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Tick-Tick-Tick-Boom! Part 4

Oooowee! I'm still in beautiful Buffalo, NY, and I had a wonderful day at the nearby Niagara Falls Casino. I'm saving that story for another night, so let's get back to the MATH tournament from last Monday. I received one comment from Gydyon yesterday that said, " baby jesus weeps when bad aces are raised." Well, Gyd, don't I know it. Don't mistake my hand histories as a how-to guide. It's just as much a how-not-to guide. It's also merely my hyper aggro journey through a blogger tournament. And without further adieu,

HAND 130- Gydyon is right, but it still works sometimes...
So I have 6429 and A7o on the button when it folds to me. The blinds are 120/240 with a 25 ante, so I raise pot (720). Kat and and lester fold in the blinds. Easy money which leads me to...

HAND 133- AQ, A7, what's the difference...
Three hands later, I get a decent hand, AQo. I now have 6939, and it folds to me in MP. I bet pot again. I want to keep consistent, and pot bets will win me the blinds which is good enough at this level. Everyone folds.

HAND 140- I can afford to gamble...
Seven hands later and I have 6899. It folds to me and I have A6o. It's another marginal, if not shitty, hand, but Blinders is in the BB with only 1675 chips total, so I decide to hoy him by betting his whole stack minus one. Everyone folds and shock of shocks, Blinders calls with AJo. Of course, I was gambling on Blinders folding with crap cards, but I have enough chips to withstand this situations and have over 5k to play with. I should add that the blinds are 150/300 with 25 antes. Well, I'm in bad shape, but this is poker. I flop the 6 and he doesn't hit a Jack and I bust Blinders. It's not the prettiest win, but I'll take it.

HAND 146- I lost this hand to copy-paste error, but I'm pretty sure I tried to temp players into the hand when I have a big pocket pair. I think I got some preflop action, but no postflop action.

HAND 154- in which I luckbox into a big stack...
We are at 200/400 blinds and I have T2 in the BB. Before it gets to me, a player in EP pushed with 1320. I didn't have the hand history for this one, but I actually took contemporaneous notes. I was moved to a new table immediately after, so I lost my quick hand histories. By the time it gets to me, the all-in player has two callers. I decide to call because of the sheer pot odds and the fact that we are likely just going to check it down anyway. It's just another 920 to me. The flop i s 432. We all check. The turn is another 2, we all check. The river is an 8. It checks to me and I bet 800, mostly because one of the callers only has 1337 left. That player pushed all-in on top of me and the other guy folded. I call, and he shows 66. I don't get to see the cards of the guy who pushed first because I am immediately moved to...

This table:
Seat 1: HighOnPoker (13,556)
Seat 2: bayne_s (2,070)
Seat 3: RecessRampage (10,485)
Seat 4: willwonka (5,055)
Seat 5: cemfredmd (3,890)
Seat 6: lightning36 (14,685)
Seat 7: oossuuu754 (8,904)
Seat 8: Iggy (11,910)
Seat 9: Astin (3,723)

I've played with some of these players earlier in the tournament, but a nunch of them are new to me (for this go round). I go into a fairly tight mode since I need to get a feel for my new surroundings.

HAND 164- bad fishing...
After the 10th hand at the new locale, I'm dealt Q8o in the BB. The blinds are 200/400 with a 50 ante and I have over 13k, 2nd biggest at the table by less than 50 difference. I wish I had the details for the hands that led up to this much larger stack, but it is what it is. CemFred (I've never seen this player before), with 5710, makes a cardinal sin and min raises to 400. I call along with a few other players. Once the AT4 flop comes down, I'm out of this hand. CemFred moves all-in for 4860, lightning36 raises all-in for 12,885, and Iggy pushes his 8637 all-in. The results, Cem has AJ for top pair, decent kicker, lightning has TT for middle set, and poor Iggy has 44 for the midget set. Lightning takes down a monster hand with TT...and then we are on break.

HAND 165- in which I channel lightning...
This is the first hand after the five minute break and I have 12,356 in MP with TT, the same hand that made lightning the 30k monster he is. The blinds are 250/500 with a 50 ante, so the pot is 1100 before any action (seven players at our table. WillWonka (not WWonka) raises to 1800 in EP. He's one of the players who know I am a loose mofo. He only has 5105 to start the hand, so this is a pretty nice chunk of change for him. It folds to me and I raise to 6250, essentially putting him all-in. I want the call here, as I like my hand against his potential range, AND I have enough chips to lose and still survive with a playable stack. I add, "shall we dance?" to try to induce the action, and he obliges as he replies, "gg all..and gl." He shows AJo and we have a horse-race. The flop is JT8, and I don't look back. I bust WillWonka. GG, sir. In hindsight, I wonder if this play was all that smart. It would've been difficult to lose half of my stack on a cointoss.

HAND 180- let 'em call...
This is a newer table and I'm trying to rehab my image, so I don't play a hand in a long while. I was also card dead which never hurts in a situation like this. By hand 180, I have a 16k stack, goot for third for the table, behind BuddyDank (20k) and lightning (28k+). UTG+2 (i.e., MP for this now-6-handed table), I raise 3x the BB to 1500 with 56s. I have enough chips where the bet won't cripple me, and I'm willing to see a flop. I've also been very passive and there isn't anyone at the table who has been with me during my early uber-aggressive action. Everyone folds and I take an easy 1050. If they call, I'm fine with it too, since my bet hopefully made my holdings deceptive. I can get paid off nicely if I hit, and I can potentially continuation bet if I miss.

HAND 184- the other side of aggression...
Overaggression can sometimes lead to situations where you get yourself into some trouble. Ideally, you want to be able to get away from the hand in those instances. Stack sizes are of ultimate importance here. So, I'm still at 16411, when I am dealt ATo in the SB. Lightning limps in MP and I stupidly raise to 2k. He raises back to over 6k, and I have to fold. This is really a stupid play and bad timing by me. I'm out of position with an unsuited ace with a medium kicker. I'm slaughtered against all sorts of hands, and being out of position takes away the informational advantage I'll need post-flop to steal this hand away. At least I had 16k to start, because I fold to his raise and have a manageable stack, still holding 3rd place at the table.

HAND 185- same hand, different position...
And herein lies the importance of position when being overaggressive. One hand later, I am on the button with ATo again. It folds to me, I raise to 1500 (3x the BB) and take down the pot. I suppose, aside from position, the fact that there were no limpers means a lot too. If there were a limper, I would've raised higher, actually, probably to 2000 (4x the BB), just to give him/her more incentive to fold out of position. By picking up this hand, I essentially cover 1/2 of my losses from hand 184.

HAND 186- keep the pressure on...
This is what I love about streaks. I am dealt 44 in the CO with 15361 in chips. It folds to me and I raise to 2000. This is higher than my past bets because, since I've raised the last two hands (this one being the third in a row), I have to assume that I've lost some credibility to my preflop raises. In hindsight, by raising more, I might be signaling that I want the preflop folds, thereby giving someone incentive to raise back, but with high blinds, its more likely that players won't want to scrap. Sure enough, everyone folds, and hand 186, in which I stupidly bet and folded 2000, is a mere memory. I've won all that money back.

HAND 197- wait for it, wait for it, steal...
After three preflop raises in a row, I have to tighten up. I fold for 11 hands and then get dealt 44 again in the CO. When it folds to me, I raise to 2k again and everyone folds. Stealing is worth over 1k, so I don't want any preflop callers.

HAND 202-taking advantage of odd position...
The blinds are now 300/600 with a 75 ante. Our table is 5-handed and there are only 10 or 11 players left in the tournament. I have 13,161, good for 2nd place at the table behind lightning's 41k+. Everyone else, however, have over 12k, so I'm not really ahead of anyone. Preflop, there is 1350 in the pot, about 10% of our stacks. That's a lot of frijoles. I'm in the BB with A8o. It occurs to me that I have a lot of these Ace-rag hands in this tournament. I have only been dealt 3 or so premium hands and 6 or so top ten hands. Still, when god gives you lemons, make limoncello. Lightning calls, oossuuu calls, and I check. The flop is KT3. OSU checks. I raise pot, 2175, mostly because I need dem chips. The flop isn't spectacular to a middle pair or AQ or AJ. Basically, I just need lightning to not have a King or a strong Ten. This might be a stupid play, since I'm screwed if he calls or raises, but I figured it was worth the gamble to accumulate chips, and if I had to fold, I could make do with the 9k left. Everyone folds, and I chip up a little more.

HAND 210- well sized bluffs means not having to say you're sorry...
I'm a big fan of finding the optimal size for bets, be them value bets or bluffs. The way I see it, the optimal bet is one that you don't care what happens. If you are called you can accept defeat or you are getting the right odds to draw; if your opponent folds, you are happy to take the pot. So, with just under 13k in MP, I am dealt T8o. Lord knows why, maybe it was because I had been folding a lot, but I raises to 1800, 3x the BB, when it folds to me. Only lightning with 39k calls me from the BB. The flop is KJ3 with two spades. I have nada. He checks and I bet 4x the BB, 2400. He folds. I believe that the size of the bluff continuation bet was perfect here. Any less (i.e., 1800) would look weak. Any more and I would basically be crippling myself if he is slowplaying KJ or anything else that warrants a check-raise. As it were, if he calls, I have about 8800 left, enough for me to work. I always joke that I am dangerous on a short-stack, but I actually mean it. I feel comfortable there and I have confidence in how to use my stack. So, with a 2400 bet size, it is the minimum that I can bet without looking like a weak bluff (instead, it looks like a value bet) AND even if I am called, I can check it down or fold and still survive.

HAND 214- final table...
We've made it to the final table! I've got 15k or so, good for 4th place out of 9 and UTG, I am dealt AA. Blinds are 400/800 with 100 antes, so the pot is 2100 before anyone acts. From UTG, I raise to 3600, pot. Everyone folds. Shit! I don't think I can play this hand any differently. Lord knows I don't want to check and let the BB with 24o see a 24J flop. I'm trying to narrow my competition to dominated Ace hands and underpairs. Alas, it didn't work. Still, you either win a small hand or lose a big one with Aces, so I can't complain.

HAND 215- a stupid play...
I think this is where the wheels finally fall off. I make a stupid play with a good result, but I really need to be thinking of lasting here, rather than playing for first. Make no doubt about it, I was playing for first, and while that is generally a noble goal, I think I started a bit too early. I have 17k and am dealt ATo in the BB. OSU has 14k and raises to 3600, pot. I decide to lay the pressur eon and raise all-in. He folds and asks if 77 is good. I don't answer, but I know that I had no reason to make that play.

HAND 225- laying down AK...
I get a momentary grapple on the situation and fold away until I am dealt AKo in the SB, my fifth or so premium hand in 224 hands of play. I have just short of 20k. This close to the money, it is very tempting to overplay this hand, but I'm working on my AK and AQ play. Miami Don has almost 21k and raises to 2750 from MP. He has been aggressive at the final table. It folds to me and I call. RecessRampage, a player who is new to me, pushes all-in for about 10k more from the BB. Don calls and I fold. AK is good, but not good enough here. Don has AA and Recess has 99. Don wins the hand, and I'm glad I know how to fold AK.

HAND 226-steal, followed by...
On the button, I am dealt J3o. It folds to me and I bet pot, 4000 (the blinds are now 500/100 with 125 antes). Both players fold to me and I take down an easy pot. This was a pure position play, but it sets up the next one.

HAND 227- a real hand...
I may have made a slight error earlier in this series. I believed that I busted out in hand 227, but I was incorrect. Actually, I busted in hand 231, so let's get this penultimate hand out of the way. After bluffing on the button to steal the blinds with J3o, I am dealt AJo in the CO. Consistency is the key, so when it folds to me, I raise pot, 4375, and take down the hand, worth over 3k.

HAND 231- the bottom drops out...
The problem with over-aggression is not knowing when enough is enough. This is the reason for my downfall. It only takes one colossal error to lose an entire 200 hands worth of work in NLHE tournaments, so you can't afford that sort of mess-up. Little mess-ups, of which I've shown quite a few, are tolerable as long as you are conscious of your stack and bet sizes. But its those brain farts that are unbridled that can end in true catastrophe.

With 7 players left and blinds of 500/1000 and 125 antes, the pot is 3250 before any action starts. I have 21k, good for third place. This alone is reason for me to play tight and keep out of trouble, but the pot is 1/7 of my stack, and that's sometimes too tempting. With A7s, I raise to 4k UTG. I am ashamed, Gydyon. Miami Don calls. He's been a loosey goosey. The flop is T98, with two hearts. My brain locks up and I bet 9k. I figure it is enough to push him off most hands, and I don't put him on a Ten. I'm wrong. He pushes all-in with JTo. I realize at this point that I only have 7961 left. The pot is well over 20k. I decide to call...and I lose. I deserve to lose too. I should have never continuation bluffed that big. The smart move was to bet about 6k, leaving me with over 10k behind. If he pushes, I fold and I still can survive long enough to pick up a pushable hand. Some might think that Miami Don's play with JTo was odd, but it wasn't. It was smart big stack poker. I congratulate him on his play.

And that's it folks. After all these hands, I don't even know what the whole point was. I did last to the top 7 players with very few strong hands. I definitely overplayed Ace-rag, something that I really don't do often (I swear!). Next up at High on Poker, I write my Buffalo/Niagara trip report, where I played 2/5 for the first time and learned why locals softplay each other to their own detriment. Thanks for reading.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:40 PM,

2 Comments:

At 5:24 PM, Blogger Gydyon said...

My comment only referred to under the gun.....and haha linking to my blog since I am not posting on it ;)

 
At 5:33 PM, Blogger Gydyon said...

Also, I don't hate going down with that hand in that spot (at least you had a straight draw.....)

If you're going to bet the flop, though, just push since you can't bet/fold with 7k left and there is some fold equity. Of course JT is still calling, but other tens may have to fold.

That said, stop the UTG steals ;)

 

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