Friday, November 19, 2010

SnG action

I have played more poker over the last 7 days than I have in 6 months. And somehow its been a profitable week! But it wasn't without frustrations today.

I had the day off. I had some time at work to burn and I needed to take care of a plumbing issue in the apartment. That went smoothly, for once, giving me the afternoon to kill as I saw fit. Seeing that I have to be up early tomorrow going to the bar wasn't the best choice. So I played some poker instead.

As I said a week ago, I trying to shake the rust off. That entails playing some small $10 SnGs (1, 2, or 5 table tourneys) and a NL cash game (.25/.50). I like to stay small on the cash game as it lets me try some things out that I normally wouldn't do.

I signed up for a 45 runner $10 SnG and fired up a ring table. The cash game was not going well. Between not getting many good cards and a bad read, I went through a buyin quickly. I rebought and continued to play poorly. So bad that I decided to play very erratically when I dropped half of that. I started limping and then pushing on any raise with good hands. I was surprised how many people were pumping up the pot but then folding to a push that was about 4xs their bet. It wasn't like I was doing so with AA or KK. Mostly AJ or 88 or similar hands.

Funny thing was it worked well. I recouped a good chunk of my losses by making these very strange big raises. Strange as in it disrupted the flow of the table. Apparently no one knew what to do. Finally someone did call me down with A 10 but that was the one time I did have KK.

My SnG was a different story. I was trying to play my game. Be patient and wait for some good hands. Change if the table is being wussy. It worked well. I slowly moved to the top of the boards. At the break we had lost a third of the crowd and I was on top. The second session saw the same thing. I stayed at the top. I used my chips wisely and didn't get myself into any bad positions. I got my chips in when I had the best of it.

Once we got below 3 tables the players began to drop like flies. I had moved down a bit on the leaderboard. I was bouncing between 5 and 6. That was fine. I just didn't want to be at the bottom when the final table started.

We we at 12 when disaster struck. I lost my wifi. My Apple Airport goes out once in a while. Now was just a terrible time for it to happen. Major reason why is I don't know how to get it reconnected other than unplugging it. Though the signal shows as being strong, it just won't reconnect unless I unplug the Airport from the wall and reboot my MacBook Pro. It works but I am not certain that is the best thing to do. And it takes time.

This took a couple of minutes. I was able to get back into Full Tilt to see the final table had begun. I had lost about 2000 chips but wasn't in a world of hurt. Got those back but lost my wifi again! Damn! Went through the whole process again. This time I got back in and one player had been knocked out.

I am a bit worried now that I might go another couple hands and lose my connection again. To relax, I put on the new Robert Plant album. That seems to relax me. I am on a short stack so I start to push. I am happy that I have an aggressive player two to my right. He keeps raising with junk. Best of all, he is folding to the pushes. So I keep doing it to him. Push every time when I have an A or two big cards.

We lose a couple more people and are in the money. Interesting hand came up then. With 5 left, the guy on my right gets into it with aggro boy. Typical preflop action. Aggro boy raises to just over twice the BB. SB just calls. I fold. Flop is rags, 8 high. SB checks. Aggro bets. SB just calls. Turn is another 8. SB checks, Aggro bets, SB calls. River is a rag. SB goes all in. Aggro instacalls, showing 8 3 offsuit. SB doesn't show. Hand history shows he had A A. Talk about a trap gone bad.

I would soon get a big chunk of Aggro boy's chips. With just the four of us, he just calls from the SB. I check with K 5s. Flop is K 5 x rainbow. Nice. I decide to bet half the pot to see what he will do. If he calls, I know he won't fold. He does call. Turn is a rag. I think about betting half the pot again. But then I think about the cash game. If I through a strange bet out there, maybe I can get him to call. His sloppy play tells me there is a good chance he does. I push, which is a couple thousand more than the pot. He goes into the tank. I keep telling myself "please call, please call" as I know I have him beat. He takes the bait and calls, showing 9 9. He doesn't hit a two outer and I jump out on the chip lead.

Aggro boy soon busts out and we are down to 3. Guy on my left has been a tough player. The other guy appeared to be someone who was willing to step aside and let everyone else duke it out. He was always low on chips and was lucky to get that far into a higher payout. But now he dot somewhat aggressive and started raising quite a bit. I knew it would be a matter of time before I could get him. I started popping back with any good ace and he'd fold. Then I got him to go all the way with A 10 vs. my J J. No 3 outer and it is heads up.

I have a 5 to 1 chip lead. I think of the heads up match against the asshole from this past weekend and just hope I can not be unlucky. I don't. It takes about 8 hands for him to fall and I am the best of 45 runners.

Best of all I was happy with the way I played. Made enough to wipe out my cash losses too. It has me feeling optimistic about Vegas. Less than 3 weeks but who is counting.

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