Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Tale Of Two Rooms

A while back, I compared my results from the Detroit poker rooms, and my numbers varied from room to room.

So if I do the same for the Reno rooms, will the results also vary? The short answer is, 'Hell yeah!" In fact, there is one room that I just can win, and another room that I can't seem to lose. Here are those numbers.

Atlantis $2/$3: 14 sessions (10-4 .714) +$2820 (+$201.43 avg) 51.25 hrs (+$55.02/hr)
Last five sessions:
12/12: +$115 ~ 1.50 hrs
12/11: +$160 ~ 4.00 hrs
12/09: +$353 ~ 2.00 hrs
12/03: +$256 ~ 3.00 hrs
11/28: +$538 ~ 3.25 hrs

Grand Sierra $1/$2: 11 sessions (3-8 .273) -$1085 (-$98.63 avg) 33 hrs (-$32.88/hr)
Last five sessions:
12/10: -$100 ~ 3.0 hrs
11/21: -$270 ~ 4.5 hrs
11/19: -$234 ~ 4.0 hrs
11/17: -$91   ~ 3.0 hrs
11/11: +$215 ~ 2.0 hrs

I really don't know why I can't win in one room, but I can't lose in the other. Yes, short term variance is a factor, and I'm sure the numbers will probably even out somewhat a year from now.

And I know that $1/$2 and $2/$3 are not exactly the same game, but they're close enough. The preflop raises are slightly bigger in the $2/$3 game, and the average pot size is slightly larger. So over the very long term, I would guess the hourly win rate might be $5/hr more at $2/$3 than at $1/$2, but that's not really a factor for this sample size.

Grand Sierra is full of Super Nits who buy-in for $100, and just don't want to put any money in the pot. Atlantis certainly has it's share of Super Nits. But there are a few players who I enjoy seeing at the table, because I know they don't like to fold. Maybe it only takes one or two at a table to make it profitable.

Here are the numbers for the other two casinos, just for comparison:

Peppermill $1/$2: 11 sessions (5-5-1 .455) -$148 (-$13.45 avg) 30.75 hrs (-$4.81/hr)
Last five sessions:
12/23: +$183 ~ 2.25 hrs
12/20: -$224 ~ 1.75 hrs
11/29: -$173 ~ 2.5 hrs
11/27: +$0 ~ 3.0 hrs
11/03: -$420 ~ 3.0 hrs

Eldorado $1/$2: 4 sessions (3-1 .750) +$317 (+$79.25 avg) 10.5 hrs (+$30.19/hr)
Last four sessions:
12/05: +$251 ~ 3.0 hrs
11/22: +$19 ~ 2.75 hrs
11/12: -$96 ~ 2.0 hrs
11/10: +$143 ~ 2.75 hrs

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Visions Of Sugar Plums Dancing In My Head

Since I recently moved out to Reno, I'm out here all by myself for the Holidays. So what is there for me to do on a Holiday night in a casino town?

After work last night, I headed to the Atlantis to play some cards. Since it was Christmas Eve, I really wasn't sure what expect. As it turns out, they had a decent crowd. There was eventually two tables of $3/$6 Limit and one $2/$3 NL. They were even taking sign ups for their Friday night tournament. It's a $120 20k chip "Deep Stack" tournament. I've been wanting to try this tournament, but I normally have to work on Saturday morning. So this was a good opportunity to try it out.

They usually get two or three tables on a normal Friday. But this week, we started with just seven players at "Shuffle Up & Deal", and ended up with nine participants. Since we started with 20k chips and blinds at 25/50, I figured the action would be slow in the beginning. I was wrong.

UTG limps. UTG+2 raises to 300. Four or five players call. I'm the BB, and look down at As Ad. I pop it to 1500. UTG cold calls, and UTG+2 also calls. This starts the cascade of "I've got Pot Odds now." Yeah, I didn't raise enough. I did want some action, but not five or six players seeing the Flop of 3d 2d 2h. Overall, not a bad Flop for me. I bet 5500. UTG gathers up his chips and goes All-In for around 18k. Everyone else folds. Since he's UTG and cold called preflop, I'm assuming that he's got a Mid Pair like TT or JJ. He may also have two big Diamonds, but I do have the Ad for a blocker and redraw. I make the call, and he shows KQd. The Turn and River are black. We count down the stacks, and I have him covered. I've now got 46k in the first level.

As we progressed, I tried to play small pot poker, and protect my chip stack. It worked well, as I maintained my chips stack over 40k for the next few levels. The next player I knocked out was with me raising preflop with AA, and getting one caller. The Flop was Q-high. I made a standard C-Bet, and he raised me to 5k. He has also knocked out a player and had a good chip stack, so I decided not to slowplay. I 3-Bet to 15k, and he just couldn't get away from KQo.

By the time we got to the first break (before the 400/800 Level), there was four player remaining. I had 91600 which was just over half of the chips in play (180k total). There was another Big Stack with around 50k, and the other two stack were just hanging around.

Four handed play last for quite a while, as the small stacks gained and lost chips. I stayed with my small pot strategy. By the time the 4th player was eliminated, I was still over 80k. But the other two players were around 50k, so my chip advantage as not as comfortable was it once was.

By now the blinds are starting to get silly, like 1k/2k/200 and 2k/4k/400. That's 7200 chips every orbit, which is just three hands in the 2k/4k/400 Level. Also, my card started to get silly. My starting hands were lousy, even for three handed. And when I had something, one of the others had something better. In a Blind vs Blind hand, I had Q5, and the River was a Q. I bet, and the other guy called with Q8. In another hand, I hit Trips on the Turn, made a bet of 5k, and got a caller. The River brought the Back Door Flush. He quickly bet 10k, so I made the crying call only to see his baby Flush.

After the Trips vs Flush hand, I had 32500, and had to start shoving All-In. Nobody called my first All-In, and I hung around the 25k-30k mark for a few orbits.

Eventually, I'm in the BB. The Button folds, and the SB says All-In. I peek at my cards, and see TT. It takes me about 0.00473 seconds to say Call. He's got a baby Ace, and missed his three outer. We have essentially swapped chip positions, as he is now the short stack.

Very next hand, he goes All-In on the Button. I'm the SB, look down at AJo, and shove All-In to isolate. The Button had Q8s, and completely missed the Board. He's eliminated in 3rd place.

The three of us already agreed to chop the $900 prize pool when it got to Heads-Up. We counted down the two remaining chip stacks, and they were very close. So we just chopped evenly, and I walked out of the Poker Room with $430 after giving a $20 tip.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's Like Seeing A Dodo Bird

I walked into the Peppermill Poker Room just after 7pm on Monday night to play some $4/$8 Limit Hold'em. Oddly, they didn't have a $4/$8 game running. In fact, they only had three tables running, a $2/$4 Limit, a $1/$2 NL, and a $1-$4 Spread Limit Razz.

No, that wasn't a typo. There is actually a Razz cash game being spread. The table was full with eight players and a List of three names. So I put my name on the List along with the $4/$8 List, and took an open seat at the $1/$2 game.

A little before 9pm, a seat opened up at the Razz table. They started calling down the List. However, nobody showed up, so I got the seat. I was happy to switch tables because I was really card dead at the $1/$2 table. I only played one significant pot. My Top Pair (KQd) ran into AA from one of the Super Nits at the table. I left the table down $224.

I cashed in my Red $5 chips, and bought a rack of Blue $1 chips ($100 total). The structure of the game is no ante with a $1 Bring-In. You can bet from $1 to $4 from 3rd to 6th Street, and $1 to $8 on 7th Street.

My cards were horrible for the first half hour, so I just sat there watching the action and tried to come up with a strategy. It became rather obvious that my HORSE tournament strategy of naked aggression wasn't gonna work here. This was a very loose passive table. After a player brought it in for $1, there were two, three, or even four player limping in behind with a variety of hands. Even when I raised the Bring-In and they folded, I only won a dollar or two because there's no antes.

Eventually, I came up with a strategy. Since there's no ante, I limped on 3rd with a wide variety of hands, and treated it like an ante. Usually a good card showing, and maybe one underneath. I tried not to play super loose, because I didn't want to chase too much. Even when I had a good hand like three Wheel cards, I still limped in to help build a pot. I limped in with (25)4, and someone else raised. I just called, and ended up winning a nice sized pot, even though he folded to my $6 bet on 7th Street.

Since this is Spread Limit, you can bet different amounts. I noticed that players tended to bet the strength of their hand. In one hand, a player had 4 2 showing, but only bet $2. This was not what he had been betting in previous hands, and I figured he paired one of his hole cards. On 5th Street, he had 4 2 4. He checked, and folded to my bet. I asked him if he had Two Pair or Trips, and he said Two Pair.

My Spread Limit strategy end up with me betting $1 on 3rd, $2 on 4th, $3 on 5th, $4 on 6th, and $6 on 7th. I may have lost a little value is spots, but this kept me consistent, just in case someone was actually paying attention (doubtful at this table). It also allowed me to build a pot as the hand progressed.

Overall, I had a good night. I was very happy with my play, and I think I ran good as well. In the various hands that got to 7th Street with a bet on 7th, there was only two times that I didn't have the best hand. One was my 876xx against the 2nd best player at the table who had 86xxx. The other one was a hand that I was bluffing. He lead out on 7th. I folded, and told him that I paired up. This was a true statement, since I paired my King.

The game broke just after 11pm, and I finished up $90. This $1-$4 Spread structure is described by some players as a "Time Killing" structure. You're not really gonna win or lose much. So for me to almost double up in two hours is a damn fine session.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I Suck At Limit Hold'em

1:15 $100 - I walked into the Eldorado Poker Room on Sunday afternoon, and got seated at a $3/$6 table. The game has a Full Kill, but the Blinds are just $1/$2. So if someone raises preflop, then is goes to $5, and not $6. I've been finding this structure is somewhat common around town.

The table is a mix of old players, and those that are not quite as old.

1:30 $113 - I limped with A5o in the Cutoff. I flopped a Wheel Draw, and all players checked. I hit it on the Turn, so I bet the Turn and River. I got one caller on both streets.

The table is playing normal. No crazy Action Guys so far. Some are play most of the hands, and some are mostly folding. 

2:00 $87 - In a Kill Pot, the lady who had the Kill Button ($6) is UTG, and made a comment about her Dead Man's Hand when she peeks at it. There were a bunch of limpers. I'm the SB, and have Kh Kd. So I raised ($12), and everyone called. Six players saw a Flop of A Q J. Even though I hated that Flop, I bet ($6), and three players called. The Turn was [A Q J] 6. I basically gave up and checked. UTG (The Kill Lady) bet ($12). One called, and one folded. I thought about it for a bit, and called with my Broadway Draw. River [A Q J 6] 2. I checked, and UTG bet ($12). The other player folded, and so did I. UTG showed A6o (Yeah, that's not the Dead Man's Hand.)

Later, I limped and called a raise with J9o in the Hyjack. The Board ran out KJ6 6 4, and my hand was good with four players still in at the River.

2:30 $120 - I limped in Mid with A8d. Seven players saw a Flop of 8s 3h 3d. It checked to me, and I bet ($3). Three players called. The Turn was [8s 3h 3d] Kd. I picked up a Flush Draw, so I'm happy to bet ($6). Only the SB called, but he had $4 left behind. River [8s 3h 3d Kd] Ac. He checked. I bet ($6), and he called with his last $4. I showed my Two Pair, and he flashed the Kh before he mucked.

Later, I raise from the Cutoff with AJs. Only the SB and Mid called. Flop was Ts 9s 4h. They checked, and I bet my Flush Draw. Only the Mid called. Turn [Ts 9s 4h] 8s. He checked. I bet my Nut Flush, and he called. River [Ts 9s 4h 8s] 3h. Once again, Check Bet and Call. I showed my Nut Flush, and he didn't show.

3:00 $82 - Only one limper when it got to me in the Hyjack, so I decided to raise ($6) with 77. Only the Button and the limper called. Flop was K Q 8. The limper bet ($3), but only had $5 behind. I assume that I'm behind, so I fold. The Button called. The limper goes All-In for $5 on the Turn, and the Button folded.

I limped UTG with A6s. Six players saw a Flop of Ac 3c 3d. I lead out with my Top Pair, and three players call. The Turn was [Ac 3c 3d] 9h. I bet again. Mid player thought for a moment, and called. The other player folded. [Ac 3c 3d 9h] 7h. I bet again. Mid player thought for a bit, and raised. I make the crying call, and he showed K3o. I played this hand horribly from start to finish.

3:30 $60 - No noteworthy hands. I played a few hands by either limping or calling a raise, and then airballing the Flop. Overall, I've been been trying to play solid cards, while being a little looser in position (Button, Cutoff, and Hyjack). The table is still playing loose passive. There might be two preflop raises each orbit.

4:00 $29 - I limped in the Hyjack with J7h. Five players saw the Flop of Th 5c 3s. All players checked. The Turn was [Th 5c 3s] Jc. Mid player bet, and he's an old Nit. I call with my Top Pair. The Cutoff raised, and he's another old Nit. All others fold back to the Mid player. He paused for a moment, and called. This is a bit of a predicament for me because these are two of the tightest players at the table. I finally decided to fold. Even if I hit my Two Pair, it might not be any good. The River was [Th 5c 3s Jc] 7c. They both check. Mid had J9, but the Cutoff wins with KJ. In hindsight, I still have no clue if the proper play was to fold or call.

Later in a Kill pot, I limped on the Button with 65h. Four players see a Flop of Qh 7h 3c. It checked to me, and I bet with my Flush Draw + Gutshot. Only the BB called, who had the Kill. The Turn was [Qh 7h 3c] 9s. She checked. I decide to also check. This lady is playing 80% of hands, and seeing 50% of the Rivers. There's no point in betting my Draw, because she will not fold. The River was another brick for me. We both check, and she wins another pot with T7d.

4:20 $3 - I'm down to $18 when I limp in the Cutoff with As Tc. Six players Ah Kd 7d. UTG bets. The Hyjack calls (one of the old Nits from earlier). I decide to raise and scare off the Blinds from calling with whatever. It worked as only UTG and Mid called. Turn [Ah Kd 7d] 4d. All three of us checked. River [Ah Kd 7d 4d] Qh. UTG checked. Hyjack bet. I hate this because I don't see how I can have the best hand. But this pot got big because of my raise on the Flop, so I make the crying call. UTG folded, and Mid shows A9d for Da Nuts.

I feel a case of Tilt coming on, so I cashout my last three White chips, and head home.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

7-Card Bingo ?

Starting this week, I'm switching to Limit Hold'em for my primary Cash game for the next 6-8 weeks. There are two main reasons for this.

First, the NL games in Reno aren't very good these days. This town is full of 50 and 60 year old Super Nits. They buy-in for $100 and wait for AA or KK. They put almost no money into the pot, and fold at the first scare card. Yes, they're easy to bluff, but there's no money in the pot when they fold. If they call, then you're crushed. When playing against them, I will either win a bunch of tiny pots, or lose a couple of bigger pots.

Now this doesn't mean that I can't win at a NL table, it just means that I'm not winning much in general. It does seem to vary from room to room. There is one room where I just can't win, and there is another room where I can't seem to lose. But I will save that topic for another blog post.

The other reason is because Limit Hold'em is definitely not my best game, and this is a good opportunity to dive into the Limit world and improve. While I'm playing Limit, I still have a NL mentality, and I'm not sure that I'm making the proper decisions when I'm getting Pot Odds of 12-1.

I will be playing $3/$6 or $4/$8 at first. (Not $2/$4. Even I have standards.) Eventually, I want to take some shots in the Peppermill's $15/$30 or $20/$40 game so I can make some real money at Limit Hold'em. The $3/$5 NL games in this town are rare, and generally only pop up during the various tournament series that Poker Rooms run.

I know that these lower Limit games are often called 7-Card Bingo because nobody ever folds. And it's certainly true that many players play most hands, and either check call call or bet raise raise. But there are other players who just limp in with AA and never raise because it's only one pair. Part of Poker is learning to adjust to your opponents.

I will also be checking out for the first time some poker rooms that are primarily Limit rooms, like the Nugget that I was at last night.

Now it's certainly possible that a blog title for next week will be "What The $#@! Was I Thinking?" There will certainly be periods of frustration. But as long as I'm not losing every session, I will keep grinding it out.

This doesn't mean that I won't be playing anything else. If I walk into a room and they have three names on the List for Limit and an open seat at the NL table, then I'll probably play some NL. There is also a tournament series next month at the Peppermill that I'm planning on playing in a couple of Sunday events.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

MTT Grinder

Even though they are called Donkaments, tournaments can be profitable in the long run. For a Live player, the "Long Run" can take months or even years, because a tournament can last an entire day or even a few days. For Online players, it's much different because they can play a whole bunch in one day. And if they bust out of one, there's another one starting within 15 minutes.

So how can a Live player like me shorten the "Long Run" like an Online player? By playing multiple tournaments in one day, of course.

One thing that would like to try on my next trip to Las Vegas (hopefully in June) is spend a day just playing in the smaller daily tournaments that most casinos run. Since there are so many casinos around Vegas, there are tournaments starting almost every hour. I would make a list of the better tournaments that start each hour. As soon as I bust out of one, or take one down, I would head over to the next tournament on the list. I figure that I could do between 5-8 tournaments in one day, depending on how many I go deep in.

I know what you're saying, "But those things have horrible structures and are just a shove-fest." And you're right. They are high-variance, but the players are generally horrible. I would equate these tourneys to a three or five table online turbo Sit-N-Go. Yes, the structure sucks, but they don't take that much time, and the players are terrible. By playing a lot of them, it helps reduce the variance.

So why don't I just do this in Reno? Well, the daily tournament schedule isn't as spread out as it is in Sin City. The tournaments are bunched together, with many of them starting at 11am or 6pm. Also, I work six days a week with Sunday being my only day off. And the Sunday tourney schedule just isn't as diverse as it is during the week.

But I decided to give it a try on Sunday. Here's what happened:

Atlantis 11am $75 ($40 + $15 + $20 Bounty) 10k chips. We didn't have a big crowd for this one. So the Poker Room decided to squeeze 11 players on to one table, and then have alternates. We ended up 12 players.

Since this was a one table tourney, I decided to try the Sit-N-Go strategy of Tight Early & Aggressive Later. Fortunately, I got some cards early to start building my chip stack. Then I got into a trainwreck with my KK vs QQ vs AJs. The Cowboys held up, and I won two Bounties.

At the Break (before the 400/800 Level), I had 25100 chips, and was either 2nd or 3rd out of seven players. The problem was that I had a horrible seat at the table. On my Left were the other two Big Stacks, and they liked to play pots. On my Right were three smaller stacks of players who were trying to fold to the money.

So I stayed patient while players were knocked out. I finally got to Heads-Up with one of the Action Guys after the other Action Guys blew up. After a few hands of Heads-Up in the 2k/4k/400 Level, I raised to 10k on the Button with ATd. The other player, who had me covered, raised to 45k. As you can expect, we're not very deepstacked right now (Average stack is 15BB). So I decided to take the plunge, and he had AKs. I missed my 3-outer, and finished in 2nd place for $144 + 4 Bounties.

Club Cal Neva $10 Rebuy ($8 + $2). This tournament runs four times a day (10am, 2pm, 6pm, 10pm), and I played in the 6pm. $10 gets you 2000 chips. There's a $5 Dealer AddOn for 1000 chips. It's unlimited Rebuys for the first hour (4 Levels), and you can rebuy at 500 chips or less. At the Break, you can get a $10 AddOn for 4000 chips.

Once again, I ended up in a one table tournament. This one was 10-handed with Alternates. We ended up with 12 players total. I had a lousy start by rebuying twice without winning a hand. Shortly before the break, I finally won a hand by doubling up, and then doubled up again. After I got the AddOn, I had 10600 chips, which was an average stack at the Break (before the 300/600 Level).

After the Break, the action at the table was a little ridiculous. The players either limped in, or shoved All-In for way more then they need to. And the calls they got were rather questionable. Once again, I just sat back, and played patiently.

I got to three handed (the Bubble). The Button and SB limped, which was a little rare. I was the BB, and looked down at KK. I decided to slow play this, and try to trap them for a big pot rather than just win the 2BB. The Flop was Q 7 4. The SB shoved, and I called. She had Q7, and I missed my Two Pair draw. Oh well, I gambled and lost.

There were two other tournaments that I could have played if my two tourneys didn't last so long; a $75 Peppermill at 1pm and $45 Harrah's at 8pm. I'm sure there are other little tourneys around town that I haven't found yet.

Overall, it was a good day, but this isn't something that I will make a lot of money doing in Reno. The ROI could be profitable, but the hourly rate won't be anything close to what I can make in the Cash games. However, I do enjoy tournaments, so I may do this once a month or so, just to check out some of the smaller rooms that I don't visit regularly.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

$180 HORSE Tournament

WARNING: This post contains no TV Poker (NLHE) content. If you're not into terms like Scooping, Bring In, Live 4 Low, Rolled Up, 6th Street, Quartered, and Nut Low Wrap, then just move on to your next Blog to read.

"Shuffle Up & Deal" 6000 - They had three tables of eight chip stacks set up. Our table has seven player, and I'm the youngest by 10 years. The other two tables have four players and one player. Obviously, late players are coming, plus they have late registration for a Level or two.

We will play eight hands of each game. The Levels are 30 minutes long.

End of Level 1 (50/100 Limit) 5900 - Ended on Razz #4. The play has been what I expected, which is rather passive. No Action Guys at this table. Not much happening for me. I won the last hand of the Level. I was the Bring-In with (A7)K. Two players just limped in, and I ended up drawing out on them.

They opened up a 4th table, but took some players from each table. We are now playing six handed.

Level 2 (75/150 Limit) 6820 - Ended on Stud-8 #6. The final count for the tourney is 26 players, and we are still six handed. I won another Razz hand after bringing it in with a K. I definitely have an edge in Razz because the other players are just playing their own hand. I also won a Stud-8 hand by hitting a 6-high Straight on 7th Street.

Level 3 (100/200 Limit) 6590 - Ended on Omaha-8 #7. I won a nice Omaha-8 pot with Ac 4c Kh 7h. I raised on the Turn with a Heart Flush Draw and an A4 Low. I hit the Flush on the River for the scoop. A few hands later, I royally screwed up a hand out of the BB. I flopped Bottom Set (3) and no possible Low. I called the SB on all three streets. He ended up with the Nut Flush and a 24 Low. I'm an idiot for even calling on the Flop, let alone the rest of the way.

Level 4 (150/300 Limit) 8825 - Ended on Stud-8 #1. I raped and pillaged during the Razz. I won four of the eight pots with just naked aggression. That included a bluff on 7th Street when I paired my King. The other player paired their Ace, and folded. I was tempted to show the bluff, but why ruin a good thing.

BREAK - Still 26 players left. I looked at the payouts (3 spots), and noticed the prizepool was a little short. As it turns out, they are taking out 3% of the prizepool for the Staff. They are also taking $20 for Fees, and a $10 AddOn for Dealers. That means this tournament is actually $145.50 + $34.50. Gotta love it.

Level 5 (200/400 Limit) 5800 - Ended on Omaha-8 #5. I had the Hold'em round from Hell. I lost two good sized pots with AJ. First hand was me 3-Betting from the BB with AJh after the Button raised when it folded around to him. The Flop was Q-high. I bet on the Flop and Turn, and the Button called. We both just checked the River, and he had AK-high. The second hand was with As Jh. I raised from the Cutoff, and the same player limped and called. I ended up losing with a four card Heart Flush to his Qh 9c.

They broke the fourth table at the end of the level, so we are now 8-handed.

Level 6 (300/600 Limit) 5425 - Ended on Razz #7. I won a small half pot in Omaha-8 with a 24 Low. In Razz, I won two pots with decent hands. First was with (65)7 5 when the other player was dealt a J on 4th Street. The other hand was me getting an 8632A on 5th street against someone who had a good board but paired up. I did show that I made the 8-Low.
But... I got a little over aggressive when I 3-Bet against two players with (KJ)A. Eventually one of the players folded, but the other hung around. My board didn't get that much better, so I did some checking as well as betting. Finally on 7th, I bet blind before I was dealt the card hoping he would miss. But he said, "Well, I got a 7, so I guess I gotta call." It probably wasn't the smartest move to 3-Bet with a KJ in the hole. But if he was reluctantly calling with a 7-Low in Razz, then naked aggression is the right strategy. I just need to pick my spots a little better.

Level 7 (400/800 Limit) 7875 - Ended on Stud-8 #2. Our Dealer was rather inexperienced, and lost count during the rounds. We ended up playing extra Razz and Stud hands. I had a very active Stud round. I got AA twice and JJ once, and won all three. In my one bad hand, I brought it in with (32)4. A Jack completed, and I called. 4th Street was (32)4 5, so I called his bet. By 6th Street, all I had was a Pair of 4. His board was J A 6 A. I folded since he had half of my Straight outs.

Level 8 (600/1200 Limit) 4500 - Ended on Hold'em #5. Our table broke in the middle of the Level. We were playing Hold'em, but the new table was on Stud-8. At the first table, I was in a bizarre Stud-8 hand that involve both of us having 9 9 showing on 4th Street. I didn't improve, and folded on 6th Street.
At the new table, I eliminated a player in Hold'em. He went All-In for 1100. I was the BB with 85o, and made the crying call for 500 more. He had K9d, and I flopped an 8.

BREAK - There are 15 players left. I'm going into the "Get Lucky" stage of the tournament. I need to catch a few hands, and not screw up. Shouldn't be a problem.

Level 9 (800/1600 Limit) 0 - In Omaha-8, I was the SB, and it folded to me. I called with KJ62. The BB checked. Flop was Js 9s 2s. We both checked. Turn [Js 9s 2s] 7s. I bet 1600, and the BB raised. I only have 1300 left. It looks like I pot-committed myself, so I take the plunge with Two Pair. He shows the Nut Flush (A8s), and I miss my four outer. I finish in 14th place.

I still have never cashed in a Non TV-Poker casino tournament. I don't know if it's because I'm doing something wrong, or it's because Limit tournaments are a little more reliant on Luck because you need to catch cards. I do know from reading previous Running Logs that I have gotten into trouble by trying to steal Blinds in a Limit tournament. I was trying not to be over aggressive today, except for the Razz, and I'm overall pleased with my play today. Certainly not perfect, but I played as well as the other players in the tournament.

Also, I played some $1/$2 earlier in the day, and won $251 in three hours. So this tournament was essentially a freeroll.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hand Of The Day #62

$1/$3 NLHE - Atlantis Casino - 12.3.10

As usual, there was a bunch of limpers at this passive table. I'm on the Button with As Jh. If I do my standard raise to $11, then I will probably get five or six callers. So I decide to just limp in, and see a Flop with seven or eight players.

Flop Kc Kh Td. Everyone checks around to me. I know that at least one of the eight players has a King, and there's a good chance that both of the remaining Kings are out there. So there's no point stabbing at this pot with just a Broadway draw. Check.

Turn [Kc Kh Td] Qc. The SB leads out for $10. Two players call (UTG+1 and Mid). I decide to make a small raise to $25 with my Straight. But if anyone raises, I will probably fold. I can beat a King, but I can't beat KT, KQ or TT. However, all three players just called.

River [Kc Kh Td Qc] 3s. SB checks. UTG+1 bets $50. Mid folds. I just call, assuming that I'm gonna see a Full House. SB thinks for a bit, and reluctantly calls. UTG+1 shows J9c for a K-high Straight. SB shows Ks 5h. I show my AJ, and scoop a nice pot.

After the hand, there was the usual table talk about the hand. And an interesting question popped up. What would I have done if it checked to me on the River?

At the time, I really wasn't sure what to do with four players still in on the River. After pondering for a bit, I think the proper move would have been to make a small Value Bet (around $40 I guess), and then fold to anything larger than a min-raise.

I know that in my last Hand Of The Day, I said that you should check in a "Way Ahead or Way Behind" situation. But this is a slightly different situation. I certainly could be crushed by KQ, KT, K3, or TT. But I'm ahead of many more hands, like any other King, J9, QJ, JT, AQ, or a Flush Draw. This is a perfect spot to do a Bet/Fold, which is making a Value Bet, and then folding when someone check-raises me. Nobody that doesn't have a Full House will check-raise on that Board with four players still in the hand on the River.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hand Of The Day #61

$1/$2 NLHE - Grand Sierra - 11.19.10

I raise to $7 in Mid position with AKo. Five players see a Flop of Ad Qc 4d. It checks to me, and I bet $20. Only the SB calls, a 70's gentleman who's on the Nitty side.

Turn [Ad Qc 4d] Ks. He checks. I bet $30, and I've got about $150 behind ($100 in Green, and $50 in Red chips). He glances at my stack, and says, "All-In. No...wait. I call." The Dealer lets him just call, and deals the River Card.

River [Ad Qc 4d Ks] 3c. He checks. OK, this is a really weird situation. The time between "All-In. No...wait. I call." and him checking the River card was rather short. It all happened very quickly, and it caught me off guard. I thought that when a player says All-In, it meant All-In. But as I said in my last blog entry, Regulars who play in a room every day don't have to follow the same rules that other players do. I'm tempted to complain about this, but I know it's too late.

So why did this 70's gentleman do a "Pump Fake" against me? There is no chance that this is some sort of a Angle Shot. He's on the Nitty side, and Nits don't shoot angles at the table. I think that he didn't notice my four Green chips at first, and was willing to put me All-In for $50 more, but not $150 more.

Since I have Top Two Pair, I decide to go All-In to look like I missed the Flush Draw. He snap-called with QQ for a flopped Set.

I could just chalk this up to a cooler, but the truth is that I made a mistake in this hand. That mistake was not finishing my thought process before I shoved my chips in the pot. What hand was he willing to check-raise me All-In for? It can't be a Draw. Nits don't shove All-In on Draws, even Combo Draws like KJd.

So he would have to have a Made Hand like a Set (AA, KK, QQ, 44), Two Pair (AK, AQ, A4), or a Straight (JT). I doubt he has AA, because even Nits 3-Bet with AA preflop. KK is doubtful because he would have folded with the A on the Flop. JT is doubtful because he would not have Pump Faked with the Nuts.

That leaves QQ, 44, AK, AQ, and A4. AK and A4 are less likely, since I already have AK and I doubt he would play A4 unless it was suited.

So of the three likely hands (QQ, 44, and AQ), I'm ahead of one, and behind two of them. Even if I factor in AK and A4, I'm still 2-2-1 against his range. This is clearly a case of "Way Ahead or Way Behind". When you're not sure if either you're crushing somebody or they're crushing you, then the best action is to Check. And that's what I should have done is this situation.

I don't think it's donk-o-riffic to get stacked off in a cooler. But if I ever want to be a Good player, then I need to be able to lose the minimum when the deck is stacked against me. And I certainly didn't do that in this hand.