Saturday, November 29, 2008

monthly live tourney - 3 in a row?

Got my chance to defend my 2 second-place-in-a-row finishes in the neighborhood monthly tourney last night. Another large turnout - 59 players crammed onto 6 tables to start the $50 buy-in tourney, which would make for a nice payout for those who could make the money.

The poker gods did not see fit to send decent cards my way. Early rounds in this tourney feature a fair amount of limpfests, and the stack sizes allow for taking some early shots with connectors and gappers, but I didn't even get the cards to attempt these shots. I stayed tight and, for the most part, avoided frustration.

In the third orbit around the bloated 10 man table, I decided to play a hand regardless of my cards, on the button. If it folded to my I would raise, if there were limpers I would limp behind. My hand? K5o. Oof. Oh well, the plan was to ignore the cards and see if I could use my position to win a hand. The flop came with 2 broadway and plenty of action from players who didn't seem like they were messing around, so I bailed by the time flop action got to me.

My first playable hand came with 25-50 blinds - AKo, under the gun. I made it 150, and got a caller from a decent player on the button. He liked to play broadway in position - he also liked to represent every draw on the board. If there were 2 diamonds, he would call a flop bet and then wake up and bet big when the third diamond came. If there wes a straight on the board, he was in betting. I'm sure he actually has the draw once in awhile, but not as often as he represents. I also got a caller from one of the blinds.

Flop with my AK was a clean whiff - QQ6. The blind checked and so did I. Broadway Joe checked as well. The turn was a T. Blind checked again, and I decided to take a shot and bet 150, but
Broadway Joe called the bet. He might have the Queen, or he might be representing it, but I was out of position and therefore in no position to figure it out. The river blanked out and I checked again. Broadway Joe bet 250 - I thought about calling but still felt like I had enough chips to manuever, so I folded.

The other bigger hand I got tangled up in was a study in two guys trying to outsmart each other. Everyone folded to the small blind, a good player who sat to my right. He limped into my big blind. I held JQ and thought about raising but decided to see a free flop instead. The flop came 669. The small blind lead out. I felt like he was just trying to steal on the paired flop, so I reraised with my overs, and he quickly announced "all in". Ok, then, guess he's got a 6. I folded. He flipped over AA, and was grateful that I didn't have the 6!

My cards stayed bad and I bled down to 800 chips with 50-100 blinds. Time to ship it out, and soon. My wish for one playable hand was granted with a 77 and a single limper in front of me. I shipped it in. The limper, who had an above average stack, asked if I wanted a call or not. He said "we're obviously racing, do you want a call?". I said "I'll leave it up to you", and he finally called, showing AK. AK? no preflop raise? Well, it didn't matter, I would be racing any 2 broadway just the same. I got out of the blocks nicely in my race with a zero paint flop, and kept him at bay with a Jack on the turn and another low
card on the river. I was alive with 1600 chips.

Another orbit around the table, another blind raise, and another dozen or so mostly unplayable hands. I did find AA once in early position, but chased everyone away with a 2.5x bet. Hidden luck strikes again. It's not only what cards you get - it's what cards everyone else gets, too. AA is dogmeat if all it wins you are blinds.

I soon got back to the same place I was before - 8 blinds, with blind levels going up soon. A limper came in and I peeked at AQo - plenty good enough to ship. I shipped. The limper, again with a stack I couldn't really cripple with a loss, called and I expected to be racing again (or maybe dominating, please please), counted up the chips right away and threw them in, and turned over -- QQ. Huh? What's with the limping with great hands?

Well, I needed an Ace and didn't get it. I had mostly folded my way, with one double up, to 25th place out of 59.

I also got into a $10 side game tourney with 8 players, but that's almost not worth mentioning. My card streak continued, and I ended up pushing my last 8 big blinds into a made straight. I had middle pair and a draw to the same straight. Lovely.

I had invited everyone from the Thursday game to the tourney, and had one taker - Mr. Matt Pietzak, an excellent player whom I've mentioned before. He's not afraid to play low cards and crush your AQ, or simply play you regardless of his cards.
Mr. Pietzak finished 5th - in the money - and probably should have finished in the top two, except that he decided to butt heads with the only guy at the table who could break him, and got broken by a strong drawing hand he couldn't get away from. Unfortunately, the big stack had a nearly unbeatable boat by the turn, and bumped everyone's equity up by knocking Pietzak out. I watched until that big stack and the formerly mentioned Broadway Joe were the last 2 in the tourney, then called it a night.

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