Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Happy Hammer Day

It was one of those mixed nights of poker yesterday. I had a table of 2/4 TD running alongside the 3/6 HE. I was yo-yo-ing in the TD game while not getting any good cards in the HE game.

Then the slide occurred. Some donk hit a runner runner straight on me with his A 6 to beat my A K. I knew I had him until the river but he hit his card. From there it went down hill. About the only hands I seemed to win were the "what-the-hell-I-will-defend-my-blinds-with-this-cuz-it-is-suited" hands. But I trugdged on.

The TD game dried up and then I was down to the the HE game. I was getting bored with that though. So I jumped into a 2/4 HORSE game and did quite well.

After an hour and a half, I was done 3/4 of my buy in playing hold em and called it quits. I wasn't getting any where and the table was breaking. Thankfully I did quite well playing HORSE. Add that to the small win in TD and I was only down a couple bucks on the night.

Funny how that has been happening to me lately. I haven't had many big wins or losses lately. Either small losses or moderate wins. Nothing big.

Thus I wasn't sure whether I would play the WWdN last night. I was pretty much against it, but decided to hop in at the last minute. Long story short, I finished 2nd. I felt pretty good about my play too. I didn't donk it up early (well, not totally) and I avoided a "I don't feel like playing anymore" attitude towards the end. I stayed focus and worked towards making some money.

Not that I played perfect poker either. I had some suckouts along the way.

Maybe I was destined to do well. On the very first hand, I had the Hammer UTG. I raised and saw a flop with the BB. There was a 7 on the board so I bet it out and then called the raise. The 7 on the turn looked great. But I made a mistake when I pushed. I thought I could get something out of it but my opponent folded. But a Hammer start must be good, right?

I continued to chip up. I felt my reads were pretty good, but not perfect. I got lucky on one hand where I had flopped top pair and a gutshot straight. With two hearts on the board, I figured my opponent was on the flush draw when he raised the flop bet. The A on the turn didn't scare me and I bet it out again. When I got re-raised though I went into the tank. I still had him on the flush draw. But I wasn't taking into consideration that A. I made the call with the thought that I could still chip back up, but also, I thought my hand was good. Man, was I wrong. Oh, he was on the flush draw, but with the A of hearts. Bad call. But I spiked a 6 on the river for the straight. Having been on the bad end of those beats many a time, I don't blame him for being upset.

As the game continued, I kept the pressure on my opponents. It was when we were down to 2 tables that I believe I played my best poker. I had brdweb (sorry man, don't have a link for you, please supply) and wwonka on my left so I know I have to play well. I also have to be aggressive. If I get involved with either of them, I can quickly go from being a front runner to being out of the tournament.

I chip up nicely on a bluff and later on a hefty re-raise with K K. Soon I would be at the final table. I was avoiding any big confrontations with the bigger stacks. I was attacking the small ones when I could. I had Maigrey stealing my blinds like there was no tomorrow but there was little I could do. Each time I had crap. Sure she may have had crap too, but I had really crappy crap. I just hoped there would be a time where I had something and could play back. Later I would with A A, but not until I managed to survive that far.

I went on a little run with small pairs. After taking the blinds for a couple hands, someone pushed back on my 3 3. They had 4 4 and suddenly I was the short stack at the table. On the bubble. So of course I pushed with the Hammer on the very next hand. It is a nice rush you get when pushing with the Hammer on the bubble.

When it got heads up, I found my opponent to be on the aggressive side, raising 5xs the BB. I figured I could stay about even until I found a big hand. A Q looked big and I popped him back on his raise. All the money when in and I was up against 7 7. Flop was K J x giving me more outs, but none would hit.

As I said, I was happy with how I played. Hopefully it is something I can build on.

Tonight I will be playing Al's Hammer event. How can anyone miss this? While you are playing, make sure you raise a toast to the Father of the Hammer, Grubby.

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