Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Feb 26th - £50+£5 NL Hold'Em - LCI Club (Brighton)

Back in the winners circle tonight as I scraped into 8th place (out of 35) and I do mean scrape.

With this being a multi-rebuy tournament I came prepared to spend £200 although I didn't quite realise just how quickly things can go wrong if the cards don't co-operate.

My first rebut came about whilst holding A-9 on the button. No raises so an easy call. Three of us (both blinds & me) saw a flop of 3-6-9. A great flop for me so I wasn't going to give it up likely. I bet out to 300 (blinds were 50/100) but immediately got re-raised all-in from the SB for all my chips.

To be honest the raiser had been punting for the best part of the game upto that point and was happy to rebuy if beaten. I assumed he had a 9 with a lower kicker. I called and he flipped 4-5 for a straight draw!! An ugly 7 appeared on the turn and it was rebuy time!

A short while late I held A-Q in LP and raised to 400. I get two callers. The flop is 9-10-Q and I bet 500. Again I get two callers. Its all-in time as another 9 fell on the turn and again both players call me with more chips. I'm against J-J and A-K. A King falls on the river and the J-J player makes a straight. Rebuy!

My 3rd, & final rebuy, occurs when I'm holding 3-4 on the BB. The flop is 5s-5d-6s and its checked around. The 2s falls on the turn, giving me a straight and suddenly there's fireworks.

I bet 500, Mr 'punter' bets 1k and gets a call from across the table and I go all-in for what is left of my stack. Call. Call. Its checked on the river as the 10h falls. Mr 'punter' shows 5-7 for trips whils Mr 'caller' shows As-Qs for the flush! Doh!!

Ok..my final buy-in and at the break I have 2900 points (the rebuys get you 2500).

Three hands after the break I get the Kd-5d and decide to launch. So did two others though so there's over 10k in my side pot as we flip'em.

I'm up against A-10 and J-J. The flop is 8-9-K-4-9 and I'm back in the game!

With only 35 runners players drop quicklt and we're soon down to two tables. I'm down to 8k in chips so decide to go all-in with Ad-3d. Mt 'chipleader' calls with A-9 but a scraggy 3 on the river doubles me up and I get to the final table with 13k in chips!

The thing about the Brighton tournaments is that they have 25 minute levels and with blinds only just at 1k-2k and the average stack at around 30k I had to sit around and wait for an opportunity to double up.

I get 8s-9s in the SB and as its passed around I attempt to nick the blinds by going all-in. The BB holds A-J and calls. I hit an 8 and I'm now upto 24k in chips.

Blinds get to 2k-4k and we lose a player. I'm down to 14k again after being anted away so decide that A-3 is a good hand to launch with (when will I learn?) The player to my immediate left holds A-K and this time I don't get so lucky.

I'm out in 8th place with £150 in prize money for a loss of £55 on the night!

Ah well...it could have been worse!

Entries -> 35 - Place -> 8th - Loss -> £55 ($96) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$1640

Friday, February 24, 2006

Feb 21st - £20+£3 NL Hold'Em - LCI Club (Brighton)

Ok. The first things to note about the differences between playing in Dublin and playing in Brighton is that the play is very much looser in Brighton than Dublin. I've never seen so may calls with bottom pair in my life. Needless to say I capitalised on the willingness of players to go 'all-in' on most crap early on and by the time the rebuy period had ended, after 90 frantic minutes, I had a stack approaching 20k.

Now thats not to say I didn't buy in myself...cos I did...twice but I soon realised that unlike Dublin where they increase your chip count the more you buy in the level of chips you receive for each £20 note you whizz at the dealers remains constant thereby making top-ups a no-brainer in terms of forget-about-it!

I mean...who in their right mind's gonna top up if you have more than 10k in chips if you're only getting 7 BB's in return for another £20...duh!

Anyway...early on I hit cards. My pairs were beating the high cards and my high cards were beating the pairs so everything was right with the world.

After the break I got lucky & unlucky, as you do, and found myself at the last two tables with around 25k in chips and blinds at 1k-2k.

It seems to be always around this time that I make a mistake and go out. I was determined not to let this happen but....!!!

With 12 of us left and two tables of 6 players the blinds were coming around quite rapidly. One player on our table was raising every other hand and generally scooping the blinds each time. On this ocassion I look down and see 3-3. Not the greatest hand in the world I know but certainly stronger than A-K or any two cards that didn't make a pair.

Anyway...the player across from me raises to 7k. He had a few more chips than me so I decided to put him to the test and lump in. 'I call', he states and flips Q-Q. Doh!! The flop is 2-5-6 giving me all sorts of possibilities but a 9 followed by a King puts paid to my ambitions once again and I go out in 12th, 3 off the money.

Fifty-nine runners and a prize pool of £5000. Not bad!! I'll be back!

Entries -> 59 - Place -> 12th - Loss -> £63 ($110) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$1736

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Feb 17th -€50+€10 No Limit Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

Tonight I got back in the winners circle after a series of bouts in the last two tables. I finished 7th and won €210. It could, of course, be better and of course it could have been worse so I aint complaining! Mind you the way I went out was VERY unlucky but more about that in a mo!

The evening began quite brightly. My 2400 points soon became 4k and I was in no danger of getting carried away with any excitement. Just another day at the office really! I then proceeded to lose all the 4k I'd gained in a multi-way pot that somehow I'd got myself involved with so it was rebuy time before I knew it!

At the break I had got myself back up to around 6k so all was not lost!

Again, after the break, I proceeded to make headway until I got to around the 12k mark and then abuptly stopped. A run of hand holdings so bad I couldn't even then see a flop for the best part of an hour beset me. Not to worry though as we were now down to 2 tables. As usual there were monster stacks all around. I had 11k left when, with antes now at 1k-2k, I finally get a decent enough hand to go all-in on. A pair of 10's. It got all the way back to the player to my immediate right who had a mountain of chips. He hummed and arred and finally called with 7-7. No improvement for him and soon after it was final table time. I now had 28k in chips!

I drew seat 7 which meant I could wait for a while but the cards were terrible for round 1 and I had to let 4.5k go in antes.

Round 2 and the antes had moved to 2k-4k. We'd lost two bods and on the SB I get 9-9. A player, from across the table, flat called the ante so rather than dump my chips off straight away I thought I'd see a flop and hope for the best. Nice flop, or so it seemed, of 4-4-5, and I immediately went all-in! 'Call', came the voice of the BB and with him being a blind I knew he'd picked up a 4. The other player passed and I flipped my 9's whilst he flipped his BB special and 4-3.

No 9 for me and it was 7th place! Thats all the play at the Fitz for a while. I start a new job in London on Monday so I'll see you all at Brighton, where I'm staying for a while, for the next couple of weeks! Should be fun!

Entries -> 63 - Place -> 7th - Win -> €100 ($120) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$1846

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Feb 13th - €100+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

Its not often I make a move in a tournament daft enough to ruin my chances of winning a prize but tonight was one such ocassion where a continued 'silly' bluff on my part cost me a third of my chip stack at the time and caused me to finish 11th in the tournament instead of comfortably at the final table.

The evening had started pretty badly as it turned out with my 4k starting stack being decimated to around 2.7k before the game even got into level 2. I then caught a lucky break.

Holding 9d-7d and with blinds at 100/200 I called a raise to 600, along with 2 other players, and we all saw a flop of Jd-8c-4h. I figured I was behind once the original raiser (first to act in this case) bet out 800 but figured I'd call in the hope of either another diamond or an illustrious 10 showing up on board. The other two players dropped and we were heads up.

Another Jack fell on the turn and hesitation crept into my opponent. Instantly I knew what to do. If he checked an all-in bet would surely push him off the hand as he must have A-K or A-Q. He did indeed check and I pushed all-in. He grumbled...flipped 10-10 in his hand and folded. Phew! I flipped my 9-7 and he smiled!

From then on, for a while, I could do no wrong. My hands hit and my chip stack increased to around 18k. I then got a bit carried away.

On the button four of us, including both blinds, saw a flop of A-6-6. I had the 3h-5h but it was checked around to me so I mini-bluffed and bet out 1500! The SB checked his cards and called. The other players passed and that should have been that for me but noooooooo! A 9 fell on the turn. 'How much have you got left?', I asked. '5k', came the reply. 'I'll bet 5k then', I said and splashed the pot with 5 green chips. 'I call', he said, and with that I thre my cards into the muck as he showed K-6.

So I'm down to 11k now which was still plenty but then got involved in a couple more pots, one where my 9-9 was crushed by an all-in for Q-3, and was down to 6k before you knew it!

On the BB I get J-2 o/s. With 3 of us in the flop is J-4-9. I bet 2k and am called. The turn card is an 8. I go all-in and am called by the button and his J-4. Pooey!! Out in 11th and its all over for another day.

Entries -> 47 - Place -> 11th - Loss -> €110 ($132) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$1726

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Feb 10th - Feb 12th - Various

Its a continual learning process is playing NL Hold'Em. In three of the five last tournaments I've played it I've gone gone to me overplaying Ace-mini kicker and its one of those things I have to shake off in order to move on up. Meanwhile though here are some thoughts from this past weekends tournies!

Feb 10th - €50+€5 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

From around 70 starters I got half way before I ran into a hand that I simply overplayed and got taken out with. Again I managed to last through to the break without taking the rebuy and was happy to be sat on around 10k once the chips were in the air for the serious part of the evening.

Again...everything was running smoothly until I got moved table and within 3 hands it was all over. I pick up 9-9 in mid position and, with blinds at 200-400, I raise to 2000. This would usually be enough to clear out the table but on this ocassion I then get re-raised to 5k. Back to me and I'm very aware that a re-raise of this size is of a player with a pair bigger than mine.

I'm now getting almost 4/1 on the call (3k for a 11k pot) so I call and pray. The flop is A-J-6.

In situations like this, where an Ace falls on the flop, I simply move in and pray my opponent does not have the Ace and will fold. This time is no different. I'm all-in for 5700. After a bit of umming & arring though he calls with Q-Q and I'm out with no help on the turn or river. My question is...would YOU have made that call?

Feb 11th - €500+€40 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

This was the BIG event for me this year so far as I attempt to play in more of the bigger type of event in the hope that one day I'll do well and win a shed load of money. There were 75 runners and I finished 17th.

I was never in difficulty throughout the 6 hours of play I was there and my chips went into the pot ONLY if I felt I was winning. The problem was though that in all that time I couldn't double through ONCE. I picked up 1k here...2k there...lost 1k here...lost 2k there etc etc but at no time did I have my entire stack in the middle with another player calling and that was a pain.

With the antes at 800-1500 and my stack at 10700 I was getting a bit desperate for this 'double up' and on the BB I get A-9. The SB, who had a stack of chips raised me to 3k and so without much hesitation I re-raised all-in. He called instantly and flipped A-Q.

Needless to say I didn't win and so went away within 7 of the prize pool.

Feb 12th - $200+$15 NL Hold'Em - Pokerstars

This is a pretty much needless affair as its ridiculous that you not only have to battle through over 5000 runners (5507 today) but you have to get lucky with the software. You know...hold KK and get beat by AA etc etc.

Tonight my 7-7 was beat up by J-J so no bad beat story except to say that its amazing how 'juiced' the deals can be just so as you'll get your money in the middle and then get wiped out.

Later tonight I played in the $10 'rebuy' event on Stars...finished 42nd and won almost $300...in a field of 1856 so I can't be THAT bad a player!

Entries -> xxx - Place -> xxx - Loss -> €650 + $215 ($995) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$1858

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Jan 30th - Feb 6th - Various

Four events to blog about today and zippo in prize money to spend. I know you can't win every time but there's no reason why I can't play well every time. Even this was too much to do...

Jan 30th - €100+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

This event lasted 5 hands for me. I got seat 9 so no blinds for a while. They were...

Hand 1. K-4 o/s passed.

Hand 2. 7c-6c. Call a raise of 300, along with 3 others, Flop totally misses me so I pass when an all-in bet comes in from the player to my right.

Hand 3. Ks-5s. Flat call a raise to 250, along with two others. Flop is K-9-4 rainbow. Original raiser bets 800. Other players pass...I call. Turn is a 7. Original raiser bets 1500. I call. River is a 10. Original raiser checks as do I. He shows A-A and I'm down to 1500 already.

Hand 4. 9-6 o/s. I pass.

Hand 5. Js-9s. I go all-in but get called by a player holding A-10. An Ace on the flop seals my fate. Early bed!

Feb 3rd - €50+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

Tonight went quite well for a while. For a change I didn't have to use my rebuy/top-up option until the break (proper order) and as we began part two of the day I had around 7k in chips so was happy enough.

Good hands and good play saw me get upto 15k and with 3 tables left it looked as though the final table might be on but I should know that one hand can change all that and so it came to pass.

I was on the button holding As-5s and with blinds at 300-600 I raised to 3k. The SB sat back in his chair for a while then called. Everyone else passed. The flop came Js-10s-5c so it was all going in...I just didn't expect the SB to get there before me. 'All-In' he exclaimed. Taken a little aback by the move I still felt I had no option but to call.

He flipped Q-Q (fair enough). The turn card brought the Kh and the river the Ac pairing my Ace but giving Mr QQ his straight. Funny old game!

Feb 5th - $200+$15 NL Hold'Em - Pokerstars

I'd qualified for this via a $10 satellite so decided to play. At the moment Pokerstars are running turbo satellites every couple of hous throughout the day so its easy enough to get through one or two. There were 4197 runners so basically it was a total crapshoot.

I didn't start too well when my top pair top kicker scenario got crushed by a flush and my end came about when my 9-9 went up against J-J. I finished in about 3200th place. Whoopee!!

Feb 6th - €100+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

A much better evening than last week when I lasted 5 hands but then again that would not have been too hard.

Only 43 runners tonight though so it should have been fairly easy to get through to the final table. I just couldn't find a hand to get going with though! I think my best hand in the first two hours of play was an A-K from which I picked up the blinds from.

With 3 tables left and just prior to the break at the end of level 5 I got lucky. On the BB I checked with 5-3 o/s. There were 6 players in with no raises. The flop came K-3-5 and I knew it was lucky time or home time.

One player went all-in with K-J and I called. No Jack and it was happy days!

With two tables left I'm all-in with 3-3 against J-J. A 3 falls on the flop and its Happy days again!!

With 11 left I get As-3s and go all-in on the button in the hope of robbing the blinds. The SB wakes up with A-10 and calls. No improvement all round and I'm out in 11th place. Doh...I do wish I wasn't so cavalier at times!

Entries -> xxx - Place -> xxx - Loss -> €330 + $210 ($611) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$2853