Monday, November 25, 2013

I Hate Post Titles So Ya Know

I was off Saturday so I played the Horseshoe tournament, the one Russell chopped last week. Went out right before the 1st break. nh gg. I don't think I've ever busted before 1st break! First time for everything, I guess! Probably should've folded pre, especially since I was running like dog doody and all...but, at 100/200 I raised in EP to 500 with AQdd. An older lady in MP 3 bet to 1500. The big blind called and I called because she was 3 betting often, not your typical old lady only 3 betting AA & KK. She would stab at pots, too, and try to outplay people, so I didn't trust she had a super big hand. I was the shortest stack of us 3 with about 8500 (42 bbs) left after the call.

Flop: Q J 9 with 2 spades.

BB leads for 1600 into me and Mrs. 3 bet.

What do you do there with TPTK on a draw heavy board? If you're me, you eff it up, obviously.

The big blind was a young guy and I always think young guys never have it lol. On a draw,huh, kid?! is what I think most of the time. I need to work on that, ha. He was pretty decent though, so I took KT, even sooooted, out of his range. He didn't 4 bet, so I took AA, KK, QQ, JJ and TT out. That left hands like KQ, KJ, AK, AJ, AQ, 99,  mayyybe QJ, JT etc.

If he had a set or 2 pair, would he lead out into us raisy-daisy ladies? I decided that no, he would not. He would lead with less than top pair and draws. Mostly draws. He's a kid, right?? He'd check-raise his big hands, but not lead with them. Spoiler alert: I was totally wrong.

So, with my thoughts on his leading range, I raised his 1600 to 3500. (I think smaller raises tend to look nuttier than larger raises. I could be wrong, of course, but it generally works for me.) The older lady folds without a thought and he pushes out a stack of orange chips, more than I had left. I said the F word.

You're supposed to have a plan before you bet. My plan was that he would fold. (EZ game!) If he re-raised, I would have to fold. But I didn't. :(

It's a super easy fold. But I looked at my sad, little, lonely grey 5000 chip and said whatever..and I threw it in anyway. He had a set of nines, of course, that became quads on the river. I coulda/shoulda/woulda folded, I mean 5000 was still 25 bbs. I have come back from way less before..I don't know why I did that. Dumb.

But hey, everybody makes mistakes, right? Live and learn. The rest of the night was fun, as Russell busted out not long after me and we had dinner and played cash for a little while. More on that game in the next post. Stay warm, y'all, it is brrrrrr out there!  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Husband's on a Heater

Although I had to work all weekend, my husband did not and went on a heater at Horseshoe for almost $4k. 

It all started in the Saturday $10k guarantee tournament at the Shoe. He made some good reads, good plays, had some rungood and ended up chopping it heads up for a few hundred less than the $3400 first place prize money. Then on Sunday, he sat in a 2/5 NL cash game and won another grand. 

He makes me sick. 

Haha, just kidding, dear! That's awesome! Way to go, Russell! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gold Strike Poker Room To Close

Just saw on 2+2 that the poker room at Gold Strike Tunica will be closing in January. This is horrible news! They held the best tournaments; 3 big series each year. Now all we will have is the WSOPC at Harrah's (until they close! ugh!) and Horseshoe might run a smaller series in June like they did this year. It's a sad day for local players like me who can't travel for tournaments. Why is Tunica not the great poker destination that it used to be?? This is the 3rd poker room to close in Tunica and I will bet Harrah's will not be far behind Gold Strike in closing. I wouldn't be surprised at all, in fact I thought they would close before GS did. Sad news, y'all, very sad news! :(

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

GS ME Winner

So, the guy on my immediate left that I kept having to fold to, ended up winning it all. Proof of the terrible table draw and bad position I was in, ha. Congrats to Mick Donovan from Nashville! He won just shy of $60k for the win. He's a nice guy and would show me his hand after I folded, which I had to do every hand we played. sigh. Good game, sir. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Best Tweet Ever

So awesome and encouraging...this totally made my day/week/year. Thank you, sir! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

ME Day 2 Recap

Card dead, bad position, big stacks all around me. I don't play many trnys, so I don't know how the table breaking works, but I had hoped they would break mine first when I saw the seating chart this morning, because even though I was like 25th of 56 players, I was 6th of 8 at that table with the 2 biggest stacks directly on my left. Terrible position to be in. But, nope. Instead, they just kept sending more big stacks to my table. The chip leader got moved to my right, of course. Super. Oh well, couldn't catch a break and busted THREE from the money. nh gg.

"And still not in Hendon Mob.." -Memphis Mojo with the needle as I'm walking out. Ouch! I was already feeling like I'd been hit in the stomach by a linebacker. Thanks for the reminder, Mojo! Thought we were friends, geesh!! But yep, still not in it. Russell, my husband, is in it and pretty much every poker player I know, but me lol..Oh well, maybe next year...

It was fun though, I had the chance to play with some great players, meet some pros I respect and had a pretty good run. Not bad for an $80 satellite.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Main Event at Gold Strike Day 1 Recap

As you know, I won a satellite seat to play the main event of their Fall Poker series. Flight 1A started yesterday and there I was, little ol' me, in the same tournament as WSOP champions, RunGood pros, circuit grinders and some all around good freaking players. Surreal. Pinch me!

We started with 77 players and ended with 15 through level 12. I was one of the 15. :)

Instead of getting super wordy and all TLDR (too long, didn't read lol), I'm just going to hit some highlights for ya...

Players I spotted in the field:

Jonathan Taylor, who won this event last year when it was called the Winter Poker Classic. He was just in Vegas railing his friend, Ryan Riess, to his WSOP Main Event victory. This guy is a true beast and I really hope he does not make it through to Sunday (sorry, Jonathan!), although I would love to watch him a different tournament, of course. ;)

Chris Moneymaker. This guy does not need a link. If you don't know who he is, I don't know why you're reading a poker blog. lol

Kyle Cartwright, a local player and RunGood pro. I was actually wearing a RunGood shirt under my pullover. (It's super cold at Gold Strike.) And I love their tagline, by the way.."We are the Grinder, the Underdog, the Longshot, the Comeback, the Dark Horse, the Write-Off, the Unknown, the Upset. –” 

Kyle got moved to my 2nd table. Not gonna lie, it made me nervous, but I tried not to show it and won a couple of pots against him. I introduced myself at dinner break and he said, "You 3 bet me, we can't be friends." LOL! I told him about that being my 1st main event and he gave me the greatest compliment when he said, "I can't tell. You're 3 betting often and your sizing is good." I almost passed out, y'all. I got a compliment from a known pro! He is a super nice guy, I really enjoyed meeting him and playing against him.

Michael Sanders, another RunGood pro and great player. He was at my 3rd table and will be at my table on Sunday. He is also a super nice guy and it was great meeting and chatting with him at the table. He bagged 83,100 for Sunday.

Austin Buchanan, a circuit grinder who I don't really know much about other than he has been making a lot of final tables lately. He bagged 139,600 for Sunday.

So that's a few of the ones I recognized, lots of money won between those fellas! Then there's me. To be honest, I really don't feel like I played my best. In some spots, I played like total crap! I'm super disappointed with some of the mistakes I made. For instance, I made the absolute worst call of my life for 40% of my stack in one of the later levels with the ass-end of a straight. I have never done that before and I did it the biggest tournament I've ever played in...UGH. I did get a little back from that guy a few hands later when I check-shoved over his river bet with a busted draw and he folded. Risky, yes, but I had to do it as I knew he was scared of my check raises from a previous hand. I'm glad I found the nerve to make that play.

Made another dumb play with 55 and had to bet/fold the turn...just burning chips, y'all. So yea, I'm not too happy with myself. But I've got to shake it off and get ready to rumble again tomorrow as I bagged 54,600. I'm 9th of 15 in my flight. There will be 4 flights total with the survivors combining tomorrow at 2pm for Day 2. We won't know until late tonight/tomorrow the total prize pool and how many spots will be paid. Last year's winner took home $56k.

My first main event, my first day 2. Let's go!!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hand Ranges & Flop Texture

As I was skimming through some threads on 2+2 this morning, I came across a discussion on ranging your opponents to successfully bluff/take away pots when their range misses the flop. It's a concept I've been trying to work on improving this year. It helps a bunch when your opponents are inexperienced or so tight that they are super easy to read post-flop, as was the case when I won the Ladies event at Horseshoe back in June. I also used it sparingly, but successfully in my recent satellite win. They are talking about 1/3-2/5 cash games here, but it applies to tournaments even more, I think.

The question asked in the thread:

Could you talk about being aggro with a wider range? I am pretty ABC and only bluff in lol obvious spots. Rarely am I squeezing light pre or bluff raising flops/turns. What hands/conditions/board textures are you looking for?

The answer from the OP:
Before you start to expand your ranges pre you need to work on your post flop game more bc you will be put in way more marginal spots post the weaker your range is. My advice would be to really focus on ranging your opponents fairly accurately first. Once you are able to see what the majority of their range is in a given situation you will start to see what board textures go well with what ranges, if an opponent has a stagnant range (to tight and doesn't vary much from that range) then you will be able to exploit sooooooo much on the majority of boards, just bc it's so damn hard to make a pair in this game. And that is how you bluff effectively post flop, don't ever do something just to do it...I hear a lot of people say that they had decided on the flop no matter what they were going to bluff the hand all the way down which is absolutely idiotic. Learn ranges vs board texture and will start to set yourself apart from 95% of all players.

The best part of his response to me was the "don't ever do something just to do it". I think a lot of people ( I know I have in the past) decide even before the hand is dealt that they need chips, they're bored waiting for a hand or whatever the reason that, I am taking this one down no matter what! That usually does not end well and they've lost a ton of chips for no reason. Been there, done that.

In his next response he said:

The thing is playing live double and triple barrels work a lot less than online, same goes for a high frequency of bluff flop/turn raises. There is nothing more exciting/fun then to play a complete session as a successful lagtard...the thing is in these lower stakes it's tough to execute it successfully consistently bc people aren't quite on the right level of thinking.

Ed Miller wrote a book "playing the player, how to move beyond abc to dominate your opponent", absolute greatest book I've ever read. His thing is you don't want to have your game labeled as "abc" "tag" "lag". Your game is based off of your opponents game, so you develop aspects of all 3 styles and you crush games when you successful sift thru all your tools and use the most optimal line tailored to your opponent. 

I haven't read this book by Ed Miller, but I have listened to him talk about it in interviews. I believe it's a $50 book (last time I checked) and so I probably will not read ass alert lol. But I think the idea can be summed up in the 2 paragraphs above; don't do anything just to do it, know your opponent's ranges and how it relates to the board texture, if they will fight back or fold 2nd pair, AK with no pair, etc. Play the player. :)

Welp, the main event starts tomorrow at Gold Strike! I'm excited & a bit nervous, but all I can do is play my best. As long as I don't play like an idiot, I'll be fine with however it turns out. No pressure. LFG!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

WSOP Main Event is Heads Up (Spoiler Alert)

They were still 6 handed when I went to bed last night. I figured I would wake up to the news of Ryan Riess heads up with JC Tran this morning. Nope! It was Riess, the guy I picked to win, heads up with Jay Farber, the guy my husband picked to win. How about that? Our two picks made it! That's pretty cool.  

Riess, Farber

Here's the link to the Poker News story on the final table play. I was not expecting to see Farber still in this, but there he is. Go, Riess the Beast! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Satellite Win Recap

Ok, I have a minute to blog, short work day today, yay. So, as I wrote in the last post, I played a super satellite for a main event seat in the Fall Poker series going on at Gold Strike Tunica and won one of the two seats. :)

First off, I wasn't even planning to play that day. It was Day 1A of the $100k guarantee, a $350 re-entry. My husband was playing and he thought I was, too, but I changed my mind at the last minute and decided I'd just stay home and enjoy my day off from work. Well, I could tell he was disappointed, he wanted me to go because he thinks I'm his good luck charm..awww. Anyway, I just didn't want to play event 1, so I told him that I'd go and just play a satellite or something. He was happy and off we went.

I decided on the main event satellite and it was small at 16 players, but 2 seats were guaranteed. I liked my table. It started 5 handed with all recreational players, no hoodie wearing grinders, pros or semi pros to worry about. One 40 something guy was wearing a black WSOP '13 jacket and sunglasses, but I read him as a habitual bluffer. He was. I eventually busted him when he bluff shoved with J-4 offsuit. I only had QJ, but I knew I was ahead, so I went with it and I held.

There was only 1 thorn in my side, an aggressive guy who sat down right before registration closed. He apparently knew he was overly aggressive, because he would win a pot and then go talk a walk..sometimes missing almost an entire level. I see that from time to time, guys afraid they're going to spew chips in dumb spots, so they leave the table often. He was one of those. Fine with me, I liked it when he was gone. Everyone else was much easier to play against! (He ended up the bubble boy, by the way.)

This one poor guy, I really had his number. He was on my left and I noticed that he could fold a made hand (very rare), so when we were in a pot and I thought he wasn't that strong, I would float his cbet and take the pot away on the turn. One key hand against him at the final table: He was two to my right at this table and he open limped for 1600, I raised QJ in position to 3500. He was the only caller. We were about even in chips, neither of us very deep. A mistake at this point would've been pretty much the end. The flop came A T 6 rainbow and he led into me for 4000. When a player leads into the preflop raiser, I tend to look at that as a 'blocking' bet, it doesn't necessarily mean a strong hand, it's more to 'see where they're at'. To me, it felt like he probably held a Ten, maybe KT/QT/JT since he limp-called my raise or a smaller pocket pair. If he had an Ace, wouldn't he just check-call my (likely) cbet to get more out of me? I just did not believe he held an Ace and hey, I've got a gutshot, so I called his 'donk' bet, as they call it.

The turn was another Ace for: A T 6 A That 2nd Ace was perfect for me, as it's a blocker to any possible Ace in his hand, so my read was pretty much confirmed that he did not have one and when he bet out 7000, I had to go with my read and raise him. He snap folded saying, "Well, she made a believer out of me.." :)

Another key hand at the final table was against the chip leader. He wasn't that good, but he was running reallyyy good. I don't remember my stack size exactly, but I was semi-comfortable. He had heaps. With the blinds at 1k/2k, I open raised AQ to 5k in early position. He was the only caller. The flop came out 3 5 Q. I hit top pair and bet out 7k. (I actually had a hand this time, how bout that haha.) He responded with a raise to 14k. Normally, I would sigh and fold this hand quickly, thinking, he raised me, he must have the nuts! But this time, I paused to think about it instead of auto-folding. Yes, he has been hitting everything, but does he really have yet another set? I looked at him, looked at my chips, looked at the pot. I can't just call, it's fold or shove. We were down to six players. So, I looked at him and said, "You're running so good..", trying to get a reaction. He chuckled and smiled, but it was an uneasy was a nervous smile. I saw a hint of weakness in his face and instantly I said, "I'm all in." He folded. He folded! He was just trying to push me around! After that hand, I just knew I was getting a main event seat. I just knew it. I was too focused not to.

I'm not one to brag on myself or toot my horn, but I am pretty proud of how I played this tournament and it wasn't due to the deck hitting me in the face (because it most certainly didn't! lol), I just played my heart out, didn't give up, panic or make too many mistakes. I did make a couple of mistakes, one was really dumb that cost me half my stack at the final table, but I didn't give up and I recovered. The main thing I did differently was to really pay attention to the mistakes others were making, make a plan to exploit those mistakes and actually follow through with the plan. So many times I think, I should've done this or that after a hand, this time actually I did what I knew I needed to do and it worked liked a charm. :)

I am so excited to play my first main event and my biggest buyin tournament ever. I'm sure the players will be much tougher than the ones in the satellite, but I am not going to be intimidated (hopefully). As long as I feel like I played well, I'll be satisfied. I play Friday at noon...I'll let you know how it goes...:)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Main Event, Here I Come

Last night, while my husband was in the $100k guarantee at the Gold Strike Fall Poker Classic, I played an $80 rebuy super satellite for a $740+$60 main event seat. We ended up with two tables and two seats (+$50 cash) were guaranteed with 3rd place getting almost $500. I don't have time to blog about it today, but I played my heart out, y'all, and I won one of the two seats!! It'll be my 1st main event of any series and the biggest buyin tournament I've ever played. I am so excited! Will try to write up a recap soon, I had several interesting spots throughout the tournament to discuss. :)