Well, it has been 3 weeks since the last time I played live (which corresponds to the last time I was in Vegas). The last 3 weeks I've been exclusively multitabling Party $3/$6 and starting $5/$10. My top priority is to build a $10k online bankroll. I'm hopeful to have adequate bankroll for $10/$20 in roughly 4 weeks (mostly depending on how many good hours I can put in). My online bankroll is currently about $6700, and my live bankroll is just sitting in the safe collecting dust.
I installed PokerAce HUD, and converted my poker tracker databases to PostgreSQL. I must say that I've very happy with PokerAce HUD compared to GameTime +. It is a better utility when multitabling because of 2 primary reasons - flashing losing hands on the showdown (saving the time of reading the hand history), automatically tracking a table when a new table is opened (instead of having to manually add the table in GameTime+ ~after~ a hand has been imported). The pop up info on users will likely be more useful against tricky opponents. I haven't encountered too many of those in the last few weeks of play. It is a substantially superior tool over GameTime+, for the same low price of $0. Get it here PokerAce HUD.
This morning I went to the local poker room to play in a $100+$25 NL rebuy tourney. The $25 vig is expensive, but almost every player does a $60 add on, and there are always ~1.5x $60 rebuys per buyin at the end of the rebuy period. In some ways then, it is really a $220+$25 tourney, so the effective vig is more reasonable. Additionally the short 5 minute drive to the poker room from my home makes this tournament a very simple choice to enter.
One drawback to the tournament is that it is always sold out early. The registration starts 1.25 hours before it begins, and you need to be there ~1 hour before the tournament begins to ensure you are not an alternate (or worse, not get to play at all).
I was already awake, so I showed up about 2.75 hours before the tournament. I sat in a $6/$12 game for roughly 2 hours. Prior to the 3 week break from live, I had been playing live almost every day. After only multitabling online for 3 weeks, I had really forgotten the pace of live. It is really slow! It is even more noticible if your opponents are the type where you don't really need to pay that much attention to them. I think my first raise was 45 minutes after sitting down. I can't remember the last time I went 5 straight minutes online without raising. Well, I guess it was a nice change of pace. Again, I also forgot how loose this $6/$12 live game is. It was far looser than any $3/$6 online game I played in the last 3 weeks, and it was pretty passive too. I lost a 14BB pot in my last orbit (with flopped top two to runner runner T high flush) to finish the session up 5BB - barely enough to pay for an extra rebuy in the tournament. ;P
Okay, on to the tournament:
150 entrants, prize pool mid $30k's, 20 minute levels, 10 places paid.
I did my standard rebuy on the first hand to start with $2k in chips. Nothing too interesting happened in the first hour, although I did get my chip stack up to $4500 after the 1st 3 levels. I took the $2k addon for $60 to enter level 4 with $6500.
The end of the 5th level and start of the 6th level were the ~10 pivotal minutes of the tournament for me. I got involved in 3 sizeable pots in the same orbit, winning the first two and losing the third. I don't have any doubts about the first two hands, but the last one I wonder if I misbet.
The lead up was important. On the immediate hand prior to the first, I had open stole with trash for 3BB successfully from middle position after a moderately long period of folding. On the next 6 hands I was dealt KJs, AKs, TT, AKs, TT, and 77 in that order. What a run of cards to get at in a tournament!
On the KJs hand, I raised a loose limper on my immediate right to 4.5xBB. Everyone folded to limper who called. I flopped an open ended straight flush draw on the QdTd4c board. Limper check called my 1/2 pot bet (My intention was to make a weak continuation bet to induce a check raise all in. In this tournament situation, I want us both to be all in on the flop). The limper pulled a stop N go all in when the turn came Ks for less than the pot. Without a preflop raise I didn't put him on a broadway, but felt he either had 2 pair or a bluff with my weighting at about 66% that he had 2 pair with the 2 pair more likely being KT instead of KQ (since he didn't raise preflop) or QT (since he didn't push on the flop), so I didn't hesitate to call. He was "semi bluffing" with Ad9c, and did not hit his 3 outer.
On the first AKs hand, I opened for 3BB and stole the blinds again. On the first TT hand, I opened again for 3BB, the short stack to my immediate left came over the top for 5.5BB total and the SB pushed for 4.5BB. No brainer for me to call there. 1st short stack had A2s and the SB had AKo. My hand held up, and my stack was starting to get respectable (40+ BB with 95 players left, so less need to take risks).
On the 2nd AKs hand, I opened my standard raise 3BB, and was called only by the weak tight BB. I flopped nothing. 2 overs and a backdoor flush. He checked, and my half pot bet took the pot (his remaining stack was only the size of the pot). I'm 95% sure he had a smaller A, with AQo and AJs being the most likely, so I would not have minded a call.
Now the last hand is a bit of a bad beat hand, but given the immediately preceeding hands (I raised 5 straight times, and in the only postflop action I bet 1/2 pot both times) and the stage in the tournament (~90 people left, 10 places paid), there were a few different ways to play the hand preflop and on the flop. So I want to give the hand a bit of thought.
Villain has some modest preflop standards: probably calls pfr's with AQ, AJs, ATs, TT, 99, 88, any suited broadways)
8 seated, $300/$600 blinds, hero has ~$18k, villain has ~$9k, UTG has ~$13k, no one else has more than $7k.
preflop: fold, fold, hero picks up TdTc and raises to $1900, fold, villain smooth calls in CO, everyone else folds. (2 players, $4700 in pot)
flop: Th8c4s, hero asks villain for a chip count, and then bets $1500. villain calls (2 players, $7700 pot)
turn: Th8c4s9d, hero bets $2000. villain pushes for ~$5500 total. hero calls. Villain has KsJs. (2 players, $18700 pot)
I think preflop my three choices are fold, standard raise 3xBB, and moderately larger raise 4-5BB. I didn't mention but 2 of the players behind me (not counting the villian) are moderately loose. I really don't know which of the 3 choices I like best.
On the flop, my task is, of course, determining how to get all of my opponent's chips in. I can check or bet a callable amount; I don't think I should bet more than 2/3 of the pot even if I think I can convince my opponent I am bluffing.
What amount should I bet on the turn, given the pot size is $7700 and my opponent still has $5500, and given my opponent's range of hands? The probability that my opponent had a J was moderately high, so I think $2000 was too little. I'm not sure about scenarios where villain would try to bluff me out on the turn. Both the villain and I were seated at the same table since the start of the tournament, and I had only folded one hand that I had shown strength with. (I'm not sure how attentive the villain is).
I didn't slow down on the next hand with 77, and made a standard raise. I was called only by a small stack with 3BB who had AA. It held up. I lasted just over one level longer, busting out around 65th. My decisions could have been better, but I'm not too displeased with the way I played. Let's say it was no Aruba....