Officer Palumbo : Bullets! My only weakness! How did you know?"Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle"
Just saw that movie last night, and it was better than I expected it to be. I really enjoyed it, and while the movie goes absolutely nowhere, that's kinda the point of it. Besides, we had free tickets so it was win-win no matter what. Actually, that's not true - we once saw the Paul Walker movie "Time Line" or something like that for free when the movie we really wanted to see was snapped, and that wasn't worth the time to watch it. Piece of crap. Also saw "House of the Dead" on DVD this past week. It was recommended to us by a guy who said it was so bad you have to see it. Well, it was bad. Really bad. At the start, about 3 or 4 of the female characters get naked for no real reason, then once that little 10 minute raunch is over they start shooting Zombies and then th movie ends. Great little review there. Anyway, enough of that, I want to talk about poker.
Had a great weekend at the tables. I sat down at Aloha on the nickel and dime table to try to make some money and maybe even pull in the bonus for best hand in the hour. The bonus was screwed though as about 15 minutes into it someone would hit a Royal Flush and that would be the end of it. This happened 3 times, pretty amazing considering there are not that many players on there. Had a look at the tournaments at the same time and noticed there was a $10+$1 NL tournament with $1000 guaranteed - with only 12 people registered. That sounds like a bargain to me, so with 25 minutes to go I forked out the digital bills and entered myself for some fun. Naturally, a few others also noticed this bargain and jumped on board, but the field was still only 36 so I thought I had a good chance. On the nickel and dime table, I took down one big pot to win $2.50, that's a ROI of 50% an enough for me as I wanted to concentrate on the MTT. First place was $400 so it looked really juicy for me.
Started out well, and after folding a few hands I was able to pull a few pots when people where betting into me. I even managed to knock one player out when he tried to bet on the river with a board of AKJTx rainbow and I was holding Qx. Now here is a move I at first did not understand - he bet half his stack (which was about 65% of mine), then I raised all-in. He called, and then mucked his hand. Why would you call? I wish I knew what he had, but anyway he re-bought and was back up to $800 in chips. Ah yes, the dreaded re-buy. As I have said before, I don't believe in them. However in this tournament with 36 people starting, there was 43 re-buys. That's just nuts. Throw in about 10 add-ons as well, and I can see why Aloha runs these $1000 guaranteed tournaments. The end prize pool after level 5 (cut off for re-buys and add ons) was $1010, so they actually made a profit on it. Unbelievable. Top five places paid.
I was sitting in the top three for most of the time leading up to the final table, on occasions even taking the top spot a few times. I was up to $11K with about 20 left when I got my calculator out and worked out that for the final table, the average stack will be about $8300, so I would be in a great position to take home some cash then. Play was very slow, and I lost a big chunk when dealt QQ lost to AK when the king hit on the river. Not much I could do about that I guess, but now I was just above average with 19 left. Have to play smarter from here.
One big pot was won with QTh. I can't remember the board exactly, but there were two hearts and one of them was the King. The turn was a not heart and there was a bet from the only other player in the flop of $1K, or about 1/7th of my stack. I had a drawing hand, but decided to give this one a go. I caught the heart on the river and took a big chunk out of him and his two pair. He wasn't happy, said something like "Keep fishing", but I kept quiet and kept on.
When the final table came around (finally - seems like everyone is doing the waiting for the nuts thing.), I had managed to creep into 7th - still a few places out of the money and work to do. Again, I got a nut Broadway straight and had someone bet into me. I figured he probably has it too, but lets make him certain on it, and I went all-in. I thought that was the obvious thing to do when you have the nuts. He called, and mucked his hand. Wow, somebody must really like calling with two pair or something I guess. Slowly people dropped out as the game became one of all-in or fold. The big stacks were well spread over three players, and they only called if they had a premium hand, none of this bully stuff yet. When it was down to the bubble, I was in 5th. I was dealt KK and felt that this was it. I know one of my faults is that I can not be passive at the table. If nobody else is pushing the action, I take the lead and sometimes the role of Policeman. But in this case, I have the second best starting hand possible, I thought I have to do it and hopefully double up to make a run at the big money. Everyone folded, so I stole the $3000 blinds. Damn it, that was my chance. Very next hand, KK again. Thanks Poker Gods, this time the smallest stack calls me and we are into the money!
I knocked out 5th place again, and now had the lead by a few thousand. Here are two of the most stupid plays ever. With Q5 I limp, and see a flop of 543. The only other player in the pot, chip rank 2, checks it. I thought I might see if I can take it out here, and bet 2BB, about $6K of my $26K. He re-raises all in. I thought I had top pair, he must be trying to bluff now that the money is here. I called. He had A9, no suits and a straight draw. I had top (but piss weak) pair. Why the hell would he go all-in at this stage of the tournament with nothing but a straight draw? That had to be the second worse play of the day. The worst? WHY THE FUCK DID I CALL WITH A PAIR OF FIVES? Sure, in hind sight I was slightly ahead, and granted when he hit a nine on the river I was pissed, but I can not be proud of calling all-in with that crap. I was now down to about half the small blind ( a micro blind?) and was all-in the very next hand with T9c. It didn't improve, and I was out in 4th with a pay out of $114 US. Everyone else in the house was waiting for me from 12.30pm on to the eventual finish at 3.45pm for lunch and to go to the shopping mall. I said they can go without me, first prize is $400 I need to play. Well, I didn't tell them what first prize was, just that I wanted to play. When it came to 3pm, Mitch started to have a few jabs like "Lunch is so over rated" - I said again, they don't have to wait for me, but anyway when I told them $400, they understood. So after I nearly quadrupled my entire bankroll in just a few hours, how did I feel? Happy, but un-fulfilled. It was weird, this was by far the best money result I have ever had, but I knew I could do better. I was coming 1st with 4 people left, and made a terrible call that potentially cost me $300. I knew I should have won, but for a lot of the tournament I felt like I was out of my league, or playing in somebody else's club. I felt like the outsider that didn't belong and everyone else was gunning to push off this stranger. I guess this is something that I will overcome in time, but anyway it was good to get some money.
I set up an account with Neteller to try to get the money out of Aloha and over to Party so I can join in on the festivities there. I will keep some on Aloha as obviously there is money to be made. I might be in a bit of trouble trying to transfer the money across though, considering I don't have an American bank account or anything but we'll see. I may even put some of the winning towards poker tracker, but not just yet. If I hit $250 then I may do it. All up, a good day on the tables.
Reading back through a few comments and the like on these here posts, I am very grateful for them all by the way, but the one from SirFWALGMan about KJ verus Ax and pocket fours. It made me look at these hands in a different light - especially when I had about a month where every time I got busted it was against a small pocket pair. Those pocket 4's were up against 12 outs (not including straight and flush draws) so even though they are ahead pre-flop, they are not really all that strong. They need the third 4 to make them a decent hand. Thank you Sir, you have opened my eyes somewhat and any more insight I get into my own game through this poker blog is obviously fantastic. Another reason why I am the "World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever". Come on, you didn't think I would go a whole post without mentioning that, did you?
Also have to give a shout out to ArturiusX, a new Aussie blogger on the scene. As of this post his blog is only 1 post old, but the fact that I found another Australian poker blog to me is phenomenal. Best of luck to him.
This will be all for now, I will post again when I have more to talk on. Been reading heaps of great blogs lately, and for the record I do not think poker has jumped the shark...yet.