Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday results

My first tournament at the casino this year ended without a cash, but I still played fairly well. If I remember correctly, I only had a few big hands.

AQo, heads up, I flop top pair, with 2 clubs and bet about 2/3 the pot. Turn is another club. I have the Q of clubs and push. My opponent hems and haws before folding.

AJs in late position. Two or three limpers in front of me and I make a big raise and take it down.

AJ hearts, again in position. Middle position raises, the same from the previous hand. Flop comes K, rag, Qh. Opponent bets. I'm the lone caller. Turn in another heart. Opponent bets small, I think less than half the pot. Turn is the magic 10d. Another bet and an easy call. He turns over KJo for top pair. I floated the flop on this hand because I thought he was weak and that I could take it away on the turn. He grumbled that I called him with the gutshot, but I (unknowingly) had 7 outs on the flop and was getting about the right odds. Someone else pointed out that I also had the flush draw on the turn.

AJ hearts again in the BB. Button limps, SB completes and I check. I should've made a big bet to take it down, but I thought I would hit the flop and bet. Stupid. Flop comes 789, all clubs. Check check, button bets and takes it down. Shows the 6 of clubs.

Down to the final two tables. I've been up and down, never able to build a big stack. I get pockets 8s in the SB. UTG pushes all in for the 2nd hand in a row. I call easily, putting him on an ace. He flips over pocket Js. Flop comes 8 T 3, all clubs. He's got the jack of clubs. Turn in a Q, giving him another out. River is a painful Jack and I double him up. However, I think I would make the same call again.

I'm short stacked for the rest of the tournament. I make a couple of all-in bets to keep in it, including one hand where I push, get a caller and and a raiser. The raiser does me a favor by knocking out another player who would have won the hand with a set of dueces.

Couple of hands I pass on but regret include K9s, although that may have been the hand where I would have been up against AA, and folding 56o in the SB when the button just limped. I should have called, or pushed. Now, I know this is incorrect thinking, basing my thoughts on the results, but I would have flopped trip 6s.

My tournament ends when I'm dealt QJo UTG.  I get a call from the button, who is all in and the BB calls as well. I should have been paying closer attention. We were down to 16 players, and although I was down to about 4 Big Blinds, I had more chips than the button, and could've waited for him to bust. Button shows A5o, and BB shows KJo. King on the flop and I'm drawing virtually dead. I played fairly well, even though I didn't have a lot of quality hands, or even chances to steal. I think this was the 2nd time I had made it that far, although the turnout was smaller.

Sunday night I get to the bar, and find out poker had been cancelled. I'm somewhat relieved, as that would mean an early bedtime for me. I stay for one drink and the first half of the Jets-Steelers game before heading home.

Once home, I decide to log onto FullTilt. After searching for a tournament to join, I settle on a 6-max deep stack. 245 players total, and I am not too active, just trying to stay close to the average stack. I bust out early, in 138th. Pocket Ts, a very strong hand 6-handed. I raise and get one caller, a big stack. Flop is 8, 3, 2. I bet big, more than half the pot. He raises. I put him on top pair at best. If he's got me beat, he's got me beat. I push and he calls, showing A8. Turn is an A and I'm out. Not much I can do about that.

I find another tournament, an Omaha/8 (Hi/lo split, where the low hand must not have any card higher than an 8). One of my favorite games, but I was probably playing a little too loose. 100 players total and I bust in 53rd after losing a big portion of my stack in a hand where my low was counterfeited, then committing myself to a hand that I shouldn't have played.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A new year, new goals, and a new blog.

In my journey to make a living playing poker, I've decided to set some goals for myself, both long and short-term.

My short-term goals for the year include playing at least once a month in a Hold'em tournament at the Horseshoe Casino, building my bankroll on Full Tilt, participating in the forums on Full Tilt and Two Plus Two and blogging regularly about my progress.

Some of my long-term goals are to improve my skills at multiple variations of poker, to play annually in the WSOP Circuit Event at the Horseshoe casino, play in one of the small buy-in events at the WSOP (which I have planned for 2012), and to derive some sort of income, however modest, from poker.

Over the past year, I have made a few small steps toward my goals. I made my first deposit on Full Tilt, and despite a few ups and downs, and not playing as regularly as I'd like, I was able to increase my bankroll by 65%.

Some of my best results include:

3rd in a 180 player NLHE SnG, 7th in a 468 player NLHE MTT, 2nd in an 89 player HORSE MTT, 5th in a Stud/8 MTT, 2nd in a 90 player NLHE KO SnG with 9 KOs, 1st in a SnG with a buyin well above my bankroll guidelines, 2nd in another 90 player NLHE KO SnG, this time with 10 KOs, and 5th in a 70 player Stud MTT.

My most recent accomplishment is having finally won the year-end league tournament at Starsky's, the bar where I play regularly.

My first tournament of the year at the Horseshoe will be this Sunday. Hopefully I'll have some good news to share.