Thursday, June 29, 2006

Session 11 - Dreamteam week 8 (even shorter!)

Right, let's hope this lasts a bit longer than last week's dismal performance!

Haven't been playing too much poker lately due to the hot weather (so why am I going to Vegas!?) so let's see if the break has done me any good. Also Harrington Volume 3 arrived today, and so far I have learnt not to play T8 o/s from early position early in a tournament!

This week's muffers are:


Level 1: Blinds 25/50, 126 Runners, Stack 2000
First hand A5 spades UTG, so I limp but fold to a raggy flop and a bet.
Next hand, A5 clubs in the BB! 7 takes and a AK6 flop. No clubs, can't really call a 130 bet.
89 o/s in the sb folded to a 100 raise.
A9 hearts next hand - lots of marginal hands to lose small amounts on!
AA next hand...! Raise to 80 and get 2 callers. 37Q flop 2 hearts. Check, check, I bet 250, BB re-raises to 650. Hmmm, it's either fold or push. You guessed it, I push and get busted by a set of 3s!

Out in 126th.

UPDATE: Ariston out in 119th so not too much harm done on the last longer bet!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Session 10 - £250 game at the Gutshot

I unexpectedly went to the GutShot on Saturday night after our original plans for the weekend got cancelled at the last minute. Not sure Kirsten was too chuffed but she took my "I'm off to play poker at 6pm and will be back tomorrow morning at 9am" with remarkable good grace!

There was a £100 tournament running which, despite getting up to 6000 chips at the break I didn't do too well in. However, the main reason for going was to play some live cash in preparation for my upcoming trip to Vegas. As luck would have it they were running a bigger game than usual. Normally the biggest game is a £1/£2 pot limit hold 'em game with a £50 minimum buy-in, but on Saturday nights they are trying to get a regular £2/£5 no limit game going with a minimum £250 sit down. The game eventually got started at around 11.30 and the average buy-in seemed to be around £500. What with the offer of free ice cream and drinks I bought in for £350 and took my seat.

Predicably enough it was quite tight early on, and my first big pot came more from table reading than cards. I was in the cut-off and UTG had posted a £10 straddle. There were 3 callers and I was getting a raise ready when the guy on the button put in a £50 raise out of turn. This is where knowing the rules pays off, since by just calling the £10 the raise would stand, and I could then re-raise later. I don't think all the people at the table had noticed what had happened since there were 3 callers to the £50 raise. Needless to say when it got to me my 9T looked worthy of a large re-raise so I popped it up to £200 and everyone folded! A nice start.

The table played through to around 6.30am before breaking, and despite there still being two £50 games running downstairs I called it an evening. A couple of hands during the session spring to mind (as did the card drought that lasted from 1am to around 3am - discipline!).

Hand 1: I had 42 in the big blind. UTG called and the SB completed. The flop came A24 giving me bottom two pair. Check, check, UTG bet £20. SB called so I raised to £75. UTG folds and SB re-raises me to £250. Ouch - what could he have? Surely a big ace would't re-raise here but he could have 35 or something like A2. There were too many ways I could be in all sorts of trouble so I let it go, and he showed pocket fours for a flopped middle-set.

Hand 2: AK in late position, Disco Dave (Mr. Rock) raised to 20 from early position so I flat called. Flop 972 and Dave bets £50, so I fold face up commenting "shame I didn't hit", to which Dave replies "wish you had" and flips over AA. A quick bit of rabbit hunting shows the turn would be a King! "You'd have had all my money". Further rabbit hunting shows the river would have been another King..."No, I'd have had all yours".

It's true what they say that a few good folds are just as valuable as winning a few pots.

Ended up cashing out for £750 and a nice £400 profit.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Session 9 - Dreamteam week 7 (it's a short one!)

Ok, so I missed week 6 whilst in Barcelona and the team has drifted back to 9th in the league, so a good performance is in order...

138 runners this week.


Blinds 10/20, Stack 2000
Going to play super tight to start this week - my dabbling with early aggression hasn't been paying off. Expect me to play one hand per level!

A6 o/s in the big blind - I fold to a raise (60) and reraise (180). Flop comes A64. Oh well. The players are claiming to have had KK and AA so maybe a lucky escape!

I limp with pocket 7s in middle position. Flop comes K93 and I fold to a raise.

T8 diamonds in the big blind, lots of limpers. 3 diamonds on the flop so I bet the pot (180). Two callers - Ad and Kd each I'd guess. Turn 9h. I bet 420, one caller, one raise to 840. Hmmmm. I push all-in, fold, call with A7 diamonds and I'm drawing dead. Ooops - out in 130th!

So much for being rocky - I can't even when I try...

On the bright side the footie starts in 10 minutes!


Crikey, banksy is out in 128th in nearly the exact same manner as me - flopped flush vs. flush.

Ariston out in 101 so that's -$29 on the last longer bet.

Dean (mrlaw1) out in 102nd with flush vs. full house.

mikjagger out in 87th for 40 points.

Crawfski managed to get a great muffing in when his monster J2 busted needchip's (cresta) KK!

So it's down to out illustrious captain D4zzler and Mark (BFA74) to carry the team (yet again as they are reminding me)...blinds at 150/300 and they're on and 1355 and 2250.

D4zzler out in 53rd (150 points) with KQ in SB called by 89 in the BB by the suitably named TwitT!

Crunch time for mark - blinds 150/300, 25 ante and he's on 750 chips! Good news is there are only 40 players left in it. A8 and he ships them in...BB calls with KT and hits a K. Out in 36th for 400 points, making the team total a pretty dismal 590!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Session 8 - $350 gone in 30 minutes

Ah well, I guess you can't always have winning sessions...

I logged into Littlewoods poker - this is the site I am keeping detailed records for on the Badbeat "Pot Check" page - for a quick NLHE session and sat down at a 6 handed $1/$2 table with $200. There was one very active player who would limp or small raise on 4 or 5 hands per round and then always bet the flop if he was first to act or checked to. Anyway, I pick up QJ soooted on the SB and call his raise to $6 with 2 others. Flop comes T95 - very nice. I check and he makes a small bet, which I call and everyone else folds. Turn is a K - bingo. I check again and he bets $20, I raise to $40, he re-raises to $60 and I push all-in. He calls with K9 for two pair. Now, I don't want this blog to become a bad-beat collection (for all sorts of reasons!) but this hand is relevant to what happened a bit later, and needless to say he hit another K on the river to take the pot.

I rebought for $200 and play continued for around 20 minutes with him playing the same limp/small raise and then betting the flop game, but now folding if I reraised or showed pre-flop strength. The key hand for this blog came when I picked up 99 and again he made a small raise which I decided just to call. The flop came an innocuous looking 884. I bet $10, he rasied to $20, I re-raised to $40, he pushed all-in. Now of course I am beaten. He has an 8 or an overpair, and since I have 9s his overpair will beat mine, but...I was still a bit miffed (AKA on tilt) about the suck out that I convinced myself he had to have A4 or something like that so I called.

At least I was half right - he flipped over 44 and I was drawing pretty thin to 4 outs which didn't come.

So, $400 down in not very long. I rebought and then left after 10 more minutes for a net loss of $350, half of which was bad luck and, more annoyingly, half of which was just bad play.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Session 7 - Dreamteam week 5

Blogger seems to be down tonight so some quick notes in Textpad and I'll upload them later.

151 runners this week, but no Ariston for the last longer bet.

KK early on just gets the blinds and a couple of limpers.88 doesn't improve.KQ raise 3xBB, two callers, bet JT4 high flop and take it.

84, Q8, T8 take it with early raise. A8, A5, T5,Q6.

Mark out in 137th when he hit nut flush on the turn and the river filled the other guy up.

Disaster strikes - the electrician has just cut the mains cable and all the electrics have gone off. Not a problem for the laptop but the broadband has gone down. A bigger problem is now Kirsten (my betrothed) thinks it's all over so we should go for a curry - a takeaway is a good compromise!

Crutchley (Dave from Gutshot) is on my right and seems to be getting a bit lively - raising my blind when folded round to him.

AJ soooted...but I lose 600 to AQ.

Next hand, AQ...rasie get called, all-in on turn, big dwell up and he calls, with AQ.

Blinds 50/100 stack 1467.50

I pick up 99 and bet 300 rugrat calls. The flop comes J53 and, as Howard would say, "why be afraid of an overcard?" so I bet 700. Rugrat dwells up and then re-raises but I only have 350 left so I call. He has 55. Turn 9. Up to 2785!

John (mikjagger) is out - 115th hit top pair but the other guy hit 2 pair on the river.

1st break and we've 4 left:
Eugene aka cochise77 (9th 5225)
Dean aka mrlaw1 (23rd, 4220.96)
me (44th, 2785) and
Darren aka dazzler (101st, 1240).

Blinds at restart 75/150.

AT, 450 raise takes the blinds
99 - 2 limpers so I put them all in for 1200, and they fold.

As9s BB, UTG min raises and gets one caller so I call but fold to a KJ8 flop raise.
K3, 22 on the button...but there's an all-in before me so I fold. Q9, A9.

Now the broadband has gone down (something to do with sky box being repaired this morning I suspect).

Daz out in 91st (20 points) (AK sooted lost to 44 which called 1600 pre-flop!)...

84 spades in BB, 1 limper but mid position raise so I fold. TJK flop 2 spades...but I would have had to fold to the betting. AQ in small blind, UTG min-raise (he's just lost set on set so may be tilting) but this is how I went out last week! Anyway I push and he folds. Up to 3260.

Cochise out in 88th (40 points).

I take a speculative flop for 900 with 78 suited against 1 all-in and 1 caller, but even though I hit a 7 on the flop and we check it down I lose to the all-in JT which hits a J.

Blinds now 150/300, I raise with AJ and take my stack up to 2445.

A9 in sb and the BB has 1500. If it's folded to me I'm raising but there's a mid position raise so I lay it down. Turns out mid position has AK but the BB calls with JJ and hits trips! That mid position raise saved me a bundle there!

Not much happening for me but Dean (mrlaw1) is the chip leader with 11k.

33 in BB, call min-raise, flop of A45 but can't call an all-in.
44 on SB but big mid-pos raise.

Down to 1698 so M= 3.5 - got to make some moves.

AJ diamonds...called by The Math with A5 but KQQQ6 flop means a split pot.
QQ - UTG raise from FoxyAngel, I re-raise all-in which is called and has KKQ turn. Phew!
88 in SB...Foxy raises 1100 all-in, I call, BB calls and then bets Q high flop. I fold and he has QJ. Should have come over the top instead of just calling. Damn, big mistake there and now down to 2840.

KJ, one limper (burn77 who is very loose) so I push...called by 99 (The Math again) and it's all over - out in 60th for 150 points.

Perfect timing however as the takeaway curry has just turned up!

Ah, that's better - lamb madras, naan bread and a beer.

Dean going great guns - chip leader with 39 left on 23k. However an hour-long card drought brings him down to 13k in chips and the blinds are 800/1600 with a 100 ante so he has to make a move soon. Eventually he goes down JJ vs KK, out in 15th for 800 points and £15.10!

Team score of 1010 not great but not a complete disaster either - should keep us in the top 5-10.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Time Out in Monte Carlo

As luck would have it I had to go to Monte Carlo with work (tough life I know). Sadly however there doesn't seem to be any live poker available anywhere - all the casinos are Blackjack, Roulette and other such "traditional" games. I guess they only allow us poker low-life in when it's the Monte Carlo Millions, so maybe I'll try to qualify for that next year.

Still, on the plus side there's plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants and internet access from the hotel. Not sure playing on-line poker at 2am after a night out is the best way to protect the bankroll, but not too much damage done so looks like I got away with it!

Not too much to report poker-wise, a bit of PLO (trying to get the hang of it before going to Vegas in July) and a couple of tournaments. Best one was a $20 sit and go where I got AK on the first hand in the BB. One min raise and 4 limpers so I massively overbet the pot, they all folded and, as planned, the chat started "another drunk muppet tonight" etc. Perfect set up for getting paid off later. Little did I know it would be quite so soon as the next hand I got AA in the small blind. The button made a small raise and I went all-in which he called with, get this, J9 suited. I think that put the rest of the table on tilt and I ended up winning it in near record time.

Anyway, DreamTeam continues tomorrow night and I need a good result...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Session 6 - Dreamteam week 4

It's the Badbeat DreamTeam tournament tonight and as current league leaders "The Orphans" (so named 'cos noone wanted us for their team so they lumped all us "left overs" together!) have got to put up a good show.

Blinds 10/20. Stack 2000.

First hand I get AJ off in the SB, one limper so I pop it up to 100, BB folds limper calls. K93 flop and I bet 200, he folds. Nice start. 2 hands later I get QQ. Two limpers so I raise to 120 and they all fold. I show the QQ just so they don't mark me as a complete lunatic.

U-oh, Gaffer is down to 1,000 when he has AK and turn comes an A - the other guy had slow played a flopped set. Still, probably did well not to lose the lot!

This is more like it: 73, 86, 86, 106, KJ sooted but there's a raise and a re-raise so I dump them.

Strike 1 - Our "guest" team member "TheRidler" is out in 147th (of 149). Good news though that Gaffer doubles up with TT vs. 77 and is back to 2000 chips.

Blinds 15/30. Stack 2100.

Limp with 55 flop 438 but I fold to a pot sized bet.
Whole string of garbage hands. J3, KT UTG which I leave alone. Then I get 88 limp and call a raise - could be a good double up opportunity but most likely it'll cost me chips....which it does after a flop of TT5 and he raises 300. J3 again then AhQh in the small blind. The button calls and I limp (I really should be raising here!) and with a 993 flop 2 clubs I bow out.

I need to be more agressive.

Blinds 25/50. Stack 1845.

Get 77 in the cutoff, so raise to 200 and take the blinds. Q3, KT, J8 in the SB, I call and bet into the flop of QJ9 which the BB folds to. Q4, K6, A6, I remember now why I prefer PLO cash games - I get to play every other pot! QJ so I raise to 150 (more 'cos I just want to see a flop) but everyone folds and I take the blinds. I figure if I'm going to play mostly tight then the odd semi-steal is needed if I'm going to stand any chance of getting a big hand paid off.

Blinds 50/100. Stack 1945.

T5. J3. A4 off in the SB which I raise and take the BB. 67 off. 4T. 74. 85. 94. Lovely run of cards!

Ariston is out in 122nd (I have a running last-longer bet with him - he's about $30 up so I need to finish 92nd or better to have that one in the money).

A2 in BB (UTG limps and flop comes TJQ). 34 in SB. 89. 8T. TJ. These are getting tempting! 28 (that's better - no decision to make - but of course the flop comes 22K and someone bets). JK but someone raises in early position (thankfully I fold as the guy to my left reraises). 39.

Blinds 75/150. Stack 1795.

My M is now 8 so I need to start moving a bit.

BB and I get 24 suited - can't really defend that, K8 in the SB and fold to a raise. 45 (suited but still, not going to get the implied odds to play it). 78. Q6. T3. 24. K9 (early raise). J8. K5.

JJ in the BB - UTG limps and SB completes so I make a big raise and they fold. K6, Q4, Q3. A7 but someone moves all-in before me. Q4.

KQ sooted - I raise to 450 and take the blinds.

Blinds 100/200. Stack 2020 (M<7).

There are now 100 players left in the tournament so we've made the points.

AJ clubs, one limper so I move in and win the 700.

Bit later with 2200 there's a 3xBB raise before me and I have AQ. I decide to push and he calls with AK so I'm out in 88th position.

That's 40 points for the team (hmmmmm...!) and $34 in the side-bet with Ariston!

Banksoir out in 84th place playing...AQ (we must have a team talk about that hand!) for another 40 points.

It's now at 200/400 with 50 antes and the 3 Orphans left are:

BFA74 (Mark) 1165
only1gaff (Mr. Anonymous from N. Ireland) 2243.36 (where did the 0.36 come from?)
mrlaw1 (Dean) 4000

There are 45 runners left so these 3 have got at least 300 points each.

Dean quickly get up to 6200. Gaffer has AT sooted but there's a raise and re-raise ahead of him so he folds. Two tens come on the board...DON'T LOOK!

Mark get's it in with A9 vs QQ and flops an A to get to 1900 chips, next hand Gaffer goes with TT and gets to 3,800.

Down to the last 40 so that's 400 points each now.

Poor old Gaffer - 22 on his BB and there's a raise and an all-in before him so he (correctly) folds - flop comes 227...still patience pays of when he doubles up with AQ (that hand again) to 5500.

Dean goes out when he get's all in with AK vs QQ and doesn't improve (and he's not happy!) in 32nd place for 400 points.

Gaffer eventually goes out in 20th position for 800 points (and £14.90) and Mark gets 15th for the same.

So this week the team gets 800+800+400+40+40=2080 points - a fine showing.

Session 5 - $750 in 30 minutes

The thing about PLO is you've just got to take the rough with the smooth. In trying to build back the losses from Sunday I logged on for a quick game of PLO. I joined the waiting list for a $1/2 game which had some familiar faces in it and whilst waiting joined a $0.25/0.50 game.

I got pummelled in the smaller game - had to rebuy for $50 after about 6 hands when my flush and straight draw didn't hit against someone with bottom 2 pair. After that I drifted down to $20, back up to $55 and eventually quit when the $1/2 table had a slot around $70 down.

On the $1/2 I hit just about everything I went for. Strangely the 3 biggest hands were all nut diamond flush draws which took me from $200 to $530, then to $700, then to $960 in 10 minutes. It was crazy, in one hand there were 4 people all-in on the flop and I had the nut flush already (vs. top set, middle set, K flush).

Between those two tables I was $638 up. Then I joined a $0.50/1 PLO table on Betfair where the buy-in was $100. I quickly doubled up with 9TJQ which flopped straight vs. flopped set of kings and held up. A little later on the following hand came up where I feel I may have been over conservative but will never know:

Middle position called a $2 raise with AsQcQh9s. It's a nice enough hand but I'm not going to re-raise with 7 people (including the blinds) yet to act. Anyway, the flop comes AQ4 rainbow giving me middle set and someone bets the pot ($12). I re-raise which is called. Turn a blank and then he bets the pot ($50 ish). Now I sometimes limp with aces especially from early position so he could well have that, although I'm holding what would be the case ace which makes it a bit more unlikely. He could be on a straight draw I suppose in which case I should re-raise all-in now. If I just call then a pot sized bet on the river puts me all-in, so after some thought I fold. Yes it's unlikely he a set of aces but I've put less than $30 into the pot and do I really want to risk $200 to see if I'm right?

Anyway, I soon get the $30 back when I flop a set of kings and end that session $140 up, making it $780 up in around half an hour.

If only all sessions were like this....