Monday, May 21, 2007

Everyone knows not to bluff muppets - don't they?

Yesterday was a frustrating day. Played two tournaments on Blondepoker - the WSOP Super Sat ($375) and the $250,000 Guaranteed ($430). Bought straight into both, so what did I have to show for my $800?

Came 40th of 85 in the WSOP satellite. Managed to get up above average and then dribbled away a bit. Played two hands badly. Raised with 77, get a call from the behind me, creating a pot of 1300. Flop is A66, he has 1800 left so I decide to represent the Ace and push. Ridiculous decision. These guys love to call raises with Aces and aren;t going to fold. He has AJ.

Ten hands later I raise with 22 and get a call from a Frenchie in the BB (pot is 1100). Flop is JJ9 and he checks. I push for 1500 and he instacalls with 88. Another bad decision from me - why do I keep trying to bluff these guys?

The $250K was very annoying. Huge overlay ($90K) thanks to the network messing up and closing registration ten minutes before the start - sweet. After a quiet start I managed to get up to the top five simply through hitting some flops and getting paid off by the fools. Maintained my position in the top ten and then got moved to a hugely tight table. A ten-seat table which went fold-fold-fold-fold-fold-fold-raise-fold-fold-fold every single hand. I managed to grab some blinds every hand but had absolutely nothing so didn't want to risk any resteals, as these guys were only raising with good cards, and would be liable not to fold to a push.

Finally got AA on the button. I'd been frustrated in the WSOP sat earlier by getting AA UTG and only winning 90 chips so I was praying for some action before me, as I knew I'd get paid off. Early position Frenchie limps (excellent - he's trapping with something), so I raise a little bit and he pushes. Happy days. He has QQ and flops a Queen :(

This knocked me back but I was still above average. However I was still on a very tight table, getting no cards, and with no opponents prepared to bleed chips. About half an hour goes by. I have the exact same stack (one blinds steal per round) but am now below average, due to the other players getting knocked out. A mid position player open min-raises. I'd seen him do this a couple of times before. I'm on the button with 88 and decide this is the time for my first resteal - if I wait much longer I'm not going to have enough to make anyone fold.

I push, and he has AA. I am sadly lacking in snowman magnetism so go out 98th of the 399 starters. What annoyed me so much was that I'd got off to such a great start in a tournament with a $65K first prize and then simply didn't have any chance to capitalise on things. There was definite frustration in the push with 88 - it's -EV against a raiser on this table's likely raising range, and I'd already noted how bad the players generally are (these are the ones who won't let go of A9 in this situation). Did I go too soon? Could I have waited? Maybe, but it's making decisions like this which lead me to win tournaments and rarely cash small. Overall it's probably more profitable, but the variance is a killer.

One funny hand from earlier. At 15/30 a short stack (who'd lost a big pot with AK v AQ two hands ago) goes all-in from under the gun for 180. I have JJ in mid position and about 3000 chips. I raise to 400 to signal my intention to the other players to step aside. The SB re-raises to 1200. In my less disciplined past I'd ship it here and lose to QQ+, but here I took a little while and decided there'd be a better spot. I hadn't given much thought to what the all-in player had, thinking it was a bit of a steam push, but he had a genuine hand in AQ. The re-raiser though, had the monster of A5 soooooooted. I nearly fell off my chair. A five on the flop, and another on the river meant I made the right choice from a results based perspective, but really, A5? The next hand was quickly folded so a note could be written about Mr A5.

I simply must, must, must play more straightforwardly against these guys. Maybe I should have a night where I simply play every single MTT - four on the go at once should keep me honest.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The novelty of a green month

Blogs are supposed to be updated monthly, aren't they?

Blondebash was fun. Played in the regular £75 freezeout on the Friday night. Lost some chips on the very first hand when I had to pay off the nuts on the river when the Ace that fell gave me top pair against his nut straight. Lost a big chunk of chips doubling up Flushy when I got cute with AQ pre-flop (deciding not to raise a few limpers), and finding that the seemingly trouble-free Q92 rainbow flop fitted his Q9 quite well. An AK/JJ race didn't come off which left me happily ensconced in the rather fabulous bar area at the G Casino in Luton (the whole place is superb). Didn't really get anywhere in Saturday's tournament but did win three out of three in the heads-up to take my team to the semi-final.

In the online world, I've played MTTs this month. Got off to a cracking start when I won the $15,000 Double Stack freezeout on Blonde for $6000. I had the day off work so played a qualifier in the afternoon and got through that to the big evening tournament. Good tournament this, there were only 44 people and I much prefer those type of events than three-figure runner donkaments. I also won the Blonde tournament on Thursday for $1000 - a thirty runner affair.

Had a couple of goes at winning a WSOP seat - got my money back in one thanks to the strange payout structure in sats on Blondepoker. There'll be however many seats available, and then the rest of the prize money is paid out as entry fees back to the next however many people, instead of a declining payout. So, for example, in one I played in there were 4 seats, then the next 28 people got their money back. Effectively there are two bubbles, with a crazy period as the shortstacks try to double up in between.

As for the writing, I've done a few player profiles for the new Blondepoker player database but still no actual stuff off the top of my head. Been too busy playing STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl instead. God that game is good.