Thursday, January 13, 2005

Why the Good go Un-rewarded

Sirius Black: Brilliant, Snape; once again you've put your keen and penetrating mind to the task and as usual come to the wrong conclusion. Now if you'll excuse us, Remus and I have some unfinished business to attend to.
Professor Snape: Give me a reason. I beg you.
Professor Lupin: Severus, don't be a fool.
Sirius Black: He can't help it. It's habit by now.
"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"

I have spent more time recently reading other blogs than I have doing anything that can be mentioned in my own. Not that I haven't been plying my trade online - for I have, even stepped it up recently. But the blogging community that I am a (not so) humble outsider of is booming. It seems every second blog I read has some massive new event occurring. Whether it is turning pro, winning cruises, getting paid for blogging or hitting your third damn straight-flush in about as many months, things are certainly coming along for the blogging elite. It seems that I read other blogs to learn about poker, and I write my own to purge. I like the self-indulgent style of The World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever, and I like that it contrasts somewhat to what others are doing. We're a happy little community, are we not?

Been hitting a few more of the tournaments at Pacific of late. Now I know everybody hates their software (myself included), but I just love how the tournaments are run. No re-buys. No bloody re-buys. And the size of them is always big enough to get decent prize money yet small enough to give you a shot at it. I have been unlucky of late, loosing my coin-flips and being out played to be thrown to the tournament lobby.

In one such tournament, out of 180 starters we were down to 60, and I had doubled up twice but still very much a low stack thanks to the quickly rising blinds. At the $100/$200 level, carrying $960 on the big blind, I had pocket 3's a resigned to pushing if there were not many runners in this one. Luckily, the entire table folded except for the small blind ($1700) who tried for a steal from the short stack (me) and min-raised the pot. Perfect for me, as I was going all-in even if he just called. I did so, and he used about half his time before calling. He showed J8s, so I pretty much think he was on a steal and then thought why the hell not, it's the small stack what is the worst that could happen? The flop came T7x, the gutshot 9 on the turn and it was all over for me. Can't really fault his play on that, my stack just wasn't big and scary enough to throw him off for a heads up battle with the small stack.

Another tournament, in the early stages (about level 2 or 3) I was able to limp into a 5 player flop with ATo. Flop comes KKQ. Ok, not all bad but certainly something to worry about. In early position so I check to see if anybody else likes what they see. Everybody else checks - ok, I say there is about an 80% chance somebody has at least a king and is looking to slow play them. The turn is my gut shot jack, with all suits on the board, so I raise to find out who has the King. I get one guy calling. Ok, he definitely has a King - does he have the boat? I check on the river rag, and he raises. It's a pretty big pot now at over $2000, and I only have $500 left. With a Broadway straight I know I am done if he has a boat, and I need something to boost me up otherwise I'm in the push or fold mode from here on. I check-raised all-in and he instantly calls. He shows KJ for a boat on the turn - sadly, the same gut-shot straight I was looking for gave him the nuts. I bowed out, unable to lay down the straight. Probably not my best play pre-river, but I really had no other choice after that.

I did manage to pull out a win on Poker Pages in a 50c SNG, netting myself $2 for the win. I like playing this micro limit games on Poker Pages because the software is good and the starting stacks are $1500, more than anywhere else I've seen. The major down side is the high level of "professors" at the table. My god, somebody raised against a small stack (2.5BB) and then the small stack pushes, so the raiser calls with K4s going against JJ. A king hits and he takes it down. I don't see a huge problem with this play - why not make the extra call to see the low stack? It only cost him another bet out of a 12-15BB stack. I'd make that call with only one card. But about 4 players at the table berated him for the rest of the game. On of the golden rules amongst the blogging elite - Don't tap the glass. That's exactly what I typed in the chat box, the only thing I typed all game. Apparently no bloggers or readers were at the table, because nobody knew what I was talking about. Oh well, I showed them though. Thought that $2 prize was yours did you? NO! It's mine, all mine! Bow down before me and...Oh, they've left already. Lost the next one when all in with 77 against A2h, got the third heart on the turn. Such is life.

And I haven't forgot about the casino challenge either. I fired up Ace Club, and was absolutely dedicated to betting the minimum and not breaking the rules. Man, I was going well too. After an initial deposit of $100, and with the bonus of another $100, I worked it up to a peak of $230, then held around the $200 mark for a while before dropping to $170 and finally with 26 hands before the $1600 WR was complete, I was at $138. That means no matter what happens, I get a profit of some description. I played the final 24 hands and ended with exactly $140. I went to cash out and then was declined. Of course, you have to wait 24 hours right? No you dumbass - you have to read the rules before you start playing. The WR at Aceclub is $6000, not $1600. I felt so stupid - Scurvy Dog's site even says this. I didn't read it properly, I fall victim again. I tried to get to the $6000 mark but of course the bank roll ran dry before I could reach $4000. Oh well, that's the risk you take I guess.

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