Down to the Wire

The end of the year approaches and Poker Mutant got in a batch of games the past couple of days. Not exactly good games….

Carbon Poker $200 Freeroll (1,000 chips)

Skated around the starting stack for a dozen hands, then grabbed a few hundred chips only to lose several hundred with the second pair. Got all-in three-way pre-flop with KT against 8K and QA. A 7J8 flop made most of my straight draw but meant I wanted it kept low. T for the turn put me in the lead but made the upper straight draw very bad. The river was Q and knocked me out.

Twelve minutes, 22 hands. 3,207th of 4,216 players.

Carbon Poker $200 HORSE Freeroll (1,000 chips)

Got off to a good start here in Hold’em in the third hand with KT against my nemesis (see above) QA. Made a king-high straight on the turn and  collected 350 chips. A few hands later my opponent hit bottom two pair on the flop, I had top pair and made another on the turn. That pot turned into over 1,000 chips.

My chip advantage had melted away by the time the first four hands of Omaha8 were over, though, and by the time we started Razz I was down to 525.

I won small amounts in three hands there but started Stud with only 380 chips and limits at 100/200. There was a completion (A showing)  and a call (K) ahead of me, I had J8 down and 8 showing. Two of the other jacks were showing. J called after me, and four of us made it to fourth street. Showing there was J6, A2, K6, and 82 for me. The ace bet 100, the king called, I raised to 200, the other jack called, then the ace raised to 300. The king folded, I put in my last 70 chips, and the other jack called. The ace picked up 2 on fifth street, I got 3, and the jack got 7. The ace’s bet of 200 blew off the jack and we were heads up for the main pot. The final showdown was my J88232A against T4A2297 and my two pair was good for a pot of 1,415 chips.

A few hands later I was all-in with two pair on sixth street, up against a better two pair and an ace-high straight that got there on seventh street.

Twenty-three minutes, 39 hands. 2,277th of 2,911 players.

The Final Table $1,000 Guarantee, +$200 First Place (6,000 chips)

Re-buys are just so seductively attractive. I know I shouldn’t do them. Yet here I was at another Final Table tournament, re-buying and adding on even though it would likely be unprofitable unless I won third place or better.

 Two hours and forty-five minutes. -100% ROI. 21st of 45 entries.

The Final Table Omaha 8 (5,000 chips)

Bought into this after I’d busted out of the $1K and chipped up nicely enough before the break with a couple of sneaky straights that I didn’t bother to add on. That was probably just as well, since I busted halfway through the first level after the break.

Thirty minutes. -100% ROI. 26th of 28 entries.

The Final Table $1,000 Guarantee No Rebuy (6,000 chips)

Got all-in in the first round with the worst of three hands. I wasn’t the only KO. Took me longer to drive there than I played, and I was driving fast. The less said the better.

Five minutes. -100% ROI. Somewhere in the twenties, but they were still signing up players.

Encore Club 2-7 Triple Draw (5,000 chips)

I headed to Encore intending to (try to) get the bitter taste of defeat out of my mouth by getting in their $1K guarantee game, but manager S inveigled me into the Tuesday mixed game which was supposed to have started at 7 but was waiting for someone else to sign up forty-five minutes later. I’m a sucker, I admit it. With six players there was no chance of making a decent ROI, but how often do you get the chance to play 2-7 in Portland?

I sat down to the table with S, J—a player I’d mentioned in my write-up of the $10K I won at Encore, and L, both of latter of whom appeared to be at least semi-pros. There were a couple of other guys at at the table as well. Things got off to a bit of a rocky start with the guy on my immediate left who seemed to be getting increasingly upset over trivial matters and ended up storming off to demand his money back after just a few minutes.

I did reasonably well in the early stages of the game and managed to outlast two of the players , but bubbled after just about two hours. L had built up a big stack and even through I managed to decent qualifying hands while she was drawing against me, she managed to get there and eventually busted me. I sat and talked to J as they played it out about playing the WSOP Circuit at The Bike in LA next month and the advantages of the Venetian Deep Stack I vs. the LAPC in early February. We’ll have to see how things go, if I get lucky maybe his comments will be relevant. (J eventually won).

Two hours. -100% ROI. Third of five players.

Encore Club $500 Guarantee (5,000 chips)

This was another one of those games where you sort of want to snark at the people giving you poker “advice” that the need to give such advice is a result of a deep sexual insecurity. I drew out on the player to my immediate right twice in quick succession. A hyperactive guy on the far end of the table was predicting doom and gloom on my head. L (see above) was seated at the same table and we were pretty friendly, I thought. She was picking up chips (including some from me). Eventually I shoved with 48 on a double-spaded board and a pair of fours with a player ahead of me all-in for considerably less. L called from position and opened up with A6. I was good until the river when my second pair (8) gave L a straight. SH—a regular Encore player—on my left started muttering about how people were “flush-happy”. I pointed out that I had a pair on the flop and straight draw potential—even a back-door straight flush—but that didn’t make him happy and there was general carping all around. Ah, well. I re-bought and continued on.

I had to suppress my laughter when, on the last hand before the break, SH shoved everything in from the button and L called him from the BB with a much larger stack. Even if she hadn’t flipped over AxAx, the fact that SH put his stack at risk for the blinds with Ax4x after complaining about my flush draw call was ludicrous. A4o is at best a 3:2 hand against any two cards between 5x and Kx. It’s a 1:2 dog against any pair other than treys or deuces.

85 minutes. -100% ROI. 29th of 34 players.

Foxwoods Before the Storm

On a business trip to Boston and I had a day to kill before Hurricane Irene hit New England. So I decided to head down to Foxwoods in Connecticut, which is running deep stack tournaments at 6pm every night. The WPT Poker Room at Foxwoods is advertised as the largest poker room on the East Coast, so I figured it could be a bit of an eye-opener for me, having played poker in a small tribal casino as my first casino experience just a few weeks back and the only other casino I’d been in being Spirit Mountain.

I got to Foxwoods with some time to kill before the tournament and went downstairs to where the cash action is. Lots and lots of cash action. There was a short wait for a seat at a $1/$2 No Limit Hold’em  table; I got my WPT Poker Room card and some chips.

The games at Foxwoods were definitely not as soft as Spirit Mountain. I managed to lose my first stack with a made straight on the flop hoping that nobody had already made the bigger straight draw. Got it all back when I doubled my stack holding 5x5x with KxKx on the board and the big stack thought I was completely bluffing. Then I managed to lose the whole thing, with my last hand being A7. The board gave me a pair of aces and wheel draw but Kx2x actually made the wheel. I went to get a late lunch.

When I was ready to face the music again, I happened into the start of a $1/$2 Pot LImit Omaha Hi-Lo game and signed up. This session went incredibly well. A three-card run in one hand turned into a straight that won me a double-up, and I caught another couple big hands, nearly quadrupling my buy-in. I actually threw down a hand with both Broadway and wheel draws after a turn bet from across the table that would have cost me about two-thirds of the profit (above the buy-in and the two stacks I’d lost in Hold’em) because I figured I needed to slow down for a second. As it turned out, the wheel came through and I probably could have added another couple stacks because I would have scooped the pot and both the other players were nearly all-in.

Success is fleeting, however. The tournament, a $15,000 guarantee with about 140 players didn’t last very long for me. I could only console myself with the fact that I wasn’t the first person out of the game. It was off to my hotel to get some sleep after that.

Back out to Foxwoods for the morning turbo. Took a bit of a hit after an OK start, but made it to the second table out of 50 entrants. Picked up AxKx in the big blind. After a big raise from a mid-position player and an all-in from button, if I got lucky, I might triple my stack. The raiser was largest stack, both were bigger than me. I called all-in, and the big stack called. The big stack also had AxKx, the button held AxAx which held up, taking me out in 15th. First place paid $917.

The morning bounty tournament was still in the first level, so I bought in there. I plugged along with about the starting stack as the average chip level went up, then took a hit that put a mark on my stack. By the time the blinds were up to 500/1000/150 I was down to about 7bb. I shoved with AQ and got called by someone who could afford the chips to race with TxTx (who I’d knocked out of the turbo game earlier). I placed 14th of 42. The prize pool was $5,149, with $1,803 going to first and just six players paid.

I’d lasted long enough that the early afternoon turbo was beyond it’s buy-in, so I got lunch and some goodies for friends back home, dragged things back to the car, then stepped downstairs to the cash games again.

I haven’t ever played much 7-Card Stud. My advice is, do not make your first live experience against a bunch of geezers at someplace like Foxwoods in a Fixed Limit $1/$5 game. I made a couple of blunders that marked me as a neophyte in the first couple of hands. Seriously, people were laughing. I managed to get a little bit of respect (and some chips) back with a sneaky move and a flush, but mostly the stack went down and down. The slower speed of the game did kill some time, though. I killed some more watching people play Sic Bo.

Finally, the $20,000 guarantee tournament. Our table started out laughably short-handed with just four players despite being set up for ten. People started to filter in as time went on. I pulled an iron out of the fire on one hand when a short-stacked player who had announced she was “on tilt” and I both seemed to have paired a Kx on the flop. Hers was presumably better than my KxTx until the river when I called her all-in as the Tx hit. My turn came later, when AxJx and an Ax on the board ran into a set of 3x with two of them on the board after the turn. That knocked me down to about a quarter of the starting stack and I was out relatively soon, in 98th place of 140. The prize pool was more than $27,000, with fourteen places paid and more than $7,700 to first place.

Back to Portland.