Thursday, September 29, 2011

LOL Donkaments #7

Peppermill 6:30 $95 Cash Me Out - 09.25.11

It was a small crowd for this one, as we eventually had 26 runners when the late buy-in period ended.

There was a player at my table who we will call Fred. He is a 60's gentleman with an Indian accent. He said he had never played this game before. As it turned out, Fred had no idea what this game was, or anything about the game. He didn't understand things like blinds, betting, how hands were determined, or what beat what. He seemed to think this was a table game, as he held his cards like he was at a Blackjack table, and asked the Dealer a couple of times what he should do with his cards. You can do this at various table games, like Pia-Gow. The Dealer said that he could not give Fred any advice, and he could only tell Fred what his options were. I've played a lot of home games with some very new players, but I have never played with someone who was a complete blank slate.

Once I realized what was going on with Fred, I tried to play in every pot that he was in. For example, I limped from early position with 76o because it was Fred's Big Blind. It folded around to the SB, who called. Fred min-raised to 100. Naturally, I called, but the SB folded. Flop was 4 3 2. Fred bet 50, and I called with Two Overs and a Gutshot. Turn [4 3 2] 6. Once again, he bet 50, and I called. River [4 3 2 6] 6. Now Fred goes All-In, and I quickly call. He proudly turned over AQo, and I showed my Trip 6s. The Dealer gathered up the pot, and shipped it to me. Fred didn't understand why he lost, because an Ace and a Queen are bigger than a Seven and a Six. (No, I'm not making this up. He actually said that.) The Dealer did his best to explain how the game worked, but I'm not sure that Fred got it.

However, Fred did pull out $30 to use his first rebuy, in spite of various players at the table saying that he should save his money. I was not one of those players, as I mentioned that tournaments are a good way to learn the game. One of my poker sayings is, "Tournaments are for teaching, and Cash Games are to get schooled."

On a side note, I have often been critical of the Peppermill on this blog. This is mostly because of how disorganized they are about various things. But this time, I have to give some major props to the dealers for how they handled a complete newbie at the table. The first one was a full-time dealer named Francis. He was very patient, courteous, and professional with Fred. It's a very frustrating situation for a dealer to constantly answer the same basic questions over and over, and he did a wonderful job of it. The other dealers after him also did very professional job.

Anyways, back to the action. Shortly after I got Fred's first buy-in, I limped for 100 in the Cutoff with 44 . The BB raised to 250, and I was the only caller. Flop was Kd Qh 4c. The BB bet 250 or 300. He's a 50's gentleman whom I know nothing about. I just called, as I thought the bet was weak, and I didn't want to scare him off. Turn was [Kd Qh 4c] 2d. Now the BB checked. I grabbed a 500 chip, and tossed it forward. The BB thought for a moment, and called. River was [Kd Qh 4c 2d] 7d. The BB checked again. For some reason, my Spider-Sense was tingling, as I thought that he could be slowplaying a big hand. But I had a Set, so I bet another 500 chip. The BB went All-In for around 1300 more. I thought for a little bit, and made the crying call. After all, I was up from the hand with Fred. The BB showed A8d for a backdoor Nut Flush. Nice Hand, Sir.

Play continued, but a rather slow pace due to Fred. He had tightened up, and was playing considerably less hands. But when he played, he either limped or was All-In. He hadn't figured out that you could raise something between a min-raise and everything. He was still asking a lot of questions, and slowing the game down. Eventually some of the old nits started snapping at Fred for being so slow. I was getting annoyed at the old nits for "taping on the 'tank", and almost spoke up. I didn't want to cause any problems, so I simply bit my tongue.

There was a group of guys who showed up late, and were able to buy-in. One of them was seated on my direct Right, and he bought in using all his rebuys. He's a large 40's guy, and we'll call him Larry. (By the way, I'm completely making up these names.) I remember seeing Larry earlier in the day when I was playing 3-Card Poker. He was with his buddies at a roulette table, and was very loud and rude with everyone around him. A supervisor came to that table, and warned Larry about his unfriendly language concerning the lady dealer. I could tell before he even played a hand that he was going to be a bullshit artist. And I seemed to be right, as he raised his very first hand, and took it down on the Flop. A few hands later, Larry raised again, and got one caller. Larry bet on the Flop, got called, and then put the other player All-In on the Turn. The other player called with AK, no pair. It was good as Larry had AJ, no pair.

A little later (maybe in the 100/200/25 level), Larry raised again. I had AJo, and considered a 3-Bet. But I thought that Larry might 4-Bet All-In, and I didn't want to call everything with AJ, so I just called the initial raise. The Flop was Js 9s 5s. Surprisingly, Larry checked, so I bet 800 with Top Top. Larry looked over at my stack, and pushed his big chips forward. Even though I didn't have a Spade, I insta-called. Larry had KQo (no spade) for a Gutshot, and proceeded to hit it on the River. Nice Hand, Sir.

I used my last rebuy for 4000 chips, and was rather card dead. Larry kept hitting hands, and stayed very active. Since I had position on him, I was able to stay out of his way. But the blind of 100/200/25 and 150/300/50 started eating away at my stack, and I got short-stacked.

Once again, it folded around to Larry on the Button in the 150/300/50 level. He simply grabbed some big chips, and bet them. I looked down in the SB at 76c. Not exactly premium holdings, but Larry's range is more than half the deck. I don't remember exactly how many chips I had, but I figured this was a good spot to gamble. Larry had a better hand than I expected, AJo, but I still had two live cards and a live suit. The Board ran out, and the lowest card was a 9.

I finished in 21st place, and this was the first time in quite a while that I didn't even make the first break. Fred was still at the table. He had some ups and downs, including using his last rebuy. I don't remember the specifics.

I walked out of the tourney room, and into the main poker room. It was kinda slow for a Sunday, with around five tables open. I considered just heading home, and putting an end to this losing day. But it was only 7:45pm, and I did have money in my pocket.

I walked over to the desk to see if they had any open seats. The only one was at the $1/$2 table. So I bought $300 in chips, and walked over to the table.

(To be continued...)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Family Day

This weekend should have been a great poker weekend for me. It was the $2500 Main Event of the Atlantis's WPT Regional Event. I wasn't planning on playing in the tourney, but the cash games are always better during a tournament series. It was also "Street Vibrations" this weekend. It's a city-wide festival for bikers. Various casinos had different events for the festival, with most of them centered in Downtown Reno and Sparks. Perhaps you heard about some of the special events on the news?

However, I did say "should" because I didn't play any poker at the Atlantis. Instead, I had some family come into town for the weekend. My uncle from Cleveland (the one who helped me move across the country) and his long-time girlfriend came into town on Saturday. They stayed here until Monday morning, and then drove down to San Frisco for a few days. They will be back here on Friday, and head home on Saturday.

We had dinner after I got off work on Saturday night. On Sunday, we had some breakfast, and then went for a long drive around Lake Tahoe, as they wanted to see Nevada. We went down the California side as we made our way to South Lake Tahoe. We took a quick break at Harvey's . They ended up playing a little Video Poker, and I watched the end of the Browns game (we won 17-16). We then headed to Carson City, the state capital, and then up to Virginia City, which is an Old West town.

After we got back to civilization, my uncle and I went up to the Peppermill, as he wanted to get his gamble on. I hung out with him, as it would have been rude of me to run off to the poker room. First, he wanted to play some slots that he did good with on his last visit. I played two different machines. I won $50 on the first, and lost $40 on the second.

Next, he wanted to play some 3-Card Poker. I haven't been playing 3-Card Poker in this town because the pay tables for the bonus hands suck. But, as a gracious host, I bought in for $200. Naturally, I showed off my uncanny ability to sit at any pit game with a hot dealer. Not "hot" as in attractive, but "hot" as in she couldn't miss. She hit three Flushes, a Straight, a bunch of Pairs, and some A-highs. I did get some cards, but nothing that could compete with what she was getting. It didn't take me too long to dust off my buy-in.

In fact, she wiped out the entire table, except my uncle. He wasn't winning a lot, but he wasn't losing either. He kept playing, so I just stood back and watched. They switched dealers, and the new one wasn't hitting as many hands, and actually didn't qualify a few times. My uncle didn't seem to want to quit yet, so I pulled another $100 bill out of my pocket and bought in. I wasn't getting great cards, but I was doing ok. Ultimately, I never got anything higher than a Pair. You can't win in this game without cards, and I eventually went busto. My uncle walked away from the table +$25.

We then went back to their hotel to pick-up his girlfriend, and went out to dinner. Afterwards, they dropped me back at my apartment, and went back to the hotel to rest. They were tired, as they were still on East Coast Time.

I walked through my apartment door at 6:10pm. I then remembered the Peppermill's $95 Cash Me Out tournament starts at 6:30. Since I haven't played any poker since last Sunday, I refilled my pockets with cash, and headed back to the Peppermill.

(To Be Continued...)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hand Of The Day #84

Harrah's Reno ~ $1/$2 NLHE ~ 09.18.11

I don't remember the exact details of the Preflop or Flop action. I apologize for this, as it does have some effect on the important part of the hand. But here is my best recollection...

There was a normal raise preflop ($7-$10) from a player in early position. I called in the Hyjack with 8s 7h. Four or five players saw a Flop of Qd 6h 5s. The raiser checked. I think I bet something like $20 with my Open-Ender. The Button called, and the raiser check-raised All-In for around $30-$35. Only the Button and I called.

Turn [Qd 6h 5s] 9c. Bingo! I make a value bet of $50 with my Nut Straight. The Button doesn't take too long to call. He's an Old Man, and he's been playing like an Old Man. A little on the loose side, but very on the passive side. I'm glad he called the $50, but I was a little surprised, as a $50 bet is huge for this table. I'm wondering if he just has a good Top Pair, or something stronger.

River [Qd 6h 5s 9c] 6c. Well, that's not a card I wanted to see. I was gonna bet $75, but I decided to just bet $50. He called the first $50, so hopefully he will call this one.

Well, he didn't call. Instead he said "Raise" rather forcefully. He started to play with his chips, and I went into deep thought. I hate it when Old Geezers say "Raise" on the River, because they are never, ever bluffing. Before he says his raise amount, I tell him not to bother, and show my cards, hoping that he would show his hand. He did, as he had Ac 6d for Trip 6s with an Ace kicker.


Over the years, I've learned one of the most important thing that you need to be a winning $1/$2 player is the $20 Value Bet on the River. Most $1/$2 players just want to check it down, get to showdown as cheaply as possible, and hope they have the best hand. So if you can squeeze out that extra $20 (or $10 or $50) on the River every time you have the best hand, then your win-rate will be much higher.

In order to make these thin Value Bets, you need to be able to read hands. Now I will admit that I'm not the best hand reader, but the average $1/$2 player plays their hand almost face up. So being able to follow the action, and determine when I'm 70% likely to have the best hand isn't that difficult at a typical $1/$2 table.

The other thing you need to be able to do is to Bet/Fold. Even though you willingly put money into the pot, you need to be able to fold when your opponent says "Raise". As I said, the average $1/$2 player wants to get to showdown cheaply, especially the older players. So if one of them raises on the River after you bet, then they have a monster hand.

And that goes for this guy, who raised with a hand that he thought was a monster. Now I have no clue why he was still in this hand with just A6, but I'm not gonna blame him. After all, I was the one who folded to what was probably going to be a min-raise of $50.

I have to admit that it never occurred to me that he could just have Trip 6s. If it had been the Queen that paired on the River, then Trips would seem more likely. It's certainly in his range, but at the very bottom of it.

I'm so used to having the mentality of Bet/Fold on my River Value Bets that I just assumed I was beat. And if you go back through this blog and look at the many times that I've folded on the River, I'm almost always right.

One difference in this hand compared to some of the other hands was the Board (Qd 6h 5s 9c 6c). There was no Flushes or Four Card Straights out there. It's a rather non-dramatic Board, and my Straight was somewhat hidden. That's why he thought he had the best hand. Of course, if I had Two Pair or a Set on the Turn, then his raise would be suicidal. But, again, I'm not here to criticize him.

This hand was a valuable lesson for me to not always assume that the opponent is raising with the Nuts. I need to take the texture of the Board into consideration, and figure out what hand he thinks that he has beat.

And when I say "valuable", I mean the preflop action (roughly $25-$40), plus around $100 ($30-$35 x 3) on the Flop, plus $100 ($50 x 2) on the Turn, plus $100 ($50 x 2) on the River, plus whatever he was gonna raise (probably $50-$70).


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rants & Raves: Why I Will Never Play At Eldorado Again

I've never played much at Eldorado for a couple of reasons. Going downtown is a bit of a pain for me, as well as their parking garage being so far away from the poker room. I've also had trouble getting a seat, and it was not uncommon for me to simply leave and go to other room.

I have blogged about some previous issues with the Eldorado. In How Much Tolerance Do You Give A Drunk?, the Dealers allowed some drunk kids to do whatever they wanted because one of the kids was a regular in the room. In Honoring Washington, Lincoln, and Jackson, they gave an open seat at their only $1/$2 table to one of their Dealers rather than a paying customer like me.

But the Final Straw for me was last week (Wednesday, Sept 7). I had a rare day at work when I got off at 5pm. I decided to head over to the Eldorado and play in their 6pm $55 tourney because I haven't play in that tourney for a long time.

The tourney had 15 players. It was the 4th level, 200/400, and our table had seven players. I was the BB in this hand. UTG folded. For whatever reason, UTG+1 paused, and went into thought. During the delay, the SB said Call, and tossed out a 500 chip, in addition to the 200 that was already in the pot. The Dealer told everyone to hold on, and the action was still on the UTG+1 player, who eventually raised to 1600. It folded around to the SB, and the Floor was called over by the Dealer. The situation about the SB acting out of turn was explained to the Floor, and the Floor gave his ruling.

In most poker rooms, there would be one of two rulings. Either the SB can pull his 200 call back because "action out of turn is not binding", or he has to leave the full 400 in the pot because "any money put into the pot must stay in the pot".

I said "most poker rooms" because the Floor of the Eldorado came up with a 3rd option. He said that the SB must call the full 1600 because the SB said "Call". At the start of the tourney, one of the rules that the Floor mentioned was, "Any action, physical or verbal, is binding whether it is in order or out of turn."

To me, this was one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. This goes against any logical set of poker rules, including the TDA and Robert's Rules of Poker. It's also a terrible rule because it punishes new/bad players, as they are the ones most likely to act out of turn. It also seems like a great way to angleshoot because you can act out of turn. Any rule that creates more angleshots than the rule eliminates is a terrible rule.

I wasn't the only one who was dumbfounded by this as the entire table reacted quite loudly to this ruling. We all said that it was bullshit, and asked various questions. Most of the Floor's answers were, "He shouldn't have acted out of turn." "He did say Call." "I said the rules at the start of the tournament."

This conversation between us and the Floor lasted for quite a few hands, and I ended up asking, "So if another player had moved All-In after the UTG+1 raised, then the SB would have had to call the All-In?"

"Yes, he said Call. Verbal is binding."

Now, this silliness is enough for me to never play a tournament there again, but unfortunately, it wasn't the end of sideshow by the Floor.

At the Final Table with about five players left, I was sitting in the 6 Seat. There was a Kid in the 8 Seat who pushed All-In. The noteworthy part of this hand was the Floor, who was sitting right behind the Kid. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the Floor react surprisingly when the Kid pushed All-In. The Kid was called by another player, turned over K8s, and was eliminated.

This reaction by the Floor surprised me for two reasons. First, I'm not the most observant poker player, and I really don't see things like tells. So for me to have noticed the Floor's reaction, it means that the reaction was rather dramatic.

Second, what the fuck is the Floor doing looking at players' cards, let alone reacting to them? As it turns out, this wasn't the only time he did it. For the rest of the Final Table, he kept hovering around the table, peeking at players' cards, and making comments like "Give me some chips, and I'll show you guys how to play a Big Stack."

I kept my mouth shut during this pathetic display of professionalism, which wasn't easy for me. Fortunately, I was sitting against a wall, and he wasn't able to hover around me. If had tried to look at my cards, I would have gone postal on him, saying something like, "If you try that again, I will call the Nevada Gaming Commission on you." (I would do it, too).

As it turned out, I ended up finishing 2nd place for $202. (I had the chip lead heads-up, but lost a flip, A9 v QJ.) For the first time ever in Reno, I grabbed the $202 chips, and walked out of the poker room without leaving a tip.

The complete lack of professionalism of this place doesn't deserve a tip, and they will never get my business again until I hear about some major changes in how this room is run.

The manager of the poker room is Margie Heintz. I'm not sure I've ever seen her at the Eldorado, and I doubt I could pick her out of a crowd. She has been in the poker industry for a long time, and is very well respected. She was even inducted into The Women in Poker Hall of Fame earlier this month.

Unfortunately, I have to say something rather mean about her now.

Either she is unaware that her poker room is being run with a complete lack of professionalism, and therefore has no business running a poker room. Or she believes this is the proper way to run a poker room, and therefore has no business running a poker room in 2011.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chop Pot Classic

I mentioned earlier that I was planning on playing in five events at the Peppermill's Chop Pot Classic. Well, I only played three of them. You've already heard about the first one, so here are the other two.
Since the HORSE tourney went so late, I skipped the 12p $240 Crazy Pineapple-8 on Sunday. This was a good thing for two reasons. First, I really don't care for the game. Second, they only had two tables for that one.

I did play in the 7pm $130 Stud-8 tourney, which had 31 runners. I ended up making the Final Table again. I wish I could bring you some hands, but it's really hard to remember all those cards while I'm trying to focus on the hand. Hold'em is much easier to blog about because there are only your two cards, the Board, and maybe the cards from one or two players.

When I got the Final Table, I had an average stack. I admit that the Stud games are among my weakest, due to lack of experience and I don't know the math. But the level of play in this tournament was pathetic. There was a guy, let's call him Mike, who was terrible, even though he arrived at the Final Table with one of the top stacks. He was playing 80% of the hands, and seem to be completely ignoring the Low part of the game. He would also have the chips in his hand ready to call or raise, even when the action was at the other end of the table. This was great for me because Mike was on my direct Left. When I saw he was gonna complete, I would usually fold.

Unfortunately, Mike was also having a very good day. Hence the large pile of chips he brought to the Final Table. While at the Final Table, he had three Full Houses. So there was no reason for him to slow down. It did manage to keep me from getting out of hand, and playing tight.

Eventually, I got really short-stacked. I had to wait for a quality hand to commit my chips, and it finally came (5h 4h) 7h. Even though the 6h was showing with another player, I had to go with it. Mike had the Bring-In but completed. One player called, and I raised. Mike 3-Bet, the other player folded, I raised All-In. Mike had KK. 4th Street was (5h 4h) 7h Ad, which gave me a ton of outs for both the High and Low. However, the last three cards were all bricks for my hand. I left the poker room in 4th place for $320.

On Labor Day, they had a $130 Omaha-8 at noon, and a $130 HORSE at 4pm. As expected, the Omaha had a bigger field then my other two tournament, with 49 players. Also, since this was a noon tournament, the levels were 30 minutes long instead of the 20 minutes for the evening tourneys.

I had started doing a Running Log of this tournament, but quit doing it after two levels. I just didn't feel like jotting down all those extra cards. As it turns out, I really should have done it, as I made another deep run. That's the reason I didn't play the 4pm HORSE.

Once it looked like I was probably going to make the Final Table, I did start writing down some notes and hands:

- 2k/4k level, 15 players left. I'm the Button, and raised (4k) with Ah Kh Ks Td. Four players called. I flopped Top Set, hit Top Boat on the Turn, and got two callers on the River with no Low on the Board. I have 47k chips.

- We got the Final Table of 10 players at the end of the 2k/4k level. I had 33k, which was an average stack. For whatever bizarre reason, the Peppermill decided to pay out nine spots in a tournament with 49 players, which is almost 20% of the players. Of course, since this is Reno, two of the players suggested that we pay the 10th person something. After all, they did make it to the Final Table. I normally stay quiet during these discussions because my opinions won't be popular, but I just couldn't stand it. I said that this tourney only had 49 players, and I vote we only pay six places, which would be more reasonable. That quickly killed the conversation.

- Towards the end of the 3k/6k level, eight players left. A very active player raised (6k) from UTG+1. I called from the Cutoff with Ac 3c 7h 4d, and so did the BB. Flop Qc 8c 4c. The BB and UTG+1 checked. I bet (3k) my Nut Flush and 2nd Nut Low Draw, and they both called. Turn [Qc 8c 4c] 2s. Nut Nut, Baby! They checked, I bet (6k), BB folded, and UTG+1 called. River [Qc 8c 4c 2s] 9c. UTG+1 checked, I bet (6k), he thought for a bit, and called. I just show the A3c at first. He got that "Are you serious?" look on his face. I don't know what he had, but I heard him mumble something like he only called because of the 4th Club on the River. I now have 67k chips, and am 1st or 2nd in chips.

- I knocked out the 6th and 5th place finishers, which put me around 125k chips. The 4-handed battle lasted for a while. I ended up doubling up a shortstack when they were in the BB, and check-raised me on the Flop with just Top Pair. I had another Pair, and some backdoor draws. Later, I raise from UTG with JTd 34c. He called in the BB. I flopped Middle Pair and a Club Flush Draw. Once again, he check-raised me with just Top Pair. We got it in, and I hit my Flush to knock him out. He was not happy with my play, but I know that hand ranges need to be widened when we are 4-handed.

- The 3-handed battle lasted even longer. There was a short-stack, and another player with a stack close to mine. The bigger stack is named Jason. He's a long time grinder from Northern California. I've seen him at various Reno tournament series, and have played with him a few times. Being 3-handed, there were a lot of Blind vs Blind hands. When Jason and I were Blind vs Blind, I was the SB and he was the BB. We kept getting into big hands that we would both hit hard on the Flop. I would have a J-high Heart Flush on a Low Draw on the Turn (Kh on the Board). He had a Set with the Q-High Heart Flush, but I hit my Low on the River for a chop. In another hand, I raised preflop from the SB with QQ43. The Flop was Ad Qd 5d. We got all All-In, and he had the K2d for the Nut Flush. I hit my Low on the River for a chop.

- Eventually, Jason knocked out the short-stack. He had a large chip lead over me. As I've said before, I try not to start the conversation about making a deal. However, the Blinds are very high now. I have never played Heads-Up Omaha-8, and have to admit that Jason probably has a small edge over me.

So I asked him, "Do you really want to chop pots for the next hour?" He looked at the tournament clock, then at the chips stacks, and then at the payouts. He asked me for a chip count. I had 96k, and he had 198k. He threw out some dollar amounts, and I agreed to it.

I walked out of the Peppermill just before 10pm with $1180 and a 2nd place finish.

As I've mentioned before, it has been a lousy summer for my poker. July and August were terrible, including -$1216 for cash games in August. It's really starting to affect me, and I was planning on taking a couple of weeks off to clear my head after I airballed these tournaments.

Instead, I got a 1st, a 4th, and a 2nd in three tournaments for a profit of $2210.

Sometimes poker is a funny game.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

$130 HORSE

(A reminder for NL players: this was a Limit tournament. When I say a level, it refers to the Small Bet and Big Bet, and not the blinds. For example, the 400/800 level has blinds of 200/400.)

As I already posted, I got off to a rough start on Saturday night at the Peppermill's $130 HORSE tourney, which had 38 players. I won almost no pots for the first few level. Fortunately, that had more to do with being completely card dead, rather than bad luck.

As the levels got bigger, my stack slowly got smaller. Somewhere around the 300/600 or 400/800 level, I hit a low point of 2200 chips. It was looking like it was gonna be a quick night, but then I started to win some pots. Nothing big, like a split pot in Omaha, or winning on 4th Street in Razz, but at these levels, it started to add up.

I got to around 8k in the 600/1200 or 800/1600 level, when I finally got into a big pot. I don't remember the specifics, but by 5th Street in Razz, it was looking like I had a better draw than my opponent. I decided to raise, so we can get all of our chips in the middle. I was right, as I hit an 8-Low and she hit a 9-Low. This gave me big double-up in needed to get back into this tournament.

Our table broke shortly after that hand, and we were down to two tables. I was not at that table very long, as the short stacks were quickly busting out. I did manage to pull off a nice bluff in Stud. I was the Bring-In, and one other player limped in. He checked both 4th and 5th Street, so I fired a Big Bet on 5th. He called both of my bets on 5th and 6th Street. I fired the 7th Street bet without looking at my 7th card. He looked over his cards and my cards for a bit, and then folded. Naturally, I had to show the K-high.

When we got the 9-handed Final Table, I had about 36k chips, which was a Top 3 stack, and it was the 1200/2400 level. Since we all got new seats, we started over with Hold'em. I got into a big hand in the last hand of the level with AJd in the BB, and lost about a third of my chips to AQ. In the very next hand, when the bets went up to 1500/3000, I had AKc in the SB. I got a chunk of those chips back when the Button tried to steal the blinds.

After that, I played the occasional pots trying to play tight. In the Razz round, we were down to eight players, and I played a big Razz pot. By 5th Street, I had (A3)4 6 2, and two other players were in the pot. I bet, and the first player folded. The second player, let's call him Bob, thought for a bit and called. I don't remember all of Bob's cards, but I know he had an 9 8 showing. 6th Street was (A3)4 6 2 3, which was a terrible card for me.  It made my board look scarier, and will probably kill my action. I would have much rather had a face card, but I still bet. Bob thought for a while, and called. The Dealer gave us 7th Street face down, and I bet without looking at it. This bet put me All-In, and he called with an 8-Low. The Dealer shipped me the pot of just over 75k chips.

Six player got paid in this one. However, we had no bubble, as there was a double elimination in a hand. Play continued slowly, and nobody mentioned anything about a deal. I've learned not to start the conversation because I don't mind the idea of playing it out. But I also wouldn't mind making a deal. I worked all day delivering mail in the 90 degree sun, and it's well past midnight. I'm tired.

The conversation started when we got down to four players. I was the big stack at the table, so I stayed out of it. The two ladies were interested in a deal, but Bob wanted to play it out. I think this was because he had the #2 stack at the table.

It took quiet a while to knock out the 4th place player, an old lady, in the 12k/24k level. She was All-In the BB of the Hold'em rotation. I was UTG, and limped with T9d. The Button folded, and the SB (Bob) called. Flop Jc Ts 6s. Bob bet into the dry sidepot, I called, as I've noticed that he likes to stab at pots. Turn [Jc Ts 6s] Kd. He checked. I really like that card, as it gave me a Flush Draw and Gutshot, but I just checked. River [Jc Ts 6s Kd] Th. Bob checked, I bet, and he folded. The BB showed 73o for an airball, and collected her 4th place money.

We played for a while 3-handed. It looked like Bob was falling asleep in front of his chips, so I asked him if he still wanted to play it out. He said Yes.

In the Omaha round, the 3rd player gets All-In on the Flop, and both Bob and I call. I only have a Gutshot and 34-Low Draw. I hit the Low on the Turn, but we both check. On the River, Bob bets into a dry sidepot for the 23rd time at this Final Table. I've only got a Pair of 5s and a 43-Low. I'm fairly sure he doesn't have the Nut Low (A3, as there is a 2 on the Board), since he didn't bet the Turn. This pot is huge, as there was a raise preflop. We are only 3-handed, so hand ranges need to be wider. I make the crying call, just in case he's betting a High, and she would stay alive with an emergency Low. As it turned out, he had a Pair of 9s and an A4-Low. She had Two Pair for the High, and I got nothing. This left me with about 40k chips.

Bob knocked out the 3rd player shortly after this hand. He had a roughly 4-1 chip lead over me, as there was 228k chips in play. We were in the Razz rotation, and it was the 16k/32k level. The antes were 2k, the Bring-In was 5k, and it was 16k to complete.

We started Head-Up in the Razz round. The Large card had the Bring-In, the Small completed every single hand, and the Large card folded. We never played a hand for the whole round. For whatever bizarre reason, the Peppermill decided not to give us any 5k chips, so we had 228 Yellow 1k chips on the table. In order to speed things up, I stacked my chips in stacks of 16, so I could just bet one or two stacks. Unfortunately, I fluctuated between 2-4 full stacks.

Early in the Stud round, I had the Bring-In (5k) with a Tc. Bob had completed (16k) with Ks. I then raised (32K), and had about 8k left. My hand was (Qc 2d) Tc. It's certainly nothing great, but I'm really tired. It's time to shove my chips in the middle, and either get lucky or go get some sleep. Well, I got lucky, but not how I thought it would be. Bob folded, much to my surprise. This was very good for two reasons. First, I got more chips for my puny stack. But most importantly, it slowed down Bob. In the next two hand, he had the Bring-In. I completed both times, and he folded.

Next hand, I had the Bring-In with 2h. Bob had a Kc, but just called the 5k. This was surprising, and I was really happy about it. But what made me even happier was looking at my two down cards, QQ. On 4th Street, I had (QQ)2 3. Bob bet (16k), I raised (32k), and he called. 5th Street was (QQ)2 3 4. I bet (32k), and had 5k behind. He just called. We got it in on 6th Street, and all I had was QQ. But that was good enough, as Bob just had K-high and an Open-Ender (like 8765). He miss his outs on 7th, and I was now the chip leader.

We finished up the Stud round with just Bring-Ins, Completes, and Folds. As we're about to start the Stud-8 round, the level goes up to 20k/40k. I think I can outplay Bob in a normal situation, but there are 5.7 Big Bets total between us. Any pots played were gonna be Raise & Fold or All-In. Since this was a split-pot game, most of the All-Ins would probably be split.

For that reason, and the fact that I had worked all day, I decided to try a chop offer. We were relatively close in chips, so I suggested an even money chop and whomever had more chips gets the trophy that the Peppermill gives for their tournament series events. Now that Bob didn't have a big stack any more, he quickly agreed.

At 2am, I walked out of the poker room with $1100 after the Dealer's tip, and this:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hand Of The Day #83

Peppermill ~ 09.03.11 ~ $130 HORSE Tournament Lv 1 (50/100 H)

I arrived at the table a few minutes late, and they are in the Hold'em rotation. It's my very first hand, and it folds around to me. I'm the Button with 9c 8d, and decide to just limp (50). The SB folds, and BB checks their option. Flop 9s 7h 4d. BB bet (50), and I decide to raise (100) with my Top Pair. He calls.

Turn [9s 7h 4d] 5h. Once again, he bets (100). I'm thinking that he's got better than One Pair, so I just call.

River [9s 7h 4d 5h] 8c. He bets (100). That's an interesting card. I now have Top Two Pair, but any 6 is a Straight. I already think he has better then One Pair, so I'm beating Two Pair, but I'm losing to a Set or Straight.

I decide to raise (200), and he 3-Bets (300). Ok, now he's probably got a Straight, and I should fold as I got the info I wanted. But this is my first hand, and I guess it's possible that he could be getting stuborn with 75o or some other Two Pair. Plus, it's Level 1 of a tournament. We started with 6k chips, so another 100 doesn't mean much.

I call, and he shows 86h for a Straight. He bet his Open-Ender on the Flop, and hit it on the Turn. Naturally, I had to hit my Top Two Pair on the River.

Yeah, it's been that kind of a summer for me.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September News & Notes

- I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I haven't been playing tournaments lately. They haven't been going according to plan in the past month or two, so I took a few weeks off from tourneys.

On Sunday, I got back into tourney mode by playing in two daily tourneys, but things haven't improved. I finish 6/23 in the Atlantis $80 Bounty, and 16/36 in the Peppermill $95 Cash Me Out. I was gonna do a LOL Donkament write-up for the Atlantis tourney, but it's hard to get motivated after another frustrating session. I guess that makes me a lousy blogger.

- This weekend is the Chop Pot Poker Classic at the Peppermill. It's a tournament series of mixed limit games, including Omaha-8, Stud-8, HORSE, and Crazy Pineapple-8.

This may come as a surprise, based upon my recent tourney success, but I'm planning on playing the last five events: Saturdays night's $120 HORSE, Sunday's $225 CP-8 and $120 Stud-8, Monday's $120 Omaha-8 and $120 HORSE.

I've never cashed in a non-TV Poker tournament at a casino, and this gives me five chances to remove that black mark from my poker resume.

I'm not sure if I will do a Running Log, but I will hopefully get a few hands for the Mixed Games fans out there.

- Since I've been working so much, I'm gonna finally open a savings account for a poker bankroll. I will start it from my paycheck tomorrow, and I'll be adding some from every paycheck. It will be used most for shot-taking, as my little pile of cash should be enough for my normal poker action.

I am planning on taking one more shot later this year. I'll go into more detail when it gets closer.