Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hollywood Poker Open Tunica, MS

Wow, has it really been almost a year (the 12th) since I last posted here?? I guess so! The last year has brought many changes for me; divorce, a move to a new town, working 2 jobs, etc., and little time for live poker. But I do play on Bovada when I can, where I've been consistent in cashing the 400+ player MTTs, but no final tables or wins (yet!). My last finish was 17th and I really thought I was gonna make the FT in that one, but it didn't go as planned. I need to review and re-think my middle and late game strategy, obv, because there is definitely a min-cash pattern going on there. 

I probably won't be getting back to posting regularly, as I am just too busy, but I'm off work today for a snow day(woo hoo), so thought I'd share my experience at the HPO series I played last Sunday. 

I have one question: Why do the Tunica area tournament players, of which there are many, not support this poker series?! This is their 2nd visit to the Hollywood Casino in Tunica and the numbers are as bad as last year, if not worse. The daily/nightly tournaments at Horseshoe draw more players than this and I legit don't understand why. So, if someone could enlighten me, please??  

Here's a link to the series schedule. Check the results tabs to see the ridiculously low entry numbers. I played event 9. The results can be seen here. A total of 19 entries and several of those were re-entries. I think we actually had 12 players. 

We didn't have a real clock when play started, so they used this board and a kitchen timer. LOL

Because their trnys use 9 handed tables, this meant we had to play 2 tables short handed for the most part. We were 4 handed for the longest time and fluctuated between 4 and 5 players up until the final table merge. 

Things were going well, but at every table there is a luckbox. It was not me this time, unfortunately. He had knocked out a couple of people and had me well covered. Anyway, we were 4 handed at the time and he opened UTG for a min raise. I defended J9 from the small blind, which I think is a reasonable call. Plus, he was a really straightforward player, not tricky or bluffy, so I felt like I had a post-flop edge.

Soooo, the flop comes J J 4r...boom!

I check, he bets, I call.

Turn 6.

I check, he bets, I raise...he re-raises. Ruh roh.

I pause, obv. The fours have been his lucky numbers so far. He's had a set of fours, a full house with fours and quads with fours. This highly discounts a flopped full house in my opinion because how many times can you have them in one trny, amiright? 

And I've got trip Jacks, dammit! 4 handed! But, I really wanted to fold here, because he is repping such strength, how can I ever be good? 

I wish I had noted the pot size, because I have forgotten, but his re-raise was a min-raise. A 'please call me' sizing. So, I did call, knowing I'm drawing to a 9...

River 8. 

J J 4 6 8 

I check, because ugh. He bets enough to put me all in and I end up folding. The TD was standing behind me, she saw my cards and when I folded, she said, "How do you fold that?!" I said, "Well, I was beat." lol My opponent, a nice guy, showed KJ. The others were surprised by my fold as well, but I was a little ticked at myself for not folding to the turn re-raise and conserving some chips. Blah.

Coolered 4 handed, sigh. 

I couldn't get anything going after that and finished 7th. I saw they chopped it 3 handed.

We got a real clock for the final table.

It was fun to get out and play a live tournament, though. I missed all of the WSOP circuit in January, which made me sad. I may play this Sunday's HPO tournament, but the numbers are so small, I haven't decided yet. I just wish more players would've supported this series. I doubt they return next year. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Blind Play

Hey, y'all, I'll admit it; I'm a bad blogger. Sorry! I'm even a bad blog reader...I need to catch up with everyone and will try to get to that today since I have a day off from work. :)

2014 has not kicked off with the poker rungood I had hoped for. I've played four tournaments and have yet to cash. I did make a deep run in one of them, but I was hit with three river suckouts late and that was that. So, yesterday, I was going over the hands I've played, looking for a pattern or something, just trying to see what I could've done differently if anything. I posted the following pic on twitter (@jusdealem) and got some good feedback and discussion from 2 other local players. (One has a private account, so you probably can't see his comments if you go looking.) I appreciate their input.

I don't take notes at the table, even though I said I was going to start doing that this year, so I don't have exact stack sizes or what the blinds & antes were on some of those hands. I do have very good hand recall, though. I still remember hands, flops and who bet what from hands I played 6 years ago, ha! But I do need to start noting stacks & blinds in the future to get the most info from the hands.

But as you can see, I am having a helluva time from the blinds. In 3 of the 4 trnys I've played this year, I have busted from either the small blind or the big blind every time. I thought that was kinda odd and deserved some reflection. After going over them though, I think most were just coolers. Yes, I could've 3 bet the AT hand (that was actually a hand from last year that has already been discussed & dissected to death by me and others. Interestingly enough, that was the one that got the most discussion on twitter, as well. But I am over that hand, not sure why I even included it, really. So, let's move on...)

The only thing I know that I could've done differently was the Q2 vs J2 hand. I think I had about 15bbs to start the hand. It was at the end of level 9, so it was 600/1200/200 9 handed. UTG+1 limped in, he had about 20bbs. He was a loose player who liked to limp/call a lot trying to take it away later. He was at my first table and he had tried a donk-lead-river-bluff on me that I hero called with top pair for a nice pot. The sb was a typical, tight-ish older man with about 30bbs.

So, UTG+1 limped, the small blind completed and I checked from the big blind. Looking back, this would've been a perfect squeeze-shove spot for me. I think, not really sure about the UTG+1 player, because he did not like to fold pre, even with a short stack, but I think it's likely, due to our stack sizes and our history, he would've tank folded. But, even if he had've called, Q high is likely pretty good against his limping range there. I don't think he's limping with any Ax, Kx or pocket pairs. I think he is 100% raising those from what I had seen him play. As for the small blind, I am absolutely certain that he would've folded his J2. Instead, I flop trips and he flops a boat on 22J. Meh. But because I was not paying attention, I missed a great spot to shove and I was out. Lesson learned: I should always be paying attention and looking for good steal spots. Always. Especially when short stacked. Focus, focus, focus. Ugh.

So, there's that. I may have said this before, but poker tournaments, while they do require some luck, are almost more about not putting yourself in a position to get 'unlucky'. I think you have the ability through good play to avoid some coolers and I feel this one was definitely avoidable.

Also, note to self: chip up more early to withstand the inevitable cooler or 2. Oh, and run good. :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hey, Hey

A combo of busy & lazy has kept me away from the blog for a bit. Sorry! Oh well, as it says on my twitter bio, I sometimes blog... :)

So, what's been up? Not a whole lot, I didn't play any ring events when the WSOP circuit was here in January. I didn't plan ahead with requesting time off in advance and wasn't able to commit to any 2 day events. I'd hoped to play at least one, but I couldn't make it happen. It occurred to me recently that I have never played a WSOPC ring event. Not one. As long as I have been playing poker, I don't see how that's even possible, but it's true! I'll never get on Hendon Mob like that! ha

I did play the WSOP ladies event. It was a 1 day deal, so I was able to enter. I was approached a couple of months ago about being backed for this event in exchange for wearing a shirt with the logo of this person's poker related website on it. We emailed back & forth quite a bit and I agreed to the offer. A few days before the event, I asked about getting the shirt and he said he'd let me know when we could meet up. Never heard from him again. I guess he changed his mind? I didn't really care either way, it wasn't a big deal, but I felt like he had pretty much wasted my time during those 2 months of emails unnecessarily. Maybe he didn't have the budget, I don't know, but he'd told me there was also another local female player who would be representing him in the tournament. I saw her. She was wearing the shirt. I didn't get a chance to speak to her, as she busted right after I did, jumped in a satellite, busted that and left quickly before I could catch up to her. No hard feelings towards the guy, it just didn't work out I guess? No big deal, I'm holding out to be sponsored by RunGoodGear anyway, no others will do...haha ;)

So yea, the ladies event. I was chipping up nicely, things were going ok. It wasn't a great table, not as soft as I'd hoped, but ok. Then I ran a big bluff into someone who wasn't good enough to fold second pair and that was a significant dent to my stack. I should've known better against that particular player. Bad lapse of judgement there by me. If they are calling your value bets semi-light, they are going to call your value-bet-sized bluffs, also. I know that, but did it anyway. Meh. Not long after, I went all in with JJ in the small blind against the button's AA open and the big blind's TT. A ten on the flop, but no jack came and gg.

Day 2 of the main event was going on at the same time, so I railbirded the circuit super stars for a bit and then headed home before the rain turned to sleet. What a yuky winter we've had..summer please come soon!

Played a daily at Horseshoe yesterday and will have to save that blog for another day. Spoiler alert: I'm starting to hate tournaments. LOL but seriously. Ok, I have much to do as usual, off for now. :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Chop It Up

The year has started off with poker tournaments galore, too bad I've only had time for one, so far! The Horseshoe's $150 (+$10) re-entry $25k ended up with 608 entries and $15k for 1st, but I read it was chopped 5 ways and the 'winner' taking only $8k and a seat to the WSOPC main event coming up.

Gold Strike held their Farewell Tournament last weekend, also a $150 (+$10) re-entry, closing their poker room for good. :( I didn't get to play in this one, as I couldn't be there for the 11am Day 2 start time on Sunday. If it had been at 2pm, I could've played, but oh well. They added almost $18k to the prize pool in leftover poker promo money. This brought 308 entries with 1st paying a little under $17k, but it was chopped. 7 ways for this one, with the chip leader taking $10,500.

I don't understand chopping 7 ways. Maybe I am too competitive (greedy? lol) or whatever, but if I'm at your final table, do not expect me to agree to one. Sorry, not happening! I have been at tables where the whole final table wanted to chop, it's ok to say no. Really it is! I did chop 5 ways once at Harrah's, 2nd in chips with 2 super short stacks. Dumbest thing ever. But my husband, who was in it, too, really wanted to chop. Like reallyyy wanted to chop. So, I reluctantly agreed that time, but I regretted it and vowed never again. I'd rather limp Aces from the small blind in a family pot than agree to a bad chop! Haha, seriously, though.

Down in Biloxi, I read the Beau's "Million Dollar Heater" $2600 main event was chopped 5 ways, as well. This time the chip leader gave up $90k. Ninety thousand dollars. Say what!? Yep. First place was paying $178k and he decided to settle for $88k. The four other players took $79k evenly. Ok. Somebody at that table is obviously one hell of a negotiator! I just don't see giving up that much money, he musta been scared to death. Bless his heart.

While it's true, I wasn't in his position, playing for that amount of money, so I can't really say what exactly I'd agree to or what I wouldn't, but it seemed like such a bad chop to me...I dunno. But I'm speaking as the chip leader here. If I were a short stack, of course I'd jump all over that deal as 5th place was only $32k. ;)

In other news, more tournaments are coming. Horseshoe Tunica is hosting the 1st ever series of a new poker tour called the Senior Poker Tour. It's for players aged 50+, so I don't know much about this one. It's already started and runs Jan 15th - 19th. It says the $550 main event final table will be live streamed.  That's cool. The schedule is here on 2+2.  Hope we see Memphis Mojo on the live stream!

The WSOP circuit event will start Jan 23rd at Harrah's and run through Feb 3rd. Then the HPO is coming to Hollywood Tunica. Which I find hard to believe because who plays there?? But they are coming anyway and bringing Chris Moneymaker with them. I can't find a schedule on their website, but someone posted it in a 2+2 thread here. It runs Feb 7 - 16th.

So, lots of poker to be played around here. Hope I can be available to play some of them! glglgl :)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Horseshoe $25k

So, Horseshoe has their 25k guarantee tournament running this weekend in the newly opened poker room, which is really nice, by the way. They did a great job with everything, even including a players lounge in the bar area where you can wait for your name to be called. I spent some time in one of their comfy lounge chairs last night while using the free wifi (yes!), as I was alternate number 56 in the tournament and they were on 33 at the time. Please excuse the crappy pics, I am the worst iPhone photographer in the world, sorry.

I really thought that most players would either be in Choctaw for the WSOP circuit or in Biloxi for the $500k guarantee in their Million Dollar Heater series. I wasn't expecting such a large turnout, but the board said 196 players for the 1st of 3 starting flights. (They said 195 on facebook.) So, yea, much larger than I was expecting with 2 more flights to go on Saturday. It is a re-entry through level 7.

Remember how I said that because I had busted my last 2 trnys before the 1st break, I wouldn't be playing a single hand until after the 1st break in my next tournament? Yea, well that came true as I didn't even get seated until after the 1st break, ha! I was finally seated halfway through level 5 at 100/200/25 with 50 bbs. I had the option of waiting for the blind or posting in the cutoff. I'd already been waiting long enough I thought, so I posted $225 and jumped in, picking up AKo for my 1st hand. I raised to 700 after an MP limper and got 4 callers. Nice. AA5 flop and all fold to my cbet. Off to a good start!

Then my next hand in level 6 at 200/400/50 was kinda interesting, I get AQo in the cutoff and raise to 1100 over 2 limpers. The button and big blind call, the limpers fold. I slightly cover both. The flop comes J 6 7 rainbow. The BB checks and I decide to check as well. I'm really trying not to auto-cbet every flop when I raise pre like I have in the past and I've only been at the table a few rounds at this point, so I'm still in the process of getting reads on these guys. The button checks behind.

The turn brings a Q and a diamond flush draw. BB checks, I bet 2000 with my TPTK. The button folds, but the BB, a 30ish black guy with headphones calls. I hadn't been there long, but I did notice the BB was kind of a sticky player. If he was in the hand, he didn't like to fold. As I'm thinking about his possible turn calling range, the river brings a non-flush deuce, essentially a blank, and he leads into me for 2500. Hmmm

So the board is J 6 7 Q 2 and this feels an awful lot like a turn float/stab at the river type of bet to me. But is he a good player? He has headphones. Is he good enough to make a thin value bet fearing I will check behind if he checks? Does he even know what a thin value bet is and does he think I would know what it is. How does he perceive me? Does he think I delayed-cbet the turn with AK and will fold if he bets? Wouldn't he raise the turn rather than donk-lead the river, which was a blank? So many more questions were going through my head. I thought about it for a little bit, the pot was pretty big and his bet was small. Ugh. It's either a really thin value bet with 2 pair or total air. Which is it? In the end, I decided it was such a weird line, it didn't make sense and the price was too good to fold even though if I was wrong I'd be super short stacked. So, after a short tank, I slid out the call and was relieved when he was reluctant to turn over his hand. I flipped my AQ and he mucked. Yes! High five, y'all lol.

After that highlight, nothing really interesting happened. Was moved a couple of times and it's pretty tough to get reads/pick good spots to chip up when you keep getting moved to new tables. Meanwhile, the blinds and antes are catching me and I'm at 15 bbs towards the end of level 9. They were playing down to level 13 or 24 players (I think), whichever came first.

At 600/1200/200, I get Q2o in the big blind. The villain from the previous hand has just been moved to my table and he limps in UTG +1. It folds to the SB who calls. I check. The flop comes out J 2 2 and I am thinking BOOM! The SB and I check to the limper, I check because I know he will bet. He bets 2500. I plan to raise his turn bet. The SB calls, though. Hmmm. He's an older fellow and I put him on any Jack from JQ-J7 and possible small pairs, 77-33. A2 and K2 cross my mind, but that would be such a cooler...I call.

The turn is an 8 bringing a possible diamond draw. We check to the limper again, he bets 2500 again. Weak. I'm getting ready to shove when the SB surprises me with a check-raise. Wait, what?? So, now I'm really hoping he is the type of older man who overvalues top pair hands. I'm doubting, but I'm hoping. I'm just so short, though, I have to shove. Can't fold now. The limper folds and the SB snaps with J2.

Yep, J2 vs Q2 and the board has to come with 2 2. So, I went out in the mid 50s of 196 with 24 advancing. :(

Bad beat story, sorry. But if the UTG +1 limper had only raised like he's supposed to, that could've been avoided. But I can't blame others, so I'll own up and say it's my fault for not squeeze-shoving over 2 limpers from the BB. My bad. I know. Oh, well. Hindsight and all that. Can't re-enter today as I'm working. Next tournament will be the WSOP circuit. See ya then.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Horseshoe Tunica's New Poker Room Opens

The renovation is complete and the room opened yesterday, Christmas Eve, at 9am. It looks really good in the pictures! The following photos are from their facebook page. I probably won't get to see it in person until the tournament on January 3rd. The new tables have built in cup holders and built in chargers for phones/ipads along with free wifi. How cool is that?! Take a look at the larger room...

I love the entrance/desk area and the WSOP logo in the floor tile. I might've went with a darker color for the chairs, but I am not the designer, now am I? Ha! They look comfy, though. It does look great and I can't wait to see it in person. Great job, Horseshoe! Merry Christmas, all!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wrong Read on the Interstate

If you follow me on twitter (@jusdealem), you may have read where all of my rungood went before I even arrived at the tournament in my last post. If this pre-trny incident had not occurred, I'm quite certain I would've hit my club, doubled up and went on to win the tournament. Yup.

But my luck had already been used up that night. You see, I was on my way to Tunica for that 7pm daily and running a little late, as usual. I had my cruise set at 78 or 79, because I've always heard if you're doing less than 10mph over the limit on the interstate, you won't get a speeding ticket. True? I dunno, but that's what 'They' say and 'They' always seem to know what they're talking about, don't they?

So, I'm driving along, minding my own business, when this vehicle starts coming up on me really fast. I think about getting over and letting them pass, but there is an 18 wheeler just up ahead in the right lane. If I moved over right then, I'd have to slow way down to 60 or so and I have a tournament to get to, right? No time to be slowing down. So, I decide I'll pass the truck and then I'll let this hammer foot, maniac get by me.

But, his headlights keeps getting closer and closer to me. He is right on my ass at nearly 80mph. I hate that! You need to keep a safe distance to the car ahead of you at all times, no matter the road conditions! He was really pissing me off. So, I did what they call a 'brake check', I hit my brakes hard to let him know that if he would just hold on a damn minute and get off my ass, I would move over as soon as I passed the big rig and he could carry on doing 100mph. Welp, he responded to my actions not with a polite "I'm sorry" or even by slowing down, he responded with some flashing blue lights.

That's right, it was a cop. Of all people, I had to brake check a freakin' cop. A state trooper, actually. Doh!!!

I couldn't believe myself. Idiot. You're an idiot. Good job, way to go.

After pulling over, I get my license ready trying to think of something to say. My mind is blank. And if you've ever been pulled over, you know they have to blind you for some reason. There's a spotlight pointed directly at your mirror and then they walk up with a flashlight in your face that could rival the sun in it's brightness. I squint in the direction of the light and say, "I can't see you."

"I don't want you to see me!" came the angry growl behind the blinding light.

Oh shit, he's pissed. Fabulous.

I quietly hand over my license to the beam of light. Then the ass chewing starts. I remain silent and try to look pitiful. I was feeling pitiful, so it wasn't a stretch. After he goes on a bit, I decide to go with the truth, "I really thought you were just being a bad driver. Speeding and getting too close to me." He tells me he was so close because I was speeding and he was getting my tag number. I have no comeback other than "I didn't know that, I'm so sorrrrrry".

He calms down a little and goes on to tell me that even if he were just a random "bad driver", that's still really dumb because people are crazy these days, have guns and people have been killed over road rage. Now, I'm getting a read of some sympathy and understanding. Milk it, milk it! So I do. Which, I did actually, truly agree with him. It was a stupid thing to do and I was thankful for the reminder that yes, people are crazy and it's best to just let them be crazy and let them by.

He left me with a stern, "Don't do that again." instead of the ticket for speeding and reckless driving that I thought was coming. So yea, I used up my rungood that night before I even got to the poker room. But that's fine with me! I lost less than the ticket would've been, so I'm calling that a win! :)