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Tick-Tick-Tick-BOOM! Part 2

And we are back! If you recall, I just played about 7 out of the first 20 hands at my passive table (filled with exceptional players, mind you) in a deep stack blogger tournament. I've worked my way over 4200 with no one over 3210 at the table (that distinction goes to the other WWonka). Let's keep this party going.

HAND 21- relentless aggression...
So, I am still exploiting my relentless aggression and the table's seeming willingness to let me win pots uncontested. I've only shown down once in my 7 wins (out of 7 hands played), and none of those hands involved cards better than ATs or KQs. I'm in MP when I am dealt KQo, another marginal hand. If I'm playing, I'm raising, so I bump it up to pot, 140 (20/40 blinds). Only WWonka on the button calls. The flop is a beautiful KQJ, rainbow. I only fear AT. I could slowplay here, but it's likely to look fishy since I've been betting away so consistently. Also, I do not want to give a free card, since a Nine, Ten or Ace could put me in a lot of trouble. So, I bet 480, which I think is pot, and WWonka folds. Nothing special here. It's just bet bet bet. It's nice to take some money from my closest competition.

HAND 35- end of coffee break...
I must've had to squeeze one out of something, because I sit out a whopping 14 hands before I play my next one. Why, you ask? Well, for one, my cards were utter crap. I can play some games when I have suited gaps or highcards, but I'm not looking to gamble with 96o or J3. Also, I've been relentless for the first 20 hands, so I feel that it is only a matter of time before someone starts playing back at me. In the interim, there was a lot of action, and Kat is now up to 5840 to my 4144. WillWonka (not WWonka, they are two different animals altogether) has chipped up to 5900, so I'm behind him too. Otherwise, the rest of the table has less than 3200.

For the first time in the tournament, I am dealt a top ten hand, AKo. I am in the CO. Wippy, the newbie I've never seen before (and therefore, I assume he doesn't know my style too well aside from the overaggression I've shown), limps in EP. He has just under 2500. I raise to 250 on top. You may notice that this is one of the first times I've raised something different than 3x the BB or pot. The reason is because I want to win this hand right away. The 200 on top is a lot harder to call than 150 on top. If nothing else, it is a mental hurdle, and that round 200 psychologically looks worse than something that is barely over 100 (i.e., 150, which looks like a pittance in comparison). I am glad to win now because it maintains my supremacy, hides my hand (I still have only shown down once) and saves me from missing the flop and betting into someone who luckily hits top pair on a T-high board or something similar. Everyone folds, and we move on. It is clear that I am getting respect.

HAND 37- my first loss...
I wait all of two hands before getting my second top ten hand, 88. I am UTG+1 and after UTG folds, I do my usual and bet pot, 175 (25/50 blinds). I get called immediately by Kat on my left. Everyone else folds. Kat has me covered by 1600, so I'm definitely cautious. The flop is Q52, with two diamonds. I bet pot, 425, and Kat calls. Essentially, I am once again betting that she does not have a Queen, KK, AA, 55, or 22. I suppose she might make a call here with other pocket pairs, assuming that I also don't have the Queen, so I can add 99 through JJ. The turn is an offsuit 6. I check, accepting that I may have to give up this hand. She bets 500 into the 1200+ pot. I consider my options and fold. There were three factors that dictated the fold: (1) I am out of position; (2) she has me outchipped; and (3) I've been playing aggressively for the majority of the tournament, so I know that I have probably used up all credibility. I lose, but in the grand scheme of things, I could take the 600 or so hit, thanks to the early buildup. BTW, my guess is that she had TT or 99. I wonder if she remembers.

HAND 40- I lick my wounds...
I'll go through this one quickly. Everyone folds to me in the SB with K3o. I call, and Kat in the BB checks. The flop is K94 with two diamonds (my three is a diamond too). I bet pot and take it down. Typical.

HAND 42- I've used up all of my credibility (or someone else actually has a hand)
I am down to 3669, not so great after my earlier excapades. Notably, however, I have rarely put a significant percentage of my stack into the pot, and I've still got plenty of wiggle room. I'm dealt 97h on the CO and the cattle all fold to me. I raise pot to 210 (30/60 blinds), hoping to pick up some uncontested blinds or flop a lucky hand with deceptive cards. Kat folds but WWonka, in the BB with just short of 3k, calls. Gulp! The flop is KJT, rainbow. WWonka checks, I bet 450, pot, and he pushes all-in for 2785 more. I fold. I doubt he has a super strong hand, but it doesn't matter, because I have crap. This WILL happen when you play loose aggressive, but if you have enough chips, you can make this play and fold when you come across resistance.


HAND 58- caution lulls them into a false sense of security...
Knowing I am losing credibility (I have now lost 2 hands!), I tighten up a bit and fold for 16 or so hands. I'm down to 2679, with blinds of 40/80, so for all my work, I am actually down, now, but I've built up an image and I have controlled the table for a while. I have now switched roles because I don't have the benefits of my larger stack. In the SB, I am dealt ATo. WillWonka with over 6k calls from EP/MP. Wippy (who I have determined is a soft spot at the table) called from LP with 2701. I call, and Kat in the BB checks. The flop is A83, rainbow. Top pair is nice, but I'm scared of a better Ace, be it AJ or A3. I check, hoping to get info, and I like what I see. Everyone else checks, too. As glad as I am, I am still slightly worried about someone slowplaying two-pair or a better ace. The turn is an Ace, and I know two things: (1) it is less likely that someone else has the sole remaining ace, (2) someone without the Ace will probably be skeptical that I had it and checked it from the SB after the flop [i.e., I have deception on my side, and I can possibly get paid]. I bet the pot, 320, and only WillWonka calls. I consider him possibly slowplaying me into oblivion, but I have to take a stand. The river is a Queen, and I bet pot again, 960. This would leave me with 1659 if he calls and I lose. If he re-raises, I might even fold, because I'm not looking to lose everything here. I can survive and recover with 1659, and believe me when I say this is the survival portion of the game. Will calls, and mucks 89o. In the end, my check on the flop lulled him into a false sense of comfort. My loose image earlier probably helped set this up because it creates the impression that my range is extremely wide (especially from the blinds) and I am willing to bluff a lot.

HAND 70- regained credibility...
I was card dead for 12 hands and also working on re-establishing some credibility at the table. Finally on hand 70, I am dealt AQo, the third top ten hand of the tournament for me. I have 4199, and after it is folded to me in MP, I bet pot, 280. I take it down when everyone folds. Sweet!

HAND 71- push the rush again...
I'm back on another mini rush, as I am dealt KQo in the very next hand. The blinds just went up to 50/100 so I raise pot, 350, and everyone folds.

HAND 79- about time...
Eight hands later, and I have 4319 in EP/MP, when I am dealt QQ. This is my second premium hand of the day (AKo being the other one), and my fourth top ten hand. UTG+2, I raise pot, 350, and am called by WWonka, who apparently has had enough of my preflop betting nonsense. He is two seats to me left. Everyone else folds. The flop is KTT, and I have to bet out with the hope that he has neither the Ten or King (or AA, but let's be real!). I bet pot, 850, and he folds. I am happy. There is no need for me to try to extract more dough. I'm merely trying to build my stack without showing my cards. I remind you, I have now won 13 hands, with only one showdown. I have lost only 2 of the 15 hands I have entered.

HAND 85- the academic steal...
I have 4669. When it folds to me in the CO, I decide to raise 3x the BB (60/120 blinds) to 360 with 37s. At the very worse, I fold to a reraise. Otherwise, I win it outright or I see a flop most likely with position and a deceptive hand. I like this play even better from the CO because it looks like less of a steal. Everyone folds.

HAND 88- minimizing a slip-up...
Slip ups do happen. This was a plain old brain fart. With 4849 (third chip leader at the table), I raise 3x the BB to 360 with A2h UTG. Stupid, just stupid. If I'm called, its likely by a dominating Ace, if not a pair for which I only have one over. WWonka is obviously onto me. He calls. The flop is 338 and I see a glimmer of hope. I make a small bet of 480 into the 800+ pot. He calls. I then shut down. I know I've lost. I'm not going to punish myself any more. We check it down, and he shows AQo, exactly what I was worried about. The fact that he called me without a pair shows that WWonka is done putting up with continuation bets. The fact that I had to show my A2h means that I also announced to the rest of the table that I am easy pickins' for a reraise preflop. At least I was able to check it down once I saw I was in trouble.

HAND 89- flippin' it thanks to the cards...

The logical thing after showing my A2h is to tighten up. But when you are dealt AKo in the very next hand, you have to use that weaker image. I still have 4009 too, good for third at the table, so I'm in okay shape. Everyone folds to the Bayne of My Existence, with 2710 in the SB. He calls, and I raise to 360 (3x the BB). I tempt him enough to call out of position, probably because he saw that I was an aggro fool. The flop is J32 with two clubs, and after he checks, I once again bet, not on my cards per se, but more on the fact that the flop did not help him enough to call a 720 pot-sized bet. I am right. He folds.

HAND 90- hammer time...
Oh, I just can't resist. I have 4369 in the SB and it folds to me (pussies). With the hammer, 72o, I raise 3x the BB, and Kat, with about 6.5k in chips, calls me in the BB. The flop is JT8, with two spades, and I check. I don't have faith that I can pull this off, as I know my credibility has been shot from my aggro play. She bets 720 and I fold. Jerk!

HAND 94- I don't know what I was thinking, but whatever it was, it worked...
Down to 4009, I am dealt 55 in MP. I call only, hoping to flop a set, but Kat immediately raises to 240 (min raise). Everyone folds except for me. The flop is A97, all diamonds (I have a diamond too). I check and Kat bets 660, which I belive is the pot. I decide to call, hoping to appear as though I am drawing to a high flush, so I can steal it from her on the turn. The turn, however, is a useless offsuit Ten. I curse the gods and check. She does the same. The river is an offsuit Jack. I think about the past action and put Kat on something other than a strong Ace. She was likely drawing to the flush, too, hence the turn check. That was Kat's biggest mistake here. If she bets the turn, I fold. By checking, she has shown weakness. I figure I can represent a slowplaying flush or a strong Ace, since, unlike most of my hands, I'm calling down this time instead of raising the whole way. That must seem somewhat more suspicious to Kat, who knows my play well from sitting next to me the whole time and from past games. I bet 1080, probably around 2/3 of the pot (I don't feel like backtracking and doing the math, mkay?). She folds. Notably, the size of my bet was designed to be just enough to get her to fold (over 1k is scarier than under) but not so much that I would be crippled. If she calls, I still have 2029.

So, let's break here, as I'm sure I've been going on for way too long. Next up, we'll take on hands 100 through whatever the hell I feel like. If there are any questions about particular hands, feel free to shoot em my way. If nothing else, this is an interesting exercise at anaylzing the flow of a game. I've been aggressive, but you can see where that starts to fall apart and I have to change strategy a little to a passive caller that takes opportunistic stabs. Also, you can see the beginning of the cracks in my armor, mostly ill timed or stupid plays, that ultimately led me to blow up in the late stage of the game.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 12:27 PM,

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