Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I take down the PCL HU Final!

Very sweet, I must say. If you don't listen to the 2+2 Pokercast, you probably don't know about the Pokercast League. If you know about it, and don't play, you should! It spans twenty four events that usually run nightly Tuesday-Sunday at don't have to go to every one, as they take your 12 best finishes. Lots of money and prizes involved for winners, and the top 32 participate in the aforementioned tournament. While I actually qualified in the last cycle, I ended up 40-something but got selected as one of the wildcards. Amazingly enough, I won it! I admit, my HU game has been something I have been contributing a lot of time and study for a while it was my weakest game - but tonight I really applied myself and didn't get myself too far down that I couldn't rebound back. I think the lowest I fell to was $800 or so in any match. My PT3 is hanging or else I would post some pivotal hands (I am seriously considering that one-click transfer to HEM they're offering) Actually, it's now my first guy wasn't there for the first 5 minutes so I blinded him down to about $900 before he finally showed...this hand was the crushing blow:

Poker Stars $5.00+$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t15/t30 Blinds - 2 players - View hand 1049932

Hero (BTN/SB): t2135 71.17 BBs
BB: t865 28.83 BBs

Pre Flop: (t45) Hero is BTN/SB with Q of spades Q of hearts
Hero raises to t90, BB raises to t240, Hero raises to t2135 all in, BB calls t625 all in

Flop: (t1730) K of clubs 3 of diamonds 5 of diamonds (2 players - 2 are all in)

Turn: (t1730) J of hearts (2 players - 2 are all in)

River: (t1730) K of diamonds (2 players - 2 are all in)

Final Pot: t1730
Hero shows Q of spades Q of hearts (two pair, Kings and Queens)
BB shows Q of clubs A of spades (a pair of Kings)
Hero wins t1730

The next big hand was in the second game...while the flush scared me, when I binked I think the flush draw scared him too...

Poker Stars $5.00+$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t10/t20 Blinds - 2 players - View hand 1049933

Hero (BTN/SB): t1350 67.50 BBs
BB: t1650 82.50 BBs

Pre Flop: (t30) Hero is BTN/SB with 4 of spades 5 of diamonds
Hero raises to t60, BB calls t40

Flop: (t120) 6 of diamonds 2 of spades J of spades (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets t80, BB calls t80

Turn: (t280) K of spades (2 players)
BB checks, Hero checks

River: (t280) 3 of clubs (2 players)
BB bets t140, Hero raises to t700, BB folds

Final Pot: t560
Hero mucks 4 of spades 5 of diamonds
Hero wins t560

We went back and forth for quite a while, and when I picked up 55, I felt like if the flop was dry, I'd make a move.

Poker Stars $5.00+$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t50/t100 Blinds - 2 players - View hand 1049934

Hero (BB): t1325 13.25 BBs
BTN/SB: t1675 16.75 BBs

Pre Flop: (t150) Hero is BB with 5 of hearts 5 of diamonds
BTN/SB raises to t250, Hero raises to t1325 all in, BTN/SB calls t1075

Flop: (t2650) 2 of clubs 7 of hearts T of clubs (2 players - 1 is all in)

Turn: (t2650) 5 of spades (2 players - 1 is all in)

River: (t2650) 8 of hearts (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: t2650
Hero shows 5 of hearts 5 of diamonds (three of a kind, Fives)
BTN/SB shows K of diamonds J of hearts (high card King)
Hero wins t2650

So now I was in the small money, but felt like I had a chance to take this down so I plodded further. The next guy was someone I tangled with a lot in the PCL, and I had some good stats on him -- but of course they don't apply to HU NL, but I felt he'd try to call me down with some marginal here.

Poker Stars $5.00+$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t15/t30 Blinds - 2 players - View hand 1049936

BTN/SB: t1020 34 BBs
Hero (BB): t1980 66 BBs

Pre Flop: (t45) Hero is BB with A of spades J of spades
BTN/SB raises to t60, Hero calls t30

Flop: (t120) 3 of spades 2 of diamonds 4 of spades (2 players)
Hero bets t90, BTN/SB raises to t210, Hero calls t120

Turn: (t540) 3 of hearts (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN/SB checks

River: (t540) 2 of spades (2 players)
Hero bets t270, BTN/SB calls t270

Final Pot: t1080
BTN/SB mucks A of diamonds 7 of diamonds
Hero shows A of spades J of spades (a flush, Ace high)
Hero wins t1080

I caught him with trip aces later and then it was down to the final four.

My next opponent was my toughest, and I think I just got lucky. He had me about 1800/1100, and based on his betting patterns I decided to raise him to 720 OOP with A10. To my surprise he called. The flop came J32 and I elected to push, he called and tables Q8, and I held up. A few hands later he was gone, and I found myself at the final table against the guy who actually took down the league this cycle. Interestingly enough, there were no exciting hands...he found himself down early, and I just played aggressively and hit some flops, and it ended in about 30 hands.

Nice padding to the PS bankroll. I'm sure a report of the Circuit Event in AC will be next. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

After a long return with some poker news.

Hello Dear Readers! If I have any left...

I have been quite remiss in penning a blog entry, but since this is primarily a poker-oriented blog, there hasn't been much new to report. Since the underground poker landscape in New York City has halted to a standstill (even if it recharged itself, I doubt I would return, for safety issues), I've been playing a good deal online as usual, mixing some tournaments wth .05/.10 cash games, as well as participating in my normal 2+2 events and Cardschat league events. Despite all that exciting online action, I do find myself yearning for some live poker action. Enter...

Now, I do find myself motivated by money, but this brand new installment in the New York Poker scene caught my attention. Basically, the gist is similar to the bar leagues that you see scattered all over the country that form a thin web to represent this thing called the WPT Amateur Poker League. You play in a free tournament, and if you win a tournament or place in the top third of the leaderboard you participate in a monthly tournament, which if you place high you get to a quarterly tournament, and then you go to Vegas. Or something like that. Honestly, I didn't really read that far. It was live, it was a place where I could feel felt again (locally), so I was going to go check it out, shitshow or no.

Well, upon taking two trains to Greenpoint, it was looking like it might fall on the shitshow end. Loud music, dark bar, tables crammed against each other...not a pretty sight. You were told to be there at 7 to sign up for an 8pm start...but no signup sheet to be found. I decided to be patient since this was their first attempt, and surely enough a signup sheet arrived, and quickly enough we were seated.

I thought it might be too dark to see my cards, or even hear the action, but the music was turned down and the lights came up slightly, so I was encouraged. I then learned the structure - 25 minute levels (not bad), but the blind escalation was of the atypical, speedy variety...25/50, 50/100. 100/200 THEN 200/400, 400/800, 500/1000...3000 chips to get the idea. the 25 chips go away after two levels. The dealers worked on tips alone, and you were strongly encouraged to do so at the beginning, but I wanted to see how good they were. And they were quite good - excellent in fact, surprisingly. Too bad the level of play did not equal the skill of the participants at the table.

I was immediately like a kid in a candy store. Never before, in my entire life, has it been so blatantly evident that the poker prowess at a table was sorely lacking. Confusion about first to act, small and big blind, fumbling chips...but of course there were a couple of sharks in the water, as you'll see soon.

But I was the first shark to bite.

I start picking out the fish quickly...Two hands in, Older Guy and NonDescriptGuy tangle. Non descript calls 50, Older Guy raises to 200, NDG calls. Flop comes Q75 rainbow. NDG bets 100...Older Guy raises to 400! NDG calls. turn is a 3...NDG checks, OG makes it 400 again...NDG calls. River is a 4, NDG checks. OG does 400 AGAIN. Again a call. NDG tables Q4os? OG tables KJhh? King Jack??? He checks the nuts, he raises with nothing? Hallelujah!

I find my mark the very next hand. OG makes it 200, I raise to 600 with AsKc. He calls. Flop comes 6K5 rainbow. He makes it 200 again? Geez. I'm still gauging, so I call. After all, he could be coming in with anything, who knows! Turn is a brick, and I make it 700. He goes all-in. Well...this is a free tournament after all and I snap call.

He proudly tables JJ. River is an A, and I quickly double up.

By the way, raises were rare...limps abounded. And I identifed the other guy licking his chops while I sat back with a big stack...he was raising limpers left and right, picking his spots, and it was that point I said to myself, 'it will be the two of us heads up.' Of course I wasn't even thinking about the other two tables, and as people dropped like flies and I was moved, the environment was basically the same. One or two good players surrounded by people asking what the minimum bet was.

A few chip ups and double-ups later - I never contested a big pot without being clearly ahead- I find myself at the final table. Sure enough, the guy I mentioned earlier...we'll call him Phil Ivey With a Tie (or PIWT), was still doing well. With 8 left, there suddenly was a FIVE-WAY All-in. Stacks were light, except for PIWT, who flopped a set of nines and took all the chips, making him the clear chip leader. So we are down to 4. Me, the NDG who somehow made it here, Dude with Full Tilt Poker Shirt and PIWT. I was roughly even in chips with NDG, with FTP shirt and PIWT clearly ahead. PIWT busts FTP guy with a river 5 in a 55 v KQ battle on a flop of Q5X...and now PIWT has us dominated.

With blinds now at 500/1000 I call 500 in the SB with Jh9h - NDG checks. Flop comes J9X - bink! I calmly check. As he was wont to do when I watched him earlier, he led out for 5000...about 1/3 of his stack. I shove, he calls, and tables K9. No King comes, and as predicted, it's me and Phil Ivey With A Tie, heads-up.

Now, I will admit I'm no heads-up expert - but I've been working on it, and it's now one of the better parts of my game. He had be my about 10000 chips, but I was going to take it down. We both cheekily acknowledged that it wasn't all that hard to get here, without actually saying it, but it was fun. And I had fun playing with him heads-up...I don't really remember all the hands, but we exchanged stacks for about 20 minutes, when I nailed himwith calling 8-10 to his k10 and hitting two pair with about 80% of the chips, and that was that.

So., now I guess I don't have to go again and I get immediately invited to the monthly, but I imagine I'll go again...they are at different venues and I am hoping the other one is a bit lighter and quieter, but it's free and fun...who knows?

In more competitive action, Jordan and I will be going to the WSOP Circuit Event at Harrah's next month for the $350 Event #1. I am looking forward to some live action there, and maybe some cash the night before at the Trop. A report on that will arrive soon enough.