Saturday, January 23, 2010

Live Tourney Report - Jan 23: Grow some BALLS you Nancy Boy

Waterbury Monthly Open, with a double, $100 buy in for January. I took this tourney very seriously - practicing online 45 mans all week. I felt ready to go when we sat down at about 7:30 with 38 players.

I drew an aggressive table, as far as these tourneys go. There are usually enough beginning players limping along early with too many hands - that did not appear to be the case for me. I tried an under the gun limp with pocket fours early - no dice, big raise behind. Not enough odds to try and flop a set, so into the muck it went.

I made a little move early, raising up a limper to 3x with 7c8c, hoping to take the initiative or hit a big draw that I could push. No dice again - button raises over my raise, and my implied odds are shot. He flashes kings. Don't mind my play there, tough luck running into a monster behind me.

My plan was to play a few decent hands on the button, early, even for a normal raise, but I didn't get any decent hands on the button. J3/96o/T7o - into the muck they went. I was playing ok but had nothing to show for it yet.

With 15/30 blinds, under the gun raises it up to 85. Hmm, seems a bit small, no? I spot ace-king offsuit in my hand. 3-bet? Nah, too early in the tourney to put all my eggs in Big Slick's basket. Plus this guy just raised from under the gun, and raised to 2.5x - he might have a monster. Let's wait and see a flop before we go marching forward into his trap, shall we? I call. A blind calls as well.

Not a terrible flop - Ace of Diamonds, Queen of Diamonds, and a black rag. Hey, I hit a flop, and I have position. The blind checks, and the under the gun guy says "same bet, 85".

I'm officially wetting my pants now. Tiny preflop raise followed by 1/3 pot bet. Maybe he's got pocket aces, right? Or maybe ace-queen and hit his two-pair. Or maybe two diamonds and wants to see a cheap turn card.

Yeah, or maybe I'll grow a tail and swing from a tree tomorrow afternoon. I've got top pair, top kicker, and position, a raise in order. I know this is the right play, My brain says "raise it up, sparky, time to play for stacks", but my mouth doesn't listen.

"I call".

Call?!!? You played big slick slow preflop like a pussy to make sure you hit the flop first, then you hit, and you just call. With a flush draw and a straight draw out there. Well done, numbnuts.

The blind calls as well.

The turn doesn't make things any better - the jack of diamonds to go with the ace and queen. Now the royal draw is in play, and I'm sitting there with top pair, top kicker. What a spot.

But something nice happens - both players check to me. Both are capable and might be setting up a checkraise after hitting their flush, or they slowplayed their AQ two pair into a tight spot, but I've got position and it sure looks like I might be on a flush draw. I gather up some courage and bet 200. As soon as I announce the bet, though, I realize it's too small - the pot is over 500. Both players call, and I officially have no idea where I am in the hand.

The river bricks out, and the original preflop raiser fires out 500. He's got about 700 behind this bet, so it sure doesn't look like he's folding. What exactly do I beat on this board that this guy is betting for value? Uh, nothing. AQ/AJ are ahead of me. KT is ahead of me. Diamonds. Aces/Queens/Jacks - all ahead. Pocket kings aren't betting into this board.

I fold and the original preflop raiser takes down the pot. I sigh out loud "God I hate the way I played that hand", and someone jokes "why, did you have king-ten of diamonds and fold?", hinting that I folded I royal flush. Yeah, good one. Then the guy who took down the pot said "he couldn't have had that, I had the king of diamonds".

My ears perked up. The king of diamonds? What did he have then? I recalled the board one more time and pieced it together - the king of diamonds gives him ace-king, pocket kings, or king-queen.

All of them allow for a bet on the flop, then a call on the turn with a pair and the nut flush draw. And I was ahead of or tied with all three of those holdings.

Now I hate the way I played the hand even more. I could have three bet preflop (though a call is not terrible this early in the tourney), but I have to raise that flop. I have to. He has bet weakly twice now, and I have a hand. If he comes over the top of my raise, well then I can make a decision, but at least I force him to make a decision with a pair.

By waiting until the turn to try my bet, I made his decision easy - top pair, nut flush draw. I call. He could have pushed, actually, and made me call with one pair.

Looking at my opponent, I hate the way he played his hand, too. He made two weakish bets out of position, allowing draws to get there. If he has ace-king, he needs to bet hard and protect. If he has king/king - he can either fire hard and represent that ace or check, but the weak flop bet doesn't accomplish anything. So we all played it like crap, but he ended up with the chips.

Fortunately I hit some cards before the first break to make up for this mistake. I raised a limper with kings - this was the same guy I had raised with 7c8c a bit earlier. He asked "are you picking on me"? to which I replied most sincerely "nosir", which was the truth, at least this time. (I didn't show my kings, though - let him wonder). Then a shortstack pushed his last 10 blinds into the pot and I found pocket jacks, which I called and had to avoid three outs against ace rag, which I did.

I also limped on the button with nine ten suited, probably a marginal play, but I had a few chips now and wanted to play more hands in position. I hit the nine, but a jack on the board gave me pause. Then I realized my pause was so long that nobody would believe I had a hand, so I checked (more weak play by me). The turn brought a queen, giving my an open ended straight possibility. The blind fired out a bet that I either had to fold or shove - I thought it might be a marginal play but I shoved and got a fold. He told me later he had the nine-rag two pair from the blind - so I got a better hand to fold.

We went to the break with me at 2200, more than the starting amount, but not terrific. I had survived my nancy-boy, girly-man early play, and got moved to another table shortly after the break.

No comments: