Friday, March 30, 2007

Mar 29th - £50+£5 NL Hold'Em (Loose Cannons - EC4)

While the world of big time poker is over in Reno or Monte-Carlo my efforts were being concentrated on one of the more mundane events going on in the world tonight. Yup...its Thursday which means its time for Loose Cannons league night!

Before start of play tonight I sat 3rd in the league on around 148 points. Can't be sure exactly but 1st had around 165 points and 2nd 153. My target was/is 200 points but with just this week and one more to go before the final itself on April 18th I really needed to find some form as I hadn't even managed to find my way into any sort of reward for several weeks now.

Form is a wonderful thing in comes and it goes. High level, low level it doesn't really matter. If you're hitting cards then you win...if you're not you lose! Its usually fairly obvious within the first 30 minutes of any game what shape it'll take and how 'lucky' or 'unlucky' you're going to be and to be fair my first 30 mins of the game tonight went surprisingly well.

Seventeen runners tonight then and my first 'luck-box' moment came soon into level 1.

Holding 9s-7s in LP I flat called a small raise to 200 (blinds are 25/50). Flop is a yummy looking 8s-6d-As. Check check. The even yummier 5d fell on the turn. My opponent bet out 500. I mini-raised to 1000. He pushed all-in and I, of course called. He flips 8-6 for 2 pair. No improvement on the river for him and I've doubled up already.

Level 2. (50/100) Another player on my table was also getting lucky. He'd amassed a few more chips than me by the time this 'luck-box' hand arrived.

Holding 10s-8s in LP I'd flat called his raise to 600. We were heads up on a flop of 6-7-9! He bet out 1k. I raised to 2500. He pushes all-in and looks disgusted when I called. He flips K-K and was dead in the water. I now have over 12k in chips and on cruise mode.

Of course with 17 runners it doesn't take long to get to the final table...of 10. I held 16k so was in no hurry to get involved until some of the smaller stacks had dispersed. Four prizes with 1st getting £360.

Players dropped quite quickly but we got stuck on 5 players for a while. With antes at 600-1200 the following hand came up.

I'm UTG+1 and get A-A. The guy to my immediate right with around 6k in chips himself raises it to 3k. Music to my ears! I lump in for circa 12k and its passed back around to the raiser who has no choice but to call. He flips 10-10. Its my lucky day as no 10 falls and I'm monster chip lead with 4 left.

Four becomes three and I decide to then take on the smallest stack left calling his all-in bet with Ks-6s against his Q-9. A 9 falls on the flop but so does a 5-7-8 to make me an unlikely straight by the river. Heads Up!!

I had my opponent outchipped by 2-1 but knew I only needed to win one all-in hand for the 1st placing. I didn't have to wait long.

On the BB my opponent raised to 5k. I looked down to see A-Q. Whaddya gonna do?? I went all-in. He called and flipped A-10. Flop was Q-10-J-7-2 and it was all over. 33 points + £360 + £30 in bounties. A highly satisfactory night...for a change!!

Entries -> 17 - Place -> 1st - Win -> £335 Profit/Loss for 2007 -> +£267

(As from 1st Jan 2007 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $1.90)

Friday, March 23, 2007

March 22nd - Loose Cannons (London WC4)

First 'live' play in two weeks and I was hoping to shake off the deadzone which seems to have surrounded my results of late!

Nineteen runners for the first event of the evening down at LC and tonight was week 11, of 13, of the league which I've been an active participant in since Xmas.

I'm holding my own in the top 3 at the moment but my wish to get 200 points on the board seem a bit forlorn at the mo as I'm plodding along scraping 3 - 10 points a night as I struggle to find form once more.

Ah well...!!

Tonight I started brightly enough with some nice calls which got me to circa 6k, from a start point of 3.5k, in no time at all. I then made a couple of loose type calls pre-flop, both times with A-10, but on each occasion I failed to connect on the flop and so had to give them up. Those calls cost me 1200.

One guy was down to his last 700 already, at the 100-200 level, and pushed all-in from EP. I was in MP with Jd-5d and decided to call. Guy on BB also called when it got back round so 3 of us saw the flop of J-5-7. With a guy already all-in the BB checked and I pushed all-in wanting to isolate the all-in guy.

Mr BB sat back in his chair & pondered....and pondered....and pondered! After what felt like several minutes of this pondering he pushed all-in himself and told the table he wanted to go home! He flipped J-10.

Ok so I thought no 10 please!! The turn was a Queen...the river...another bloody Queen thereby counterfeiting my two pair and him winning with Q-Q-J-J-10!! Barf!!

I had a few chips left but they soon went and that was the first tournament over with. £55 down the Suwannee!

Tournament 2 and I was under the impression it was a 'turbo'! Apparently not as Roy has now decided to abandon that idea and play 20 minute levels instead. No frigging good to me as I had to be out of there by 11.30pm to get my last train home!

The game began at 9.30pm and I was out of there within the hour. I did pick up a bounty along the way though so my points score for the night was a massive 5!

I did win £200 in the no rake cash game so was actually up on the night however the £105 I lost in tournament fees means that for the first time in 2007 I'm actually negative on 'live-play'.

Eeek...not used to that!!

Entries -> -- - Place -> --- - Loss -> £105 Profit/Loss for 2007 -> -£68
(As from 1st Jan 2007 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $1.90)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Mar 6th - 8th - NL Hold'Em (Vic & Loose Cannons)

I'm going though what is known in the trade as a 'dry spell' at the moment. Two plays from this weeks events showed that although behaviour of other players can be assessed to a certain degree there really is no way of knowing if the next hand you play to the river in ANY tournament will be the last one of the night.

Firstly to Tuesday night where I played in the £30+£5 rebuy at the Vic. This used to be a £20 rebuy but bumping it upto £30 seems to have no impact on the numbers playing (circa 40) and over £3k in prize money was available to those that made it that far. I wasn't one of them.

During the rebuy period the usual monkey plays take place but even I had to scratch my head at this one...

Blinds were 25-50 and I'm on the BB with 8c-7c. The SB raises to 200 and both myself and another player, who'd flat called the original 50, came along for the ride. Flop is 3-3-7. I checked, as the next player, but, as expected, the SB put all his chips forward (around 1750).

I'd been fortunate to double up in early play, from a start stack of 1000, when my J-9 hit trips against a player with A-10 on a 9-9-10 flop and with the likelyhood of the SB attempting to nick the pot with nothing much better that A-J I duly called with my pair of 7's.

What surprised both me & the SB was that the next player ALSO called. There was almost 6k in the pot and it was turn-m-over time!

SB flipped A-10 (as hoped), I flipped my 8-7, next players flips K-3 o/s!!!!

Gasps of amazement and when nothing else came to help my cause the massive pot (for a 25-50 level) was pushed to my left! I was gobsmacked!

I had a rebuy...followed by 2 more followed by a top up. As the 'freezeout' phase started I had 3k in chips but with blinds shortly to be 200-400 I couldn't wait long.

Looking down I found the Qc-Jc and pushed all-in only to be called by a player with A-A. Wonderful! A Queen on the flop brought a glimmer of hope but that was all she wrote!!

Entries -> 41 - Place -> ??? - Loss -> £155 Profit/Loss for 2007 -> +£92
(As from 1st Jan 2007 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $1.90)


Thursday night and the Loose Cannons league. Week 10 of 13.

Before start of play I was still in 2nd place on 138 points. Leader had 165 but he's on holiday for three weeks!!!

With a start stack of 3500 I took it nice and easy for 50 mins. My stack had barely reached 4k when this hand occurred...

On the SB with 10c-7c the BB had gone walkabout. With blinds at 100-200 this was noticed by all the table and everyone was itching to try and nick the free blinds as there was only one hand to defend against in the blinds (me) and not the usual two.

Anyway its passed round to the button who raises it to 700. An obvious nick if ever there was one. Desperate to disappoint him I flat called. Of course 10c-7c on the SB isn't the best spot to call a 700 raise but I felt he was making a move and would give up on the flop if I showed some strength.

Flop was 3-4-7. I felt sure that sort of flop could not have helped him. I checked and he immediately bet out 1500. So now put yourself in my shoes!!

If the pre-flop bet WAS a move with A-9, A-10 etc then he missed. I have top pair (albeit 7's) and I've given him a chance to check as well. He's bet 1500 on an obvious miss...right???

'Im all-in', I stated, and pushed my load out front. 'I call', came back the reply. What?????

He flipped A-7!!!!! Feck a doodle-doo. I never saw THAT coming!

So I'm out and that was that. What a freakin luckbox to have THAT hand and hit THAT 7.

Poker eh....don't you just love it!!

Entries -> 20 - Place -> 16th - Loss -> £55 Profit/Loss for 2007 -> +£37
(As from 1st Jan 2007 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $1.90)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Mar 1st - £50+£5 NL Hold'Em (Loose Cannons - EC4)

Things are starting to liven up a bit down the Loose Cannons club with 23 runners for tonights 6pm (6.50pm) £50 NL Hold'Em league event!

Tonight was week 9, of 13, and as it now stands I'm still in 2nd place 20 points behind the leader...Mr Prazi...who somehow manages to do very well in these events!

Anyway with the majority of new players drifting from the Gutshot (can't think why??) the standard of play hasn't got any more difficult but of course the increase in numbers and the luck factor needed to progress through an ever larger crowd of players getting increasingly difficult I'll be very happy indeed to hit 200 points come the end of the 13 weeks. (Currently on 138)

Ok so off we go...

First hand I get dealt the Ac-Qc on the SB and raise it upto 300 after the button did an initial raise to 150. Just me and him then to see the flop of Q-9-7 and I immediately led out for 600.

The button flat called. Next card out was an 8. Again I led out, this time to 1500, and after a few moments though the button folded like a cheap newspaper and I was off & running.

Throughout the first level I steadily increased my opening stack upto 5k (from 3.5k start) before getting moved tables to the immediate left of J.J Hazan who seems to have already been on a streak and has got around 8 or 9k in chips.

For those of you who don't know JJ won over 300,000 euros at last years Amsterdam Masters Classic event so others now see him as a bit of a celebrity. To me he's just another player but the mere fact I'm mentioning him by name here in my blog recognises his face as Mr Lucky! :)

Second level then (50-100) and I'm dealing holding 6s-8s. There's a small raise from the player UTG, to 300, and remarkably everyone at the table, including myself, calls.

Flop is 4s-7h-10s. Well thats nice, I think. Its checked around to JJ who fires out 2k.

To be fair I had no intention of EVER folding here. With a gutshot draw and a flush draw giving me a potential 12 outs twice (to the river) I would have been happy enough to put in the 2k bet myself but as JJ had asked the question I felt compelled to answer.

'I'm all in', I exclaimed, and so the 2k went first followed by another 2375!

Now of course the whole field folded back to JJ who confessed to being behind but called anyway with his set of 4's!

As I was dealing I felt confident in my ability to deal myself a 5 or a spade card that didn't pair the board...instead I dealt myself the Qc followed by the Ac!!

Much whooping & hollering from JJ, as is the norm, but looking back on it I was always going to be there so early in the tournament and with a chance to get to 11k so quickly. As Dave Ulliot once said...'its better to have lived one day as a lion than a lifetime as a lamb!'.

Entries -> 23 - Place -> 20th - Loss -> £55 Profit/Loss for 2007 -> +£247

(As from 1st Jan 2007 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $1.90)