Thursday, June 30, 2005

Still Strugglin

I feel like making this blog into an entertainment blog since poker has been pissing me off lately. So on that note, I'll start with some short thoughts about some movies I saw. Batman Begins was great. It is probably one of my top 5 favorite movies of the year (Crash, Sin City, Mr. And Mrs. Smith, and Cinderella Man being the other 4). I'm usually not that into big-budget films but I thought director Christopher Nolan (Memento) was perfect on this one. Unfortunately, last night I watched The Longest Yard. Wow, what a disaster. I was embarrassed for everyone involved. I probably laughed at most 6 times. I am also a huge Adam Sandler fan. I have seen every one of his movies. That's right, every one. Even that stupid Going Overboard piece of crap. On Thursday, some of my friends came up to visit, which was fun. Chris Power, who posts about those amazing reload bonuses, came down and a couple girls from home, Ashley and Christie, came to Vegas and cheered me on. Ashley and Christie met Luke Walton and Richard Jefferson on Thursday and hung out with them all weekend, which was kind of cool. One funny moment came when Ashley told me she had talked to Greg Raymer when she was extremely intoxicated. She then proceeded to tell me that she told Greg we were married while not wearing a wedding ring (obviously). Greg went from first out of 7 people to out in 6th at his final table shortly after. I can only hope his weird conversation with my intoxicated 'wife' didn't throw him off. Fine, I'll talk about poker. I am currently 0 for 5. I haven't even made a dinner break. The limit event was a complete disaster. I was close to being the first out of the tournament, which is hard to do. But, then I made a miraculous comeback to my original chip count. At that time, the blinds were getting higher and I got committed in a pot with A T. I raised on the button after one person had limped. The flop came T 6 2 rainbow. The BB tried to check-raise me and I three-bet to see where I was. The turn came 3 and he check-raised me again!!!! I lost another bet on the river and he showed me trip 3s. He then told me he was gone on the turn if he didn't hit his 3. I freaking hope so!!! I was out soon. In my next event, the $1500 no-limit event I got off to a great start. I doubled up with a set early and then got sent to Phil Gordon's table. There was one hilarious moment when I raised with AQ of spades. Phil called. The flop came 9 8 2 rainbow and I led out for 3/4 of the pot. I used my best reverse tell which I won't reveal. I only use it against tough players and I obviously considered Phil and tough player. He folded and then a couple hands later someone commented that Phil was playing tight. He then said rather bitterly, "I would have had all that kid's chips if I hit my set." He was looking at me! It kind of caught me off-guard so I asked him to repeat what he said. He said he had pocket sevens and that if it came 9 7 2 instead of 9 8 2 I would have lost all my chips. He told me that he was sure I had pocket jacks. I couldn't help but laugh in his face. I mean, I didn’t even have a pair and I’d like to think I wouldn’t lose all my chips with JJ on that flop in the second level of the tournament. Phil Gordon was talking shit to me! He then repeated, "I'm sure you had jacks...or queens." At that point I was almost crying laughing. Is Phil Gordon a little girl? He later glared at the dealer when his A9 could only garner a split against A8 when the board came A K 3 7 3. Maybe he was just having a bad day, maybe he just wanted to find out information about my hand for later. He looked like a baby though. Unfortunately, I went card dead at the worst possible time and ended up getting all my money in with AKs against 99. The flop came with a 9 and that was all she wrote. I had a rough time in the $2500 no-limit tourney where I doubled up early again and then lost a huge pot with AQ vs. KQ in level 6. Two people at my table commented that they folded a king. Shocker, king on the turn crushed me. I was up against a short-stack and was committed after a pre-flop raise so that only took half of my chips. Later I re-raised a short stack with only the A T of hearts but I thought he was weak. He finally called the rest of his chips off with 6's. Of course I didn't win that one either. Later, when I was extremely short-stacked my JJ lost to AA and that was it. In the $2000 no-limit event I had a premonition that I would play well. In fact, my mom had a dream that I would win a bracelet. Within an hour I was down to 375 chips and was playing the worst poker of my life. I then re-raised the rest of my chips off with 22 and somehow doubled up. What a truly awful play, I know. I then doubled up with KK vs. QJ and then doubled up when I flopped an open-ended straight draw and rivered the straight. All of the sudden I was slightly above the average with 4000. I re-raised a player with 2700 chips when I was on the button with 99. He decided to make a stand with AJ even though he was just below the average in the 5th level. Of course, a jack on the river took most of my chips. One round later I raised half of my chips with 99. Only the chip leader called in the SB and we took a J J J flop. He checked and I moved all in. He didn't think about it much with AJ. I hate AJ. Oh well. 2 events to go. I'll post again later. If you made it to the end of this entry you win the right to knock me out of my next event. Good luck with my chips.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

My First Event

Howdy gang. I know I haven't posted in a while, but there is a very good reason. I just didn't feel like it. But, since I'm in Vegas for the WSOP I thought I'd ramble on about some of the events I've been playing in case anyone cares. My first event was the $1500 No-limit Shootout which took place on Friday June 17th. For those of you who don't know, a shootout is a sit-n-go/single table satellite format tourney where to advance you must win your table. The only player I recognized at my table was Mickey Appleman who has a number of WSOP bracelets. We all started with 1500 worth of chips and when play began 3 people at our table had not shown up. Blinds started at 25 and 25. My first hand was 4d 6d on the button and I raised to 75 after one person had limped from middle position. The BB and the limper called. Both players checked a flop of Q J 7 so I threw out a bet of 150. The BB called and the other player folded. When another Q hit the turn the BB bet 250 into me. I didn't feel he was very strong but I didn't feel like going broke on the first hand of the WSOP for me so I folded. The next hand I limped in with Qd Td from the cut-off and 6 of us took a flop of Q T 2. One player in middle position bet 100 chips and I raised to 300. I think there were 2 clubs on board so I wasn't thrilled about letting too many players see the turn cheaply. Only the original better called. When a 4 of hearts hit the turn he checked to me and I bet 500. He folded and I was now second in chips at the table. Of course I get QQ the very next hand and I decided to just limp because I was a little wary of the UTG player who limped also. The flop of A A K didn't really help my hand much so I check-folded. The next hand I got QQ again and decided to raise to 100. At this point I was wondering if I was ever going to sit out a hand. The cut-off raised it to 350 and I just called. My thinking was that I was so aggresive that my man would call an all-in with AK which is what I put him on. I decided to let him bluff at me if he missed the flop. Of course the flop came K 8 6 so I went ahead and checked. He bet 200 into a 750 pot which seemed awfully small. Please call Matt! I decided to wait for a better spot and folded. I was down to about 1300 in chips after the first 4 hands of the tournament. I really slowed down after that and picked my spots. Mickey Appleman was directly to my left so I didn't get too out of line. I managed to get my stack up to about 1900 with 6 players remaining at the table when I got involved in a big hand. The blinds were 50-100 and I had As 8s in the cut-off. I made it 300 to go and the BB called. The BB had by far the most chips at the table. He probably had 6000 while the next closest player had maybe 2800. The flop came 9s 7s 3d. The BB checked to me. I decided that I wanted to take the pot there so I made it 500 to go. The BB then moved all-in like a shot. I counted out that I only had 1100 chips left which would go into a pot of 3850. I only needed to win the hand 29% of the time to make this a profitable call. More importantly, this is a winner take all table. I knew (obviously) that I was behind with just an over and the nut flush draw but if I fold here I have 1100 chips and just as important - the chip leader has 7000! I didn't think too much before I threw the rest of my chips in. The BB turned over pocket 9's and I was in worse shape than I could have ever thought possible. The turn and river brought no help so I went to the rail (translation: strip club). If I had to do it all over again the only thing I'd do different is that I'd get my final chips in a little bit faster. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose - that's poker. I'll post about the $2,500 limit event when I feel like it.