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Poker News Cup Trip Report Part 1, Octopointless

Bond18 Last night was the $230 NL event at Crown last night. After looking over the structure sheet, I had no intention of being a masochist and playing, but unfortunately for me, my girlfriend wanted to play it. I warned her that it would be entirely pointless and frustrating, but she wanted to play some live and I didn’t mind the chance to socialize and laugh at donks. Yet again Crown's system of not randomizing seat selection and instead just putting people who sign up together at the same table ends up seating me with friends. We started with a 3k stack, at 25/50 blinds with half hour levels and doubling blinds. An hour later (about 30 hands) and the average stack is down to about 15 BB’s. I had raised a few hands at the 25/50 level where there was room to play, then went card dead through 50/100 and 100/200.

One interesting hand went down as follows:

UTG (a player selling %’s of himself in the main event online and singing his praises) open limps for 200 with about a 5k stack. 2 folds and one of Australia's better limit players limps behind. It folds to me and I limp 9Ts on the CO. The SB completes and my friend Daren shoves 2200 in the BB with JJ. UTG thinks it over and calls. Then UTG+3 reshoves for about 1200 more. It folds back to UTG who thinks for a long ass time and reluctantly calls. The cards are shown:

Daren in the BB has JJ, UTG has JJ, UTG+3 has AKcc. I struggle to stop myself from blurting “What the [censored] is this spastic [censored]?!” The board comes A high and Daren is busted.

A little while later at 150/300 I open shove A7o in MP with 2525 and the BB thinks for a long ass time and calls with AJ. It holds and I bust in a totally uneventful tournament.

Later at dinner Daren begins discussing the hand...

Daren: Ben Savage (UTG in the hand) totally should have reshoved there. I reckon Dusan (UTG+3) would have folded.
Bond: What?! Are you [censored] serious? Dujan will never fold there in a billion years.
D: Don’t you think he ought to?
B: Holy jesus god no. No no no no no no.
D: Well I definitely didn’t do anything wrong.
B: No, of course not. The whole hand was entirely retarded. The action should go: UTG raises, Dusan shoves, and you have to think about it and reshove slash hate life because it’s live and everyone is such a god damn nit but you’ve got JJ with 11 BB’s.
D: You don’t reckon Dusan should fold if Savage reshoves instead of calling?
B: Oh my god no. He probably shouldn’t even fold AQ. We’re talking like 15 BB’s deep here. AKs is the absolute stone cold [censored] nuts there. I can’t believe we’re talking about this. I can’t believe he limped it. I can’t believe JJ limped. Live poker is going to give me a seizure.

Yea, I was a little harsh. However, I think if people are going to learn it’s probably necessary. I didn’t really get any good until A_Junglen started telling me how terrible I play. It was the kind of honesty I really needed and most people should learn to adapt to it if they want to learn how to play. Daren has since been staked in the 3k main event and I told him he is to report to my house for a couple days proceeding so I can teach him there’s no such thing as a "tournament life."

After playing a few online tournaments today with no real results, I get a quick work out in before tonight’s tournament, a $500 NL with a single rebuy that I expect to be vastly better. The structure starts you with 2500 in chips which you can rebuy up to 5000 immediately, or hold on to your singular rebuy card. The blinds start at 25/50 with half hour levels. However, the increases, to 50/100, 100/200, and 150/300 will again get things somewhat short stacked soon.

I get to the casino with plenty of time to buy in and stand around chatting for a bit. As I settle into my table I immediately set my $500 on the table and request the rebuy. I nod at the only other guy sitting at the table at the moment. He looks up at me and says “Hey, you're Bond18 aren’t you?”
“What the hell? You know me?”
“Yea, I’m 2+2.”
Damn it, I need to change my avatar.

The table gets seated and play begins. A few hands in my first interesting hand comes up:

I hold QQ in MP1. CO is the 2+2 player who tells me he plays MSNL so I give him credit for being thinking/good. The SB is an unknown who looks in his late 20s and has yet to use his rebuy card. Since he hasn’t, I imagine he’s not very good.

Blinds 25/50
Stacks: Me: ~5200, CO: ~3500 SB: ~2700
Preflop: Folds to me I raise to 150. Folds to CO who calls, button folds, SB calls, BB folds.

Flop: J87 (pot 500)

SB checks, I bet 350, CO calls. I’m pretty sure he’s not flat calling any hand that beats me here except maybe 9T, anything like two pair or a set would raise. The SB makes it 1000. [censored], this is legitimately hard. Live players don’t check raise without what they perceive to be the nuts. The problem is a lot of them think QJ/KJ/AJ is the stone nuts in this spot here. There’s also a bunch of draws out that he MIGHT CR with, and that he hasn’t shoved isn’t that scary since live players never seem to shove. I think it over and move in. The CO folds and the SB insta calls with his 9T. I brick out and am down to around 2300 immediately.

I win a small pot or two before the next hand of interest comes up:

Blinds 25/50
My stack: 2800
HJ: 3500
I hold 22 in MP1

Preflop: UTG folds, UTG+1 calls, I call, 2 folds, HJ calls, folds to SB, SB calls, BB checks.
Flop: 234 (Pot 250)

Blinds check, I bet 175, HJ calls, 3 folds.
Turn: 7 (600)
I bet 425, HJ reluctantly calls.
River: 9 (pot 1450)
I bet 750, HJ calls. I flip up my set without concern for what his is. HJ mucks.

I continue to drag small pots and build my stack back over the start bank to around ~5500. Beating bad players out of small pots is incredibly easy but the blinds increase to the point that I’m not allowed any room to see flops. With the blinds increased to 100/200 the following hand develops:

UTG is the player who beat my QQ with 9T. He’s now sunk down to 3100 chips. I have ~5500. MP1 has ~6000. I hold KK on the HJ.

Preflop: UTG raises to 600, folds to MP1, MP1 calls, folds to me, I raise to 2000 (which is always the right play in live poker instead of shoving) folds back to UTG who shoves, MP1 folds. I call and he flips up AK.

Flop: 8 A Q
Turn: X
River: X

Fine, whatever. Down to about 2200 or something. I fold for a little while trying to find a spot to shove. On the hand before the break the BB gets up and leaves thinking we’re done, and there’s two players between me and the blind with a dead small and about 1600 in my stack. I decide if it folds to me I’ll shove any two. It folds to me and I peek down at J6o and jam it in. The two players behind me fold and I survive to the break with 1800.

I waste 15 minutes during the break chatting with whomever’s around in preparation of the Bad Boys of Poker event, a 10k buy in 10 player tournament that features some of the best in Australian MTT players. There’s quite a bit of media and cameras in preparation of the event. I consider Mark Vos the favorite but it’s a pretty capable field all around.

The first hand back from the break the blinds have increased to 150/300. The BB fails to show up and there’s 3 players behind me. It folds to me with K7o and I have a very easy jam. The first two players fold and the SB who has a pretty big stack sits back in his chair.

“Hmm, I know I should call you really fast but I want to think this over. Hmmm yea I want to think about this.”
”That’s fine by me.”

He turns to the dealer “Am I allowed to tell him what my hand is?”
“Nope” replies the dealer.

“Huh well I guess I ought to call.” He leans back and thinks a moment longer. “Yep, I call” and flips up AQ. Woooow, I knew live players had no clue about calling ranges but holy [censored] that was a bigger waste of time than ‘Basic Instinct 2’.

In the meantime, I’ve booked my flights to Macau. Word has it the 15k event will be 30-40 players and only five of them any good. Since it’s also televised I’m considering contacting the poker sites and seeing what their willing to offer me for wearing a T-shirt or something, anything to get a relationship going that moves towards a sponsorship. Hopefully I can make something happen in the Poker News main event and get some momentum going into more live. I feel like my play has improved a lot since the last time I did serious live polay in August, much thanks to A_Junglen, LuckyChewy, Grafyx, NoahSD, Gobboboy, and Randallin, the guys I’ve spent the most time talking strategy lately with. I feel like I’ve stopped spewing in a lot of spots I used to and found a pretty good balance for my aggression. Now I just need to run like God.


lakong says

Another great report, Tony. Next time I hope you have better news to report. A few comments:

1) on the JJ/AK/JJ hand I don't hate the limp from UTG with JJ but really hate the call with AK. Given that UTG wasn't very deep a raise is just okay, but with the limp he has a good chance of getting raised and can then get HU against hands where he's a big favorite. I'm not suggesting a limp is great, but okay from time to time from UTG.

2) on your bust-out hand in the first tournament - this is a situation I often find myself in and am never fully sure what to do. I often make similar moves to yours, but just not sure it's right. Maybe a little premature from MP with just an A. Did you feel good about it? I like your other pushes in the second tournament, but this one doesn't feel right.

3) On the KK hand when you say a shove RR against live players is never right; why is that? Can you please explain?


Bond18 says


1. You disagree with the AK limp or the AK call of the all ins? The AK call on the all ins is beyond standard. Both limps are really terrible IMO.

2. This seems super standard to me. Live players calling ranges on all-ins are WAY to tight. I have about 8 BB's in MP with an A. My hand strength is semi irrelevant given how nity everyone is about all ins and how short my stack is. I'm pretty sure if we put this in sit-n-go power tools this would come back a very easy shove.

3. It's not never right, but often in live if you can get away raising a nominal amount instead of all in you should, as all ins are treated VERY serious.


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