Sunday, April 13, 2008

So Close Yet Again (HA)

Two nights ago I managed a 4th place finish in one of these fun little 90-player $5 SNG's on FTP that I'm trying to just win one of after the previously blogged-about numerous but non-winning top finishes in them. Well I plugged in for another go-round this afternoon and just busted out in 3rd this time (my 4th time finishing 3rd in probably 2-3 dozen of these) after barely staying afloat for the first 2-3 hours of the tournament and somehow managing to not only scrap back, but build a giant lead at the final table. I was running well later on with a combination of good cards and good moves based on good reads, and even picked up pocket Aces 3 times in the first 16 hands, including in two back-to-back hands. Still I only managed to get a little action on one of them, and gobbled up more chips in well-timed raises and in picking up little pots from the blinds. There was one major hand that drastically changed things, and I'm not sure I would've played it differently given the SB's aggressive tendencies here...

Full Tilt Poker, $5 + $0.50 NL Hold'em Sit n' Go, 1,200/2,400 Blinds, 300 Ante, 6 Players - Hand History Converter

BB: 21,052
UTG: 21,062
MP: 24,960
CO: 19,542
Hero (BTN): 138,672
SB: 44,712

Pre-Flop: (5,400) Ks As dealt to Hero (BTN)
3 folds, Hero raises to 7,200, SB raises to 44,412 and is All-In, BB folds, Hero calls 37,212

Flop: (93,024) Th 6s Qh (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
Turn: (93,024) 3h (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
River: (93,024) 4d (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: 93,024 Pot
Hero showed Ks As (Ace King high) and LOST (-44,712 NET)
SB showed 9h 9s (a pair of Nines) and WON 93,024 (+48,312 NET)

This put me in a much tighter spot for playing preflop, as my positional advantage would now be in jeopardy almost every time I put my chips in the pot. Plus the cards started running cold for a little while then, and I lost a lot of good opportunities to knock out some of the microscopic stacks still remaining. Another two players were knocked out, and it was down to four when the final hand finally came around...

Full Tilt Poker, $5 + $0.50 NL Hold'em Sit n' Go, 1,500/3,000 Blinds, 400 Ante, 4 Players - Hand History Converter

BB: 15,404
UTG: 19,516
Hero (BTN): 88,260
SB: 146,820

Pre-Flop: (6,100) Ac Js dealt to Hero (BTN)
UTG raises to 19,116 and is All-In, Hero calls 19,116, SB calls 17,616, BB folds

Flop: (61,948) Jh 2h 3d (3 Players - 1 is All-In)
SB checks, Hero bets 68,744 and is All-In, SB calls 68,744
Turn: (199,436) 3h (3 Players - 2 are All-In)
River: (199,436) 8d (3 Players - 2 are All-In)

Results: 199,436 Pot
UTG showed 9h 9d (two pair, Nines and Threes) and LOST (-19,516 NET)
Hero showed Ac Js (two pair, Jacks and Threes) and LOST (-88,260 NET)
SB showed Ah Qh (a flush, Ace high) and WON 199,436 (+111,176 NET)

So I was behind before the flop, but given that the UTG player was pushing just about every other hand, I'm taking my chances and trying to add a little to my stack. I'm not happy about the SB's call, though it could be just about anything with his range, so I don't see myself getting away after the flop. His call wasn't bad really, I'm just wondering why he didn't push. I might have gotten away then and just waited for a better spot. Hey Zeus those flush draws kill me... maybe I should've just tried to play nice and check it down.

Oh well, can't really argue with going 2/2 in making final tables this weekend. Still in the hunt for that #1 finish though. Maybe next weekend.

Best of luck. - B.

Friday, April 11, 2008

90-Seater Cash / Atlantic City

So I think I mentioned how one of my goals for the next month or two is to win one of the 90-player SNG's ($5 ones on FTP). Coming into this I had played maybe 15-20 total so far and managed to have a number of top 3 finishes plus a few other cashes, but no complete victories. Well I gave it a shot tonight for the first time in about half a year and managed to finish 4th... which was decent considering the relatively cold end of the deck that I was being dealt. Things were pretty slow for the majority of the tournament, and not many extraordinary hands really. My bust out was just a simple short-stack move for the blinds running in to a better hand. I might have time for another go-round this weekend, but probably not... just too much other stuff going on.

In other news it looks like I very well may be going to Atlantic City in about a month. The trip is mainly for a bachelor party for a friend of mine that's getting married in June, but I'd expect we'd spend a fair amount of our time playing poker. I'm probably the biggest card player of the bunch, so I don't want to force everyone else to spend the entire weekend at the casinos... but really... what else is there to do? Seriously... I've actually never been there before so I'm not sure what to expect. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bad Move or Good Sandwich Raise? (HA)

So I got lampooned for this one today. It was early on and the table had been very loose-passive preflop and a bit wild post-flop. Here's how it went down:

Full Tilt Poker, NL Hold'em Tournament, 20/40 Blinds, 8 Players - Hand History Converter

UTG: 2,130
UTG+1: 1,770
MP1: 780
MP2: 1,380
CO: 1,860
Hero (BTN): 1,270
SB: 1,400
BB: 2,910

Pre-Flop: (60) Js Ks dealt to Hero (BTN)
UTG calls 40, UTG+1 folds, MP1 calls 40, MP2 folds, CO calls 40, Hero calls 40, SB calls 20, BB checks

Flop: (240) 7s Ah Qs (6 Players)
SB checks, BB checks, UTG bets 200, MP1 folds, CO calls 200, Hero raises to 800, SB folds, BB calls 800, UTG raises to 2,090 and is All-In, CO folds, Hero calls 430 and is All-In, BB calls 1,290

Turn: (5,850) Tc (3 Players - 1 is All-In)
River: (5,850) 6d (3 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: 5,850 Pot
UTG showed 7d 7c (three of a kind, Sevens) and WON 1,720 (-410 NET)
Hero showed Js Ks (a straight, Ace high) and WON 4,130 (+2,860 NET)
BB showed Jc Th (a pair of Tens) and LOST (-2,130 NET)

Pocket 7's was probably the only hand I was really worried about here, and I figured I could get some mediocre Aces to fold, and if I met resistence I would be committed to call, but wouldn't mind doing so, potentially having 12 outs. The funny thing though, was that the UTG guy went off on me afterwards saying "lucky bastard" and "what a stupid call." What a stupid call??? I had to put 430 more in to a pot of over 4,000!!! Even if I was certain that you had a set I would have the correct odds to call. Not only that, but what about the guy in the BB that called a bet and a strong raise with an inside straight draw? If anyone made a stupid call it was that guy.

I didn't think much of his insults, as to me it was a move worth making, and I had no choice but to get the rest of my chips in there. Maybe a little risky to raise, but I'm certainly not folding in that spot and I prefer the aggressive method over just calling since my stack could use a little help if I want to cash in this thing. Sure I got a little lucky to win the hand, but it also set me up great to take the guy out a little bit later when he was still tilting (see hand below), and I went on the win the thing.

Full Tilt Poker, NL Hold'em Tournament, 25/50 Blinds, 6 Players - Hand History Converter

UTG: 1,820
MP: 2,205
CO: 2,040
BTN: 2,065
Hero (SB): 4,100
BB: 1,270

Pre-Flop: (75) Ac As dealt to Hero (SB)
UTG raises to 100, MP calls 100, 2 folds, Hero raises to 400, BB folds, UTG raises to 1,820 and is All-In, MP folds, Hero calls 1,420

Flop: (3,790) Td 9c 5d (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
Turn: (3,790) 7c (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
River: (3,790) Ks (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: 3,790 Pot
UTG showed 8c 8d (a pair of Eights) and LOST (-1,820 NET)
Hero showed Ac As (a pair of Aces) and WON 3,790 (+1,970 NET)

He made a nice little "worst player ever" comment on his way out, which really didn't bother me since I was taking his chips as a 4-1 favorite.

Oh and by the way, Full Tilt seems to be fully functional once again. Not sure what the problem was last night but it's back in action and traffic appears to be normal.

Hope to see you there. - B

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Full Tilt Server Crash

Go figure that when I finally have a little free time to chill and play a little tournament or two I can't make a connection with my favorite online poker site. At first I had no clue if it was just my connection or what, of course then I check their website and see the "technical difficulties" message, as well as a nice long thread on their forum about things being down for a few hours.

Maybe it was for the best though, as I used the time to finish up my latest hand history project. This one should be familiar from that fun Tier Three bustout I was talking about a week or two ago. Which one you ask? No, not the one where my straight on the turn lost to two pair that rivered the full house (not that bad of a suckout given that it was all-in preflop, just gut-wrenching to bubble in such a manner), I'm talking about the JJ vs. 55 where I lost to a runner-runner straight. Yeah that little diddy. The game still provided what I thought were some interesting hands, so I put the thing up with full synopsis and thought process as usual. Check it...

Complete Hand History - $69+6 Tier Three SNG (8/9)

Other than the usual pokering and site-building, things have been pretty busy. Actually there really hasn't been much pokering and site-building at all lately. Just other work-related things and attempts to catch up on sleep. I'm also kinda looking at real estate in different areas and putting some thought into what my ideal living area is. Maryland is cool and all, but I don't know if I'd like to be here in the long run. The weather just isn't my favorite and the cost of living around here is ridiculous. North Carolina is looking pretty nice, and you can get a ridiculous amount of house for dirt cheap. Everyone I know has only good things to say about the state, and it's not too far from home either. Anyways, something to think about for the near future.

One last thing. I'm trying to put a private freeroll or two together on Full Tilt (if it comes back up one of these days) - probably on a Sunday afternoon or something. I'm going to do one for some friends of mine but will start offering other ones for anyone that's interested. It's all part of the promotion I'm doing at ZipRake, so if a free $25 to play with plus access to these private freerolls sounds like your kind of offer, then go ahead and sign up below. Make sure you do the TeamZR signup too - that's where all the tournament passwords and goodies will be secured.

Free $25 and Private Freerolls at Full Tilt Poker

TeamZR Sign-up

Time to give Full Tilt one more try... hmmm, nope. This is not like them. Oh well. Time to read some more Harrington Vol II then.