Sunday, October 26, 2008

Live tourney report - 10/24

A much bigger turnout to the neighborhood tourney this month - 53 players total. I showed up early (as I do for everything) and chose one of the 2 felt tables (the other 4 are round card tables). Anthony lets the first 5 players or so choose their tables and then makes the others pick a numbered chip to seed the rest.

My table ended up pretty tough. Jason, the guy who read my every move when we were 3 handed last month, was there, as was Anthony the director himself. Anthony is a straightforward, solid player. Two players on the other side I knew were total rocks - if there were in a hand with any aggression, I probably would not be there with them. One of them, a guy named Bud, routinely complains about his cards every month- this month I found out why - there are only 2 hands he likes in the whole deck!

In the first orbit of the night, I got 77 in late position and got to see a cheap, multiway flop. I liked the flop very much, too - A 7 3, three suites. Not much that anyone could have in the way of draws- hopefully someone had an Ace that would give me action. Someone lead out small and it folded around to me. I decided this flop was safe enough to slowplay so I just called. We were the only 2 in the pot.

The turn was an 8 or 9 and player one lead out again. I hoped he had just hit two pair and raised it up. He thought for a second and folded, saying "I don't like my kicker". Why play Ace rag if you're not going to like your kicker, which you never will? This pot gave me 400 quick chips to put me at 1900.

Jason was playing several hands strangely - calling preflop raises in position with marginal cards. Unfortunately, this worked in his favor a coupld times. He called a preflop raise with KTo and hit top two pair, then won a giant pot against AK who put 500 chips in with TPTK. He ended up with the big stack at the table.

Fortunately for me, I won two decent pots from him. I raised up AQ and he called from a blind. The flop came all undercards and I whiffed. He checked, so I continuation bet half the pot, but he floated me and called this as well. I was ready to give up when an Ace came on the turn. Jason replied "well, you just hit your Ace" and checked. I couldn't decide in the heat of the moment if perhaps he was goading me into another bet with a set or something, so I chickened out and checked behind. The river came and he checked again. Now I was pretty sure he hand nothing so I bet a bit under half pot (hoping for value and protecting against losing too much on a checkraise), but he folded. He said to me "pretty ballsy slowplaying a pair of aces" so I replied "wasn't slowplaying, just trying to keep the pot small with a small hand". I probably should have kept my mouth shut - I suppose I could have had JJ/QQ/KK and played it the same way - now he knows I will c-bet with nothing.

The second hand I won was raising from under the gun with KQs. This hand is usually a bit weak from this position for my style - but the table was often folding to preflop raisers and I thought perhaps I might even take the blinds from a raise this early. Jason called again from the blind. Again I hit nothing on the flop. He checked and I decided to check behind, since he knew I had c-bet the AQ. The turn, strangely enough, came Ace again. He smiled at me and checked. I smiled right back and checked behind. The turn missed yet again and we showed down, he called "I have a king" as I flipped over KQ - he then mucked and said "crap, outkicked". This pot was smaller but still welcome.

This was about all the memorable hands I had early. My cards went cold for an hour or so and I dutifully folded. I took some pride in folding stuff like A9
and KJo in early position, but my stack size was shrinking as the blinds were rising.

Soon after the first break, I had 1600 chips with 75-150 blinds. A stack shorter than mine went all in for something like 900 chips. I looked down at AKo and decided "ok, this is it" and overshoved. Then another player, with about the same size stack as me, also called all-in. Uh-oh. We were about halfway through the players, and there was a good chance I was going out early.

We flipped our cards over - the original raiser had 89s, and the overcaller had AKo, right along with me. It looked like there was a better chance of Mr 8-9 hitting his hand with our 2 big slicks interfering with each other, but then Jason, who was dealing, flipped over his mucked cards - he had folded 89! This put the odds back to "even", and me and the other AK ended up splitting the pot, getting our original chips back and 400 each from the shortie. This gave me a bit of breathing room.

One orbit later, I got my lucky streak of cards. It started with QQ in middle position. I raised and it folded all around. For reasons unknown, I showed the Queens (gotta cut that out in general, but it worked to my advantage here). Then, the very next hand, I got AA, and raised it up again - same amount as before. Once again, everyone folded and I stole the blinds. This time, someone asked "so, what did you have this time?" and I said "I'm not going show that one, sorry". Again, not sure why I took this course of action, but it worked out great for me. Very next hand, I look down at AA again. Uncanny. Once again, I raise it up to 3x the big, but this time I get a caller and we see a flop. The flop is pure, unadulerated garbage - 9 5 2 rainbow. Just a total whiff for just about everything. My caller is on my immediate left. I look over and he's only got like 800 chips left, so I decide to immediately put on the pressure. "I'll put you all in" I exclaim. He gets that agonized look on my face that tells me he might call. If he had AK/AQ he would chuck these cards in a heartbeat with a smile on his face. Then he starts an external self-monologue, and this lifts my spirits even more. He says "I think I just got coolered". Then he says "well, why would I call a raise with this hand and not play it to the end on this board?" I figure he's got TT/JJ now. He agonizes a few more seconds and then calls - and turns over 88. A bit lower than I figured, but the same result. I show my Aces and he practically falls off his chair, saying "
Queens and Aces in the span of two hands? Unbelievable". I don't bother disappointing him further telling him about my Aces in the hand in between! I avoid the deadly 2-outer hanging over us and get myself into a competitive chip position by knocking out Mr. 88. I think not showing my second hand was the key to his call - he decided there was at least some chance I was bluffing, and didn't put me on a 9, so a call seemed reasonable to him.

To end the lucky run of cards - the very next hand I got another pocket pair - this time 44. This time, though, I was under the gun, and figured maybe someone (or multiple people) would be gunning for me, so I just threw the hand away. A limp would have been screamingly obvious after 3 straight raises, and I didn't need to throw chips away in a fast tourney raising with 44 with 7 left to act.

We soon condensed down to the final table - 10 left, top 6 get paid. There were several small stacks and I decided to tighten up a bit to get some reads on the new players and maybe fold my way into the money. The final table turned out to be fairly passive, in my estimation. Usually, the last 10 players are all the internet guys with lots of raising and a fair amount of 3 betting. This table featured several multiway limped pots, as well as several calls of raises, even from the blinds. This helped me decide to tighten up even more.

The bubble didn't last too long - someone got knocked out and I was in the money for a second straight month. Bud, the ultra tight player who always complains about his cards, was in the money. By this time, I was witness to his playing style - he is the weakest-tightest player I've ever seen. I saw him limp from the button with no limpers in front. The flop came Queen high and he bet. A king came on the turn and he checked. The river came a blank and he checked again, then decided to call a small river bet. He showed AQ. He had open limped from the button with AQ!

Later in the night, he limped again in late position, and I jokingly thought to myself "this is probably Kings". The flop came with an ace and he checked. The turn and river didn't look like any draws were present - and he ended up showing down - you guessed it - KINGS!.

Later in the tourney, he did end up raising. I had A9 in a blind and knew it was not even close to good. I threw it away. He also 3 bet all-in and called an all-in, both times with AK, which seemed odd to me - I guess he likes AK, even more than KK!

Bud ended up affecting the order of the last 6 players by not putting a player all in for his last 100 chip. This player two hands later put his chip in 2 hands later, got 3 callers, and quadrupled up when nobody hit anything and his ace high held up. Bud could have joined the party for a single chip but folded 72, which would have ended up being the winning hand. Then this player doubled up 2 more times and got enough chips to damage the other stacks, and he ended up lasting longer than Bud himself.

The final table wasn't very eventful for me. I stole a few blinds to gain some chips but didn't get very involved. I did knock someone out to gain a big chipstack one more time but to be honest I barely remember doing so. (I don't remember the hand at all). People started falling out and I was moving up in the money by folding. We fell to 4 players, then 3. Then the other 2 guys at the table got tangled up in a hand and I was heads up, again, for the second month in a row. Nice!

Heads up lasted only 4 hands. Blinds were 2000-4000 - I had about 20,0000 in chips. The first hand, he raised me up and I folded crap. The second, I completed the blind with more crap and he raised me. I folded. The third hand, he raised again, and I folded again. I decided I needed to take a stand with about 11,000 in chips, and decided I was going to shove regardless of my cards. They came - 75o. Ugh. I shoved. My opponent said "that's funny, I was just ready to offer you a chop". The second place prize was $560 and he was going to offer me $700. I would have taken it in a second. "However, I gotta call you here, he said". I prayed I would win this one more time and then offer to take his chop. He showed A9s and knocked me out.

Looking back on my play - I feel I played excellently for the second straight month. I believe I went the entire game without calling one raise. I'm pretty sure I won almost every hand I showed down (perhaps I lost a few small pots on the river, but certainly no big ones). I played most of the hands correctly (that KQs raised UTG was a bit weak, but I reasons for stepping outside my comfort zone there). No big mistakes, no suckouts (either for or against me), and none of that "getting a great, second best hand that's impossible to get away from" stuff that's been a feature of my Thursday cash game. My reads were solid (for my novice level of hand and player reading) and they kept me out of some trouble. I hit a set early and won a nice pot, and of course had my lucky run of big pocket pairs that basically doubled me up when my situation was on the bleak side.

And $560 clams ($510 net) to boot!

No comments: