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Friday, November 10, 2006

best ever, so long as it's $10 or less...

So last night I decide at the last minute to hit one of the free bar poker tournaments.

I'd actually taken one down back in September, and have been playing fairly well in these things lately. It's actually very relaxing for me in comparison to an online cash game pot for hundreds of dollars - so I experiment around, and play free and easy.

Naturally, I won (win #3 at these things)
     - but of course, the prize was a free Sunday brunch I'll probably never use.

So when I got home, I wasn't quite tired yet, and decided to play a couple cheap tourneys on Full Tilt before snoozing out.

Almost four hours later.....

I just wish it was a $20 or $30 tournament. This was the strangest tourney I ever played.

I double up on the third hand jamming KT into AT on a ten-high board on the turn - when a K falls on the river.

A few minutes later, I get someone to stack off on the flop with JJ vs. my QQ, and I'm suddenly chip leader.

Late in the first hour, there's a really bad player (had open limped 94o, J6o, in MP) that open limps again, with two callers, I bump it with JJ in the small blind, he calls and a limper calls. Nine high flop with two hearts, so I pot it, BOTH guys go all in, and I'm priced in to call. Open limper has AA, of course, and I'm down to 500 chips at 60/120 blinds..... :-(   I basically go from first to dead last.

I'm not steaming, but I tell him, basically, he's a horrible player and won't cash.

I short stack ninja my way back, winning races, AQ vs. TT, then TT vs. AJ. I double through AA vs. KK, and suddenly I'm back to 9K in chips.

Then, at 100/200, two limpers, a min raise, two cold callers of a min raise, and I have AhAs in the small blind. I pop it to 3000, and the open-limp AA dude (who is one of the cold callers) is the only guy that calls. Flop is 8-high with two hearts, so I jam my last 6600, and he CALLS ALL IN with AdKd.

Thank you, come again, I've made it from last with T500 to chip lead again with T20,000 in 30 hands.

After that, it was remarkably smooth and easy. I stayed a top 10 stack to the final table, where I was second in chips. I hit some hands and made some plays, got the chip lead with 7 players left. As we got shorthanded, I started turning up the aggression and pounding people, (I eliminated 5 of the players at the final table) until I got heads up with a 4-1 chip lead. I was surprised by how natural it felt to have a big stack and how much fun it was to play that way... :-)

Mellow, even-keeled patience is crucial to playing this game.
Calm, measured tactics and moves work better than pure aggression.
I often forget that.
It's good to be reminded of those truisms in a positive fashion.


Monday, November 6, 2006

no big AIPS banana for me

  So, despite having a pretty decent overall run, I couldn't hold snag that prized trophy in the AIPS series. Of course, a Stars spreadsheet says I was the player of the year, so I guess that's a nice consolation prize.

  I never got anything going in the tournament - barely moved above my starting stack, and was never a factor. That'll happen when you raise 3xBB under the gun with AA an hour an half in, get called in three spots, have the big blind jam the flop, you overjam, and someone else calls with a flopped set. Oh, the big blind turned a smaller set, too (he jammed with 66 into a 873r flop). Doubled through a few times after that hand, which left me just over a one blind stack, before jamming A6 into AQ preflop bounced me out 35th of 57, my worst finish of all the tournaments.

  That's annoying, but given that the final tournament was 4x the buyin of all the other tournaments, an out-of-the-money finish was going to doom me anyway.

   Still, much fun overall, and if there's another AIPS series, I'll be glad to play it.

   Otherwise, donking around 1/2 and 2/4NL tables on Stars and Full Tilt, trying to weather the swings, and building the roll back up for December.