Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Night

Two weeks ago I decided to make a big poker push over those two weeks, coinciding with the FTOPS. I didn't know where I stood with poker and decided to really give it a go and see how I felt after the fortnight. I played a ton of poker - FTOPS, tournaments, mixed games, 2-7 single draw, heads up, sit n goes, etc. All tournaments. I lost a decent chunk of money. I believe that I’ve been running pretty bad, but, as I’ll discuss later, sometimes this is just an excuse weak players lean on.

At first I was really enjoying myself. It was the lifestyle more than anything else. Getting up, starting the session at noon, playing either all day or for some of the afternoon, spending most of my time at home on the computer, watching The Wire on cold dark nights after busting everything.

Then I went through a couple days where I was losing confidence and getting frustrated.

And then, last night, at the very end of the fortnight, I found myself railing the FTOPS Main well after I busted, discussing hands with friends, intently watching Blair Hinkle and some other stars, really enjoying the poker analysis like I haven't in quite some time. For the first time in a long time, I dreamed about poker hands. I woke up thinking about poker hands. It took two weeks, but I decided I'm not done with this bitch just yet. It would be too disappointing, too sad to wrap it up on this note. I can't walk away on a losing streak. I'll quit when I hit the jackpot, when I feel like my work is done. But not yet.

Although I am rapidly improving in NLHE tournaments as well as mixed games thanks to practice and the help of better players, I don’t know if I’m plus-EV in many of the tournaments I’ve been playing. These things sure are a lot tougher than they used to be.

The one ace I have in the hole is heads-up. I am really good at heads up tournaments. I’ve played maybe thirty players over the last two weeks and there have been just two that I felt might be better than me: Yevgeny “bballer88” Timoshenko and some guy I found in a $100 heads up sit n go whose name I can’t recall. I even dispatched Scott Clements (I felt it was an even match and I won the key coinflip) in a satellite for the $10k FTOPS Heads Up…which Clements wound up winning.

My friend and nemesis Shannon “BLUFFforRENT” Shorr is across the table. There was a time when I thought Shannon was a lucky player but now I simply think of him as a really tough, aggressive player. I still wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat thinking about this hand in last June’s WSOP $2500 6-max where I folded AQ to him on a board of AKxx and later found out he was bluffing. He’s 4-tabling.



Raise A6s hijack win the blinds.

Also at the table: Red pro “crisbus” (I really have no idea who this is and will investigate shortly), regs D1rtyR1v3r and S_Dot111 to my right, and a German jersey named AD_84 two to my left.

Raise AJo MP win the blinds. 3xing it to start as is just about everyone else.

Raise TT UTG win the blinds.

JCarver aka Jason Somerville sits down two to my right. I am a huge fan of his play having played a 2009 second round WSOP shootout table with him (he won it). I’m not sure if he still plays the style he did then, which was never 3-betting preflop. Back then I was all about that, but times have changed. He’s also 4-tabling.



Fold T3s SB.

Fold QJo MP.

Fold JTo EP.

Adzizzy124 AKA “ADZ” AKA Matt Marafioti replaces a busted player three to my right. This is getting pretty rough. I actually played three different live tournaments with him last year and feel like I might have some understanding of his tournament game.

A guy limps in 2nd position and S_Dot raises to 90 on the button. I make it 330 in the SB with 76s and all fold.

The girlfriend is downstairs cooking up some stir-fry. She's a vegan for two weeks. Tofu. It actually smells great.

Carver raises and I fold 53s in LP. I might get involved (either with a reraise or a call) against many players here this deep but not him.

S_Dot raises MP and I call with 88. I fold to his c-bet on KT6.

Raise 76s crisbus calls in BB. Flop KT5 he checks I bet half pot he folds.

Fold 22 2nd pos.



Carver raises and I fold K9s on the button. Same story as earlier.

Fold KJo 3rd pos. The days of raising these hands in early position (at least before the antes) are long gone – though I look forward to resuming them at the WSOP. Tight but aggressive. Premium hands. You only start with jacks or better split, nines or better wired, three high cards to a flush. If a bet's good enough to call, you're in there raising. Tight but aggressive. That's your style, Moon. Always calculate, think of it as war.

Dot raises the button I fold A7o in SB.

Fold A3o button to an ADZ raise.

Raise 97s hijack. Button calls. Flop QJ4 two of wrong suit I check and fold it.

Crisbus gets moved. I’ll look him up next time.

These multi-entry tournaments should be stopped. Most players I’ve talked to tend to agree. They’re basically terrible unless you’re a very good player with very good multi-tabling skills. I’m always surprised by how many unknown players I see with four entries in these things. It can’t be profitable to 4-table this thing unless you really, really know what you’re doing. Not with Shannon and gboro and the rest of them 4-tabling as well.

Fold A6o in BB to an EP min raise.

UTG mins and Shannon 3-bets in next position. I have JTs on the button which is tempting to make a move but I don’t think Shannon is screwing around while 4-tabling this early in the tournament. The guy 4-bets, Shannon 5-bets, the guy calls, then check-folds to a small bet on an A high flop.



I can smell that stir-fry wafting up from the kitchen below. I'm getting fired up.

Carver raises early and I call with JsTs two behind him. Thought about 3-betting here. Board of AhQh2h3cTc is checked all the way down and strangely he has 86 of spades. I say strangely cause he never took one shot at the pot.

New music is “The Mollusk” from Ween. This is an excellent album with a bunch of entertaining songs but it falls short of “Chocolate and Cheese” – one of the greatest albums I’ve ever heard.

Fold T9o on the button to Carver’s raise.

Here’s an extremely obvious draw and an extremely obvious big hand from Carver:

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to GnightMoon [2s Ad]

BLUFFforRENT folds

43forty folds

Adzizzy124 folds

JCarver raises to 150

S_Dot111 folds

GnightMoon folds

Houtenaar has 15 seconds left to act

Houtenaar calls 150

AD_84 calls 125

nimajneb13 has 15 seconds left to act

nimajneb13 calls 100

*** FLOP *** [4h Qh 6c]

AD_84 has 15 seconds left to act

AD_84 has requested TIME

AD_84 bets 350

nimajneb13 folds

JCarver has 15 seconds left to act

JCarver raises to 850

Houtenaar folds

AD_84 raises to 3,080, and is all in

JCarver calls 2,230

AD_84 shows [8h 7h]

JCarver shows [Ks Kc]

*** TURN *** [4h Qh 6c] [4s]

*** RIVER *** [4h Qh 6c 4s] [2d]

AD_84 shows a pair of Fours

JCarver shows two pair, Kings and Fours

JCarver wins the pot (6,760) with two pair, Kings and Fours

There’s no shame in going broke with 87 of hearts in this spot, of course. But I prefer a checkraise and calloff rather than this tired bet-out so you can jam with “fold equity” routine. Everyone has seen this move a thousand times and knows what you have. Checkraising – or, better yet, check-calling and check-jamming the turn – at least feigns a set and might have a slim chance of getting a queen to fold. This move never works in higher stakes MTTs cause its so transparent. Nobody is going to bluff-raise that initial bet-out and then fold to the push.



Raise Q5s 3x in SB – BB folds.

Raise T7s hijack. Button and BB call. Flop is Q42r which presents my first interesting decision of the day. I decide to just check and then fold when the button bets. There are a lot of options here including sophisticated multi-street bluffs but I take the easy way out.

During the break Taylor gives me a hard time about the food in the kitchen and my diet. What can I say – I really like potato chips.

I feel pretty good about that first hour considering I maintained my stack and never really had a hand.

Justin Young aka robert07 sits two to my left. This is getting a little silly. He plays very well though I did see him make one of the dumbest plays I’ve ever seen a pro make in a WSOP prelim. Like Chris Mortensen with that Dallas/Cincy Super Bowl pick, I don’t forget.

This is why you don’t raise the KJo in EP at a tough table like this:

*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to GnightMoon [2s Ad]

GnightMoon folds

Houtenaar raises to 155

robert07 calls 155

nimajneb13 folds

BLUFFforRENT folds

nanQ folds

Adzizzy124 folds

JCarver folds

S_Dot111 folds

*** FLOP *** [5c 4h 9h]

Houtenaar has 15 seconds left to act

Houtenaar bets 240

robert07 has 15 seconds left to act

robert07 calls 240

*** TURN *** [5c 4h 9h] [Ah]

Houtenaar has 15 seconds left to act

Houtenaar bets 600

robert07 has 15 seconds left to act

robert07 has requested TIME

robert07 calls 600

*** RIVER *** [5c 4h 9h Ah] [Ts]

Houtenaar checks

robert07 checks

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Houtenaar shows [Kd Jc] Ace King high

robert07 shows [Ks As] a pair of Aces

robert07 wins the pot (2,080) with a pair of Aces

Fold 32s button to MP raise.

Taylor brings up a bowl of stir-fry. It’s delicious.

Fold J9o hijack.



I limp KQo in EP and the guy to my left shoves for 20 BB. ADZ flats in the BB, I get out of the way, shover has JJ, ADZ AQo. Board runs out 87546.

Raise KK UTG Justin calls and Carver calls in SB. Flop AAQ is checked to Justin and he bets small. Carver folds and I call. Turn T is checked by both. River 8 I bet third pot and he slowly folds.

Folds to me in the SB I complete 53hh. BB checks. Flop is 7s7h5s. I bet min he makes it 240 I make it 577 actually intending to call off (he started the hand with 1600 and is from the Netherlands) and he quickly folds.

Carver raises I fold T9o on the button sort of a recurring theme.



Fold J9s UTG.

SamENole AIMs me reporting that Carmelo to the Knicks is official. I go to immediately but it hasn’t broken there. I check twitter and it is, in fact, official.

Gallinari, Felton, Chandler, Mozgov, a 1st rounder, two 2nd rounders, and $3 million for Melo and Chauncey. I really have no clue about most of those guys so I can’t evaluate this trade. It does sound like a poo-poo platter. But it’s better than nothing. The important thing here is that Nuggets fans can get back to rooting for their team. The fans have been in hostage this season, not really being allowed to root fully for their team. I’m sure the Nuggets won’t be as good now but at least we can get back to rooting for our basketball team.

Raise A6s on the button they fold.

Raise two black aces in 3rd position then happily call a shove for 1600 and easily hold vs AJo.

Immediately moved to new table which seems like good news but this one has traheho, Young Supremacy, Jims619, chicagocards1, ryanbluf, and NextCase222 who won the FTOPS 2-day event yesterday for over $400k.

Traheho immediately busts on a huge flip to Jims who now has a real nice stack.



Fold 54s 2nd pos.

NextCase mins on the button. I fold Q4s in the BB.

Next album: Travis: Ode to J. Smith. This one’s really growing on me.

MP mins and I call 6s5s behind him. On the button Jims squeezes it to 820 and the guy calls. Although I really want to avoid spewing chips with these hands I feel like this could be a good spot to check-commit after the flop on a draw since Jims might be full of crap and the other guy will be put in a tough spot if he check-calls Jims’s postflop bet. The flop comes 733 with two clubs. We check to Jims who bets 1/3 pot. The other guy snap-calls and I go into the tank. This is certainly not a bluffable board at this point but I’m tempted to fake a flush draw. It’s such a nice price if I can get them to fold if the club hits. I’m a little too worried about Jims barreling us on the turn though and fold. Jims remarkably ends up calling a river bet with AQ after a ten and eight roll off and loses to jacks which is just what I thought the other guy had.



I feel like I’m playing pretty well here but it’s interesting. I know a lot of players think they’re playing great and running unlucky when they’re actually getting outplayed. I played the Weekly 2-7 on Stars yesterday and thought I’d run, in my own words “worse than I’ve ever run in 2-7, and maybe worse than I’ve ever run in any tournament, ever.” But then I talked to PiMaster, a very good 2-7 player, and realized I’d made at least a dozen mistakes. I’ve been humbled during the last year. There are no illusions of greatness here. I know I have not been playing MTTs at a high level over the last year. I am soliciting advice from anyone who cares to give it.

The cutoff raises and I 3-bet two red aces in the BB. He folds, as expected. This is only the second hand I’ve played here. But we were too deep to flat.

Next hand I walk YoungSupremacy with 86o.

Next hand cutoff raises and I fold T8o on the button.

Fold QJo EP.

Ryanbluf and Chicagocards are playing balls-tight.

$256k for first tonight. As much as I hate the multi-entry concept, the prizepools do get my blood tingling. It was very exciting last night as I got deeper and deeper in the FTOPS Main, looking at those jawdropping payouts and visualizing that final table.

Jims raises UTG I fold 54s in SB.



Fold A4o hijack.

Fold JTo MP.

Limp Q8o in the SB YoungSupremacy checks in BB. Flop T86 two clubs I check he bets 240 I call. Turn 7c check check. River 6 check check he wins with T4.

Guy to my right mins and I call on the button with QJo. Flop Q97r he bets 600 into 1100. I have 5400. I call. Turn K he checks. I think and check. I think a bet might be better here. River J. He bets 1200 into 2300. I puke and call. He has the nuts, AT. I’m left with a short stack and a sick feeling in how I played that one.



Raise T9s MP button shoves I fold.

The button shoves. I have him barely covered in the BB and win with QQ vs his ace-ten. It’s disappointing that I’ve had AA twice, KK, and QQ, won all four times with decent action, and don’t have that many chips to show for it.

New table is reg city. I won’t even bother mentioning the names; I recognize every one.



Fold A2o in BB to a MP min.

Fold A4o MP.

Reluctantly fold K9s in BB to the hijack’s raise.

Turin Brakes – JackInABox.

Fold K9o hijack.



Paulgees raises the button and I very reluctantly fold J9o in the BB.

Next hand the button raises and I ship T9 of clubs in the SB for 4200. He snaps AdKs. Board runs out Qs8s5s5hJc for a dramatic double.

Two hands later paulgees raises and I 3-bet AK from the cutoff. He folds reluctantly.

I’m able to make some moves in these situations in tournaments like the FTOPS main yesterday but with this crew and these stacks there isn’t a whole lot to be done, I don’t think.

Raise AJo UTG and get shipped on for an uncallable amount.

I read a little Dominion strategy online while some guy disconnects. My Dominion game is getting pretty strong. I thrashed a couple friends the other night with some really strong slow-developing synergistic play. If you like games, check out Dominion. It’s fantastic.



Taylor is watching Thank You For Smoking downstairs. I think it’s a little overrated.

Fold 33 in 2nd pos.

I really don’t think many players in this tournament have better than 6% edge, especially if they’re multitabling. And Full Tilt Poker is just counting the money - $70k in rake from this tournament, a staggering $579k from yesterday’s FTOPS Main.

Folds to me in the SB where I’ve got J8o. TheUTE is in the BB with seventeen BBs. I’ve got him covered slightly. I end up limping. He checks. Flop is 9s8s6s. I’ve got the Js. I don’t know what to do. I end up checking. He bets a meager 500. I was thinking of check-jamming if he bet bigger. Instead I call. Turn is a 3d. I still don’t know what to do. I check. He checks. River 6. Not my favorite card. I check. He checks his Q7s so I win.

Next hand dsindy opens min to 800 and I 3-bet 99 to 1933 on the button. He shoves, I snap, he has A9s but the board runs out KQTJ7 so Goodnight Moon.


Blogger TheGraveWolf said...

Another very enjoyable post Luna! I liked the Rounders homage - was it mostly from memory or was some research done?

Those tables were pretty brutal - was it a ME tourney?

Looking forward to the next post...

7:36 AM  
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I think you should be reshoving the k9s at 140-280 if the opener has been raising anywhere a normal amount of hands.

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