Saturday, April 10, 2010

posted by James - 10:47 PM

Another couple scores. Both in Absolute Poker freerolls sponsored by the No Deposit Bonus League. In the first one, got totally owned heads up... had a 50k to 13k lead. Villain had KK twice to my top pair and then suited ace... nothing left to do but cry after that.

Next up, got it in QQ vs 1010 and a 10 came on the flop, took me out on a "bubble" where I would have moved up at least another $1. I set myself up to win a lot more than that, either way.

Took a huge lead 4-handed in another tournament on Cake where 3 paid... and everybody started moving in on me and doubling through me when I had them. 77 vs AJs with the 7s on the flop and he turns the nut flush, and I didn't improve. AQ vs KQ, hits full house on river after we both hit trips on flop. A10 vs KQ and catches a K on the flop. I might post my bust hand on here and see if anybody thinks I should have done something different on the off case somebody would bust... 3rd place was a pretty monster payday with all the money added in the tournament.

Still, this was a very profitable day. I even made a pretty big score in Rush Poker on Full Tilt. Played .02/.05 for about 20 mins... turned about $6 with reloads into just over $20. I think it almost erased my losses from the other day, when i severely went on tilt after/during going 0-5 with and against KK. Boy did I run good though, cracking AA twice and chopping a couple pots I shouldn't have.

I know I sound like a noobfish who never makes money in a cash game (oh wait... that's exactly what I am), but I should have taken a screen cap of the dollar amount I had at that table. That made me really excited, and the $25 bonus I'll get from FullTilt's Take 2 promo AND the FTP Academy credits are cherries, man... cherries.

Here's a trick I picked up today... until I get my stack over the max buy-in, I make sure to click "sit out next hand"... that way I can reload. Even if it's a few cents, that's a few cents I'm not afraid of losing, but why not get the most possible if you double through someone?

I'd also like comments from anyone with experience playing Rush Poker... should have kept going when I was up? Should I have just rebooted my table and re-bought in with the max buy-in? Where should we place the threshold to re-buy? When our stack is doubled? tripled? What other factors should we consider when deciding whether to press on with our stack in Rush Poker? Should the average stack of the other "rushers" be a consideration?

Friday, April 09, 2010

posted by James - 9:47 PM

Made another run at a big guarantee on PowerPoker. This time, it was a $6 Bounty Tournament with a $2K guarantee. I avoided the final table bubble by taking 6th place out of 431, plus a couple bounties. I added $74 or so to the bankroll and also got a bunch of points for the leaderboard over at PokerBRB. In fact, I think I pretty much crushed it for the month, but it's still really early. I just don't think there's anybody else even playing the buy-ins that qualify, and you can't really make that many points through their freerolls.

Not complete without a bad beat story, right? Had 90k at the start of the hand at 3k/6k... short stack at the table stuck between two huge stacks who were just gobbling everybody up. KK on button, and I did something I never do... I limped. Didn't think I could get paid off if I open shipped or even just raised. I really wanted to have someone raise from the blinds and then ship it over the top of them. Big Blind made my wish come true and made it 36k to go... really odd given he didn't have much more than me and that was just a redonkulously huge raise. I shipped the 90k over the top, and he snap called with... wait for it... wait for it... QJo!

I'm really ok with him calling at that point because he's so wickedly crushed, but I just don't get it. Of course, in my bewilderment, I barely comprehend how a JJ4 flop comes out. Still ran pretty good today. Got caught in a steal twice... ok, maybe 4 times, but i don't count the times when I suck out on them anyway. In my opinion, they were trying to steal from me... they just didn't realize it at the time. I didn't play a lot of hands, but I made it count when I did.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

posted by James - 11:47 PM

Made a deep run in a $20k guarantee on PowerPoker. Out in 11th on the final table bubble. Really big ouch. I saw two all ins at second table... mid stack had AK, short stack had K7... so I pushed from sb with J8s to pick up blinds and antes (5k pot=more than 1/7th of my stack)... didn't think I'd get a caller. Big Blind had me covered by about 12k and woke up with 66, which I'm still even against. K7 pulled it out with 77 on flop and Ak caught his A too to stay in against big stack (didn't see what he had).

Still $360 is my biggest online score to date... for a tournament I got in at last second. Logged in to PowerPoker and saw I had a ticket for some tournament starting in 30 mins. Don't know where it came from or how I ended up with it. I wasn't really in the mood to play anymore after having just a breakeven session of rush poker on FTP, but I wasn't sure the ticket would be good for another time either. Then, I saw the value of the ticket was $162! I can't pass up a chance to play in a tournament like that. So, I bit the bullet and got in.

When I got in, it was a few short of the minimum to start, but it filled up a couple minutes before it started. Late Registration continued until the player pool swelled to 126, with a generous 25 players getting a payout.

I played really well early on, just keeping it very tight, since it was a deep stack starting at 5k in chips with 250 bb stacks. Now, they said it was a slow structure, but that was pretty much bupkus early on. It was the same jacked up structure every PowerPoker/Cake tournament has. I'm sorry, but going from 50 to 100 to 150 to 200 to 250 to 300 does not constitute a slow structure no matter how many blinds you give me to start. Methinks there's a few levels missing in there... I will say though the structure did get better later, which probably contributed quite a lot to my ability to stay patient through the middle stages.

After hovering around 8k or so, I dropped down to about 5k after getting value-towned when a big stack minraised my bb with AA and I had KQo, with a caller inbetween. The flop came Q-high with 2 clubs, and he curiously never raised me when I bet out on the flop, nor did he bet when I checked the turn, which completed the flush draw and paired the board. I had no idea what he had, but I didn't want him to just bluff me off the hand, so I made a smallish bet of 1200 into a 3300 chip pot. I'm pretty proud of that play, since I highly doubt he would have made it less than 1200. However, it is possible he might have not bet at all on a board with so many possibilities. I'm not sure I could have bet him off the hand with a bigger bet, but it's possible.

With blinds at 125/250 and the antes kicking in, I then started my string of double ups with, shall we say, less-than-premium holdings. I open raised to 750 from the button with A7s. The big blind reraised me to 2150, which I then shoved the rest of my 5k. He had plenty of chips to fold, but still decided to call with Q10d. An A on the turn ended any drama about my first double up to 10k.

I was moving my chips around pretty well at this point to keep myself afloat, but was still hovering around that 10k or just below. At 400/800 with a 75 ante, that meant going all in to have any chance at picking up chips. When I found 97h in the hijack, I pushed my 11 bbs in the middle. When the chip leader min raised from the button, I knew I was in trouble. However, I was relieved when he flipped over just AKo. lol Even though he had a heart, at least I was live and not up against a made hand. Of course a 7 came right on the flop with a 4 on the turn (THE JAMES!!!) to move me up to 19k.

Yeah, I can't say I really kept those long. Two hands later, I had A10o on the big blind, and the button shoved for just over 10 bbs. That could have easily been a steal with a weaker ace or two face cards, so I called it. He had 77, and I lost that race. I probably could have folded there, but I can't really say it's that bad of a call, even if the result knocked me back down to 10k.

Even though I was sure my image was shot by now, I just couldn't help myself. A few hands later, I had A3o and shoved my chips in from the hijack once again. The cutoff pretty much snap called me for half of his stack and everyone else folded.

If he was going to have a pair, he had the only one (other than deuces) I'd want him to have as he turns over pocket threes. The flop came down great for me with a pair of Kings and a 5, giving me 3 fives to go with my 3 aces. The A on the turn left him with only the one out to catch up to me, and up to 20k I went again! My opponent would lose the rest of his chips on the next hand with AJs against QQ, sealed by a Q on the flop.

The money bubble was fast approaching as the blinds went up to 500/1000 with a 100 ante.

As tight as I was playing and wanting so badly to cash, I still couldn't help but fast-play a couple of cowboys from the small blind even though the big stack at the table raised from the cutoff. I popped him up 3x his raise, and he folded. I picked up a nice 7100 chip pot for my efforts, while wondering if I could have extracted a little more value from my 17 bb stack.

With the bubble burst a few hands later, the push to solidify my stack into a final table possibility began. Picking up JJ from the big blind with no small blind didn't hurt... and a button 3x raise from the preceding blind stealer was superb medicine. I popped him another 3x up to 9k, which he then shoved over for 34k. With half of my stack already in, it was an easy call, and a delight when he turned over AJo. The board came out no sweat, and a 42k pot came my way.

Play really slowed down after that as there were mostly big stacks on my table and small stacks on our adjacent table. I think I played two hands until my eventual bust hand. I take absolutely no solace in the fact that my conqueror ended up winning the whole shebang. That's just not how I roll.

I am however pleased to continue my success and know if I keep getting this far, my big score will come.