Tuesday, May 8, 2007

PAPT - It's been a looooong time

The Park Ave Poker Tour that I wrote about early in the year has been M.I.A. on my blogs... mainly because I have been absent from the PAPT. Between work and few other things getting in the way of a good Tuesday night poker, I haven't been there in almost 2 months. During that time, a lot of new players were added, some old regulars left, and through it all, Tyke (last year's 2nd place PAPT POY finisher) kept his solid showing and continued to rack up points to take a dominating early lead in the Player of the Year Race. Well, finally, I was able to make it tonight even though work tried to get in the way once again.

Early on, I wanted to play tight and not spill off too many chips early. The way this tournament is structured, there's a lot of play early on since the blinds increase very slowly but after the first hour and a half, blinds start escalating in a hurry (after 5-10, it's 7-14, 8-16, then 10-20 and T$5 increments thereafter... starting chips of 175ish). So, as long as you have about T$100 chips, you're really not out and as long as you catch cards towards the end, it really doesn't matter how you do in the beginning. Having said that, it helps to build your chip stack so that you're not in a one and done situation either. So, to recap...

I started off getting pretty crappy cards when this hand came up... Seth limped from UTG (blinds at T$2/T$4) and Brent raised to T$8 from the button. The small blind called and I was in the big blind so I called another $4 with 2-4 of spades and Seth smooth calls. Now, at this point, I've never played with the small blind or Seth so I didn't know what to expect from them. Well, the flop comes J-2-4, giving me bottom two. The small blind comes out betting T$15 and since he just called the minimum raise from the button, I didn't put him on a big hand. I figured he may have hit the J with like a 10 or a 9 kicker... maybe QJ at best was what I figured. I was afraid that I would push him away if I raised so I decided to smooth call here. Then, Seth, the UTG limper/raise caller doubles it to T$30. Button folds and the small blind quickly calls so it's T$15 more to me in a pot where there is approx T$107 so, I was willing to take this pot down right now and I pushed all in. Seth calls and the small blind is agonizing... which made me think maybe he had a decent kicker to go with his J... well, he eventually folded and Seth turns over a very poorly played AA. Turn and the river didn't help him out as he was the first victim of this house of bad beats tonight. But I say it was poorly played on his part because he limped UTG which is fine but then when the button doubled the bet and both blinds called, he should have reraised at that point to narrow the field. Instead, he elected to call and going with AA four handed is just asking to get killed. Not having aces cracked in that instance should be considered lucky.

That clearly propelled me to the chip lead and I played fairly tight aggressive to build/maintain my stack. And then a few key hands came up. It was down to 5 players (started with 7) and there was one guy who was relatively short stacked with approx T$50 in chips. I knew that he was going to start pushing with a fairly wide range since the blinds were climbing up so when the blinds were T$5/10, I limped UTG with AK of hearts. It was folded to the shorty who pushed all in as expected. I called in a heartbeat, thinking if he has Ax, I'm way ahead. Worst case scenario was that he would have a pocket pair so I was feeling pretty good... Unfortunately, I lost the race against his pocket tens so he doubled up. Good news was, with my early lead, that barely put a dent into my stack... until this came up...

The aforementioned small blind (Shaun) was sitting in cut off this time when he raised it to T$30 (blinds still at 5/10). I am on the button with pocket 9's and since he was relatively short (I had about T$300+ at this point and he had like $90 total) I reraised to T$100. Folded back around to him, he thinks about it and calls with AJ. I can't remember which one but he hit his hand on the flop so he doubles up through me. Now that did put a dent to my stack. These are supposed to be coinflips I thought... wasn't I supposed to win at least one of these?

Well, in the end, the lost race with my pocket 9s comes back to haunt me when Shaun and I end up going heads up and he picked off my, what I thought was a well timed bluff. Next hand, he flops 2 pair, slow plays until I catch a pair on the turn, push my short stack in and that was it for me. A bitter 2nd place finish but it was good to be back.

Oh Tyke? He ended up in 5th place when he reraised all in with KQ suited and was called by A-10. Ace on the flop sealed his fate. Very marginal call by A-10 but they were both relatively short (relative to the blinds, that is) so that makes sense even though I'm not sure I would have been able to make that call with A-10 since it was a raise, reraise, reraise back all in... Certainly worked out though... and knocking off the points leader is always a good time! Where am I on the points leaderboard? I have a total of 6 pts baby! Only 26 points behind the points leader (that's only 4 1st place finishes and 2 2nd place finishes away, assuming Tyke doesn't place in any of those times). ha ha ha ha ha ha


tyke said...

My only concern after being knocked out was that you and Shaun placed ahead of Brent - I'm happy :)

Sia said...

Nice finish

WillWonka said...

Yo RR..

Monday at the Hoy, I hit a Royal against your Trip Aces. I didn't bet all in. I'm curious if you remember the hand and if you would have called an all in bet?

There was quite a bit of discussion after the hand and with some friends of mine who I showed the hand.

I obviously didn't think you would call off all of your chips with the flush and str8 cards out there.

Nice Comeback, BTW..