Another Round

Carbon Poker Super Bowl Pick-the-Winner $5,000 Freeroll

All you had to do to get an entry into this freeroll was to pick the winner of the Super Bowl, and since I know nothing about sports I figured I had a 50/50 chance of getting a ticket. The early buzz I’d heard had the Giants as the underdogs, so I picked them, figuring that the field might be smaller if more folks were choosing the likely winner. And New York won, so I got my ticket.

Amazingly enough, for a freeroll with a $1,300 first prize, the game wasn’t even half full. The four-times-daily $200 freerolls on Merge have fields of 5,000—even the HORSE tournament gets more than 2,000 every day—but this event was capped at 2,000 and only had 712 entries. Either it wasn’t advertised very well (although I saw it) or everybody picked the Patriots.

This game followed a typical trajectory for me: a zoom to the top, followed by a crashing defeat.

My first success (A on the graphic) came just five hands in, with the hand known here in Portland as “The Butcher”: TQ (not specifically those two cards, but any QT combo). I was in CO and raised to 50 after one limper. The BB and limper came along. The 94J flop gave me the open-ended straight draw, and after a bet of 160 from the limper I just called in position. BB folded. The 8 turn card made my nut straight. The limper bet into it for 480 and I shoved for 1,760, which he called leaving only 30 behind. He was drawing dead, with JK for just top pair. If he’d been suited in hearts, I would have been gone with the A on the river, but instead I picked up a pot of 4,000 chips, double the starting stack. I was tournament chip leader.

Two hands later as UTG3 (B), I snagged TT. UTG 2 raised to 70, I re-raised to 220. BTN called, the blinds folded, UTG2 shoved. Both UTG2 and BTN were below the starting stack value; if I lost with my pocket pair I’d just be at starting stack again. I went all-in and BTN was all-in, showing 9J. UTG2 had two overs to my pair: AQ, and was statistically slightly favored over me (41% v 38%) with the third player involved (who had a 21% chance). The flop was mercifully low: 574. Another 7 broke the possibility of a backdoor diamond flush, then a 3 on the river solidified my knockout of both players. At 7,680 chips, I was the tournament leader on hand seven.

It only lasted a short time. On hand 15 (C) I had KJ in HJ. Action folded to me, I raised to 75, CO re-raised to 240, the blinds got out of the way, and I called. The flop was perfect: 4KJ. I was ahead of aces. I checked to see how much he’d commit and he bet 393. I shoved way over the top for 7,710 and he called off the rest of his stack for a total of 2,210, showing that he did indeed have AA. I was 69% good. Until the A on the turn, of course. Then I was drawing dead. Still, I was in the top chip stacks in the tournament, with 5,500, nearly three times the start, just ten minutes in.

I lost a little ground for a while after that setback, going as low as 3,650 chips over the next thirty-five hands. Then I got 97 in UTG1 (D) and raised to 120. HJ called me and we were heads-up at the flop. 9T3 gave me middle pair and I bet 250, getting a call. 8 turn set me up for another straight draw and I bet 600 into the 830 pot. HJ shoved for 2,551. I really didn’t think he’d hit the board; I risked all but 1,300 chips to make the call and see his 55. He was drawing pretty thin. The river was 6, which actually made my straight, unnecessary as it was. I was back in contention, although not in the uppermost chip ranks.

Another fifty hands went by before I made another jump (E). It came in a series of three hands about an hour and fifteen minutes into the game. Blinds were 100/200, I was UTG1 with 57 and limped after a fold from UTG. HJ limped, but BTN pushed all-in for 1,880. The blinds folded. I had both the all-in and the other limper covered by about 4,000 chips. I didn’t figure the limper would enter the action after me, so I called. The limper folded and I was heads-up against JA. Isn’t the Mutant jack my hand? It appeared as if it was, because right away there was a flush draw on the board with 92T; I was actually slightly ahead. K for the turn gave him the Broadway draw and flipped the odds back to 65%/34% in his favor. Then I hit the second-to-the-least pair with 7 on the river and made another knockout.

A player who’d joined the table twenty hands earlier with under 1,500 chips had been hanging on despite the 100/200 blinds by going all-in. I hadn’t felt able to call, even when I’d raised pre-flop. Just after beating the Mutant Jack, I was SB with JT and finally called his all-in of 930. Another limper who was the only stack larger than me at the table called. The flop was QT9 giving me the open-ended straight draw and second pair. UTG2 and I both checked to the 9 turn and 6 river. UTG2 missed the flush with A8 and the best hand was the short stack’s QK. I’d come to regret not having called to see if I could have knocked that stack out earlier.

The next hand proved lucrative, however. On BTN with 6A and just over 8,000 chips, I limped in after the big stack (10,500+ in UTG1) and BB. I made middle pair on the 746 flop and after it was checked around to me, I shoved. He called with the nut flush draw Ax3x but two spades showed up on the turn and river, so I doubled up to over 16,770 and was back in the top stacks in the tournament. Two pair with The Butcher on the next hand knocked out another player put me up to 19,000 chips, then I picked another 500 off the guy who’d doubled me up, leaving him with just over 2,000 chips. My attempt to take him out a few hands later would double him up when KJ missed against his 88.

I managed to climb (with ups and downs of 2,000 to 3,000 chips) to 22,600 before I hit a big snag (F). Both the stacks I’d doubled up above had managed to climb up to 11,000+ chips. The first-mentioned (who’d joined the table with 1,500 chips) shoved from UTG1 and I called him from UTG2. A short stack in CO called all-in, and it was AK (short stack) v 88 (doubled-up stack) v QJ (me). The board almost ran out a straight with 36742 that would have been topped with one of the eights. That loss just about cut me in half, and put the former short stack over 25,000.

I got back into the top thirty spots about 15 hands later with AJ on the button (G). Blinds were 250/500/50 and HJ shoved for 9,500 after all action folded to him. The stack I’d doubled up between us folded, SB had about 3,500 chips and BB had 15,500. I shoved and they both folded; HJ showed JJ and I was on the wrong end of a 70%/30%  showdown. The A showed up on the flop, though, and my opponent was down to hoping for that last jack to show up, which it didn’t. So I popped back up to where I’d been eight minutes before. A strong bet after I made second-nut flush not long after put me within spitting distance of 30,000 chips (H). That lasted all of two hands (I). I had AQ in UTG2 at 300/600/75. UTG folded. UTG1 was the short stack that had climbed back from under 1,000 to 25,000 now. He limped in and I raised to 2,000, which he was the only player to call. The flop was 926, I had position on him and he went all-in. I’d suspected him of shoving light on a lot of his road to recovery, so I followed along for all but 3,000 of my chips. Then he flipped over 9T and I had just a 22% chance of not being crippled. The 9 showed on the turn and I was doomed. He had 52,000 chips and the tournament lead. I didn’t last long after that (J), ending up seventy places out of the money after going all-in with TK. QA won that hand.

The tournament went on for another three hours. Both the small stack who’d risen to 50,000 and the player I’d knocked down to 2,000 with a double-up made the final table.

Two hours, 183 hands. 98th of 712 players.

Encore Club $10,000 Guarantee

I’ve really got to try to come up with some better way of recording what’s going on in live games. I don’t know if it was the lesson taught to me by the loss of the lead in the noon online game or what, but I somehow managed to once again make it to the end of a $10K at Encore. What I do remember is that one player—who looked sort of like a drunk Nathan Lane—kept shoving over my raises and that eventually, once we were at the point where the payouts were over $1,000, I called him with Qx8x. He showed Ax4x but I hit the queen on the flop and sucked a couple hundred thousand in chips into my stack (the picture below is about 250,000).

He had a friend with him who kept trying to help stack his chips for him and who he kept kicking. I was tempted to ask that only players and staff be seated at the table, but I held my tongue. Around 3:30am, everyone was still within a range of a 200,000 chips, the blinds were 8,000/16,000/3,000 and a chop for a little over $2,400 each was proposed and accepted. And once again, I forgot to take a picture of the screen.

It’s off to The Palazzo for a couple days of the 2012 Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza I for me. I’ll be posting Twitter updates @pokermutant.

Here’s the official screen capture of the end of the tournament.

Eight-and-a-half hours. +465% ROI. Four-way chop with 69 entries.

Cusp

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

I called UTG with 93 and got a flop of JQA. BB and I checked it through the 5 turn and A river and split the pot with his 94. Won a couple more hands with just bets holding king-high. No pots of any real size happened in Hold’em, the biggest was 250 when my pocket nines won.

I won a big hand at the beginning of Omaha Hi-Lo, then got rocked back down to 600 chips. I was down to under 400 when I played 684J from UTG1 and caught the full house on the 664 flop. Q hit on the turn and I bet into it but Q on the river slowed me down a bit with four players going to showdown. I picked up a pot of 630.

Lost big with a flopped full house on the next hand when my deuces full of nines were beat on the turn by deuces full of aces, exactly the type of situation I’d been concerned about in previously. The river 5 actually gave me two beaten full houses because I had a five, as well.

I was down to 277 chips but still active with 4J23 in the BB. A player was all-in for  60 and there was a call ahead of me. The flop was 285, I bet , the other caller folded, and the all-in player flipped A65J. I had a nearly 50% chance of scooping the pot, and I did when the 6 came on the river. Not exactly a big win, though.

Razz was my downfall. I ended up mostly all-in with 64A67 but got high cards on sixth and seventh streets. A deuce would have tied me with the winner, but he had two of them.

Seventeen minutes, 33 hands. 2,476th of 2,546 entries.

The Final Table $1,000 Guarantee, +$200 First Place

Really can’t remember this one. It was the last of the +$200 for first place games I could make in the year, I re-bought but didn’t add on because I had a bunch of chips, then I busted out not long after the break.

Ninety minutes. -100% ROI. 40th of 43 players.

The Final Table Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

Got into the PLO8 game a little late but did reasonably well, including my usual variant stack. Made it to the final table and got into a couple of hands with C, winning one big pot but eventually losing it all well before the money.

Two hours and forty minutes. -100% ROI. 9th of 27 players.

Oak Tree Casino Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

I’d had reasonable results at Foxwoods playing Omaha Hi-Lo, and I figured if I could do well there, I should be able to do okay at the new Oak Tree Casino in Woodland. I wasn’t disappointed. Sitting in the game for an hour I picked up a tidy profit and moved on to my next task for the day.

One hour. +29 big blinds.

2011/12 Puffmammy Event #13

Action was tough and I did not last long beyond the re-buy period end, but I did manage to snag one of the bounties, the only player not in the money to do so.

Ninety minutes. -67% ROI. 8th of 9 players.

Oak Tree Casino Limit Hold’em

There were seven names on the board for Omaha, but they weren’t opening up a table. Finally, I sat down at a Hold’em table and proceeded to prove to myself how much more I like tournament Hold’em over cash games.

Two hours. -33 big blinds.

Encore Club Pot Limit Omaha

Really, I shouldn’t have even been playing this tournament. My plan was to check in on the size and head to Oak Tree if it was small (which it was) or at the very least wait until the $1,000 guarantee game at 8pm. My failing for playing games I don’t get to play often took hold, though, so I signed up and ended up being the first man permanently out (after a rebuy).

 

Forty-five minutes. -100% ROI. 8th of 8 players.

Encore Club $1,000 Guarantee

Was doing pretty well then made an extremely bad call with the bottom end of four cards to eight-high straight on the board. My opponent had nines, of course, and I lost 80% of my stack. Eventually, I called an all-in with AQ and the guy I’d called said “Good luck, sir” before flipping his AxKx, then conceitedly told the rest of the table at length as I walked away that the ace-queen was the “parking lot hand.” I didn’t bother to tell him that he was—even with his dominating hand—only 7:3 against. I knew my chances.

Oak Tree Casino Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

Wandered back up to Woodland to see if I could recoup some of the day’s losses. At first, it looked like I’d just be adding to them—at one point I was down to only about 40% of my original buy-in—but I got back in the game and started pulling in pots, particularly from one player who I think thought he’d had me pegged as a fish in the beginning. I may be a fish, but some of us have small, sharp teeth.

Two hours. +37 big blinds.

Carbon Poker $200 HORSE Freeroll

Things started off on the wrong foot when Carbon’s client didn’t respond to my click for a call fromUTG with 5Q and sat me out. I would have made top and bottom pair on the flop and beaten the ace-high that won the hand. Made it up a bit on the next hand by hitting Broadway from TJ, then lost my winnings when my two pair was beat by a better two pair.

A river 5 gave a full house to a player in the second hand of Omaha Hi-Lo, knocking me down below half the starting stack. I pulled back a little on the next hand with 23TA, making two pair with the ace and deuce for a chop of the high hand and taking all of the low because I had the trey.

My “garbage hand” 3297 not only gave me the low on the next hand but it made a ten-high straight, beating the eight-high of my opponent. I won parts of the next several pots and by the time we hit Razz, I was back up over 1,200 chips. I won one pot in Razz, but I’d crashed back to 680 chips by the time Stud began.

A set of threes (with one hidden) pushed me back into contention for a bit, but a full house in Stud Hi-Lo brought me down.

Thirty minutes, 40 hands. 1,802nd of 2,955 entries.

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.

Still Alive

Nine years ago on December 12th the Poker Mutant just about died from complications brought about by a broken leg a couple months before, if you can believe that. According to the doctors, he beat the odds then. Now he plays the long shots in poker.

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

Didn’t even make it out of “H”. My KxTx Broadway straight managed to beat trip queens but fell to an ace-high heart flush completed by 68 in the third player’s hand.

Four minutes, seven hands. 2,623rd of 2,626 entries.

Portland Players Club $250 Guarantee (2,000 chips)

Had some success early on, then was the short stack by the time we got to the final table. Some luck kicked in there, though, and I started pulling in chips as the first couple of players fell away. Then I got into a tussle with one of the big stacks and got caught up short.

 Two hours and fifteen minutes. -100% ROI. 7th of 24 players.

puffmammy 2011/12 Event #12 (1,800 chips)

A brutal night on the home turf. Lost my first stack to WA in record time when he pulled out a better kicker on the same set I had, then lost the next stack to him in much the same way only his better set kicker turned into a full house.

Forty minutes. -100% ROI. 7th of 7 players.

Portland Players Club $200 Freeroll (2,000 chips)

I’d been thinking that if the puffmammy game got over soon enough, I’d head over to Deuces for another Win the Button tournament, but we were done before 10 and since I’d already paid my door fee at PPC in the morning (only $5 for the early game) I zoomed over there as fast as I could. I was just before the first break, and CB took my money for both the add-ons, so I sat down with 8,000 chips. I got to the table for just a single hand, which I didn’t play.

Things went fairly well from there. The freerollers who hadn’t done well and hadn’t added-on were getting knocked out. With 8K in chips, I was actually starting off above the chip average and there were a couple of loose players at the table. Play went pretty fast and we made the final table in what seemed like record time. Then again, I hadn’t played the first hour of the tournament.

Eventually it was just me and C—one of the PPC regulars—and we agreed to chop it. I had about a 7:5 lead but we did it evenly, after we’d agreed to reserve a cut for the dealer and paid nominal money to fourth and fifth places, the amount of money wasn’t exactly earth-shattering. But for me it made up for the ugly puffmammy loss.

One hour and forty-five minutes. +340% ROI (even chop of first two prizes). 1st of 21 players.

The Final Table PLO8 (5,000 chips)

I’d been itching for an Omaha tournament for a while and finally headed out to The Final Table for a scratch. Ran into Encore manager SG while I was signing up and mentioned that I liked FT’s receipt system.

The tourney started off incredibly well for me. In the first round there were three post-flop all-ins ahead of me. I had K with a suited kicker and there were two diamonds on the flop, including A. Too much money in the pot not to call. I made the flush on the river and took in a pot of nearly 20,000 chips.

My count went steadily down from there, though, and soon enough, I was forced to re-buy. Then that stack started to dwindle away, and by the first break I was down to about 1,800 chips, dwarfed by the 5,000 chip add-on (if that hadn’t been a single chip). Finally, I started to turn things back around and swiftly built up over the chip average, but all it took to get busted out was a missed straight and flush to knock me out again.

One hour and forty-five minutes. -100% ROI. 22nd of 27 players.

Ace of Spades

Portland Players Club $250 Freeroll (2,000 chips)

My PPC player’s card was full of stamp so I had a free entry into the club for my first live tournament of the month (I played an online HORSE freeroll on Carbon earlier in the morning). Did well at first then ran into a bit of difficulty and busted out well short of the first break. I broke the rebuy rule (again), then caught some wind, with both good cards and some judicious play. I turned my 6,000 rebuy stack into 21,000 by the break, more than twice the chip average, and probably a little above the other stacks at the table.

Solidly into the next level, I was between 30,000 and 40,000 chips when I picked up AxAx and raised from early position, getting several callers. The A showed on the flop, and another player and I were eventually heads-up, with him at risk with a spade flush draw against my made set. The board didn’t pair and he pulled his spade out on the river, which cut me down to about 15,000 as we were getting close to the end of the 400/800 blind level. A short while later, I was trying to double through the same player with an open-ended straight draw against his pair of aces but his pair held (he did lose a hand in-between to someone else when he had A and was drawing to another flush).

I need to go back to my “no rebuy” rule.

Two hours and fifteen minutes. -100% ROI. 11th of 25 players.