Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Rollercoaster poker

Went back to the $5 multi at PokerRoom. As much as I would like to play higher, and will, I thought I shouldn't necessarily be moving up quite yet. I got to thinking about how tournament entries are like limits in ring games. As you get better, you should move up. However, winning one of these tournaments does not necessarily mean I am killing this game. I have cashed in 5 of 7 that I have played, but that was only 2 final tables. Plus, the time is right on this tourney with a start at 5:30. This will get at least 300 people involved which makes for a decent payout and some cash back in 40th position. The $10 tourneys at PokerRoom never seem to attract 200 entrants and pay only the final table. Other tournaments seem to start later which means I may be up until 1am which doesn't make me spring fresh for my job. I will have to scout around. Until then, the $5 should do me good.

Played on the tight side at first. But made nice bets when my reads were feeling good. I have started taking more notes and tagging everyone. That info is pretty valuable, even early on. For example, my first big pot is won with 8 8. I limped in UTG+2. I should have raised it up but I knew that I would be raised by at least one other and if the flop totally missed me, I didn't want to get crippled. I had already lost 700 of my starting 1500 on missed flops. 5 others tried to limp in but the BB wasn't having any of that. He pushed. UTG called but only after some hesitation. I knew the BB didn't have much for him to push. The hesitancy by UTG told me he had an ace at best, no pair. I called even though it would put me all in. I was confident I was ahead and was hoping their cards would nullify each others. What I didn't like was another limper going for the ride as well. BB had K 9, UTG and the other caller had A Q. Cards all came low and suddenly I am up over 3600.

I build it up nicely to 9700. My notes continue to pay off as I watch one guy with a nice big stack play too many hands. I get paid off by him when I raise my J J up to his min raise. I jump it 5xs the BB. I was a bit surprised when he pushed. I thought WTF and had to call. He showed 6 6 and I jumped up again to 16000.

Then disaster struck. With 9 10 suited, I called a min raise from the small blind. BB folded and MP and I saw this flop.

J 10 6. I bet out my second pair to see where I might be. I am called. Turn 9. I bet it out again, 2500, feeling he may have a jack or a higher pair. I think my 2 pair are good here. He raises me? I call. River 4. I put out a small feeler bet and am shocked that he pushes. I quickly call. He turns over K Q for a straight. Huh? I beat myself up for not seeing the straight possibility on the board.

I have been knocked down to 1800. Time to push on any high cards. I get lucky when I push with K J suited and get a straight. I push with A2 and split a pot with A 7 with all high cards on he board. At 4000 I push with A 10 and beat out A 7 to get to over 8000. Then pocket rocket come in a most opportune time and I more than double to 19000. Back in the game!

Soon we are in the money which means a minimum of $14.50, a whole 9 dollar net! First is just under $500 so I need to find my way to get there.

I don't start well when A Q doesn't hit a flop and 8 8 has me betting out and being called down by second pair (my own mistake as I bet out the A high flop and didn't follow up with a turn bet. Must fire the second bullet!). The big stack on my right is a problem. I can't seem to win a pot from him and I can't tell if he is bullying.

Sitting just under 7k, I suddenly feel desperate and push with A 6 from EP. I am relieved when it folds around. I push from the small blind when their is a limper and the big stack on my right raises up. I am behind when I see the one caller has A 10 to my A 8. But the board pairs up twice and it is a split. I am alive!

I notice a couple times that when someone is all in, that the other players are not checking down to try and eliminate that person. That is poor poker play for a tournament. Calling in mid position with A rag is killing a number of people as well. Good.

I get lucky in the BB with K 8. Flop comes 10 Q K. I bet it out and get re-raised. I call to see some one playing Q 10. But an 8 hits the turn and I am over 21k.

I hope to steal the blinds with J 10 suited but can't call the all in bet from the small blind. Next hand I get A K and re-raise the min bet. I push and run into A A. Damn!

With 9 9 I put my 1100 in. That isn't even a full call. 4 people see the flop that come K Q 2. NO help. 4 on the turn, 5 on the river. I am out at 20th and get 20 bucks.

I had a roller coaster ride tonight. I was able to find my places, push with a small stack, and get back into contention. That was encouraging. Yes, I got really lucky in a number of spots, but that is poker. Let's see how this one goes later this week.

If anyone knows of a good $10 tournament online, let me know. Any thoughts on moving up are appreciated as well.

I am a bit disappointed. I built up a stack 3 times and to finish at 20th wasn't where I wanted to be.


Chad said...

I personally like the $10+1 tourney on Stars that starts every night at 6:45pm (central time)

It's a long-haul, though, with usually around 1200-1400 people in 'em.

Alt said...

You might want to check out BoDog Poker. They offer a bunch of guaranteed tournaments every night that almost never get much more than half of the required buy-ins, resulting in huge overlays. My favorite is the $10,000 Guaranteed $8 + .5, which runs Tues & Thurs at 8:30 pm EST, and 10:30 Wed night. The blinds go up relatively slowly at the beginning and the play is soft, half of last nights field was gone while still at 30/60!!