Thursday, September 24, 2009

Artichoke Joe's Limit Hold em & Limit Omaha Tourney

John, Hanso and I decided to go over to Artichoke's in San Bruno to play a nighttime tournament they had. This is the first time I been here and its a totally different feel than Lucky Chances.

We enter a limit texas hold em/limit omaha hi-low tourney with a $50 dollar buy-in. $20 dollar rebuys until the break with $40 dollar add on.

I was excited by the fact that this was a mix game tournament, like HORSE except without the RSE. John and I got put at the same table and here we go:

Just like my last limit texas hold em tournament at bay101, I decided to put pressure right off the bat and achieve two things: to control the table (meaning if they going to play garbage cards, then pay for it) and put the aggressive image out there. What good is play poker if everyone is in the hand? Trust me, there is a method to my madness...So I pretty much two-three bet every hand in the first round. Sure, I lost a bunch of chips, but I also gain a lot when I finally hit one of my hands.

It really seem like the whole table was after me. Some guy said "man, this aggressive", another guy "You won't make it to the final table" and a woman "raise again? ...gosh!"...Already right there! I got tells on all of them. They didn't have anything good in their hands, so I could put their range and read them better. They say its hard to bluff in limit, but I pulled one off when I represented a flush on the river.

When the Omaha hi-lo round came along, I had to give John and Hanso a crash course in the game. While I didn't see how hanso did, John did pretty well and hit a couple wheel hands (A2345) and scoop some huge pots!

Omaha rounds are the ones you can lose a lot of chips, because you are constantly drawing to a hand and when you don't really much choice except to fold. I tried to never draw to a low hand, except if the pot is huge. This is a game I still need to work on, but its basically if the pot odds are should call to hit...given your stack.

The event started with around 30 players and I played for 3 hours before it finally got down to the final table! I made it yet again to the final table! It's such a great feeling, especially since this was my first Omaha tournament. I've alway kind of pride myself that I took time to learn all the different form of poker games.

But, it wasn't long I was met with disappointment when I busted out in 8th.

At this point, the blinds were so high and I only had 2.5 bb left. It gets folded to the LB who two bets me and I push it all in. I couldn't afford to fold anyways. He shows 34 and I show 64. He somehow gets a straight on the turn and I'm dead.

Overall, it was fun and interesting. Not bad for the first time here. I wish I could have seen that guy's face when he told me "i've never seen you at the final table"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Grinding it out

Up $600 dollars this weekend with 8 hours of play. Would have been a little more, but sometimes you cant avoid the bad beats, despite being ahead.

Lately, I've really been treating this as a business. My new motto is not to gamble, but make money. So not needlessly putting my stack at risk with hands that I don't know if I'm ahead or not. Most of it comes down to how well I can read the guy.

Example: A guy raised and I was sure he had jacks, so I laid down AQ suited. While another guy called and won the pot with AQ offsuit when he hit a queen on the turn.

Second example: Folded AQ offsuit again to a player who raised. I also put him on a high pair like kings. I would have turned the straight, but that player won when he rivered a full house. Whew~ I would have lost a lot here.

So this is how I've been playing. I figure its not tournament, so I don't have to worry about surviving. I'll choose my spots and play the cards when its on my terms, where I have a edge.

Friday. Had a pretty solid table of players who knew what they were doing. Passive preflop but aggressive on most flop. Out of the 9 players, about 5 of them love to bet on every street, no matter their cards. So, I played tight for about a half a hour and tried to see flops as cheaply as possible with hands I like.

Lost my first buy-in to someone who raised high on his draw. I pushed and he called. Hit his straight on the turn. Urg! Brought back in and doubled up on my first hand.

Most of my winnings came from a big stack player who was aggressive not only with his cards, but with his mouth. He so love bad-mouthing plays and the dealers. When I first sat down, he was constantly talking, until I started busting him up for about $400. It wasn't too long that he put me on tilt with his mouth.

So I table changed.


Saturday: Strolled in around 6pm and brought in for only $60. Left at around 8:30pm with $420. Not too bad. Pretty much played solid and felt the table up to identify players. Who was aggressive? Who was passive and who was the fish?

The biggest win came from this hand. A raised from a UTG player to $12 and a call. I'm in the big blind with aces and raised to $40. I get two callers. Flop comes out A 3 5 with two hearts. I pause with for a bit with my set of aces and trusted my gut that if I checked, he will bet thinking I didn't like the ace. My trap worked and he bets out $75. After a fold, I push for $160 total. He insta-called and mucks after I show him my set.

It wasn't long that the table got a whole lot of new faces. I was way too tired to try to identify these new guys, so I left, not wanting to lose what I won.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rack Attack!

Won the rack attack tonight! Second time at lucky chances. Was lucky enough to hit a set of deuces on the river.

Tonight, had a stack of $300 after 3 hrs of play. Two bad beats and I lost it all. Later a buddy from work called me and asked me to pick him up to play at lucky chances also. So, after I came back, he staked me for $100 and asked for 20% of my winnings. Haha! Just like Kanish on Rounders.

I made sure he didn't regret that stake. Won a total of $420 for the night. After returning the investment and profit, I pocketed about $240 for the night.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Tourney

Lucky Chances Tournament: $65 buy in with one rebuy at $50.

I wish I had more time to play these tournaments, because they are so fun. After you buy in, there's no need to worry about losing more cash and the competitive nature takes over. The feeling of winning a hand or outplaying someone is a great feeling.

Onto the tournament itself. Let me comment on the tournaments at LC. While they are fun, the blind structures are horrible. You start with 1500 chips with blinds at 25/50. Which only gives you 30 big blinds...and rebuy with 2500 chips which is just 50 big blinds, assuming you lose in the first levels. So, you can certainly expect to be all-in anytime you put a single chip into the pot.

I knew this from experience, so I had to really get in there and gamble early on. Raising with any decent hands I love that range from connectors to big pairs. Occasionally limping in with small pairs, hoping to catch and trap with them. The main reason you want to raise is based on small ball style...It lets you enter pots cheaply in a way, and if you are re-raised. You can narrow someone's hand better and hope to trap him.

So, I lost alot of chips early on by having one of those hands over hands. I had a straight to the King and guy next to me gets the straight to the ace. I'm so glad I small-balled it and only bet for value.

My all-in hand before my rebuy was pocket 5's which got out flopped by someone with Q8. Urg!

After rebuy, I bet, reraised any flush draws and always hit. This tournament, the flushes really help push me into a good chip position. I flop open ended straight royal flush draws 3 times in the tourney and while I never hit the royal flush, I always did hit the flush card.

I made it right up to the second break and had AK and raised. Everyone else had gotten up to take a break, but the big blind was contemplating a call...He finally called and the flop came a Ace. He checks and I bet out. He re-raised me all-in and I pretty much insta-called. He shows AJ.

The turn came a J. End of story.

I really hate it when I'm playing so well, but to end it with a bad beat.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

If you are going to play tight, make sure its a secret

played two sessions of spread hold em and been up $140 in both. Buying in only $60 bucks. Still doesn't cover some of the losses I went thru earlier, but its a start. I've been learning to grind it out and make money by putting it in there with the best hand. I'm basically re-building my bankroll before I start moving up.

Tonight's session was interested...and oddly enough I had the same seat two different nights in a row. Sat down and right off the bat, I had some great starting hands and opt to limp in. Missed the board several times and ended up folding on the flop, but had a good feel of how the table was playing, which was passive poker, except with a few guys who bet big with their hands. Easy read and easy exploitable...but also they were some very good players laying down monsters face up.

I pretty much got paid off on my big hands and scooped my fair share of small pots. Floped a bunch of nut straight and got paid off. Hit Quads and got paid off and hit sets that got paid off. its sweet to flop the best hand and finally just coming up with different ways to play them.

Two guys almost put me on tilt and ruined my game for about 30 minutes. And both of them were from seat 1. weird. Instead of playing like a donk, I chose to sit back and relax so I could calm down.

The first guy got mad when I said something like "same hand" and folded. He was like, "You cant do that!!" even though I never showed that hand, so he wouldn't even know what those cards were. So for a couple hands, I tried to tilt him by going "same hand" when folding.

After he busted out, another player sat down. I've played with him before. He likes to talk out loud a lot when trying to put you on a hand. We finally tango in one hand with a board of K K Q. I bet out 12 and get called by him. On the turn, I bet $25 and he stares me down for about a minute. I take a look at him and raise my eyebrows. He talks trying to range my hand. He says stuff like "QJ?" and then finally mucks his AQ face up. I show my AK and say that I knew he just had a Queen. He actually gets mad. Saying to me "why didn't you rolled me and check the turn if you knew I had a queen" I was like, cause I know you wouldn't put me on a king...and he starts yelling out, "what else could you have, I did know which was why I folded. "

I finally just said whatever and collected my pot. Then I announced I wasn't going to show anymore cards, if all I'm going to get is bs talk against me.

Soon enough, the table got really short handed and I decided to leave.