party poker

Monday, November 29, 2004

Small tourneys, $6/$12 in Reston, & $10/$20 at the Borgata...

I'm back to playing like a madman again.  Where should I start?  How about this weekend's trip to Atlantic City?  Well, we stayed at the of the nicest casinos in all of AC.  The lines for just about everything (valet parking, restaurants, poker room, etc.) were ridiculous, but the atmosphere was nothing short of stellar.  Believe it or not, the wait for a $10/$20 game on Friday night was over 5 hours long!  Luckily, I had a friend of mine put me on the waiting list while I was driving up there.  I arrived shortly after 8pm and was on a table within an hour.

Not sure how many of you have played in a live action $10/$20 game before, but oh man, the action was like playing against 9 maniacs.  It seemed like the big winners were the ones who were playing 60-70% of the flops.  It was hard to predict which two cards they held because most of them played just about any two cards, even on raises!  I found it nearly impossible to read them. I'm not sure if the correct strategy was to play loose preflop or not, but it was definitely making the rich get richer.  Initially I stuck with my original plan of playing tight aggressive, like I always do, but after getting busted on trip sevens to a nut straight, I had to adjust.  Read the hand of the week for more details on this hand.  Unfortunately, I dropped $600 in a matter of hours and decided to bail out to play in the $6/$12 game.  The $10/$20 absolutely smoked me, but you can quote me on this...I'll be back.

What else?  I played in an multi-table 30 player tournament last week at Party.  The buy-in was $30+3 with the winner getting $270.  Top 5 spots paid out.  After grinding my way to the top 6 players, I was 3rd or 4th in chips with a little over 5000 chips.  The big stack had about 6000 chips.  Here's a hand that came up.  I had AK in late position.  The blinds were at 150/300.  The big stack (in early position) raised to 1000.  I called his raise.  The flop comes K53.  The big stack declared "all-in".  What the f*ck?!?!?  I didn't put him on 5-5 or 3-3 and definitely not K-K.  The only other hand was A-A, which would've made me a HUGE underdog if he actually had it.  But what were they chances that he had A-A when I had one of those Aces?  Even if he did have it, why would he go all-in??  I thought for sure that he had Q-Q.  Unfortunately, I called his all-in bet and he turned over A-A.  I lost the hand along with any money that I may have gotten if I had folded my top pair with Ace kicker.  But how in the world could anybody fold A-K?  Well, a pro would've folded this hand in a heartbeat, considering the situation. That's why I'm NOT a pro.  Especially since the top 5 positions paid out with the 6th player getting absolutely zilcho.  Live and learn.  Next time, I'll fold my A-K.  In tourneys, the name of the game is survival.  Remember, SURVIVAL.

How about a winning story now?  Alright, you got it.  After watching some of the $40/$80 limit game from the sidelines, I saw this guy win a humongous pot after he raised preflop with a 89 and flopped a KT3 flush.  The other two players who were in the pot, raised, reraised, and capped it on the flop trying to get this guy to fold. They never even thought for once that he may have had a flush. This guy cold called every raise and reraise, until the river, when he check raised.  You should've seen the look on the faces of the other two players when he check raised on the river.  Amazing play.  I thought myself that he was chasing a flush.  Anyways, amazed by this play, I decided to try this play myself.  I had 78 in early position in a $6/$12 game.  I made it $12 to go.  A late position player made it $18 to go.  Believe it or not, 5 or 6 players called.  The flop came 689.  I checked and the second preflop raiser bet out.  All players call and I raise.  Since I didn't actually hit my straight yet, I was probably against an overpair and possibly a flush draw.  If that was true, I probably had 8 outs (three 5s, two 8s, and 3 Ts).  The turn came a 5, giving me a straight.  I bet out and everyone folded to my bet.  After the hand, I turned over my 78. No one had a clue.  Thanks to my friend at the $20/$40 game, I learned something new: middle suited connectors can win huge pots.  Raising preflop from early position with these hands is much better than calling, that is, if you are planning on playing these cards.  Crazy, but true.

Okay, I'm blogged out for now.  I'll be playing in a few tourneys in the next two weeks.  Check back for more excitement.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

New Furniture, Cantebury Park, Rookies Win...

Moving sucks. Actually, it wasn't too bad, but I've been spending a lot of time buying stuff for my new place leaving very little time for poker. However....I was able to play a few times. I was in St. Paul, MN a few weeks ago to visit a friend and I got a chance to play some $8/$16 at Cantebury Park, a race track / poker room, the only of its kind in Minnesota. It had a pretty decent sized poker room with about 40-50 tables, of which only about half were being used on that particular Sunday morning. My total session lasted about 2.5 hours. I've never seen a looser $8/$16 table ever before (maybe that's because I've never played in a live action $8/$16 game?). Anyways, my biggest hand of the 2.5 hours I was there came when I had 9 5 offsuit in the big blind. EIGHT players called the pot before me. Yes....I did say "EIGHT". The flop came 9 7 5 rainbow giving me two pair. I quickly decided to check raise to get as many people out of the pot as possible. In hindsight, I probably should have bet out and hoped for an early raiser...but hoping is never good. So, a middle position player bet out and got three other late position callers...I raised when it came back to me. That left a total of 4 players in the pot. The turn came a 6 possibly making someone a straight. I bet out...I had to. Suprisely, I got three callers and no raisers. What'd that mean??? Someone is slow playing their straight?? I had no clue. The river brought a 2. No help to anyone, but I couldn't bet out again, especially since I got three callers on the turn, so I checked. It checked around the table and I won with two pair. A nice sized pot for a hand that I never would've played if I weren't in the big blind. I ended up leaving Cantebury Park with a nice $207 win.

Another weekend, another tourney. I played in a $10 buy-in freeze out tournament last weekend. Just a bunch of friends looking to have a few drinks and socialize a little bit while of course, playing some good old hold'em. Unfortunately, I didn't come back with any good stories to tell. We started with 10 players and I busted out 6th or 7th. I played a pair of eights in middle position a little too aggressively against the big stack and he bought the pot from under me. Even though the flop came K 7 6, he check raised me putting me all-in. I still had enough chips to win the thing, so I didn't want to risk it. Definitely a bad play on my part, from the beginning because I raised it three times the big blind, putting more than half of my chips in play, before the flop. Then I folded after a big check-raise post flop! Oops. Why do I always have a trouble playing against rookies? I need to reevaluate my play against the "amateurs". Maybe I'm the amateur?

Till next time. Boogster OUT.