Monday, October 03, 2005

Decent poker weekend

Well SBC didn't wow me by reconnecting our DSL any faster than they predicted. It is supposed to be connected today, though it wasn't at 10:00am this morning....

Anyway, that just meant any poker this weekend was all live.

I put in about 14 table hours split in the following ways:
7.0hrs NLHE MTTs (2 different tourneys, $100+$25)
6.0hrs small stakes NLHE ($1/$1/$2)
1.0hrs small stakes LHE ($6/$12, $9/$18)


The first MTT was my regular $100+$25, multiple $60 rebuy, $60 add-on. The prize pool was ~$36k, and the payouts for the top 10 out of 150 were essentially somelike like: 32%, 17%, 11%, 8%, 7.6%, 7.1%, 4.8%, 4.2%, 3.7%, 3.1%. The tournament was a pseudo super satellite type deal with a mix of cash and seats given to a series of tournaments at the end of this month.

I did my standard rebuy on the first hand to start with $2000T chips. Nothing too interesting in the first hour. I worked my way up to ~$3900T by the first break, and then did the standard add on to go into level 4 with $5900T. Come to think of it, I've been pretty darn lucky in the last few months of playing in this tournament that I have not had to do any additional rebuys. (however, perhaps I am playing too tight? or not aggressively enough in that first hour?... hard to say, I don't recall the last time that I have not finished the first hour without at least close to double chips, ~$4kT. However, I don't recall ever having more than $7kT at the break which is perfectly attainable at a good starting table.)

I had a moderate stack for most of the remaining tournament until fairly close to the bubble. My final result was 6th, netting a $1000+$50 seat into a LHE event, and $1500 cash.

There were two significant factors that had a big influence on both how I played and how I fared in this tournament. They were: 1) higher than normal percentage of ~very~ LAGgy players in the last 30 players, and 2) "seat selection".

The first factor caused me to play substantially less aggressive than I prefer to at that stage of the tournament. One of the extreme LAGs who joined my table with ~16 people left was a winner of a 2005 WPT event. If you regularly watch the WPT and can remember who the biggest donk ever to win a WPT event was, then you'll know who I'm talking about. His "rationalizations" for his plays are just as amusing as any you read in the Party Poker table chats. He busted out 9th, having only busted 2 other players but after having moved a huge number of chips around the table in about a 25 minute span of time. Another big donk that I have played $20/$40 LHE with before swatted out about 4 of the last 14.

The second factor that made an impact on me in this tournament relates to the retarded way that seat assignments are done. Tournament seating is done in a deterministic manner! Seats are sold in the following order: T(able)1 S(eat1), T2 S1, T3 S1,....T12 S1, T1 S2, T2, S2.....
Generally speaking, tables are broken down from highest to lowest.

I happened to be able to see in advance that my position in line would give me a seat at table 1, more specifically T1 S4. (Is this unethical?) I did not have to budge from that chair in the first 4.5 hours except for breaks, and only changed chairs when we redrew seats for the final table. It was a substantial advantage for me to not be frequently moving from one table to another.
There were two situations in the tournament where I was able to trap my opponent for all his chips, and one situation where I could value bet all in on the river with a mediocre hand because I had been seated with those opponents for at least 1 hour at the time.

Anyway, here's how the tournament ended for me...

When there were 6 players remaining, there were 3 small stacks with me having the slightly larger of these 3 stacks. The 7th place finisher was, in my mind, the last big donk left, and the payout jumped quite a bit between 7th and 6th but was flat for the next 3 spots. I was ready to open up my game at this point, though I only had a measly 4BB stack. The way the action went, both smaller stacks got all in with slight worse hands (40/60 type scenarios) and both doubled up making me the short stack. I opened all in from UTG+1, w A6o for 3BB. It was folded to the BB who had maybe 10BB (which was slightly less than avg in this fast structure tournament). He is an experienced player, and only slightly hestitated before calling with 73s. I'm pretty sure I'd make this call every time getting 2.25:1, and anyway his trip 3s knock out my A high. As they say, that's poker. I'm not complaining though, I seem to recall winning 2 coin flips with 25 players remaining, and 20 players remaining.

I still didn't feel like hanging around to see how things turned out.


The 2nd MTT took place at a poker room that I have only frequented on 1 other occasion (for a $500+$50 NLHE tourney that I have written about before). It was a $100+$25 NLHE with a single $100 rebuy. Top 10 get paid.

I busted very early in level 5, something like 90th/136. Yuck. However, I actually like this tournament more than my regular tourney since the blinds go up a little slower. It is a much much longer drive to this poker room, so I'm not sure how often I will come.

I had the pleasure of starting at table 12 of 12. It happened to be a pai gow table; smaller and shaped differently than a poker kidney bean table. On the very first hand, the dealer dealt a card that flew right off the table. Nice job.
The table had 1 donk and 7 rocks. Relatively speaking, an awful starting table, since the blinds are insignificant in the first few levels. The table was broken down just after the start of the 3rd level.
My next table, #7, was much better. I had a big chip leader on my immediate right. (Starting chips were $1kT, and the single rebuy was for $1.5kT) He had around $10kT at the end of the 3rd level. He seemed like a reasonable player, though I'm pretty sure than most of those chips were practically gifted to him. (at least I observed the last $2kT that was gifted to him when his opponent called off his last $2kT with QQ on the turn and river on a AKxxx board after only putting in ~$400T preflop)
I couldn't get much going. I tried open stealing in MP+2 for 3BB with only 12BB left, but folded to an all in push behind me.
In the 2nd seat to my right was a big donk who kept overbetting the pot. Waah, waah.. Here is my bustout hand: Donk pushes all in for 18BB UTG, fold, I call all in for 7BB with KK, everyone folds. Donk's KTo rivers a straight. Heehaw



One big difference about this poker room is that they spread NLHE ring games. I sat down in their smallest game for about 6 hours, and did fairly well. The structure is a little odd:
The buyin is $100 max, $40? min; button posts a live $1, SB $1, BB $2. It costs $4 to open. The time charge is a stiff $6/30 minutes.

I think I averaged about +$100/hr in this game (my tracking was a little messy because I also played some $6/$12 and $9/$18 while waiting for a seat in the NL game).

The hard part of this game seems to be building up a decent size stack. $100 means only 25BB. That is very little room to maneuver. I actually burned through almost 2 buyins before doubling up the first time.

Boy this game was a huge donk fest. The player on my immediate right told me shortly after I sat down that he was already stuck 11 buy-ins. I wasn't sure if he was serious, but it didn't take long for me to believe him.
(For example, during the 4th hour, I lost a 80BB pot to this gentleman when he called my all in on the flop for his remaining 30BB when his underpair hit a set on the river to crush my overpair)

I made an incredibly stupid mistake at about the 2 hour mark when I tried to bluff a calling station on the turn for $50. At least this was the only known major mistake I made this weekend. The only other thing I recall that I wish I hadn't done was to overtip ($3) on a very large pot when my set held up.

After I had over 75BB, the game was interesting and enjoyable for me. There were 2 people with much larger stacks, and 2-3 people with comparable stacks.

I had a table image of a tight player when the following hand occured during my 4th hour. In the past hour, I have shown down some hands where I had very good but vulnerable hands on the flop that I had protected by very large bets or raises.

I dunno about my preflop play on this hand, but it was a fun hand. You tell me how much of a donk I am here.

I had not played a hand for about 1.5 orbits.
I only recalls my chip stack was ~120BB, and BB has a comparable, perhaps slightly larger, chip stack. (BB had this large stack right from the start of my session)

hand #1 (9 seated, $1/$1/$2 live NLHE)
- preflop: fold, calling station limps, loose passive limps, new player limps, I look down and find KsQc in the CO. My right hand grabbed a stack of chips and had already started to move forward when I decided I did not want to raise and ended up limping. folded to SB who completes. BB raises to $13. Everyone calls. (6 players, ~20BB pot)
- flop: QdJh9d: SB checks, BB bets 5BB, calling station calls, fold, fold. I raise to 20BB, and all fold.

The BB has been playing extremely consistently for the last 4 hours, so I am 100% sure he has one of two hands: AQ(s or o) or AJs. He would have raised much more preflop with any PP JJ or higher, and he would not have made the small flop bet with TT or 99. He would have checked AK vs 5 opponents and this board. 8 ways for AQ and 3 ways for AJs, so I'm beat more than 70% of the time.

However, from my perspective this is one of those situations that DoubleAs talks about whereby I can apply maximum pressure at this exact situation with an exactly known amount of risk to myself (namely, my 20BB is the absolute last money I will put into this pot). If BB continues in this spot, he will have to assume that he is committing his entire stack.

I know that BB thinks and observes enough that I can represent QJ or 99.

My primary risk is SB, who I had mistakenly ignored, but SB has a fairly small stack. Thankfully, SB folded quickly.

BB thought for more than 1 minute, and openly muttered that I had made 2 pair before mucking. I'm 100% sure that he had AQ and that he expected me to put him all in on the turn if an A or 9 did not come. I believe calling station mucked because of what BB said.

I really didn't want to leave when I did because Mr. "I'm stuck 11 buyins" (actually by that point it was more like 18 buyins), had just doubled up to about 100 BB. However, without going into specifics, I felt compelled to leave because my plan had originally been to only play in the tournament before heading back home.

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