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That Didn't Take Long

Mere hours after posting my "Poker Sucks" posts...I played online poker. I know, I know. But it's cool, because I followed one of my exceptions...sorta.

Wifey Kim was out at her friends place last night, so when I got home, I had a lot of free time to kill. I've had poker on the mind lately, specifically, my renewed distaste for online poker. Still, I love the game of poker. It's the gamesmanship that keeps me coming back. It's the same reason why I get my assed handed to me regularly in Chess, but keep playing, even if I take several months' hiatus after losing match after match.

My goal was to play the Hoy, mostly because blogger tournaments are the closest thing to live tournaments, and live tournaments are just more fun. Unlike other online tournaments, blogger tournaments are chat-heavy affairs, where conversation at the table offers both the social elements of poker and the human-interaction aspect of poker. The social aspect is self-explanatory, but I should probably elaborate about the human-interaction aspect.

In a live game, table chatter not only provides a social experience; it can also be used to get a feel for the moods and attitudes of your opponents. Are people saying, "nice hand" in a positive way, indicating a friendly game? Are people talking smack, indicating a challenging, cut-throat game? These things obviously matter live, but they matter just as much online. The usual disconnect is that in your average online tournament, maybe 1-3 player at most are willing to chat in the chat box. Usually, it's dead silent. But in a blogger tournament, table chatter will tell you a lot.

I suppose a sub-topic of the human-interaction aspect of online poker is that, online, some people simply play a math game. They have 8 windows open and they make their decision without reference to anything other than their cards and math. While some people play blogger events distracted (including me, usually), there is still a lot more knowledge available about playing style from previous experience and there is a higher incidence of players actually keeping track of table image (or, in some cases, general image accumulated over time).

Yeah, so blogger tournaments actually make sense as an exception to the rule about online poker sucking. Sadly, though, I don't have much at FT anymore (most of my funds are at Bodog, but even that isn't anything to write home about), so I opted to try a 2-table turbo SNG to win a token for the Hoy. I used to win a token easily 2/3 times or more, and frankly, over time that is probably still accurate. However, recently I can't seem to win a token, mostly due to bad lucks or deviation from my intended strategy. Let's not get into the bad luck debate, but let me make clear that I play the token SNGs in a very specific way. Essentially, my goal is to only play premium hands, with very few exceptions. All I need is two double-ups (easier than you think once the blinds get high and players start pushing) and I can coast to the money. However, if your moster hand runs into another monster or you suffer a suckout, that's it for the tournaments, since it's an all-in-or-fold style. Also, when I deviate from the strategy (i.e., play poorly), it usually comes back around to smack me in the face.

As it were, I won the tournament after getting lucky in the middle levels. With TT, my first premium hand, I raised pot, as I always do. A player after me raised to 1460 or so, which was slightly less than my 1620 stack. The blinds were at 60/120, but were going up to 80/160 shorly, so I figured it was time to make the call. It also helped that the raiser had over 5,500 after the raise, so I figured he was playing uber-aggressive. I pushed, he called, and showed AQ. I won the coin toss and that was that. Now, you'll note I consider this getting lucky, because I was essentially putting my token at stake for a weighted cointoss. Frankly, this is the very situation I try to avoid. If I wanted to toss a coin for a token...I'd toss a coin for a token. But it worked out for the best, so I guess I've got that going for me.

Down to the final table, I had about 3200 when a player UTG raised all-in for about 2100 with blinds of 120/240 or higher. I had AKc in MP and folded. Yep. Folded. It's not my job to knock out UTG, and I went through his range in my head. I was beating or dominating some possible hands (AT-AQ) but a lot of hands would leave me with another cointoss (this time weighted in his favor) and there were players left to act after me. In most situations, I push, but not here. Adjusting for a particular game is crucial. I didn't want to be the shortie with 1100 if he had 22 and I missed. So, fold, I did.

A few hands later, I pushed with QQ with blinds of 200/400 and was called by TT. I doubled up to become the chip leader and then knocked out three players to win me a token.

With my token in hand, I signed up for the Hoy. I then went about with some other things around the house.

Wifey Kim arrived home at 9:30 and we spent some time catching up. At 9:45 we were settling into the couch to watch Sunday's episode of The L Word. Yes, I watch The L Word. It was then that I leaned over to the computer, opened up the Hoy and unregistered. As much as playing "sounded" like a good idea, I didn't really feel that it would've been smart. I would be watching TV with wifey Kim until 11 easily, and didn't want to be distracted from her or poker. Oddly, during the hour-long program, I caught myself on a half-dozen occasions looking over to the computer to see if it was my turn to act. Each time, I was met with a blank screen.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 12:05 PM,

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