Monday, March 28, 2005
We were either at level 3 or level 4 so the blinds were either 30/60 or 40/80. I was down a few hundred from my starting stack of T1500. I was dealt A6 of diamonds on the button after seeing a lot of marginal and crappy hands. I'm sure there had been a raise but it wasn't big enough for me to lay down the best hand I had seen in at least 2 orbits, so I called. The flop came 4 6 7 with 2 diamonds. My opponent bet somewhere around T400 or T500. This is where I believe I made the mistake but I rationalized the call by telling myself that middle pair and a flush draw were good enough to continue. The turn brought another 7 and my opponent bet enough to put me all-in. I went into think mode.
By calling after the flop I had put myself in a precarious position. My stack was crippled and, with the blinds rising every five minutes, it was likely that I wouldn't cash since only one player was out at this point. I had 2 pair and a flush draw. He could have had a 7 or an overpair and probably had me beat. The choice, as I saw it, was to fold and, probably go out before the cash, or call and take my chances on a miracle river card. The last possibility was that he was bluffing and just trying to take down what had become a decent sized pot. I decided that if I was going out I wanted it to be now rather than later. Why spend another 20 minutes hoping I could get cards and double up only to end up out anyway? I called the all-in.
My opponent flipped up pocket Jacks and I got ready to type in "nh, gg". I realize I still had outs but I just didn't think I was going to hit. But, of course, I did because I wouldn't be writing about this hand if I didn't. The river was an Ace and the chips were pushed to me. I was happy to still be in but I was also stunned by the result. I didn't know what to say so I chose to remain silent. My opponent, however, did not.
"how in the hell do you call with only
a 6 and a straight as well as a possible set and
straight on the board?"
He was right, it was a bad call but I'm not sure where this straight business came from. With a board of 4677A
he would have had to be playing worse cards than I to make a straight and he obviously didn't notice the flush draw which gave me a few more outs. He had every right to be upset as he was down to about T400 and was likely to go out very soon.
I didn't play any hands for awhile because I was a little upset at his reaction and the way I played but I also wasn't getting anything decent. In the meantime he managed to steal some blinds and take a couple of small pots in an effort to make it further. He just couldn't do it and ended up out in 5th. Again, I felt bad but I had to move on as I was still in the game. Unfortunately he hadn't let it go and proceeded to let me have it after he got knocked out.
"learn how to play, you
SHOULD have laied that down IF you KNEW what
you were doing but its apparent you don't " (emphasis and misspelling are his)
I need to grow a thicker skin because those words hurt. I have been very proud of my recent play but I am also the first one to admit that I have a lot to learn. I made a mistake and got lucky. I'm not proud of it but it happens to everyone. I took a bad beat the other day when a guy got one of his 2 outs on the river but I just laughed it off and tried to re-build my stack. Making him feel bad wasn't going to get me my chips back.
I then went on to place 2nd in the tourney even though I probably didn't deserve it.
Thoughts, opinions, criticism, and advice are more than welcome.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Tomorrow I have 2 tournaments. The first is the poker forum challenge over on Royal Vegas. It's a $5000 freeroll where members of various poker forums compete against each other. I will be representing the Women's Poker Club. I will also be participating in Scurvydog's Omaha league on Noble Poker. I had fun playing in this last week and I am hoping I can improve on my performance, maybe place in the money.
I don't plan on playing any poker on Saturday. I have plans later in the day and have to do a little shopping beforehand. I probably won't be home unti late so I doubt I'll be playing. I think the break will do me some good, at least I hope so. I want to be at my best for the WPBT tournament on Wednesday as that HORSE tourney dropped me in the standings (of course I am listed twice so those two scores need to be combined).
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Monday, March 21, 2005
My chip stack was somewhere in the middle of the pack and I made a decision. I was going to treat this final table like one of the single-table SNG's I've been playing a lot of lately. Many of those I have come from the middle or even bottom of the pack to place in the money so it seemed like a good strategy.
When I play a SNG my main objective is to stay calm and wait for the right time to strike. The blinds go up rather quickly in these tournaments (5 minutes) and the inexperienced players tend to panic. It amazes me what some people will play when they don't know what else to do. I knew that the shorter stacks in the MTT would play the same kind of panicked game and, if the cards fell right, I could take advantage.
I basically sat back and waited for the right time to start taking advantage. If the chip leader got involved, I folded my weaker hands. If a short stack was in I would play some marginal hands in an effort to get some of their chips. When I had a premium hand I would pray for the larger stacks to call my pre-flop raise. If the flop hit, I'd keep going. If not, I'd fold. Everything was coming together nicely and I took out a couple of players to build on my stack. We got down to the final five and I realized I was the short stack but still had enough to be patient.
Somehow, when we got to the final three, I found myself with the chip lead and I was ready to win. I went up against the second place guy with an A7 of diamonds. My chip lead was fairly large so I was willing to give him some rope. The flop came with one diamond and maybe a seven (I don't remember). He made a bet but it was nothing compared to my chips so I called. Another diamond came on the turn. Things were looking up and he bet at least half of what he had left. I was feeling good so I called again. The river was another diamond and I had the nut flush. I went all-in. He used almost all of his time to decide what to do as I chanted "call, call" to the monitor. I guess he didn't believe I had the flush because he called. The pot was over 100, 000 in chips and they were all mine.
I actually felt bad for the last guy. He was the short stack before that hand and now it was his 36,000 up against my 315,000. He folded a couple of times to my pre-flop raises (I was raising no matter what I had) and he finally went all-in. I think I had 68 and it may not have been suited but I called anyway as he may not have had anything either. He flipped up an A7 of diamonds. I figured I had just doubled him up as the flop brought nothing for either of us. The turn was another rag so I figured he'd win with high card and then it happened. I rivered the most beautiful 6 I have ever seen and with that, the game was over.
Out of 241 players I came in 1st for a wonderful $62.66. All-in-all I made about $80 today. Not a bad way to spend a day off and I still have a few hours before bedtime to study (like that's going to happen).
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Actually everyone's computer was screwed-up. My dad's cat stepped on the on/off switch for the power strip where the DSL modem and wireless router were plugged in. I would think the technology could withstand a power outage but that would make sense and some technology just doesn't make sense. Somehow the configuration between the computer and router got messed up and none of us could get on the internet.
Men: Why Are They So Stubborn?
So my dad starts calling the tech hotlines to get some help with the no internet problem. Friday we were up until 2 am. Once my dad discovered it would cost money to get it fixed he decided he needed to try a few more things himself (translate: I had to try some things because I have more knowledge). Fast forward to
3 pm on Sunday and he finally broke down and paid the money. Twenty minutes later and all was fine. We took many notes so hopefully we can fix it ourselves next time.
I Forgot How Bad Dial-Up Can Be
I love Full Tilt Poker (bonus code April98) but it is not dial-up friendly. I am allowed 10 hours of free dial-up a month so I used some to get a poker fix. Let's just say they are lucky the disconnections resolved quickly. I managed a 2nd place finish in at SNG last night.
Finally Some Respect
The SNG last night was the first time I felt I was respected at the poker table. I was down a little and then rebounded to take the chip lead within a couple of hands. I also didn't participate in any chat, even when a couple people were trying to get me going. For some reason this combination put some fear in a couple more experienced players at the table. One replied "April is the only one I fear right now" and another said "she is a good player". Heads-up I was against the one who feared me but I didn't have the chip lead and didn't get good cards at the right time.
Thanks to my second place finish last night my starting bankroll at Full Tilt has finally double. I will be withdrawing some early this week to deposit for the Poker Stars WPBT tourny on the 30th.
Things That Make You Go "Hmmmmm"
In a ring game a couple weeks ago I had AhQh in mid-early position. I player before me raised pre-flop to half his stack ($2.55). I decided to gamble and call. Flop comes x A x with this guy going first. He goes all-in. Now I have top pair, second kicker and just don't think he has the other 2 aces. I call and he flips up 88. I did a wtf double take. Besides the Ace there was also a 9 on the flop. Two overcards and he goes all-in. Hell I think his pre-flop raise was a bad overbet. Maybe he was trying to steal but I just didn't get it. I won the hand and he left the table.
Recommended Movie: Shaun of the Dead
If you enjoy British humor and bloody Zombie movies you'll enjoy this one. I also rented High Roller (The Stu Unger Story) but haven't watched it yet. Maybe I'll do a mini-review after I see it since it is about poker and gambling addiction.
Friday, March 18, 2005
I think my biggest problem is that I play too many hands. I don't know what the average should be but I am sure I was above it. The cards often looked so good in my hand but then the community cards got thrown out there and turned my cards into crap. I definitely need to read up on this game if I want to do better. Any suggestions as to a good starter book would be greatly appreciated.
And with that I will be heading back to Full Tilt for some more SNG (sit and go) action. I've been playing them almost exclusively the past couple of days and doing fairly well. Probably next week I'll do a full post on my experiences so stay tuned for that and a new "Random Sunday" post as well.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Maura doesn't play poker and I am probably the only poker blog she reads, so feel free to stop by her site and introduce yourselves. Give her an idea of what she has gotten herself into (just don't scare her, the tickets are non-refundable and she hasn't paid me yet). ;)
Monday, March 14, 2005
Thanks to Iggy for organizing everything. See you all next time!
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Considering how unimpressive Bay 101 is I was shocked to find 2-ply toilet paper in the restroom.
Erick Siedel obviously arrived at the tourny straight from the airport. He was in the process of leaving his suitcase with the coat check when I first saw him.
At one point I am sure I saw Phil Gordon taking a little nap at his table. His headphones were on and his eyes were closed. I hope he didn't drool on the cards.
Phil Gordon was signing autographs when Layne Flack approached with his shirt open a bit. He pointed to a spot on his chest and asked Phil to sign there. It would have been hilarious if Phil had actually done it.
Not only did a guy 2 feet from me get tickets for the Friday final table, he was also interviewed by the local news. I guess I shouldn't complain, I was seen in the background on at least 2 different news broadcasts.
Gus Hansen makes the funniest faces when he is bored or when someone at his table makes a dumbass play.
"He doesn't look like Spider-man?" Reaction of many people after they found out the scruffy looking guy sitting next to James Woods was Tobey McGuire.
I think Phil Hellmuth needs some Ritilin. He can't seem to sit still for more than a few minutes at a time. He was all over the room during the tournament.
I'm sure that while I was growing up my grandmother told me about these people called gentlemen. I only found one on day 4 of the tournament. Every other man I encountered had no problem moving in front of me and practically shoving me out of the way to see the tables.
Antonio Esfandiari likes to drag out his decisions. It was funny to see the collective sigh of relief from the other players at his table when he finally folded his hand.
Scariest table would have to be the table with Paul Phillips, Phil Ivey, Todd Brunson, and Kent Washington. Honorable mention goes to the Gus Hansen, Chris Ferguson, Scotty Nguyen, and Randy Jensen table.
That about covers it. Good luck to all the participants in the WPBT HORSE tournament this evening. I'll probably be out by 6:30pm.
Friday, March 11, 2005
Like everyone else I decided to be an affiliate for Full Tilt. I love the site and want to shout it from the rooftops. Besides, picking up a little extra cash is never a bad idea. I am having a problem though. If you look to the right you will notice that the actual image of my banner is not showing up. I e-mailed affiliate support and, so far, their suggestions haven't helped. I will admit I am not the most computer savvy person and I honestly don't know what I am doing wrong. So I am asking for some help from the experts and just about everyone who reads this blog is probably more of an expert than I. E-mail me at april9807 AT aol DOT com if you can help.
One last thing I need to shout from the rooftops I AM OFFICIALLY A WINNING POKER PLAYER!!!!! My meager bankroll has never looked better.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
I managed to get over to the WPT tourny for a few hours this afternoon. They started at noon with 34 players and won't stop until they get down to the final 6. When I first arrived there were 4 bounties still remaining to be claimed, Antonio "the magician" Esfandari, Chip Jett, Men "the master" Nguyen, and Gus Hansen. Antonio was the first of the four to get busted and looked pretty devastated. Right before I left Gus busted out Chip and we were down to 2 shooting stars. I'm confidant both will make the TV broadcast.
The real surprise has been the unknown players, in particular, the chip leader Jay Martens. We started calling him Canada because, well, that's where he is from and his hat proclaims it. This guy is amazing. Stone cold and showing very little emotion. I truly think he might take the whole thing but, as we've seen before, the pressure could get to him. We'll all have to wait and see.
Anyway, I just wanted to make this a short post and I don't plan on posting anything about the final table. I won't be there to see it and I know some people prefer to wait for it to air on TV so I won't ruin it for anyone. Just make sure you check back for "Random Sunday". I'll be posting a Shooting Star special edition with some interesting tidbits and observations from my 3 days at the tourny. I promise it will be a fun one!
If you can't wait for TV, head over to Pokerwire, the updates are frequent.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Since I had to work this morning I didn't arrive until about half-way through level 3. I surveyed the scene and asked who had been knocked out. I was told Greg Raymer was out, Mimi Rogers went out right as I arrived, and Phil Hellmuth had been down to a chip and a chair but was still in. I then settled in to my spot from day one which was conveniently waiting for my arrival. From this area I had views of John Juanda, Jennifer Harmon, Daniel Negreanu, Annie Duke, and the top of Phil Hellmuth's head. Right in front of me was James Woods and, at the same table and on James's left, was an almost unrecognizable Tobey McGuire. Tobey was sporting his red NIKE hat, sunglasses, and his normal scruffy poker face. I could actually see the action from my angle today and, while concentrating on that I missed some of the all-in's.
I think Erick Lindgren and Paul Phillips were in a competition to see who could go all-in the most because it seemed like one of them was going all-in every few minutes. Not too long after I settled in Phil Laak and Johnny Chan were knocked out. Then it was on to the next level.
Level 4: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25, 192 remaining
- Evelyn Ng all-in against some guy (not Andy Bloch as originally reported). She has AA he has JJ. Flop is K, 9, 4. Turn is another King. River is a Jack and Evelyn is out.
- Daniel Negreanu all-in with his "favorite" hand 10, 7 vs. 22. Flop is A, 6, 4. Turn is a 9 and the river is a Q. Daniel is done.
- Howard Lederer wanders over to check on his sister. Everybody say "Awwwwww".
- Paul Phillips and Erick Lindgren all-in again and stay alive.
- Jennifer Tilly all-in with A's and triples up.
Level 5: Blinds 150/300, Ante 50, 170 remaining
- Lindgren wins again.
- Annie Duke all-in on a 3-way pot. She only had T900 and is out.
- Lindgren's luck runs out.
- Tobey McGuire all-in against James Woods. James has him covered but Tobey's AQ holds up when he flops and rivers Q's. Then there table breaks and I head to the other end of the room.
- Paul Phillips AA agains Phil Ivey KK. The A's hold. This is not a table I would want to be at. Besides Phillips and Ivey, Todd Brunson and Kent Washington are seated there.
Level 6: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50, 132 remaining
- Phil Ivey was getting a massage and may have been too relaxed. He goes all-in with JJ and loses to A7 with a straight. Say bye to Phil Ivey.
That's when I had to leave for a class. Since then James Woods, Paul Phillips, Tobey McGuire, TJ Cloutier, and Alan Goehring have been busted. For up to the minute updates check out Pokerwire.com.
It doesn't look like I will get to see day 3 as I have to work late but I will try to head over on day 4 to see some of the 36 whittled down to the final 6. Since I didn't score any tickets for the final day, I won't be there and that sucks because my feet are killing me. I may never walk correctly again. (Anyone with connections want to help a girl out?)
Oh and when I left, Phil Hellmuth had worked his way up to a very healthy stack. Guess I won't be seeing that temper.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Today was day one of the first round of the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Tournament. For those who live under a rock or don't get the travel channel, this tourny is unique in that certain players (pros or celebrities) have a $5000 bounty on their heads. Knock out a shooting star and they pay you $5000 in cash, at the table, plus give you a t-shirt that says "I knocked out (name of star)". The shooting star also autographs the shirt and does a picture with the winner.
I arrived at Bay 101 about 30 minutes before the start of the tournament. The inside of this facility isn't all that impressive. It could use some new carpeting and new poker tables as well as some paint on the dingy white walls. What was impressive was that I started to recognize people as soon as I walked in. Some I knew by name, like Mel Judah, and others I knew their face from some poker tourny on TV but I couldn't tell you anything more about them. It was a bit surreal to see all these famous faces around me.
This next paragraph is for the ladies, especially April from Not a Poker Blog. Men can feel free to skip ahead to the tourny action in the paragraph following.
I saw Phil Gordon about thirty seconds after I walked in the door. He was chatting with a lady at the International Poker Association booth. I must say that TV does not do this man justice. He was dressed in black from head to foot while wearing a black leather jacket and sunglasses sitting atop his head. Later he would remove the jacket to reveal his Full Tilt shirt and add headphones to drown out distractions. I stood near him a few times but didn't approach him or speak to him. There just didn't seem to be an appropriate time. In the few times he wasn't at his table he was engaged in conversations or signing autographs. It was still cool to see him and I managed to find spots on the rail where I could keep an eye on him.
I found a spot on the rails near tables 17 through 20. Shooting Stars I could see from this location included Dan Harrington, Tom McEvoy, Scotty Nguyen, Chip Jett, and Phil Gordon. I never really found a location where I could actually see the action but every time a Shooting Star was all-in Matt Savage and a camera crew would run to the table and call the action.
Levels are 60 minutes and they are playing 8 1/2 levels today.
Level 1: Blinds 25/50, 200 players
- Kathy Liebert was the first shooting star to go all-in with 10, 6. I believe she won with a pair of tens.
Level 2: Blinds 50/100, still 200 players
- Scotty Nguyen all-in with KK vs. QQ and Scotty doubles up.
- Layne Flack (a.k.a. Mr. All-in) goes all-in for the first time. His 7,5 wins against 7,8.
Break 1: Players race for the bathrooms or outside for a smoke. I stay where I am because it's one of the better spots. Kathy Liebert is interviewed to my left and Layne Flack comes over to chat with Chip Jett.
Level 3: Blinds 100/200, 199 players
- Gus Hansen, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, and Carlos Mortensen arrive from the airport. I believe all played in the Heads-up tourny in Vegas yesterday and I know Chris made the final and finished around 2 a.m. so I wasn't surprised to see them arrive late.
- Mimi Tran becomes the first shooting star to get knocked out.
- Phil Gordon, who was short-stacked, went all in with AK vs. AQ. His kicker holds up.
- Phil Hellmuth showed up at this point for interviews and bragging (he won the heads-up tourny). He doesn't actually play until tomorrow.
- Layne Flack goes all-in 3 times during this level and gets lucky every time.
- Gus Hansen goes all-in with QQ vs. AQ, no aces fall and he doubles up.
- The shocker of this round is when Carlos Mortensen goes all-in with 66 vs. KK. The Kings hold and Carlos is out after playing only 4 hands.
Level 4: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25, 182 players
- Dan Harrington goes all in against Erik Seidel, who had Dan covered. 33 vs. 8, 6 off. Dan's 3's double him up.
- Antonio Esfandiari goes all in on a big pot, gets called by the chip leader and flips over the nut flush.
- At this point some tables have broken up and Chris Ferguson is now seated with Gus Hansen and Dan Harrington.
- Scotty Nguyen's AA holds up against AJ and it's rumored he is in the chip lead.
- Layne Flack goes all-in 2 more times but his luck finally dies and he is eliminated.
- About 5 minutes later Dan Harrington and Chris Ferguson are all-in with Chris covering Dan. I didn't catch what the hands were but Dan was eliminated.
Level 5: Blinds 150/300 Ante 50 151 players left.
- Barry Greenstein doubles up against the guy that took out Layne Flack.
- Gus goes all in with 2's and triples his stack.
- Gus all in again with 88 vs. AK suited and wins again.
- Barry Greenstein all-in with AQ and a flopped straight.
- Freddy Deeb eliminated when his AK doesn't hold against Q, 10 of hearts.
- Scotty Nguyen moved briefly to Gus's table. They get in a hand and Gus's AQ beats Scotty's AK. Definitely a hit to Scotty but he is still alive.
- Kathy Liebert eliminated in a 3-way pot. Guy with KK wins.
- Gus and Chris Ferguson's table is broken. Gus moves to Tom McEnvoy's table while Chris is now sitting with Phil Gordon.
I also wanted to let you all know how Max Pescatori was fairing. He was made a shooting star to fill in for someone who wasn't going to make it and I think he went out right before the dinner break but I am not sure on that. If you have comfirmation please leave a comment.
Tomorrow I will only be able to get over to Bay 101 for a couple of hours in the afternoon but I promise a short write-up after I get home from class. UPDATE: Phil Gordon was eliminated in 90th. His set of 4's beat by a set of 9's. Randy Jensen had the chip lead at the last update and Sammy Farha was also in good shape. For more updates check out Matt Savage's site.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
Every Sunday I am going to pool together all the random bits that I feel are interesting enough to share but not worthy enough for an entire post. So, without further adieu, welcome to the first Random Sunday.
When did roller skating become such hard work? I used to practically live on roller skates, now I can't make a lap around the rink without getting out of breath. Of course if I actually worked out once in a while maybe it wouldn't be a problem. I just find so little joy in exercising.
I came in ninth in a satellite tourny on Full Tilt the other night. Only the top three got seats in the $200,000 tourny they are having next week but a final table is still a good thing, even if my chip stack never rose above the average.
Tomorrow I will be attending the Bay 101 Shooting Star poker tournament. Bay 101 is about five minutes from my house and I have never been there. I'm looking forward to seeing my first live poker tournament. The fact that the object of a major crush happens to be playing tomorrow is merely coincidence. (I will not make a fool of myself in front of Phil Gordon......I will not make a fool of myself in front of Phil Gordon.)
Movie rentals of the week: Garden State, Saw, Mean Creek. Help out the independent film industry and watch one or all of these movies.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
At first it was slow, like a heart beating at rest, but it began to intensify in volume and in pace. Suddenly the lights went out and the crowed roared its approval. Small runner lights outlined the circular stage and the beating rhythm continued to grow in intensity as five figures came out to the shadows to ascend the staircase and walk, single file down the center of the stage. Upon reaching the front of the circle they fanned out, standing side by side, and bowed their heads, perhaps in reverence to those who had made this comeback possible. The rhythm continued to build as the audience continued to roar and the objects of many teenage crushes remained standing in a teasing silence.
The rhythm continued towards its climax, as the keyboard player and drummer broke off from their place at the front of the stage to take position behind their instruments. Once they were settled, the guitar players followed suit leaving the lead singer standing alone in the darkness. As the frenzied rhythm finally reached its crescendo the stage lights came on and the band erupted into their first song of the night.
In the course of the next two hours the band Reached For the Sunrise and became Hungry Like the Wolf. It was obvious that many in the crowd thought the lead singer could miraculously Hold Back the Rain. It was then that I noticed the familiar herbal drift through the air as we all witnessed the Union of the Snake and an Astronaut in outer space.
Soon I was transported back in time to the days when I would start to Come Undone only to hear those unfortunate words, “I Don’t Want Your Love”. In my present reality I am no longer bound by these Chains of my past and I look forward to discovering What Happens Tomorrow on Planet Earth. Maybe I will awaken to find a Chauffeur driving me around my Ordinary World. Or, maybe, I should Save a Prayer for the Nice guy; the antithesis of those who have a Notorious place in my past and occasionally surface as a Reflex of my Careless Memories. They certainly didn’t live up to the Wild Boys of my imagination.
The band departed the stage as the crowd screamed for more and of course, moments later, the band obliged. They used the encore for reminiscing about the White Lines in their past that, hopefully, weren’t shared with Girls on Film. Then it was time to say goodbye, but not before sharing one last dance with Rio in the sand.
If you don't have a clue as to what I am talking about and/or you want another take on the evening, check out Maura's re-cap.