Well, unfortunately, there was nothing too spectacular for me for the next few levels.
At 400/800, I broke my all in pre flop rule out of desperation. I looked down to discover my least favorite hand in poker.
The vaunted AQo – OH YUCK. I knew I was going to raise being as I was on the button, I was just figuring out how much when the under the gun player announced a raise, then the next to positions called and called.
What the hell???
At this point, I felt my only option was to shove my 13 big blinds and hope that I could convince them to fold. In doing the math, which I admittedly suck at, I figured that by shoving I would not be giving them the correct odds to call.
I quietly said, “All In”. This put the under the gun player into a tail spin. So much so that he attempted to swear under his breath, but it went over his breath and looked nervously around the table.
I suspected he had an ace with a weak kicker. I am screaming on the inside, “Reraise all in reraise all in.”
I figured if he were to reraise all in, I would get some protection and the other two callers would fold.
Alas, it was not to be, after thinking about it and counting out his chips and looking at me and looking at my stack and counting my stack which was already in the middle. He folded.
NO NO NO, I thought. The next position folded also. YEAH! Only one more to fold and the pot is mine.
Nope, the third player called. He flipped up 2,2 and I flipped over AQo. Of course, the initial raiser was like, “I had you on AQ, I knew it I knew it.”
On the inside, I am saying, “Well, pat yourself on the back fella’”
I had the third player covered so I could breathe a bit easier.
The board came J,Q,4 – Turn 9 – River 6!
It essentially was a double up for me so I was quite pleased at that point.
What did the original raiser have? 10,8s of course.
Now the table got to listen to him moan about him having a straight had he not folded. That was fun.
Over the next few levels nothing notable happened.
Finally, at 1000/2000, I woke up with KTo.
Well, I didn’t quite wake up to be honest. You see, a strategy I implement is to pretty much raise with anything going into a break. I thought this might be extremely useful at The Player’s Club due to only having one bathroom.
In tournaments, breaks are given so that players can hit the bathroom, get a quick smoke in or even head to the bar to quaff a beer if need be.
One of the weapons I use is the raise before the break. Most people mentally check out once a break is announced. They are looking to get the jump in the bathroom line, getting outside to smoke so they can have an extra drag on a cigarette or in this case, get the add on out of the way, etc.
I take full advantage of this, pretty much if I have any face card, I am raising if there are no limpers and I am first in. Heck, I may raise even if there are limpers.
So I announce, “RAISE” – and plunk down 3 purple 500 chips. Much to my chagrin, the dealer says, “There is already an all in and since you said raise, you have to play the hand.”
OH CRAP!!! Oh let’s be honest, a bit stronger word came to my mind. I had had a fairly tight image at this point and this one hand was going to blow that to smithereens.
Even worse, a person behind me announced his all-in.
At that point, I was what I call “Stack committed” which means that there is so little of my stack left, I might as well call and hope for the best.
So that is exactly what I did. HOPE HOPE HOPE.
Now in poker when you have multiple all ins, the worst hand has a good chance of winning. In fact, some players actually will use this as a strategy. If there is two all ins, they call with almost anything.
The other two players quickly turned over their hands. To my surprise and relief they both had KQo.
Why relief? Because, they were canceling out each other. By both having the same two cards, there was two less cards in the deck that could complete their hand.
I, sheepishly, flipped over my KTo. BLAMMO, cover blown, “Mr. Tight Nit Guy” was no more. My only relief was the fact that half the table had walked away to start their break early.
Flop comes 5,T,9. wOOt wOOt. Turn – 5, River – 3.
Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.
I then found out that the blinds were going to be 15 minutes long. WHAT THE HELL??? Now, you need to understand that most of these small clubs cannot afford automatic shufflers so the deck is usually hand shuffled 3 times, then cut, then dealt. In a full table, I felt like it would be lucky to play 15 hands per round, maybe even less then that.
I WAS PISSED
I felt a wave of anger across my body. I finally resigned myself to attempt to play my best. I also realized that I was only into it at this point $20.00 or so. Hell, I eat that much in a sitting at Old Chicago
I noticed the dealers were adept, capable and actually quite good at keeping the game going. I also noticed that my table was pretty tight which is unusual for a re-buy tournament.
The first interesting hand came up at the second level with the blinds at 50/100.
I was in the small blind (SB) with KQo. A raise was announced by an early position (EP) player for 1k. Now when someone raises so much this early in a tournament, usually one of two things is going on. Either the player does not want a call or he is doing what is called “Leveling” or trying to play the “Metagame”.
Leveling is basically trying to figure out what other players are thinking you are doing. So, level 1 is what am I doing. Level 2 is what the other player is doing. Level 3 is what I think you are doing. Level 4 is what I think you think I am doing. Level 5 is what you think I think you are thinking of doing. It can get quite high when watching high stakes player playing.
In this instance, I had to think about what he/she was doing. So, let’s go over what I did know. Second level of a rebuy tournament. Rebuys are only $20.00. Not much action at the table. 10x raise from early position. Normally, I attribute such a raise as someone NOT wanting a call. With that in mind and knowing that it was a rebuy tournament, I popped it another 1k. My thought on a 4 bet was to attempt to define my opponent’s hand to a narrower range. Secondary, was to get the big blind to fold.
The EP thought for a few and just called.
I knew at this point that he was probably not on AA or KK as I think he would have 5 bet me all in. I also moved him off of AK as I also thought he would have shoved (shove is a term for going all in or “shoving” ALL your chips to the middle).
The flop comes down K,8,9. While this seems like a “BINGO” flop for me, I did not like the connectedness of it. There were too many hands in his range that the 8,9 would have connected with. I also knew that if my read was off and he had AK, I was hosed.
The EP checked to me. At this place, the EP only had about 2.4k in front of him. With over 4k in the pot, I thought this was an odd move. While he had about 24 blinds in front of him, I was expecting a shove.
I tanked for a while. Tank means “think” and finally shoved, thinking I could just pick up the pot.
EP snap calls. A snap call is an instant announcement of a call. This usually leads to a sinking feeling of being completely dominated.
I flip over my KQo and much to my surprise, he rolls over AQd, I was surprised because only one diamond was on the flop. Now, up to this point, I had not shown down any hands and had only been involved in a few hands with nothing past the turn. I thought this was an extremely loose call.
Once the cards were situated for an easy read. The turn came the 8d. CRAP CRAP CRAP. I now had to dodge 9 diamonds that were still in the deck. Sure enough the King of diamonds came out. I reached into my back pocket to pull out a $20.00 for a rebuy.
The dealer then announced that I had a full house.
Full house beats a flush.
I sideswiped my front pocket with my hand that was reaching for my wallet so that any astute observer would think that I was only pulling my sweat rag out to wipe my brow.
I had some chips now. I had stack. How was I going to use my stack as a weapon?
On May 4, I ventured into The Players Club
. While I had been a friend on FaceBook with the owner, I had never been in the club in recent memory. I wasn’t sure what to expect (a topic for a later blog).
What drew me there was a “freeroll” qualifier for a $1,500.00 buy-in
to a World Series of Poker (WSOP)
event. The way it worked is that the top 9 finishers would receive a ticket to the finale on May 11, 2013. The winner of the May 11 tournament would receive the $1,500 buy-in.
The flier I saw said the buy in was for the millionaire maker tournament on June 1
. I was hoping that it would be good for another $1,500 WSOP event, but if not, I’d fly down there specifically for that event.
On the way to the club
, I put the headphones on my iPhone and started to play The Killers
' latest Battle Born.
I started to go over my goals for the tournament. I kept them short at this point, as I hadn’t played live since about February. I also did some semi-meta-physical meditation. I know, I’m driving so how could I meditate. I have learned how to “zone out” poker wise while driving. It is hard to explain, but while I am thinking of poker, I am not really thinking of poker. What I have found is that my mind is like in a large garden just wandering around.
I pulled up to the club
on NE Glisan and NE 60th. Due to a knee surgery with some extreme complications, I have a handicap placard so I was able to park right in front of the club, which is usually parking for only an hour. I guess having constant pain in my leg is a bonus. I had my card protector, sweat rag, phone and pain meds with me.
I strode up to the door, only to find it locked. There were a couple of other people hanging around as well so I didn’t feel too awkward. Oh whom am I lying to, I felt awkward as hell. I knew no one, had no idea what the structure was and my leg was throbbing, having already been standing for 3 innings of a t-ball baseball game for my 5 year old. Normally, this would put me on the couch for the day watching soccer and popping pills like popcorn. Yeah, it hurts that bad.
Finally, the door unlocked and we headed upstairs.
I am not sure what possessed me to have a sweat rag, but WHOA! I was going to need it. It was hot and stuffy.
Now those that know me, know I am a big man, overweight a bit for sure, but being on oxycontin and my other meds, I sweat.
I met the owner of The Players Club and paid my $10.00 door fee a long with bonus for an extra 4k chips I believe. I then looked around the room for a structure sheet. Found nothing UGH. This was not going good. I decided to sit in the corner and look “occupied” by my phone whilst scoping out the competition.
That lasted for about 5 minutes before I gravitated my phone back to my goals for the tournament. I then decided that I would actually try to keep track of interesting hands, good or bad along with the blinds. I had never done this before and was not sure how I was going to do this with my iPhone. I hate typing on the thing.
I was seated at table 3 seat 9. Not a bad draw for me. I don’t mind being seated next to the dealer and in this case the dealer seemed friendly enough.
My goals for this tournament are as follows:
- No All In PreFlop.
- NO CALLING ALL IN PRE FLOP.
- Think through hand.
- Every hand tells a story, figure it out.
It was with great anticipation that I headed to Las Vegas for the WSOP 2012
. Actually, I was just excited to head to Las Vegas to play some cards. I, initially, tried to draw up a plan based on what I found over on two plus two
and some other sites. I also asked around on a couple of different forums.
Unfortunately, they were not as helpful as I thought they might be. I ended up mostly playing at the Golden Nugget
mainly due to the fact that I was staying downtown. I did play some events at Binions as well as they were hosting the Binions 6th Annual Poker Classic.
I think the one of the mistakes was my choice to stay downtown. Being a "casual" poker player, I attempted to do this trip on the "cheap" which was my downfall. In staying downtown, I now didn't want to pay the $25-$30 cab ride out to the Rio
Don't get me wrong, I actually prefer downtown to the strip for many different reasons. Probably the main one is just the ambience of the place. To me, you can feel the history, not too mention the entertainment.
So with $2,000.00 in my pocket, I flew down on a sunny Sunday afternoon with a million dreams and great anticipation.
I stayed at "The D
" hotel as I was able to snag a room for around $18 a night. Of course, I had to run the gauntlet of girls dancing on the tables each night to get to my hotel room, but $18 a night right??? LOL
I immediately headed over to the Nugget
and played in two tournaments. Nothing memorable at all. The next morning, I got my breakfast at McDonald's which happened to be a "The D
" as well. Good for me . . . well not too good.
While at The Nugget
, I noticed that they were going to do a training session with Tom McEvoy and David Chitocsky. It was $400 dollars and included a free roll to a satellite tournament for the PokerPlayerNews Championship tournament.
They were also holding a satellite qualifier on Monday to the same tournament. I decided to enter the satellite and won a seat to the championship. I also won a "bankroll builder
" tournament for a little over $1,000.00 padding my bankroll by $800 or so.
I went to sleep Monday night feeling like I could conquer Vegas. I also was still thinking about taking that training session.
I woke up Tuesday morning with 10 minutes to get to that training. I thought about it for a brief moment, threw on some clothes and headed down to the Golden Nugget
to plunk down my money for the training.
This was by FAR my BIGGEST mistake of the entire week. For a reason that you might not think about. You see, anytime I read a book on poker or take training or coaching lessons, I usually need a couple of weeks to digest what I have read in order to add it to my game.
While the topics covered in the training were not completely new to me, they did affect how I played the rest of the week therein lies the issue. I immediately attempted to put them into play without my normal gestation period and WHAM! I was busting galore.
I botched the championship tournament on Wed, and was so pissed I took a cab to the Rio
to take a look around the WSOP
. At that point, I decide to enter a WSOP
deepstack as my bankroll couldn't support the 1k tournament that started that afternoon.
The worst thing in Vegas is to have no money to do anything with. I decided not to play the 1k as that would have left me with less then $500.00 and still 4 days left to live in Vegas.
I actually played pretty well in the $235.00 deep stack. I think I finished in the top 30 percent or so which, for me, at the time was pretty good, but of course, that is not good enough to cash.
I wandered around the Rio
for a while, saw my hero Tommy Angelo
, then headed back downtown.
The rest of the week was pretty much forgettable. I had a couple of min cashes but nothing significant. I spent most of the time playing those bankroll builders at the Golden Nugget.
Instead of builders they could be labeled as bankroll killers. The tournament only has 20min blinds with no antes at all which encourages nice tight, slow play and for some reason, I could not adjust to it.
All in all, while it was a fun trip, it was extremely disappointing. So much so that it took me 10 months to even write about it.
Well, Saturday, my lovely wife let me out of the house to head over to the Portland Players Club
on 60th and Glisan here in P-Town.
I plan on posting a review of the club after I play a few more tournaments.
One thing that should be noted is that I don't believe they play with antes. This actually makes a big difference on how you should play the tournament. I will post more later on that style of tournament.
They are promoting a free roll that has a WSOP $1,500 guarantee for first place. They have been running tournaments on Saturday where the top 9 players get seats into the WSOP free roll.
Last Saturday, there were about 60 participants so I thought my chances were pretty good. I was extremely satisfied with my play throughout the afternoon. The hand I went out on, I could have played differently, but I was not tilted by any means on it.
That usually means, I am happy with how it ended, I got my seat in the final next week and scored some cash as well.
Boy, didn't realize it had been over a month since my last post. What the heck was I thinking?
As far as my poker goes, I am playing back on Black Chip, but not sure how much longer I will be playing there. It is tough, tough, tough on there. We are talking 8 regs in a 9 man SNG. Oh for the days of PokerStars.
I have not played much live at all this year. I'm not sure how much I am going to get to play before heading to Vegas in June. I have just been too busy with family things.
My online playing has been fairly decent. I am about even with only playing for a week or so. I hope to have a sizable MTT score before I head to Vegas.
So, I was looking forward to a blissful weekend of playing cards and cleaning up my office area. I had unplugged my computer to install my new, 28 port, yeah you read that right, 28 port hub.
Unfortunately, when I attempted to turn my computer back on, it could not find the internal hard drive - UGH!!!
I managed to restore the contents of the drive to a USB 1tb drive. Slow as pond water in January, but it seems to be working.
I guess the good news is that I am springing for a 250gig SSD drive for my main drive. Hopefully, it will last longer then the previous drive. I am looking forward to things being a bit speedy on that drive front.
I am going to be playing quite a bit on the Club WPT site this week, trying to win my way into the 25k WPT Bellagio Championship entry tournament. Win that one and I will be winging my way to Vegas and competing amongst the best.
I also qualified for a seat at a championship that awards a seat to a tournament in LA as well. I play on that one on Sunday, Easter Sunday. Is there no justice in poker?
Should I fold . . . should I call . . . Man these stacks are short!
Notice my lucky Bad Penguin Chile had that has been with me around the world. The most smelly, dirty, ugly hat you have probably seen. But it has been with me through thick and thin.
Guess who is heading back to the WSOP? That would be me :) This time though, I am taking my wife with me. I got a killer rate at the Rio - 41 a night, a bit more expensive on the weekend. I booked this before they announced the WSOP 2013 schedule. Now the rates are around $150 a night - timing is everything no?
I will be posting here on my plan and also on floattheturn.com
- I am really excited to be heading back. I have a completely different plan this time.
Look for me at the tables and if you want to meet up, just leave a comment here or hit me up on twitter @pokercrucible.
I just signed up yesterday for floattheturn.com - I am a part time player who is a dad and a husband first, then comes poker. That does not mean that I don't want to learn, it just means that my priorities are a bit different then most players. I have been to other coaching sites, subscribed to them and to be honest, have not found much value in them.
This will probably be the last paid coaching site I join and to be honest, I joined it because it was cheap. I have watched a few videos, but must confess, I don't seem to get a lot out of watching other people play. I seem to get more out of videoing my play and going back and reviewing the self made video.
I am a tournament only player. I became tournament only after seeing a psychologist who told me my Adult Attention Deficit Disorder has no business around ring games - LOL - I can expound on that sometime if you like.
I have been playing poker since 2001. Since black Friday, I have mostly played the subscription sites which is like banging my head against the wall. I just don't trust the sites out the for US based players. Not too mention, when I have dabbled with Lock, Black Chip and a few others, it seems that there are no fish on those sites. I do subscribe to ClubWPT and CardPlayer poker sites just to keep in the game a bit. I do play a bit live around my area as we have "social" non-profit clubs that are not allowed to charge a rake or tournament fee so you pay a door fee and can play all day at the club. All tournament monies go into the prize pot. The only issue is that it is like $10.00 per day to play at these clubs and I rarely can play for more then 1 tournament so that makes the juice sky high which I hate.
I used to travel for a living providing school districts with technology training. This allowed me to play quite extensively around the states and the world. My fave place to play, outside of Vegas, is Tunica, MS. Just a nice old town feel to the place. It is also where I had one of my larger scores.
Last year, I made my first pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the WSOP. Was that ever a flop. I am going back this year with a new game plan.
On a personal level, I have a lovely wife and three boys. I am blessed to work from home which allows me time to both play and learn.
On the shameless plug level, I run a small blog over at http://www.pokercrucible.com
the stats of the sites say people are hitting it, but I am not so sure - LOL
I look forward to being an active part of the community and if there is anything I can ever do to help with your game or just provide a laugh over the dumb things I have done at the table, please let me know.
After the colossal meltdown over at FaceUp - I decided to give CardPlayer Poker a try. They are another subscription site belonging to the Zen Entertainment network. Who, after I had paid for elite status, I found it has filed for bankruptcy.
One thing I noticed on this site was the serious issue of suckouts. I have never seen so many bad cards beat so many good cards. It was just crazy.
Now, I have suspected for a long time that online poker sites have rigged their tournaments to keep people busting out so they have more players in a pool waiting for tournaments. I have never been ambitious enough to quantify my suspicions, but it just seems that if you are playing A2o and you have a larger chip stack, you suck out over AKs or something similar. On Thursday, I am going to give ClubWPT another try. It has been a few years since I have played there and as long as I am checking out subscription poker, I might as well give them a try.
So far, I still like PurePlay.