Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cheap Poker Games

I was reading Daniel Negreanu's blog about his goal to grind it out in the .001/.002 cent with $5 dollars and grind it out until he got $25 then move up in rank to .003/.005 cents. So, I've been trying to do the same thing to see how I'll do, but been finding it frustrating, yet educational.

I started with $3, but now down to $1.50.

Somewhere along the lines, I've been bluffing pot after pot trying my best to win every pot I was involved in and I have no idea where it came from. So, playing at these low stakes have really taught me to slow down, learn to bluff less or selective bluffing and letting the cards do the work. I really think this will help my game down the line to teach me to rely on reads and not only on pure aggression.

I'm also playing cheap $1 online tournaments to prepare for all the upcoming satellites offering WSOP seats. I hope all this training will pay off.

I will also try to enter some live tournaments once in awhile to keep up my live game play sharp.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Reno Harrah's Texas Hold Em' Tournament

There we are at the Reno's Harrah's Poker Tournament @ 10am.
About 30 players including alternatives entered with a $50 dollar buy-in.
We start with $4000 in starting chips. (There are a few players with more from bonuses).

I had Jose and Rich at my table, but we didn't tangle too much even though I did steal some of their blinds. I gained a lot of chips very fast and I'm pretty sure I was chip leader throughout the early levels of the tournament.

Some hands I remember that helped me:

Having 9 10 on a board with J 8 6. Open-ended straight draw and first to act. I bet out. Get called.
The turn comes a 10. Pairing me. I bet out again and get re-raised. I call.
The river comes another 10 and I bet out again. The player goes all-in and I insta-call. He shows me J 8. I win.

K 10 suited under the gun and min-raised. Get re-raised by player in the big blind. Folds all the way to me and I call. Board comes out 10 2 10. I bet the pot. The player calls with a disappointed look.
The turn comes: 9 and I go all in. He calls with pocket Queens.
River is blank and I win.

Had a few AK's in position and won pots on the flop. Had Aces on the button after half the table called a re-raised by a early position player. I re-raised the pot and win.

I am chip leader throughout most of the tournament until I tangled with the other chip leader.
He took a big chuck of me when I called the little blind with 4 5 suited. He re-raised as I knew he would and I called. Board came out 3 J 7. I check and he bets close to pot. I fold. I believe I played this hand wrong. If I could go back, I would have bet out.

Note to self: Not to get involved in small pots with chip leaders, its not worth losing lot of chips just to keep the aggressive image. Pick my spots!

Before I knew it, it was the final table. Jose, Rich, Joe and I made it. Ray busted out early by Joe. lol. I was second in chips, but soon got followed by some bad beats (AJ vs. K10 and player hits a King on the river. sick) and out of position from the other chip leader who took a big chuck of my stack early on.


Jose busted out in 7th with Q 8.

Soon, I busted out in 6th holding jacks. I limped in and a re-raised by someone in late position. My gut told me he had Queens, and I so wanted to fold, but instead called hoping to get lucky. He showed Kings.

Joe played tight for most of the final table, so it was odd to see him push it all in with 6 7 and busted out on the bubble. 4th place.

And the winner is... Rich in 1st place with $420 dollar prize. Congrats!