Friday, October 23, 2009

Live Tourney Report - Oct 23

A bad sign early - I stopped in a fast food restaurant to grab a burger on the way, and the line held up for over 10 minutes without moving. People were honking and getting irritated. Soon, the back window started giving out food, and I found out that the person at the front of the line was not getting her order correct and was refusing to pull out of the line. Nice.

This made me later than I usually like to be for the tourney (I'm one of those types who is early to everything, so my delay merely made me on time). We started about 7:20 pm, with 33 players.

I started off in the big blind. Two limpers to me, I look at the immortal 72o. I hit my deuce, bet on an all low flop, and take the pot. Nice start.

Second hand, from the small blind, the absymal Q3. Almost always a fold, but this tourney starts with somewhat odd 10-15 blinds, so my pot odds are silly-big. I call and fold the whiffed board

Hand #3, from the button I play as well - 8cTc. I like taking flops in position, early in the tourney. I hit a flush draw and gutshot and call two reasonable bets, but don't get there. When he checks to me on the river, I take a stab at the pot, but I stab too little. He looks me up with second pair. Whoopsie.

Ok, time to tighten up. The poker gods tease me with marginal broadway for the next two hands - QT, then KJ. I fold them both, even though this tourney is a limp-fest for the first three levels. I stay tight. I pat myself on the back as all my folds miss the flops anyway.

Flash forward to the end of level three. I haven't played a hand since the 8cTc. Anthony announces that the current hand is the last before the break. I'm under the gun with 1100 chips, and the blinds will be going up to 50-100 on the next hand. It's starting to look grim, but my cards give me my first playable hand of the night - pocket queens. I raise them up and both blinds call. I'm not happy about this development, until I hit my queen on the flop, with two diamonds. We all check.

The turn is black but puts three connected low cards out there. I make a sizable value bet and get one caller, who is chasing one of the draws.

The river is a black king and no draw gets there. Maybe he's got KQ? That would be sweet. I bet the same amount as my turn bet, but he folds. He's a "show and teller" - he likes to tell everyone what he was holding, and tells me he had an ace and an open ended straight draw. Too bad the river wasn't an ace.

The first break hits and I've got 1700 - just over my starting stack, but alive.

After the break, I'm immediately moved to another table. I know many of the players there and respect their games. My cards get better and I start to make some moves - I reraise all-in with KJ and get a fold from a late position raiser. Later an unknown raises to 500 with 75-150 blinds from the button - I shove over him with AQ. He glares at me and also elects to fold. I'm staying afloat. I also know I've shoved on these guys twice now in two orbits, and probably better not do it a third time very lightly.

The table starts to get more aggressive as the limpers are getting knocked out. I'm staying right around 10 BB - too much to shove, but just enough to shove over a raiser. 10 blinds is also a very tenuous hand to try and steal blinds, so I pass over a few of those opportunities.

I don't find any good situations to gather any more chips, though. I briefly considered making one bluff-shove over two limpers with Jack-Seven suited, and of course would have hit two pair on the flop had someone called me. Drat.

We get to the final 10 and the blinds go up - I only have 7 BB left now. Time to get to work. I can't make anything happen the first orbit around the table - action in front of me and no cards.

I make my final stand when two people limp to me in the small blind. I've got A9o and shove, but I've only got 5 blinds left and figure I'll be racing someone. Not sure whether I'm glad or not, but both limpers call. Then they get it all in on a flop that misses me, so things don't look good. Turns out I was against KQ and JTs - they both hit a pair on the flop, I missed, so down I go in tenth place.

Another decent showing, but nothing to write home about. At least no killer mistake hand to leave me awake at night for three days, like my pocket queens from 2 months ago. I actually got my money in as a (very slight) favorite - A9 vs. KQo and JTs is 36% to win, and I would have tripled up had my hand held up.

If I did anything wrong, I think I got a bit too tight at 10 blinds, and then was too short when the level changed and the blinds doubled. I probably should not have skipped any opportunity to steal the blinds from late position. 2x raises were still getting folds and I could have attempted this once or twice to try and stay afloat. A few more chips and maybe KQ and JT have to fold to my shove.

Close but no cigar.

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