Saturday, September 06, 2008
For once I wasn't doing anything on a Saturday afternoon. I wasn't out mowing the lawn or clearing brush. I wasn't in the middle of a tough drum piece on Rock Band. And I remembered today's event. So it seemed right to get on and at the very least, help pump up the pot.
For the most part it is the same people sitting at the table. Derek, FamilyIce, Wil Wheaton. Wait...Wheaton??? Man I miss the monkey tournaments.
On with the game. PLO as usual. I hope I can do better than I have playing PLO8. I have been killed whenever I have played lately.
Table is tight to start. Lots of limping. I decide to change it by popping it with K K Q 4, ss. Everyone folds. Hmmm...wonder how long this may last.
Cards begin to fall my way. With J J K 8 I limp in. Flop is K high. I try to take advantage of the tight table and bet out. Suddenly Wheaton raises me. 210 more. Ugh! I take a flyer and make the call. I figure he caught a piece but is looking for the flush draw. The Q on the turn doesn't make me feel any better. I check. Lucky for me he checks as well. K on the river gives me trips but I am not sure it is good so I check. Wheaton checks again. I know he missed his draw but apparently he was on a straight draw, not a flush draw.
Next hand I take down a small pot when my hand goes full 9s over aces. Game seems easy! Famous last words there.
I give a ton of chips back to Wheaton. With J J 5 4, I limp in hoping to hit a flop. I do with Q J 5, but there are two spades on the board. Knowing there are a ton of redraws I bet out. Maybe not the best idea here but I feel like playing. Wheaton raises to 540. It is either make or break. I am not a favorite but I go with the gamble anyways. Sure enough he shows both the flush and straight draw. The spade on the turn delivers the blow quickly. Still in with around 1200 but could be in a much healthier condition.
In true tradition the cards go dead on me. That is ok. If I try to play crap I will only end up screwing myself out of the tournament. I see a couple flops here and there but the board ends up getting me in the end so I drop a bit in the standings. Pauly is now on my left and terrorizing the table when he shows up. He must be busy with the Borgata as he comes and goes.
I do manage to chip up above 1500 with a couple of slick hands and by being aggressive with some pocket pairs and betting big on the turn. Sometimes the aggression puts me in big trouble in PLO but today it is working out just fine. At least so far.
Then a funny thing happened. The break came and I was still in it! Half of the starting field of 31 was gone but I managed to survive with 2100.
I don't do much for the next 15 minutes. Fold. Collect small pots. Then I go for it all. With K Q Q 3, ss, I bet pot on a raise with a caller. No one reraises and we see a flop of K J x, two spades. I push my remaining 341 in and both call. My kings are actually ahead. The turn is a rag and the river a spade to give me a huge pot and vault me over 5k. One hand later I take out the remaining short stack and we have ourselves a final table. 5 pay so I still have some work to do.
Cards run against me again. I survive by picking up blinds but am looking to play. I am suppose to be some where at 5 but that isn't going to happen. I could go aggro and bet everything but I don't want to. I want to play my best which sadly isn't what I usually do in these instances.
I begin to turn up the aggression a bit. I feel lucky at one spot that I calmed down. Though I had a straight, it wasn't the nut straight and my gut told me that Bayne had it. He did and I dodge a bullet. But that changes a couple of hands later when I hit a straight but I lose to a big blind special. Damn.
I then raise it up with K Q T 9 ds but find myself up against two re-raises. I fold which ended up being a good thing as I would have ended up with the second flush.
I wasn't really paying too much attention when Pauly and Wil got knocked out. At one point I looked up and saw we were at the money bubble. Bad part is I look to be the bubble boy. I need a good hand to double up on or this will be over for me soon.
I do that with a bit of luck. I get to see a free flop from the blinds. I flop two pair, queens and sixes. I am hoping to push the others out with a pot bet but it backfires when I get raised. Not much to call and I am pot committed so I call fearing I will see I am up against top two pair. Sure enough, I am. But I spike a six on the turn to win. Sweeeeet.
Suddenly I am on a bit of a heater. Flop a boat and take a nice pot down. Make a straight on the river and take a good size pot down. I have gone from being out to 3rd place again. I am also getting more aggressive preflop and trying to see more flops. Once again, it is working.
My heater continues as I rise to the top. I get a good pot off of Bayne when I re-raise from the BB with A A 7 4. Flop is a nice K 5 6. I push hoping he won't call. He thinks and folds. Then I push with an OESD that hits on the turn. The money bubble has burst and now I have a 10k lead over second place. Not sure how that happened!
That huge gap shrinks as Bayne hits his straight and instead of knocking him out, he is right back in it. Soon I find myself raising away as the play gets tighter again. As I do I am still trying to be safe and not totally donk out.
The second break comes. As Boston would sing, It's been such a long time... since I got to a second break. Down to 4 and Bayne has a 2k lead of me. I wish he wasn't such a good Omaha player. I feel like I would have a chance. But I do have one thing that drives me right now. Winning a second Saturdays with Pauly title. I think I get a deck of cards if I win a second one. Then I check the Tao of Poker and realize Bayne has a victory in this already as well. I hope he isn't thinking the same thing I am.
I try to stay aggressive but the results are mixed. I have dropped a couple thousand as I am losing more than I am winning on these pots. I notice I am getting too loose so I need to switch gears and tighten up. Especially after I get lucky with 7 7 4 2 and call a small raise from the BB and flop trip 2s.
I then suffer a brutal suckout. With aces under I raised from the BB when everyone limped. I get one caller. Flop is all rags. I bet enough to put him all in and he calls with top pair and a gutshot. He hits his second pair on the river to deflate me. Ugly. But I get it back on the next hand when I flop a set that become a boat. It was a tilt move but it worked.
It is at this point that live blogging becomes impossible. Bayne is out in 3rd and we are heads up. I can't do both so I am focusing on the game. I can tell you some well timed bluffs are keeping me in the game. I also have noticed a betting pattern that is helping me with those bluffs.
Well, I finished second. ResdentEvil wins and he should have. He is a better PLO player than I and it showed in the end. Congrats!