Friday, July 29, 2005

July Tournament Play

The month of July has been a good one for me. Tournaments were especially encouraging. I played 7 live tournaments and was in the money three times with three final table appearances.

While Connie and I were in Vegas I played in 4 tournaments. Three were low buy in tournaments at the Gold Coast but in the last one I got 5th for 4 times my buy in. The fourth one in Vegas was the single WSOP super satellite I played. I wish now I'd started earlier and played more of them. I was intimidated by the prospect at the time. After finishing in the top 1/3 of the field while doing no rebuys and no addons I feel much better about my prospects for next year.

In Gulfport last week I played three tournaments. The Monday NL rebuy tourney, the Wednesday Limit rebuy and the Thursday NL freezeout.

On Monday I once again never did a rebuy and didn't do the add on. I made the final table very short stacked but managed to finish 8th. I got $270 for my efforts with a total investment of $15, not bad at all I don't think. It was amazing really, there were 95 entries, 310 rebuys and 68 add ons. One guy at the first table I was on must have rebought 10 times. Now you know why I didn't have to, I just kept taking his chips :)

Wednesday's tourney was something I tried because of my success in Vegas and on Monday. I really do NOT like rebuy tournaments and HATE limit tournaments. I figured I have to learn somehow though so I gave it a shot. I even did one rebuy since you got twice the starting chips for a rebuy. It didn't help though and I was out before the break as I determined it was just not worth another rebuy. I'm going to have to read up on Limit tourneys and log some simulator time I guess. I could just skip them but I have a feeling learning to play them could be beneficial to my game. I don't see how it can hurt.

Thursday I was actually late picking Connie up at the airport because I made the final table in the $60 NL freezeout tourney.  I was actually in decent chip position when I made the final table, probably around 5th as near as I could tell. It went up and down with them discussing and turning down deals. A couple of hands hurt me and I finally ended up out in 8th. I got $242 for that one. Naturally they chopped right after that and if I'd held on and let somebody ELSE go out first I'd have been $400 or so richer. Such is life.

Back here in Orlando I played some online tourneys this week. It wasn't going well at all. I barely made the top half of the field in anything early this week. Then one night I helped Connie win one of Poker Stars $1+.20 45 seat sit and go's. She is really pretty good at the early to middle stages of tourneys and I learn a lot from her patience in that phase. I hope she is learning from my aggression in the late middle to late stages though. She likes to just sit back and I find that doesn't work, you need to be attacking, constantly keeping pressure on your opponents. Sure sometimes I get beat that way but I am finishing higher and higher and have won many low buy in tourneys that way.

I played a $20+$2 tourney on UB a few minutes ago. There were 154 entries and I was finally out in 15th getting $30.80 for my efforts. LOL it only amounted to about $3 an hour profit but at least it WAS profit. I felt I played well which is good as early in the week I definately did NOT think I was playing well and it felt like I was being outplayed constantly. I see now that it was mostly me trying to make bad cards work for me. I was very card dead and was not as patient as I maybe could have been.

As much as I hate to admit it I think I may be starting to like tournament play as much and possibly (just possibly) more than cash games. I do like just sitting down to a live cash game though. I can be totally relaxed and enjoy the setting and the people. In the places I usually go and the games I usually play I now feel totally at ease which is cool. I like knowing that if I just play my game I can count on making at least SOME money by the end of the night. I did it again last night in Melbourne. It started out rocky as there was a total maniac on the table raising in the dark but he ran out of money and left. My main regret there is that I never got a hand that would get me any of his money :) I caught some good hands later and also out played a couple people for pots and was up around $22 when I left. Not much but 11 big bets in just a couple hours is not too bad either. It's not gonna make me rich but it was great entertainment.

I'll be heading back to Vegas on August 13. My plan is to play a lot of poker of course. I'll try to do at least one tournament a day for the week I'm there and fill the rest of the time with cash games, probably $2/$4 and $4/$8 at the Gold Coast and $3/$6 at MGM primarily. I may hop around and try out a few other poker rooms too, we'll have to see on that. I'll be hopping around to get in a tournament a day anyway as I'm going to aim for buy in's around $60 each day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Aruba Satellite

I just finished a $3 + rebuys satellite for an entry to a $200 + $15. Wow was this thing wild! 46 people entered. There were 96 rebuys and 20 of the 29 people left at the end of the rebuy period did the add on. I thought I was just going to bail on this one during the rebuy period, the people were acting totally nuts. I had determined that rebuying would not be worth it. I was down to around 1100 chips when the guy to my right started one all in after another, rebuying when it didn't go his way. He did it in fairly late position meaning few potential callers after me and I had pocket 3's, not a great hand but I figured what the hell, I was so short stacked relative to the leaders that I just went for it. That doubled me up. Then the next hand he did it again and I had pocket 8's so I went for it again and doubled up again. A few hands later I did it again, or nearly and hit the end of the rebuy period very close to average in chips so I went ahead and paid the $3 for an add on.

Things settled down a lot, as you might figure, once the freezeout part started. I managed to move up some and held on well to make it to the final table but I was the small stack at roughly 1/8 or less of the leader. I doubled up on a desperation move with KTs which may have been questionable when I ended up all in against A4s, I had hearts he had diamonds. I caught a ten on the flop and it held up.

I won a few little hands, stole some blinds and held on to where I was 6th with 6 left. That was the bubble. The first two places paid seats and the last 3 cash.

I limped in in the small blind with K7o when the button limped, the big blind checked. The flop came down Q 7 3 rainbow. I bet out on the 7, around half the pot, about 1/4 of my stack I guess. The big blind (the chip leader) raised enough to put me all in. That is where I went brain dead. I called in the rest of my chips with a hand that could not even beat top pair. I had outs but not many. Far better I'd have just folded. I would not have had much to work with but I'd have had SOME chance to finish in the money then. The big blind turned up pocket 9's and my day was done when neither a K or another 7 came on the turn or river. 

Have I learned my lesson? I certainly hope so. No way should I have called like that without top pair and only 6 outs to even beat top pair. Also with the BB having limped in he could have had anything including any two pair. Oh well live and learn. I'm getting so sick of bubble finishes. I did it twice last night in SnG's. Those I think I played well though, just didn't get what I needed when I needed it. I was actually fairly lucky to get to 4th in those considering I was getting nothing much in the way of cards. In the second one I never even saw a real premium hand. I think the best I got was pocket 8's or maybe ATo.

Sometime soon I'll have to write about my poker experiences in Vegas. I had a blast needless to say and just being there while the WSOP was going on was awesome as was playing the one Super Satellite that I played.

On a happier note I've been in Melbourne and Daytona the past two days. Monday night in Melborune I took $65 out of the $2 straight game in around 2 1/2 hours. Tuesday in Daytona I was up $106 in about the same time period. I'd have stayed then but the table was breaking down, again, and didn't look like it was going to come back, also the player mix felt like it was changing and I decided it was as good a time as any to quit while I was ahead.

I've got a trip to Biloxi scheduled for this coming week and after that I think I may take a week off from poker and work on the other house. I'm starting to feel maybe  a little burned out since I've played a lot of hours and every single day for almost a month straight now including what will be three out of town trips in a little over a month.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Home from the Poker Mecca of Las Vegas

I will write an entry covering my experiences of a poker nature while I was in Vegas last week but for now I just wanted to report briefly (honest) on a tournament I just played online. It was a $3 rebuy satellite to UB's $200+$15 Sunday Evening $100,000 guaranteed tournament. I rebought only once and ended up finishing 36th out of 148 when I found my pocket Queens (naturally) up against Kings. To make it worse the other player hit a K on the flop. I briefly thought I'd doubled through when the river made my flush. Unfortunately it also made his full house busting me in 36th. I think I played well, continuing what I felt was overall good play in Vegas last week. I could also have laid down the Queens I guess but that seems like it might have been harder than to make the all in raise I did. At least I raised all-in and didn't call off all my chips. Naturally though he didn't take long to make the call.