Thursday, August 24, 2006

August 20 Live T&I Poker Tourney

I started on a very fun table, some solid players around the table, and generally relatively tight players to my left and loose aggressive players a few seats to my right. Loose aggressive to the extremes I may add, early on some of them raised and called to the river with nothing but ace high, and then I'm not talking about hands like ace 10 suited. No, ace 4 offsuit seemed good enough for some of 'em. I think someone even raised king 9 before the flop. Sorry, but king 9 offsuit?

It's not as if a hand like K9o is completely useless. Other then that it can draw to the second best flush and second best straight, it's actually a great holding for bluffing. If you can't hit a bloody flop with it, that hand will be perfect for it. Why waste decent cards on it?

I generally tried to see cheap flops with alot of suited and offsuit connectors, even with one or two gaps inbetween, and small pairs trying to hit sets. Didn't bother playing cards like A10 offsuit since I'd have no clue where I am in the hand with the loose players to my right. If the flop would come A36 I'd probably be against two pair already. Also didn't bother with bluffing on this table, since I assumed that if I'd hit anything with the loose aggressives in the hand, they'd pay me off anyways.

I think I hardly hit a flop for the first hour or so, which is the disadvantage of playing cards like those, but the blinds were still low so it didn't matter. Then after a while, in a raised pot, I held pocket 7's and the flop was something like 975. Almost perfect situation for my hand, middle set, only a straight possibility there.
After some bet, raise and reraise it became clear that someone to my right, who seemed like a pretty solid player to me, had a very strong hand himself. Well, the worst case scenario was that he would have the set of 9's. If he had the straight, which would be unlikely, I'd still have outs to the fullhouse. Best case scenario would be a lower set or overpair.

If you lose a set, and didn't lose alot, you played it bad I think, so I put the rest of my chips in against the player who had me covered with his stack. He actually had the set of 5's which didn't improve, so I doubled up nicely there.

Later when he was still shortstacked and made a raise preflop, , I looked down on a nice low pocket pair, 3's I think. There was already some money in the pot from limpers, so I made a raise to isolate myself against him, hoping he'd just have overcards. He had something like 78 suited and I won the race, though the board did give him 21 outs on the turn to give him some false hope.

Getting in the mood for busting people I made a raise when someone who had less then 4k chips left had limped in preflop. This time with a slightly higher pocket pair, aces to be precise, only he called the raise with another monster hand, 93 of spades. Offcourse he hit a flush on the flop and my party was spoiled.

After that I got moved to another table. Before other people joined that table I was the chipleader there, and it was a great table to sit at. Nearly all players other then 2 or 3 played very tight and homely, as if they were playing against their family, politely limping before the flop and not really giving the impression they were trying to bust eachother. I didn't play too many hands myself, but from those I played I took more then my fair share of the pots regardless of my cards, mostly because of my relatively big stack compared to the rest of the table. Twice I got caught, once when someone had a set and I gave up bluffing on the turn, another time when I made the mistake of betting too much, which the other player correctly saw as a bluff.
Executed the same move here which I did against a shortstack player on the first table, which was to raise him all-in for isolation, this time with a pocket pair of 6's, and won the race again. Also did some reverse blind stealing. Twice the button raised my big blind, and since it was an obvious button steal I tossed an orange 5k chip in.
Only I didn't sit here for long, I got moved to another table within an hour or so.

Which was pretty bad for me. My position at the table was terrible, on the opposite side of me was a very aggressive chipleader, and most other players to my left were also pretty aggressive. And worse, the deck was running cold for me. I had no semi-playable cards for a long time, and my only options were to make stone cold bluffs or wait till playable cards. I don't like stone cold bluffs with such players to my left, so I was waiting to anything playable. Even a 64 suited would seem nice to me in late position, but I wasn't getting those cards either. Only junk like K5, A6o (when in early position), J4 etc.
Eventually I got AKo which ran into...AKo, for a nice split pot. And got pocket kings with which I wanted to double up, but managed to run into a flopped two pair, costing me like 60% of my stack.

I only had about 7k left with the blinds at 800/1400, so my only move was to wait till there were no limpers to my right and go all-in with any two cards. It actually was a pair of 3's, though I would have done it with 72o at that point aswell. The chipleader called me with ace jack suited, hit his flush, and I ended in the 17th place.

While I didn't manage to end in the prizes, this was a great tournament, and think I learned enough here about different table structures to adjust my play in future tournaments.

Results: - $76
Bankroll: $1204


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