Archive Dec 2007: Doylestown
I’ve been back from AC for a couple of weeks and have finally gotten back into the online groove. Here’s a quick summary of what’s been happening.
First off it’s totally weird going from live $5/$10 & $10/$20 NL to online $1/$2 NL and vice versa. I’m pretty disciplined when it comes to managing myself when it comes to poker. For the foreseeable future I’ll remain at $1/$2 until I’m dead certain that I’m a solid winner in this game. I do feel like I’ve made serious strides towards that over the past couple of months and again I have to think that writing this blog and taking poker more seriously in my life are in a large part responsible. Since I’m back home I’m about break even but there’s quite a caveat to that. I detoured to Full Tilt and had a disastrous 2 days at the cash tables about a week ago, dropping about 8 buy ins. So much for that experiment. On Stars I’ve been solidly grinding profits. For the month I sit at around + 12 buy ins.
In the past week since I’ve gotten back into the groove I’ve been experimenting with a few things. One major thing is that I’ve begun to play as many as 8 tables at a time as compared to my usual 3-4. It takes some getting used to but I’m really trying to nail this because I know it will open up a lot more opportunity for me in the online tournament universe.
I’ve had a couple of nice results this week. In addition to the usual frustrating deep runs only to finish at the final 2 or 3 tables; I took 4th place in a Stars $55 with nearly 1000 runners and I also chopped up a Stars $109 making for a nice month of December.
I’ll probably try to get one more tournament session in before the end of the year.
I’m not quite ready to venture into a lengthy discussion about my results on Stars vs. Full Tilt but it may be a topic I have no choice but to delve into in the near future. Thus far I’m sucking big time wind on Full Tilt. I just haven’t been able to get over the hump. I’m a pretty stubborn SOB when I want to be and by no means am I ready to throw in the towel over there but the kicks in the balls I receive at Full Tilt are starting to become discouraging. I will have to review this topic in the 1st quarter of the New Year.
If I don’t update again before the end of the year I want to wish everybody a Happy and Healthy.
WSOP Circuit Event
After a long and successful cash day on Tuesday I woke up early Wednesday morning feeling good. After a quick detour down the corridor to Starbucks I headed to the Poker Room where I joined a $10/$20 NL game. My session was rather uneventful. After some room service and a shower I headed over to Harrah’s for WSOP Circuit event #5.
My goal for the day was just to play my best in every situation. The whole reason for the trip was to sharpen up my live game before Borgata’s WPT series next month so this was going to be my last shot at doing so.
My first table was pretty tight and for the most part lacked action. Fortunately we were the first table in the room to break. I headed to my second table down a few hundred chips from the 5000 we started with. We were on the back half of the hour long 1st level. Table 2 had a broad range of players, several who I recognized and knew to be very good players. Regrettably they were all to my direct left which really made things challenging. There were plenty of fireworks at the table but I remained on the sidelines until we were well into level 2 when I pulled a squeeze from the SB to recapture all the chips I had bled away to that point. The first hand of any consequence I played was from the BB in level 3 at the 100/200 25a level. An early position raise came in for 600 followed by a call from a pretty solid player in late position. I looked down to find 88 and decided to take a flop. The board came 6 high and I checked wanting to gauge the action behind before deciding how to proceed. To my surprise it checked around. The turn card was a 9 and I fired out 1400 which took down the pot.
After another lap around of inactivity, being completely card dead and having trouble finding any real good spots I picked up AKs utg at 200/400 50a. I opened for 1100 and it folded around to a young guy who moved in for @ 3000 from the SB. I obviously called and was unfortunately up against KK and lost which took me down to 2200 with the privilege of posting the blinds the next 2 hands. After a raise and call I had to muck my 83o in the BB but found a good spot with the SB to pick up some chips. With 2 limpers I moved in from the SB on the next hand. My table image picked up the pot and bought me a little breathing room, though I was still on fumes.
A few hands later the same young kid open raised and I shoved w AQ. He agonized for a while before calling me with KQ. I doubled and was back in business, albeit still chip challenged. I raised and stole the blinds on the very next hand then continued to chip up slowly but surely over the next hour. With my stack in the low teens a short stack of 4500ish open shoved from the cut off. I found 10 10 in the SB and re-shoved to isolate. I was up against JJ. The action flop of 10 9 8 put me in the lead but not out of the woods. The 8 on the turn made the 7 on the river irrelevant and I finally had a little room to maneuver. This was one of only two suck outs I had the entire tournament. The next one was colossal, stay tuned.
Things were pretty uneventful for a while as I unfortunately bled some chips away. This was a recurring theme, every time I built up I became more active which always resulted in a net loss. I stole plenty but got re-stolen from plenty too. I busted a couple of short stacks along the way but headed to my next table with only about 13000. I decided I needed to establish myself right away at the new table and get healthy or go home. There were 6 tables left with 36 getting paid. It was approaching bubble time. I was utg+2 and the big blind had a stack of less than 20K which was perfect to challenge. We were also a minute from the dinner break. On my 1st hand at my new table it folded to me utg+2 and I looked at one card and saw a K. That was good enough for me to shove in a sizable raise which won the blinds right before we went to dinner (I looked at the other before handing them back to the dealer and of course it was another K - could've used a call there). The 1st hand after the dinner break with my stack at 17,000 I found 66 utg+1 and I jammed. I was snap called by utg+2 who I had covered by a smidge. The snap call obviously had me worried. Everybody folded and I sheepishly flipped my 6’s over and delightfully saw I was up against 33, wow. I held and was now sitting on 30,000+. The very next hand I open raised utg w 66 yet again and had to fold when I got re popped by an older gentleman, nuff said. After the blinds passed me I tried to steal from the button but got re popped again. This was already becoming annoying but it did look like I was a maniac raising almost every hand since I sat down.
Soon after with somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 chips a key hand occurs. I’m in early position and again I raise it up, this time from 1200 to 3000 holding AQo. A player a few seats to me left who had lost a major pot on the last hand moves all in for 35,000. I’m thinking wow that’s a pretty big raise, why so much? It folds back to me and I’m concerned that my table image is suffering because I’ve been moved off a lot of my raises at this new table. A crazy image is OK but weak crazy isn’t. I’m seriously puzzled by his over shove and I ask him if he wants a call. He tells me he doesn’t care, hmmm. Being that we’re heads up I then ask the dealer if I can turn my cards face up. She assures me that I can. I flip my AQ face up and try to gauge a reaction. Villain then yells out for the floor trying to have my hand declared dead. The floor rules that what I’ve done is legal. So I have to figure out if villain’s reaction was an act or did he really want my hand declared dead? I think for a while longer and the only feeling I really get is that I’m up against a pair. Based on his body language and bet size I put him on a range of JJ-88. I finally decide to call for many reasons including metagame. If I win the hand I’m going to be healthy and it will also signal to the table to stop re-raising me because I’ll gamble. I called and villain slams down KK, oops. I can’t explain it but even after seeing his cards I still felt I was going to win this hand. The flop and turn bricked out but the Ace on the river took me north of 60,000.
The rest of the tournament was pretty frustrating. I continued to stay aggressive and I picked up a bunch of blinds but didn’t win many big hands. So up and down I went. 60,000+ was my continual high water mark. I floated between 60K and 40K up and down. We made the money after a lengthy hand for hand and then found a much needed break. It was after 10PM and I was a bit tired, this being the final day of my first live trip in 6 months. I have to also remember that I was up too early again and I started playing $10/$20 NL at like 7:00 AM at Borgata. Harrah’s WSOP Circuit plan is to play until either the final table is reached or 2:00 AM whichever comes first.
The big problem when we were finally in the money was that the eventual winner of the tournament got moved 2 seats to my left when we redrew at 3 tables. I think he was playing in his 1st live tournament. I had kept my eye on him throughout the day at the table next to me and saw that although he was the perfect gentleman he was also the world’s biggest calling station. He came to the table with a mountain of chips. Every time I picked up a big Ace and raised it up I got flat called by him and bricked. He was calling me with seemingly any 2 and he always hit a pair, it was absolutely insane. No matter how I played post flop I couldn’t move him off of his made hand. I think I won only one hand against him. At the final 3 tables he put in an early position raise to my BB. It folded to me and I had 76o and defended. The flop came 965 and I check raised his continuation bet all in figuring I likely had a bunch of clean outs if I was called. He folded.
We redrew again at 2 tables and as fate would have it my nemesis was on my direct left, meh. I did all I could to try to build a stack as we approached the final table but kept hitting a brick wall, literally. He had so many chips. He just kept eliminating players one after another with his rag hands, so sick. We were now 5 handed and I had dipped below the 40K mark for the 1st time in hours. Said villain open raises utg to my BB. I have A2s and just have to be best here. I shove em’ in and he calls with Q10o. The board comes K93 9 J nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo he hits the gutter ball and I’m on the rail at precisely 1:58AM out in 11th place. GG me.
In retrospect if I could have connected just once here or there against said villain while in the money I would’ve been paid off and in my mind I would’ve had a serious shot at the ring. Even winning that last hand should’ve put me in the mix but what can you do. I think all things considered I lost as little as possible in all of those confrontations with him while winning most of my hands against everybody else which ultimately kept me alive. I didn’t tilt, though I was very frustrated and I definitely achieved my goal of playing my best after not having done so in the prior event I played.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten plenty from the long 14 hour day but I did my best to remember with it having ended over a week ago already. Unfortunately I didn't take any notes. I hope you guys enjoyed the read. I know I had a good time finally holding real cards in my hand instead of a mouse after too long of a break. Can't wait for Borgata in January.
Well I’m back from Atlantic City and I have plenty of poker related issues dancing around in my head. Don’t think they’ll all fit in this writing so I’ll break things up a bit.
My original plans called for leaving early on Monday morning (reservations Monday thru Wednesday nights at Borgata). My friend offered me his room on Sunday night so I made the drive down to AC early Sunday morning. Had breakfast with my friend and settled in to watch the Giants play the Eagles in yet another sloppy football game that saw the Giants come out on top. Met up with my friend after the game and hung with him in the poker room for a couple of hours before heading to dinner. My friend took off after dinner and I was on my own.
Having not played live poker for 6 months this trip was completely about getting back into the groove and preparing me for the Borgata WPT series that begins in mid January.
Sunday night I spend about 4 hours playing in a $2/$5 NL donkfest and I drop $1000. Nice. The plan is to play the WSOP Circuit events at Harrah’s on Mon, Tues and Wed. so I head up to the room for a good nights sleep. Wake up way too early Monday morning and am bored so I head to the Poker Room with coffee in hand. The high limit room is dead so I sit down at $2/$5 NL again. About an hour in I’m ahead a negligible amount when a kid sits down and takes $200 out of his pocket. Dealer hands him 2 stacks of red and he moves them all in blind before receiving his cards. He gets called by K7o loses and repeats. Wash rinse repeat over and over again……….. Triples up on his 4th try and shoves $600+ in blind next hand and busts it. Next hand he’s back to $200 blind shoves………. Meanwhile I’m sitting a few seats behind him and hand after hand I can’t find a broadway card let alone 2. This process continues until half the table winds up all in on any given hand. This was the sickest $2/$5 game I’ve ever been in and as luck would have it I remained beyond card dead. After a while I become so frustrated I decide to pick up and leave.
Harrah’s WSOP Circuit Event 3
After breakfast I head to Harrah’s to register for the Monday event. The process is smooth and quick. Say hello to a couple of friends before the tournament starts and then settle in for what I hope will be a long day. We start with $5000 chips and 1 hour levels. I chip up a tad in the 1st hour. Early in the 2nd hour ($50/$100 blinds) I badly misplay a hand that costs me half my stack. One thing I’ve always been pretty good at is “live tells”. I pick one up from an early position raiser, he’s STRONG, seriously STRONG. After his raise to $275 and a couple of calls I look down to see AQo in the big blind, ugh. I say to myself that I need to throw it away but my right hand won’t listen and calls, huh? I quickly check the AJ4 rainbow flop and the opening raiser leads out for $500. Folds back around to me and the battle between my brain and right hand continues. My right hand wins, I flick in the $500 chip. The turn is a 10. I say to myself there’s absolutely nothing I can beat here except pocket KK’s or QQ’s but I KNOW he won’t bet again with one of those hands. I check with the intention of folding to a bet. Villain bets $700 and my right hand decides that it’s worth chasing a gutter ball for only $700 more. Seriously if you could see what transpired between my head and hand you’d fall over laughing. I had no self control. The river’s a brick and I check again. Villain doesn’t hesitate and tosses a $1000 chip to the center. Fold, Fold, Fold…………….. my right hand calls. Villain flips over AK and I want to punch myself in the nose or at least sever my right hand. I mean really, what’s the matter with me???
Now short stacked I know I need to step on the gas and double up or leave. I have the button a couple of hands later and with a couple of limpers I find A8 and raise it up. The BB must’ve picked up on my “move” because he shoves all in with about the same sized stack as I have. I picked up on a little something too and snap call him. My A8 is ahead of his J10o. The 8 on the flop wasn’t necessary and I double up to the mid $4000’s. On my next button I pick up KJss. With a couple of limps and a sweetener raise to $275 from the cutoff I decide to flat call. The limpers come along for the ride and we see an AsQs9d flop, yummy. It checks around to me, really? Nobody has an A here? I fire $1500 thinking that I’ll take it down here but not minding if I get a customer. The opening limper who is the same villain from hand 1 raises enough to put me all in, everyone folds and it’s back to me, OK I call. He’s got A9 and I have a trillion outs and miss the entire world with my royal flush draw of spades, meh!!!
I head back to Borgata and have quite a talk with myself. Amateurs’ play that AQ hand the way I did, good players pick up tells and trust them while amateurs’ choose to ignore them. Amateurs’ exude no self control at the tables. I’m rusty, yes, but I’m no damn amateur! The trip has started off on the wrong foot and there is more rust in tow than I realized.
I somehow willed myself to sleep, deciding that the cash tables were the wrong place for me at the moment. I woke up feeling a lot better, grabbed some dinner (Fatburger mmm mmm good) and headed for the high limit room, determined to play some good poker. I took a seat at $5/$10 NL and had a nice 7 hour winning session.
Got a pretty good night’s sleep but woke up feeling sluggish on Tuesday. This live poker stuff is tiring. Breakfast didn’t help so I decided to just relax for a while and skip the WSOP Circuit event #4 at Harrah’s. Several years ago I couldn’t have made that decision. In my mind it’s that ability, being able to be honest with myself that has made me a better all around player. There was flat out no way I was going to be able to play 14 hours of solid tournament poker and I knew it. Despite feeling tired I knew I was completely back in control and ready to do some good things at the tables. Early afternoon I sat down for a winning 12 hour session that included time at both the $5/10 NL and $10/$20 NL tables. I played really well and felt really sharp. I was now completely focused and a different person than the guy who arrived on Sunday morning.
I’ll pick up in part 2 with highlight’s of Harrah’s WSOP event #5.
After some creative juggling I’ve found a way to get some time off and I’ll be using it to head down to Atlantic City next week. The WSOP Circuit is coming to town at Harrah’s. Since beggars can’t be choosers I’ll have to settle for some of the preliminary events as my schedule only allows me to get away the early part of the week and the 1K and Main Events don’t start until the latter part of the week. Maybe it’s for the best as I haven’t played any live poker in 6 months. My plan is to play a couple or three of the $500 events at Harrah’s and some NL cash at The Borgata where I’ll be staying during my trip. The structure for the $500 WSOP Circuit events is decent at best. They don’t hold a candle to what The Borgata offers structure wise when the WPT comes to town a couple of times a year. The Borgata WPT next heads this way in January so I’ll use this trip to shake off the rust and prepare me for some nice events next month. The Borgata has internet access in their rooms so if anything interesting is happening down there and I can drag myself away from the tables (not likely) I may send in an update from dreary AC in wintertime.
I’ve gotten 3 days of play in this month already which is pretty good for me. I’m pleased with how I’m playing right now. I’ve had a few really horrible things happen during bubble time but such is life in these things. Despite that, I still managed to Final Table the Stars $109 and the Stars $50 Rebuy this week. Unfortunately the cards weren’t kind at or leading to the Final Tables and I only managed to cash for about $3K which is pretty disappointing. I may try to squeeze in one more session before I leave for Atlantic City.
December has picked up where November left off. I’m definitely running hot right now and I’m doing my best to enjoy it because I know winning streaks eventually come to an end. Through the 5th I’m already up 9 buy ins for the month, sweet.
The Football Giants
OK I nearly broke my big screen last Sunday before they pulled off that miracle 4th quarter comeback. As if the G-men needed any more bad news, Ron Ward who had a career high rushing day broke his leg and is gone indefinitely. A few weeks ago Harlem mentioned that I should keep an eye on the Giants rookie running back, I assume he meant Bradshaw. Looks like we may be down to the rookie and Reuben Droughns unless Jacobs returns from his hamstring injury. Big Blue heads into my neck of the woods this week to take on the Eagles in what should be a tough cold weather NFC East game. Wonder if there is anyplace cool to watch the game at The Borgata? If so I may decide to leave for AC Sunday morning, if not I’ll leave after the game and get in Sunday night. Any AC regulars know? I've been there a million times but am usually too consumed in the poker room to notice.