Monday, July 30, 2007

Thoughts appreciated

Ok, so I'm either clueless about what goes on or I'm not paying attention or I'm still not in the loop. Whatever is the case, I discovered last night that the next blogger gathering is tentatively scheduled (?) for 12/6-12/9 in Vegas. Barring any major setbacks (like I'm paralyzed from the neck down, all flights are cancelled for the entire month of December, Vegas implodes before December, etc), I'll be there. Usually, my friends and I schedule an annual trip out there and yet this year, we have yet to go. Between bunch of us getting married or having kids and stuff, it appears that those annual gatherings are getting harder and harder... which is ok with me. I know that generally, when we do have these "annual gatherings", I tend to go out a few days earlier so I can play poker. My friends don't play poker. They like to donate via blackjack, craps and roulette. I'm personally not into blackjack or roulette. I mean a game of chance? Who likes that??? :) But craps, I love. Hey, that's no game of chance. I mean after all, YOU are throwing the dice. ALL SKILL BABY!!!! just like poker... (hopefully, my HEAVY sarcasm is conveyed).

Well, last night, I played in the MATH, $75 token frenzy, tier 2 token sng, and a cash game... all at the same time. Not to make excuses (and you know that when a sentence starts with that, excuses are coming), but I really couldn't focus on MATH at all. I wanted to. But aside from this weird chat going on between ScottMc and WhatSarahSaid (basically, wishing death, rape, and all other hatred on each other), I really couldn't put forth my effort into MATH and so I donked out very soon after the tournament started. Don't get me wrong. Even if I focused on it, I'm not saying it would've been any different. But of the 4 tables open, I was focusing the least on MATH, namely because I was doing well in the other 3 tables and I'm not quite a 4 tabler... So, during that time, I did take down the tier 2 token SNG and I was up about quarter of a buy-in at 2-4NL when this hand came up in the token frenzy.

NewinNov and Smokkee were at my table... well, New was at my table, don't know what happened... maybe he got moved? Told you, I had 4 tables up. But anyways, I was doing well in this thing. I was making good reads and my hands were holding up in situations where I sensed I was ahead and made moderately tough calls.

Anyways, I was in 8th with 53 remaining and top 21 winning the token when this hand came up. Initially, I thought, I would love to get everyone's thoughts but now, the thought is clear for me at least. This was a clear fold situation, only because this was a token frenzy (where coming in 21st is no different than winning the whole thing).

Full Tilt Poker Game #3107378826: $75 Token Frenzy (23212487), Table 3 - 100/200 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:28:00 ET - 2007/07/30
Seat 1: RecessRampage (5,775)
Seat 2: SashaPup (2,585)
Seat 3: Donkeyfish33 (8,295)
Seat 4: yeahok (4,295)
Seat 5: mooreparty (3,005)
Seat 6: macthespoon (4,100)
Seat 7: b_lotheafguy (950)
Seat 8: iamthematador (1,030)
Seat 9: smokkee (4,030)
yeahok posts the small blind of 100
mooreparty posts the big blind of 200
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ad Kc]
macthespoon raises to 700
b_lotheafguy folds
iamthematador folds
smokkee folds
RecessRampage calls 700
SashaPup folds
Donkeyfish33 raises to 8,295, and is all in
yeahok folds
mooreparty folds
macthespoon folds
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME

What would you do? One can argue reraising, etc but please, that's kinda not the point here. I think I reraise if I were shorter but I'm ok with calling in position here with AK. So, aside from that point, when the big stack on the button shoves, what are your thoughts?

Following is my thought process:
a) He's pulling a squeeze resteal - I mean is this not an ideal spot to do so? Two players with decent stack sizes are in the hand, the only guy who can bust them comes in for all his chips, basically, you can't call unless you had a monster holding like a high pocket pair, right? And if I had a high pocket pair, I would reraise more often than not, right?

b) He's got a middle pair and trying to protect it.

c) He's accumulated a decent stack so he must be an action player capable of moves like this (he moved fairly recently so I haven't seen him do much though it's possible I missed it)

d) If he's going for a resteal, worst case scenario for me is that I'm on a bad side of a flip. I could be up against AQ, AJ, or maybe even KQ. If I win, I can pretty much fold to the token.

e) But I'm currently 8th in chips. If I fold, I'm still top 15 for sure.

After weighing these thoughts, but not carefully enough, this is what I did.

RecessRampage calls 5,075, and is all in
Donkeyfish33 shows [Ah As] <--- doh!!!
RecessRampage shows [Ad Kc]
Uncalled bet of 2,520 returned to Donkeyfish33
*** FLOP *** [Jc 5h 6c]
*** TURN *** [Jc 5h 6c] [4c]
*** RIVER *** [Jc 5h 6c 4c] [Kd]
RecessRampage: damn
Donkeyfish33 shows a pair of Aces
RecessRampage shows a pair of Kings
Donkeyfish33 wins the pot (12,550) with a pair of Aces
RecessRampage: nh
smokkee: ouch
RecessRampage: gg
RecessRampage stands up

I think the key here was that I was still healthy in chips so I shoulda folded and waited for a better spot. I think I kinda rushed to accumulate a big chip stack which really doesn't matter since you're not really going for the win. Can you say resteal paranoia??? :) Nonetheless, any thoughts you might have are appreciated!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I'm HOT!

This was supposed to be a weekend full of video games, ie NCAA 08 as I create myself and build myself up to be a campus legend... except my piece of shit PS2 is apparently dying... it's not completely dead yet... but it makes this grinding noise every once in a while and the game freezes every now and then. I completed one game but it froze again in the next... alas, I gave up. More poker shall be played. So, I dabbled in some cash games but decided to play a few more SNGs for a change. And this is how I've done so far...

Played in two tier 2 token SNG's ($26 buy-in) - Won a $75 token. (+$23)
Played in one $22 one table SNG - 7 of 9 (-$22)
Played in three $11 one table SNG - won one, bubbled another, 8 of 9... net (+$12)
Played in three $8.70 token SNGs - won a $26 token in all three ($+49)

That's a whoppin $62 profit baby! Ok, so nothing to go too crazy about but enough to get me the "HOT" status on Sharkscope. YEEEEEE HAAAAAAW

On a side note, I caved and ventured outside. The fact that my PS2 doesn't work really put a damper on my plans for the super degenerative loser weekend. So I actually jogged to the Y AND played some hoops. Well, I was just going to shoot around when this kid asked if I wanted to play 1 on 1. The kid was like 6'3" but I needed to get back into shape so I said sure. I whipped up on the poor kid. We played 3 games and I think the closest was 11-4. I was on fire. Come to find out though... the kid was only 16 yrs old... jeez... I think I was half his size when I was 16. Good to know that after a month of not playing ball because of my strained back and then food poisoning, I could still whip up on a 6'3" 16 yr old kid.


What difference does his skin color make? Ok, fine. Yeah, so he was white. So what?

I'm still a ballah!!!!

Some things never get old - I LOVE FOOTBALL!!!

So, in the midst of my weekend of degeneracy, I'm eating lunch and flipping through channels and then I notice that on Fox Classic Sports channel, they are showing what I think is one of the best college football bowl game ever.

I catch the game with 10 minutes remaining... Boise St is trying to close out their spectacular win with a victory in a major January bowl game against the classic big dog, University of Oklahoma.

Well, this is where things get really interesting.

With 1:26 remaining, OU scores a TD when a tipped ball is caught in the endzone. They still have to go for 2 so they do and they go with the classic fade (you know, QB floating the ball towards the back pylon of the endzone). Pass interference.

2nd chance, same play. Penalty. Illegal motion by OU. Back it up 5 yds.

If they don't score here, it's pretty much over. OU has no more time outs. Boise St could run out the clock.

3rd try for the 2pt conversion. From the 6yd line.

And they get it. QB was looking to pass to the outside but then saw the man crossing through the middle and zips it in there. Tied at 28.

And at 1:03 remaining, this is when I thought the game was over (the first time I saw it). Boise St, the cinderella team put up a great fight but in the end, the big boys from OU were gonna end it. OU scored a TD and 2 to tie it, and after the kickoff, the first play was a passing play that got intercepted and returned for a touchdown. OU 35 - Boise St 28

But Boise St wasn't there to just say they played in a major bowl game. I mean to put this in poker terms, it would be like playing in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker and making it to the final table stacked with pros... and to play well until you are heads up with Johnny Chan or something.

But that Boise St... they didn't just want a nice story. They wanted it all.

First play after kick off, 36yd gain on a nice pass from (QB) Zabransky (Boise St). Is there hope? Just when you think there is, he gets sacked. 30 seconds remaining to what's already been an amazing game.

2nd and 18 - 20yd pass is broken up by OU.

3rd and 18 - Incomplete pass

4th and 18 - For those of you that don't follow football... I can't imagine you still reading but if you are, this is where in poker terms, you're down to the river, hoping for a one outer...

And the only card in the deck that helps you comes!

The game is tied with 7 seconds left in the game. Boise St 35 - OU 35

Now I have to admit. Even after this play, unless Boise St could ride the momentum somehow, it was going to be tough for them to beat OU in overtime. I mean they are probably spent, riding an emotional high. Unless they calm down, I felt like they might not be able to do it.

The very first play of OT, OU scores with Adrian Petereson's TD run. Now remember, in college, both teams get a chance to score and after each team gets a chance, if one team is winning, then it ends. OU capitalizes on its first attempt with a TD and an extra point.

Boise St 35 - OU 42

OU is defending well. 1st and 10 - No gain.

2nd and 10 - 3 yd gain on a pass to TE

3rd and 7 - 9 yd gain for a first down.

Unlike OU, Boise St is slowly moving up the field. Again. 1st and 10 on the 13yd line of OU. 2 yd gain on a rushing play. 2nd and 8. 7yd gain by Ian Johnson. 3rd and 1 on the OU 4yd line. Denied! 4th and 2 on the 5yd line. Boy, these guys like to keep things interesting. Another trick play! QB rolls out before the snap, run pass option, TD! Boise St 41 - OU 42.

And instead of trying to slug it out against OU, they're gonna try to end it right here. They are going for the 2. They get it, they win. They don't, they lose. And in honor of Zabransky being on the cover of this year's NCAA 08 video game, here's what happens.

God... that was such an amazing game. Here's a video of the highlights.

Damn, I love football.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Take 2! and why it's hard to toss overpairs

So my 5-7off hand wasn't too popular. I'm looking back at the hand history and I really don't hate my play all that much. But, that's just my style I guess so it is what it is. So maybe if they were suited and actually connected, it might be better...

Full Tilt Poker Game #3074138935: Table Lantana Falls - $3/$6 - No Limit Hold'em - 17:46:35 ET - 2007/07/27

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [5d 6d]
UTG+1 calls $6
Villain raises to $18 from MP
RecessRampage calls $18 from button
SB calls $15
BB folds
Original limper (UTG+1) calls $12

What!? They were sooted!

*** FLOP *** [4h Kd 7h]
SB checks
UTG+1 checks
Villain bets $24
RecessRampage calls $24
BadDawgRisin folds
bluemeds folds

Honestly... as I called, the first thought I had was "oh man, if I catch a straight and win a big pot, this has GOT to get on my blog." Plus, I had odds. $24 bet into a $72 pot seems fishy anyways. He either has a monster or he hated the flop.

*** TURN *** [4h Kd 7h] [2d]
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain bets $36
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $120
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain folds
Uncalled bet of $84 returned to RecessRampage
RecessRampage mucks
RecessRampage wins the pot ($195)

$24 bet into a $72 pot is fishy. $36 bet into a $120 pot seemed very fishy. So, if he were stringing me along with like AK of hearts or something, so be it. I now have a diamond draw and an OESD. Time to bump it up and see if he has a legit hand or not. And then he types this in the chat that makes my day.

Villain: f*cking JJ
Villain: i hate that god damn hand

But I don't ALWAYS play rags.

Now it's things like this that make it so hard to fold an overpair...

Full Tilt Poker Game #3074196678: Table Lantana Falls - $3/$6 - No Limit Hold'em - 17:52:48 ET - 2007/07/27
Seat 1: BlueOceans ($681)
Seat 2: bluemeds ($439.40)
Seat 3: Stylistic ($615.30), is sitting out
Seat 4: Roesef22 ($425.55)
Seat 5: DGAF King ($376.55)
Seat 6: readmyline ($1,274.65)
Seat 7: RecessRampage ($976)
Seat 8: BadDawgRisin ($60.45)
RecessRampage posts the small blind of $3
BadDawgRisin posts the big blind of $6
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Kd Kc]
BlueOceans folds
bluemeds raises to $18
Roesef22 folds
DGAF King: almost back to even at this god forsaking table <---villain
DGAF King folds
readmyline folds
RecessRampage calls $15
BadDawgRisin calls $12

*** FLOP *** [Jc 7d 4c]
RecessRampage checks
BadDawgRisin checks
bluemeds bets $54
Mistadobalina22 adds $150
RecessRampage raises to $150
BadDawgRisin folds
bluemeds has 15 seconds left to act
bluemeds calls $96

Just to give a quick background. Earlier, at the same table, I reraised from the SB with KK and took a decent pot when it went to showdown against a guy who had a J on a J high board. So, this time, when I got KK, I decided to call from the SB to disguise my hand. Of course, if there was a lot of action, I was willing to fold. Now, on the flop, I figured it missed the original raiser but if we both check, he'd have to bet the J high flop. As if on cue, he does. So I checkraise him to see where he stands. I will admit, I was kinda surprised to see him call. So, I thought maybe a J, maybe a flush draw... then this happens...

*** TURN *** [Jc 7d 4c] [Jd]

I hated that card.

RecessRampage checks
bluemeds bets $271.40, and is all in
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME

I had about 40 seconds extra in my time bank and I used about half of it. It felt funny that he shoved so I thought maybe he's representing a J and instead could have a hand like AQ or AK of clubs. That's honestly what went through my mind. Then I thought "man, I HOPE he's not overbetting for value..." So, I knew this was kind of a donkish call and as such, I typed this in the chat box...

RecessRampage: I'm such a donkey...

RecessRampage calls $271.40
bluemeds shows [7s 3s]
RecessRampage shows [Kd Kc]
*** RIVER *** [Jc 7d 4c Jd] [2c]
bluemeds shows two pair, Jacks and Sevens
RecessRampage shows two pair, Kings and Jacks
RecessRampage wins the pot ($893.80) with two pair, Kings and Jacks
bluemeds is sitting out

Not even a flush draw. See, I get rewarded for this donkish call. IMO, this is a lot more donkish of a call than the call I made on the turn in my other post. But see, I could have just as easily gotten stacked (or doubled him up since I had him well covered)... This is why it's so hard to fold an overpair...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Slow play to No pay

This hand, IMO, is really not worth posting... except this idiot started ranting about how he couldn't believe it and how bad I was. So I go "Slow play to no pay" and he retaliates with "Slow play??? You called $32!" Ah, yes, I did. But this is why...

Full Tilt Poker Game #3066525114: Table Slate Harbor - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 20:38:03 ET - 2007/07/26
Seat 1: sslick000 ($134)
Seat 2: The Sushi Chef ($474)
Seat 3: 10QKA ($202.50)
Seat 4: tequillamonster ($302.75)
Seat 5: hoytbuck ($111.55)
Seat 6: RecessRampage ($410.90)
Seat 7: ODB235 ($84)
Seat 8: campb86508 ($157), is sitting out
Seat 9: IRONLAND ($200)
The Sushi Chef posts the small blind of $2
10QKA posts the big blind of $4
5 seconds left to act
IRONLAND posts $4
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [5h 7d]
tequillamonster folds
hoytbuck folds
RecessRampage raises to $18
ODB235 folds
IRONLAND has 15 seconds left to act
sslick000 folds
The Sushi Chef calls $16
10QKA has 15 seconds left to act
10QKA calls $14

Yeah, I know... open raise with 5-7off from MP? This table was insanely weak tight so I wanted to liven up a few things. I mean table full of nits. I was thinking about leaving pretty seriously...

*** FLOP *** [Kh 8c 2d] <--- whiff! strike 1
The Sushi Chef checks
10QKA checks
RecessRampage checks

I'm not even gonna try with this board. Let's see what the turn does for me.

*** TURN *** [Kh 8c 2d] [6c] <--- foul ball, strike 2
The Sushi Chef bets $32
10QKA has 15 seconds left to act
10QKA calls $32
RecessRampage calls $32

Here it is. The $32 call. Well, now I have the pot odds. I'm thinking, just give me an offsuit 4 or 9.

*** RIVER *** [Kh 8c 2d 6c] [4d] <--- back, back, back, back, gone!!!
The Sushi Chef checks
10QKA has 15 seconds left to act
10QKA bets $60
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $200
The Sushi Chef folds
10QKA calls $92.50, and is all in
Uncalled bet of $47.50 returned to RecessRampage

The only thing I had to think about was if I call, would Sushi Chef call as well? If he did, I only get $60 more. If I put the other guy all in, he's gotta call, I think, and I'll get $90+ instead. So, I do. He calls. And this is what he shows. Slow play to no pay... Shoulda raised on the turn sir!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


So here I am, with my empty stomach, recovering from the "mild" food poisoning and playing in the BBT freeroll when the FTP server lets us all down by having some serious issues. For the next hour or so, this is what I see.

I mean come on. At first, it freaked me out until I heard from girly chats and BuddyDank radio that everyone was frozen out. This sucks.... this one hour (ok, maybe it's like 40 minutes) delay is really a hinderance to us east coasters. Honestly though, the BuddyDank radio and the girly chats kept me entertained... but I'm weak from the lack of food. Oh well... Yeah, yeah, cry me a river, I know. This sucks... I am now pulling for a reschedule...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Not many things would keep me away from poker. Especially since I have a laptop, I can play poker even while I lie in bed...

Last night, as I got home from work around 8:30pm, I was feeling kinda sick. I figured I'd pop a few pills of Pepto and I'll be fine... unfortunately, by 9:30pm, my food poisoning was full fledge. As such, no MATH for me. I was up all night making numerous trips to the bathroom (too much info?), and finally, things started calming down this morning. Of course, I was in no shape to go to work so I stayed at home all day. You would think with my stomach calming down and being home, I coulda played some poker... but I was so tired from hardly getting enough sleep that I really couldn't.

And food poisoning sucks. Especially if you're a puke baby like I am. What do I mean? I mean I am such a baby when it comes to puking. So even when I got really drunk and stuff, I hardly ever puked. No matter how sick I feel, I do everything I can not to puke. Because once it starts, I'm crying, puking, moaning, etc... lol... baby. I know some people who could make themselves throw up and they'd feel better. I don't know how they do it. So I pop Peptos like they're candy and hope that the feeling goes away. I'm feeling better now and I just had a banana and a bottle of water. I don't think I can go back to work tomorrow though... and yet I have a report that needs to be done by the end of the day tomorrow... hmmmm....

Monday, July 23, 2007

Trying something different

This weekend pretty much sucked. I had to work quite a bit this weekend which always puts a damper on to the weekend. But, even on the weekends, I generally play poker in the evenings so I guess it didn't really affect my poker playing too much. I recently decided that I wanted to focus more on tournaments so I've been playing in a few of those $26 tourney with 1000+ entrants but really haven't done anything. I came close to the money a few times with a pretty decent stack, only to lose before we make the money. But I've never been short around the bubble and since I'm not trying to cash, it really doesn't matter. General tendency seems to be that I medium stack reraises and I have AK, it's a race situation and I lose, crippling me. Shortly after that, I'm out. If I win the race in any of those situations, I'm at least top 20 in chips. I'm actually pretty happy with the way I've been playing.

Now I also figured that maybe playing a few SNG's might be good. I remember when I first started, that's all I used to play. And back then, you just had to be tight and you won your few share of the low buy-in SNGs. So, since I haven't played in a while, I decided to play a few low buy-in SNGs again. Now, my version of "a lot" of sng's is like 5... below is the screenshot from sharkscope.

This weekend, I played in 6 (I hear people laughing...). I won 3, came in 2nd on 1 and lost the other two. The games were incredibly soft... now of course, 6 is not enough of a sample size... and admittedly, sng's are not all that fun for me. But, it's a good way to learn to play short handed tables and such. Though with this competition, I'm not sure I'm learning...

One variation that I enjoyed is to have two of my friends jump in on the same table and do a last longer bet. I'm 2 for 2 on those, collecting $5 each from PouringReign and InigoMontoya76. It's always fun to celebrate a bad beat on your friends. What? Yeah, so I'm shallow. Hey, it's $5 in my acct. SHIP IT!


On a side note, Mrs Recess is going to Savannah, GA this weekend with all the girls in the family (her mom, her aunt, etc). She leaves Thursday and comes home Sunday. This means 3 days of total degeneracy by yours truly. I don't even know if I'll ever leave the house after work on Friday... maybe order in pizza, etc... Or I might host poker night again... But one thing I am going to do for sure. I'm gonna go buy NCAA 07 for my PS2. I love the NCAA football series and so as a part time video game junkie, I'll be playing that a lot. Hell, maybe I'll even start updating how my college career is going in the game. Always torn between the dynasty mode and the college legend mode. But I can't wait to play it.

Oh, and I almost forgot... don't forget tonight.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Revisiting a hand

Holy cow... Work has been kickin my ass this week and as such, I haven't had a chance to post much. Instead, I've taken the easy route of reading and commenting on other bloggers' posts which tends to be come wordy... Seriously, I should make some of the comments I leave out there as one of my posts. It's long enough... and they're my words... anyways, that's neither here nor there...

One thing I do want to do though is revisit a hand that I posted before and I appreciate those that commented on the hand. Just to recap, I'll summarize the hand. If you want the original post, click here.

The hand happened against a villain that I knew from before at the lower limits. At a full ring table with both of us having $450ish (I had him covered), an UTG player raised to $12, Villain from MP reraised to $40 and was folded around to me in the SB so I called with 99 and the UTG player folded. Flop came Q-8-5 with two hearts. I check, villain checks. Turn comes an offsuit 10, making the board Q-8-5-10. I checked again, villain bets a weakish $46 into a $100 pot. I then checkraise him here but only bump up the minimum, making it $92. Villain called. River was a blank, I bet out $140 and took it down.

Now, as I reviewed my hand history and my thought process, I knew the river bet was bad. Unless the villain was reraising with JJ, it was clearly a situation where he had AK or QQ (again, for the more detailed analysis, visit my original post). So, if I checked, the villain may have bluffed at the pot so obviously, this was a very poor bet. It's a situation where the only time I will get called there is if I'm beat.

I didn't think much about this though. Apparently, a lot of you out there did not like the turn check-raise, esp the amount. And considering that the comments came from those of you that I really respect (you know who you are but here are the links anyways - MiamiDon, Fuel, Gnome, and Subzero) I gave it a lot of thought. And so, I decided to put down why I did what I did. (PouringReign, I did not forget you, just no link since you don't have a "blog").

The min checkraise. The more and more I think about it, I did that because I felt very uncomfortable about where I stood. In other words, after the check on the flop by the villain after I checked, it was evident that he either had AK or QQ. With two hearts on the board, I can't imagine him checking AA or KK there. Maaaaybe AA but I don't think he's that type of player. So, he either flopped a monster or whiffed. On the turn, when a card that clearly didn't help him came, I still checked, in case he was slow playing a monster. After two checks from me, he obviously felt compelled to bet so he bet out 50% of the pot. I think this bet is still consistent with either AK or QQ. AK because he wants me to fold and QQ because he wants me to call. AA or KK at this point would have had to bet a larger amount. So now I know it's one of the two.

So, since I could narrow it down to the two hands, why did I checkraise? Because I got scared. I had to know. I felt that by checkraising the minimum amount, if he came over the top of that, I would convince myself that he had the QQ and I would fold. If he had AK, he could only call, esp now that he has a gutshot straight draw and two overcards. So, I guess you could say I was betting for information. I also thought that maybe the min checkraise might look fishy as in I might have a monster... but now, I could see that it seems more fishy as in weakish...

Now gnome clearly pointed out that the min checkraise seems "like such a steal/information bet". Fuel was even more direct with the "turn CR was bad." But it was the next comment that really got me thinking. Fuel continues and says "You pick up so many outs and then risk getting RR'ed off the pot." So then I thought about that. I did pick up additional outs. Remember, the board on the turn was Q-T-8-5. A jack (4 outs) would give me a straight even though I would lose to AK since that would give him the nut straight. 9 (2 outs) would give me a set so if I'm up against AA or KK, that would help. But here is where it's tricky for me.

Let's say that in the above example, I don't checkraise. I call the $46 bet. And let's say the J comes on the river? I would obviously check but if he fires out a sizable bet, do I call? The donkey in me says yes, the playa in me says no. Probably depends on the situation on who wins that battle. But, based on the read I have, I should fold. Well, what if a blank comes? Do I check call? What if he fires out a substantial bet? In other words, if I called the turn bet, the pot now has $200. If he fires out $150 on the river, do I call that? His play is still consistent with QQ also. In other words, if I have no inclination of what's more likely QQ or AK in that situation, do I call $150 into a $350 pot? I guess pot odds dictate yes. But I guess I wanted to avoid that situation and thus I did the min checkraise for information.

Actually, as I type this, my thought is starting to veer off. In other words, now I kinda get it. In this situation, if I go the checkraise route, I think I need to bet bigger to make a statement on the turn. If not, I could also bet out on the turn. Check calling is clearly an option but I would pretty much have to fold to any face card falling on the river unless it pairs the board. The river bet is clearly silly and I get that. There was no point in that. The play on the turn is the crucial part of this hand I think and it appears that the general consensus is that I misplayed that. If I check call the turn, I still look weak and so if a blank falls on the river, I guess I would have to be prepared to call unless he overbets the pot. I think the max I can call is a 75% pot bet on the river. Anything more and I don't think I can make the call, thinking at that point, he's overbetting for value.

As I revisit this hand and think through, I can't help but notice one more critical thing. This is why position is soooooo important in NLHE. The fact that I have to act first is what's making this hand so difficult to play. If I had position on him, it would be so much easier. Even at a 2-4NL table, I'm lucky I actually took down this pot without hitting a set. Not many would've let me take it down like that. Like Don said, the villain was clearly weak-tight. AK in position against 99 should be dragging the pot... EVERY TIME.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The key to winning the PAPT (Home Game)

For those of you that have read my blog for a while, you know that I frequently refer to the site of PAPT (aptly named based on the fact that it's on Park Avenue) as the House of Bad Beats. And it's really not because I experience a bad beat here and there and get all pissed off. Actually, quite the contrary. It happens to everyone. Equally. Suck out after suck out. Waiting for good cards is death because you're gonna get sucked out on. AK < AQ. AQ < QT. KQ < K9. You get the drift. And I'm not making this up. I couldn't. It's too unreal. "Random" number generators for online poker sites think the house is rigged.

So, the key to winning this thing is simple. Go in with the worse hand. And boy did I do a lot of that today. After donking off some chips by bluffing into guys who can't fold, I tighten up a little and then an interesting hand comes up. The blinds increase insanely fast in the mid to end game. Goes from 1-2, 2-4, 3-6, 4-8, 5-10, 7-14, 8-16, 10-20, and $5 increments above that. AND the levels start with 20 minutes until it hits 5-10 and then after that, it's 15 minute levels. So it's insanity as you can imagine.

Well, when the blinds were up to 5-10, I had about 40 in chips. After 5 callers, I limp also with 5-6 (at this point, I was gonna take it to the felt but playing goofy like this is all part of what makes this home game fun). Then Tyke reraises from the BB to thin the field. Now he's a fairly tight player so I put him on either a pocket pair or two over cards. Then there's another caller so I now have a chance to almost quadruple up (with all the limpers that were there). So, I toss in my last 30 chips. I don't remember what the other two had except they both had face cards. When will they learn? I flop an OESD, turn completes my straight and I'm back in business.

Later, I shove 8-10 and get called by AQ. AQ is garbage as we all know and I double up again, giving me some chips and I'm back to being healthy. At this point, the blinds are becoming insanely high and I think it was 15-30 and everyone's M is like 6. And there are still 5 of the original 9 players. Tyke's stack is starting to dwindle (his AJ obviously couldn't hold up against a short stack's A-10) and so he shoves with A5.... only to be called by Ramel's KQ. I folded A-7 so I thought this might be a bad beat waiting to happen. Until the flop comes A-J-x. Now, Tyke is golden. I would've caught my second pair on the turn as a harmless 7 comes. As Ramel starts giving up and starts counting out chips to double up Tyke, I go "10 would be brutal." Well, whaddaya know???? BOOM. 10 on the river gives Ramel the straight and sends Tyke to the rail. The funniest thing is... if I didn't say that, it would have taken a few seconds for Ramel to know that he won. On the turn, I bet you he thought he was drawing dead (ok, I bet you cuz he said so). His words? "I'm so slow I didn't even know I had a chance."

It's down to 4 and top 3 gets paid as well as the PAPT points. But, there's no such thing as a "bubble" here and so the plays are relatively fast and furious. Ramel (very LAGGY) raises to 120 (blinds are now 20-40) and I'm on the BB with AA. I shove for like 300+ total. Ramel instacalls with A-10 off. I go "watch, aces no good here."

And sure enough, I'm out the door few seconds later when Ramel catches a flush on the river with the river being the Q of clubs to put 4 clubs on the board. One of the guys said it best when he said "man, with all the crap cards you were going all in with and winning, it's ironic that he goes all in with AA and gets felted." Ironic? No. Standard for this house. And that's what makes it fun! It's nice to have a break from online poker once a week for a truly fun game where it's serious, but not quite serious.

Soon, I'm gonna update my blog to have the leader points up on the side or something. Just to keep it interesting.

Oh and just so you know, last year's PAPT Player of the Year? Sia aka PouringReign. I told you it was a donkfest!

How NOT to play AK

This hand came up a few days ago and personally, I wasn't too proud of the way I played it. However, the fact that the villain was a donkey helped. Another thing to keep in mind is that I had a decent read of this player since I've played with him in the past at the 1-2NL tables... looks like he hasn't improved too much. But he was a decent player at the 1-2NL level... but decent at 1-2NL means weak tight right? At least from my experience it does. Again, I said decent, not awesome or great.

Full Tilt Poker Game #2968669670: Table Canyon Run - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:37:35 ET - 2007/07/16
Seat 1: cmckid ($500.60), is sitting out
Seat 2: qual0044 ($430)
Seat 3: adult_diapers ($402)
Seat 4: JensPikenes ($382)
Seat 5: RecessRampage ($490.60)
Seat 6: czarcaesarxx ($315)
Seat 7: jgruner ($371.10)
Seat 8: fred1941 ($540.90)
Seat 9: Villain ($469)
RecessRampage posts the small blind of $2
czarcaesarxx posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [9s 9d]
jgruner raises to $12 <--- from UTG
fred1941 folds
Villain raises to $40 <--- AA-QQ, AK was my guess
qual0044 folds
adult_diapers folds
JensPikenes folds
RecessRampage calls $38 <--- set mining
czarcaesarxx folds
jgruner folds

I'm convinced that unless the board is insanely scary (like all coordinated with same suit or all connected), I can stack my opponent if I hit a set. So, my odds that I had in mind was $38 to win $900 pot. I wasn't too scared of the UTG raiser... because I pretty much knew that the villain had the AA, KK, QQ, or AK. I'm just surprised UTG raiser didn't call.

*** FLOP *** [Qh 8d 5h] <--- whiff!
RecessRampage checks
Villain checks

I didn't like my check on the flop but I didn't want to get involved any further in this pot considering there's only one hand in the range that I've given him that I can beat. Plus, I'm out of position so he bets out, I'm gone. I guess I could put out a feeler bet but... actually, now that I think about it, I like the check. I'm minimizing my loss here so betting here would be spewage. The interesting thing is the villain checking. All of a sudden, I was able to narrow his range to QQ or AK. In other words, he either flopped a monster or he knows that I have a pair and gets scared so he's not betting. I'm sure trips came to his mind too. So he checks. That's too much info he's given me.

*** TURN *** [Qh 8d 5h] [Ts]
RecessRampage checks
Villain bets $46
RecessRampage raises to $92
Villain calls $46

This is where I'm now sticking to my read that he has either AK or QQ. Check call I guess was an option here but I really wanted to find out where I stood before I got in more trouble. If he has AK, my gut shot straight draw is no good but my hand is currently good. If he has QQ, I have a gut shot straight draw... if he lets me get there. I figured I'd checkraise here to find out. You might be thinking "wait, that checkraise makes no sense. You checked twice already and all of a sudden you're raising? Seems like a steal to me." Well, if you thought that, you are paying attention and if the villain was paying attention, maybe he could've made a move here by reraising. But with him calling, I was now convinced he had AK. Gut shot for the broadway and two overcards for what it's worth.

*** RIVER *** [Qh 8d 5h Ts] [4d]
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets $140
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain folds
Uncalled bet of $140 returned to RecessRampage
RecessRampage mucks
RecessRampage wins the pot ($277)

As I look at this hand history, this is the one part of the hand I hate. I made a mistake here, IMO. What was the point of that bet? A value bet? I think not. Because if he's calling me here, I'm clearly beat. I mean even if we expanded his holding to JJ, I would think he would call here. If he folds JJ, good bet by me. But again, if my read was now solidly on AK, I should've checked here. Sure, he might fire out a nice sized bet and I would have to make a tough call but I've gotten this far to shape my read, if I can't stick to it, what good am I? This is an instance where I potentially left some chips on the table. Of course, he may have checked but at least I would've given him the opportunity to fire out some more cash on a bluff.

It seems like a subtle thing but I truly believe that squeezing every little bit out of your opponent is so important. And the villain grossly misplayed this hand by not betting out on the flop. It would have been perfectly consistent with an overpair and he would've taken it down there. I mean why else would you reraise with AK preflop if you're not gonna represent an overpair after the flop? I told you. Weak-tight.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hey tourney players, dead money lives here

Well, an unfortunately early night for me when my 99 lost to Jeciimd's AQ on a rivered straight. Strange how that feels so much worse than say if an A were to fall on the flop. Almost worse cuz I flopped a set... only to see it come runner runner straight. I think I cried a little... So anyways, I couldn't go deep in what I thought was a tournament that I really had the chance to take down. I'm so pissed right now. So painful to have 2 hrs invested and then have nothing to show for while some others could do it day in and day out. I played in 2 other tournaments and busted out in both. The 28k, I was crippled early when my KK ran into AA and I never quite recovered. In the end, I had a chance to get back to my starting stack but I lost the coin flip. In the $75 token frenzy, I don't even remember... I lost some other close call or something... oh yeah, I had AK, couldn't catch up to the 66 and lost.

Sorry, this is a short post. I'm in no mood to type right now. I'm going to sulk and go to bed.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Work in progress...

is my tournament game. Or the lack thereof... having said that, recently, I'm starting to get a good feel for them. I tried my luck tonight in the 24K guarantee and the two Daily Doubles. Couldn't really get anything going in the 24K and I busted out of the Daily Double B when my 89 ran into KK... that was a resteal gone wrong... Having said that, Daily Double A is where I felt like I played well. Don't get me wrong. I didn't cash or anything. But I thought it was interesting that I didn't really catch cards but I was able to put a few resteals... at least enough to keep me afloat. For example...

FullTiltPoker Game #2959648284: Daily Double - A (22058448), Table 10 - 80/160 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:38:31 ET - 2007/07/15
Seat 1: iNFiNiTE88 (11,690)
Seat 2: RecessRampage (6,255)
Seat 3: seh239 (5,060)
Seat 4: koffeeg (2,485)
Seat 5: MikeRizz33 (5,230)
Seat 6: BeeeBack (5,305)
Seat 7: jbravo18 (4,415)
Seat 8: Buster1242 (1,385)
Seat 9: BoopyFeree (2,380)
iNFiNiTE88 posts the small blind of 80
RecessRampage posts the big blind of 160
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Qh 4c]
seh239 folds
koffeeg folds
MikeRizz33 folds
BeeeBack folds
jbravo18 folds
Buster1242 has 15 seconds left to act
Buster1242 folds
BoopyFeree raises to 480
iNFiNiTE88 folds
RecessRampage raises to 1,100
BoopyFeree calls 620
*** FLOP *** [7c Kd 4h]
RecessRampage bets 1,300
BoopyFeree folds
Uncalled bet of 1,300 returned to RecessRampage
RecessRampage mucks
RecessRampage wins the pot (2,280)
The blinds are now 100/200

Button put in what I thought was a weakish bet so I decided to repop him. I didn't like it when he called but I decided that if there was no ace, I was going to follow up with a bet. Sure enough, the flop came K high so I bet out and I take the pot down. This was one of quite a few resteals I put in order to keep my stack healthy. Early on, I wasn't getting much to work with except for the one hand where I tried a squeeze/shove with 99, to get called by AQ (and my 99 held).

Then, I got moved to the table where there was a guy with top 5 chip stack. He was raising almost every hand so I pushed back some and chipped up even more. Then, I was dealt AA from EP so I raise it up. Sure enough, the big stack calls me and I see the miracle flop of A-A-K. (Wait, did I say, I wasn't really catching cards???) I didn't get much out of him considering the board looked like this and he claims he didn't have anything. But, I did get him to bet out twice so that definitely added to my chip stack. God, this is beautiful.

So, with about 280 players, I'm cruising and I'm approx top 60 or 70 in chips when a major showdown happens. The villain involved here moved to this table not too long ago so I haven't seen him really do anything.

FullTiltPoker Game #2960074572: Daily Double - A (22058448), Table 14 - 200/400 Ante 50 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:17:40 ET - 2007/07/15
Seat 1: supportthetroop (15,768)
Seat 2: MatueyHeartMe (13,766)
Seat 3: DarthDouglas (4,815)
Seat 4: RecessRampage (12,452)
Seat 5: dolphin75 (2,612)
Seat 6: TPDan38 (4,737)
Seat 7: twosteppin (11,568)
Seat 8: Deadcanary (11,395)
Seat 9: smokedulater (27,571)
supportthetroop antes 50
MatueyHeartMe antes 50
DarthDouglas antes 50
RecessRampage antes 50
dolphin75 antes 50
TPDan38 antes 50
twosteppin antes 50
Deadcanary antes 50
smokedulater antes 50
smokedulater posts the small blind of 200
supportthetroop posts the big blind of 400
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Qh Qd]
MatueyHeartMe calls 400 <--- UTG limp
DarthDouglas folds
RecessRampage raises to 1,600
dolphin75 folds
TPDan38 folds
twosteppin folds
Deadcanary folds
smokedulater folds
supportthetroop folds
MatueyHeartMe has 15 seconds left to act
MatueyHeartMe raises to 13,716, and is all in
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME
RecessRampage calls 10,802, and is all in
MatueyHeartMe shows [Kc Ac]
RecessRampage shows [Qh Qd]
Uncalled bet of 1,314 returned to MatueyHeartMe
*** FLOP *** [5d 4d Kh]
*** TURN *** [5d 4d Kh] [9c]
*** RIVER *** [5d 4d Kh 9c] [5c]
MatueyHeartMe shows two pair, Kings and Fives
RecessRampage shows two pair, Queens and Fives
MatueyHeartMe wins the pot (25,854) with two pair, Kings and Fives
RecessRampage stands up

I win this race and I'm top 10 in chips so that was unfortunate. I felt that if I won this hand, I could really give myself a good chance to go deep. When he shoved and pulled the ol' "limp UTG then shove" move, obviously, AA or KK crossed my mind. But I felt that he could do the same with a hand as weak as 88. Maybe that's too much but I felt that JJ, TT, 99, or 88 was a definite possibility. And I actually discounted AA because I thought he might not shove here if he actually held aces. So, based on that, and the fact that if I doubled up here, I'd be top 10 in chips was the reason I called. Turns out he had AK, classic race situation and I lost.

So, even though I didn't go deep in this tourney, I gave myself a legitimate chance to do so and for that, I'm actually pretty happy with how I did...

When it reigns, it pours...

Special thanks goes out to Sia (aka PouringReign) for playing as RecessRampage.

I tell you, there's nothing better than sitting outside on a porch with a beer with my in-laws (no sarcasm there, we totally get along) while my father-in-law is cooking a damn good looking steak... and then getting an email on my phone saying that I just won $120 from a tournament.

Top 90 gets paid...

The deal was that he was gonna get 50% of whatever he won. Considering I had to play enough to qualify for the freeroll, I figured that was a fair amount. Apparently, he had to fight back from 275 in chips early when he (I) ran KK into AA. Nonetheless, he played a tight, solid game from what I heard and so there it was. Thanks again bro!

Friday, July 13, 2007

24 hour dad (nonpoker content)

Mrs Recess has a cousin (we'll call him Lil' Recess in town. Well, he's been staying with the in-laws all week but it's Friday night and we are having a family dinner get together tomorrow evening. So, it was decided that until then, we will take care of the cousin. He's 9 years old, and was the ring bearer in our wedding. Very good kid, great manners, etc. So, for the next 24 hrs, I'll be playing dad... sort of... dad with no other responsibilities. :)

We did the swap tonight when we went out to dinner with my mother-in-law. He's very fond of both of us so that makes it very easy (and obviously, the main reason why he's staying over at our house for the night). Lil' Recess and I shot some hoops in the driveway (my 30th birthday gift was a basketball hoop in my driveway... I'm a teenager at heart) and afterwards, we hit up Brusters for some ice cream. I'm not too crazy about ice cream so I didn't get any while Lil' went with the double scooper... I don't know why I am not all about ice cream. It always makes me thirsty afterwards and so I don't like that. Same reason I don't like lemonade. What drink makes you more thirsty after consumption???

It's a little past 10pm and so he's in bed, chillin with a book or something... meanwhile, I'm finally blogging and yet, it's got nothing to do with poker. Does that mean I'm not playing tonight? HA! Come on now. Let's not get too crazy. But I won't be staying up too late either cuz he was talking about maybe shooting some more hoops in the morning (and my guess is that his idea of morning is a little different from my idea of the "morning" which is like 11am...).

I've been meaning to post some of my recent cash game experiences but I want to get my thoughts together and get my hand histories organized so it's gonna take a while. And unfortunately, this is the month after the quarter end so we are pretty busy at work - yeah I know... with all the comments I'm leaving on other blogs, you'd think that's all I do... So, hopefully, I can put something together this weekend.

Before we went to bed, we showed him how to work the tv so he can keep himself entertained if and when he wakes up before we do. The first thing I whispered to Mrs Recess was if we needed to set the filter or parental control or whatever. She didn't think we needed to so we didn't... but she was surprised that I brought that up considering it didn't even cross her mind. We showed him which one was nickolodeon so hopefully that'll keep him entertained. We don't have HBO or Cinemax or whatever so should be ok... I think... Hell, he's also got a Nintendo DS so he can keep himself busy that way... either way though, I'm gonna be up a lot earlier than I'm used to on the weekends tomorrow... and I actually look forward to it.

24 hr dad baby!!! :)

Oh, and one quick note. I qualified for the iron man freeroll which unfortunately is happening tomorrow afternoon. So, I asked my friend to play in it. So, if you find "me" playing tomorrow afternoon and you see me donking around, it's not me. :) Which also means, if you rail me and I don't respond, it's not because I think I'm too cool now. What's in it for my friend to play the freeroll? Half the winnings (of the 210 players, top 90 pays... he better cash).

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Going against the norm...

I've been jumping around the blogosphere, leaving ridiculously long comments which should just be my posts but I figured it's time to give my own blog some love. So, here I am, half delirious from the lack of sleep, thanks to Hoy's deep run in the 50-50. I mean how can I call myself a blogger without railing one of the blogger superstars???? So what if that meant I was up till 3:30am...

Anyways, today's topic has to do with doing the opposite. I mentioned to some people that poker is like the NFL... NFL, also dubbed the "copy cat league" is where one year, some football genius would come up with a great defensive scheme that works and takes the team deep into the playoffs. Next thing you know? The following season, every other team implements the scheme. Well, I felt like the poker world was very similar. Here's a quote from Astin's recent post:

Anyone else notice how general play in the poker world syncs up? To quote Eric Idle (as he introduced Not The Messiah and talking about Americans): "It's like millions of people are all marching in the same direction singing 'I Did it My Way.'" Seriously. When I started, everyone was playing Harrington-style, so I didn't. Now it's a world where a c-bet isn't taken seriously, so tournaments are played to the turn. I don't know how many times I've had the 3rd or 4th nuts, bet every street, an then seen my opponent turn over K-high on the river. Nobody believes anyone anymore. Good. There are a ton of other common patterns out there if you look for them. This is why people like Chad do well in these medium buy-in events, because he's mixing it up and nobody expects his cards. Well, that and he has some skills. Yet another reason to like the Blogger games - there's a bit of variety in all that donkish play.

Very true. Even now, I think the continuation bets are overused. I mean everyone's doing it. It's like the Mookie. Speaking of which, here's a little pimpage. Come out tonight for the Mookie!

Anyways... so the c-bets are overused. And I think people don't necessarily think about what they are c-betting with. For example, quite often, I'll see players raise with 99, get called. Flop comes A-K-T. And they fire out a c-bet. It almost doesn't make sense. And so, now, a lot of the players are also figuring out that c-bets don't mean anything. And so they'll call with anything.

Another popular move is the steal from late position. I mean let's say you're in a tournament. Fairly early stages. You're on the button. Action is folded to you. I mean you HAVE to raise right??? That's what it seems like. Everyone's doing it! Except now that everyone's overdone it, the blinds don't take the late position raise seriously at all. So they start restealing. I think the restealing/reraising has become very popular and soon, that will be the norm (if it isn't already).

Having said all this, what does this mean? You've all heard it before. You have to mix up your play. I've heard that before and I really struggled initially to find out what that meant. It's like "you gotta open up your game." WTF does that mean!? I love poker players. We give ambiguous advice. Without any particular examples. I mean none of us really wants to give up trade secrets but it's just funny how that is. I think some of it also stems from the fact that once you figure out what a certain strategy means, then it's second nature to you so the explanation becomes very brief. One thing I noticed in cash games for me that keeps me profitable is that I do indeed mix up my play. And I have opened up my game a lot more. What does that mean?

I wish I actually had some hand histories with me right now but I don't. So you can always go back and see some of the hand analysis stuff I've posted but few examples of going against the norm... and most of these examples are more regarding cash play than tournament play, though some of them coincide.

1) I've generally tightened up my raise requirements from late position. From the button, my raise requirements are a lot tighter than they used to be. Hell, almost as tight as EP. But this depends... of course... So, what does it depend on? When I first sit at the table, I try not to (sometimes, it's hard for me) go crazy with the raising. I want to establish a certain image and for me, that is to establish a tight image. Also, if the blinds are aggressive or solid players, I play a lot tighter from the button and the cut off. Well, at least I won't be raising with hands I don't want to be reraised.

2) Now that we have 1) in mind... I'm gonna throw a wrench. I'll reraise or call a raise with A LOT more hands from the late position. Honestly, I would much rather reraise from late position with 9-10 than be the initial raiser from the button with KJ. These are obviously preferences and the styles that you are comfortable with. There's no magic formula to winning or making money and you just have to play the style you are comfortable with. So reraising part might be pretty easy. The next thing is the calling with a lot more. I stopped doing it if there's only one raiser but for example, if there's a raise and a call, you can call with a very wide range of hands. Connectors (suited or unsuited), one gappers, suited 2 gappers... I can't do better than that (so good for those of you that could with K9 sooted but I can't do it). Of course, you can try reraising for a squeeze... but then, I'd have to call you Fuel.

3) Squeeze play - I think this is another one that's starting to pop up more often than before. It's not rampant but it's happening. More often. And of course, you can definitely do this in the above example. So now, the key is to be able to identify who is capable of the squeeze. I think this is way more common in 6max cash games than full ring, especially at an aggressive table. And I have thoughts on ways playing against the squeeze. And it comes back to position. Let's say you raise from the button in a 6max game. SB calls. Then BB comes over the top and reraises. And you know that BB is a fairly aggressive raiser. If you fold here, you're gonna get run over, unless it was a pure steal. Since you have position, one thing you can do is call. You can play him after the flop. Another possibility is to play back. And this one, I advocate if you have pretty decent cards but you'll be out of position post flop. For example, if you had like AK and you raise from MP, to be called by CO and reraised by the button. Again, your read is VERY important here. But if your read is that it smells like a squeeze, repop him. Now, unless the guy has AA or KK, he's gonna feel awfully uncomfortable. Because if you're coming over the top like that, you must have a good hand. This is also very dangerous which is why it's so important to do it based on the read you have and not just blindly click the raise button.

Notice how some of these examples, I didn't even mention what you might hold when you are raising or reraising? That's because it doesn't matter. The only thing that I believe is worth mentioning is that I don't want to get in to a raising war or get cute with some of the plays above with hands where you could be dominated. What are those? AJ, KQ, KJ are the quick ones that come to mind. I'll include QJ in case someone was thinking that. Those aren't the hands that I want to get cute with. But hands like connectors below 10 (T9, 8-9, etc) and even one gappers (4-6, 5-7, 7-9) will play well because if you're totally beat, it's easy to get away from. It's very well disguised, and if you hit the hand hard, you could potentially make A LOT of money.

If you made it this far... congratulations, thank you, and you need to find yourself a hobby. :) But keep in mind that above isn't something that you always do. It's just something you want to keep in mind and keep in your back pocket of arsenals to fire out once in a while. I think that would make you "mix up your play" and "open up your game" at the same time. But make sure you have a good feel for the table before you do that. Now consider yourself warned. Good luck at the tables and see you tonight!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Another late night... at the MATH!

Well, I was gonna go play basketball tomorrow morning (Tuesday morning) before work but as I sit here and type this blog at 1:30am, I realize that's not gonna happen. Instead, I'm gonna struggle through work with multiple trips to the coffee machine... and it's almost worth it...

Yes, I came in 2nd place in the MATH. After winning the Mookie a few weeks ago, I really really wanted to take down the MATH. I felt like if I took down both of those blogger tourneys, I would gain some more respect. Huh? What, play poker for money? I already told you tournaments are -EV for me. :) Anyways, I wanted to join the ranks of what I assume is quite a good number of bloggers who have taken down both of those tourneys. Well... so close.

After this hand, I honestly thought I had it.

FullTiltPoker Game #2902738828: Mondays at the Hoy (21375318), Table 1 - 600/1200 Ante 150 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:55:13 ET - 2007/07/10
Seat 4: RecessRampage (47,679)
Seat 5: PokerBrian322 (66,321)
RecessRampage antes 150
PokerBrian322 antes 150
RecessRampage posts the small blind of 600
PokerBrian322 posts the big blind of 1,200
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [9s 9d] <--- IG was money tonight!
RecessRampage raises to 3,900
PokerBrian322 raises to 12,000
RecessRampage raises to 47,529, and is all in
PokerBrian322 calls 35,529
RecessRampage shows [9s 9d]
PokerBrian322 shows [7h Ah]
*** FLOP *** [3h 4s Kh]
*** TURN *** [3h 4s Kh] [8c]
*** RIVER *** [3h 4s Kh 8c] [Qs]
RecessRampage shows a pair of Nines
PokerBrian322 shows Ace King high
RecessRampage wins the pot (95,358) with a pair of Nines
PokerBrian322: nh
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 95,358 | Rake 0
Board: [3h 4s Kh 8c Qs]
Seat 4: RecessRampage (small blind) showed [9s 9d] and won (95,358) with a pair of Nines
Seat 5: PokerBrian322 (big blind) showed [7h Ah] and lost with Ace King high

With this hand, I took a commanding chip lead. Then few hands later, another preflop all in where I had A6 and pokerbrian322 had Q3 sooted, I thought maybe that was it... until the Q hit on the river and doubled him up. No problem. I still have the chip lead. And I find AQ sooted. Pokerbrian322 raises so I shove, overbetting the pot. He calls... with K3 (I think he has a thing for 3's). :) Flop comes 2-3-3. Next thing I know, he's got the chip lead. And my last hand? I have 9-10 sooted. He raises, I call and the flop comes A-8-2 with two spades. No spades for me. Check, check and the turn comes a J, giving me an OESD. So I shove. He thinks for a second and calls with a Q high flush draw. Blank on the river and his queen high is good. And I get this message...

I will say though... considering that I'm a tournament donk, I was pretty happy with my performance. One thing about me is that I think I soak in a lot of stuff that other people tell me... very quickly. So, when other bloggers mentioned stealing and restealing, I took it to heart. Especially the restealing part. And I was active from early on. I had position on the K.O.D. himself and I was able to use my weak tight image to steal some pots from him early on. Which is why I love the deep stack. In a regular tournament, a reraise basically becomes a shove. In a deep stack, reraise doesn't necessarily commit you. Big difference.

So, I was able to actively chip up until a big hand came up that put me in the top 3 in chips.

FullTiltPoker Game #2901723188: Mondays at the Hoy (21375318), Table 4 - 60/120 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:14:56 ET - 2007/07/09
Seat 1: PokerBrian322 (8,216)
Seat 2: rpinner (14,139)
Seat 3: Rake Feeder (1,010)
Seat 4: cracknaces (11,155)
Seat 5: lightning36 (5,456)
Seat 7: Mattazuma (1,954)
Seat 8: RecessRampage (5,863)
Seat 9: a104l9 (2,162)
a104l9 posts the small blind of 60
PokerBrian322 posts the big blind of 120
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Qs Js]
rpinner folds
Rake Feeder folds
cracknaces raises to 240
lightning36 folds
Mattazuma folds
RecessRampage calls 240
a104l9 folds
PokerBrian322 calls 120
*** FLOP *** [Ks 4s Th]
PokerBrian322 checks
cracknaces checks
RecessRampage checks
*** TURN *** [Ks 4s Th] [7s]
PokerBrian322 bets 480
cracknaces calls 480
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to 1,600
PokerBrian322 folds
cracknaces has 15 seconds left to act
cracknaces raises to 10,915, and is all in
RecessRampage calls 4,023, and is all in
cracknaces shows [Tc Qd]
RecessRampage shows [Qs Js]
Uncalled bet of 5,292 returned to cracknaces
*** RIVER *** [Ks 4s Th 7s] [3h]
cracknaces shows a pair of Tens
RecessRampage shows a flush, King high
RecessRampage wins the pot (12,506) with a flush, King high

I'm guessing that Chad thought I was putting on a squeeze play and that if I had a flush draw, I was likely to bet on the flop. Either case, he was drawing dead and I was able to double up which was huge.

From there, I never looked back. And I actively started restealing. Even Schaubs called me out on one of them via girly chat. Hey, it was 8-10 sooted. I love that hand (though apparently, it's dubbed the mookie... I hate it when these things are taken). I continued to attack the short stacks and caught cards when I needed them. I would see the flop, reraise if I caught any piece of the board and was actually surprising myself with a) how aggressive I was and b) how well it worked... It definitely helps though if you catch the cards when you need it. And so a combination of good cards, good timing, and good karma by the FullTilt "Random" Number Generator allowed me to come to the final table very healthy. I had 5x the second highest stack.

The fact that I couldn't close this out probably says something about my end game. But still, I was pretty proud of the way I played the final table as well. I continued to be aggressive on the final table, trying to use my stack to attack the other stacks. I had my ups and downs but fortunately, with a stack like that, I was never threatened as the money bubble came and went and again, it helps to get good cards. I guess you could say that I was Astinized last night.

Well, once it got down to 3 handed play, it was apparent that LJ was getting tired of my raising and I knew that sooner or later, we were gonna tangle in a big pot. And then this came up.

FullTiltPoker Game #2902679165: Mondays at the Hoy (21375318), Table 1 - 500/1000 Ante 125 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:48:46 ET - 2007/07/10
Seat 4: RecessRampage (53,179)
Seat 5: PokerBrian322 (28,176)
Seat 8: pvanharibo (32,645)
RecessRampage antes 125
PokerBrian322 antes 125
pvanharibo antes 125
RecessRampage posts the small blind of 500
PokerBrian322 posts the big blind of 1,000
PokerBrian322: lol
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ts 9d]
pvanharibo raises to 3,000 <--- from the button, steal right?
RecessRampage raises to 9,000 <--- 9-10 is a monster to resteal with, right?
PokerBrian322 folds
pvanharibo calls 6,000 <--- I've been raising a lot so she's gotta call.
*** FLOP *** [6d 6c 3d]
RecessRampage checks
pvanharibo bets 9,000
RecessRampage raises to 44,054, and is all in
pvanharibo folds
Uncalled bet of 35,054 returned to RecessRampage
RecessRampage mucks
RecessRampage wins the pot (37,375)

That was big because she was second in chips and for a little while there, it seemed like we were just passing chips amongst the three of us. I wanted to make sure that I stayed aggressive and that I was in control so I took a chance. Plus, I figured, if she calls and I lose the pot, I wasn't out yet. I felt like I set it up perfectly in the sense of I played it like I had a big pair the whole way. Sure, my reraise looked like a resteal but after the check raise on the flop, she had to think I actually had a hand this time. Again, this helped me gain a significant chip lead and eventually, Lana would be sent to the rail by the evil pokerbrian322.

And as they say... the rest is history... Congrats again to pokerbrian322 (who's not even a blogger, dammit!).

Thanks to everyone who railed me and left comments and gave me tourney pointers. Schaubs and Sia (aka Pouring Reign), thanks for the rail. Hoy, Chad, and Anguila, your comments on my posts and the posts that you have on your blogs have definitely opened up my eyes and soon, I'll take Hoy's advice and watch Chad play to learn more. As usual, thanks to BuddyDank for the kick ass radio show and for Sean to join in at the final table for the added entertainment value.

Wow, that sounded like a victory speech... and I didn't even win. And now, it's 2:30am... even a night owl like myself is getting tired...

Monday, July 9, 2007

Special Report!

I was just writing up a post on some cash game hands but I have to interrupt that post because this just in!

Tournaments suck.

I qualified for Full Tilt's Fifty Fifty through the $14+1 satellite and so I was feeling good. I had about 5 minutes before the tournament started so I went to clean out the cat litter. By the time I was back (and washed my hands), the tournament started and I folded 5-6o from the button. No big deal. Few hands later, I find KK. There's a raise from EP, I reraise, button calls, SB who just doubled up calls, and the original raiser jams. I figured, if he has AA, so be it. With these things, so many clowns are willing to go all in with AK, AQ, I figured, more often than not, I'm ahead (considering the guy who doubled up flopped a flush but the guy with AQ couldn't let go of the nut flush draw). So I call. The other two folds and this is what I see.

Keep in mind, money went all in preflop.

Some of you might be thinking, well, at least you only lost $15. If this were a cash game, at your stakes, you coulda lost $400 or more. True. And believe me, that would suck... but you could buy back in. I think it's the finality of the tournament that I don't like. Every time I get knocked out, it hurts. Like it physically hurts. I get stacked for $400? Yeah, it hurts, but I could make it back (granted, when they do a hit and run, it hurts... just like a tournament). But the tournament? If you're stacked, it's over. Finito. No more. It's like death... ok, not quite like death but you know what I mean.

Also, just as a thought, anyone think I shoulda folded there? In a tournament, I don't think I can fold KK. In a cash game, I think I woulda folded there, to tell you the truth. Because in a cash game, the only time I would see something like that would be if the guy had aces... or he's crazy. But in a tournament, I'm only gonna get dealt a certain number of hands. I feel like I should try to double up with those hands so I don't think folding KK is an option preflop. I'm not saying I'll never fold (never say never) but just wondering.

Hopefully, this means good karma for tonight's MATH...

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Tournaments suck...

After going deep in this insane tournament, I have even more respect for those of you that frequently go deep in these things... and to keep coming back for more. Based on the post by Chad and the comment left by Anguila, I decided to try a low buy-in tourney. Considering Mrs Recess was napping, I figured it was a perfect time to sign up for a tournament. So I did. I used one of my $26 tokens to play in the $24+2 buy-in 17.5k guarantee on FullTilt. And I did fairly well. I really didn't get good cards except AK a few times but I stole and I tried restealing a lot more than I usually do. And it worked... pretty amazingly. I'm still struggling with the timing of resteals and I'm probably not doing it enough. But it was enough to keep me in contention and I easily survived the money break. However, being card dead late cost me and eventually, I busted out... 66th place out of 1,057...

Over 3 hrs of work, and what do I get for it? A measly $53... Nothing like a $27 profit over 3 hrs... The final table was where all the money was... I need to get there somehow. I have to admit though... I was pretty happy with how I did considering I wasn't getting much to work with. AK twice, no AA, KK or QQ. Got JJ once. In the end, I shoved 77 into the BB's AA. I know this though... the better tournament players certainly know how to steal and resteal even without cards. I need to get there...

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Tournament report

Before I start, a quick public service announcement here. Mrs Recess, who had relatively short hair has been growing her hair out because she wants to donate to Locks of Love.

Me personally, I like her with her hair longer. Very hot, IMO. But, one day, her hair will be cut short again, even though she assures me that she'll grow her hair out a little longer so that even after she cuts her hair, it will still be relatively long. I hope so. :) For those of you that don't know, Locks of Love is an organization that collects hair to make wigs for cancer patients. I visited their website and a lot of kids are the ones donating hair because they want to help other kids who have cancer. Amazing how they can clone pigs these days and yet can't figure out how to cure cancer that's been around for as long as I've been alive.

Alright, on to some poker stuff. Today, I decided to focus my efforts on tournaments. Played 3 SNG's and 3 MTT's. Believe me, for me, that's a lot. On the SNG front... Played the $11+1 6 max SNG, $11+1 Turbo SNG, and $8+.70 18 player token SNG.

In the $11+1 Turbo, I was doing fairly well, chipping up nicely when this hand went down... For all you tournament players, I don't know how you put up with this garbage day in and day out...

FullTiltPoker Game #2877318737: $11 + $1 Sit & Go (Turbo) (21953760), Table 1 - 80/160 - No Limit Hold'em - 13:53:31 ET - 2007/07/07
Seat 2: bazily2k (1,630)
Seat 3: RecessRampage (2,480)
Seat 4: Jackson1974 (900)
Seat 5: DJ SPURS (2,015)
Seat 6: whatdafukman (2,500)
Seat 8: ACESDRAWN (3,025)
Seat 9: poussardr1 (950)
DJ SPURS posts the small blind of 80
whatdafukman posts the big blind of 160
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ks Qh]
ACESDRAWN calls 160
poussardr1 folds
bazily2k folds
RecessRampage raises to 480
Jackson1974 folds
DJ SPURS raises to 800
whatdafukman folds
RecessRampage calls 320
*** FLOP *** [5h 9s Qs]
DJ SPURS has 15 seconds left to act
DJ SPURS bets 1,215, and is all in
RecessRampage calls 1,215
DJ SPURS shows [2h Kh]
RecessRampage shows [Ks Qh]
*** TURN *** [5h 9s Qs] [6h]
*** RIVER *** [5h 9s Qs 6h] [4h]
DJ SPURS shows a flush, King high
RecessRampage shows a pair of Queens
DJ SPURS wins the pot (4,350) with a flush, King high

First off, DJ SPURS have been very active. So I'm sure he was going for the resteal. I don't care about that. But the runner runner flush rubbed me the wrong way. That crippled me and I was out shortly thereafter.

I donked out of the 6max but I won the token in the $8+.7 SNG so after 3 SNG's, net ($6.70).

I played in the Daily Double A and B and after my flopped nut flush got cracked by a boat that got there on the river (money all in on the turn), I was crippled but not out. I fought hard, started making a slow comeback to about 600 chips (I was down to 180 but fortunately, blinds were low) and I shoved with AK. Got called by A9. 9 on the flop sends me home. All this got me pissed and so I tilted my money away in the other one.

Fortunately, I regrouped and decided to play the token frenzy. I wasn't getting anything early on and so I decided to follow the advice of the other bloggers and started shoving with a wide range from many different positions. That kept me afloat until I caught some hands and chipped up nicely. Got to play with Smokkee on the same table for a while. He saw me get lucky a few times. Hey, lucky is key. Especially in these turbo donkaments. In the end, this is what it looked like.

So, net from MTTs is +$38. Total of +$31.30 from tourneys. Oh yeah, dabbled in some cash games for like an hour. Results? +$190. Why do I play tourneys again??? :)

I hope everyone is having a nice weekend! And good luck to Lucko, Fuel55, Cmitch (not sure if he's playing or not), and Sprstoner in the WSOP. I'm sorry if I missed any other bloggers that are playing in the Main Event (I'm assuming Chad is not playing). Make us proud!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Half year review

As we enter the second half of the year, I figured this would be a good time to do a quick review of how I've done in the 1st half of 2007. Based on PT, my cash game stats look as follows. For some reason, I couldn't just filter it to be for 2007 so it includes all of 2006 and it's on all sites and not just FullTilt.

Not bad huh? Well, in order to give you the full picture, I would have to post my embarassing tournament results as well. And this is what that looks like.

Pretty ugly, if you ask me. The BBT, as fun as it was, is clearly -EV for me even though I ended up in 6th place on the leaderboard. Goes to show the points aren't indicative of how good a tournament player you are. This isn't meant to be a knock on the point structure. But it is clear that it masks the importance of the late to end game strategies which I know is clearly my weakest area.

In looking at the above two graphs, one might wonder why I still play tourneys. And quite frankly, I really don't. I tend to play in some of the bigger ones once in a while but since I know that it's -EV for me, I generally stick to cash games where I am clearly turning a profit. But then again, once in a while, I think to myself that it would be cool to have a nice score in a tournament so I take a shot... and generally, I fail.

Well, as I move into the second half of the year, I want to continue to let my bankroll grow by playing the cash games but I also would like to see an improvement on my tournament results. In both instances, there are major holes in my games that need to be addressed.

My goals for the cash games would be to move up to higher levels and see if I can compete and how I do there. I dabbled in some 5/10NL and I was actually surprised with the level of competition... or the lack there of. I was expecting a totally different ball game and yet... some tables played like 1-2NL. Also, I was worried that having a big amount of money on the line would affect my play because I might be nervous about my bankroll... instead, I noticed that I almost didn't care about the money... because it felt more like a tournament with a $1,000 starting stack rather than $1,000 of my own money. I sometimes hestitate to call a $22 raise preflop on a 2-4NL table and yet, a $35 raise on the 5-10NL felt like nothing. Very strange... Well, in case you are wondering how I did, I didn't do so well. I was profitable, don't get me wrong. But I only made approximately $200 over the course of 200 hands (approx 3 hours) and the win was mainly because I doubled up almost my entire buy in when I had AA and the other guy who had me covered had KK. (It was the biggest pot ever but I didn't post because I felt lame). But, one thing I know is that I think I can play at that level. I just need to build my bankroll a bit more.

Well, as I reviewed my hand histories, I noticed that the biggest leak in my game is that I am overly active in pots at times. For example, I would start tight, loosen up in right situations, and build up a stack. So, if we're playing 2-4NL, I'd start with $400 and get up to $600. But then I loosen up even more. Even more to the point where it becomes detrimental. Another hour or so later, I might leave the table down some or maybe not up as much as I should have been.

One thing I do is that I take stabs at pots when I have no business making them. I was reading the FullTilt Poker Guide this weekend at the beach and I read something that was very interesting. I don't have the book on me right now so I am going by memory but it was something along the lines of betting at a pot when it's likely that no hand better than yours will fold. Here's an example (again from my head, I think the book gave a similar but slightly better one): You hold 99 and it's folded to you on the cutoff where you raise. BB is the only one who calls. Flop comes A-K-T. He checks. This is a perfect example of a situation where the book advises you not to bet. Why? Because the only hands that would fold are probably hands that are worse than yours. What do I do? I bet. I get checkraised. I fold. Awful, awful poker. The book takes this a step further and advocates that with 99, you want to check but betting is more acceptable if you had a hand like 7-8, even with that board. Why? Because now, your bet can make a hand that is better than yours fold. So in other words, if you had 99, the only "better hand" that might fold to your bet is a hand like 9-10. Maaaaaybe, J-10 but it's quite possible that they will call the flop to see another card. But if you had a hand like 7-8 and you bet, any pair below 10's would have to fold, thus making them fold a better hand than yours. When I read that, I thought it was very interesting. I've heard of something like that before (or read it somewhere) but reading it again in the book just kinda brought that back.

And quite frankly, I think that's my biggest leak. I'm not saying that's my only leak. But in many instances, I could defend most of the other "bad moves" I make and since I don't always do it, it's just part of the variation of my play. But, firing out aggressively into a dangerous board is not the smartest thing to do unless you have a good read on your opponent and you know exactly what you are doing.

Another one that I'm starting to notice is the timing of controlling the pot size vs protecting my hand against draws. In other words, you don't want to build the pot too much in marginal situations where you're not exactly sure where you stand. However, you don't want to not protect your hand either in case you are ahead and your opponent is drawing. Having a better read on the opponent is key in these instances and I notice that if I have more than 2 tables up and running, I miss these intricacies. It doesn't kill my roll since I can make a fairly tough laydown but still, I'm missing out on potential profits here as well.

One more thing to keep in mind is to have a plan. Unlike a tournament where most of the hands seem to end preflop or on the flop, in a cash game, it's fairly common that you see the turn and the river. So, when the flop comes, before I act, I need to have a plan. If I decide to bet, do I want my opponent to call? What if he raises? If he calls, what do I do on the turn? What if it completes a flush draw? What if it's a blank? What if it pairs the board? Or, if you have position, and your opponent bets at you, what's your move? Do you call? Do you raise or fold? If you decide to float, what do you do on the turn if he fires another bullet? Is he the type of opponent that will fire two bullets with air? These are all questions that I have to ask myself. All too often, I notice myself making a play at a pot or attempting to make a play without thinking a step ahead. For example, I float my opponent's flop bet with two overcards. Turn is another blank. Another bet is fired. I fold. That's just a bad play. Did I think about what my plan was? Did I hope that by me calling, he'll slow down? He might but again, it's one thing to do it with a plan and another to do it without thinking about it. Poker is all about telling a story. Each street brings a new chapter and so you have to make sure that the story you are putting together is consistent on all streets.

On the tournament side, I think my plan is fairly simple. I mean how can it be complicated considering I can't even win? I need to hit the books and really understand the concepts of the mid to end game strategies. Early on, when the blinds are small compared to the starting stacks, I do well and I find myself generally above the average stack. However, as the tourney progresses, I tend to panic and overplay hands I shouldn't. So, here's a quick and dirty list of what I want to do on the tourney side:

1. Remember that small pairs are garbage late in the game. BEST CASE SCENARIO (when all in preflop) is that you're in a race. So with pairs 88 and below, be very cautious on how to play them.

2. Learn to resteal. I read about restealing all the time. Now I just need to do it.

3. Learn to steal but don't overdo it. And don't just steal from the button or the cutoff. I think this is important. Even though there are more people to act, early position raise also indicates a stronger hand so I need to incorporate that into my play.

4. Pot odds isn't necessarily king in a tournament. I think sometimes it is, sometimes it's not. When you know you are beat, even if you are getting decent odds, it might not be worth callin based on your stack size and your situation of the tournament. Protecting chips is just as important as accumulating them.

I'll soon go back into posting more hand histories and situational analysis but I wanted to make sure that I at least summarized where I am at this point so I can revisit this later and see how I've improved as a player.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

My short vacation and a disappointing finish to the BBT

On Sunday, Mrs Recess and I headed down to Corolla, NC where my in-laws were renting a beach house for the week. Because of my work schedule, we couldn't stay all week, which is why we are now safely back in Richmond. Well, as most of you know, heading into the final BBT tournament (Don's Big Game), I was in 6th or 7th place on the BBT leaderboard with Top 5 winning cash/prizes. I also saw who was behind me and there were several solid players behind me so I knew that instead of worrying about how others do, I just needed to take this down and then the rest would take care of itself. I also have to admit that I was relatively confident heading into this tournament. Having just taken down the Mookie and this being my favorite format as a deep stack tourney, I thought I had a chance to do real well. My only concern was whether I was actually going to be able to play. The house we were at did not have an internet connection so as we were driving down, I was making note of the nearby hotels that maybe I could go and "borrow" their wireless that night.
Well, it was already a lucky start to my night. I booted up my laptop and found a wireless network in the neighborhood that I can latch on to. It wasn't the most reliable but I figured if it did cut out in the middle of the tourney, there's a hotel 10 minutes down the road that I can go and try to get connected so I felt comfortable.
As the tourney kicked off, it seemed that the players were fairly tight. I had Astin to my right, BuddyDank, a few seats to my left, and Mike_Maloney across the table from me. At that point, I was no threat to BuddyDank who by making the points in this tourney secured his second place finish to the BBT Machine that is Bayne_s. However, Astin and Mike_Maloney were both right behind me on the BBT leaderboard so I would be lying if I said that I didn't pay attention to that. I played fairly tight but with a deep stack tourney, the beginning of the tourney plays similarly to a cash game which I am very comfortable in. It helps to get good cards when I was able to send Astin to the rail when I flopped a straight against his bottom set and no improvement for him ended his solid run in the BBT series. I was on a roll when later, I flopped top set with my QQ, got it all in on the flop against Bone_Daddy84's KQ and so I have 3 times my starting stack. I could describe the hand but he does a much better job so visit his recap of this hand here.

I have to admit, I was starting to think this could be my night when Mike_Maloney pulled off what I would consider the most impressive, trickiest move I've ever seen in poker... oh, excuse me, while I mop up all the sarcasm that dripped off that sentence. :)

FullTiltPoker Game #2826271870: Blogger Big Game (19471102), Table 5 - 30/60 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:10:44 ET - 2007/07/01
Seat 1: Mike_Maloney (1,380) <--- VILLAIN
Seat 3: IslandBum1 (2,644)
Seat 5: RecessRampage (8,657)
Seat 6: leftylu (4,470)
Seat 7: maf212 (4,144)
Seat 8: BuddyDank (2,665)
Seat 9: mtnrider81 (3,040)
RecessRampage posts the small blind of 30
leftylu posts the big blind of 60
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ks Kc]
maf212 folds
BuddyDank folds
mtnrider81 folds
Mike_Maloney calls 60 <--- limp huh? weak hand?
IslandBum1 folds
RecessRampage raises to 300 <--- HERO raises like a MAN
leftylu folds
Mike_Maloney: jerk <--- directed to yours truly, how dare he???
Mike_Maloney has 15 seconds left to act
Mike_Maloney has requested TIME <--- oooh, digging deep into his play book!
Mike_Maloney: let's gambooooool <--- oh yeah, LET'S! I got kings, biatch! Mike_Maloney raises to 1,380, and is all in
RecessRampage calls 1,080
Mike_Maloney shows [Ac Ah] <--- what a jerk...
RecessRampage shows [Ks Kc]
RecessRampage: dammit <--- well said
*** FLOP *** [Tc 8c 2h]
*** TURN *** [Tc 8c 2h] [4c]
*** RIVER *** [Tc 8c 2h 4c] [7c]
Mike_Maloney shows a flush, Ace high
RecessRampage: jerk <--- so true...
RecessRampage shows a flush, King high
Jerk, I mean Mike_Maloney wins the pot (2,820) with a flush, Ace high
Mike_Maloney: lol

I hope you all go visit his site here and leave him nasty comments! :) (of course, I jest... I promised him that I'd post this hand so here it is, bro!)

But that was really a bump in the road because he was relatively short stacked. I still had a very healthy stack... and then my test as a tournament player came up. I went card dead. I started off hot but my cards took a turn for the worse and so I was slowly bleeding chips off but still above average and doing fairly well. The only two remaining that were involved in terms of the BBT race were Hoy and Jeciimd. So, I needed to outlast these two in order to climb up the BBT leaderboard further. Well, I'm clearly no Hoy when it comes to tourneys and I didn't know how to make something out of nothing. When my cards went dead, I really didn't know what to do. And then this hand came up which I think was kind of a make or break situation in this tournament...

FullTiltPoker Game #2827036091: Blogger Big Game (19471102), Table 5 - 150/300 Ante 25 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:26:54 ET - 2007/07/01
Seat 1: hoyazo (3,125)
Seat 2: DDionysus (6,538)
Seat 3: IslandBum1 (5,188)
Seat 4: Julius_Goat (7,357)
Seat 5: RecessRampage (8,012)
Seat 6: TripJax (5,940)
Seat 7: DonkeyPuncher74 (3,785)
Seat 8: DaBag (12,885)
Seat 9: NewinNov (6,621)
hoyazo antes 25
DDionysus antes 25
IslandBum1 antes 25
Julius_Goat antes 25
RecessRampage antes 25
TripJax antes 25
DonkeyPuncher74 antes 25
DaBag antes 25
NewinNov antes 25
DonkeyPuncher74 posts the small blind of 150
DaBag posts the big blind of 300
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Jd Ac]
NewinNov folds
hoyazo folds
DDionysus folds
IslandBum1 folds
Julius_Goat folds
RecessRampage raises to 1,275
TripJax folds
DonkeyPuncher74 raises to 3,760, and is all in
DaBag folds
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME
hoyazo: nh dp.
RecessRampage folds
Uncalled bet of 2,485 returned to DonkeyPuncher74
DonkeyPuncher74 mucks
DonkeyPuncher74 wins the pot (3,075)
The blinds are now 200/400 with an ante of 50

I know it wasn't that much more for me to call. I was really torn. But I hadn't been stealing from late position in a while so I felt that DonkeyPuncher74 had no reason to think that I was on a pure steal. Plus, if I called and my guess that he had a better hand was right, (I felt that the BEST CASE scenario was that I was on the wrong side of a coin flip) I would become relatively shortstacked. So, I decided to pick a better spot. In hindsight, I still don't know if I should have called or not. Any thoughts here would be appreciated.

Less than 20 hands later, it's amazing how good KJo looks when you go through a streak of 85o, 52o, etc. So, I jam and get called by Hoy who has AK and that's when it was over for me. Such a disappointing end to what could have been a nice little fun in the BBT series.

Personally, I loved the BBT and so to all those involved in making this happen, thank you so much. I just wish I actually paid attention and knew the prize structure (I literally did not know about the top 5 thing until like the last week of this BBT). I know there were discussions about changing the points thing. I think ROI is probably a good measure because if it's just a total $ won, it would skew the tournaments in terms of the big ones being weighted more heavily. But there would obviously have to be like minimum events played or something because you don't want someone to go on a rush early, win a few and then sit out for the rest of the season and pretty much have the top spot locked up. I don't know. Either way, I look forward to Season 2.

After that though, there was no more poker for the next few days. We hung out at the beach where Mrs Recess became Mrs Lobster... she apparently missed her entire upper legs so she's red as lobster and in a lot of pain. Aside from that though, we had a good time with the family, hanging out, enjoying each other's company, good cooking, doughnuts in the morning, ice cream in the evening... One morning, I woke up very early and so I decided to go for a walk on the beach to enjoy some alone time... Though I missed playing poker, it was nice to enjoy some peaceful time. And I leave you with this picture that I took from my camera phone. Nothing like a sunrise over the ocean... So beautiful...