Thursday, September 23, 2004

Pushing back

Brian McCaffrey : You see that flash of light in the corner of your eye? That's your career dissipation light. It just went into high gear.

I put the above quote in because I liked the movie (bound to be better than the new ladder one due out soon with John Travolta), and I think we all have that moment; where we see a light flickering in the corner of our eye letting us know this tournament is over for us.

I had a few tournaments running last night at the same time, and I have a bit of a bad habit when this happens - I pick the one that pays th most or I have the best chance at winning and try my best there, but the other one I just play like a mad man. All in pre-flop on KQ, pocket 6's or JED suited even is not uncommon. Having this in mind, I give you the following hand.

Hand Number: 123,370,569
Table Number: 1,309,518
Event Name: Bugsys Bonus Point N/L (#972095)MNHF
Event Started: Tuesday September 21st 6:15:07 AM CDT 2004
Event Type: PokerPages Tournament
Event Buy-In: BC Member (1,000 BBP added)
Game: No Limit Hold 'em
Level II: 25/50 Blinds (25 Minimum Chip)
Average Stack: 10,857.14 (10,000 starting chips)
Remaining Players: 280 (304 started)
Seat 1 : Andzz starts with 6,625
Seat 2 : runningkavu starts with 9,975
Seat 3 : welldone starts with 8,375
Seat 4 : labehr starts with 15,425
Seat 5 : old_joe starts with 11,600
Seat 6 : __2__ starts with 9,925
Seat 7 : cardsindark starts with 8,775
Seat 8 : steve3981 starts with 12,925
Seat 9 : Dreamscape starts with 10,125
Seat 10 : KING_OF_CLUBZ starts with 6,250
Seat 6 : __2__ has the dealer button
Dreamscape dealt down 8d 9d
cardsindark posts the small blind 25
steve3981 posts the big blind 50
steve3981: all these aces
Dreamscape calls 50
steve3981: gonna be a quick tournay
Andzz folds
runningkavu folds
welldone calls 50
labehr folds
old_joe raises 225 to 275
__2__ folds
cardsindark calls 250
steve3981 calls 225
Dreamscape calls 225
welldone calls 225
---DEALING FLOP--- [ Jh Qd Td ]
cardsindark bets 50
steve3981 calls 50
Dreamscape raises 9,800 to 9,850 and is all-in
welldone calls 8,100 and is all-in
old_joe folds
cardsindark folds
steve3981 folds
Dreamscape takes back 1,750
Dreamscape cards were 9d 8d
welldone cards were 9c Kd
---DEALING TURN--- [ Qs ]
steve3981: wow deram
---DEALING RIVER--- [ Jd ]
Dreamscape wins 17,675 with a queen high straight flush
welldone has left the table
welldone finishes in 280th place
Hand Ended: Tuesday September 21st 6:24:26 AM CDT 2004
Total Pot: 17,675
Board: [ Jh Qd Td Qs Jd ]
Seat 1 : Andzz did not bet, folded pre-flop
Seat 2 : runningkavu did not bet, folded pre-flop
Seat 3 : welldone lost 8,375, showed hand [ 9c Kd ]
Seat 4 : labehr did not bet, folded pre-flop
Seat 5 : old_joe lost 275, folded on the flop
Seat 6 : __2__ (button) did not bet, folded pre-flop
Seat 7 : cardsindark (small blind) lost 325, folded on the flop
Seat 8 : steve3981 (big blind) lost 325, folded on the flop
Seat 9 : Dreamscape bet 8,375, won 17,675, net +9,300, showed hand [ 9d 8d ]
Seat 10 : KING_OF_CLUBZ did not bet, folded pre-flop

I won't defend the play, as I may have gone in a little early with teh smaller straight but I did realize that I had a flush draw - I didn't think about the straight-flush draw though. This is my first ever straight flush in any form of poker, so I was pretty damn happy with it. I only wish it won more for me. I was knocked out of this tournament not long after when I went all in with AT and a flop of ATx, and was beaten by the chip leader holding TT. Oh well, I was not super into this tournament as I was already an hour into another that I had a better chance at getting into the money in.

The other tournament was 5 points + 1 point NL. With 78 players, it paid about the same as the free rolls with 500 players (all be it to far less places), so I thought I might be a batter chance here. I notcied very early on that this table was very tight - not too tight though, just good tight poker. After 45 minutes only 4 people had been knocked out - and I was repsonsible for one of them.

With pocket 7's I limped in the big blind with about 5 callers. Wow, nice community pot going on here. The flop could not have been better at 77A, giving me quads and a lovely Ace to help entice the others. Right, I'm UTG +1, so early position. How should I play this? I decided to let any aces out there make their bets and I would just call, then stamp them out when it came to the river. I was risking perhaps quad Aces, but that was a risk I was willing to make. Yep, I would just call or make very modest bets to the river and then beat those aces out there - what a plan! Well, the plan was fucked before it even started as UTG went all in with about half of what I had. Damn it, looks like I have to jump now. I called, and no one else did. He had Ax and of course my quads held up. I gained a little but it should have been much more. About 15 minutes later I was dealt pocket 8's which became a set on the flop, quads on the turn but no body wanted to meet my minimum raise, so the pot was small. I saw quads three more times from other players for the night, so they were on fire.

Pretty soon I had doubled up when the big chip leader, lets call him BL was moved to our table. He was at about $70K already and was really pushing everyone. No bet from him was less than $5K (the tournament average was about $14K at this stage), and more often than not he would bet so that everyone else had to go all in to see. This being the tight table that it was, rarely was there a showdown. But BL would show his cards after every take down - and they were usually something like Ten high or middle pair only. I know how this usually plays out - he bluffs and bluffs and then someone decides to call him the one time he does have a hand. Thats probably how he got to the chip lead in the first place. I decided it was not going to be me. Soon enough I was down to $17K, just above average, when I was happily moved to another table. I left some player notes on BL just in case out paths crossed again for this tournament.

The new table was much better for me, and by the time the final table came to I was in third with $70K - and BL was now over $150K. only the top six places paid, so I was keen to not bust out before the bubble. There was about 4 players less than 4BB, so I thought I should be pretty good. BL was still playing his game of massive bets, adn I notcied one other player in particular, who I shall call VX, was getting annoyed with it. There was another player up over $100K though, so at least he had that to worry about.

I did call a few of his big bets with marginal hands, and when they did not improve on the flop I was forced to throw them away. he still showed his 49o for bottom pair to rub it in, but I was not to be tilted just yet. 10th had only just left and I was now below $50K - blinds at $5K. I was down to below $30K after chasing a hand and there were still 2 non-paying places left to fill. BL was still pushing every one around, until when my stack was $22K I got dealt a life line in the form of Pocket Aces. BL bet $10K, I raised all in. I mean really, what else could I do? He called and showed JT or something like that which wasnt good enough to get rid of me. This put me up to above $50K again, and a chance to play again. It also meant for the first time in nearly two hours BL was not the chip leader. Soon we were in the final six and guaranteed some win - I now changed my goal from getting some profit to maximising it. I was happy to finish 4th now, and pushed on.

Vx took a big chunk out of the chip leader and adopted that position, still going on in the chat trying to get someone else to front up against BL (but not willing to do it himself?). I took another huge chunk out of BL when I met his big raise and went over the top of it all in, this time he folded. This was the first time I saw him fold to an all in, so I knew I cracked him. He was down, but not out yet. Vx took care of the other players and now it was just the three of us - I was now happy to just beat BL.

It seemed that ever second hand BL would go all in and say "Well here's your chance". Even with three handed I was not prepared to call that with 38o, but I did try at least when I had pocket pair of a couple of picture cards. To no luck, I might add. BL had doubled up twice to now be over $50K again, Vx at $230K and me at $140K.

Then the hand came, he was all in and I had ATo. Of course I called and he showed JT suited, but an Ace on the flop was all I needed and Bl was out of here! I was proud that the guy that was the big chip leader from about level 2 was knocked out by me to finish in third only. Vx was very proud too, but now I had a chance to play for the 1st place and imaginary trophy that goes with that.

I managed to take down a few big pots with straong agressive raises, and soon had the chip lead. With KQ suited I went all in and VX called with Ax. I got both a king and a queen on the board so that he was drawing dead come the river, and it was all over. I pocketed 400 points to send my bank roll into unchartered teritory of triple figures, but the satisfaction of how I played for 80% of the tournament was far more valuable to me. Things are coming along steadily.

On to my last post, it would seem that a few people are starting to stand up and take notice of this here "World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever". The Knight in Shining armour that is JW over at Outkicked has jumped on the band wagon. And might I say I am not surprised, as this is surely just the first of many. But slightly out of character, I have to add that the criticisms I put in the last post were firmly tongue in cheek. I tried to make that as obvious as possible, so I hope people don't take offence. Nobody has yet, but I'm just saying that's all.

Annie Duke sure has got the poke world talking. Whether it is because people hate Phil Helmuth, people defending Phil (I liked this post from Go Be Rude), people who like Annie, people who are put off Annie or people who claim sexism works for and against her. First off, let me say I don't think any pro players take her lightly because she is female. Everyone knows she can play, she's proven that once again. Secondly, I think it is great that this tournament created so much talk amongst bloggers. I did not see it but feel I did because of so many different write ups about it. I even told Serena and Mitch (our flat mate) about her showing the nine - they are less poker keen than I am and still thought it was hilarious. Howard Lederer is kind of my favorite pro player (The only real tournament I saw was the clash of the champions or something where Bob Rose???? won, but I liked Howards play.) and Annie obviously deserved to win, so good for her. And hey, if this leads to more and more women in poker, then I'm all for it. Really, I mean ALL for it.

This reminds me a little about my current job. I've heard a lot of stories about the young women coming into a card room with a low cut dress and taking all the men for all their chips. Well, since I have an advertising budget to spend I get to speak to a lot of radio stations and their sales reps. One of the younger focused radio stations sent their sale reps out when I first started this job, and it was two (read it, TWO) very attractive women in revealing clothes trying to sell ad space. All the boys down in the store wanted to be my assistant for that day. But I always look on this in a different light - I see it as a poor sales technique and as them trying to trick me into buying their product. I see it as a challenge to get past it. The fact that one of them was playing shill ("Wow, that really is a good deal, isn't it" - Like you haven't heard the same deal 20 times today) was just the icing on the cake and they got sent home empty handed. Send a 60 year old man with glasses to me and he has my attention straight away - reminds me of my grandfather. Besides anything they say in their low drawl sounds so insightful and wise. But I digress...

All I'm saying is Annie Duke may fool some people because she is female, and like many industries and sports, Poker is dominated by men. I guess there are not many competitions out there that pit the men and women against each other. Being female is only an advantage against some players, and I feel against very few pros. Certainly not the new generation of poker player any way. But like I said, I'm glad she won.

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