Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Aussie Millions

Tonight I won a seat to the Aussie Millions tournament in Melbourne (worth $18,000) in January 2007. It was a $1,060 satellite on Full Tilt and I took it down along with Shaniac (they gave away two seats). I ran pretty ridiculous at the final table, running AJ through JJ, AT through AK and 89 through AT on the last hand where the board came ATx99 to eliminate third place.

I also played in a $500 satellite for the Legends WPT on Paradise Poker. I ended up getting 4th for $1500 when they gave away 2 $12,000 seats and then cash to the next three spots. I was a bit unfortunate to go out with AK vs Q5 in a big pot all in preflop that would have given me a very good chance for the seat.

I couldn't quite pull off the double, but I was pretty lucky to win one of them. I also had a very good day in the cash games winning almost $11k so this week is off to a great start.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Home Again

I got back from Vegas a little over a week ago. I guess I never even updated about the $10,000 buy in at the Bellagio. Here is what I remember...

I had a really tough starting table with Carlos Mortensen, Mark Gregorich, Don Mullis and Ali Eslami. Fortunately, they were all to my right but Carlos makes life difficult wherever you are on the table. After Mark Gregorich busted the Grinder sat down - but that was only a little before our table broke.

Some hands...
Carlos opens and I call with the 5s6s, the flop comes 78Q one spade, he check calls. The turn is Qs, he check folds to my bet. I limp behind Don Mullis with the KT no diamonds. Bad player to my left calls on the button, flop comes KQ9 all diamonds, checked around. Turn is a blank, Mullis bets, I call, button calls. River is a blank, Mullis checks, I check, now the button bets? Mullis insta-calls and I tank. I'm fairly confident the button has nothing and that Mullis is calling with a little less something than I have so I call and my hand is good. (That was a big pot at the time). I open in the cutoff with 95o last hand before a break, only the bad SB calls. Flop is 623, he check calls. The turn is a 4, he check calls again. The river is a 5 and he best like 1/3 of the pot. I call, he has KJo. This one I can't figure out. And it appeared on the river that he thought it was a valiant call on my part. Ali opens, I call with 7c4c, Asian player whom I've seen before but I don't know his name calls from the blinds. The flop is 253 one club. This is a bit of a weird one, this is a really good flop for my hand but its checked to me. I was concerned at the time about getting blown off my hand, but in retrospect I should have bet and three bet all in if raised. Anyway, I checked behind and the turn was the Jc. The blind bet out, Ali called, and I just called with my zillion outs. The 6c came on the river and they both check folded.

In the last level of the day (300/600/75) our table broke and I had about 28k up from the starting 20k stack. My first hand at the table I re-raised someone with AKs and he folded. The next hand I opened with A8 and won a small pot. Two hands later I pick up AK again and raise and have to give it up unimproved on the flop. Toward the end of the level, I'm up to about 31k when Men the master open limps in late position. The SB completes and I check with 55. The flop is K43 and its checked to Men and he bets 2k and I call, pretty confident that I have the best hand. The turn is a 5 and I check to Men again and he bets 3k. I make it 10k, and then Men makes it 10k more. I strongly suspect I'm beat but Men could also play 44 or 33 this way, so I decided to stick the rest of my stack in there. As soon as my chips were in the middle I said "at least he hasn't called yet", which means it was a bit of a slowroll when he (finally) flipped up the 76 and I went home after I missed my full house on the river.

After I got home I started playing a lot of NL cash games. Mostly 10/20 but some other games mixed in as well. Through the first 25,000 hands everything was going really well. I fired up some tournaments this past Monday and was really frustrated in them, playing for what felt like smaller stakes and being frustrated with the lack of cards and pace of play. I began to wonder if I would ever get back into tournaments...On Tuesday night, I again entered the normal 9pm tournaments but this time got in a groove in the $150+12 on Party and by 5am won it for $35,000. I was really proud of the way I played at the final table, I only made maybe one mistake and that hand was a bit of a cooler. I think it was my second biggest score online and it was definitely my best weeknight results-wise in my poker career.

On Wednesday I again crushed the cash games, to the tune of almost $15k. One of my best days ever. It feels so simple when you're running good like that, hitting hands and getting paid off. Of course, the next two days were then horrible, losing almost $22k. Obviously, this is a totally different feeling, like how the hell can I ever win at poker again? I got beat up on the 10/20 tables on Stars and decided to only play lower stakes there until I get better or used to it, or run better, or whatever the problem is.

Today I played in most of the major Sunday tournaments. I didn't fare well in the early ones but in the $200+15 second chance tournament on Stars I finished third for almost $17,000. I made a blunder at the end and one with a few tables left but otherwise played very well (and ran really really well). At one point right after the bubble burst I had 135k and second place had 70k... that is a pretty rare situation with 120 players left.

I also played in a 4,000 FPP Satellite to the EPT London tournament. I bring this up because I bubbled in a pretty unique fashion. The chip leader had 110k, I had 57k, the other two players had about 45k. Two players get the seats worth $8,500 and the other two get nothing. I was in the SB with Ks8s and the other two players folded. I completed, the BB min raised (which was not uncommon for him) and I called. The flop came down JsTh9s. I was double gutted with a flush draw, a pretty big hand in this spot. I checked and the BB bet around the pot, 6k. I thought this was a perfect time for a semi-bluff all in, because he is virtually guaranteed a seat without playing any major pots so he can only call with very few hands. So I raised all in and he called almost instantly with QJ. Personally, I think this is a very bad play on his part because he is risking losing his comfortable stack, and I could very well have him beat. Anyway, his hand held up, unfortunately for me and I was out in fourth and he was the huge chip leader. Any thoughts on this hand? My read on him was that he was a tight player, too, it was pretty surprising.

That's about it for now. I'll try to update more regularly. This weekend I'm off to LA to play in the $10k buy in WPT tourney at the Bike.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Adios WSOP

I busted in the main event yesterday a hand before the dinner break. A new player to our table had opened the first two pots since he sat down and I made it 17.5k with KK on the second pot. He thought for a bit and moved me in for about 75k more, I called, he had AK and the A hit the river. I'm obviously ok with how I busted but I think I played a little sloppily during the day. I was at 93.2k at the beginning of the day and slipped down to 22k before building back up to over 100k when we got into the money.

All in all it was a very poor WSOP results-wise for me with only one cash but as it turns out I did very well online during that time so it all worked out pretty well. I'm still undecided on the Bellagio $10k which starts Monday. I made just head home tomorrow to Detroit.

Thursday, August 3, 2006


I made it to day 3, along with about 1150 of the 8700+ starters. I have around an average stack wtih 93,200. I had it up to 115k at the first break and had a great table before it broke and i ended up at the TV table with Negreanu. He played well and made it very difficult to get chips uncontested (actually he made it impossible). I slipped to 53k at dinner after some poor play but had a nice last level and a half to finish the night on a good note. I am off of Negreanu's table for Friday and think I will have a better time of it. We'll see. About 300 players more until we make the money...

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Day 1 Hands

My first Day 1 table was table 18. The only player I knew was Matt Russell from my final table in New Orleans...pretty ironic since we played together all four days in New Orleans and now were at the same table again.

Early on I lost with a jack high flush to an ace high flush and was down to about 8400. I later called a raise from Matt with KQ, flopped a K, called his flop and turn bets and then rivered a queen. I should've raised but the board was a bit scary so I just called and he had AK. I played the hand poorly and got lucky. The very next hand Matt limped in and I made it 225 to go with JJ and only Matt called. The flop came Axx and he check called, the turn went check/check and he bet small on the river and I called and he had A5o. A few hands later I limped with QsJs and someone behind me raised and I called. The flop came QJ4 and I checked, he bet 375, I made it 1275, and he thought a bit and called. The turn was a T and I bet 2000 and he called. I was pretty sure he had KK at this point and I planned to bet the river if it wasn't an A, K, 9, T or 4. The river was an awful T and I checked, he jammed for my last 5k and I folded. A few minutes later he told me he had me beat the whole time, flopping a set. So pretty lucky river as it turned out, if he's telling the truth.

Soon I was down to 3900 and pretty frustrated. I had played pretty poorly up to that point... I was then in the BB with AcQc and someone opened from MP for 200 and I called. The flop came 985 two clubs and it went check/check. The turn was Tc and i bet, got raised, and figured I should just jam. Its hard to put the guy on a hand at that point, I figured he slowplayed a set and wouldn't fold or just had nothing. I probably misplayed the hand here as well as he thought for a bit and folded. A few hands later a player opened and I called in position with 93o. I thought this player had a tight range and would overplay his hand if I hit. The flop came 876 and he bet and I raised and he called. The turn was an A and it went check/check. The river was a 5 and he checked, I bet 1000 and he called. I chipped up to 7700 at the first break.

After the first break things went bad again - our table broke to make way for a table of alternates... I took about 6k to my new table. A few hands in, i had about 5500 and the cutoff opened for 300. I made it 1000 from the SB with ATo and he went all in - I was getting about 2:1 to call so I called and he had AA and I lost. I was now down to about 2700. I opened with KK, got three callers, the ace flopped and I check folded. I opened with JJ and got two callers and won a decent pot. At the end of level 2 I had about 5400.

I got up to about 6500 when I raised two limpers to 1100 with AdQd and the 8 seat cold called and the limpers folded. The flop came JT9 and I bet about 2500 leaving myself 2975. He thought for a bit and called. The turn was a K giving me the nuts and I checked, he jammed with 88 and I doubled up. I finally had about 13500 and was feeling good. The rest of the level went really poorly though. I lost a bunch of small pots and made some marginal decisions and ended up at 8500 or so at the dinner break. I was pretty frustrated with my play up till that point but was determined to come back from dinner and play better.

A few hands into level 4, the SB raised my BB to 700 and I woke up with AA. I decided to just call and the flop came AQx. The SB bet 1000 and I called. The turn was a J and he went all in and had me covered! I made the easy call and he had KQ and I dodged the T on the river. This time I had about 15000. I chipped up really well for a little while, up to about 22000 when I hit another snag. A tight player opened for 700 and the player that I doubled before with AT vs AA cold called. I had JJ and made it 3000. Everyone folded except Mr Aces who went all in after cold calling, I had to call as I was getting a huge price but he had AA again and I lost. I finished the level with 15000, and again I felt frustrated -

The next level got off to a great start when I limped behind some limpers with 54o and the flop came A23 and I got it all in vs a short stack who had 33. His hand did not improve and I busted him, getting up to about 23k. I won a few pots including this one to get to about 32k. I opened for 900 with 66 and the 8 seat made it 3000. He was pretty deep and I thought I would get paid off if I hit my set so I called. The flop was A43 and it went check/check. The turn was an 8 and I really thought he had TT or JJ so I bet 4500 planning to fire again on the river and he folded. I ended level 5 with about 34k.

I chipped up early in level 6, winning a few small pots, then opening to 1100 with AK. The button called and the 8 seat re-raised to 3400. I had played with this guy long enough to know that he probably didn't want a call, and really wanted to make it to day 2 and AK was a huge hand in that spot as I had been raising a lot so I re-raised again almost putting him in. The button quickly mucked and the SB thought for awhile before folding 99 face up. A few hands later I opened with T9o, the woman to my left jammed and I lost to her 77. Shortly there-after a short stack raised a limper, I re-raised with 88 and he went all in with AK and I won. Then I opened on the button with Q9o and defended when the BB re-raised. The flop came T9x and he bet 3500 and I called. The turn was a T and he check folded. The very next hand a new player opened to 1500 and I re-raised with TT. My table image wasn't great but I figured he would fold a lot of hands as we were closing in on the end of day 1. He eventually went all in and I beat his AQ. I now had about 61k and chipped up to 69650 by being aggressive (and the tight players to my right gave me a walk a couple of times).

Day 2 for me is Wednesday and I think I am the biggest stack at the table by quite a bit...

Main Event Day 1

I ended the day with 69650 chips which is in great shape. What a contrast to last year when I finished with 12k after being above 20k most of the day. Today, I was down to 3900 in the first level, 2700 in the second level and in the last two levels I went from 15k to 70k without getting my chips all in.

I was actually only all in twice during the day, once with my opponent drawing completely dead and the other time he had 4 outs with one card to come. When you are short stacked that's pretty amazing. I'll write more tomorrow if/when I get time. I don't play again until Wednesday.