Friday, June 29, 2007

I take a lot of vacation because...

I get a lot of vacation. So says Jim Rome. He'll be taking 2 weeks off. And that sucks for an avid listener like myself. Oh well. Can't say that I don't understand since I'm one of those guys that uses up their vacation every year. Good for you if you are one of those guys that work real hard, can't find time for a vacation, etc. But that's not me. I value my personal time and I value my time away from work. So, every year, I get 4 weeks of vacation and I use it up. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. No exceptions.

Generally, I like to save them for a big trip. I usually use up 10 of my 20 days for a trip to Japan to see my family. And then I might use another 5 for like a week long trip to Vegas. And then another 5 days, I'll just use it here and there. Well, this year, Mrs Recess and I will be joining my parents to make a trip out to France in August. That should be a fun time since I've never visited Europe. Of all the European countries, France is probably the one that I'm least interested in but my Dad who is now retired and found a new hobby "biking" has qualified for like a 800 mile race (or something crazy like that) in France so we decided to make it a family affair. And though I'm least interested, I am excited to see all the monuments and do the touristy stuff while I'm there. Plus, as long as they have internet connection, I can still play poker. :)

FYI - I don't mean any disrespect to France and when I come back I might be in love with that place. I just never found any particular reason to wanna go. Ignorance is bliss, they say.

Anyways, I digress, like I always do in my posts. Sorry if you read this far expecting any sort of poker news because there really isn't any here today. Anyways, next Monday and Tuesday, I'm taking off because my in-laws are renting a beach house down in Corolla, NC so we will be hanging out there. There is only one problem... and this is a MAJOR PROBLEM... We are leaving on Sunday... No internet connection at the house... you know what that means... I might not be able to play in Don's Big Game...



In all honesty though, I need to find a place with internet connection down there. I'm too close in the BBT standings to not play in this thing... I still don't even know who gets what (like is the winner, ie Bayne, the only person that's gonna get something or does the top 3 get something or top 5?). I'm surprisingly oblivious to what's going on in this whole BBT race. But I know it's a race and that's enough for me to want to finish as high up as possible. With or without prizes.

One thing is for sure though. I will not be playing any poker on Monday or Tuesday. I guess that's a good thing. I'll be lounging on the beach, chillin with the family, eating good food... damn... I AM A DEGENERATE. None of these sound quite as fun as having a laptop in front of me and trying to relieve the donkeys of their undeserving money. Well, at least it'll give me some time to catch up on some of the readings. I want to reread the Harrington Series, finish my FullTilt Tournament Guide, and I might even pick up the book about Stu Ungar since I have been wanting to read it and just have no reason why I haven't done that yet...

So anyways, I'll hopefully get to play in the Big Game. But if not, good luck to everyone who does. And for all you nonbloggers who read my blog, join in on what is likely to be the biggest blogger tournament (in terms of prize pool) this year (or maybe in the history??)!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Poppin the BBT cherry!!!



Finally... With a lot of pleading, begging, and soul selling with the poker gods, I took down the Mookie!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!! For most, this won't be all that exciting. But I've never taken down a multi table tournament and I knew that my BBT experience will not be complete without at least taking down one tournament (regardless of the top 10 standings on the leaderboard) so this was especially satisfying. Admittedly though, I had to do A LOT of sucking out. Before I go into the details, thank you for all those that supported me and railing me. Now, somewhere in the midst of what could potentially be the longest heads up match in the BBT history (38 minutes according to the live blog), Wes and I decided to chop the cash. But we both wanted the points so we decided to play it out for the points. I actually figured that by chopping the cash, the heads up match won't last too long... well, either we were both getting really shitty cards or we both suck at heads up... well, actually, I can tell you now that I suck at heads up. I just don't have any experience in it. I am always playing a full ring or 6 max cash tables. Heads up never happens. So, I pretty much had no clue what I was doing and I'm sure it showed. Nonetheless, big props to Wes for taking two bad beats in a row with class. Sorry it had to end that way.

Generally, I would focus my hand recaps and analysis to cash games because that is what I primarily play but even though I actually had a very good night on the cash tables, the poker gods decided to show me that the MTT's can be fun too so I'm just gonna run through those tonight.

I got my two friends (Inigomontoya76 and Pouringreign) to come out for the Mookie and as usual, I was listening to the great BuddyDank Radio show hosted by BuddyDonk, er I mean BuddyDank and InstantTragedy. Buddy, of course I kid - that's for all the trash talk over the radio. :)

Well, meanwhile, I was successfully chipping up in the Fifty Fifty on FullTilt. 30 minutes into the Mookie, we were on the 1st break of the Fifty Fifty and I was doing fairly well.



I had built up a pretty big stack but unfortunately, I didn't put them to good use. It didn't help that an even bigger stack was sitting to my left. So, instead, I decided to try to conserve my chips in the middle stages as suggested on this great post on MTT by the K.O.D. himself. I was doing fine, occasionally stealing but not doing anything crazy until this hand came up...

I was in MP and so I raised it up to T$700 (blinds at T$100/$200). Button calls and we go into the flop heads up. Flop comes K-K-2. So, I thought about checking but that seems fishy so I bet out T$1000. The button smooth calls my bet and so now I'm wondering if he has a pocket pair. I check the turn which was a blank for deception. I bet T$1000 on the river to induce a call and then a funny thing happened. The button raised to T$2850. Something didn't seem right so I call. This is what I see.



I'm still shocked that I didn't go busto on that hand. Well, thank goodness because I was able to climb back up by playing the short stack fairly well and so I was one big hand away from having a big stack to potentially do some damage in this tournament. And right on cue, I get dealt pocket aces. So, as I start to wonder how to play this, this is the action I see...

FullTiltPoker Game #2790628538: The Fifty-Fifty (21080837), Table 19 - 200/400 Ante 50 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:18:30 ET - 2007/06/28
Seat 1: gunthy2 (7,067)
Seat 2: RecessRampage (10,085)
Seat 3: mostbluntedd (32,985)
Seat 4: cmitch (6,685)
Seat 5: sammy1260 (9,251)
Seat 6: Flush_Edges (5,377)
Seat 7: UGGs (26,501)
Seat 8: cheese625 (8,572)
Seat 9: MattSuspect (8,510)
gunthy2 antes 50
RecessRampage antes 50
mostbluntedd antes 50
cmitch antes 50
sammy1260 antes 50
Flush_Edges antes 50
UGGs antes 50
cheese625 antes 50
MattSuspect antes 50
cmitch posts the small blind of 200
sammy1260 posts the big blind of 400
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ad Ac]
Flush_Edges has 15 seconds left to act
Flush_Edges folds
UGGs folds
cheese625 raises to 8,522, and is all in
MattSuspect folds
gunthy2 calls 7,017, and is all in

WOW. The only problem is, I sensed a bad beat coming. I really did. And alas, I push all my chips in but when it's all said and done, this is what happened...



Once again, I'm crippled. At this point, the bloggers are staying strong in this tournament as I notice Hoy, Astin, and Cmitch are still in the tourney. As a matter of fact, after the above hand, I'm shortstacked again but I find a way to double through Cmitch when I jam my AQ sooooooted into his JJ and I win the race. That made my stack healthy enough to survive the cash bubble but eventually, I find myself shoving KJo and get called by pocket tens. I don't win the race this time and unfortunately, I see this message.



Well, the good news was, at that point, the Mookie was winding down and I was still in the hunt. I'm not even gonna list out all the suckouts I needed on the final table in order for me to survive and to eventually win. For those of you that had to witness the heads up match, I'm sorry. I actually took down the pot with the "Hammer" 3 times even though I only showed it once. Shoulda showed more just to keep everyone moderately entertained since I'm sure the last 30 minutes of our heads up match, all everyone wanted was for it to end...

I also thought I was gonna do a better job of recapping the hands but it's 2:42am right now and I have to get up in about 5 hrs... so, sorry for the abrupt ending, once again, thanks to all that railed me and supported me, either through the chat boxes or through girly chats. And I wish I coulda joined the blogger cash games but I had to focus on the tourneys tonight. Good night now!!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cash games 101

Yesterday, a friend of mine described a situation where he considered it a bad beat and that without that hand, he woulda made more money. I'm sure what he did not expect was the critique that I immediately gave regarding the hand. And there were three of us on the email chain and I was actually shocked that they didn't see what I saw. So, I thought I would share that with you all for those that are looking to improve your cash game play. The situation is as follows:

"I played 187 during lunch, net of $22. Would of had more if for not some clown calling my $2 raise (had AK, .25/.50 table) preflop. Flop come 2-10-K. He bets like 1.50, I raise to 4. He calls. Turn is a Q. He checks, I bet (crazy?) $6, smooth calls. wft?? River is another Q. I check, bets like $6 into the pot. I call, he's got XX off. Loved it." <--- loved it was very sarcastic cuz it was a bad beat

I didn't edit this except for the villain's hand just so you could all get the actual feeling. I'm sure there are plenty of you that could totally relate to that. I mean I've heard it and I've seen it from so many people so many times. However, when I saw this email, there was no compassion. Instead, I immediately broke this hand down because it was actually a pretty poorly played hand in my opinion. Maybe some of you will agree with me, maybe some of you won't. But think about what I am saying here.

Based on his description of "he bets, I raise" the villain here limped from EP and my friend there raised to $2, 4xBB preflop.

Flop comes K-10-2. Fairly favorable flop for my friend with TPTK. However, the villain comes out firing into this pot. He bets $1.50 into a pot containing $4.50. My friend, assuming he's ahead, bumps it up to $4. Sounds good right? Well, not so fast.

Personally, I don't like that raise at all. Villain limp calls so he could have a marginal hand like QJ. K-10-2 is a safe looking board but can turn into a dangerous board in a hurry so if I were him, I'd want to take this hand down here with what I assume to be ahead. Even better would be if the villain has K-x. You're only behind to K-10 or K-2 if the villain has a king so you want to build the pot there. So, I think if he's gonna raise, he needs to put in a defining raise instead of raising it to $4 where now the villain just has to call $2.50 into a pot containing $10. 4:1 odds? Pretty unlikely to fold with those kinda odds if the hand is good enough to at least put in a probe bet. Plus a bump to $4 really isn't defining your hand. I think he shoulda raised it to like $8. Again, let him know you have a strong king and end it there.

Turn is a Q. Now the board is K-10-2-Q. If I were him, I hate that queen. Villain checks and my friend bets out. In the email, you see him ask "crazy?" My response? Yes. Q was a very sh*tty card in so many ways. If the guy had KQ, you just got beat. Now it's quite possible that the player here has a hand like QJ and just caught a pair. In which case my friend is still ahead. However, this is a spot where I would actually slow down. When I asked him why he bet out, he said he wanted to take the hand down there. The only problem now is that there's not too much value in betting here. Of course, if the guy has a hand like QJ, you might risk giving him another free card. But now, I want to control the pot. Here's the reason why. Since you initially failed to define your hand on the flop, you don't really know what the guy has. Sure he could have had a worse king in which case you are ahead (assuming he doesn't have KQ). If he had a hand like QJ, he only caught a pair and still has to draw out on you. Either way, you just don't really know where you stand. So, betting $6 really has no value here. If you can take it down with a $6 bet into a $12 pot, he didn't have anything. In other words, in that case, you want him to stick around. So, if the bet is intended to take the pot down, you had to bet more. Otherwise, checking is a good option because you control the pot size AND might induce him to bet on the river with a worse hand.

Now, let's stop here. For those of you that wondered "wait, you said you wanted to take the pot down on the flop but not on the turn. what changed?" That's a good question. But quite a few things. K-10-2 is a raggy board. Pretty safe with your TPTK. So, you want to define your hand there and if the villain is going to stick around with some sort of a hand, you want to make sure he pays for it. So, if the villain has some sort of a goofy hand, a good raise would take it down. But now that a Q has hit, the board is starting to get a little tricky. Considering you don't have too many outs at this point if you're behind, you want to be careful. Again, I stress on the part where I said if half a pot bet is good enough to take it down, then that means that the villain had a hand where you want him to stick around and possibly bluff at you on the river.

River comes another Q. Nightmare at this point. Villain bets $6 into a $22 pot and so my friend has to call. What did the villain end up having? J-9 for a guth shot straight draw into the turn. Sure, it was a crappy hand but a hand that wouldn't have been there if the flop raise was more defined. A hand that my friend could have saved some money if he checked the turn and kept the pot small.

When I mentioned this on the email, they were shocked that I suggested not betting the turn. One of the reasoning was "if the guy had a hand like A-10, he would fold there." Yeah true... but if he had a hand like A-10 on the turn, you WANT HIM in the hand. You don't want him to go away. He's drawing to 3 outs. Sure, 7% of the time, you might let him catch you but 93% of the time, you're gonna make more money by checking the turn because with the Q river, he definitely won't put you on the Q and you disguised your TPTK by checking the turn. He might figure he's 10 is good and bet out. If he checks, you can value bet and get some chips out of him there.

Also, another contradictory statement made by my friend was that this was a no fold'em table. Familiar? Of course. We've all been there right? Well, if it's so "no fold'em" then make them pay for their draws. Put a stronger raise on the flop. Define your hand and make them define theirs. Putting in a weak bet does nothing but sweeten the pot. Once you define your hand and he calls, then you can assume he's got something too. Then, control the pot size. Unless you have a monster, don't go crazy and don't think you're gonna take it down, even if you've seen a guy who calls the flop and then folds on the turn. Especially with such a dangerous turn card. You have to see the texture of the flop and the turn and what the opponent could hold. Then you have to decide whether you want him in the hand or out of the hand. The only holding you might want to protect yourself from a draw after the turn card is if the villain has QJ because now he's open ended and has a pair (though J won't be an out since it'll give my friend a straight).

Varying the speed with which you play even in the same hand is very important. You can be aggressive on one street, slow down on the next, only to speed it back up is perfectly fine and it will keep your opponents off balance. All in all, is this hand so poorly played? Aside from the flop, probably not. But remember, in a cash game, it's maximizing your winnings and minimizing your losses. And to do that, you want to be in control of manipulating the pot size. Learning to think that way has improved my cash game results.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cash game analysis

Notice how I rarely bring up the tournaments I've been playing in such as the MATH or the Fifty Fifty? Yeah, cuz I suck in those. Tournaments are for donkeys anyways... :) Ok, so I'm bitter. But whatever.

This post will be relatively long as I go over 4 different hands in the cash games from last night but for those of you that regularly visit my blog (thank you), I would assume you're getting used to the drawn out, wordy posts... so, without further ado, here it goes. The sections will be broken out as follows:

Hand #1 - Making a stand against an active player
Hand #2 - Even donkeys think playing Ax out of position is a bad play
Hand #3 - AA is just one pair after all
Hand #4 - Overbet for value/playing against a known big pair is soooooo easy

Hand #1 - Making a stand against an active player

Full Tilt Poker Game #2771974967: Table Karina Jett - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:08:44 ET - 2007/06/26

The game was 6 handed with 3 empty seats - the villain here has been fairly active, aggressively raising and following through with a pot sized bet on the flop. And both the villain and I had similar stacks close to the buy-in.

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [6c Ac]

Villain raises to $14 <--- from UTG +1
RecessRampage calls $14 from the button
BB calls $10

After so many preflop raises, I felt that someone needed to apply the brakes to this guy. And for a little bit, he was successful because this was a full ring table that happened to only have 6 people in it. Some of the players (myself included since I was multitabling and didn't notice it was down to 6 handed) were playing like it was a 9 handed table (ie stronger starting hand requirement). Well, once I noticed that and started paying attention to what this guy was doing, I knew that he was raising with a very wide range so Ax suited from the button was good enough for me to call the preflop raise.

*** FLOP *** [2d 4c 5s]
BB checks
Villain bets $44
RecessRampage calls $44
BB folds

Villain lives up to his aggro nature and puts out a pot sized bet. He bet the pot amount EVERY SINGLE TIME. Floating here was a no brainer, especially with this flop that I didn't think helped him much. I could be wrong here but I'm drawing to a gut shot straight and a runner runner flush draw.

*** TURN *** [2d 4c 5s] [8h]
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain bets $90
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $210
Villain folds
Uncalled bet of $120 returned to RecessRampage
RecessRampage mucks
RecessRampage wins the pot ($309)

I'm impressed that the villain had enough balls to fire out another bullet. But I felt that his "15 seconds to act" was not an act and instead a hesitation of betting. He fires out $90 into a pot that contains $132. Plus, I floated his flop bet with the intent of taking it down on the turn (as long as it was a safe card) so I stuck with my read and decided to pop him back, putting him to a decision. Plus, the turn card was kind and now I have a double gutted straight draw. If he indeed had a hand and came over the top, I'm pot committed and I'd have to call but I'd have 8 outs (most likely). Well, he folded right on cue.

Hand #2 - Even donkeys think playing Ax out of position is a bad play

This hand came up when I decided to join a table where my friend "JT" was playing. The stakes are generally not my playing range but actually, I made a very donkish play that I think illustrates why playing a hand like AJ (which a lot of people think is a good hand) out of position is a bad idea. I won't edit this one, since I'm the donkey here.

FullTiltPoker Game #2771492136: Table Mesa Peak - $0.10/$0.25 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:22:14 ET - 2007/06/25
Seat 1: InigoMontoya76 ($14.85)
Seat 2: Mingmin12 ($9.70)
Seat 3: theenergy ($9.20)
Seat 4: schadenfroid ($26)
Seat 5: RecessRampage ($23.90)
Seat 6: Emperor_Lex ($16.50)
Seat 7: SuAp ($25.85)
Seat 8: JokertheGiraffe ($23.55)
Seat 9: Saint66 ($31.50)
theenergy posts the small blind of $0.10
schadenfroid posts the big blind of $0.25
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ad Jd]
RecessRampage calls $0.25
Emperor_Lex folds
InigoMontoya76: d@mn recess, you got 8 eyes like spider. how many tables can you play?
SuAp folds
JokertheGiraffe raises to $1
Saint66 folds
RecessRampage: 4
InigoMontoya76 folds
Mingmin12 folds
theenergy folds
RecessRampage: it's killing me though
schadenfroid folds
RecessRampage: that's why I'm leaving
RecessRampage calls $0.75
*** FLOP *** [Ac 2h 7s]
RecessRampage checks
JokertheGiraffe bets $2
RecessRampage calls $2
*** TURN *** [Ac 2h 7s] [9s]
RecessRampage checks
JokertheGiraffe bets $20.55, and is all in
RecessRampage: crap
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage: oh well, here's a donation
RecessRampage calls $20.55
JokertheGiraffe shows [Ah Kd]
RecessRampage shows [Ad Jd]

My last statement said it best... nice overbet for value sir... I think I heard a bunch of donkeys laughing in the background. And for those of you that thought "you gotta fold that", let me ask you this. If you're gonna fold to a lot of pressure when you hit your top pair 3rd kicker, what the hell are you doing playing it in the first place?

Hand #3 - AA is just one pair after all

This is starting to become a ritual that I like - bloggers cash table.

FullTiltPoker Game #2771730507: Table Plunging Falls - $1/$2 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:44:53 ET - 2007/06/25

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ad As]
toJongbraNdon folds
Narena calls $2
pvanharibo folds
Fuel55 folds
cracknaces calls $2
hoyazo folds
MiamiDon folds
RecessRampage raises to $10
bayne_s folds
Narena calls $8
cracknaces has 15 seconds left to act
cracknaces calls $8

I don't know if the Chad's delay was because he thought about making a weird resteal squeeze play but it would've been nice if he did... And I did what I continue to rant that I hate doing... raising from the small blind, indicating that I have some sort of a hand... I don't mind doing that when I don't have a hand but I hate indicating I have a hand, when I do have a hand... Donkey lives here...

*** FLOP *** [3d Jd 4s]
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets $20
Narena calls $20
cracknaces has 15 seconds left to act
cracknaces folds

As this hand was unfolding, I was on the girly chat with Sia (Pouringreign) and I told him "watch this. I'm in trouble." The guy in EP who limped then called my raise preflop obviously has something when he called my bet on the flop. I don't know anything about this guy (or even if he/she is a blogger) but I knew I was gonna put the brakes on the moment he called.

*** TURN *** [3d Jd 4s] [Kc]
RecessRampage checks
Narena bets $26
RecessRampage calls $26

I'm trying my best now to keep the pot to a minimum. The $26 "call me" bet into a $70 pot is fishy as is...

*** RIVER *** [3d Jd 4s Kc] [6s]
RecessRampage checks
Narena has 15 seconds left to act
Narena has requested TIME
Narena bets $68
RecessRampage calls $68

If I were a true player, I'd make the laydown here. All signs pointed to a set. One day, I'll be able to make this fold. Classic "wait till the time ticks down because I'll let him think my hand may not be good" bet... always a monster in this instance. I know this and yet I call...

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Narena shows [4h 4c] three of a kind, Fours <--- of course, what else???
RecessRampage mucks
Narena wins the pot ($257) with three of a kind, Fours

Considering that I didn't fold, I think I kept my losing to a minimum. But again, folding on the river was probably the right play. Oh well. In a few minutes, the poker gods will reward me...

Hand #4 - Overbet for value/playing against a known big pair is soooooo easy

FullTiltPoker Game #2772044944: Table Plunging Falls - $1/$2 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:15:40 ET - 2007/06/26

toJongbraNdon posts the small blind of $1
Narena posts the big blind of $2

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ad 3d]
pvanharibo calls $2
Fuel55 calls $2
raisinchips folds
hoyazo folds
MiamiDon calls $2
RecessRampage calls $2 from the CO (bloggers are bunch of limping fools!)
bayne_s folds <--- Bayne, what did you fold!?
toJongbraNdon raises to $15 <--- there's a man with balls... and a good hand... :)
Narena folds
pvanharibo folds
Fuel55 calls $13 <--- thank you!
MiamiDon folds
RecessRampage calls $13

Admittedly here, when the villain raised to $15, if Fuel didn't call, I couldn't call. I'm actually surprised Don didn't call but maybe he had a hand like KQ or QJ where it could be easily dominated against a raise (in this situation, you'd rather have lower suited connectors, IMO)... but that's just me.

*** FLOP *** [3s 8h 3c] <--- to steal Fuel's phrase... GIN!
toJongbraNdon has 15 seconds left to act
toJongbraNdon bets $45 <--- when he did this, I told Sia "watch this, he's going busto"
Fuel55 folds
RecessRampage raises to $212.60, and is all in <--- overbet for value!
toJongbraNdon INSTACALLS $167.60
RecessRampage shows [Ad 3d]
toJongbraNdon shows [Qs Qh]

*** TURN *** [3s 8h 3c] [8c]
*** RIVER *** [3s 8h 3c 8c] [4h]
RecessRampage shows a full house, Threes full of Eights
toJongbraNdon shows two pair, Queens and Eights
RecessRampage wins the pot ($473.20) with a full house, Threes full of Eights

I obviously got lucky but the villain could not have made it any more obvious about what he had. To his credit, he didn't stick around to call me names and all that stuff but I'm sure he was pounding his fist into the keyboard and looking in disbelief when I flipped over A3... hey, I woulda been happy with a 2-4-5 flop too. Now why shove on the flop? Well, it probably wouldn't have mattered but I didn't want a card to come on the turn that would slow him down. From the sequence, I knew he had a high pocket pair. If I called and let's say an ace hits the turn, it could kill the action unless he trips up. So, instead, I overbet and he instacalls. He should at least given some thought to what I had... I mean seriously. The only time I would shove there against a guy who showed that kinda strength pre and post flop, would be if I had a 3, 88, or AA.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

My biggest pot ever!

Dabbled in a little 3-6NL 6max game this weekend... results were mixed but this hand came up...

Full Tilt Poker Game #2758351259: Table Chopin (6 max) - $3/$6 - No Limit Hold'em - 16:44:51 ET - 2007/06/24
Seat 1: shortwizard ($550.95)
Seat 2: jimmy337 ($684.70)
Seat 3: RecessRampage ($867.60)
Seat 4: Canonlil ($546.65)
Seat 5: BikStik8585 ($802.40)
Seat 6: JustCuts ($621)
jimmy337 posts the small blind of $3
RecessRampage posts the big blind of $6
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Kc Kd]
Canonlil folds
BikStik8585 raises to $21
JustCuts folds
shortwizard calls $21
jimmy337 folds
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $75 <--- I still hate doing this... so obvious...
BikStik8585 has 15 seconds left to act
BikStik8585 calls $54
shortwizard calls $54
*** FLOP *** [2c 3d 5h]
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets $150
BikStik8585 has 15 seconds left to act
BikStik8585 raises to $727.40, and is all in
shortwizard folds
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage calls $577.40
BikStik8585 shows [4s 5s]
RecessRampage shows [Kc Kd]
*** TURN *** [2c 3d 5h] [8c]
*** RIVER *** [2c 3d 5h 8c] [Th]
BikStik8585 shows a pair of Fives
RecessRampage shows a pair of Kings
RecessRampage wins the pot ($1,679.80) with a pair of Kings

The interesting thing is that the situation is eerily similar to one of the hands described in this post. I guess I continue to be amazed with the raise from such EP with a suited connector as low as that (in the other post, it was 2-3). Kind of a donkish call but one that I felt I almost had no choice... still, a nice pot!

Big pot = Big hand

Couple of interesting cash hands to post here. As a general rule of thumb (which is dangerous to have), I try to follow the "Big pot = big hand" rule... in other words, if there's a big pot brewing, I want to have a big hand to stay in (or potentially a big hand) or it would be a total bluff. It won't be with some sort of mediocre, tough decision hand... So, let me throw out two examples of AA here, followed by a big pot with a suited connector.

FullTiltPoker Game #2749689770: Table Vintners (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 18:08:44 ET - 2007/06/23

I started with a full buyin of $400 and ran it up to about $530 when this hand came up against a villain who had me covered...

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ac Ad]
UTG folds
Villain raises to $14 from UTG+1
2 folds
SB raises to $24
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME
RecessRampage raises to $75
Villain calls $61
SB calls $51

Fairly standard reraise at a 6max table here for couple of reasons. I don't necessarily always reraise with AA. On the same token, one of them obviously likes their hand considering there's a raise from UTG+1 AND a reraise from SB OOP. So, with the current best hand, I wanted to build the pot, hence the reraise. Ideally, I wanted to narrow the field but that didn't happen.

*** FLOP *** [Kd Jh Qh]
SB checks
RecessRampage checks
Villain bets $100
SB folds
RecessRampage calls $100

All things considered, I hated this flop. There's a lot of hands there that could be beating my hand right now. However, the $100 bet is a pretty small bet considering the pot at this point is $225. I'm just glad one of them folded though.

*** TURN *** [Kd Jh Qh] [5d]
RecessRampage checks
Villain checks

I'm more than willing to check this hand down considering that I already did all the pot building early and since I don't like the texture of the flop AND I'm OOP.

*** RIVER *** [Kd Jh Qh 5d] [6c]
RecessRampage checks
Villain checks

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Villain shows [Ah Ks] a pair of Kings
RecessRampage shows [Ac Ad] a pair of Aces
RecessRampage wins the pot ($422) with a pair of Aces

So it turns out that the Villain hated the flop as well since there aren't too many hands that he could beat, considering all the action preflop.

FullTiltPoker Game #2750210534: Table Vintners (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 19:12:49 ET - 2007/06/23

2 other players involved here both have me covered as I have approx $390 at the table. They are both decent players who are aggressive but I haven't seen anything from either players to think that they are out of line.

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ac As]
UTG raises to $14
UTG+1 folds
MP folds
Villain calls $14 from button
SB folds
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $62 <--- from the BB
UTG calls $48
Villain calls $48

Once again, I tried narrowing the field but they both appear to like what they have. Well, the flop comes and this is where it gets interesting...

*** FLOP *** [7d 3c 5s]
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets $110
UTG calls $110
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain raises to $398.60, and is all in

Now what would you do here? You have approx $220 left behind you. Based on what just happened, could it be that there are three overpairs? One thing we know for sure (IMO) is that all three of us have a pocket pair. Not just based on the preflop sequence but the fact that the board came all low, I bet out after my reraise and there's a smooth call right after me from UTG. So, either UTG has JJ-KK or he flopped a set with a hand like 77 and is just smooth calling to entice another caller here. So, the presence of UTG made it uncomfortable for me even though I have to admit, I didn't think I was behind UTG. On the other hand, what would the villain have that justifies this move. Only thing I could think of was a set. Based on the entire sequence, it makes perfect sense. As such... this is what happened...

RecessRampage folds
UTG has 15 seconds left to act
UTG has requested TIME
UTG folds
Uncalled bet of $288.60 returned to Villain
Villain wins the pot ($515)

So clearly, UTG had a pretty big pair because he also let his additional time run down before he finally decided to fold. So, he and I probably shared the same read there regarding the villain's play. I would still love to hear other people's thoughts. Only thing I wonder is if I was pretty much priced in. $515 pot, $220 for me to call. Again, I still like my fold, even after reviewing this hand later. Still hurts to fold AA though...


FullTiltPoker Game #2750158930: Table Marietta (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 19:06:24 ET - 2007/06/23

I'm up to $500 at this table and the villain involved is a fairly active player who had about $540.

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Tc 9c]
Villain raises to $14 from MP
RecessRampage raises to $48 from the button
Villain calls $34

This is just a variation that I occasionally throw out. I don't do it with every suited connector in position or anything. But every once in a while, I like to mix in a few reraises with nonpremier hand and so that's what happened here. I don't mind the call since I have position and based on his call, my guess is that he's got a PP or AK type of hand.

*** FLOP *** [6s Jh 3s]
Villain checks
RecessRampage bets $75
Villain calls $75

Just following through on the sequence. I obviously didn't like his call too much but on the same token, now, I know that he's got a pocket pair. The question is, can he let it go or not.

*** TURN *** [6s Jh 3s] [8d]
Villain checks
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage checks

The turn card made things interesting for me. First of all, it gave me the nut straight draw. So, I debated about following through on the bluff and firing out another bullet which now would be a semi-bluff thanks to the turn card. I would say 8 of 10 times, I'd fire out another bullet here. At this point, I'm pretty sure about what the villain has. He's got a pocket pair that could be something like 77-TT. Could be lower but that would be pretty shocking. He calls my bet on the flop with a pocket pair because I could be doing the same move with AK at which point I might slow down on the turn. So, if I bet here, I'll probably get a fold unless he hit a set because he can't like his midpair after a reraise preflop and a bet on the flop and the turn. However, because I felt that my hand was so well concealed, I decided to get a little fancy here and check. If I hit my straight, I was going to overbet, trying to represent a bluff with AK, at which point, this guy would surely call since his thought would be, "why did he slow down on the turn if he had a made hand?" I could potentially lose this pot because of this play but that was a risk I was willing to take (which is probably why I tend to have big variances at times).

*** RIVER *** [6s Jh 3s 8d] [7d] <--- BOOM!
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain bets $165 <--- lol, even better!
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $376.95, and is all in
Villain calls $211.95

*** SHOW DOWN ***
RecessRampage shows [Tc 9c] a straight, Jack high
Villain mucks
RecessRampage wins the pot ($1,002.90) with a straight, Jack high

To say that I got extremely lucky here is an understatement. Turns out the villain had 77 for a rivered set which was why he bet out. The only thing I had to think about was how much to bet but since he bet out such a big amount, I figured he must like the hand he made/had and so I decided to push, representing a desperate attempt to take it down with my overpair (or what the villain surely thought I had). I just got lucky that a) I caught my straight but more importantly that b) the villain caught a hand at the end. More often than not, I would have followed up with another bet on the turn there so I also got lucky that on one of the few times I didn't, it worked out in my favor. However, keep in mind that at this point, I felt that in the villain's eyes, I either had a higher pocket pair or AK. So, instead of just the 8 outs I had (or maybe 6 if you're afraid of the flush), I had the phantom +6 outs (any ace, any king) since if either one of those cards come on the river, I'm betting there as well and most likely taking it down.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

PAPT (Home Game) Update

*Warning* If you're not interested in our home game, this post might... errr, probably will bore you to tears.

Ok, now consider yourself warned.

I think Sia can attest to the fact that I play more online poker than anyone he knows. I mean it's almost like a disease. I won't play if I have less than 30 minutes but if I have more than 30 minutes to kill, I will immediately fire up a table or two. So, last night, I got home from work around 6 and Mrs Recess had her pilates class until 6:45 so I decided to play a little online poker. Fired up two 2-4NL 6 max tables and by the time I was done, I was up a buy-in with a big pot coming when a donk tried bluffing his missed flush draw against my set. I mean bluffing is one thing but he overbet by pushing all in. Oh well. Thanks.

At 7pm, I had dinner with Mrs Recess and shortly thereafter, headed over to the PAPT, hoping to repeat my performance from last week. 8 runners, typical sng style tourney in our weekly home game. It was a weird night though. Tyke, our PAPT player of the year front runner, was on tilt the whole time because his laptop was being "Windows"... you know, blue screen of death, memory dumping, etc. Typical. No, no, I'm not a Mac guy or anything... I just accept those things as part of having a Windows computer... just like I've come to accept that bad beats are part of poker.

Anyways, I was down to half my starting stack early when I lost two big pots in these two hands...

Two limpers, I bump it up to T$12 (I think the blinds were 1-2) with AQ and they both call. Flop comes Q-10-10 with two spades. both checks to me so I bet about T$15. Then I get raised for T$30 more by Shaun, who is a fairly tight but aggressive player. However, I did not peg him as a guy who would make a play against me with nothing so I was pretty convinced he had a T there. I spew some more chips by calling on the flop but folding on the turn when he fires out another big bet. Then few hands later, I find 99 UTG. I limp and it fold around to the button who raises. Shaun calls from the SB, BB calls and I call. Flop comes 7-7-2 (hammer time!) with two diamonds and Shaun bets out T$20. I bump it up to $50 and it's folded back to Shaun who reraises me for a $100 more... Well, with 99, there wasn't too much I could beat at that point so I decided to save my chips for a better spot... turns out I folded a better hand (I told him 9s and he said they were good) but my guess is he must have had two overcards both diamonds. I was down to about T$80 from the starting stack of T$175 but I just felt that I could still find a better spot. I was upset for a little but fortunately, my cards were so bad for the next few orbits that I didn't even have a chance to tilt my chips away.

Fortunately, I picked up decent cards at good times and my all ins were called a few times which enabled me to double up 3-4 times and eventually, I was heads up against... Shaun. We battled it out for a fair amount of time but there were two key hands where it tipped the scale. I turned two pair but slowplayed it where he eventually caught a straight on the river. I doubled him up there... Then he pulled a monster bluff with 6-3 on a board of A-J-9-x-x where I had to lay down my K9 on the river... In hindsight, that was such a bad fold... but it is what it is. Alas, after those, he kept constantly pressuring me and eventually, I got frustrated, pushed my Q8o into his KQ and I bust out 2nd... Helps that I'm a donk but very well played by him.

So, for all that trouble, I won $60... net profit $35... after 3.5hrs of work... maybe I shoulda stayed home and played online...

Monday, June 18, 2007

How you say... jacks??

Couple of interesting hands all involving me having pocket jacks...

Part 1 - Betting too much

FullTiltPoker Game #2702574091: Table Hollow Pine - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 17:42:14 ET - 2007/06/18

9 handed - villain only has $170 before this hand

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Jd Jc]
RecessRampage raises to $14 from MP
Villain (from the big blind) calls $10

*** FLOP *** [Kc Kd 9d]
Villain checks
RecessRampage bets $25
Villain calls $25

*** TURN *** [Kc Kd 9d] [5h]
Villain checks
RecessRampage bets $70
Villain raises to $134.10, and is all in
RecessRampage calls $64.10
Villain shows [Qs Kh]
RecessRampage shows [Jd Jc]

*** RIVER *** [Kc Kd 9d 5h] [7d]
Villain shows three of a kind, Kings
RecessRampage shows two pair, Kings and Jacks
Villain wins the pot ($345.20) with three of a kind, Kings

In reviewing the hand, I'm not sure I misplayed it... well, maybe I did. This is where I might need to be more concious about bet sizing and pot control. The K-K-9 flop looked fairly innocent. It's checked to me so I bet. However, in hindsight, maybe his call should have been a red flag. So, I am fine with everything until the turn card comes. Now at that point, it's another safe card. The pot at that point has $78. I guess I bet $70 because I was thinking if he is drawing to a flush, I needed to make him pay. The only problem is that since he only had $64 behind him if he pushes, by betting $70, in effect, I was betting $135. And, if he's drawing to a flush, he only has 8 outs since I have a diamond. So, that means he's drawing to about 18%. So, in a $78 pot, technically, I can just bet $30 and it will still be a) incorrect for him to call and b) leave myself with outs in case he wakes up with a better hand. Now granted, I'm not sure that I could have gotten away from this hand but that is certainly something to keep in mind... that I don't always have to bet so big. Will I potentially be leaving some chips by not aggressively betting against a worse hand? Possibly. But on that board, what hands that I could beat would call my bet? TT and maaaaaybe 88 or 77. Aside from that, there aren't too many hands that would call my preflop bet and my c-bet on the flop.

Part 2 - Trusting your reads

Full Tilt Poker Game #2702813562: Table Marietta (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 18:09:33 ET - 2007/06/18

6 max - I have $400 and Villain here has $300

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Jc Js]
Villain calls $4 from UTG
RecessRampage raises to $18 from the button
Both blinds fold
Villain calls $14

*** FLOP *** [7c 3c Ad]
Villain bets $36
RecessRampage calls $36

*** TURN *** [7c 3c Ad] [2d]
Villain bets $60
RecessRampage calls $60

*** RIVER *** [7c 3c Ad 2d] [9c]
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain bets $128
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME
RecessRampage calls $128

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Villain shows [7d Kh] a pair of Sevens
RecessRampage shows [Jc Js] a pair of Jacks
RecessRampage wins the pot ($487) with a pair of Jacks

This was another interesting hand. After the hand, the villain showed his classy side by typing in the chat box "nice f***'n call." So, generally, I don't respond to things like that and I especially don't like giving free lessons but I couldn't resist... so I told him "Check out the hand history and then tell me what you think I think you had." That actually calmed him down, actually said "Damn, I didn't know I was playing against a pro. Just so you know, I didn't think you had the ace though." I told him I wasn't a pro... but that was nice. But anyways, that's neither here nor there. The river bet admittedly was a scary one. There was so many ways for me to lose... and yet, I made the call. Is this because I can't lay down a pocket pair? Come on. Hopefully, those of you who read this blog frequently know better. So, let's go back through the hand.

Preflop, he limps UTG and then calls a raise after everyone else folds. This could mean he has a monster and is good enough to slow play a big pocket pair since he knows it's heads up. Or, he's got some sort of a drawing hand or a mid to small pocket pair. So in other words, at this point, his range is pretty big. Flop comes A-7-3 with two clubs. He actually thinks about it and then bets $36 into a $42 pot. At this point, I immediately narrowed his hand down to either a draw or a pocket pair. Why? I just couldn't see a guy with A-x not raising preflop or reraising. In other words, if he had AK, I'm 90% sure he would have come over the top when I raised preflop. So, I was convinced my hand was good there. The only thing I was worried about was that he was doing this with a flopped set and I don't know anything about the guy so that was certainly a possibility. So, I didn't want to unnecessarily build the pot so I figured I'd call and if he doesn't have an ace or trips, he'll check the turn, I'll bet and take it down.

Well, he continued his aggression on the turn when a blank fell (sure if he had 45, he has a straight but I can't worry about that). This is probably where I made my first mistake. I just smooth called again. Why? Because I still felt I had the best hand but again, I didn't want to build the pot too much. But what if he had a draw? Yeah, exactly... I think that's where I made a mistake. And as such, the river comes another club. And the villain was courageous enough to be a fairly big amount. $128, leaving himself $56 into a pot that contained approx $240. This is where I made my second mistake... I think. Calling here should not have been an option. Considering he only left $56, it's either a fold or raise situation, I think. What do I mean by that? If I think that I'm ahead the whole time then that shouldn't change here. If I think the flush card beats me, I should fold here. But if it's enough for me to think that my jacks are still good, I need to push in case he was doing that with a hand that I initially thought which was a smaller pocket pair. That way, I could take all his chips. But calling wasn't the worst thing I've done. That was definitely a tough call and I made it tougher for myself by not raising on the turn. However, again, I knew he didn't have the ace so that made my decision slightly easier.

Oh and one other benefit to doing that? I noticed quite a few. I got bluffed at a lot less after that and at the same time, they started respecting my raise and c-bets which are key at a 6max table where you are generally more aggressive than usual.

Part 3 - Helps to get lucky

Full Tilt Poker Game #2703094206: Table Marietta (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 18:41:14 ET - 2007/06/18

6 max - another confrontation with a small stack
Villain has $190 here

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Jd Jc]
Villain raises to $14 from the CO
RecessRampage calls $12

*** FLOP *** [6d 4d 9h]
RecessRampage checks
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain bets $25
RecessRampage raises to $85
Villain raises to $172.30, and is all in <--- woah...
RecessRampage calls $87.30
Villain shows [Ks Kc] <--- oh snap!
RecessRampage shows [Jd Jc]

*** TURN *** [6d 4d 9h] [8d]
*** RIVER *** [6d 4d 9h 8d] [9d]
Villain shows two pair, Kings and Nines
RecessRampage shows a flush, Jack high
RecessRampage wins the pot ($373.60) with a flush, Jack high <--- better lucky than good :)

Nothing much here... since it was only $85 more to call, I had to make the call. On a 6 max table, high PP vs high PP is pretty much disaster esp with all low cards. I mean I've seen clowns push preflop with a hand as bad with AJ...

Weekend of Futility

Before I start, today is Monday and that only means one thing (aside from the fact that it sucks cuz it's the first day of the work week)... Mondays at the Hoy! So, bloggers and nonbloggers alike, come on out. $24+2 tourney at 10pm EST, password is "hammer" on FullTilt.



Next, go congratulate this sicko. He, unlike my whiny ass, played well and is WSOP bound! It would be great to see some of the bloggers make some serious noise at the Main Event... and I think we are putting up a solid line up. Couple that with the fact that I think the Main Event will have less donkeys than last year because Harrah's no longer accepts third party buy-ins, this could be a good thing. Again, Fuel, congrats!

As for me... well, what a weekend. Losing those two KK hands and being busted out of the tournament really did a number on me... especially given the fact that I didn't think the players were all that great and I felt that I could win my way into the 100 seat guarantee, that beat put a little hurtin on me. Now, I know bad beats suck and believe me, I'm generally not one to complain about it. But for me to be saying it the following morning, I think clearly illustrates how much it hurt. LJ, on the other hand played well but unfortunately was bounced from the tournament with about 10 players left for the seat, maybe less for some cash. She made a comment about how she'd rather bust out early than bubble. And I agree... when I bubble... but when I bust out early, I find myself saying I'd rather bubble because then I have a fighting chance... :) I guess that just means that I'd rather not get bounced at all.

On the flip side, I felt that I played well on my cash games. I posted a few hands but all in all, it was a pretty good weekend... unfortunately, it was one of those weekends where I don't have much to show for. I played well but I got sucked out on couple of big pots and so after playing a lot of poker this weekend, I was back to where I started on Friday... nothing like playing well and breaking even... so rigged.

So, I am hoping that instead of my usual hateful Mondays, that this is the beginning of the new week where maybe I could go on a rush, take down a BBT or two, but definitely make some serious cash at the cash tables. Hey, I can hope.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

FUCK YOU FULL TILT

I haven't been this pissed in a while...

FullTiltPoker Game #2692719036: Satellite to 100 Seat Guarantee (19919018), Table 55 - 50/100 - No Limit Hold'em - 16:00:57 ET - 2007/06/17
Seat 1: JPet (3,180)
Seat 2: MR SMOOTH D (1,745)
Seat 3: 120279 (960), is sitting out
Seat 4: Itsa Robbery (2,660)
Seat 5: AJ_Rider (1,080)
Seat 6: Mr Real McCoy (1,540)
Seat 7: RecessRampage (2,005)
Seat 8: dp_jaxson (1,750)
Seat 9: Kelvin1206 (890)
RecessRampage posts the small blind of 50
dp_jaxson posts the big blind of 100
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ks Kd]
Kelvin1206 folds
JPet folds
MR SMOOTH D folds
120279 folds
Itsa Robbery folds
AJ_Rider has 15 seconds left to act
AJ_Rider folds
Mr Real McCoy raises to 350
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to 2,005, and is all in
dp_jaxson folds
Mr Real McCoy calls 1,190, and is all in
RecessRampage shows [Ks Kd]
Mr Real McCoy shows [6h 6c]
Uncalled bet of 465 returned to RecessRampage
*** FLOP *** [8s Td 2h]
*** TURN *** [8s Td 2h] [6s]
*** RIVER *** [8s Td 2h 6s] [4c]
RecessRampage shows a pair of Kings
Mr Real McCoy shows three of a kind, Sixes
Mr Real McCoy wins the pot (3,180) with three of a kind, Sixes
The blinds are now 60/120

The reason I pushed? Because right before this, he made a comment about how he didn't want to race and how he folded AK when another guy came over the top all in. So, I figured instead of reraising a fair amount, pushing might get him to call. Which it did. Which FullTilt decided to fuck me grossly.

Then, two hands later, I'm down to 450 in chips, blinds are 60/120, and what do I get? KK. I thought justice. Folds to me in the cutoff and I push. BB calls with K3 of clubs. Of course, he makes the flush on the river and I go home in 757th place... I don't give a shit if this happens on a $24 tourney or something... But what a way to go out for a WSOP satellite.

I haven't been this pissed in a while... I think I'm gonna go break something.

One last attempt...

So far, I haven't really played in too many satellites for the World Series. But, since this is the big day for the Full Tilt's 100 seat guarantee, I figured I'd give it a shot. Two $69+6 tourneys later, no seat into the 100 seat guarantee... however, I played in a single table $14+1 supersat and took it down.



So, this is my last attempt I suppose. If I win my way into the 500 seat guarantee, then great. If not, no WSOP attempt for me this year.

I know several bloggers are already in the 500 seat guarantee so if I don't see you there, good luck!

A few interesting hands...

I probably could have made this into multiple posts. So, if I did, the titles would be as follows:

- This is why you don't want to overdefine your hand!
- Can you identify the squeeze play?
- This is why I hate tournaments.

So, enjoy...

Part 1 - This is why you don't want to overdefine your hand...

Let's say you have AA, KK, or AK in your hand and you're one of the blinds. A button raises. You suspect a steal? Well, if you have AA or KK, you're probably better off smooth calling if it's going to be heads up anyways because a) you probably don't want to lose your potential victim there and b) you don't want to tip off your hand like this guy right here...

Table Bunch Grass - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:27:26 ET - 2007/06/16
9 handed - Villain has $260 and I have $420 before this hand...

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [8c 8d]

Villain calls $4 from UTG+1
MP calls $4
RecessRampage raises to $20 from the button
Villain raises to $60 <--- the good ol' limp reraise? must be AA or KK
MP folds
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage calls $40 <--- he's kinda short so I have barely enough odds to all for set mining
*** FLOP *** [Jc Tc Ah] <--- no set here... but wait...
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain bets $24

Are you thinking what I'm thinking here? Hesitation and a weakish bet. Remember, based on his actions preflop, he's either got AA or KK, maaaaaaybe QQ or AK but doubtful. So, he either loved that flop and wanted to string me along or...

RecessRampage raises to $85

I didn't want to raise too much so that I could still save some money if he comes over the top. Plus, I am now definitely representing an ace. I'm the one that raised preflop then called his reraise. What else would I have aside from Ax (and from his point of view, most likely I have two pair)??? And who would raise with any pair less than what's on the board???

Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain folds <--- good girl!!!
Uncalled bet of $61 returned to RecessRampage
RecessRampage wins the pot ($173)

And this, boys and girls, is why you don't want to resort to the limp reraise garbage with big pocket pairs... it's easier to play when you KNOW what the other guy has... and I'm not tilting...



Part 2 - Can you identify the squeeze?

As we all know, the play at 6 max is definitely more aggressive... And I think the squeeze play is more prominent. At least at this table it was. And I find myself making that play a lot more often than I used to. So, the key now is can you identify it?

Table Simmons (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:15:13 ET - 2007/06/16

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [3d 3h]
UTG raises to $14
RecessRampage calls $14 from the button
BB has 15 seconds left to act
BB raises to $48
UTG folds

This was an interesting spot. I had run my stack up to $560 at this point and the BB had $377 before this hand. We've all been playing relatively aggressive but nothing crazy. However, the raise was a pretty big one so I thought it seemed more like a raise with two big cards instead of an overpair. I read this more as a squeeze play to take us out, esp since the UTG was raising preflop at a very high percentage.

RecessRampage calls $34 <--- if I'm wrong, maybe I can hit a set and stack him that way
*** FLOP *** [2s 8s 8d]
BB has 15 seconds left to act
BB bets $88

On a x-x-y flop, something seemed fishy about that bet. A) It was a standard c-bet size (the 75-80% range of the pot) and B) Fuel (I can't remember the post but he talked about the x-x-y flop before) always advocates to make a move because flops like these most likely didn't help the opponent.

So I do.

RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $220
BB has 15 seconds left to act
BB folds
Uncalled bet of $132 returned to RecessRampage
RecessRampage wins the pot ($285)

The hardest part about this hand was the bet sizing on the flop. Since he only started with $377, after the preflop reraise and the flop bet, he had about $200 remaining. I didn't want to over bet and not leave myself any outs but I also wanted to bet big enough to let him know that I had a decent pp like TT or something.



Part 3 - This is why I hate tournaments...

There are 8 of us remaining, top 6 gets paid and this comes up...

FullTiltPoker Game #2686806514: Tier One $8+$0.70 (Turbo) (20486210), Table 1 - 250/500 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:43:18 ET - 2007/06/16
Seat 1: Nidaplex (5,320)
Seat 2: ohcowboy12go (7,780)
Seat 4: lionman79 (2,080)
Seat 5: RecessRampage (2,450)
Seat 6: crewsmissle (2,170)
Seat 7: shev24 (2,460)
Seat 8: grizzlernz (2,260)
Seat 9: 10691069 (2,480)
RecessRampage posts the small blind of 250
crewsmissle posts the big blind of 500
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [6c Ad]
shev24 folds
grizzlernz folds
10691069 folds
Nidaplex folds
ohcowboy12go folds
lionman79 folds
RecessRampage raises to 2,450, and is all in <--- folds to me in the small blind, I'm short enough, Ax, I push
crewsmissle calls 1,670, and is all in
RecessRampage shows [6c Ad]
crewsmissle shows [7d 8c] <--- WTF!?
Uncalled bet of 280 returned to RecessRampage
*** FLOP *** [Jd 3d 8d]
*** TURN *** [Jd 3d 8d] [5s]
*** RIVER *** [Jd 3d 8d 5s] [Th]
RecessRampage shows Ace Jack high
crewsmissle shows a pair of Eights
crewsmissle wins the pot (4,340) with a pair of Eights

I mean are you kidding me? I realize we're both short but 78? He calls to put himself all in. Don't you want to wait for a better spot? I mean what was my pushing range that would justify his call with 78? And shortly after, I bust out in 7th and he ends up finishing the tourney in 2nd place. What a freakin joke.

There you have it folks... my interesting hands trilogy...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bad Karma is back!! (Bad Karma Part 6 & 7)

*Warning - bad beat story*

So this one especially sucked because I was abusing this guy... literally, abusing him. I started with the full buy-in of $200 and and I ran it up to what I had below basically by abusing shostakovitch. So I knew he pretty much hated me and that he was starting to tilt... and this came up...

Full Tilt Poker Game #2683350473: Table Cheyenne (6 max) - $1/$2 - No Limit Hold'em - 15:41:01 ET - 2007/06/16
Seat 1: DrGiggy ($339.50)
Seat 2: shostakovitch ($200)
Seat 3: RecessRampage ($373.40)
Seat 4: JBVFJK ($169.75)
Seat 5: Macacawitz ($246.15)
Seat 6: dallas8800 ($172)
JBVFJK posts the small blind of $1
Macacawitz posts the big blind of $2
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ah Qh]
dallas8800 folds
DrGiggy folds
shostakovitch raises to $7
RecessRampage raises to $21 <--- I don't always do it but I figured this will add to his tilt factor and I have position
JBVFJK folds
Macacawitz folds
shostakovitch calls $14
*** FLOP *** [9s Qd 6d] <--- perfect
shostakovitch checks
RecessRampage bets $35
shostakovitch raises to $150 <--- for a second, a set crossed my mind but like I said, I was abusing him so he was tired of being pushed around.
RecessRampage raises to $352.40, and is all in <--- ie, easy call
shostakovitch calls $29, and is all in
RecessRampage shows [Ah Qh]
shostakovitch shows [Ks Qc] <--- ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Uncalled bet of $173.40 returned to RecessRampage
*** TURN *** [9s Qd 6d] [Jh]
*** RIVER *** [9s Qd 6d Jh] [Ts]
RecessRampage shows a pair of Queens
shostakovitch shows a straight, King high
shostakovitch wins the pot ($400) with a straight, King high
RecessRampage: lol

Runner runner straight... unreal... there goes my profit from this table...

Then this... You know how sometimes you know what the other guy has? (like I did when I still managed to donkishly lose all my chips with KK). Well, this was the case here...

Full Tilt Poker Game #2683208285: Table Wetlands Park - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 15:22:07 ET - 2007/06/16
Seat 1: bigfattoad ($334.40)
Seat 2: NJ2NC ($419.80)
Seat 3: bigdaddyuga ($467.80)
Seat 4: 5thinning ($600.70)
Seat 5: BKNARROW ($105)
Seat 6: Been Machine ($376.60)
Seat 7: schmill ($294.50)
Seat 8: RecessRampage ($352)
Seat 9: davcomm ($178.70)
schmill posts the small blind of $2
RecessRampage posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [8d Tc]
davcomm raises to $8 <--- UTG min raise? Another typical way a donk would play AA
bigfattoad folds
NJ2NC folds
bigdaddyuga folds
BKNARROW stands up
5thinning folds
BKNARROW folds
Been Machine folds
ur_an_ASSet adds $400
schmill folds
RecessRampage calls $4 <--- I personally love my hand and it's AA crack worthy
*** FLOP *** [Ts 9d 3d] <--- good flop!
RecessRampage checks
davcomm bets $4 <--- if you really do have AA and are slowplaying it, you're asking to get killed
RecessRampage calls $4
*** TURN *** [Ts 9d 3d] [Td] <--- BOOM!!!!
RecessRampage checks
davcomm bets $26 <--- the board gets dangerous and NOW he bets
RecessRampage raises to $52
davcomm raises to $78 <--- lol... dude, the board just paired, the flush just got there, you just got checkraised and you raise again? You played aces as badly as anyone can play it... and as such, you're obviously not gonna fold so....
RecessRampage raises to $340, and is all in
davcomm calls $88.70, and is all in <--- thanks you donk!
RecessRampage shows [8d Tc]
davcomm shows [Ac As] <--- obviously
Uncalled bet of $173.30 returned to RecessRampage
*** RIVER *** [Ts 9d 3d Td] [Ad]
RecessRampage shows a flush, Ace high
davcomm shows a full house, Aces full of Tens
davcomm wins the pot ($356.40) with a full house, Aces full of Tens

When the river hit, I puked a little...

These should be obvious folds...

I honestly don't know what happened. Well... actually, I think I kinda do know what happened. I think I was on a slight tilt... not the anger tilt but one of those "it's in the back of your head and so you're tilting but you're not quite aware of your tilt until you take a step back and look at it" type of tilt. Ever had those? Well, here's me, being a super donkalicious idiot...

Full Tilt Poker Game #2677625819: Table Spruce Fern - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:42:00 ET - 2007/06/15
Seat 1: RecessRampage ($409.80)
Seat 2: LTFisher ($70)
Seat 3: Tilty_Poo ($363)
Seat 4: SDRI MAFIA ($342.50)
Seat 5: RedBird101 ($129.85)
Seat 6: vavavavoom ($154.10)
Seat 7: rjdee17 ($263.30)
Seat 8: TwistedDonkey ($400)
Seat 9: coldsmoke1 ($233.40)
TwistedDonkey posts the small blind of $2
coldsmoke1 posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Qd Qc]
RecessRampage raises to $14
LTFisher calls $14
Tilty_Poo folds
SDRI MAFIA folds
RedBird101 folds
vavavavoom calls $14
rjdee17 folds
TwistedDonkey folds
coldsmoke1 folds

*** FLOP *** [Th 7s 9d]
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets $32
LTFisher raises to $56, and is all in
vavavavoom has 15 seconds left to act
vavavavoom raises to $140.10, and is all in

Well, I was going to call first all in but when the guy comes over the top for another all in, based on what's on the board, I can't beat much. So, here's me doing the sensible thing.

RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act <--- still hurts
RecessRampage folds
vavavavoom shows [Tc Ts]
LTFisher shows [Ad Td]
Uncalled bet of $84.10 returned to vavavavoom
*** TURN *** [Th 7s 9d] [3s]
*** RIVER *** [Th 7s 9d 3s] [4d]
vavavavoom shows three of a kind, Tens
LTFisher shows a pair of Tens
vavavavoom wins the pot ($189) with three of a kind, Tens

Obviously a good fold by me but this is actually a normal fold in my opinion. But, it still sucks when I have to fold an overpair like that... However, my mentality should be that I'm glad I saved money, not it sucks to lay down an overpair... because otherwise, you can make a tilt-induced play, say like 15 minutes later...

15 minutes later...

Full Tilt Poker Game #2677773573: Table Spruce Fern - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:57:30 ET - 2007/06/15
Seat 1: RecessRampage ($309.45)
Seat 2: 7SaVa2 ($300)
Seat 3: PoorNapoleon ($407.50)
Seat 4: SDRI MAFIA ($391.80)
Seat 5: CHRIS8364 ($402.80)
Seat 6: agore111 ($463.20)
Seat 7: newera13 ($396)
Seat 8: TwistedDonkey ($408)
Seat 9: coldsmoke1 ($294.20)
PoorNapoleon posts the small blind of $2
SDRI MAFIA posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Kh Kc] <--- finally... it's been a slow night for me so I need to make something happen here!!
CHRIS8364 calls $4
agore111 folds
newera13 folds
TwistedDonkey folds
coldsmoke1 calls $4
RecessRampage raises to $22 <--- stupid limpers...
PoorNapoleon folds
SDRI MAFIA calls $18
CHRIS8364 has 15 seconds left to act
CHRIS8364 raises to $402.80, and is all in
coldsmoke1 folds
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act

Ok, let's think about this for a second. This guy just limped UTG, had another limper, then a raise, then a BB calling that raise... so, clearly some of us have something here... nonetheless, he pulls the classic "wait let me think about it, ok I'm all in" move... the classic "let me advertise that I'm a little unsure about this decision so HOPEFULLY I'm right" move... yes, simply put, weak is strong... we all know this. I believe this is poker 101. He clearly has AA.

RecessRampage has requested TIME <--- what... what am I doing? Dude, why are you thinking??? He's got aces! HE'S GOT ACES!!!!!! Your kings are no good!!!!

RecessRampage calls $287.45, and is all in <--- HEE HAW
SDRI MAFIA folds
CHRIS8364 shows [Ac As] <--- of course
RecessRampage shows [Kh Kc] <--- all the donkeys in the world are embarrassed with this call
Uncalled bet of $93.35 returned to CHRIS8364
*** FLOP *** [2d Ad 9s]
*** TURN *** [2d Ad 9s] [3c]
*** RIVER *** [2d Ad 9s 3c] [Ks]
RecessRampage: I can't believe I called
CHRIS8364 shows three of a kind, Aces
RecessRampage shows three of a kind, Kings
CHRIS8364 wins the pot ($643.90) with three of a kind, Aces

I think this was one of the worst calls I made in a while. Personally, I'm ok with making calls based on my reads, even if my reads are incorrect. At least I trusted my reads and I went with it. What I hate is when I go against my reads. I've played long enough, I've studied the game enough, and I've developed my read good enough... so if I can't trust my reads, what the hell am I doing at the poker tables??? And this type of play really pisses me off and like I said, once I think about it the next morning and think about what I was thinking last night, it was clearly tilt induced. The only positive of this hand was actually the fact that it slapped me out of my tilt and I played solid the rest of the night. I, unfortunately wasn't able to get anything going, but at least I snapped out of it...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Blogger Pimpage!

Alright, before I start my general "I love talking about myself" blog entry, I have to do some blog pimpage for others. I kinda assumed that everyone knew but in case you missed it (ie, in case you live under a rock), Hoy cashed in the WSOP Event #12 6 max event which his specialty! Also, another blogger made some noise at the WSOP! And I know her in person! Lana, again, congrats on cashing in the WSOP Ladies Event! I'd like to think that us meeting before your trip gave you the good karma. Yes, I realize I had nothing to do with it but I'll take credit for it anyways - I mean it IS my blog after all. :) I'm sure she'll do a more detailed write up but check her blog here.

Ok, some more pimpage. First off, let me say this to all my nonblogger, poker-playing friends that the blogger tourneys are not exclusive to bloggers. It is open to everyone and more the merrier. Just to summarize, MATH (Mondays at the Hoy - password hammer) is on Mondays (never would've guessed) at 10pm EST, Mookie on Wednesdays (password vegas1) at 10pm EST, and Riverchasers on Thursdays at 9:00pm EST (password Riverchasers). So, if you guys want to play, feel free to do so. And, more importantly, BuddyDank and InstantTragedy are teaming up to bring some quality entertainment through your Media Player (I use RealPlayer but you can use Itunes or WINamp also). Seriously, it's freakin awesome and if you want to know the details, click HERE. They'll take requests, you can talk all the shit you want (Buddy, you lucky donk) and seriously, it's just a great great time. Now some of the music played can be considered questionable but it's all by request so if you don't like some of the songs, blame the other bloggers. And no, I did NOT request ABBA. That was all InstantTragedy.

But in all seriousness, the BuddyDank & IT radio is awesome. So, go check their websites out! Plus, personally, I love Buddy's banner. Never gets old. :)

Ok, well, I need to catch up on the zzzzz's so I'm gonna leave you with this interesting hand that came up.

Full Tilt Poker Game #2659589534: Table Karina Jett - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:26:19 ET - 2007/06/13
9 handed - my stack is up to $554 and the villain has a full buy-in ($400)

I'm in the SB with 79o and it's folded all the way to me.

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [7s 9c]

RecessRampage raises to $12
Villain calls $8

*** FLOP *** [7d 5c 9d] <--- BOOM!
RecessRampage checks
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain bets $18
RecessRampage raises to $56 <--- kind of a draw heavy board so check raise a decent amount
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain calls $38
*** TURN *** [7d 5c 9d] [Jd]
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets $100
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain raises to $332, and is all in
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME

Ok, so clearly, I am in a very interesting situation that I pretty much created for myself. I flop top two on a draw heavy board, a 3rd diamond comes on the turn which is clearly a scare card and yet, I somehow manage to donk bet $100 into this pot that had $136 before my bet. The strong bet was to show that I wasn't afraid of the diamond and to take down this sizeable pot. Then the villain thinks about it and pushes... It's $232 more to call with a pot that is now $568. So, it's serious thinking time.

What are your thoughts here? I raised preflop and he called. But granted, it's only from a SB so I could have anything, even though I think I had a generally tight image. Does he have a set? Catch a straight on the turn? Or did he hit the flush? I gave it some good thought and this was my thought. If he had the flush, he has no reason to push considering I've shown enough strength that he could probably reel me in. He could easily have a set but if he flopped it, I think there would've been a little more action on the flop considering the draw heavy board. Did the J on the turn give him the set? Or... And honestly, this is what I thought. Maybe he has a hand like TT with one of them being a diamond so he has a solid overpair on the flop, and now, with the scare card, he's trying to scare me off (which I played like I have an overpair) and if I call, he has outs. Honest to god, that was my exact read. And this is what happened:


RecessRampage calls $232
Villain shows [7c Ts] <--- wow, worse than I expected... not even a diamond draw
RecessRampage shows [7s 9c]
*** RIVER *** [7d 5c 9d Jd] [As]
Villain shows a pair of Sevens
RecessRampage shows two pair, Nines and Sevens
RecessRampage wins the pot ($797) with two pair, Nines and Sevens

So, it ends up that he was really doing this with air, believing his read (?) that I had maybe like AK. But honestly, with as much action as he saw from me, there's no reason for him to go to war with a hand like that.

This was a key pot for me because this actually brought me back to even after a brutal night where my AA and KK were slashed three times tonight, fortunately by relative short stacks but at these tables, the relative short stacks still have like $160 so believe me, down $500 early in the night with those suckouts hurt. This definitely brought me back to being even for the night... thank god.

Oh and the Mookie? I didn't do well tonight... I donk played (errr, slow played) AA and it cost me early... couldn't get much going with my short stack and eventually busted when I lost the race with AK vs 88. Online poker is so rigged.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Popping the PAPT cherry! (home game)

It's nice when things are slower at work. I get to come home at a decent time (which I live less than 10 minutes away from work so that helps) and do things around the house (ie, play online poker) and still have time to grab some food and head on over to the home of PAPT (Park Avenue Poker Tour - so cleverly named based on the location of its house). So, that's exactly what I did. I got home around 5:30, took care of some chores (very little) and started up a few tables to see if I can "warm up" for the weekly home game. Nothing major happened in terms of online poker. Up in two tables, down in one... net to about nothing... Got the points I needed to continue my ironman freeroll streak and headed over to the PAPT.

Well, with 9 runners and a few old school players back, it was looking to be a good night. And a good night it was. We had all 9 players intact for the first 5 levels which is pretty unusual. Naturally though, the blinds started creeping up and it soon became a push fest. The funny thing about this structure is that it's the worst when it gets down to about 4-5 handed because that's also around the time the blinds are really high in relation to the stacks. And yet, it's not quite as bad when it becomes heads up because the stacks become big enough. So, amassing chips early to survive the mid-late levels is even more important in this tournament.

Well, tonight, the House of Bad Beats lived up to its name. Anyone who thinks online poker is rigged, need just step into this house and will walk away convinced that there's nothing that online poker could bust out that doesn't happen in this House. And there were some tricky plays too. When it got down to 5 handed, JT, who was relatively short stacked smooth called the big blind. JJ, then raised from the CO to about 4 times the big blind and so it gets folded around back to JT who pushes all in. They were both relatively short in that their M's were probably around 6-8. JJ thought about it for a long time but eventually decided that JT was limp-pushing with midpair (which I thought at the time was a good read) so he called with AQ... only to find out that he was a severe underdog to JT's AK (these initials are getting confusing). But, of course, in the House of Bad Beats, AQ was gold... Q comes out on the flop and no K on the turn and the river severely cripples JT who eventually goes out few hands later.

Another funny thing about this group is that the proverbial "bubble" is nonexistent. Top 3 got paid tonight, with 9 runners and top 3 also made points for the Player of the Year award. So, I was thinking that maybe when it's 4 handed, I'll turn up my aggression factor... except no one really cares about the bubble so that's never a consideration. Regardless of the other stacks, if the hand is good enough to go all in, there's no hesitation. So, I had to reel my aggression in a little... but just a tad. I still wanted to make sure that I was stealing my fair share of pots in order to stay healthy during this time of quick and ridiculously high blinds...

Well, fortunately, tonight, the poker gods were smiling down on me. Aside from a few key steals and take downs due to proper aggression, my hands held up when they needed to in key race situations and when heads up, I dealt another massive bad beat... Q was gold tonight (along with a 9 but that's another story). Tyke (our current points leader) and I were heads up and Tyke was solidly applying pressure on me. I, on the other hand, kept trying to play small ball (even with the high blinds) and so I would limp from the small blind 90% of the time. There were several times Tyke would raise and I would have to fold. But, I felt that if I could see the flop relatively cheap, being the small blind heads up also meant I had position and I felt that I could outplay him on the later streets. Well, as I noticed Tyke constantly applying pressure on me, I just knew that it was a matter of time that I would get the cards I need to spring the trap... and it came when I was in the SB and was dealt KQ (pretty monstrous heads up, IMO). So, as usual, I limped, and like he's been doing quite a bit, Tyke raised it up another 120 (blinds were 30-60). With 240 in the pot which would be approximately a third of either one of our stacks, I decided that this is the perfect spot to spring the trap. So I said "all in" to which he quickly responded "I call." Insta-call wouldn't do justice to the quickness with which he called. And to my dismay, he flips over AK... I'm pretty much dead... until of course, the House of Bad Beat delivers! Q on the flop with no help on the turn and the river for Tyke pretty much crippled him (he didn't have enough to even double the big blind) and the very next hand, I was dealt 22 and put him all in. His 3-5 didn't come through and that was it. I finally popped the PAPT cherry and won the tournament. I still have a long ways to go to catch Tyke (or anyone for that matter) but it goes on till the end of the year so I certainly have time.

On a side note, during the heads up match, one key hand that came up when I was in the big blind. Tyke limped, I checked and we saw the flop come 2-3-5. I checked, he bet approximately a 100 into a pot of 120 and I read that as a standard c-bet... so, I decided to make a move and semi-bluff at this pot... by going all in... with 4-7o... yep, just an open ended straight draw. Didn't think he had anything but I think he mentioned that he had TPTK... that was heck of a fold and I'm glad he made that fold... because we did run it out for fun and I wouldn't have caught anything.

Also, I have a confession to make. JT, on the hand where you said you had 22 and the board came 6-7-9 where I raised you from the SB... I later mentioned that I had 44... well, I lied. I actually raised from the SB with 8-3off... so I flopped an OESD and I thought an aggressive bet on the flop could take it down. When the blank came on the turn, I couldn't fire another bullet which you immediately noticed and took it down with an aggressive bet. I seriously considered pushing on the turn and in hindsight, I probably should've. So, lesson learned for me here. Well, actually, you weren't supposed to call...

I hate giving out info on my bluffs but then again, I also aggressively bet my made hands too so in that sense, that should be a wash. Either way, good times were had by all and most importantly, I took that shit down!!!!

MATH recap

The Battle of the Blogger Tournaments enter the final home stretch with I think 10 tournaments (maybe 9 after MATH) left and yours truly right in the middle (6th) of a grueling battle for the top 3 (measly 83 pts separate the 3rd place spot, currently occupied by NewinNov and the 7th place spot, occupied by jeciimd). After a weekend of decent showings in the MTTs I played in (which I know is very few compared to other MTT players), I was fairly confident that I was gonna do well. Well... I did... sort of. Early on, I was able to chip up thanks to a good mix of good cards, decent reads and decent aggression. Having good hands when it went to showdown helped me steal some pots in position. And by doing so, I was able to build a big stack and I was in the top 3 for a long time as I look to really take over this tournament. Well, I started losing focus because what I also wanted, along with winning was also knocking out the others who are in the top 7 points to ensure that I could make up some ground... and because of that, this was the first hand where I knew it was going to be a bad move and yet, I donk-raised...

There were 6 of us on the table with NewinNov as the shortstack and I really wanted to knock him out. He starts with T2,870 in chips and the blinds are 150/300 ante 25 (so the pot starts with 600) and he minraises from the CO. That screamed a big hand... my gut instinct was he has a big hand. I am in the SB, look down to see 44. I tell myself he's got a big hand. And next thing I know, I'm shoving my 19K+ stack into the middle, now hoping for a race... well, it was a race that I was losing badly as he showed JJ... Nothing like doubling up the one guy that I wanted to bust mainly on a donkish move by me.

Well, I didn't let that affect me and just kept up my aggressive ways and I started targeting the other big stack at the table... wwonka69, thinking that he wouldn't want to go up against the other big stack at the table without a good hand. So, every time he posted his big blind, I put in a raise from the CO. I think I went 3 or 4 orbits in a row where I did that... and then this came up...

FullTiltPoker Game #2643750853: Mondays at the Hoy (19464466), Table 1 - 200/400 Ante 50 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:00:48 ET - 2007/06/12
Seat 3: RecessRampage (19,362)
Seat 4: bayne_s (9,260)
Seat 6: wwonka69 (10,720)
Seat 7: leftylu (14,526)
Seat 8: NewinNov (4,340)
RecessRampage antes 50
bayne_s antes 50
wwonka69 antes 50
leftylu antes 50
NewinNov antes 50
leftylu posts the small blind of 200
NewinNov posts the big blind of 400
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ah Qc]
RecessRampage raises to 1,650
bayne_s folds
wwonka69 raises to 5,800
leftylu folds
NewinNov folds
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to 19,312, and is all in
wwonka69 calls 4,870, and is all in
RecessRampage shows [Ah Qc]
wwonka69 shows [6d 6h]
Uncalled bet of 8,642 returned to RecessRampage
*** FLOP *** [Kd 8h Ts]
*** TURN *** [Kd 8h Ts] [Th]
*** RIVER *** [Kd 8h Ts Th] [2s]
RecessRampage shows a pair of Tens
wwonka69 shows two pair, Tens and Sixes
wwonka69 wins the pot (22,190) with two pair, Tens and Sixes

Man, why couldn't the river be K, T, or 8, or A, or Q.... so many outs... And honestly speaking, when I reraised all in, I thought this was a case where he finally felt like he had enough so I thought he would reraise me with a hand like AJ, AT (of course, with also hands like AA, KK, AK, QQ, JJ, TT - all of which beats me).... Now that I look at this, it almost seems lucky that I was just a dog on a coin flip. This was clearly the turning point. If I take that pot, since we went to the final table during this hand, it would have been down to 8 players and with 30k+, I would have been a dominating stack. Instead, I was down to approx 9k and then I went card dead... and my stack was a little too short to make any moves aside from pushing all in... eventually, I did, actually right after I made sure NewinNov busted and I end what could've and should've been a monster run at the MATH in 8th place... that was a shitty finish to an otherwise well played tournament by me. Couple of questionable moves by me jeopardized my stack and eventually, I forced myself into a situation where I had to push with J9o... That sucked. Well, at least there is the Mookie tomorrow.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Would you? Can you? Fold Aces?

I think there are situations where folding aces may be easier than others. Having said that, it's never easy, especially if you're heads up. Also, I think there are few ways to play them based on the position but this interesting hand came up yesterday...

FullTiltPoker Game #2630757753: Table Canyon Run - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 16:15:06 ET - 2007/06/10

9 handed - I'm on the big blind - I've built my stack up to $623 and the villain here has the 3rd largest stack at the table with $451. Villain is in MP.

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ah As]
Villain raises to $12
Button calls $12
RecessRampage raises to $48
Villain calls $36
Button folds

I hate that move because I feel like it tips off my hand but I don't want to play aces 3 handed out of position so I bumped it up, hoping to either take it down or make it heads up. Mission partially accomplished (heads up).

*** FLOP *** [4s 8h 5s]
RecessRampage bets $85
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain raises to $403.35, and is all in
RecessRampage calls $318.35

What do you do here? Do you consider folding? I mean you just tipped off your hand preflop by more or less announcing that you have AA or KK, you bet a big amount on the flop, basically confirming that, and the guy thinks about it, then pushes. I obviously called. But what do you think? Would you have folded?

Initially, I thought, man, that's sick... did this guy hit a set? But then I thought it was kinda weird that he pushed all in. If he had a set, and he thought I have AA or KK, he shouldn't be afraid of another spade so wouldn't he raise maybe 2.5x my bet or something to try to reel me in? I mean why push for $320 more? That made me wonder if he wanted me to fold here. In all honesty, this whole thought process didn't hit me until now as I'm typing. But I sensed that something wasn't quite right. Something didn't seem right and so, I called. This is what I saw:

Villain shows [3s 2s] <--- OESD with a flush draw (14 outs)
RecessRampage shows [Ah As]
*** TURN *** [4s 8h 5s] [8c] <--- ok, that takes away 3 of his outs (the two aces and 8s)
*** RIVER *** [4s 8h 5s 8c] [Qc] <--- phew...
Villain shows a pair of Eights
RecessRampage shows two pair, Aces and Eights
RecessRampage wins the pot ($911.70) with two pair, Aces and Eights

Big pot and definitely made me sweat. I don't think it was a bad move by him but this could be dangerous in that next time, in a similar situation, he could do the same and push on the flop with a set. So, then the question is, on a board like that, would you have folded? What if he check called the flop and then check raised all in on the turn, would it be different?

I'd love to hear the thoughts of some people.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Now, THIS is impressive

This has nothing to do with my play or anything. I was just mulling around this morning and saw this on a $1-2NL 6max table.



That's 10 buy-ins! Holy cow. I know the games there are soft but that's a lot... I don't know how long the dude's been sitting at the table but I've never seen a stack that was 10x the max buy-in. I'm also impressed that the table hasn't broken...