Monday, May 31, 2010

Dave's Summer Blowout & Team Tournament

Normally for our Saturday night tournaments, I have to run them, so I never get to do one of my Running Logs. But since I'm not the Head Honcho tonight, I thought I would give you one of these reports.

This is an $80 Team Tournament, using a similar format to the Dream Team tournaments that ran with the Pros a couple of times last year, including the WSOP. There are three players on a Team. 60% of the Prize Money goes to the Team, and 40% goes to the Individual. The Team score is your top Two finishes, while the 3rd player's finish doesn't count. Each teammate also gets a Help Chip. At any time, you can ask a teammate for help, as long as they are not still in the same hand that you are playing. Also, you can get more Help Chips by knocking out a player, and getting their Help Chip.

Shuffle Up & Deal 12000 - Looks like we've got 48 players (16 Teams). I'm at Table 5, and I've got a good seat draw. I'm surround by women, and the Action Players are on the other side of the table.

End of Level 1 (25/50) 11500 - I won the very first pot. I was the BB, and it was checked down. Chip Leader! I splashed around in position, but I didn't win any more pots. The table is playing normal for this early stage of the tournament. A decent amount of splashing around, but no big pots.

Level 2 (50/100) 11250 - Didn't really play a hand. Cards suck right now. T Gross has the most chips. He's doing a lot of check-raising into multiple players, and they are usually folding. Hopefully, I can take advantage of this later.

Level 3 (75/150) 11750 - UTG (Monsignor) limps. Next player (Matt G) raises to 400. Next player (Donkey Dawn) calls. I'm the next player. I look down at 77, and decide to 3-Bet to 1500. Everyone folded. The cards still suck, but this is a deep structure. Being patient, and waiting for opportunities is the key.

Level 4 (100/200) 13825 - I limped with 44 in the CutOff. The SB (Super Grrrl) raises to 600. Only the Hyjack and myself call. Flop Jc Ts 9c. SB & Hyjack check.  I bet 1100. SB thinks, and calls with a funny look on her face. It could be her Hollywooding a big hand. Hyjack folds. Turn is [Jc Ts 9c] 8h. SB checks, and so do I. River is [Jc Ts 9c 8h] 8s. She checks. I'm fairly sure that she's got AK here, so I just turn over my 44, and it's good.

Level 5 (125/250) 13225 - Different level, same crappy cards. Players are starting to bust out of the tourney, but no one from our table yet.

Level 6 (150/300) 16500 - I hit Straights on back to back hands in the Blinds. First one was on the River; second on the Turn. I bet 2500 on the River of the 2nd one to look like a missed Flush Draw, but both players folded. We are now on Break.

Level 7 (200/400) 16000 - Shortly after the Break, my table got busted, and I was moved to Table 2. In my first hand, I limped in the CutOff with Q9o. I stabbed at the QJ8 Flop, and took it down.

Level 8 (300/600) 23600 - UTG (Eddie J) limped. Mid player (some new guy) raised to 2100. CutOff (R Rufe) calls. I'm the Button. I look down at AKo, and 3-Bet to 7000. Both Blinds eject. UTG thinks for a bit, and folds. Mid guy folds. CutOff thinks for almost two minutes before folding. I found out later he had 99.

Later, I tried to steal from the Button with 33. Only the BB called. The pot got checked down, and my 33 was good.

Level 9 (400/800) 22000 - Back to playing no hands. This table is playing rather calm, with more walks than there should be. It looks like it's time to step on the Gas.

Level 10 (500/1000) 20000 - I started to raise more preflop, with mixed results. The player on my direct Left (Mike T) has over 60k, and is really cramping my style by playing a lot of pots, and calling most of my raises.

Level 11 (600/1200) 25700 - Last hand of the Level, it folds around to me in the SB. I've got Ks Kh, and just limp in, trying to trap the Big Stack. He checked. Flop Qs 5h 6h. I lead out for 1500. He calls. The Turn is [Qs 5h 6h] Th. I check. BB bets 2500. I call. River is [Qs 5h 6h Th] Ah. Sweet, I now have the Nut Flush. I check. BB bets 3300. I hesitate for a moment, and push All-In for 8700 more. He thinks for about two minutes, before reluctantly folding. He probably had the Qh for the 2nd Nut Flush.

Break Time.

Level 12 (800/1600) 12000 - We are down to two tables now, and one of my teammates (HostDave) has be eliminated a short while ago in 22nd. I raised with TT and won the Blinds. Later, I raised from UTG+1 with KQs. A Mid player (McLovin') uses one of his Help Chips. After a quick talk with his Teammate, he ships his entire stack for 8300 more chips. It folds around to me. I have to assume that he doesn't have my KQ crushed, due to the use of the Help Chip. Since this probably a Race, I call. He shows JJ, and I lose the coin flip.

Level 13 (1000/2000) 23000 - I got moved to Table 1. My teammate (Data) is across the table, but only has around 22k chips. Later, after it folded around to me, I ship on the Button with Q4 for 11000. The SB folds, but the BB (Karl MF) snap calls with 77. I flip my cards over, and say, "I thought I had AQ.". Fortunately, the Door card was the Qh, and get a little lucky.

Level 14 (1200/2400) 0 - We are 7-handed now. I look down at 33 in Early Position, and shove All-In for 23000. A Mid player (McLovin' again, who just moved to this table) tanks, and wants to use a Help Chip. But his teammate is the BB in this hand, so he can't get any Help. He finally calls, and flips over JJ. WTF? I miss my Set Draw, and finish in 14th place.

My last remaining teammate (Data) was knock out right after me in 13th place. His AQ ran into QQ. We ended up out of the Team Money, even though we were the last team to have all three players alive in the tournament. None of us made it to the Final Table, and that is usually important in tournaments.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What I Love About Tournaments

I was planning on heading over to Greektown for their 11am tournament. But I didn't think I could get there on time since they don't allow late buy-ins. One of the reasons I was running behind was due to the Fire Alarm going off in the Motor City Hotel at 5am.

Since I played at MGM last night, I decided to stay and play at Motor City. After I checked out of my room, I went down to the Poker Room just before 11am. I put my name on the $1/$2 list. The player who walked in right after me asked about the tournament. I didn't even know that Motor City was running tournaments. It's a $65 tourney that starts at 11am, so I signed up.

"Shuffle Up & Deal" 4000 - So far, it's just a two table tourney, with 18 players total. I don't recognize anyone at my table, but it looks like the usual mishmash of people that you would expect to find at a daily casino tournament. The levels are 20 minutes long.

End of Level 1 (25/50) 4125 - I won a pot with a Straight in the BB. This table is rather normal for a weekday tournament. Most every is playing tight and passive. There is one Action Guy, a 25 year old kid, who is playing a lot of pots, and he's two seats on my Left.

Level 2 (50/100) 8500 - I won two pots against the same Lady. The first one was with my A3d vs A2h on a Board of Axx A 3. In the second hand, I called her raise with 87s, and flopped Two Pair. One hand later, I get moved to the other table. I win one nice pot over there. My KQ vs Q9 on a Q88 A A board.

Level 3 (100/200) 7000 - I raised to 700 on the Button with K7h. Only the BB called, but he's only got 500 left behind. Ooops! We both checked the Flop. He moved All-In on the Turn. I called because I picked up the Flush Draw. He showed QT, no pair. He missed his Pair Draw, and was eliminated.

Halfway through the level, we reached the Final Table. (Yes, it's only Level 3, and we're at the Final Table.) There are 9 players left, and I am 2nd or 3rd in chips with 9100. Action Guy from before is the Chip Leader, and he is on my direct Left.

Last hand of the Level. UTG+1 raised to 700. The Cutoff called. I'm the BB with KQo, and reluctantly called. I checked the Flop of As Kc Js. UTG+1 bet 1800. Button folded. I thought for a minute, and reluctantly called. I checked the Turn [As Kc Js] Jc. UTG+1 bet 3500, and I folded. This hand was a mistake from the start. KQ out of position in a 3-way pot is terrible at this stage of the tournament. I dusted off almost 25% of my stack.

Level 4 (200/400) 13300 - I raised to 1100 with 87s in the Cutoff. Only the BB called. He checked the Flop of Ad Jc 9c. I C-Bet 1600 with the Gutshot Straight Flush Draw. Turn was [Ad Jc 9c] Jh. The BB started staring me down, probably to see if I was uncomfortable with the J. After a few moments, I started staring back at him. He started tapping his finger while checking me out. The Dealer asked if he checked. I told the Dealer, "No, he's just trying to get a read on me." The BB finally checked, and so did I with my 8-high. River [Ad Jc 9c Jh] Td. BB went All-In for 2400. Well, I hit my Straight, but it's the bottom end of it. So I had to call. He showed AQ, and I knocked out another player.

Level 5 (300/600) 15500 - I played really tight. I won two limped pots from the Blinds that were checked down.

We are now at Break. There are 7 players left, and I'm 2nd in chips. Action Guy is Chip Leader with 21500, but he's still playing rather loose. They are coloring up the black 100 chips during the Break. This structure is about to get stupid.

Level 6 (500/1000) 17000 - Still playing rather tight. I won the blinds once with A9. I 3-bet once with AQ, and they folded. We are still six handed. The short stacks keep doubling up. The Action Guy is helping out the Short Stacks by calling with quality hands like J9o.

Level 7 (1000/2000) 72000 - Players finally start getting knocked out. The former Chip Leader (Action Guy) is knocked as our Bubble Boy (4th). He went All-In UTG for 11k with A2, and I called in the BB with A7. The 7 on the Flop popped the Bubble.

When 3 handed, the short stacked mentioned a Chop. The other player said, "there's not enough money to bother chopping." Maybe five hands later, the Button limped. I'm the SB with KJ, and called. The short stack goes All-In for 12k from the BB, and we both call. I flopped Two Pair, and am now the monster chip stack.

As we begin Heads-Up, I've got a 4-1 chip lead, roughly 57k to 15k. Unfortunately, I have to show the Dealer and the Floorperson how to deal Heads-Up, because most tournaments are chopped by this point. After a few minutes of discussion and debating, we finally start playing. He's an older gentleman who usually plays $2/$5 or higher.

We both were playing Small Ball. Very little preflop raising to start out. The first big pot was me limping in the BB with T7d. Flop of Kh Jc Th was checked by both of us. Turn [Kh Jc Th] Ts. He checked. I bet 3k with my Trips, and he called. River [Kh Jc Th Ts] Qh. He leads out for 6k. I hate that card, because every draw hit. But I called, and he showed Ah Ac for Broadway. (Yes, I know that he acted out of turn on the River. This was not uncommon during Heads-Up. I think he has rarely played it before, since he was asking question about how it worked.)

The next big pot is me limping in the BB with 44. Flop is 7d 7c 4c. Yahtzee! We both checked. Turn [7d 7c 4c] 5h. He bet 2k out of turn, again. I raised to 5k. He shoved, and I called. I showed my Boat, and he showed Q7h. I say to the Dealer, "Please don't screw me." She didn't as the River was a Brick. I win the tournament, and $440 after the $10 Dealer Tip.

I know this might sound stupid, but the thing I love about playing tournaments is Winning. Cash Game players just don't understand this concept. All they see is that I won $375 in 2.5 hours. Yes, the money is sweet. But I love the idea of maneuvering through the field and shifting gears. You get to play different types of Poker, whether it's a deeper stack full Ring early in the tournament, a shorter stacked 6 max as we get closer to the Final Table, the Push-N-Pray at the Final Table, or the Heads-Up battle. And when the Dealer turns over the River card on the final hand, I get that sweet, sweet taste of Victory.

I won $377 in 2.5 hours last night at MGM Detroit, and I won $375 in this tournament which lasted around 2.5 hours. The victory in the tournament was much more enjoyable for me. Plus, this was the first daily casino tournament I've made it to the end that hasn't chopped in any way.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

POY III Main Event

"Shuffle Up & Deal" 66300 - We actually managed to start on time at 7pm. But do to the steady flow of "Almost On-Time" players, I didn't get to buy-in.

End of Level 1 (100/100) 64700 - I finally got to buy-in. Ended up doing more TD stuff then playing cards. My table draw is good. Only 8 players at our table. I'm the Big Stack, with two other close behind. Also a few Action Players with smaller stacks.

Level 2 (100/200) 24600 - I'm away from the table, doing my TD stuff. It's a standing policy that if I'm not at the table, then fold my hand no matter what. I walk by the table and see the cards are dealt. I take a quick peek before going to do more TD stuff, and look at Ad Ac. So I sit down, and raise it to 700 from Mid position. Two or three players call. Flop Kc Td 9d. It checks to me, and I bet 1500. The Button (Gary K) calls. The UTG+1 player (Yosh) check-raises to 4200. I decide to just call, and the Button folds.

Turn [Kc Td 9d] As. Bingo! UTG+1 bets 8500. Right now I have the 2nd Nuts, behind the QJ Straight. Yosh has a good chip stack, and likes to splash around somewhat aggressively early in tournaments. With this being such a draw heavy board, he could have a Combo Draw like KQd or KJd. He could also have Two Pair or a Set. So I decide to raise to 20k.

Yosh instantly shoves All-In. After we count it down, it was 21k more to win around 76k. Now a I'm positive that he's got a made hand. Obviously, the Straight is likely, but a Set is also possible. With me getting around 3.5/1, I feel I'm pot committed with the Full House Draw, so I call. He shows QJ for the Straight. The River doesn't pair the Board, and I'm down to 16500.

Later, I win a decent pot against him with AK to get a few chips back.

Level 3 (200/400) 23200 - I lost some small pots, and got down to 17k. In the last hand of the Level, I picked up AA, and they held up.

Level 4 (300/600) 28500 - Up and down all level. My best win was calling a raise in the SB with AK. I check-raised a C-Bet on a K-high pot.

Level 5 (400/800/100) 23100 - I don't think I won a single pot. One of the Action Players (Gary K) is intentionally playing retarded, and catching cards.

Level 6 (500/1000/100) 21500 - Very card dead.

Level 7 (600/1200/100) 14400 - I called a raise with 66. I took a stab at the 3-way pot on Turn, but I was a distant 3rd place in the hand. The hand ended up being a Flopped Set (Caveman) vs a Turned Straight (ProWest) that was over 100k chips. One or two hands later, ProWest was given a gift of 60-70K from Gary K, who knocked himself out with a horrible River call. ProWest has over 200k, and is on my direct Left.

Level 8 (800/1600/200) 0 - Limped pot, and I'm the BB with 73c. The Flop of J 9 7 was checked around. The Turn [J 9 7] A was checked around to the Button (Monsignor). He bet 3000. I called because I think it's likely that he would have raised with an A on the Button. River [J 9 7 A] 7. I check. He bet 4000. I raised to 10k with my Trip 7. He grabbed a stack of 5k chips, and put me All-In. I've only got 13k left. I think for a minute. I'm now positive that he's got a real hand, and my Kicker doesn't play. I think that he would have bet Two Pair or a Set on the Flop. Another 7 is likely. With the A and J on the Board, there is a decent chance of a chop pot. A7 is also a possibility.

As I said, I've only got 13k left if I fold, and were only a few minutes from the end of this level. I kinda want to fold, because it's unlikely that I have the best hand. Either we're chopping or I'm beat. But I think my raise pot-committed me. I call, and say, "I hope you don't have A7."

He did, and I was out in 18th place.

I think that my undoing in this tourney wasn't just bad luck. I certainly don't think that dusting off chips in my two ugly hands was Donk-a-riffic. But the reason that I lost so much was because I raised, rather than just called.

One of the fundamental difference between Cash games and Tournaments is your state of mind. In Cash games, you should have the mindset of "How do I win the most in this situation?" With Tournaments, your mindset should be, "How do I lose the least in this situation?" I think that is especially true in longer Deep Stack structures, rather than the average $50 Casino daily tournament.

I came into this tournament with the wrong mindset. I mentioned before that I had a gameplan for this Main Event. That gameplan was to splash around with part of my starting stack to accumulate more chips, but keep some if it in lockdown. I think that was the wrong approach to this tournament. The players who finished 1st & 2nd in this tournament went with the ultra-small ball approach for most of the tournament, or "losing the least". I think that's what I should have done, especially since there were other players at my table who just love to splash around.

This concept isn't revolutionary, nor is it something that I didn't already know. But maybe in our Poker growth, we need to re-learn some concepts that have gotten away from us. This tournament was a bit of an epiphany in that respect.

Next Saturday is our end of season Summer Blowout. It's a cook-out, followed by a Team Tournament. It is loosely based on the Dream Team tournaments that ran at last year's WSOP. There should be between 45-50 player this week, and the structure should be decently long. I will go into it with the "Losing the Least" mindset, and hopefully end this lousy season on a high note.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hand Of The Day #40

$1/$1 NLHE - 5.22.10 - Dave's Poker Pit (Home Game)

It's a straddle pot to $2, and basically everyone limped. I'm the SB, and I look down at Ad As. I decide to just call. If I raise to anything less than $20, then there will be many callers at this table. I would rather play a small pot out of position with AA, then a larger preflop pot with 4-5 players. Also, it is still possible that the BB or Straddle could get frisky. They don't.

7-8 players see a Flop of 5d 4d 2d. I decide to lead out for $11 with my Pair + Straight Flush Draw. A couple of players call. The Button (DougPoker) raise to $51, $40 on top. Being a Home game, many of us have played a lot of poker together over the past few years. I know that he's got a strong hand, probably a Flush. So I quickly ship it All-In for $96 on top of his raise, $147 total. Everyone folds around to the Button.

He goes into deep thought, and starts doing a combination of thinking out loud and talking to me. He also turns his hand over to get a read on me, K9d. He's much better at Tells and stuff than I am. So I try to be as Neutral as possible, especially since he's sitting right next to me. I do a little talking back to him, but not much. I know that too much talking can be considered a Tell, as well as being dead quiet. But on the inside, I'm thinking, "Fuck! I just lit a match to $150."

After about two minutes of thinking and talking, he grabs his cards, and folds. Now the question is to show or not to show. I decide to just show the Ad. I could have show both of them to try to put him on Tilt. But it was early in the session, and I'm not sure that he would have Tilted from that. Plus, I didn't want to show that I just limped with AA.

Showing just one card was the right choice. He was thinking out loud about this hand for at least the next 15 minutes. Plus it was the topic of conversation at out table for the next hour.

He did run out the Board after he folded, and another Diamond was nowhere to be found.

As for his laydown, even though he had the K-high flush, it was the 3rd Nuts at the time, or the same as the Q-high Flush. 63d was the Straight Flush. A3d was also a Straight Flush, but it's the same as an A-high Flush in this situation. This was a limped pot, and I'm the SB. So having the 63d or the Axd was a possibility. Plus, this was certainly not my normal play, so it threw off his radar.

Even though he was getting a decent price to call ($96 to win around $235-$245), I don't think it was a terrible fold. He went with his gut. He is not known for the Hero Fold, so I must say that I was impressed (and grateful).

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's All About The Points, Baby

For my regular Saturday home game, we have a "season" which goes from Labor Day to Memorial Day. We take the summer off due to a lack of A/C in the basement. This is our third season that we've been running with this format.

This season, we decided to have a Player of the Year (POY) Points Race. Players earn points by cashing, $200 equals 200 points. They can also earn points for bubbling, usually an amount just under the buy-in. Bubbling in our standard $30 tournament would earn you 25 points.

In order to participate in the POY, you need to pay $1 at the Buy-In, and $2 for the $50 Deeper Stack Tournaments. Participation in the POY is optional.

At the end of the season, there will be a POY Main Event. Your points determines how many chips you start with. The points leader starts with 100000 chips, and it goes down proportionally. A player who just has one Bubble ends up with around 11000 chips.

The structure for the Main Event is super deep stacked. I estimate that there will be between 12-14 hours of play. It's a 2-Day event. Day 1 starts on this Saturday at 7pm, has 30 minute levels, and should end around 2am. Day 2 starts on this Sunday at 3pm, has 45 minute levels, and should end around 8-9pm.

The Main Event has a buy-in of $60. The money paid into the POY pool (POY$) will be paid out to the Top 3 spots of the Main Event. It will be distributed with a 60%, 30%, 10% payout. We ended up with $975 POY$, and will be paid out $590 for 1st, $290 for 2nd, and $95 for 3rd. This money is in addition to the normal payouts for a $60 tournament.

As I already mentioned, the Main Event is tonight. There are 58 players eligible to play. I expect there to be 35-40 players. Some players have rather small stacks, and feel they don't have a chance. A few others have had some Real Life issues pop up, and will be unable to make it.

As for me, in spite have having what I consider to be a crappy season, I've got 1300 points and 66300 chips. The chip leader, Colin, has 2080 points, and 100000 chips. I've got the 6th biggest stack, but someone above me might not make it.

Since I'm likely to be either the Big Stack at my starting table, or the 2nd Big Stack, I do have a starting strategy in mind. I'm not going to publish the details in this post, just in case someone reads it before tonight. But, as with all tournaments, it will all depend on my table draw. The 2-4 players on my Left will determine exactly how I play tonight. Factors include if they have a very big stack, if they a very small stack, and if they're on my list of players to never steal from because they will not fold to me.

I am hoping to do one of my running logs for this tournament. But since I'm the TD, that might not work out the way I want it to.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How Hard Is It To Hit A Set Of Aces?

10:50 $75 - I got to Mountaineer on Wednesday morning about 10:15, and had to wait for them to open up their 2nd table of $1/$2. We start with seven players. Most have bought in for around $100, and only one loaded up with the max of $300. So I decide to Short Stack, and buy-in for the minimum of $75, with more chips in my pocket. If this table ends up being a crazy action table, I can always pull out more chips.

11:30 $71 - I've only won a small pot with a 4-card Flush. The table has been what you would expect for a Wednesday morning. I've been kinda card dead. The only "real hand" that I've seen, QQ, ran into KK. I rebought for another $75.

12:00 $180 - I stabbed at one pot on the Turn, but lost. Later, a Short Stack went All-In for just $30. I look down at 88, and go All-In for $55. The Short Stack had TT. That left me with $25, and I pull out $100 out of my pocket. It's starting out to be one of those days.

Three hands later, I limp with 66, and the Flop came 6 3 3. I double up when someone hit their Nut Flush on the River. Later, I lost a small pot with AA. I hit my Set on the River, but lost to a River Flush.

12:30 $357 - I cracked AA with QJd in the BB. I Checked & Called on a Q 9 7 Flop. A Q came on the Turn, and he just couldn't let his Rockets go.

That was the last hand of the table. The Mensa people running the Poker Room decided to open up the 4th $1/$2 table 15 minutes before the Tournament started. Once all the Tourney players left the tables for the Tournament, they ended up closing our $1/$2 table. The next table has two other players from the first table, but there are still two open seats. The good news is that I'm the Big Stack of this table.

1:00 $441 - I played many pots. Some went well, and other were not so much. I had back to back Straight draws that whiffed. I also 3-bet with AA in the SB, and got two callers. The Flop was Ad Qd Jh. I hit another Set. I want to get paid with this one. But I can't risk a free Turn card to come and either give them a better hand or scare them off. I bet $60, which is half the pot. Both players think for a bit, and then fold. Oh well, at least I got the preflop money.

1:20 $507 -An Action player raised from UTG+2. It folded to me in the SB, and I look at AA for the 3rd time today. I decided to just call, and let him hang himself. The Flop was A 7 3 for my 3rd Set of Aces today. I ended up getting all of his chips for around $80.

Earlier in the afternoon, I got a phone call from my Uncle. He invited me to the Cleveland Indians game in the evening. One of his buddy has some sweet seats, and passes to the Terrace Club. So I decided to "Hit & Run" with my $257 profit, head back home to get a few things done before the ballgame.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hand Of The Day #39

$1/$2 NLHE - Greektown Casino - 5.11.10

An Old Man in Mid position raised to $5. Nobody called. I'm the Button with Kd Kh, and I raise to $10. The BB calls. Old Man raises to $25. Crap. I'm probably behind. I've been at this table less than 30 minutes, but I know that most Old Men don't make the 4th Preflop bet without AA. But he only made it $25. I call, and hopefully I can hit my two outer. If he made a larger bet, I would have folded.

Flop Ad Qd 2d. Well, he hit his two outer, but I now have the Nut Flush draw. Old Man bets $30. I call.

Turn [Ad Qd 2d] 4d. Sweet! He checks. I've been shuffling some chips, and now bet them. $35. He thinks for a moment, and calls. Please don't pair the Board.

River [Ad Qd 2d 4d] 6c. He checks. I want to get paid, so I bet the same $35. He's already called that much, so hopefully he will again. He thinks for longer this time. He says, "It smells like a Flush." I don't say anything. But I'm thinking, "DUH! Of course it's a Flush. But you have a Set of Aces. Just pay me off, and don't be a Super Nit."

He finally calls. I show my two Red Kings. He shows his hand, Kc Ks. WTF? So much for him being a Nit. Those were horrible calls with just KK. Thanks for the extra $70.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Seeing Is Believing

11:25 $200 - After Greektown finally got their 11am tourney started at 11:20, they opened up a new $1/$2 table. The table make-up is a mix of young and old. I only recognize one player, an older gentleman two seats to my Right. He's a Super Nit.

12:00 $313 - Won a nice pot with KK (future H.O.T.D.) This table has been fairly normal for what you would expect to find at a Tuesday afternoon table.

12:30 $327 - Won a pot with Two Pair on the River. This table is relative calm compared to the table I've been at lately. Even the "Action Guys" are not that maniacal.

1:00 $326 - I raised to $7 with KQo in the Cutoff. Four player saw a Flop of A J 2. I make a C-Bet of $15. The Button insta-raised to $30. He's an older gentleman, but he's been playing rather loose. He's also a former Greektown Dealer, and has been chatting with all of the other Dealers. It folds back around to me, and I call with my Broadway draw.

Turn [A J 2] A. I check, and so does the Button. River [A J 2 A] 7. I check, and so does the Button. I say, "King High". The Button waits to see my hand. This really annoys me that some jerks in a Poker Room have to see everyone cards before showing his winning hand. Once again, I say, "I have King High". The Button says, "Seeing is believing." What a Dick! I don't have anything, and he just wants to see my cards. The Dealer says that I need to show my hand. So I show my KQ, and the Button mucks his cards. W T F ???

On a different hand, I made a $20 Hero Call on the River that I was wrong about.

1:30 $503 - I won a bunch of pots, including stacking off "Seeing is Believing" guy with AA and QQ.

I was planning on playing at least six hours, but I decided to "Hit & Run". As you loyal readers know, thing haven't been going well lately. So I really need to start booking some wins. Last night I won $347 in two hours at MGM, and I won $50 at Blackjack this morning at Motor City. With this $303, I'm leaving Detroit up exactly $700.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hand Of The Day #38

$1/$2 NLHE - MGM Detroit - 5.10.10

I've been at this table for less than one orbit, but I've already won two pots.

Straddle pot, with a few limpers. The Hyjack raises to $15. I'm the Cutoff with Ah Qc, and raise to $40. The Button thinks for a moment, and calls. Everyone else folds, except an Old Man who's in Mid position. The Hyjack also folds.

Flop: 9c 9h 3h. The Mid player checks. This is not the Flop I wanted with two callers, but I gotta follow through. I grab 4 Green chips, and bet $100. The Button goes into deep thought. While the Button thinks, the Old Guy in Mid position walks away from the table, essentially folding his hand out of turn.

After almost a minute of thought, the Button goes to grab two stack of Reds, and looks over at me to get a read. But the Dealer is sitting between us, since I'm in the #10 seat, and he's in the #1 seat. I just sit there casual and relaxed. I've been playing poker too long for that silly trick to work on me.

After not seeing me quiver in fear, he thinks for another moment or two. He looks back at his cards. Then he grabs his cards like he's gonna muck them, but hesitates. Maybe he's still trying to get a reaction from me. He finally tosses his card face up towards the Dealer, Kh Kd. I figured he was on a big Pair, probably JJ or maybe QQ. But KK ... Wow!

The Dealer mucks his cards, and starts to gather the pot to ship my way. I turn my AQ face up, and put $1 on top for the Tip.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Tale of Two Hands

We had 30 players for our Saturday night home game. I ended up finishing in 4th place for $100. I ended up losing two Races on consecutive hands: AK vs QQ and TT vs AK.

Instead of doing a recap of my skillful rise to the Money, I'm going to share two hands with you. One from the tourney, and one from the Cash game.

Hand #1: Tourney Level 4 (100/200)
I limped in Mid position with JTc. Five players saw a Flop of Ac Qh 4d. UTG+1 (ProWest) lead out for 600. I've got a Gutshot and backdoor Flush Draw. I decide to call because I want to gamble a little to get some chips. Everyone else folds.

Turn: [Ac Qh 4d] Qc - UTG+1 checks. I decide to bet 1100. He thinks for a moment, and check-raises to 2400. Now I go into deep thought. Being a home game, we play with the same group of players on a regular basis. He is certainly on the aggressive side, so he doesn't necessarily have a big hand. He also tends to think that I'm a bit of a Nit. So I decide to call. I still have my Gutshot, and have now picked up the Flush Draw. Although it is possible that neither Draw is any good.

River: [Ac Qh 4d Qc] 6c - UTG+1 bets 3000. I quickly call. I did hit my Flush, but I can't raise in this spot, and risk my tournament life. He says, "You got it." I show my hand, and he is not happy about it. He assumed that I had just Top Pair, and he was trying to bet me off of it. I think he just had a pocket pair, but he never showed.

Hand #2: $1/$1 NLHE
Colin raises to $7 in Mid position. A couple of callers. I'm the SB with Ah Ad. I decide to just call instead of 3-betting. Why? Because GrayDay is the BB, and is very plastered. He's slurring his words, having conversations with himself, and just playing poker like a drunk GrayDay. My Spidey-Sense is telling me that he's likely to do something stupid in this spot.

And he does. He 3-Bets to $27. Meat, sitting right before Colin, cold calls. Colin calls. It folds to me, and I 4-bet to $77 ($50 on top) which leave me $95 behind. GrayDay goes into the tank for what seemed like forever and finally calls. Meat also goes into the tank, and starts counting his stack. At this point, I realize that I didn't raise enough. I probably should have made it an even $100 to go. Meat finally calls the extra $50, and Colin jumps aboard this runaway train. Pot size: ~$320

Flop: Jc 4h 2d. Naturally, I ship my $95 stack in to the pot. Once again, BB tanks. He finally calls the $95, only leaving himself around $20-$40 behind. Meat folds his 55. Colin has 65 for a gutshot, but folds.

I show my hand. GrayDay doesn't. Turn: [Jc 4h 2d] 2s. Now he shows his hand, 52c. With the other 5's being folded, he just hit a true 2-outer. The River was a blank (6, I think), and he scoops a $500+ pot.

Since this hand started the Final Orbit, I just get up from the table, and wait for everyone else to finish up before our usual Breakfast at Denny's this time.

I'm not at all upset about the hand. I actually got what I wanted, which was GrayDay playing a huge pot drawing very thin. It just didn't work out like it should have. In that respect, it was similar to the hand the DP and I played a few weeks ago where he hit a 4-outer on the Turn after all the money went in on the Flop (Bottom Set vs Top Two Pair) for an almost $700 pot.

But between those two hands, that's a $1200 swing.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Hollywood Review

Hollywood Casino is located in Lawrenceburg, Indiana . It's about a mile off of I-275, which is the Outerbelt for Cincinnati, Ohio. Lawrenceburg is the first exit in Indiana after you cross over from Ohio.

Poker Room

The Poker Room is located on a floor below the Main Casino floor. It is ridiculously far away from the Parking Garage as you have to walk through the entire Casino to get to the escalator that takes you downstairs.

The Poker Room has 41 tables. It is divided into three sections. The front is for the regular Cash games. The back has a tournament area, and a High-Limit area. The tables and chairs are nice and comfortable. There is enough space between tables to move around.

The main games they spread daily are $1/$3 NLHE ($300 max) and $3/$6 LHE. Most days, they will also have a $2/$5 NLHE ($1000 max) and $1/$3/$5 PLO ($1000 max). On weekends, they will usually get a $5/$10 NLHE game in the evenings. Omaha-8 will spring up on some days, usually $3/$6 or $5/$10 Limit with a Kill.

The rake is the national standard of 10% $5 max, with $1 for the Bad Beat Jackpot, which is Aces Full of Jacks losing to a Full House. The Bad Beat Jackpot is usually in the $50k - $150k range. Their Bad Beat Jackpot is updated every day on their website. This is a nice touch, and I wish more places would actually use their websites.

The do offer comps to their players, up to $1 per hour. They have the Bravo system that swipes your Player's Card at the tables. They also have a beverage machine right outside the Poker Room that has Coke products.

There is a Food Menu that you can order from the tables. I didn't look at it when I was there, but I know that they have things like Chicken Tenders and some Salads.

The players are a mix of skilled grinders, old nits, and degen gamblers waiting for a bigger game to open. Based on my limited experience, I would say that there are more grinders than the typical Poker Room. But with any $1/$2 or $1/$3 game, it's all about who happens to be sitting there.

They usually have two daily tournaments with some variety in the types of tournament and the buy-ins. Their schedule can be found on their website. The tournaments are very popular, with some of them getting over 100 players. I've played in two of them, and they have a fairly typical quick structure that you would expect to find at a Poker Room. They also have a few tournament series each year that last between two weeks and a month.

The Hollywood Casino is a two floor set-up. The Main Floor is humongous, with the Table Games down the middle, a high-limit area, and a few small bars and restaurants around the edges. The other floor is downstairs, and contains the Poker Room, some slots, and a little bar near the Poker Room.

They have all the usual table games spread out among the Pit. The table minimums are a little high, with $15 on weeknights and $25 on weekend evenings. The games with flexible odds, like 3-Card Poker, have terrible odds.

Hollywood Casino has a good selection of restaurants. They have a couple of small eateries, a Buffet, and a higher-end Steak House that just opened. The only one that I have really tried was the Buffet. I have to say that it is the best Buffet in this part of the country, including a good variety of dishes, and decent pricing for a casino buffet.