Monday, February 28, 2011

Hand Of The Day #67

Peppermill - $1/$2 NLHE - 02.23.11
Atlantis - $2/$3 NLHE - 02.25.11

This Hand Of The Day is actually two different hands from two different sessions that were two days apart. They are essentially the same hand.

Hand #1 (Peppermill): A $7 Straddle pot. It folds to the SB who calls the Straddle. I'm the BB, and I call the $7 with AKo. The Straddle is a tight, solid player. He goes All-In for around $230. The SB folds, and it's my turn.

Hand #2 (Atlantis): I'm UTG+1, and I limp for $3 with AKo. The very next player is a Super Nit. He bought in for $100, and is spending more time watching a movie on his phone than watching the action at the table. He has won a few pots, and now he goes All-In for around $220. It folds around to me.

First, I want to say why I limped with AK. Everyone knows that AK is a strong hand, but it's often misplayed. I feel that it's a great hand if you're in position, or you're on a shortstack. But if you're out of position with a chip stack, then it's rather tricky to play. I prefer to play it passively out of position. If I totally airball the Flop, then I've only invested a Big Blind and it's an easy fold. If I call someone's raise, and hit the Flop, then I have some deception against what is hopefully a smaller A or K. I know that not everyone agrees with me on this, but it's my style of play and it's worked well for me.

I also limped in the Straddle pot just in case the Straddle got frisky, and made a raise with less than premium holdings.

I ended up calling both of the All-Ins rather quickly, and tabled my hand. I had the Straddle easily covered in Hand #1, but I only had $193 in Hand #2.

The reason for the quick call was due to their range of starting hands. I have never seen a Super Nit push a decent-sized stack All-In with AA or KK. Even a Super Nit wants to get a little action with the two premium starting hands. But with the next tier of starting hands, it's a different story. How many times have you seen a player just overshove All-In with JJ, and then say, "I hate Jacks," while showing them? Or even AK? They are scared to see a Flop with what many of us consider a quality hand, so they just shove it All-In, happy to not lose any money with those "scary" hands. I figured that both of the players had a hand range like QQ, JJ, TT, AK, or AQ. Since I'm either flipping with them, or I have them crushed, why not call?

The results of both hands were the same; I won. With the first hand, I hit the K on the Turn. He didn't show his hand, but he said he had QQ. With the second one, I flopped a K, and rivered an A. He said that he couldn't beat Two Pair, and mucked his hand without showing.

I will never understand the mentally of players who make plays like this. In a tournament, I can understand it in spots where you just want to win the Blinds and Antes. But a Cash game should be all about getting value for your hand, and not winning $14 in Hand #1 (both Blinds with the $7 Straddle), or $8 in Hand #2 ($2 SB + $3 BB + my $3 limp). This type of play is called a Zero Play. It happens when you make a play that will only get called by a hand that has you beat (or a Coin Flip, in this case). And then they start to go on-and-on about how unlucky they were, when they put themselves in a spot they didn't need to be in.

Nits never learn.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's Tournament Time

If you look to the left side of the screen, you'll see a list of local tournament series. Over the next month or so, there are a whole bunch of them, and they even overlap some weekends.

Grand Sierra's World Poker Challenge just started this week, and it's arguably the biggest one of the year for Reno. The Main Event used to be a WPT event, and it still gets a good number of visitors from Las Vegas, California, and other surrounding states. In the parking lot, I even saw license plates from Mississippi and Florida.

Unfortunately due to working six days a week and almost ten hours a day, I only get to play in tournament on Sundays, preferably in the Noon event so it doesn't go too deep into the night. As it turns out, the Sunday at Noon events for the World Poker Challenge are $330 Mixed Game events, HORSE and Omaha-8. Even though I love playing Mixed Games, I won't be playing in either of these. Since I've never cashed in a Mixed Games casino tournament, I've decided to limit my buy-ins to $200 for these events until I finally get lucky good enough to cash in one.

Even though I can't play in the tournaments, these series make for great Cash games. Since there are so many visitors in town, there are more Cash games tables running, and it's the only time that I can count on a $3/$5 NL game in Reno.

I walked into the Grand Sierra last just before 7pm. The Poker Room was packed, as six of the seven tables were full. They also have a separate tournament area outside the Poker Room with 30-40 tables. They had two different tournaments running, along with some extra Cash tables.

Most of the tables were $1/$2, but there was a $5/$10/$20 NL game running with a decent list. The minimum buy-in was $1000. That games is too big for me, but I did recognize a couple of local players. I sat down at a $1/$2 table, and put my name on the $3/$5 interest list.

I was only at the $1/$2 table for an hour before the $3/$5 started, and I won $397. It all came from three consecutive hands. First was me in the BB with 75s, flopping Two Pair, and winning a decent pot. The next hand was raised to $6 by a Mid player. One or two players called. I'm the SB with AA, and 3-Bet to $20. Mid and Button called. Flop was J 8 8. I bet all three Streets, including $100 on the River. The Button called the whole way with what I can only assume was Top Pair. As I'm still stacking the chips, I get dealt AQs on the Button, and called a $12 raise. I flopped the Nut Flush draw, and raised his $20 bet to $50. The Turn was a Q, so I kept betting, and won another sweet pot.

Since I'm now virtually on a Freeroll, I was very happy to go to the $3/$5 table. The table was ridiculously tight in the beginning. I was rather card dead to start out, so I didn't mind. Eventually, I had some playable hands, and started slowly chipping up.

I was close to $100 profit when I got dealt KK in the Hyjack, and raised to my standard $15. The SB raised to $40. He's the closest thing to an Action Guy that this table had. He did a decent amount of preflop raising, usually to $10 or $15. The BB called the $40, and had around $100 behind. I grabbed the chips to call the extra $25 along with another stack of Red, and made it $140. The SB thought for a bit, and folded. The BB quickly called with her last $95 and showed JJ. Naturally, since she had only two outs, she's gonna hit both of them for Quads. Grand Sierra has Progressive High Hand Bonuses, and the Quad Jack were at $361. This was definitely annoying for me, as it was like salt in the wound. But it was much worse for someone else. About an hour later, someone at a different table hit Quad Jacks. He won $20, which was where the High Hand Bonus was reset. Now that's a Bad Beat.

I kept hanging around the even mark for a while, and started getting tired. I decided to leave at 11pm, and fortunately I won two sweet pots before I left. The first one was raised by a Nit in the Cutoff to $10. I called on the Button with 74o. Four players saw a Flop of 4 4 3. Both Blinds checked, and so did the Nit. I bet $25, and the Blinds folded. The Nit quickly and loudly said "All-In" for around $200. Naturally, I called. I assume that he had something in the 77 - 99 range, and he missed his 2-outer. It was rather obvious that he was pissed that I called his raise with 7-high. But if he made a "real" raise, then I would have folded. Nits never learn.

The other hand was me limping in the Hyjack with Q8d. The "Action Guy" from the KK hand raised to $15 in the SB. I called, along with the Button. Flop was Kd Td 9d. He bet $25. I raised to $60 with my Flush, and the Button folded. He shipped it for around $225, and I called. He had 99 for Bottom Set, and missed his Full House Draw. I left the table at 11pm up $427.

Overall, I played four hours of poker, and won $824. That's a damn fine night, especially considering my history at the Grand Sierra.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Honoring Washington, Lincoln, and Jackson

(Before you start reading this, let the dog outside, take a quick visit to the bathroom, and grab a snack along with a cool, refreshing beverage. This is loooong post.)

3:10 - I walk into the Eldorado Poker Room on Monday afternoon. (It's President's Day, and I have the day off.) There is one table of $1/$2 and a list with five names on it. I become player #6, and the Floorman says they will be calling a new table soon.

3:50 - I'm tired of waiting, and I've wasted $100 in a Video Poker machine. I go up to the desk to tell him that I'm leaving, but he says that he's calling the List right now to start the 2nd table. I decide to stick around, but I know the game won't start. I've been here for 40 minutes, and there are plenty of names that were here long before I got here. The List is stale, and many of those players have left the casino. It happens regularly at the Eldorado.

Naturally, I was right. Only four players showed up, and one of them was a Dealer in this room. While we're waiting to see if a fifth player might show up, a seat opens up at the first table. The Dealer takes the open seat, and our 2nd table is officially dead. This seemed very odd to me, so I asked the Floorman the obvious question, "Why does a Dealer get an open seat over a Customer?"

"Because he was the first name on the List," said the Floorman.

"So?", I said. "He's an employee who's in uniform. It looks really bad that you would rather give an open seat to an employee rather than a paying customer."

The Floorman didn't say anything, and walked away.


4:00 - I walked out of the room, and headed to some other Downtown rooms to see if I could find a game that actually wanted a customer. I went to Silver Legacy, but they had no games.  Next was Sands Regency, but they only had one table with all White chips on it. I then headed to Harrah's, figuring they would have a $1/$2 table running. I was right.

4:25 $220 - I'm the 8th player at the table, and I have the table covered with my buy-in. I think the next biggest stack is around $150 with half of the table under $100. I expect there to be a lot of limping, checking, and min-raises in my future.

5:00 $125 - Well, I was right about this table. Everyone is super passive, and not betting their hands. I really haven't had much to play with. My first pot was me betting $7 from the Button with Bottom Pair (3) on the Flop. Only the SB called. I bet $15 on the Turn, and $20 on the River. He called both times with 2nd Pair on the Flop (5). (Right Click - Notes - "Calling Station") Other hands involved me stabbing at pots against various players who kept hitting Two Pair or Better, including the Calling Station.

We are now five handed, and I don't see this game lasting much longer.

5:30 $122 - I finally won a decent pot. I had 96o in the SB of a limp pot. I flopped Top Pair (6), bet $5, and got two callers. The Turn gave me Two Pair. I bet $10, and they both called. The River was a 6. I bet $15, and they both reluctantly called.

We lost more players, and are down to three. The Floor grabs some Shill money, and sits in the game to try to keep it alive. He only posted the single $1 Blind, and never played a hand. Once, he accidentally flipped his hand over, A9d. He would have flopped a Pair + Nut Flush Draw. (At Harrah's, when the table gets shorthanded, they only post a $1 Big Blind. It's still $2 to enter the pot.)

The three of us are playing small pots, but the Calling Station is the only one who seems to be catching cards. I finally started to not believe him, and called a $20 River Bet from him when I just had Top Pair (K - K9o). He had hit the Nut Straight on the Turn.

Shortly after that hand, the third player at the table goes busto to the Calling Station, and our game breaks. I've been wanting to play more at Harrah's so I can build up some Points for my Las Vegas trip in June. So I decide to grab a quick bite to eat, and play in the 6pm tournament.

"Shuffle Up & Deal" 6000 - Tonight's tournament is a $65 Bounty tournament ($10 Bounty) with 15 minute levels. We are starting with 10 players, but 11 stacks crammed at the table. I hate when a Poker Room does this, and it's common in Reno. The Rooms would rather squeeze 11 or more players at one table, instead of starting with two short handed tables. They keep the other Dealer at an empty Cash table that has no prayer of starting up until some of the tourney players bust out.

And speaking of "hating", I really don't like small bounty tournaments. Bounty tourneys are great with a larger field because players can win money without cashing. They are really popular in the Home Games that I used to run, where we had 35 or more players. But in these small, one-table tourneys, most of the Bounties go to the players who end up cashing. I would have to knock out seven players to get my buy-in back. If I knock out seven players, I will win the tourney. So why bother doing it?

End of Level 1 (25/50) 5850 - We now have 11 players. There are a few No0bs here, and the play has been, well... interesting. There were three separate preflop raises to 1000, and one to 500. All of them were called.

Since this is a one-table tournament, I'm going with the standard Sit-N-Go strategy of "Tight Early, Aggro Later". This means I haven't played a hand yet.

Level 2 (50/100) 5850 - The play at this table is still on the "Huh?" side. The preflop raises have calmed down to the 500 range. There was two All-Ins preflop; one for 2300 and another for 4400. Neither was called.

It's been easy for me to stay patient with the steady flow of Baby Face cards that I've been getting dealt. The only hand that I played was me getting a Walk in the BB, which is why I didn't lose any chips this level.

Level 3 (100/200) 5500 - We still have 11 players, which is odd for a Bounty tournament. My cards have improved to Baby Aces, which is still not playable at an 11-handed table. The only playable hand I saw was 88, but I was UTG, so it was an easy fold.

Level 4 (200/400) 16400 - First hand of the Level, I raise to 1000 in the Hyjack with AKo. Only the SB called. The Flop was AJ5. He checked, and I decided to try to trap him by checking. Turn [AJ5] A. He checked. I bet 1500, and he called. River [AJ5 A] 7. I go All-In for 3000. He quickly called with QJd. Sometimes, poker is easy.

Later, I limp UTG+1 with AKo, hoping that a shortstack will raise. Two other players limp in. The BB goes All-In for 800, a min-raise. I back-raise All-In, and the limpers fold. BB has 43c, and missed everything for Bounty #1.

Last hand of the level, an active No0b limps in Mid. I'm the SB with AKo (yes, three times in 15 minutes). I decide to limp, and three players see a Flop of Qd Jd Jc. The BB and I check. No0b bet 400, and I'm the only caller. The Turn was [Qd Jd Jc] 5s. I check, and he did as well. The River was [Qd Jd Jc 5c] Ts. Bingo! I bet 1500 with my Broadway. No0b raised to 3000. Now I know he has a J, but I don't know if he has a Full House. I just call, and he proudly shows J6h for Trips. Sometimes, poker is easy.

BREAK - We are down to 7 handed. I'm one of two Chip Leaders. The other one is on my Left+1.

Level 5 (400/800) 19200 - The only hand I played was me squeezing with AJo from the SB. I thought one of the Shortstacks would call, but they didn't. 

I'm now the comfortable Chip Leader. The other Big Stack made some rather loose calls, and wasted half of his stack.

Level 6 (500/1000) 20000 - We are down to 6 handed. The only hand I played was raising to 2500 with Ks Qh, and both Blinds called. Flop was Ad 9d 4d. They both checked, so I bet enough to put either of them All-In. Fortunately, they quickly folded. I decided to show the bluff.

Level 7 (1000/2000) 33000 - It folded to the Button, who min-raised to 4k and he has 4k behind. The SB went All-In for 6k. I'm the BB, and look at 85o. Doing the Math, I need to call 6k to win 16k plus two Bounties. I decide to gamble by going All-In and the Button calls with 22. The SB has A4o. There's an 8 on the Flop, and I collect Bounty #2 and Bounty #3. The next hand. the J6 No0b went All-In for 6k. I'm in the SB, look down at KK, and say "Hello!" to Bounty #4. We're down to 3-handed.

Level 8 (2000/4000) 18000 - 3-handed play goes on for a while with no big hands. I'm trying to stay patient, but I'm slowly bleeding chips with the Blinds this high. Through these small pots, I loose the chip lead to a young lady who's a No0b. She finally gets into a Coin Flip with the other player who's the former Big Stack. She has 99, and he has AQ. An Ace hit the Flop, but a 9 on the River pops the Bubble, and she gets her first Bounty.

Before the Dealer pushed the Pot to her, she asked, "Do you want to split the money?" I'm trying to cut down on the number of chops that I do in these tournaments. But she has a chip lead of more than 2-1. If the Blinds were lower, I would rather play it out since she's a No0b. I've got under 5 Big Blinds, so one little mistake would mean I get 2nd. A even-money chop is just too good of equity to say 'No'. We chop the $440 prize pool, and we each get our own Bounty, #5 for me.

I know that I just said that I don't like small Bounty tournament, but I think this proves my point. The two of us got 7 out of 11 Bounties. If we add the Bounties back into the prizepool, it would be $550, or $275 each. With my five $10 Bounties, I left the table with $270.

8:20 $220 - If you play in the Cash game for one hour after the tournament, Harrah's will give you $10 and a coupon for 1000 chips in a future tournament. So I sit down as Player #6, and once again, I have to table covered. The next largest stack is around $130. The J6 No0b is on the other end of the table, and has around $60. I'm only planning on being here until 10pm, so hopefully this quickie session will go better than the afternoon quickie session.

9:00 $316 - We're down to five players, as the No0b busted. He was still very active, but I didn't get any of his money.

The pots have been small as expected, but things are going much better for me. Two noteworthy hands. First was a $70 stack raised to $12 from the Hyjack. The SB called. I'm the BB with 55. I make the reluctant call, even though neither player has many chips for me to win if I hit my Set. Flop was Q-high with a Flush Draw. The SB and I check. The Hyjack bet $10, and the SB folds. As I've mentioned various times before, that bet means Weak. I decide to check-raise to $25. He thinks for almost a minute before folding.

Second hand was me having 76o in the SB on a Board of 998 T. I lead out on Turn for $5. Two players called, and the Button raised to $10. Having the bad end of the Straight, and being out of position, I just call. The other two players also call. River [998 T] K. We check, and the Button bets $15. I call, and so does another player. Button shows A9 for Trips, and the other player shows KJ. Ship it!

9:30 $201 - Things went sour for me. I ended up paying off two shortstacks who had AA and KK in different hands. We are now a full 10-handed table. I'm getting tired, so hopefully my last two orbits will be profitable.

10:10 $276 - My cards were relative quiet, but the action was good at the table. I got all my money in one hand. There were a few limpers, and I raise to $7 from the Hyjack with KJo. The Button called. The SB raised to $11, but the Dealer said he had to make it $12. Most of the limpers call. I 4-Bet to $60, to either win the pot, or get heads-up. Everyone folded, except the SB who called and a Shortstack who called for his last $35. The Flop is J-high, and the SB checked. I ship it All-In for $143, and the SB folds rather quickly. I show my hand, much to the surprise of the table. The Shortstack has 77, but misses his 2-outer.

I also played another hand that I could have won with a $40 Hero Call on the River against a traveling player who just arrived in town for the various tournament series that are starting this week. But I wimped out because my Hero Call Winning Percentage (or HCW% for you internet geeks) sucks lately. I know that I don't have win even half of my Hero Calls for it to be profitable, but I'm way below that over the last few months.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rants & Raves: If I Ran A Poker Room

Like many Poker players, I have often thought, "I could run this Poker Room much better than these dweebs (especially at Greektown)." Well, here is how I would do it. Keep in mind, everything that I'm saying would need to be in compliance with State regulations.

I'm going to do this in multiple Blog entries. This one will be concerning general things about the room. There will be one about Tournaments, and one or two about Cash games.

- Tables: The tables will be nine handed. I much prefer nine handed, although I know the Super Nits will bitch and moan about it. It allows for some elbow room, and we can always squeeze in the tenth player if necessary.

The tables will have cup holders built it. I've never been a fan of those cheap ones that you slide under the rail.

The tables will have a Betting Line, and it will be enforced. If any chips cross the Line, then an action must occur, either a bet, a call, or a raise. In some places (Greektown and Blue Chip, for example), any chips that cross the line must stay in the pot, even if they're just in your hand. To me, that is a horrible rule that just punishes newer players, and it can easily be used for angle shooting as well.

- Food & Drink: There will be food and drink available for players. I love the set-up at Motor City. They have a drink station that you can get self-serve pop, coffee, and bottled water. They also have some munchies and sandwiches to grab. Having the drinks available for the players to grab will reduce the number of cocktail waitresses the room will need.

Eating at the table will be allowed, and a menu will be available for the Poker Room. This will depend on if there is a restaurant near the Poker Room.

- Rules: As most players know, it can be frustrating that the Rules can be different from one Poker Room to another. It's even more frustrating when the Rules vary within the Poker Room, depending on which Dealer or Floorperson you talk to. This is something that I would try to fix.

The enforcement of the Rules will vary depending on the level of the game. Smaller games, like $2/$4 Limit or $1/$1 NL are for newer players. Warnings will be given out about things like "acting out of turn", string bets, or "one chip is a call". If they keep doing these infractions, then they will be enforced.

There will be a Rules Book at the Desk that Floorpeople and players can use as a reference. The Rules Book will be made by us, will have examples, and will be updated when necessary. There will also be sign or pamphlet that will highlight various House Rules like Straddles, Buying the Button, Kill Pots, etc. There will not be any pointless Rules like "Checking and Raising is allowed."

There will also be a Log Book for Floorpersons to write down all rulings that are given during the day. This way all employees will see what ruling have been made, and keep things consistent.

But the #1 Rule to be enforced comes from the Robert's Rules of Poker: "Management reserves the right to make decisions in the spirit of fairness, even if a strict interpretation of the rules may indicate a different ruling." Rules are in place to provide a fair game for everyone, and not for Old Timers to make angle shots against the newer players who don't know better (like they do in Detroit).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Day At The Races

I played in three daily tournaments on Sunday. Here's what happened:

Harrah's $45 11am 10am: I got to Harrah's about 10:10 in the morning. I was gonna walk over to the Poker Room to register for the 11am tourney, and head up to the buffet for some breakfast. However, as I walked towards the room, I noticed that two tables were running. As it turned out, they changed their schedule since I was here a month ago, and the tourney started at 10am. I got into the tourney one hand before late registration ended as the 16th player.

The players got knocked rather quickly including two different double eliminations, and it only took around 30 minutes to combine to one table. I helped out by knocking out a lady with my AQ. I raised preflop, c-bet the Flop, bet again when I hit the A on the Turn, and went All-In on the River. She called the whole way, but she didn't show her hand.

At the Final Table, I was 2nd in chips. The Chip leader was from my table, and he seemed to have a clue about the game. Unfortunately, he got seated on my Left+1.

Even though there was some short stacks, it didn't take long for us to get into a big pot. It folded to me in the Cutoff, and I raised with KTh (sorry, I don't remember the specific amounts and blinds). Only the Chip Leader called from the SB. The Flop was 8-high with two Hearts. He checked. I bet. He check-raised. I insta-shiped all in with just a Flush Draw and two Overcards.

The reason for the All-In was from a few hands earlier. A Shortstack moved All-In. The Chip Leader considered making a thin call, but said that making those calls is a good way to blow a chip lead. I took this to mean that he would fold to an All-In, but I was wrong. He called rather quickly, which I didn't like. I turned over my Draw, and he got that "Are you kidding me?" look on his face. He turn over QJh for a Flush Draw and two Overcards. The Turn and River were bricks, and I win a monster pot with K-high.

Since I had such a monster stack with eight players left, I went into Lockdown mode. There was no reason for me to play without a "real" hand, and I did pick-up a few hands. When we got to the first break, there were only five players left. I had over 21k, which was more than half of the chips in play.

I stayed in Lockdown mode, waiting to get to the money. When it was four handed (400/800 level), I got into a big hand. It folded to the SB who just limped. It was a lady who had knocked out a few players, and was second in chips. I just checked my option with K9o. The Flop was K 4 3. She bet 1000, and I called. Turn [K 4 3] 9. She bet 2000. I think she has a real hand like Two Pair, so I min-raise to 4000 with my Top Two Pair. She just calls. River [K 4 3 9] T. She quickly goes All-In for 7500, and I call. She shows KT for a rivered Two Pair.

Suddenly, my monster stack is down to around 6500. I now have to go from Lockdown mode to Steal mode. Fortunately, the other two player were Super Nits and on my Left. I was able to slowly grind back my stack. When we got to three handed, we did a quick chip count. The Chip Leader had just over 25k, I had 16k, and the third player was under 5k. It didn't take long to get rid of the shortstack.

Only two players got paid, and the Floor brought over the payouts. The payouts were 65% & 35%, which was $312 and $168 for a prize pool of $480. I suggested a tweak to the payouts since we were close in chips; $200 each and play for the $80. She agreed.

Heads-up didn't last long, as I made short work of her. I got a good chunk of her chips when I raised with 93o on the Button. I hit nothing on the Flop, and bet the Flop and Turn. I backed into a K-high Straight by the River, but she didn't call my value bet. The match ended a few hands later. She was quite happy to get the $200, and I was quite happy to get another notch on my belt, even if it was a small notch.

Peppermill $65 1pm: When I got to the Peppermill at 12:50, there was a long line for tourney registration. As it turned out, this tourney got 70 players, which was huge for a daily tournament in Reno. I had some good, some bad, and some ugly. I finished in 27th place.

Peppermill $95 (Cash Me Out) 6:30pm: This tourney had a more reasonable field of 42. I got down to the final two table when this hand happened. I raised to 4000 in the 700/1500/200 level with AK. Only one of the Blinds called. The Flop was K-high. He checked, and so did I. The Flop was rather dry, and it was good one to trap with. The Turn was a Ten. He bet out 3000, which was about 40% of his stack. I grabbed my stack of 1k chips, and pushed them foward. He though for a bit, and reluctantly called with AQ. As you can guess, the River was a Jack, giving him Broadway. This left me with 3500, and I was out two hands later in 14th place.

It's hard to complain about the 4-outer. I've been really good at avoiding the 2, 3, and 4-outers lately, so I was kinda due for one. But still, Ouch! That hand would have put in decent shape to make it to the Final Table where I can work my magic.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hand Of The Day #66

$6/$12 Limit Hold'em - Atlantis - 02.05.11

A couple of limpers, including me in the Hyjack with JTh. The BB raised ($12). He's a regular Limit player around Reno, and one of the few Limit players that I respect. I call, along with two other players.

Flop: Kh Qh Jc. The BB bet ($6). It folds to me, and I raise ($12) with a Pair + Royal Flush Draw. Only the BB called. He then checked "In The Dark", which is something that he does regularly. Since I have such great equity in this pot, I bet ($12) "In The Dark".

Turn: [Kh Qh Jc] Ah. The BB raises ($24). Is there a better feeling in Poker than holding a Royal Flush (or Straight Flush or Quads), and having somebody say "Raise"? Since this is a Heads-Up pot, there is no reason to slow play. I 3-Bet ($36), and he calls.

River: [Kh Qh Jc Ah] 6s. He checks, and puts $12 over the Line to call. For those who don't play Limit, this is a common practice in spots where you're just gonna Check & Call when it's Heads-Up by the River. I say, "I bet, and I have a Royal". He shows As Qd for Two Pair. He said that he didn't notice the 3rd Heart when he raised on the Turn.

Had an A came on the River, that would have qualified for their $1000 Bad Beat Jackpot, with him getting $700 for losing, and me getting $300 for winning. It would have also made for some interesting betting on the River. I imagine it would have been 4 Bets at a minimum.

So instead, I had to settle for winning the $400 High Hand Bonus for my first ever Live Royal Flush. This is somewhat of a "Bad Beat" for me. Every room in Reno has a High Hand Bonus, and the $400 for the Royal is among the lowest. Grand Sierra has  progressive bonuses for all of there hands that is capped at $599. The Peppermill also has progressive bonuses that are capped at $2000 for a Royal.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

February News & Notes

Last month, I did a News & Notes to update how things are going with me. I've decided to add this to the Blog as a monthly feature.

- If you've been paying attention to the various Blog entries, you've noticed that I've been on a quite a hot streak since the middle of December. Although, it's seems to cooling off a bit. I haven't cashed in my last four tournaments (brutal, I know).

I've said before, "The Skill in Poker is winning more when Luck is good, and losing less when Luck is bad." Well, lately have been winning a lot more, and the money is piling up. My bankroll is the largest it's ever been by a comfortable margin.

- The 7-Card Bingo Experience is essentially over. Not because I've mastered Limit Hold'em, nor because I've given up on it. With my current bankroll, I can sit down at any game in Reno. So I will just walk into the Poker Room, and play in a game with an open seat. Sometimes it will be a big game, and sometimes it will be smaller. Last night, I played $6/$12 Limit Hold'em at Atlantis (-$48, 4.0 hrs).

- I have cut way down on the number of days per week that I'm playing Poker. There is a very good reason for this, and her name is Anna. I met her at The Nugget while playing $3/$6 (+$160, in case you were wondering). We've been dating for about a month, and it's going well. We are heading out today to check out some of the "Big Game" parties that the various Poker Rooms are hosting.

- And speaking of the "Big Game", I've got all my bets placed. I've got $50 on Pittsburgh +120 and a $40 Parlay with Pittsburgh +120 & Under 45.5. I know that as a life-long Cleveland resident, it should be physically impossible for me to bet on the Steelers, but business is business.

I don't understand why Green Bay is the favorite. I know Rodgers has had a good playoff, but he's not up against Jay Cutler this week. Worthlessburger is as good as Rodgers, if not better. The Steelers are just a better, more balanced, and more experienced team. I feel they won the Super Bowl when the Patriots lost to the Jets.

As for my bets, the $50 bet will pay $60 profit, and the $40 parlay will pay $128 profit. So even if Pittsburgh wins, but the game goes Over, then I still win $20. Overall, I'm betting $90 to win $188. Which means that I'm getting 2-1 on my money in a game that many "experts" consider to be a coin flip. That sounds good to me.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hand Of The Day #65

Peppermill - 01.26.11 - Tournament Level 700/1500/200

The evening tournament is down to two tables, and my table is nutso. Players are overshoving All-In with a wide variety of hands, and getting called by a wider range of hands. I've been card dead, so I'm trying to stay patient while waiting for an opportunity.

In this hand, we are eight handed. In a rare occurrence, four players limped, and so did the SB. I'm the BB, and this was an opportunity that I'd been waiting for. I squeezed All-In for 13600. UTG (a 60's lady) insta-ships her stack of around 25k. (Crap! The first player is always the one you need to worry about when doing a Squeeze Play.) Everyone else folded.

I reluctantly show my hand, 32o (Yes, I did look before I shoved.) She proudly shows 33. Other players were not happy about this, and said they folded hands like 88 and KQ. Of course, I'm wondering why they just limped with those hands at this stage of the tournament, but I didn't say anything.

The Flop had a Pair on it, which was great for me. If the Board ends up with Two Pair, we will chop. I picked up a Gutshot on the Turn, but the River was of no help to me. I finished in 15th place out of 50 players.

Was it a mistake to do a Squeeze Play when the table was playing so loose and crazy? Maybe, but I only had 9BB left and the levels are just 15 minutes long. So picking up the extra 5BB + Antes was worth the risk. Folding my way to the Final Table with 16 players left was just not an option.

Hands like this are a great demonstration of the "quality" of the players in these daily tournaments. This is why these tournaments are profitable in the Long Term, but high-variance in the Short Term.