Thursday, April 14, 2011

Presents, results and a nod to the poker grump

My wife organized my birthday party on the 9th, in order to have as many friends and family as possible. As a group present from her and my in-laws, they got me some chips from the local casino, so now I can go an play in a live game. I do need to call the poker room to see if I need to do anything special, since I’m bringing chips instead of buying them at the window.

After pizza and cake were consumed, we had a small cash game. That didn’t go so well for me. We started with just 4 players and I ended up being heads-up against a family member whose play is a cross between what Phil Hellmuth would call an elephant and a jackal. At one point I said we could stop at any time. I should have said I was ready to quit, as I couldn’t hit a thing. He was raising every pot pre-flop and betting every street. He doesn’t really bluff and rarely folds.

Sunday went much better, however. I played in the quarterly at Starsky’s and was able to pull out the win. Usually there are 10 players, however, only 6 were there, 2 had conflicts and the other two apparently forgot. After seeing 8’s hit a few times in a row, I played pretty much any hand with an 8, and had good luck, especially with red K8s, hitting a boat once, and winning with the paired 8 two other times.

As a side note, I was able to pay tribute to the poker grump. I got 24o a couple of times during the regular session, flopping 2 pair and turning a full house the second time I was dealt it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Enter the matrix

Took my step 3 ticket and played a matrix tournament on Fulltilt. A matrix is where you play 4 tables at the same time against the same players. The payout is split between the top finishers at each table and the overall top finishers. I'd forgotten how much I liked them, and how well I do at them. I turned the ticket into a little more than it's face value, taking 1st and 2nd on two of the tables. Since then I've played four more matrix tournaments and cashed in all of them.

I played in one last night when I saw that Perry Friedman, a red pro on Fulltilt (and one of the Tiltboys) was signed up. I got to heads up on one table with him, but couldn't pull out the win. I still finished 1st overall, but I really wanted the t-shirt for knocking out a pro.

I also finished part of an academy challenge last night, playing some limit hold'em at the micro-stakes. The challenge was to play a minimum of 100 hands and leave the table with at least a 3 big bet profit. It was tough, as at one point, I was down half my buy-in, but I finally got there after 151 hands at a 6-max table. I was a little bit frustrated when I noticed, after playing in the matrix SNG, that happy hour was running, and I could earn double points. However, it was very late and I needed to get to bed.

Last month I wasn't able to get to the casino in time to play in a tournament, which bummed me out, but I'm going to make up for it by playing twice this month. I headed over last Sunday to play in the 2pm tournament, but when I got there, there were already 15 people on the waiting list. That's the 2nd time that's happened to me, so I'm definitely going to make sure I get to bed early tonight so I can make it to the 10am tournament in plenty of time to get a seat.

Found some old notes that I took while playing play money tournaments a few years ago on Fulltilt. I'm going to go over them and may start doing that again. It seemed to help my play, and should help me see my mistakes. I can't fix it if I don't know it's broken.