Thursday, January 31, 2008

24k Frustration and the Mookie

I have played the nightly 24k on Fulltilt every night this week. On all 3 nights, I managed to get fairly deep, playing solid poker, picking spots, and chipping up very nicely. I believe on each night I had stacks up to 30k, made the money, and thought I had a good chance at final table appearances. However, that did not happen. Multi Table Tournaments are very interesting, in that there are many approaches, strategies, theories, etc, on how to play these, and I believe most have valid points. There are many books obviously as well, that also give very good instruction, but at the end of the day, they all lead to the same road.

That road in my opinion, is the one you reach when there is about 30 player's left. Someone stated once, that in order to win a MTT, you must put yourself in a position to get lucky. I can't think of a better way to describe that 'road' I'm referring to, because once you get to that final 30, it's exactly that. I have been there so many times, and like many, have always had that one hand that if it goes our way, gives us a huge stack, and would have definitely propelled us to the final table.

I have managed to 'navigate' that road on several occasions. Last year, I took down the nightly 25k, and came 2nd in the 50/50. I also had numerous other final tables, where I came somewhere between 4th and 9th. I assure you that in all those tournaments, I had to 'get lucky' at some point. Even if that means as I recall on the occasion of the 50/50 tournament, having to 'suck out' an ace on the river to make a higher a set made by my opponent on the flop. Making final tables is the summit for tournament poker players, and making it in the big buy in events of course is even sweeter.

I think there are definite do's and don't s, but for the most part, the poker gods and freaking employee #45 have to treat you right.

Last night in the Mookie (and actually the Dookie) I made the final table. I was bounced in 8th place on a hand, pretty much like the one I just described. Here it is for all that which to see the action.

For the first time I tuned into Buddy Dank Radio. It definitely puts a great spin on things, and I think the guys on the show do a pretty good job, especially when it came to free for all pushfest at the end! Now that was alot of fun, even though I wound up on the short end of the stick. I think running these at the very start of the Mook, so we could get a ton of player's would be even better! Maybe one of my 3 readers can suggest that to the hosts.

Congratulations to Surf who took down the Mook, and to Mookie himself for coming ever so close in the runner up spot.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Another Blonkament Cameo

It seems that recently, I've been getting bounced early in the Blogger tourney's. I think part of the problem is that I have not been giving them the proper attention. One of the things I really like about playing with the bloggers, is that it provides a very consistent tournament playing environment. Playing with the same folks allows you to really get into some multi level thinking scenarios. This is in large part due to the fact we all have plenty of information on each other. In 'normal' tournaments, you may run into a few regular's, but unless your using some helper tracking software, you don't have much information on your opponents. This leads to alot of abc poker, until you do get a read on what your opponent's capabilities are. But when you all know each other fairly well, it makes the game that much more interesting as you can try an outthink each other. Of course, you have to be paying attention, so that is why I feel I was a bit distracted.

Having said that, I think I badly misplayed the following hand, which let to an early exit from the MATH. We were only an orbit in or so, when I get

in the Big Blind.

pebble78 raises 105 from UTG. Everyone folds to me, and I defended, looking to see the flop. And by looking, I mean obviously trying to hit a flop which would play well against his UTG raising range. The flop came what appeared to be gold for me:

[ ]

I hit the flop pretty good, trip tens. So I check with the intent of check raising small, and seeing what he does.

pebble78 bets 120
twoblackaces raises to 400
pebble78 calls 280

I wasn't exactly expecting a call, I thought he'd either raise or fold. I think here is where I certainly failed to consider he may also have a ten. Frankly, I didn't consider it, because I remember being fairly surprised at showdown. Clearly, a call should have set off some alarms, and at least should have made me think deeper about this hand. I didn't, thanks to the other 6 tables I was running (excuses excuses)

[ ] [ ]

So the Turn comes a King. I don't put him on QJ, but I thought he may either have AK, or perhaps even AK/AQ suited for a flush draw. So decided to pot it. Again, I'm in what appears to be LA LA land, since I snap re-popped his Reraise, and Voula:

twoblackaces bets 1,025
pebble78 raises to 2,050
twoblackaces raises to 2,540, and is all in
pebble78 calls 130, and is all in

twoblackaces shows [ ]
pebble78 shows [ ]
Uncalled bet of 360 returned to twoblackaces

[ ] [ ]

The river brings a big old blank, and I'm crippled. Oh well, lesson learned. I truly do enjoy playing against all the bloggers, I feel many are very good players, some exceptionally good players. And I think we all want to do well, so I will definitely curtail down a bit, and not have so many tables going in the future.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Although I must say, FullTilt kind of pull of fast one. When I got the original email about the year end iron man bonus, I understood their email as saying that if you earned any of the 4 iron man levels in December, you'd get the $$$ credited right away. What they really meant was, that if you qualified by reaching any iron man level in December, you earn the right to 'work' off the points needed to release the in for every ft pt, they released a nickel of the bonus. For me that meant 19.5k points! Well today I finally got there, and I'm glad it's over.

A nice side bonus was the added rakeback, so I suppose all in all it was pretty good.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Chip Dumping?

I played my 2nd Token Frenzy last night, and a very strange and questionable play occurred right on the bubble for the tokens. Frankly my knee jerk thought was 11duke11 was chip dumping. You be the judge:

Full Tilt Poker Game #4985187120: $75 Token Frenzy (37195940) Table 14 - 1200/2400 Ante 300 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:28:58 ET - 2008/01/24
Seat 1: 11duke11 (12 360)
Seat 3: Flush_Edges (2 160)
Seat 4: vegascat111 (5 630)
Seat 5: twoblackaces (7 400)
Seat 6: Garbolog (4 835)
Seat 7: LJ___RV (7 190)
Seat 8: bdidde (9 757)
Seat 9: bayne_s (2 356)
11duke11 antes 300
Flush_Edges antes 300
vegascat111 antes 300
twoblackaces antes 300
Garbolog antes 300
LJ___RV antes 300
bdidde antes 300
bayne_s antes 300
11duke11 posts the small blind of 1,200
Flush_Edges posts the big blind of 1,860, and is all in
The button is in seat #9

Dealt to twoblackaces [ ]
Flush_Edges: smells like me
vegascat111 has 15 seconds left to act
vegascat111 folds
twoblackaces folds
Garbolog folds
LJ___RV folds
bdidde folds
bayne_s folds
LJ___RV : aww
11duke11 has 15 seconds left to act
Flush_Edges : call
LJ___RV: are u'
11duke11 folds
Uncalled bet of 660 returned to Flush_Edges
Flush_Edges: f it
Flush_Edges mucks
Flush_Edges wins the pot (4,800)

This is a ridiculously easy call! I may send this to FT support for further investigation, what do you think?


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Home game tourny Part 2

My second table had one very interesting lady, let's call her D. My starting table was adjacent to this second table, so I was sort of peaking as to what was going on, and believe me when I tell you they were fairly loose and wild. D especially leading the pack. Seem like every hand, she was yelling out how she was 'buying' the pot and making big bets to back it. So needless to say, when I was moved to her table, she had the big stack. I had probably around 250 chips or so, and she had a bit more. So first hand we play, I'm in the BB and she opens for a 4x raise. Folds to me, and I have a suited King and defend. The flop comes King high, and I elect to check, with the intention of check raising. So she thinks about it, and then bets the pot. Funny thing is that she was completely quiet during that entire thought process. Here I had been hearing her yak it up, loud as can be, and all of a sudden the silence......well, I folded as that was way to fishy, and she 'proudly' tabled her rockets! Man am I glad I was 'peaking'!

A few hands later, I'm on the button folds around to me, and I have the blogger fav hand better know as the Hammer (honey, that would be a 7 2 )! So I raise of course, and D in the BB hems and haws (back to loud and talking) and finally calls. I think we were 6/12 at the time, so the pot had around 60 chips or so. The flop comes ace high, she checks. I'm putting her on either a middle pair or maybe even a couple of painted cards, but she's pretty erratic so who knows for sure. At any rate I bet the pot finally, and again blah blah blah...and she calls. So the pot is fairly significant at this point and I move in the rest of my chips after she checks again on a blank turn card. She then starts again, now telling me I'm buying the pot, yada yada yada....and finally and painfully folds. She was pretty teed off, so of course, being it was a friendly game and all, I decided to just muck the cards. Had I shown, I think she may have caused me bodily harm! as it is, I heard it from her the rest of the night!

Well, that really ends the interesting part of the night. I did make it to the final 7 players, top 3 got paid. I started the final table second in chips, but the blinds were ridiculously high, and we were still using the dang 1 dollar chips! I suggested we color up, but they didn't get around to doing it until they got heads up! Again, friendly game, and being it was our first time, I didn't want to rock the boat. I think the blinds were at 20/40, so I only had about 12 bets or so, the chip leader had a huge chip lead, and the remaining players were all short. When we got down to 5 handed, I was priced into a call from a short stack, which I lost in a race. Then a few hands later on the button, I had k6 pushed into the chip leader's BB, who for some reason, hem and hawed before calling with AJ! Man, I would have insta called in that situation, but oh well, it is what it is, I didn't improve, so his ace high held up, and went on to take the game down.

All in all, me and the Mrs had a very good time, and we definitely plan on making a return visit.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Home game tourny Part 1

So a good friend of mine from work, invited me and Mrs 2BA to a NLHE home game over the weekend. Sounded like fun and a change of pace from online play, so we went over for the festivities. I was expecting maybe 8 or 9 players, and to be playing some low stakes cash game. I was surprised to see as we pulled up to their block, a whole bunch of parked cars. When we got inside, there was about 4o+ folks!

One of the guys had a tournament director program on his laptop, and quickly found out from him, we were playing a $20 buyin tournament, with multiple rebuys during the first 3 levels. Definitely not what I expected, but pleasantly surprised.

The structure could have been better, we started with 25 chips (1 dollar), blinds at 1 and 2, and 20 min levels. This would become an issue as the tournament blinds increased with only $1 denomination chips. There were 23 runners and 3 tables at the start.

I guess the single biggest surprised of the entire tournament was how good the players really were! (I later found out that this group holds this tournament monthly, and they've been doing it for some time). I mean, first of all, everyone understood the rules, down to handling the cuts and deals (double deck no less to promote quicker play). Maybe it's just me, since I don't play in home games, but I thought it was cool, since I tend to get a little impatient when around folks who are let's say less experienced.

My first table featured 3 ladies, one who was about as tight a player as I've ever played against. Let's just say she folded (other than her BB if it was limped) easily for the first 4 orbits. I jokingly asked her if she planned to play a hand, and I was given a 'death' look you had to see! LOL Be that as it may, she ultimately played went down in flames with pocket rockets against my flopped 2 pair, and didn't even rebuy. The gentleman to her left was another tight player, who made it a point to state he was proud he never has to rebuy! I was able to push him off a few hands by 3 betting him, and he was definitely annoyed at me. Then on the 3rd time I 3 bet him, he pushed his remaining chips with AK of hearts, and I was priced in with 89 of diamonds, and a 9 on the river sent him packing. I definitely didn't feel the love as he left (unlit cigar ala Sammy Farha and all) mumbling something about what a bad call I had made!

There was a young (definitely an internet player) also at my table, and I busted him twice. Once with pocket jacks to his tens, and as this hand was playing out, here comes Mrs 2BA waving a $20 bill for a rebuy! Then a few minutes later, she of all people gets moved to my table! Of course, I knew all those chips she just rebought were going to come home to papa, since I know Mrs 2BA's game very well. It goes something like this: plays ATC, position doesn't matter, and is an expert at hitting 3 of kind with whatever rags she has! I kid you not, I can't tell you how many times she's busted me when we play at home with her signature 6 high cards, in a raised pot, and me holding rockets or cowboys! But I am digressing here, so back to the tourney at hand.

Mrs 2BA last exactly one hand at our table. First hand out of the gate, she's limped in a 3 way pot, and leads out when the flop comes K75. I fold realizing she hit a piece of that flop, and the woman to my left, who was a very good player, smooth called her. I knew right there she had a K, and knowing Mrs 2BA I knew that no matter what came on the turn she was moving in. Sure enough, the turn comes a duck, Mrs 2BA moves in as I expected. Now the woman to my left knows nothing about Mrs 2BA's game obviously, and goes into the tank! Which I of course found amusing. I figured she had the K, but a bad kicker and was now concerned she was going to be outkicked. She finally does call, and tables her K6, Mrs 2BA tables A7, and doesn't manage to suckout on the river, and SGHN. So as she walks away for a drink at the kitchen food ct, the lady whisper's to me that she indeed was concern about the kicker. I of course encouraged her for her excellent play, and said something like "I was surprised she actually had a pair" or something like that, which unfortunately for me, Mrs. 2BA caught wind of as she was walking by, earning me 'a look' that only married guys would understand! I thought I was in the dog house for sure! Thankfully, Mrs 2BA does not hold any grudges against her hubby, and it was all forgotten by the time we drove home. Of course, now that she will probably read this, I may be back in the doghouse!!! LoL......I love you honey! Grande beso para ti!

Table 2 and the final table in Part 2, as I've run out of time.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Momentum comes in two flavors. Positive and Negative. The latter twin bit hard in the ass yesterday. Instead of taking a break to counter the evil twin, I of course played 'through it'. LOL

So a very high level recap of the day:

Early on I played the 4k knockout with a $70 buyin. This tournament in it's very early stages provided me with the only highlight of the day. First hand I get it all in preflop against AA, KK, JJ and quadruple up while picking up 3 bounties. I forgot to snap a shot unfortunately, and in case your wondering, I had 'twoblackaces', and rivered a flush to scoop the monster pot. But instead of making that the prelude to a great day, it only serve to probably jinx the rest of the day. In this tourny, I managed to chip up, and made it down to the last 2 tables where my MO of bad luck kicked in. With about 50k in chips or so, it was folded to me in the SB. I forget exactly where the blinds where, but they were pretty up there, plus ante's all pots were worth fighting for. I am dealt AK sooted in diamonds. I had the BB covered, but not by much. Given the situation, I shoved and this dude in the BB, snap calls me with A8. And by snap call I mean his chips were in the pot before I finished clicking the freaking allin button. Needless to say, the not one but two eights on the flop sealed my fate.

The next 3 to 4 hours were wasted trying to satellite in to the Sunday Million, (a few too for the Brawl and Mulligan). It was a pot luck of 5 dollar rebuys, 24 dollar, 8 dollar, and a 24 and 69 sng's, and a couple of multi's with a crapload of seats being dolled out, all coming to a big fat zero. Without boring you all (my 3 readers) with the gore details, suffice it to say I bubbled 4 or 5 times, had the sickest of beats put on me, that I finally just had to give up. And yes, in case your wondering, I probably could have saved my self all the trouble, and just bought into the damn thing.

In the midst of all the satelliting, I also was playing 55 Sng's working off the year end fulltilt bonus, and of course, I had the worse run in those as well, so much I had to bump down to the 33's. If nothing else, I did put a nice dent into the points, and only have another 140 bucks to go to finish.

Then in the evening, I played the 24 and 25k plus both the blogger tournaments. I held the chiplead in the 25k, which had a very nice 11k 1st place payout, with about 200 player's to go. I don't recall exactly where the money started, I think around 70th, and I managed to crash and burn about 10 player's short of that. In this one, I lost 3 key hands in a short period of time, which in NL, can take you from the penthouse to the basement in no time at all. Two of the hands where to player's that were short, and I flipped against them both times with me holding a pocket pair, and my opponents with big aces. Combined, they took about 30percent of my stack. Then I blinded down till about the point where my M was 10, found KK in the CO, and called and allin by the guy next to me who had me covered. His hand was Acey Duecey. And to accentuate that this was going to be the worst day ever, #45 went quack quack quack on the board, and I was done. Man do I hate that fucker.

And the piace de fooking resistonce (I have no fucking idea how to spell that since I ain't french!) came courtesy of the Blogger Big game, where I took the 'coveted' Gigli award. I lost most of chips to SwimMammy on this hand:

I busted shortly after, and that was the end of that. In the skillz game, which of course I have none, I decided to try the 'George Costanza' effect. Namely, if every decision I made yesterday was the wrong decision, then the opposite must be the correct one! Haha....I tried it, and came from the bowels of last place all the way up to the chip lead! if that isn't irony, I don't know what is. Alas in true Costanza form, it didn't last and I hung it up for the day. A bloody day indeed.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sunday Million Replay on PokerStars

I subscribe to Cardrunners, and I highly recommend them for anyone trying to improve either their cash or tournament play. Today, there was a video posted by Adanthar, one of CR's instructor's and a very accomplished tournament player in his own right. He took 3rd in the FullTilt Million last month, if I recall correctly.

At any rate, the video was a commentary of the final table Poker Star's Sunday Million tournament. I didn't know PokerStars did this, and what makes it very facinating to watch, is that they show ALL the player's hole cards. Even without the commentary, to watch how a final table plays out in a major Sunday tournament is incredibly valuable. So if you didn't know like I didn't, check it out. I believe the replays go up on Wednesday's every week.

In other news, I took Hoy's advice and played the token frenzy tonight. I thought I was toast since with about 8 to go until the token bubble busted, I was down to about 1.5 k, and it was a turbo format so the blinds were up there. Incredibly, the player's were nice enough to fold around to me when I was in the BB, and the bigstack who was to my left kept limping into pots, which scared off the rest of the players. So I had the good fortune of his protection, and was able to win my token, which I promptly use to register into Miami Don's Big game on Sunday.

See you all there!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Razz....good fold?

The dumb peril's of multitabling bit me in the butt last night.......oh well.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

MATH win #2

I won Hoy's Math blogger tournament tonight. Sure put a nice cherry on the evening.

I'm sorry I can't give all the details, since I was 5 tabling pretty much until we got to the final table. I've been racking points up to get my FullTilt year end bonus money, and SNG's have been my conduit. I am over half way there, so I think I'll make it easily.

I do recall when we were down to 4 handed, I won a flip against VinNay, I think AQ vs a PP where I hit the Q on the board, as we got it all in preflop. Got to get lucky at some point to win a tournament, and tonight was no exception.

I finally got heads up with Surflexus, a very worthy opponent, and as I recall we were fairly even in chips.

Then this hand came up, which was the penultimate of the tournament, and I had taken a 10k lead.

Heads up is a game I'm very familiar with. I'm not saying I'm the best, but I've played quite a bit of it, and feel like I've seen plenty of scenarios. In heads up play, the key is to play position, and play it aggressively. Also, hitting any pair is like hitting a set in a full ring game. Most of the time, high cards will win you the pot outright. You also have to trust your read, and go with it. Of course many things factor into the read. Knowing your opponent is probably the most important of all.

In this particular hand, Surf called my preflop raise, , but it wasn't a big raise, so any reasonable hand is going to call. Frankly, I probably should have been raising a bit higher heads up, but, I elected for the smaller raise. Now on the K high flop it goes check check. I've seen Surf make some tricky plays in the past, (like the time he busted me with T8 at the final table of one of the BBT2 events...har har....not that I hold any grudges or anything like that), but heads up play in my opinion is fairly straight forward. I think he's betting out most of the time with a flush draw or a pair. So when the 8 hit me on the turn, I felt I was ahead. He fired out a feeler 4k (into a 6k pot) bet, so I elected to smooth call, and see a river. I figured him for some A-rag kinda hand, and figured he had 6 outs. So when the River comes another King, I think I'm definitely ahead, and he fires out 10k. No need to reraise obviously, so I called and took down a big pot.

The very next hand, we get it all in, and I have him dominated, and he doesn't improve, and I win my second MATH tournament.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Rigged or not?

I've heard and read plenty on how online poker is rigged, crooked, etc. I subscribe to the notion that the online sites make/rake way too much money to ever risk their reputation. Although from what I heard on the Rounder's podcast, and supported by the image below, Absolute is still going strong, even after the big scandal.

So who knows if it's just that most online players don't keep up with the news, or just don't care. Maybe they are all just action junkies? but even so, I'd like to stick to a place I trust. Like for instance. (Grin) Now I have been reading plenty of badbeat, suckout stories, which seem to occur on Fulltilt, but in fairness, I do think it even's out. I don't see as many post's about how we get lucky on the river hitting are own 2,3 and 4 outers. But such is the life of any poker player. I think that the most irritating part is that they seem to come at the worst time. (see my last post)

So in is a major league action hand where your's truly 'sucked out'.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cracking Bullets

I've made it deep in both the 24k and the 25k the last few days...however, getting over the hump at the end of the tournament has been biting me. All MTT players's need to go through this I suppose. Tonight it was this hand. If I win, I'm in great shape for the final leg of the tourny. I'm just waiting for the law of averages to start to tilt my way. But I am playing good, and that's all I can ask of myself. I must admit though, this one stung just a little least they weren't black. ;-)

Full Tilt Poker Game #4803194290: $24 000 Guarantee (35772031) Table 121 - 1500/3000 Ante 400 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:45:22 ET - 2008/01/09
Seat 1: twoblackaces (37 704)
Seat 2: BigTimeAA (50 513)
Seat 3: HoneyBlunt (60 980)
Seat 4: SkyLee106 (85 476)
Seat 5: nuts2win (37 469)
Seat 6: hombregrande9 (110 903)
Seat 7: PublicEnemy777 (99 367)
Seat 8: chilenocl (55 252)
Seat 9: speer312 (51 323)
twoblackaces antes 400
BigTimeAA antes 400
HoneyBlunt antes 400
SkyLee106 antes 400
nuts2win antes 400
hombregrande9 antes 400
PublicEnemy777 antes 400
chilenocl antes 400
speer312 antes 400
HoneyBlunt posts the small blind of 1,500
SkyLee106 posts the big blind of 3,000
The button is in seat #2
hombregrande9: cool poker lingo

Dealt to twoblackaces [ ]
nuts2win has 15 seconds left to act
nuts2win raises to 37 069 and is all in
hombregrande9 : makes you fit in
hombregrande9 folds
PublicEnemy777 folds
chilenocl folds
speer312 folds
twoblackaces raises to 37,304, and is all in
BigTimeAA folds
HoneyBlunt folds
SkyLee106 folds
twoblackaces shows [ ]
nuts2win shows [ ]
Uncalled bet of 235 returned to twoblackaces

[ ]

[ ] [ ]

[ ] [ ]
twoblackaces shows two pair Aces and Queens
nuts2win shows three of a kind Queens
nuts2win wins the pot (82 238) with three of a kind Queens

Total pot 82 238 | Rake 0
[ ]
Seat 1: twoblackaces showed [ ] and lost with two pair Aces and Queens
Seat 2: BigTimeAA (button) folded before the Flop
Seat 3: HoneyBlunt (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 4: SkyLee106 (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 5: nuts2win showed [ ] and won (82 238) with three of a kind Queens
Seat 6: hombregrande9 folded before the Flop
Seat 7: PublicEnemy777 folded before the Flop
Seat 8: chilenocl folded before the Flop
Seat 9: speer312 folded before the Flop