Archive Oct 2007: The Watts Blog

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WPT Niagara Day 2 Report

Sigh today went pretty bad and I busted on the 3rd last hand of the day. Early on I busted a fairly shortstacked guy with AA vs his A9 to get to 88K. Then I proceeded to fold every hand until I had 70K when...

Hand 1: ...I finally raised in the SB with AQo to 3600 at 600/1200. The BB who is supertight makes it 10K which is pretty gross. I hadn't even raised his blind before but it was still blind vs blind so I decided to call. Flop AT8 he bets 10K I call. Turn 6 I chk/chk, river 9 chk/chk AK is good sir.

Hand 2: Randal (RandALLin) open shoves 20K in the CO, I reshove with AK and lose to 22. Down to like 30K now.

Hand 3: I shove 64o in the SB and the BB instafolds ATo face up, wheeee donkaments.

Hand 4: Aggressive chipleader opens to 4800 at 800/1600 a300, I shove Q2s in the BB for 32K and he thinks for a bit and shows ATs before folding. I don't know if this was for show because I really didn't think there was any chance he'd call me without a huge hand there.

Hand 5: I open to 6600 on the button at 1200/2400 a300 and the BB shoves 20.7K more. I have to call and lose to AJo.

Hand 6: Shove like 11.5K with K3o and they all fold lol.

Hand 7: Shove 17K with K5s UTG and get called by A9o and lose.

I also played a really long live 25/50 NL session the day before which went terribly and lost 9K as I never made any hands that day either. So basically the last two days have been pretty painful, online it's the equivalent of like a few hours of play, but live it's stretched out over 2 days because everything is so much slower. Anyways I'm hanging out here today before heading back to Toronto tomorrow and then driving to Kingston after that to check out Steve's (Paul-Ambrose) new ridiculous house and getting a ride to Foxwoods from there in his new Lexus. When the hell did he become such a baller?


WPT Niagara Day 1 Report

Not much really happened in the first few levels. At one point I restole preflop with 67 and the flop came 953 and he folded to my bet. Another time a fairly active guy opened in MP to 600 at 100/200, very loose guy called next to act, the button called, and I decided to reraise in the SB with anything reasonable. Found QJo and made it 2600, original raiser instacalls, others fold. Flop K9x I just check, and he checks. Turn J chk/chk. River pairs the bottom card and chk/chk I win. He looks disgusted and says "Nice raise" to which I politely say "Thank you". So I have around 28K at my peak just winning a few small pots and eventually get moved tables. My original table was pretty soft in the everyone is super nitty way except they then randomly decide to not fold. My new table is just crazy. Several players limp a huge % of hands and there are huge pots being played all over the place. I lose some small pots at this table and drop back to 20K when my I play my first big pot of the day.

Hand 1: 150/300 a50, I have just under 20K last hand before break. UTG limps, he's bad, UTG+1 limps, he's bad, and two other guys limp who are also not likely very skilled I can't remember who. I find AQ in the BB and raise 1500 more. UTG instacalls as does UTG+1. Flop T82, I bet 5500, UTG folds, UTG+1 instashoves, I instacall. He has J7, the turn is an offsuit 9 :-(. River , though, and I double to 40.5K.

Hand 2: Early in 200/400 a75 level, folds to me in the CO with 22 I make it 1200. Button calls, he's bad (obv) and we see a 933 flop. I decide to check even though I probably have the best hand to stop him from doing anything something goofy that I can't really call and hopefully induce a bluff at some point. He bets 2K and I call. Turn is a 2! I check and he bets 5K. I think for a bit and decide if he has a big hand he'll probably just bet the river anyways and there's a good chance he's bluffing and will fire again so I can't raise and push him out now so I call and river is a Q. I check and he bets 20K, I shove and he instamucks. I think I have around 75K after this hand.

I don't think I play anymore really big pots. I win a few small pots punishing the weak limpers with raises in position and usually just winning with a flop bet whether I hit or not. So I have today and tomorrow off and Day 2 is on Monday. Average stack is around 45K so I'm in excellent shape with 76.1K.


Decent recovery, Ladbrokes 100/200 NL report

I ended up making back a lot of the money I lost to start the week and not taking too bad a hit on the week. Tournaments were still really disappointing though with no major scores. I did make a pretty deep run in the Sunday Million today, but then I decided to get my money in with the best hand for the first time in 2 or 3 hours and that was that. Should have stuck with 56 against AA, and T4 against 88 type situations I guess. Finishing 104/6524 only paid $1800 so I lost a bit on the day. I actually had big stacks early in a lot of tournaments today but I didn't even end up cashing that many of them. I was chip leader in the 100 rebuy at one point before taking a beat and then donking off the rest in some way I probably shouldn't have, top 3 in the 2nd chance fairly early on before taking a bunch of beats in a row, etc.... Oh well. Cash games went pretty well all week though so I made a 30-40K at those (minus the 55K hole I dug myself). One thing I did this week was play in a big cash game on Ladbrokes with timex.

I ended up heading to Waterloo on Thursday to Timex's new house to play with him in the Ladbrokes Reunion cash game thing. The idea was to bring back all the big names that used to play on the site by offering a bunch of added money. There were 2 100/200 NL tables of 6 players, and you buy-in with your own money and play for 5 hours. You can reload for $20K as often as you want just like a cash game. At the end of that time whoever had the biggest stack at each table played heads up matches the next day for $60K contributed by Ladbrokes. So with 12 players that added money would be worth $5K in EV to an average player. We figured we were likely an underdog against the fairly tough lineups, but not by so much that we weren't +EV with the overlay. Anyways a lot of the people they invited couldn't play so they needed anyone to fill the seats, and since Americans can't play on there it wasn't easy to find people. Timex ended up getting in and was able to get one of the other players to trade us $60K on the site for money on Pokerstars to play with. I took 25% of our action.

I haven't done any hand analysis on here in a while and I think we played some very interesting hands, so this should be pretty good. - You're probably thinking wtf are they doing calling the river and you're kind of right. However, while the A does mean a lot of his bluffs now beat us, it is also the perfect card for him to bluff at, so any hand he was bluffing with on the turn he would be almost certain to fire the final barrel with on the river. We probably still have to fold though. I mean I almost wanted to fold the turn when he made that big bet because I find those bets are usually for value, but folding 77 there does seem pretty weak. I kind of froze up on the river and didn't really know what to do though and timex wanted to call. I think my job was mostly to talk him out of doing such crazy things so I kind of screwed up on this one. On the plus side it was very unlikely anyone would try to bluff us for a while which is a pretty good image to have. - We didn't let it get to us though and started hitting a few flops and winning some decent pots. We thought we might get it all back and more here but it didn't happen. Maybe should have just raised the flop but we decided to slowplay instead. Sadly no one had a queen. - The first really big pot we won that got us back close to even. It's pretty debatable whether we should fire the turn or not. I kind of felt he may be trapping and talked timex into checking. We should probably bet bigger on the flop so there's more in there on the turn for us to win with a bluff if we're going to fire again, which in retrospect I think we probably should. However, our standard continuation bet in reraised pots was typically smaller like the bet we made so it's good to be consistent. Fortunately we got there and he timebanked forever before calling, I'd guess he had a hand like AQ or JJ. - For the most part we'd been playing very straightforward, mixing in some small bluffs of course but nothing major. usually we were giving up after our continuation bets got called so we decided to fire a 2nd barrel here since he'll probably fold any king and even some aces with weak kickers. - Huge pot that we probably played really bad. We decided to check the flop for pot control/to trap since if we bet and get raised neither of us had any clue what to do this deep. He fired pretty big and we called. On the turn we just check/called again. I think we really should have check-raised all-in here. There are so many draws and so many ugly river cards for us. If we're going to call the river anyways it has to be way better to just stick it in here. Unfortunately we didn't really know what we were going to do on the river yet because we suck so we ended up just calling. The river figured to be a good card for us as we now beat flopped 2 pair hands. It shouldn't have helped him unless he has JT, and it's pretty unlikely he would play that hand this way. We check to him of course to give him the chance to fire again and he shoves it in. We thought for a long time and decided the way we played the hand we had to call. At the very least he could be shoving a worse hand for value like KK or QQ or have a busted combo draw or something like 87s. He told us after he had the only straight draw that missed, I guess that means something like 78 or 56 maybe. Anyways we're now up pretty big on the day and we have a big chiplead. - Decided to check behind the flop for deception. We probably still should have folded the river. The bet size screamed value bet, and although he might have AJ or AT it's far more likely we're beat. - Just straightforward keep on firing. Up really big and looking good at this point. But then the very next hand: - The river raise might be spew but it just seems so much more likely he has 2 pair than a set. However he had been playing very solid and we're not even guaranteed to get looked up by a worse 2 pair so maybe just calling the river is better.

Now that we're playing just 3-handed you might expect the action to pick up, but in fact the 3-handed play was generally very careful and solid on these deep stacks. Also playing for position to finish as chipleader is very important so trying to conserve the chip lead became important. - This hand was really gross and we felt like huge pussies for playing it so soft. I talked timex into folding the river this time, though it may have been wrong. terken didn't seem like to running big bluffs on us anymore though. The chip lead now went back and forth between us and terken, it was incredibly close and exciting, but still there weren't a lot of huge pots being played. - We were 3-betting him pretty recklessly at times when he took the chiplead since he wants to avoid big pots. Here he made a little move to try to stop that. timex obviously wanted to reraise the flop or float and bluff a later street but I talked him out of it. We'd seen him make these small raises as bluffs before though so it actually might not have been such a bad idea. - This is a pretty sick bluff I'm not gonna lie. Surprisingly this wasn't me trying to hold timex back and him saying no way we have to fire. As soon as the river card hit I was actually the first person to immediately say "$20,000". So we reraise preflop because we hadn't in a while and he was raising almost every button. Fire the flop get called. The turn is a good card to represent AK or a big pair and gives us a diamond draw which could be good, so we decide to fire again figuring we fold out most middle pocket pairs, especially those without a diamond. Unfortunately he calls again and the river pairs the king. At this point it's basically impossible for him to have a king, and it's quite reasonable we could play AK this way, so it's always strong when you can credibly represent a hand your opponent can not possibly beat. It's also possible we could play a big flush this way since we figure he can't have a boat. The only problem with our story is that we might not have bet the turn with AK fearing the flush and playing for pot control instead, but we'd value bet aggressively enough so far that it was believable that we would. Of course the turn is also kind of an obvious scare card so he might realize there's some chance we decided to keep firing away with air. However, neither of the other 2 players had shown any propensity to make huge calls in big pots and we hadn't shown any huge bluffs like this either. He folded very quickly. - We were now playing semi-reckless to try to take chips from terken. Here we win a nice pot to get back in contention. - Such a sick turn card, the only card in the deck we stack off to. When he shoves the turn it's definitely not an automatic call, in fact it seemed fairly likely he had flopped a flush, but when you throw in the extra $30k in equity for winning the pot and the match we have to call. And of course there's lots of ways he can be semi-bluffing or just thinking he has the best hand and we're overplaying our hand to try to build our stack.

The on the last hand pokerkong raised to $800, terken called, and we shoved $43,000 with AJo because timex is a psycho. It's actually not that bad because a double up gives us the win and an extra ~$30k in equity in the HU match the next day but still pretty crazy. terken tanked and folded QQ, some rough math shows he probably would have been correct to call and risk the seat in the HU match to try to take our money right now. Eek.

So we finished up a whopping $2K, so I made $500 and still averaged $100/hr. Could be worse I guess.

Oh yeah so this Thursday I'm heading to Niagara for WPT at Fallsview which I'm very very excited for. After that it's WPT Foxwoods in Connecticut. Gotta go to sleep now, car shopping tomorrow. Going to test drive a Mazda3 Sport in the afternoon.


A little introduction for you guys

Hey all, for those of you that don't know me my name is Mike Watson and I'm a 23 year old poker pro from Newfoundland, Canada, currently residing in Toronto. I got into poker a little over 3 years ago just playing with friends, and was immediately drawn into the game more seriously and into online poker. I've been blogging over at for a while and finally decided I should start cross-posting over here since it's a good community where a lot of my poker friends also blog. Like a lot of the bloggers on here I got my start in MTTs. I'm a pretty regular poster over in the MTT forums on 2+2 which is where I originally met most of the other guys on here. I've also since met most of them at some of the big live tournaments we've played and become pretty good friends with a lot of those guys.

So like I said I came up playing MTTs and I now play all of the big online tournaments. I feel MTTs are my best game, but in the last year or so I've started playing a lot more NL cash games. Right now I probably play more cash games than tournaments, and while I'm more confident in my tournament game I make a lot more money at cash because the stakes are so much bigger. My main games are 10/20 and 25/50 NL, mostly 6-max but sometimes full ring. Hopefully that's something different I can bring as I don't think any of the other regular bloggers here play mid-high stakes cash as much as I do. Of course there'll also be lots of tournament and trip reports when I go on trips to the big live tournaments or have a big score in an online event (if that ever happens again). I tend to sort of go all over the place with my blog entries. Sometimes I talk startegy, other times it's trip reports or just little updates on how I've been doing lately. My usual routine is to update once a week after Sunday tournaments and tell you how much I lost, but here will often be additional entries during the week, and when I'm playing in live events such as Niagara tyhis weekend and Foxwoods after taht you can expect much more frequent updates about how I'm doing in the tournament and what kind of trouble I'm getting into.

So I'd just like to say hi to everyone here and hope you enjoy reading. I think I'll x-post my latest bog entry to get the ball rolling, it's one of the longer cash game strategy/reports I've written. Generally my updates are much shorter.


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