Saturday, August 29, 2009

more hands from last night

Lots of focus on my last hand flameout last night (see post below if you want to go in order) - I didn't talk about some of the hands that got me to the final table.

A pair of bullets helped me in the early going. The player to my left was experienced and aggressive, and he called my preflop raise. Most of the hands at this point in the tourney were still limp/limp/limp, so I figured he was pretty strong. I bet the flop and turn with a king on the board, and got a call both times. A queen on the river scared me a bit, thinking two pair was in his range, so I bet the same amount on the river as I did on the turn, and got paid off by what I must assume was KJ. He didn't show.

My favorite hand of the night came in the second level, with only 15/30 blinds. Following my pre-tourney plan (see 2 posts below), I limped behind one other limper with 2h4h. This holding was pretty weak even for the looser standards I was trying to set for myself, but I encouraged myself to stick with the plan and use try to position to win a pot or two instead of cards. 4 players saw a board of As 5h 7h. A flush draw for me, not much else. One of the limpers lead into the fray with a bet of 50, and it folded to me. We were heads up. I have tangled with this player before, and know him to be a solid internet guy (probably with more experience than I have). He was betting like he had an ace, but I knew for a fact that if he had a big ace - he would have almost assuredly raised preflop. nope, he either had some kind of pocket pair, or he had the ace but hated his kicker. I raised to 150. I felt like even if he called, I would accomplish the old "see the river card for free play", and get two shots to hit my flush. He stared at me for several seconds and folded. I presumed that he couldn't discount the ace from my hand, as I had from his.

The final table would have been nothing but a wish, except for one more lucky holding. Back down to 1500 chips, my starting stack, but now with 100/300 blinds, I was in dire straights. I was under the gun, and figured the blinds would pass me and I would have to start desparation shove mode right away (I would have started earlier, actually, but the opportunity had not presented itself yet). Then I checked my cards, first to act. Pocket aces! At least I would go down with a fight.

I wanted at least one caller with pockets aces, so I raised to 700. I got calls from not 1 but 3 other players! One was a cadgey codger type who I was sure wasn't calling with garbage. My aggressive friend that I bet off the ace board earlier was also in, and one other player. I stuck the rest of my stack in with a 345 rainbow board, and they both called again! They both checked the turn and river, which came a 6, giving anyone with a 2 or 7 a straight, and probably sending me home. My aces ended up beating the pocket queens of the cadgey codger type, and Mr. Aggressive mucked his cards - giving me a welcome triple up+.

I got to use this chips to my advantage. I raised several times in the next couple orbits, taking care to avoid the small stacks that needed a double up. The super-aggressive guy to my left once quipped "I'm going to start looking you up one of these times", to which I smiled. I actually was stealing his blind with a reasonable hand this particular time - A8 - but I refrained from showing.

One more hand won me a couple thousand chips right before the final table. I got a free look at a flop with a powerhouse 73o. The small blind and I were the only 2 in the hand. I hit my seven on the board, along with an ace and a 5. We both checked. The turn came under the seven again - a four I think. My opponent bet into me, and this time I raised, with only second pair, a gutshot draw, and a crappy kicker to boot! When my opponent called, I figured him for either a better seven than I had, or also trying to hit the low straight that was brewing. The river made my decision harder with another seven, giving me trips. However, it really didn't change anything - if I was ahead before, I probably still was ahead, and if I was outkicked, then I could go broke overplaying my garbage kicker. If he lead into me with a sizable bet, I would have to strongly consider folding. When he checked the river, though, I was pretty sure my trips were good. I chose a bet amount slightly higher than the turn raise, and my opponent folded. Must have been the straight draw.

The fortuitous aces right when I needed them, along with my big pot with AK at the final table, had given me all the signs that luck was looking down on me this night, and I was going to get into the money at this tourney for the first time this year. Then the queens came, and in a blinding flash I was in the parking lot, heading for my car. Did I botch this last hand horribly, or was I simply destined to go broke against the flushmaster and his perfect flop? I can't decide.


diverjoules said...

Matt - was this your once a month (end of month) tourney? How many were in? How many got paid? Where were you in the final table? Second or third in chips? I know a lot of questions. Curious mind is all.

diverjoules said...

Oh ok. I see some of questions are answered in the next post. Sorry bout that.

matt tag said...

yeah, the posts come out of time order - I considered writing them backwards for this reason, but the damn QQ hand haunted me for two days, so I had to document it.