Monday, August 21, 2006

Good eats

I've been meaning to make a post listing a bunch of random things from Las Vegas/WSOP/Rio/Harrah's that I want to remember for next year. However, I've been far too lazy to do it. It has been a week already, and much is forgotten.

One thing that still hasn't slipped my mind, but that I definitely don't want to forget, is my new favorite quick meal in Las Vegas: Tom Yum Noodle Soup
This is available for about $7 at the Thai/Chinese restaurant right at the corner of Spring Mountain Road and S Valley View Blvd which is roughly 1/2 mile from the Rio.

Yum yum, I'm salivating just thinking about it...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Going home with some dignity?

Due to personal reasons, I sat out of Events 42-44. I was seriously considering throwing in the towel for the series. My family was strongly suggesting that I head home early.

I got motivated hearing that Bill Chen made another final table, so last night I registered for the final event, #45 $1500 NLHE.

My starting table featured Humberto Brenes and, of course, a late arriving Phil Hellmuth.

Phil won a quick all in coin flip that saved us from listening to any verbal tirade.

Humerto played exactly 3 hands, 55, AA, QQ having his headsup opponent in bad shape each time, but lost 2 sizeable pots and chopped the other. Humberto took it very well, and gave the dealer a friendly slap on the back. The dealer freaked out, and tried to call the floor on him. Humberto tossed the dealer a C note, but the dealer was not placated. Humberto eventually left without things getting too out of hand.

My next table featured Cyndy Violette, but nothing too interesting happened there.

My final table featured Doyle Brunson and Krazy Kanuck (fellow Canadian, James Worth).

I only spent 2 hands at this table. The second hand, I got it all in 3 ways with Doyle and my neighbour with the nut straight. My opponents had the 2nd worst possible set of hands - bottom set for my neighbour, and a K high flush draw for Doyle. Doyle took down a very nice pot when he made the nut flush on the turn, and my neighbour missed his redraw.

I was initially thinking I could finally go home with some dignity after getting my chips in with the nuts, but Poker Stove tells me my pot equity was a mere 38%.

Sigh... I'll have to hope for a better series next year....

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Live play MTT lesson

The $200k Crypto freeroll for WSOP Main Event qualifiers (who did not reach the money) ran at Gold Coast today. An additional $20k+ of bounties was also awarded. There were roughly 90 runners, with 50 places paying. Man oh man, talk about nice overlay...

There was one hand today where I made a mistake that only could occur in live play in an MTT. I resolve to never make this mistake again. There are probably a number of dubious actions on my part in the hand, but one thing really sticks out to me.

hand #1
The villian in this hand is probably the tournament chip leader, and he has already collected 1 pro bounty for $2k. I have already made a pretty big laydown on the river to Kenna James (who is not involved in this hand) about 15 minutes earlier.
Blinds: 50/100, effective stacks T$10,000, avg stack is perhaps ~T$10,000
- preflop: folded to CO and Villain raises to T$300, Hero raises to T$1200 with AhQh, blinds fold, Villain fairly quickly calls. (2 players, T$2550 pot size)
- flop: Qd7c4h, Villain checks, Hero bets T$1500, Villain fairly quickly calls. (2 players, T$5550 pot size)
- turn: Qd7c4h7h, Villain bets T$2500, Hero tanks for ~15 seconds and calls (2 players, T$10550 pot size)
- river: Qd7c4h7hTc, Villain fumbles around with his chips, puts 8 $T500 chips out and ~3/4 second later says $T5000, dealer reaches out, counts the chips and says the player said $T5000. Villain says okay, and puts out a $T1000 chip. Hero tanks and calls all in for T$4800.

Do you see the worst mistake in this hand?

By the way, I'm pretty proud of how pathetic I was able to look when I made the T$1500 flop bet....

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Main event hand

This post is several days late......

Originally, I was going to post a number of my main event hands, but the only significant hand that was not in some way a bad beat story is the following hand:

hand #1
- mid-level 4 (100/200/25), avg stack ~T$17k, MP's stack ~T$15k, Hero's stack ~T$10k. MP's has been playing fairly conservatively, and took 2 very substantial pots this level (both with a set) to get his stack up from less than T$10k.
- preflop: folded to MP who limps, MP+1 mucks, Hero raises to T$800 with AdQs, folded back to MP who calls (2 players, T$2150 pot size)
- flop: AhJc7s, MP checks, Hero bets T$1000, MP calls (2 players, T$3900 pot size)
- turn: AhJc7s5s, MP donks T$1500, after tanking for ~15 seconds, Hero raises to T$4500, MP tanks for 1 minute then pushes, Hero folds.

I left myself with ~T$3700 after putting in almost 2/3 of my stack. Was this wrong?

During the hand, when MP bet into me on the turn, I was certainly concerned that I was behind in the hand. I elected to make the raise to T$4500 in the hopes that I could set the price for the showdown. (with the rationale that MP would set me all in on the river if I smooth called the turn)

Would it have been better to preserve my stack by calling the turn, and mucking to an all in on the river?

How often is my hand good when MP bets into me like that on the turn?

I currently believe my line of thinking was poor. I'd assume with a better hand, MP donks into me to avoid giving a free turn card once the flush draw came. Based on what MP had seen of me (or if he had been oblivious to how I had been playing), I'd assume that MP would only assume that I would take a free turn card if I didn't have much of a hand. With that assumption, MP is less likely to make a big river bet if he wants a call.


My next WSOP event is tomorrow: Event #40 $1000k NLHE. This is going to be quite a crapshoot...

Aggressiveness or recklessness?

I'm having some doubts about my general MTT strategy.

I've been playing 1 MTT per day (online or live) on this Vegas trip, and with the exception of the Sunday Party $1m guar (where my dad was sitting next to me sweating me out), I've been taking a relatively high risk aggressive line in a marginal tournament situations. Perhaps way to aggressive.

For example, in Tuesday's Wynn $300+$30 nooner, the following scenario developed:
- 180 runners, top 18 get paid. 130 remaining midway through the 3rd round (100/200 blinds). 130 left in the field, Avg stack ~T$4150. My table has just broken, and I am above avg with ~T$6900.
- I walk over to my new table, notice that I am just about to take the big blind, but don't pull the olde "wander around looking for my table until I just miss the BB".
- I sit down and the old gezzer to my left has a monster ~T$14k stack, and there are a couple of slightly above avg stacks to his left. 3 small stacks are on my immediate right. pfft!
- very first hand, it is folded to the SB who completes. I make it T$800 with K8o which essentially puts SB all in. He grumbles for a couple of seconds before mucking. ( SB wouldn't have jammed on me with any better hand!!)
- very next hand, it is folded to MP+1 (who is actually a regular from the 20/40, 40/80 LHE games in my local cardroom) who limps with an avg stack. Folded to me in the SB, I make it T$1000 with JcJh because I want to end the hand preflop (MP+1 "knows" that I am not normally a light raiser), and avoid playing a pot out of position with Mr. monster BB. Both muck (although BB grumbled about it)
- very next hand, UTG limps (although I didn't notice..... my sucky observation skills), folded around to me on the button. I make it T$600 with JcJh (yes, identical hands back to back). SB (Monster stack) looks me square in the eye and quickly calls. BB mucks, and UTG calls. (3 players, $T2k pot)
- flop comes: 2s5h6s, SB leads for T$1600, UTG mucks, I jam for T$5300 more, SB calls in less than 3 seconds.

SB struck me as an old geezer who could easily be sick of my raising antics who could be capable of calling my push with an underpair to my JJ (overpair to the board) or any draw. I didn't do the math at the time, but there are 24 ways for 77-TT, 19 ways for AsXs or KsXs. I strongly doubted he would have led at the pot with any better hand (but hell, I had no prior observation of his play).

Anyway, SB's actual hand was As4s and I busted when the Ac hit the turn and I missed the miracle 1 outer on the river.

Should I have taken a more passive line on the flop vs. the big stack at this stage of the MTT?