Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Night

I looked forward to Monday night during the Fall because of Monday Night Football. Now football is gone, but I have Full Tilt's 1k Monday to replace it. The 1k Monday is my favorite online tournament. It's on Full Tilt, my favorite site, it provides a chance to make real money quickly, it has an optimal field size (for me), and it's on Monday night when I'm usually looking for something to do. Whenever I play the 1k Monday, I never play any other tournaments or cash tables. I just focus on the one tournament, and this really helps me play well.

Recently I have been very frustrated with my tournament play. I don't seem to make a lot of good plays. It seems time and again, I fold myself to a short stack and then hope for the best. I've been studying some of the top online players looking for methods I can use to pick up some more chips. Tonight, in an effort to improve to my tourney game, I decided to write down everything I was seeing, thinking, and doing while playing the 1k Monday.

I’m in a better than average mood tonight because
a) I took an engaging run this afternoon in fifty-plus degree weather which included a section of the Mesa Trail I’d never seen before
b) The Pitt Panthers went to Hartford and downed the top-ranked UConn Huskies behind monster games from DeJuan Blair and Sam Young. It was Pitt’s first-ever win over a #1 ranked team and will go a long ways towards their quest for a #1 seed in March.
c) If I bust early, there will likely be a game of Puerto Rico later in the evening

10-20, 5000 chips to start

The table looks excellent. I recognize only one name (toetagu, who I know nothing about) which is unheard of for this tournament.

It folds to me in the small blind where I have the ten-three of clubs. I throw it away. The next hand folds to me on the button and I fold eight-four offsuit. Really I’m not interested in getting involved at all until I learn some more about these players.

The first music selection is Lyle Lovett’s Pontiac, which has delivered on Pete Gartrell’s promise. It’s old man music, but it’s mostly about hating women – something men of all ages can relate to.

In consecutive hands I fold K9 offsuit, 32 suited, and 43 suited. No one at the table is up to any shenanigans, which is standard for the first hour of the 1k Monday.

I get ace-king offsuit in second position and decide to limp. I don’t usually do this but with the blinds so low I have no wish to raise and pick them up, or raise and get called by someone in position. A player named Doctor_Fun raises to 80, toetagu calls from the small blind, and I make a large reraise to 400. They both fold.


“Walk Through the Bottomland” comes on. Great song. I google to check if that is indeed Emmylou Harris singing along with Lyle. It is.

A guy named bigtonyk123 minraises in early position and gets a call from middle position. I call 30 more from the blind with J6s. I don’t always call here but bigtony seems a bit fishy. He has been potting a lot of boards. I kinda doubt he can get away from a hand. I’m hoping to hit something and win a big pot. The flop comes T87 with two diamonds – it’s checked around. The turn is the 9d. I check, tony bets pot, the other guy folds, and I call. The river is a blank and it goes check-check. Tony has pocket sevens; I win.

I raise 3x in third position with the 65 of diamonds. The small blind calls. The flop is K22 with one diamond. The small blind checks and calls a 2/3 pot bet, which is what I expected. He probably has a medium pair. I am planning on double and possibly triple barreling this hand. The turn is a 4d, a great card. The small blind checks and I make a pretty big bet. He folds.

The very next hand I get pocket aces and raise 3x again. Bigtony calls and so does the big blind. The flop comes 9s7c2c. The small blind leads out 180. After some time thinking, I make it 510. Bigtony coldcalls, and the big blind calls also. I think I have the best hand still. The turn is the Jc. Now it is unlikely I have the best hand, but I have the Ac. The small blind checks and I decide to check. Bigtony bets the pot, 1815. The problem with my check is that bigtony has been potting it so frequently in this situation. By checking, I might price myself out of the hand, and I’d like to get to the river. The big blind folds, and I am in a quandary. I eventually fold.

A couple guys limp and I do nothing with my J2s on the button. This might have been a good opportunity to raise in position.


A guy who has been playing tight raises 3x UTG. I call from the cutoff with 77, then the button, small blind, and big blind all call. The flop comes 962 with a flush draw and it’s checked to me. I check. The button bets 350 into 600 and everyone folds to me. I fold also.

“Simple Song” comes on. This one should crack the February Top 15.

In a limped pot, bigtony pots the flop, turn and river with 72 on a board of 8429A. Perhaps I should have check-jammed that AA hand on the turn.

A guy raises UTG and I call with 7d6d in 3rd position. The button calls, but not before dipping into his time bank. Pretty strange. The flop comes KhJh4c. UTG checks, which I take as a sign of weakness. Still, I check. The button bets it hard and gets called by UTG. I fold. The button takes it with a large bet on a 8c turn.

The cutoff raises to 140 and I make it 440 in the small blind with AQo. He calls. Flop K32 I bet 500 (only a little more than half pot) and he folds.


Pontiac ends and I throw on Rock N Roll from Ryan Adams. This could be his worst album but he might be the most talented songwriter in the world right now.

I raise from the hijack with AJo. Doctor_Fun calls from the small blind. The flop comes Q84 rainbow and he checks. I check it back. On the turn 4 he bets 2/3 pot and I fold. I don’t think many world-class players would play it like this. Hands like this are part of where I can improve.

The guy to my left scottythefish plays a hand very nicely extracting maximum value with TT on a board of Q8532. He might be a player.

A glance at the lobby shows a field of 355 players and a first-place prize of $88,750. This is small for the 1k Monday, I think. Smaller than when I won it, I know that.

The elephant two to my right keeps raising, check-calling once, then folding the turn.

I open from the cutoff with Q7s and take the blinds.


Toetagu raises in early position and the next guy calls. I have Ac6c and think about calling or raising. But I fold.

During a lull in the action I check in on Wayner’s Movie Musings.

The small blind opens 3x and I fold T6o in the BB.

I open J9o 3x in the SB and scottyfish defends. The board of AQ9xx is checked all the way down and I win against his JTo.

Toetagu raises 3x and the cutoff calls. I smell a squeeze opportunity with my J9o on the button but I fold. Toetagu had a pretty good shove stack if I reraised. It would be better to put the pressure on others, I think.

The elephant opens for 210 and I make it 540 with AA. A lot of times I would flatcall here but the table hasn’t been reraising much. Also, I recently reraised this guy so I am hoping for a vindictive play. Everyone else folds but he calls. The flop comes KJJ. He checks and I check. The turn is a 6 and he bets 2/3 pot. I call. The river is a 7 and he now bets 3333, an overbet of the pot. This is uncharacteristic for this player. I am pretty sure I am folding. What does he have? Obviously he is trying to tell me has a huge hand, 66, 77, or a jack. Could he be valuebetting a king? It doesn’t look like I have much. I give these guys so much rope, sometimes I need to make a stand remembering how I’ve misrepresented my hand. I have already folded AA once today. This will cripple me but I throw in a call. I know it’s a bad call because after I hit the call button, I am just looking at his hand wondering which one is it, the jack-ten, the 77, or the 66. But it’s queen-ten offsuit and I win a huge pot.

Immediately get moved to a new table. There are two FTOPS main event winners here, fkscreennames on my direct left and cheesemonster across the table, as well as another player I’ve heard of called Wildman75. Cheesemonster is Keith Lehr, a strong nuisance-type player. He is constantly foraging in pots in a really bothersome manner. Fkscreennames I watched win his jersey and he played phenomenally. Maybe he had help – hopefully he’s not always that good.


Cheesemonster doubles up with 99 against KK all-in preflop. This is bad news.

Orion_sharp raises 3x UTG with a 4k stack. I have TT in next position and smoothcall. Everyone else gets out of the way. The flop comes 975 and he checks. I bet half pot and he folds.

Fkscreennames raises 3x UTG. Everyone folds to my T7s in the BB and I fold too.

Cheesemonster minraises and I have Q9s in the small blind. I will almost always play this hand for a minraise but I have no interest in playing pots out of position vs Lehr.

I raise a hand with KJo in late position. Looks like fk is going to reraise me but he folds and so does everyone else.

Two players limp. I have 75s in the cutoff and think about jacking it up big, but I don’t know these players. I limp and fk makes a huge raise. Everyone folds.

I limp 55 UTG. The button limps and the blinds check. The flop comes AK3 all clubs. I have a club. It is checked to me and I decide to check. The button checks also. The turn is the Qc. Again we check to the button, who pots it. This is a bit strange. I know nothing about this player and decide to fold.

A 7k stack raises to 300 in early position and Lehr makes it 900 with less than a 5k stack. I make it 2533 in the big blind with AKo and both fold quickly.


There is a big stack two to my left who doesn’t appear to enjoy folding once he puts chips into a pot. Hopefully I can nail him.

I open-fold 85s from the hijack. I don’t like my seat at all.

After an early position raise to 275 and a call, the big blind moves in for a ridiculous 4680. Far more ridiculous, the flatcaller ends up calling this bet with A5s, which loses to the big blind’s AKs. Once again, when it looks and smells like AK, it usually is.

The A5s nutjob minraises in early position. Two guys call as do I with 44 on the button. The BB calls, the flop comes 776, and everyone folds to nutjob’s half-pot bet.

Cheesemonster limps, Wildman makes it 360, and I call with 86s. The big blind calls, but then cheese makes a big reraise that appears to be pot-committing. We all fold.

I raise AQo in late position to 300 and that big stack makes it 960 on the button. He is from Sweden. His earlier reraise was shown down to be AK. Just yesterday I was in a discussion with a friend about how the big stack reraise of the big stack applies so much pressure. Here I am with AQ but what am I supposed to do? Make it 2600 and fold to a jam? Make it 2600 and call a jam? Make a gigantic shove? Call out of position? Or fold, like I did. Someone help me out here.

Next album: Travis’s new one, Ode to J Smith. The worst album of their career but still pretty solid.


Guy makes it 400 in late position. I have QsJs in the BB and think I am going to reraise, but finally decide to call cause it is so playable and reraising here is a bit transparent. Flop Ks5d3s I check, he bets 460, I make it 1237, he folds.

That psycho limps early on a short stack. I make it 600 on the button with A9o. Fk flatcalls from the small blind which is strange. The psycho folds. The flop comes Js9s6h and fk leads out for 1120, a pretty big bet. I think about folding, briefly consider raising, and end up calling. This doesn’t smell right or good. The turn comes Jh and fk goes allin for over the pot. I fold immediately. Smells like AA. Preflop was strange, I thought he would reraise for sure.

Fold KJo early position. Fold 64s UTG.

Cheesemonster has won some pots and now has me covered with over 10k. I have 9200 (down from a high of 11,200). Fk has 8600 and the Swede to his left has 23k after busting Wildman in a huge pot AA vs QQ. Average is 7k.


Here’s a cheesemonster hand:
NITRO A posts the small blind of 100
cheesemonster posts the big blind of 200
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to GnightMoon [Td 9c]
0vash0rk folds
IamBloo folds
DevilTruck folds
GnightMoon folds
fkscreennames raises to 600
Ahvall folds
p2ryan2003 folds
NITRO A has 15 seconds left to act
NITRO A folds
cheesemonster calls 400
*** FLOP *** [Kc 5d As]
cheesemonster checks
fkscreennames has 15 seconds left to act
fkscreennames bets 800
cheesemonster has 15 seconds left to act
cheesemonster raises to 1,851
fkscreennames has 15 seconds left to act
fkscreennames calls 1,051
*** TURN *** [Kc 5d As] [Ks]
cheesemonster has 15 seconds left to act
cheesemonster bets 4,000
fkscreennames folds
Uncalled bet of 4,000 returned to cheesemonster
cheesemonster shows [9s Qd] a pair of Kings
cheesemonster wins the pot (5,002)

I open-fold 44 in third position.

The cutoff makes it 600 and I make it 1625 on the button with ATo. This felt pretty transparent and he had a great shove stack. I was half-expecting him to jam and was thinking of maybe calling 4k more but he did fold.

Raise 66 to 512 in second position. Thought about folding. Cheese calls on the button and I feel sick already. Flop Jh7c3c. If I bet, he will call or raise. If I check, he will bet. I decide a bet is pointless, unless I want to bet and check-jam the turn. I could checkraise. I check, he bets, I think and fold. Someone please teach me how to play.


The thing about this tournament is this jump, from 100-200 to 120-240 25 ante. Many players including me play tight and then let the gambling begin now.

The cutoff makes a small raise. I have K9o in the BB. Usually I fold here. I think about reraising but that would lock me into the hand. I eventually call. The flop comes K96 with two clubs and a spade. I check and he checks. The turn is the 5s. I bet out 1147 and he jams for 6735. I call quickly; he has 55 and I am crippled down to 1700 in the small blind.

I send out a couple texts trying to get that Puerto Rico game going.

A couple hands later I make a normal raise from the cutoff with K4s. I’ve found that raising normal on the short stack (obviously you will call all-in if forced) is a little more effective than jamming it in.

The Swede makes a small raise in early position. I have T9o in the BB. I could call here and jam if I pick up anything. But I fold.


Folded to me in the cutoff and I fold 75o on a 1500 stack.

Next hand folds to me in the hijack and I fold J7o. Really on the fence about that one, maybe two years ago it was a push but everyone calls these shoves so light now. Still, maybe it is a jam. I mean the blinds are coming quickly and I am anteing 25 a pop. I can’t afford to go through the blinds without getting it in.

Next hand I make that funky raise with 55 and everyone folds.

Lehr reraises half his stack and timeout folds preflop, then explains he was typing in the chat box and timed out. He then shoves the next hand on my big blind for about 10 BBs, then shoves the next hand. I have KTo in the small blind and about 1500 chips if I fold. Lehr could be jamming just about anything here I feel like; he likes to have chips to play his game, he’s tilting, etc. If I fold I am going to be in desperation shove mode. I will have an orbit to pick something up. I eventually decide to call to try to get back into the game. Plus if I call and win, I have a big enough stack to shove over an open the next orbit with fold equity. Fk calls from the BB with 22, which I don’t really like. Cheese has A5o and I lose to both.

Puerto Rico fell through so I made a solo voyage to Westminster to see Slumdog Millionaire.


Blogger Chris Viox said...

It seems to me you are in a beginners mentality with the skills of a pro. By that I mean, you see opportunities that pros see, but you're constantly fearful that you are facing the nuts or at least a very good hand. In that regard, it seems when you have a good hand, you are always looking for reasons to fold even if you've played the hand in a way that there is no way your opp has any idea of its strength or you have any idea of their strength. In these instances I hate "big" folds unless there is a very strong reason. For example, if you are going to play AA sneaky, it's usually unfoldable.

Here are some things I would change, and they would all go under the heading "What would J do" (this has helped me alot BTW)

1) RR light occasionally - don't go nuts, but pick spots that feel right even if you feel completely uncomfortable doing it
2) open more w/ Daniel Negreanu hands even if guys keep RR you - sure you may spew your chips away, but if you hit some of the hands or you pick up some monsters pre, you may win a huge pot.
3) throw in some floats or RR post when the guy is making an "obvious" cbet

You have all the skills necessary to be a standout except you are afraid to make a mistake that knocks you out of a tourney. Grab hold of your inner "J" and never let it go :)

Remember - Don't play with fear, instill it in others!

8:45 AM  
Blogger gaamblor said...

If you folded AA in the 2nd hand I was going to print this out and carry it around just in case i saw you, rub your nose in it and say "BAD BOY"

9:36 AM  
Anonymous ReMMy said...

Pi is right on. Relax man, throw some small elbows, it's not a cash game.

That AA hand makes me almost puke that you can consider folding it. These aren't 10/20 cash players. Even great tournament players don't read hands as well as you think they do.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Ben Kantor said...

Non-poker related - if you enjoyed slumdog at all, i HIGHLY recommend you check out the book on which it was based - Q and A by vikras swarup.

3:31 PM  
Blogger TheGraveWolf said...

Cool post Moon. Some very hilarious lines through out.

My personal favorite:

I call quickly; he has 55 and I am crippled down to 1700 in the small blind.

I send out a couple texts trying to get that Puerto Rico game going.

I'd like to see "Monday Night" become a weekly blog.

4:31 PM  
Blogger GnightMoon said...

Slumdog, well solid, did not live up to the hype. I imagine the book would be better. Thinking of making Monday Night a weekly post depending on feedback and how often I decide to play the 1k Monday.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous GmorningSun said...

Hmmm....haven't checked in for a bit, seems nothing's changed - you fold AA with the ace of clubs on the turn with three clubs showing, fuk that, you check on 4th street and somehow allow yourself to get away from your are DUMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kill anyone yet Dex?

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the non-pro poker player, this was your best poker post. Really enjoyed reading your thoughts. I think a learned some, but also found that certain dilemma's appear to be ubiquitous amongst the good and the bad.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Spencetron said...

Lyle Lovett in concert is really good. He has a backup crew of gospel singers, and despite being extremely socially awkward and appearing like he had a stroke, he has a great stage presence. Definitely check him out, and of course check out Roger Clyne. He's coming to Ft. Collins later this month.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Random Lame 2+2er said...

im boosting my poast count and you're ego at the same time i want moar poasts like this one

10:56 PM  
Blogger Bag said...

Spencetron, a fellow RCPM fan?

11:58 PM  
Blogger Spencetron said...

How could you not be?!? I think we need to kidnap Tom and take hime to Circus Mexicus very soon.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Bag said...

Yeah, I agree. I've seen them over 15 times and he hasn't joined me once.

5:53 PM  
Blogger GnightMoon said...

Just got the Turbo Ocho album used at Bart's.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Christian said...

for real these are the types of posts that made me become compelled to follow this blog in the first place, back when i found a captivating and staggeringly thorough hand-by-hand report on pokerwire during the 07 world series. who mentions shitty but pretty-looking hands they fold in early position? i was instantly hooked. and it doesn't hurt that i relate to your playing style and mentality. more posts like these please all the time! and as a bonus to us amateurs you draw good comments from your smart poker friends too.

1:07 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home