The Slice

Cake Poker $25,000 Guaranteed Semi-Final, 20 Seats Guaranteed (2,000 chips)

I decided to play this tournament because it looked as if from the early stats that the overlay would be pretty good for twenty guaranteed seats. I’d intended to use this part of my Cake bankroll to make another run at the Irish Open Semi-Final but the last couple of weeks of March it didn’t look like there would be enough people playing the satellites to actually award a seat in the monthly final. So, go for the money.

My second hand I was on the BB. UTG3 opened with a min-raise to 40. Action folded to me with J4 and I called. The flop was spadey: 7K8. I bet 60, getting a call. Q hit the turn, which wasn’t helpful, but I continued with a 60 bet. UTG3 raised to 120 and I called. My flush came through with a river 6 and I made a pot-sided bet of 450. UTG3 called, showed a pair of queens with JQ and I took in a 680 chip profit.

Ten minutes later I picked up the same amount, this time from SB with A9. Three players limped in and I raised to 50. BB folded but all of the limpers called. 84A on the flop gave me top pair and I bet 200. Only UTG called this time. The turn was 2, and I checked but UTG bet 310. I called. The river card was T. I checked again and this time UTG didn’t try anything. He showed 8K. I was up to about 3,500.

My next hand on the button was QK. CO limped in for 30; I raised to 75. BB called and CO folded. Top pair on the flop again with 38Q. BB checked and I bet an amount almost the size of the pot: 175. BB raised to 448, with only 877 behind. I re-raised to 721 and BB called. It was a 6 on the turn, BB went all-in for his last 604. I called and he showed Q9. The 3 on the river paired the board and gave us both queens and threes but my king gave me the win and a total of more than 4,900 chips.

Things went to hell at the half-hour mark. Action folded around to me in CO at 25/50 holding TT. I raised to 200, was re-raised by B to 650, and both the blinds folded. I called and the flop was Q54. I checked, B bet 800, and I called, thinking B had something like AxKx and was trying to push me off. 4 on the turn and I stepped into it even further, with a 580 bet. B called. The river was A, I checked, B bet 650, and I called, only to see him flip QQ. I lost almost 2,700 chips, taking me down to 1,618.

Fortunately, I was able to recover within less than ten hands. I was in SB with AJ at 50/100. Action folded to the button who went all-in for 3,006, twice as many chips as I had and about half the stack of BB. I called, then so did BB. B had 77, BB held JJ, so I had a chance. I got my ace on the 29A flop, nothing came through for the other players, and I tripled up to 4,629.

My pattern for the next sixty hands was to maintain at about 4,500 or 5,000 chips for 15 hands, get busted down to 2,500 chips for a few hands, double up, and repeat. Not exactly where you want to be when the blinds are running 300/600/50. I finally broke out on a hand where I was CO. I raised to 2,000 holding AA. BB went all-in for 4,010 and I called, with 146 behind. BB flipped JJ. He came one 8x away from getting a straight, but the aces held up and I made it to 8,866.

Three hands later I had a pair of tens again but this tie they didn’t get shot down by queens. BB was all-in with only 137 chips. I had TT in UTG1 and min-raised to 1,200. Everyone folded and I was heads-up with the all-in. The board looked familiar—Q6445—but the BB had 7K and was out. I was pretty solidly in the top 20 by this time.

A walk on my big blind a couple hands later netted me 850 with 26 and put me over 10K just before the second break.

It took about twelve more minutes to get the final elimination. I got down as low as 8K but finished with just over 12K.

132 minutes, 138 hands. Tied for “1st” with 19 out of 86 players.

Cake Poker $25,000 Guaranteed (5,000 chips)

Fifty minutes after the end of the Semi-Final, the real match began. The first half-hour was uneventful, with my stack bumping between 5,000 and 5,500 chips.

Blinds were 25/50 and I was UTG3 with 77. Action folded to me, I raised to 125, B called, and SB raised to 413. I called and B followed along. The flop put two over cards out—JT2—and it got checked all around. The 5 on the turn didn’t change things much. SB checked again, I put out just 100 into a pot of 1,289. B and SB came along. 7 on the river gave me a set and when SB checked again I bet 500. That forced B out but got a call from SB who showed 99. I was up to 6,851.

I was the only caller on the next hand, holding JT heads-up against BB. The 8K9 flop gave me an open-ended straight draw, so I bet 200, which bought me the pot.

In UTG1 on the next hand I had an unimpressive 44. I limped in, UTG2 raised to 400, UTG3, B, and I called. The four of us saw a 824 flop. I bet 500, UTG3 was the only caller. An A turned over next, I bet 1,000 and UTG3 followed along. 9 for the river. I checked, wanting to see if he’d bet out more but he checked as well, then showed KK. That put me up over 9,800.

On my next BB, I had the Q7 “internet hand.” There were two limpers, I checked, and the flop was 59Q. I bet 200 on my top pair, UTG2 called, and HJ folded. The turn was 3 and I bet another 200 and got another call. I felt fairly secure with the river 6 and bet 101 to leave an even 9,000 behind. UTG2 raised all-in for 2,889 and I called. He only had a TJ and my queens were good enough to bring me up to 13,140.

I promptly lost 2,400 on the next hand with 9A. I had top pair on the AT7 flop but BB picked up two pair with T7.  6 on the turn gave me a flush draw but it didn’t come through.

I spent the next fifty minutes ranging a couple thousand chips on either side of the 10K mark. I was down to my lowest point just under 8,300 when I got fours on the button at 150/300: 44. UTG1 raised to 600, action folded to me and I made a big raise to 2,000. That pushed the blinds out. UTG1 went all-in for 9,862, and my all-in call was about 1K less. He turned over AK. The board was Q8Q33, and I doubled up to just over 17K. This briefly put me in the top six.

Over ten minutes I slid down to 12K, then popped back up to about 17K with an A7. I was at about 16,500 at the end of the second hour.

Just after coming back from the break, I thought I was in pretty good shape when I got KK in UTG. Blinds were 200/400/40, and I opened with a raise to 1,000. I got calls from UTG4, HJ, B, and BB. The flop was 89T and I bet 2,000 after BB checked. That got a call from UTG4, HJ folded, then B went all-in for 19,171, about 6K more than I had. BB folded, I called, UTG4 folded, and B showed 99 for a flopped set. Q showed on the turn, making Jx good for me as well as Kx but the last card was 7. Could I have raised enough to keep the nines from playing the hand? Could I have been smart enough to have folded the kings after the all-in raise? Maybe next time.

124 minutes, 117 hands. 67th place out of 159 (30 places paid).

Good Thing There’s Bounties

Full Tilt $20,000 Rush Guarantee (1,500 chips)

Just five minutes in and I make top pair from the SB holding JQ on a safe-looking J32 flop after four of us have limped in. I bet out 100 as first to act, getting two callers. 6 for a turn and I bet out 300 more, again two calls. 2 is the river and I check, BB checks, UTG2 puts both of the blinds all-in to call, and I do. He’s been holding a set with 33 in the pocket from the flop.

Out 622 of 714.

Full Tilt $9,000 KO Guarantee (2,000 chips)

A big one that got away from me. I had quite a setback on my 12th hand, holding QT on the button at 25/50. There was a raise and a call to 175 ahead of me and I probably should have ejected, but I saw the flop of A3Q and decided to play it. UTG1 bet 250, UTG2 wisely got out, I called, and 4 appeared on the turn. Another 250 from UTG1 and myself, 5 at the river and I called his last 250 bet before he turned over 6A. That knocked me down to 735.

I’d dropped to just 435 ten hands later after some other action and JT came into my hand. UTG called the blind of 60, UTG1 raised to 120, UTG2 called, I (UTG3) decided to make a move and made my tiny shove. That got called by UTG, UTG1, and UTG2. My role in the hand was over as I watched the flop roll out 388. UTG1 went all-in and drove the other two players out, then showed AQ, so any chance of a flush I had was shot; I needed a pair. J showed up on the turn and an inoffensive 5 was the river. I bounced back to 1,830.

AT on the next hand. We’d lost a the guy who’d played the previous hand with me to re-shuffling and I was UTG1. I open-min-raised to 160, getting four callers. The flop was 379, probably making someone happy but the blinds just checked and I bet 200 to open. Only the big blind dropped out. K on the turn was interesting and I opened with another 200, inducing everyone to fold and making me an easy 1,245 profit, which put me just over 3,000.

Nothing much happened for twenty minutes. I’d drifted down to 2,250 chips when 77 came into my hand. It’s not my favorite pair of cards but I was at less than 19BB and the Andy Bloch “Tournament Checklist” is all about going all-in with the small pairs when you’re getting short-stacked. Did I listen? No, I raised to 300 and there were three callers. The flop was 322. Checks from the blinds and this was where I shipped it, for 1,950. SB called, BB raised all-in to 2,750, then SB called that. SB had A4 for a one-ended wheel draw, BB had us seriously in trouble with 52 and a set. 8 shoed for the turn, giving me a chance for a backdoor flush, and the river A completed it. I took in 7K (but significantly did not learn me lesson about shipping with small pairs, something that comes back to bite me later).

The last significant hand was my final one, forty minutes later. I still had only 6,675. Blinds were 120/240/25 and I was BB. Picked up AQ. UTG3 goes all-in for 8,374 and I call. He’s got KQ, so I’m good unless he catches diamonds or a Kx. The flop is 93J and anything else is irrelevant. Could have gone the other way but it didn’t.

98 minutes, 87 hands. 1 bounty collected. ROU: -85%. Finished 829 of 3,687 players.

Full Tilt $20,000 Rush Guarantee (1,500 chips)

Another one-minute wonder. Called the 120 min-raise of UTG3 from BB on the second hand, flop was 972; I bet 120, he raised to 660; I three-bet to 1,200; he called. J on the turn; I’ve got 180 chips, an inside straight draw, and an ace. Might as well. He calls with the AJ. 9 for the river. I’m sort on my flush and short on my straight and out of the game.

One minute. Two hands. 1,013th of 1,196 players.

Full Tilt $36,000 Rush Guarantee Rebuy (1,500 chips)

Six minutes in with most of my starting stack I get 77 again, this time in late position on the button. Two players limp in. I raise to 300, ten times the big blind. BB and UTG2 call. The flop shows up with 6QT and everyone checks. Another 6 on the turn. UTG2 opens with 340 and I call. BB has the sense to bail. Another over card on the river. K and UTG2 bets 810 to put me all-in if I call. I bail.

That whittled me down considerably. I’m at 660 13 minutes into the game when I get QQ. UTG raises the big bet three times to 120. I re-raise to 280 but should probably be all-in here. SB calls, BB is all-in for 1,245. UTG calls, SB raises all-in to 1,560. UTG calls. Three all=ins. Here’s the cards. SB 88, BB AK, UTG: JA. I was a 43% winner so far. The flop’s fine: 569. It put a lot of diamonds on the board for BB, as well as a straight possibility for SB. The 4 for the turn didn’t change anything, my win percentage was up to 57%. The 7 on the river completed the straight, though. Maybe an all-in pre-flop would have induced the eights to fold.

14 minutes, 37 hands. 683rd of 1,324.

Cake Poker Series 2011 Super Satellite (1,500 chips)

Nothing to say about this. I was stuck just below the starting stack size twenty-odd minutes in, got priced in with TA and shoved, with J9 and KQ calling—altogether we made a long straight—and the hearts won out.

24 minutes, 17 hands. 8th of 16.

Full Tilt 90-Player KO Sit & Go (3,000 chips)

No movement for twenty-five minutes here, I was in CO at 3,270 with the blinds up to 60/120 when everyone ahead of me folded. I held 98 and min-raised to 240. Button and BB called. The flop just gave me bottom pair: JA9. BB checked and I bet 180. B called, and BB was gone. The turn was 2, giving me an ugly flush draw. I checked and B bet 600. Calling left me 2,250 behind. A tantalizing A hit the river. I bet 1,000, concerned about pocket jacks making a full house. B must have thought he had it but he was far behind with JQ. That picked me up 2,300.

QQ made me the next jump a dozen minutes later. UTG3 raised to 540 at the 120/240/25 level. I was on the button and re-raised to 2,500, about half my stack. The blinds folded and UTG3 four-bet all-in to 3,540. I called with 1,740 behind and he showed JJ. The flop went my way with 6KQ, and he was out. I was at 9,450. First bounty.

I caught one of the mid-sized stacks trying to pull something three hands later. I limped for 240 in after UTG called, CO called and SB as in. The flop was 63T and everyone checked. J hit on the turn. SB bet 480, BB and UTG folded, I called and CO was out. The river was 4 and SB checked. Worried about a flush, I checked too, but SB had 8J, so I had the best of it and was just short of 11,000.

Just eight hands later I was UTG2 at 200/400/50. I open-raised to 800 with QT and the only caller was SB. Got a pair in the T6J flop. SB bet 1,200 and I called. A turn 9 gave me second pair and a straight draw. SB bet another 1,600 and I called again. I made trips on the river with T and when SB checked I shoved all-in. Amazingly enough, he called with 44. That put me over 18K and made a second bounty.

The end was fast and violent just five hands later. I was UTG with 17,790, holding 77. Blinds were at 250/500/50 and I opened with a raise to 1,250. A slightly smaller stack in UTG1 was the only caller, so that was good. The flop was a promising 528 and I bet another 1,250 but I probably should have gone bigger. UTG1 called. The A on the turn pretty much shut things down as far as I was concerned. Flush draw and an ace on board? I checked and then folded after UTG1 bet 6,150. That took me down 2,550.

Next hand, I was in the big blind with just 24. There was a raise and call to 1,000 and I decided to see if my low cards would hit anything, with pot odds of 6.3:1. The flop was T6T, when the initial raiser bet 3,650 I got out of there pronto.

Still, I had 14,190 in the small blind. Suited connectors: 98. That looked good. The only player into the pot ahead of me was UTG1, who’d min-raised to 1,000. I called. The flop gave me a dangerous pair: 8AA. I bet 750 and got called by UTG1. The A showed on the turn and I had a full house. Did he have the other ace? I bet 1,000 and he smooth-called. 3 on the turn didn’t change anything. He needed the fourth ace or a pocket pair better than eight to beat me. He bet 7,500, I called, and of course he had AJ. I was down under 4,000.

The last hand for me was at 300/600/75.  I had KQ in UTG1 and went all-in for 4,815. What’s Andy Bloch say? Fewer than 10 big blinds? Check. Open-raise with KxQx? Check. UTG2 called, everyone else dropped out and I was up agains the Mutant Jack: AJ. The board was tantalizing with 2T898 but I didn’t make the straight or the flush and I was someone else’s bounty.

66 minutes, 77 hands. 2 bounties, no prize, ROI of -70%.

Cake Poker Internazionale 6-Max (20BB)

66 on the third hand in CO. Open-raised to 3BB, called by SB. Flop was 8Q8 and we both checked to the turn 7. SB bet 4BB and I called. 7 river card counterfeited my pair and I was playing the board. Another 4BB bet from the SB and I folded.

88 a little later in HJ and UTG raised to 3BB. I re-raised to 7BB and everyone folded. I was still stuck 6BB.

Down to 7.5BB fifteen minutes in and picked up A6 in the CO. UTG raised to 2BB, I called and B did as well. Flopped well with A86, HJ and I checked, B put out a bet of 7BB. That was the end of it for HJ but I called all-in for less than the bet. He flipped 98 and the race was on. No diamonds on the turn or river—Q5—and my two pair held up. Just down by 2BB now.

I was on the BB with 78. Min-raise from HJ and a call from CO. I went along and got bottom pair in the Q7J flop. I opened with a bet of 2BB, HJ raised to 5BB and I called for some reason. A on the turn and it didn’t take the 3BB bet from HJ to get me out of there. Back down to 12BB.

In HJ with K4. Min-raised with a call from CO and re-raise to 6BB from B. I’m the only caller. The flop is 56T. I check and B shoves his entire stack of 185BB into the ring. I call for some reason and he shows QQ. T makes the turn and my hopes for a backdoor flush are gone. The river J ends this session.

Full Tilt $9,000 KO Guarantee (2,000 chips)

Started off with a bang eight minutes into the game with KJ on the button. UTG1 limped in and HJ min-raised to 80. I re-raised to 140, getting calls from SB, UTG1, and HJ. The flop was 55A, SB checked, UTG1 bet 400. There was a fold from HJ and I re-raised to 800. SB folded, UTG1 re-raised to 1,675, and I made a dangerous call that left me with 80 chips. He had a set with 57. The 4 on the turn looked grim, then a safe 8 made the river and I doubled up plus I got a bounty.

A similar hand on the button ten minutes later got me into trouble. Three limps were ahead of me with KT. I raised to 250, which got a call from SB and a re-raise to 450 from BB. UTG3 called, I called, SB called. The flop was AQ7. SB checked and BB bet 1,410 all-in. UTG3 fled the scene, I called, and SB folded. BB was way ahead and had me dominated with with AT but a Jx could put me on top. Didn’t happen, though, and I lost 1,860 chips.

The blinds were 30/60 a little later, I was still around 2,500 chips and got 97 in UTG2. UTG raised to 120, I called, and BB was in. The flop of JTQ gave me flush and open-ended straight draws. BB checked, UTG went all-in for 1,205, I called rather than go over the top, because BB had me by 1K. BB folded anyway and I was heads-up against two pair: TQ. K for the turn gave me my straight but opened up the flush for him. The river was 6 and I took another bounty, as well as 1,475 chips, which put me up to 3,995.

Speculating on some unsuited ace hands cost me over the next quarter-hour, so I was down to 3,115 when I got KK as UTG. I min-raised to 160, getting four callers. The flop was 965. SB opened with a 240 bet that got BB to fold. I raised to 1,500, enough to put SB almost all-in but not necessarily scary for the others. They both folded, though, then SB pushed for 1,680. I paid the extra 180 and he showed a gutshot straight and an ace: A7. He got his ace on the turn with A but that gave me four to a flush, which came in the shape of a 9. Up to 5,435 and another bounty.

On the 60/120 big blind with A9. B raises all-in to 683. SB calls. I call. The flop gives me top two pair: A92. Right now I’m beating AxKx. SB checks and I go all-in for 5,142. SB folds, B has QA, and the rest of the hand is irrelevant. I have almost 7,200 chips and another bounty.

Took a big hit on the big blind again at 100/200. Q9 in my hand; not one of my favorites. Action folded to the button, who raised to 700. I called and we were heads-up. The flop looked pretty good—7J7—and I opened with 750. B went all-in for 2,670 and I called. An 8 showed on the turn but the queen-high straight was going to be harder and pointless with TT in B’s hand. The last card missed me: 5 and I was down to about 4K again.

I made a couple of attempts over the next ten minutes but nothing panned out. Finally, I got 44 in UTG3. Action folded to me, I followed Bloch’s instruction on what to do when you’re under 15 blinds and open-raised all-in with the low pair. Everyone but the BB folded. He showed TT. The board ran out 82343 and I came an Ax or a 6x away from a straight, but I was bounty-bait. The other part of the goal on Bloch’s “Tournament Checklist” is to win with that move.

105 minutes, 100 hands. 3,831 players and I made 939th. Four bounties and ROI -39%.

Full Tilt $20,000 Rush Guarantee (1,500 chips)

Just nine hands and nothing of note here. I was down about 300 from a KQ play. My last hand was 88. I raised all-in after a single limp at 30/60 for 1,230. The button isolated me by going all-in for more than 4K., showing KK. By the turn I had a little bit of hope with 6JT9 showing but a queen would give a straight to the kings. Instead, he got trips with a river K.

Four minutes. 1,385 players, finished in 617th.

Full Tilt 90-Player Sit & Go (3,000 chips)

Surprised I lasted as long as I did in this game. I was steadily downhill and under the starting stack for forty minutes until a Mutant Jack rescued me. Got AJ in the big blind at 60/120 holding 1,845 chips. UTG called and everyone else folded. I raised to 725. He three-bet to 1,330 and I shoved for 1,845, getting a call. Naturally, he was pleased, he had AA and I looked like a goner. The 455 flop gave me some life, though. I hung in suspended animation through the 8 turn, then T came on the river and I doubled up, leaving UTG with a little more than 3BB.

Got my own comeuppance in short order four hands later when I had KK as HJ. Blinds were up to 80/160 and UTG min-raised. I re-raised to 995. UTG and I were heads-up after some folds, and he went all-in for 3,010. I called with 985 behind and he showed TT. The first card out was T, with 37 making another nice flush draw for me, but it was JJ on the last two streets and I wasn’t the one with a full house.

I managed to build back up to about 1,800 but the blinds were getting big and I was down to 1,240 at 200/400/50 when I tried to make 8K work for me. UTG raised all-in to 800, UTG1 and SB called, and I re-raised all-in. UTG1 called with more than 11.5K left, SB called holding another 27.5K. The board was Q6797 with the big stacks checking it down to the river. Nobody had much of anything 9A for BB, AT for UTG, but SB had a TQ and the queen pair was good enough to take it.

63 minutes, 57 hands, one bounty. 32nd place of 90 players. ROI -85%.

Return to Rush

Full Tilt $10,000 Rush Guarantee (1,500 chips)

I thought this tournament went pretty well except for a couple of mistakes on my part, one of which ended up with me being very lucky and the other of which knocked me out short of the money.

It took about twenty-five hands—some of which were far better starters—but fifteen minutes into the game I doubled up with 9Q. There were four to the flop on a min-raise of 80 and I was third to act. I made top pair with the QT4 flop and bet 100 after action checked to me. Only the big blind stayed in. He checked when the turn 4 made a pair on the board, then raised to 360 after my bet of 100. I called and the 7 came on the turn. He went all-in for 2,240 on a pot of 1,260. I only had 1,045 more but thought I had him with the queens. Mutant Jack: AJ. No good and I took the pot of 3,350, picking up another 660 on the next hand with TJ.

Three minutes and eleven hands later I have AK in the hijack. I raise one limper from 50 to 125. The cutoff re-raises to 410 and everyone ahead of me folds. I call. The flop is an unforgiving J52; I check and so does the cutoff. An A shows up for me on the turn and I check it, getting a check behind. 5 on the river. Aces over fives with king kicker for me. It’s possible he has a five but that 410 pre-flop was awfully strong for a five. I go all-in—I’ve got him covered by more than 1,700—and he calls: TJ. I’m up to 5,130.

Seven minutes, twenty hands: KK. Blinds are still only 30/60. I raise to 180 from UTG+3. Hijack is the only caller. The flop is 7J3 and I bet 200, getting a call. T on the turn, 300 bet, 300 call. T makes a pair on the board on the river but there’s no flush. I check and the cutoff goes all-in for 1,640. I’ve got it covered by 3,260 so I call and he reveals a busted flush draw that could have posed problems: 6A. I’m just under 8K, which briefly puts me in the top 30 stacks.

Sixteen minutes go by—fifty hands, if you’re counting—and I’ve got JJ in the cutoff at 50/100. I’ve been slowly losing chips without any real hands and I’m down to about 6,000. UTG+1 raises to 300, getting a call from the hijack. I raise to 600. Big blind raises all-in to 1,500. UTG+1 folds but hijack (with 8,600 to start) and I both call. We check the 572 flop, but when hijack checks the K on the turn I raise 1,000 into the 4,850 pot. He goes all in for 7,176 and I fold. One of my smarter moves from the night. The big blind has 5x5x, Hijack has KJ and wins. Two hands later I manage to win almost the entire amount back with A5.

One of the hands I’m not particularly proud of had me on the button with 99 at 80/160. There was a limp by UTG, and a raise to 480 from the hijack, then I re-raised to 800 with 4,100 behind. Everyone folded around to the hijack who went in for 9,127. I thought he had an AK or something of the sort but when I called he showed AA. Not good. At least, not good until the Q38 flop. I ended up with more than 10K in the last hand before the break. Not enough to propel me back into the top 30 by that time.

Aces were the end of me ten minutes after the break when my QQ just weren’t as lucky as the nines were and I lost an all-in against AA.

Full Tilt Flash

Lost my first buyin on hand number three with KJ after double-pairing on the turn. A pair of queens in sprang out of the hole with trips. A top-paired queen with a low kicker (9Q) lost out to QA and cost me my second. The Mutant Jack (AJ) fell to a common KA for my third. A fourth was gone with A8 paired on the flop beat by T8 drawing a flush on the turn. I kept at it, though and managed to recover most of a buyin with a AK, then one-and-a-half with KK, and almost two with JJ. After 153 hands (thirty-six minutes) I was -7.39BB/100 hands, still down a little more than half a buyin. 265th place out of 431; 15 minutes.

Full Tilt Multi-Rush On Demand (1,500 chips)

Like a Sit-N-Go in that it needs a certain number of players to get started but then a number of other people can join for a specified amount of time and you can multi-enter. I joined a 36-player game and the number of players quickly ballooned to over 400. I won a couple of decent-sized pots a few minutes into the game but lost a couple large chunks with good Ax hands, then had a Broadway draw on the flop with TA get beat by KA that made three of a kind on the river.

Full Tilt Flash

I thought I’d try to make back the half-buyin I lost above. Got JJ on the first hand in the big blind. The button limped and I raised to 2.4BB, getting a call. The flop was 7T4 and I tried to end it with a pot-sized raise (5.2BB). Button called. A 5 was out on the turn, not too worrisome. I checked and the button did, too. The A on the river was a scare card but I tried to make it look like it wasn’t with a value bet of 4.2BB into a pot of 15.6BB. Button folded and I had a profit of 7BB.

On my eighth hand I picked up AA in hijack and raised to 2.8BB when action folded to me. Nobody played but on the very next hand I got AA on the button. UTG limped in and hijack raised to 4.2BB. I re-raised to 15.6BB in a classic steal move. I was delighted with the small blind going nearly all-in with a four-bet of 26.8BB and a five-bet to 38BB from UTG. HIjack folded but I went all-in for 48.4BB. The small blind called, which put him all-in (33BB); UTG had 8.6BB after the call. I was up against AK (small blind) and JJ (UTG). The board was loaded for full houses and flushes—33TTQ—but nobody connected and my aces made a profit of 77.8BB, at which point I felt I’d quit while I was ahead. 538.75BB/100 hands.

Full Tilt Multi-Rush On Demand (1,500 chips)

Whittled down to 1,045 chips after six minutes. Picked up KA and raise to 125 at 25/50 from UTG+3 with the small blind calling Flop’s 3T7. SB bets half the pot: 150. I raise to 300, he goes all-in for 3,680 and I call. He’s got an open-ended straight draw with 89 and gets his 6 on the turn.

I make a second entry and go up instead of down at first. There’s a glitch with AQ but AA on the next hand fixes it. Then I lose 1K on QQ and make it back two hands later on 9T. Why can’t I just win? A8 knocks me down 1,100 and AT pumps me up 1,500. My last hand for the second entry is AK, which is beaten by 8T making trips on the flop and a full house on the turn.

435 players. 28 minutes of play; 92 hands. Finishes in 142nd and 86th places.

Cake Poker Arsenal

AJ is not a good hand against quad Tx. 22 minutes, 29 hands, -52BB/100 hands.

Wherefore Art Thou, EV?

Full Tilt Step 3 18-Player

If I didn’t know I was doing it—and it was happening to someone I didn’t like—it would be almost funny.

Wins with 88 and QQ had doubled me up fifteen minutes into the game, putting me well into the lead at my table. Then an attempt to close the action when I made top pair on a 744 board by pushing the smaller stack all-in to call backfired when he called with a far-behind KA but paired on the turn. Down to 650 chips.

But because I’m good, I managed to battle back up over 3K (including 1,100 won with AJ flushing) as other players were eliminated. I’d even made it to the edge of the Step 3 ticket barrier, going in and out as stacks changed on both tables. I lost a little on one call that I backed off of but I was still over 2,600 when I got JA on the big blind at 60/120. UTG went all-in and everyone else folded. I didn’t need to call. He had 1K less than I did. I could get the chips on a less-dodgy hand. But I called and he flipped over QA. I got two pair but the board was AK3JT and he got the straight.

Fine. I was down to 1,256. Ten big blinds. I went all-in from the small blind with 1,076 and KJ. The button called with 99. The board was 7A43T, leaving me short  a queen for the straight and a diamond for the higher flush.

Out in 11th place with no ticket.

Saw The Jim-Jams last night. My puffmammy nemesis D is playing the Encore Club‘s $5K Tournament of Champions Freeroll tonight because he won a tournament there last month. I wish him luck but hope to crush home come our next game (which is going to make me miss Stan Ridgway‘s show next week).

February Wrapped Up

Full Tilt $12,000 Rush Guarantee Rebuy (1,500 chips)

The buy-in for this tournament was low, and I’m trying to get a strategy worked out for the Rush tournaments, so I entered this even though I tend to avoid the rebuy games. Three of the players at the table double-stacked themselves before the first hand began, but the size of the guarantee was good. My play wasn’t, though. Hand nine and I had KT. UTG raises to 60 and I call and we’re heads-up. The flop gives me two pair: 2K2. UTG bets 165, I pop him to 660 and he three-bets to 8K. I only have 720 left. He could have the other two kings, he could have a one of the other twos or he could have the two aces he shows when I call.

Full Tilt Midnight Madness! (1,500 chips)

This game doesn’t have either the lows or the highs of the previous Midnight Madness. Sure, I dip down below 1,000 chips a couple of times in the early levels, but nothing catches fire and by the time I pick up KA in the big blind at 150/300/25, I’ve dropped from 8,300 to 2,650 in twenty hands. The small blind shoves and puts me all-in to call, which I do. He’s got JQ and pairs the queen on the turn. 120 minutes and I go out in 645th place of 3,707.

Cake Irish Open 2011 Quarter-Final Freezeout (2,000 chips)

This month’s Irish Open Finals snuck up on me. I had intended to try to qualify in one of the weekly Semi-Finals earlier in the month so that I wouldn’t be playing the Semi the same day as the Final, since it looks like the ticket winners have to join after the match has begun. Anyway, this wasn’t a game that would qualify me for anything. I played for 50 minutes and briefly broke 3,000 chips, finishing 14th of 18.

Full Tilt $19,000 Rush Guarantee Rebuy (1,500 chips)

This could have gone well but I got overconfident with pocket TT after nearly quadrupling my stack over 20 minutes. I was in the small blind at 60/120 and UTG raised to 480. I called and was heads-up, relatively confident with a flop of 878.  I shouldn’t have been, though. I bet 1,000 and got a call. J came on the turn, giving me a flush draw and a potential straight flush. I checked and UTG bet it all, putting me all in if I called. Of course I did. Unfortunately, he had T8 for a set of eights from the flop. He had one of the tens I needed (which would give him a full house but me a better full house). The river was 7, giving him an unnecessary improvement to a full house. I was out 377th of 557.

Cake Irish Open 2011 Quarter-Final Freezeout (2,000 chips)

Another game that goes nowhere but down. Out in 12th of 15 players.

Cake Irish Open 2011 Quarter-Final Freezeout (2,000 chips)

Is my heart in these? 11th place of 12 players.

Cake Irish Open 2011 Quarter-Final Freezeout (2,000 chips)

Something screws up on my computer at the last minute and I can’t get out of this match before it begins. Only six players sign up and there’s no semi-final ticket awarded, just cash distribution. Another pair of tens is my final hand.

Cake Irish Open 2011 Semi-Final (3,000 chips)

I tote up and enter the Semi directly. Things get off to a decent beginning and by the first break I’m up to 5,200, actually in the prize ticket zone. Not great but not under the starting stack. Another hour and I have slipped below that number, to 2,500 chips. Not where you want to be after two hours of play.

There are seven players at my table. There’s a stack of 14K to my right, three stacks between 9K and 11K, and a couple of about 5K. I’ve actually made it to the last two tables out of 45 players (Cake runs 10-player tables). There are eight tickets being awarded to the Final, which just started. Blinds are 150/300/30 and I raise to 600 with 33. One of the 5K stacks goes all-in. I call and he’s got KK. A 3 is the first card on the flop, the rest of the cards go 8J35. He’s got a king-high flush but I’ve got quad threes. My Expected Value graph goes crashing through the floor but I more than double my anemic stack. I’m still at barely above half the chip average.

My last hand in the match is a better starter but it isn’t nearly as lucky. I’m heads-up with another player after calling his 750 raise from the small blind in the same level as the above hand. I’ve got JQ on a board of K3T for a straight draw. I bet 900 after the flop and get a raise that puts me all-in. Or I can stay with the 4K I’ve got behind. I call. He’s got AK. An 8 and 7 appear but no ace or nine. Just over two hours, 15th place out of 45 players.

Cake Daily $700 Guarantee Turbo (4,000 chips)

This is almost a classic good trend for a tournament. I probed for a chance to build my stack through the first half hour, losing blinds and one small showdown. I doubled up to 5,800 with a AJ Mutant Jack, then won another 2,900 with JQ three hands later.

An hour into the match I had over 15K, after a pocket 88 made a set on the flop then a back door full house that won me almost 7K. A dozen hands more and I was over 23K. At the ninety-minute mark I was over 32K. I almost went out going all-in with 28K in chips (with blinds at 3,000/6,000/300) and QA against JJ pre-flop; luckily the river card was Q.

I wasn’t so lucky a few minutes later when I put AK up against A6. I was in the big blind at 2,000/4,000/400, there was a raise from the cutoff to 10,600, and I re-raised to 17,200, which was called. The 276 flop hit the six and he went all-in, having me covered by 20K or so. I called and lost. 123 minutes, 16th place of 174 players, ROI 90%.

It all went south on Hand 133.

Cake $1,000 Guarantee Turbo 6-Max (3,000 chips)

I managed to build well in the first hour of this match but hit a rough patch and lost three big hands that whittled my stack from 14K to 5K. Then I had the bad luck to think that my AT was the strongest hand of the two players who went to a T8K flop only to find that it was actually the guy with the other two tens in his hand. 64th of 211 players.

Mutiny of the Bounty

Full Tilt $2,500 Guarantee (1,500 chips)

Nothing to see here. There were almost 3,700 entrants at the time I busted out. I took an early hit with a A6 that didn’t pan out. An 87 paired the eight on the flop to put me back over the starting stack. I more than doubled up with TT, beating a pair of nines to make it to nearly 4,000 chips twenty minutes into the game. Twenty minutes later, a different suited ace combination (A8) flushed through on the turn to beat a pair of kings.

I was mostly quiet after that, staying between 4,000 and 5,000 chips until just after the first hour of play, when a far weaker A3 combo lost out to A9 that got four clubs on the board. All-in against a larger stack with three clubs on the flop? What was I thinking? Out in 794th place.

Full Tilt Midnight Madness! (1,500 chips)

Very quiet for the first quarter-hour. I get a couple walks for 15 chips apiece but give it away. A couple of small opening raises go bye-bye when the flop fails to cooperate. Then I get 66 in the small blind (at 20/40) with action folded around to me and only seven seated at the table. I min-raise and get a call from the big blind. The board has three over cards—including a king and queen—to my pair and the big blind keeps firing off small bets but I take the 480 in the pot when he has a pair of twos. The next hand I eliminate a player and make a profit of 1,460 when the bottom end of my AQ pairs on the flop. QA on the very next hand only makes me 40. Then it’s quiet until about the 50-minute mark when I have AK. I min-raise to 200 from UTG+2 (with eight players), getting calls from both blinds. The flop is A49, the blinds check and I open with 600. Small blind raises to 1,200, big folds, and I three-bet all-in. Big mistake. Small blind not only has me covered but he’s got 9A. two more clubs show on the board, and if that king had been a club it would have been real nice, but I’m out in 1,703rd place out of 2,016. Pathetic showing.

Full Tilt Step 0 Super Turbo (300 chips)

When I said I would never play another Super Turbo so long as I lived, I should have specified that only idiots play Super Turbos. I am an idiot. Five hands. I’m in my first big blind (there’s 10% of my starting stack right there). I’ve got a wretched J4 but lo and behold the flop is Q23. I know that if I can double up or just grab some chips in this early stage I’ll be a lot better off when the blinds go up on the next hand. I bet the pot to open (90), get re-raised by UTG+1 (the only other player in except for the small blind) and the small blind folds. I shove and UTG+1—who’s already taken out one of the players at the table so he has the bog stack— calls, showing K9. Finished 82 of 99.

Full Tilt $2,500 KO Guarantee (2,000 chips)

I’ve taken a run at this low buy-in event a few times in the past without any luck. Bustouts in just four and six hands, half an hour at the best. Last night things clicked—at least for a while.

I was below the starting stack for most of the first ten minutes then managed to avoid having a pair of sevens suck out with a flush on my pair of queens and picked up 900 chips.

My first big win was pushing all-in with A3. Action had folded around to the button, who raised to 480 at the 80/160 level. Small blind folded. I had the button covered by 900 chips (out of 3,200) and my all-in was called. Up against KQ and an A came on the flop. Things were a little worrisome with a turned J but the river was safe and I got my first bounty. I picked up another 960 on the next hand with Q9 that made it to a king-high straight on the turn.

I made a move about 25 minutes later holding QA on the button at 80/160/25. Two players ahead of me were in for 480 and I called, with the big blind following along. The flop was 4AJ. The big blind checked, the next player (UTG+3) bet 755 and the hijack called. I went all-in for 3,875. All thee following players had me covered by 500 to 9,000 chips but everyone folded and I picked up 3,270 to put me over 7,500.

An hour-and-a-half into the game and I’d lost several hands, dropping down to 4,500 with blinds at 200/400/50. My hand on the button was a somewhat less-than-sterling KT. UTG+1 limped, UTG+2 raised to 800, hijack called, I called, as did the blinds, and UTG+1 matched the raise, so the pot held 5,250 prior to the flop. The flop was 957. Nobody had put in 800 with 68, apparently, because everyone checked to the turn, which was 8. UTG+2 bet 1,200 with the hijack calling and I took a stab at it with my four-card straight, raising all-in for 3,655. Everyone folded and I built up to 11,300.

I got knocked down to 5,300 with another KT combo. It was suited (KT) but slightly behind the JK at the end of a board that didn’t connect with either of us.

The same player gave most of the chips back on the next hand. Five players went to the flop, limping in at the 300/600/75 level. My hand was K5 and the flop was A42. UTG+2 bet 1,200, UTG+2 raised to 2,400, and once again on the button I re-raised all-in to 4,620. The blinds and UTG+2 folded, UTG+3 called, showing 9A, and the turn dropped a 3, completing the straight and putting me over 14,000.

The humdinger hand of the night was my second bounty. I had about 13,700 chips in UTG+1 and was dealt QA. We were still at 300/600/75; I raised to 1,200. UTG+3 went all-in for 11,460. Everyone folded to me and I called with him flipping over TT. Things were just about over with a Q5Q flop but 6Q on the river sealed the deal for a 13,000 profit.

I was the big stack at the table for the moment but lost my next five entries into the pot, losing between 1,000 and 4,000 each try until I was down to 8,400. Blinds were nipping at everyone’s heels, at 600/1,200/150. KK fell into my hand in UTG+1. I raised to 3,000. The huge stack with 90K re-raised to 12,600. The button three-bet all-in to 28,297. Action folded to me and I called all-in for 8,259. The big stack called the three-bet. Big stack had KA, the other all-in (the same player I’d traded chips with above) had JJ. The board ran out TQ673 and I took just about 28K of the 68K pot. Two hands later I lost everything to the big stack, going out with a small cash in 207th place out of 3,401 entries after 150 minutes.

Full Tilt Super Satellite to FTOPS Event #44 (1,500 chips)

Sunday was the last day of the FTOPS tournaments, and early in the morning fresh off the KO tournament above I took a shot at a super satellite to the next-to-last event, a 6-max bounty tournament. The field grew to 61 entries by the end of registration, with five entries to the satellite, worth $55 each and two smaller cash awards.

Twenty minutes in I got my first break with KK in the cutoff. UTG picked up a ten on the flop to match their T8 for top pair and went all-in and I picked up the KO and 830 chips. I wiped out another small stack of 720 shortly after with QA vs. AT. AA against TT shortly thereafter made another bounty and put me over 4,000 chips. I took out two players (one with only 25 chips in the big blind) holding 88 when the board showed QKQ8Q.

Forty minutes in, I’d been knocked down to only about 2,500 chips again, losing 600-900 chips on hands like A6s and A9o. Kings served me well again when I doubled up through the big stack at the table to 7,700. Another bounty  and 1,495 came my way with TT a few hands after that. I got a couple thousand more holding K6 when the board gave me a 9-high straight on the river and nobody contested my 1,000-chip bet into a pot of 3,270.

A key mistake came when the field was down to about ten players. The cutoff raised from 200/400/50 all-in to 4,105 and I was the only caller, holding QK and 6,200 chips behind. The all-in showed KA and he got aces full of kings by the end of the hand.

Still, I was in the top five, on track to get a ticket to the satellite until I called another all-in by the same player five minutes later. My 66 against his QQ. Out in 7th place with an award about 1.5 times the buy-in and seven bounties, bringing the ROI to 169%.

What Do You Want From Live?

A couple of disappointing results at live games tonight.

In the early evening played in a charity tournament at the University of Portland, invited by B from my home league. B’s tween son was playing at the table I started at, as was W, also from the home league. Nobody from our table had busted out yet, although a few players out of the starting field of 38 had either rebought or left. No cash prizes but a five-day stay at a Mexican resort had been donated as one of the prizes. Our eight-handed table had one player who’d just about gone bust, a stack to his left who had a bunch of chips, and a couple of players like myself who had gone up and down from the starting stack of 5K.

I picked up an A9o and pushed the action up to 400 chips from the big blind of 100. W, two seats to my left, pushed it to 800, and the big stack three seats to my right raised to 1,200. I made it 2,400 and W dropped out, leaving me heads-up with the big stack. He went all-in, and had me amply covered. Pocket queens. I had a chance until the flop showed another queen. No ace showed up. It wouldn’t have mattered if I’d had aces pre-flop. W mentioned that he’d folded AQ, which just ground the salt in more. I’ll have to deal with him next week.

Played the 10PM at Aces Players Club. I was holding my own and even up from the starting stack of 5K a bit when I got AK and started pushing. The player to my left had a stack just slightly larger than mine and we ended up all-in before the flop. Naturally he had aces. I came a card away from an ace-high spade flush, but went out before an hour was done.