both of the last two tourneys, I drifted down a bit due to missing flops, picked up 99, got it all in (on a 765 and T87 board) in big pots, but couldn't win either time and busted. C'est la vie.

On the other hand, I'm nowhere near as big a degen as Nath, who made it to the final 2 tables of the 1500 buyin event (starting in 2 hours), decided to play the 1K today starting 2 hours ago *anyway* and potentially multitable the two, got to my table and busted in < 5 minutes. gg.

Next up: Satellite Friday, the ME on Saturday, and some preview clips from the SNG ;)

Sitting and going in LA

Confession: when it comes to travel, I'm pretty incompetent. Oh, I (read: my wife) pack light, don't sweat the small stuff, and haven't ever done anything to get me arrested, but when combining being short on sleep with going somewhere by myself, bad things tend to happen. Nevertheless, one missed connection due largely to my own stupidity later, I did, in fact, get to LA almost on time - just in time for the televised SNG.

Without spoiling it, the event went really well. Unfortunately, I only had one interesting hand the whole time; with the cards I was dealt all being on one extreme or the other, every other decision I had to make was really easy. That hiccup notwithstanding, the event itself was a lot of fun, and, with half a dozen very good online players up against Layne Flack, Todd Brunson and Jose Canseco (who lasted longer than either of those two, BTW), it made for a lot of good poker. I'll blog a lot more about it after the video is released.

After catching up on sleep, yesterday also went well - I put in a semi-grind session with shaundeeb and wound up going 3 for 6, including cashes in both the 1K and the 109r on Stars. I misplayed a hand on the bubble in the latter and lost a shove with 3 tables left in the former, but still have to consider it a pretty good day. I'm also posting a few hands from those later.

Today's the first LAPC event I'm playing, a 1500 which starts in an hour - wish me luck.

The last week or so

Sort of a good news/bad news type thing. Good news: I got a NY Times interview (see last entry) that apparently got reprinted in a few places that friends of mine actually saw, and I started playing poker again. Bad news: none of the poker playing led anywhere, obv. After some initial rust wore off, I found myself making a couple of good reads for stacks at 5/10 FR NL (did I mention I'm a nit?), but I did dust off a little more than I got from the reads during the rusty phase. In addition, I seem to be on quite a decent streak of getting everything in the TPGK to set range cracked or coolered by stuff, both in FR and in tournaments. It hasn't really concerned me much, but I hope it works out better at LAPC (leaving tomorrow in the very early morning - if the flights hold up one time, getting there in time to play a cool televised SNG. More on that later.)

I'm doing quite well in a few things, though. I think my FR play is better now than it was when I was playing it full time; I'm more aggressive now and have a better grasp on what my image lets me do, which is to get away with some second barrels and to make some big (for FR) calls vs. LAG's. I'm also murdering sats, although my sample size is too small to matter these days - only a few good ones that I want to play go off every week. There are also some business ventures that I will be discussing in LA, including some with Tworags; you will likely see a lot of cool things coming up in the near future of this site.

Couple of fun hands because I haven't posted any in a while:

1)Close Sunday river decision: I raise AKo in EP and get called by MP early in the UB 200K (effective stacks 2500ish @ 15/30.) Flop A53; I lead 150 into 225 and the guy, whose stats are 13/4 over 30 hands, calls after a few seconds. Turn Q (worst card in the deck, IMO - I might not check/fold here but I think I usually should); check/check. River brick. Now what? I think all three choices (b/f, c/c, c/f) have merit, but you can't really c/f very often unless you *know* the guy can't have AJ or be floating, and 30 hands aren't enough. C/c has merit because AK is at the very top of your range here and he can mistakenly value bet (or just bluff) quite a few hands. But how much do you call? I didn't want to have to call a PSB of 525 - which happens a lot on UB because they just mash the button - so I bet 300, he shoved and I shrugfolded. Oh well.

2)Big 5/10 FR hand: There weren't enough tables running on Cake so I fired up a couple on FTP and ran into a fellow CR pro multitabling every single one of them with big stacks on each. After sitting for about an hour and getting coolered/bleeding down a bunch, I picked up red tens in the SB. With two limpers, including a weak/tight looking guy UTG, the CR pro - playing a very LAGTAG 26/20 - made it 55 in the CO, I coldcalled and UTG overcalled.

Flop 776. What now? Against a 26/20, tens in that spot, where he's isolating the limpers so wide, are probably the nuts. What I didn't want to do, though, is checkraise, because although I'd call a 3 bet it would probably make me hate life. Instead, I chose to lead out 2/3 pot - telegraphing my hand - and hope he bluff raised my nitty ass so I could shove. UTG folded, but instead of making it the 350 I kinda expected, CR guy just shoved for an effective 900 more. Umm...okay...well, you can't have AA-QQ here, so I have the second nuts/I call? He turned over T9 and I held.

This hand shows how much FR has changed from a year ago. It's still way nittier than 6 max, where I'd just 3 bet PF and feel happy about it; IMO, 3 betting here is definitely not good given that setup and sorta turns a good hand into a bluff. But postflop, the game is simply more aggro. Back during Cake's heyday, or even at the 3/6+ games on Stars/FT last year, a shove in that spot would be AA-JJ virtually every time; now, enough people have gotten the point of aggression that you actually have to think about ranges and get it in relatively thin against a lot of people. (Next time I run this play against this same guy, I'm obviously folding, though.)

Meh. I can still beat these games for a clip :)
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