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  • Christxof

    This video, Other Playing Styles, is great because it shows you more about the playing styles other than the Tight-Aggressive we all know and are conditioned to.

    To be more specific, the video shows us exactly what the other playing styles - Loose-Aggressive, Loose-Passive, and Tight-Passive - really are, and we learn the pros and cons of both. I particuarly like how it explains why these styles aren't as profitable as Tight-Aggressive, showing both how they can be good, and the downsides to using each of them. An example would be how Loose-Aggressive players are harder to put on a hand, but they also have to make tougher decisions. This goes beyond how some guides just say "play Tight-Aggressive" without explaining why it's the better choice.

    Better yet, it tells us why playing the Loose-Passive style is a terrible idea. The video teaches us that the one benefit of the style, seeing a lot of flops, isn't worth the massive trade-offs of not being able to build big pots, and overcommitting with poor hands. Learning how unprofitable the style is and why was very educational.

    All-in-all, it's one of my favourite videos out of the tutorial videos. The educational portions combined with information you don't usually find makes for a great video.

    Bracelet Winner

  • #2

    This'll be a very short post, but it's something I want to share and ask.

    What's the greatest feeling you have while playing poker?

    For me, it's the feeling you get when you get a straight flush, and someone calls your raise.

    Bracelet Winner


    • #3
      making a play that i know 90% of players at my level would not be able to make. it could be a big fold, a big call, or a big raise (and by big i don't mean "size." i mean big for the situation).


      • #4

        After taking a break from live tourneys due to my terrible runs in them and the finals I had in University, I finally returned to play one today. I played fairly well until near the end, but there were some interesting things about it.

        My local casino offers about 2-3 tournaments daily, depending on whether one of them is a major or not. The minors have buy-ins of $40 for morning, $50 for weekdays and Saturday at noon, $60 for weekday and Sunday evenings, and $100 for Friday and Saturday nights, as well as Sunday at noon. Blinds are 15 minutes for everything but the $100 tourneys, where blinds are 20 minutes, and every tournament has reentry for the first two levels, and a $5 add-on for an additional 1000 starting chips (it starts at 4000-7000 depending on the tourney). There are never antes, but blinds are super-quick - by the start of the second break (there's one every 75 minutes), blinds are at 1k/2k (they start at 25/25). So it becomes very luck-based by that point.

        About 31 players played today at noon - that's a little low for usual, but not too bad. What's interesting is that these tourneys usually played 11-max per table, which is insane. But today, they reduced it to 10-max. That, and information revealed that tourney structure is changing starting the 26th (namely blind levels are 5 minutes longer, Saturday at noon is becoming a bigger tourney, and they're adding PLO tourneys tuesday nights).

        We played 6-max for the first two levels due to uneven seat placement. Play went a little quicker than usual, but I was card-dead for the first level. Only had pocket 5s that whiffed. Picked up a little on level 2, where I got pocket Aces utg. Raising got me two callers, and I flopped top set! Unfortunately, no one called my c-bet. A little later, got A-Jo in the small blind, and one guy raised 5x in the cutoff. I flat-called, and he made a huge overbet on the 8-high flop. He flashed pocket tens as I folded, which was good information.

        Level 3 I was card-dead again, and didn't get much action. Level 4, because I hadn't played a hand in a while, I raised A-5s in middle position. Unfortunately, I got 3 callers - including the cutoff and the small-blind who was just crippled to 1/8 of a BB the last hand. I flop a 5, and everyone folds to my c-bet, except the short-stack who was already commited. He had A-Q and rivered a Q. Oh well, still got around 800 chips from that. What's more interesting is that one of the guys almost called my c-bet with a gutshot draw, which he would have hit (he called in the big blind with 7-3o - LOL.

        By the first break, I had 7700 chips from the starting 5000, but blinds would start at 200-400, so I had a little less than 20bb.

        Fortunately, after the first break, play tightens up considerably (a lot less limping, except in blind vs. blind, where there was a LOT of limping). Managed to steal a couple of times, and my pocket 7s even hit a gutshot draw when no one bet (though it sadly couldn't get much money). I kept chipping up by stealing pots and making c-bets, which worked well.

        Sadly, in level 7, it happened. With 13 players left, the guy to my left raised 2.5x utg. I was dealt pocket 6s in the big blind. I asked him to count his stack - he had about 11k, and I was sitting around 14k. I was worried because although he was one of the few to raise consistently, he usually did it with a big hand. Eventually, because it was 7-max, I reshoved. He snapped me off with pocket Jacks, and no help came. The blinds went up two hands later, too, so I'm down to 2.1k, which was 2.5bb at 800/400 level.

        But then I got J-10o utg+1 a few hands later, which I shoved. The guy with 10s from earlier was in the big blind. Despite the fact that I had literally no fold equity and it didn't cost him much of his stack, he still folded after thinking for a minute, under the reasoning "I don't even have a face card, and I don't like to double people up". So I'm up to 3,3k. Yippee.

        Then eventually I'm down to 2.1k again and shove K-5o on the button. The guy who crippled me earlier snapped with A-10o, and although I river a straight, it also gives him the club flush. I'm out in 12th.

        I did well until the 66 hand, which I think I should have folded, especially with how long I took to make the decision. Oh well. I just came back home and quarupled up with Aces in the Hot $0.55 and made 3 sets in the Big $4.40 to quintuple up there, so it's all good.

        Bracelet Winner


        • #5

          Tonight, seeing as how it's after Christmas, I went back to my local casino to play one of the Friday night tourneys - these ones are different than the old ones, having deeper stacks, a $100 buy-in, and a longer blind level. I've played it a couple of times before, and I always liked the slower pace. Well after tonight, I can confirm I'm probably never playing these weekend night tournaments again, for varying reasons: NOT because I sucked, oh no, but rather because:

          1. The tourneys recently had a structure change - the stacks are now even deeper and the blinds are now 25 minutes long instead of 20. This means it's easily at least 6-7 hours before the final table, and the game starts at 7:15 PM. This goes WAY beyond what I stay up till, even in worst-case scenarios. I even had word that the Boxing Day tourney, which was the start of the new structures, lasted until 3:00 AM from a starting 8:00 PM the previous night, which is insane. I'm not even sure I'm going to be playing at all anymore with that kind of late structure.

          2. The prizes aren't big enough to invest that sort of time. We had 51 players tonight, paying out 5 places - top prize got about $1500 - 15x the buy-in for such a long tourney isn't worth it in my view.

          But I digress, I'd like to talk about the tourney.

          With the new structure, starting stacks were insane - if you include the $5 add-on for 2500 chips, we started with 500bb each. I've never heard of such deep starting stacks. Because of this, suited connectors and small pocket pairs had AMAZING implied odds - I even raised utg with the former one hand in the first level, although I whiffed.

          I actually had several interesting spots in level two, when the blinds were 25/50. Other than several pocket pairs that missed their set-mine, I had K-Jo twice - the first time there was a 6x raise utg, so I folded KJ on the button. The second time, a later position raise was behind me. I decided to 3-bet light instead, and although he called, he folded to my c-bet when I hit middle pair. Managed to chip up thanks to this.

          I also managed to learn a lesson from a previous occasion - after raising with A-Jo, I fold to a 3-bet. I didn't do this once, and it cost me my tourney.

          Level 3 (50/100) was boring. I only had one hand, which was stealing the blinds with A-Jo again. But one guy two seats to my right did limp to open in the hijack with pocket Jacks one hand. He was quite loose, even compared to these guys.

          Level 4 was the first level after the break. With blinds at 100/200, I'm at about 55bb. Because I knew that players started tightening up in later levels, I opened with 8-7 of hearts - a bit loose, but I thought I could play it. I got a couple of callers, but I flop a flush draw. My semi-bluff worked, and I chip up to over 63bb. I also had pocket 9s at one point in the small blind, and managed to take chips from several limpers.

          Then I made what I think was a mistake now. I raised with A-Jo (again - 3rd time within 100 minutes!), and got two callers (button and small blind - both were very passive fish). Board was 5-6-4 rainbow. This is actually pretty wet for these two callers, but I c-bet anyways. Big mistake - both players called. Turn was a 3, and I check-folded when they started to play against each other. They had 7-5s and 7-4s, respectively. My c-bet was a mistake on such a wet board.

          Level 5 (150/300) got more interesting. I got down to 36bb after I raised with A-Qo, got called by two guys (including one of the fish from last hand), and flopped only a gutshot draw. I check-folded, and the fish showed that he flopped top pair with A-K.

          But then, a big hand happened. With a few limpers, I get pocket 9s in the small blind again. I raise standard to about 1650 (3 limpers before me). But then the big blind suddenly shoves 35bb over me. I had seen this guy play - he was VERY loose, playing tons of hands, but also didn't raise that often. I had him covered by only a small bit. I thought about it for a while, but I eventually called.

          He had A-7o. The entire table was shocked that I made the call with pocket 9s, but I was pretty sure I was ahead of his range with how spewy he was playing. Even better, I flop top set and turn a full-house, sealing the deal and climbing me up to 75bb - almost double the starting stack.

          Better yet, with A-Qs a few hands later, the fish from earlier min-raised utg. Because I didn't think he was calling a 3-bet, I just flat-called. One other player called, and we see a flop - A-Q-6, all diamonds. I wasn't totally sure how to play this board, but the fish checked to me. I made a probe-bet of half the pot, which he called. At this point, I decided to fold the turn if he bet, and check-fold the river if there was another diamond. There was on the river, but it got checked down, and my A-Qs on a 4-flush board was good against A-Jo.

          Level 6(200/400) was NOT good for me. Against the same fish from earlier, I raise with K-Qs on the button. He calls, and I see a very dry flop - J-7-4 rainbow. I c-bet, but he calls. Because of this, my original intention was to check-fold the turn unless a K or Q showed up, but another card did - the 9 of clubs, giving me a flush draw with a gutshot straight draw. So I fire a second barrel with this huge draw. He calls again. The 9 river is a terrible river for me, so I check it down, and the fish shows 10-7s for a pair of 7s. I muck, and the fish claims he would have folded if I had fired a 3rd barrel. I thought that was bull - a calling station like that isn't folding to a river that pairs the turn. But I bluffed off 6k because of this, and I'm down to a bit more than 40bb.

          The only other noteworthy thing happened one rotation later, when I raise A-10s on the button. The guy who limped to open suddenly raises me. I fold, and he shows pocket Aces. Good to know - he's one of those "tricky" jerks who think they're all that. Looks like a hipster too. That's good to know.

          I was totally card dead during level 6 (300/600), meaning that after the break and the start of level 8 (400/800), I'm down to 16bb. But fortunately, a few hands later, I get moved to a new table, directly to the left of one regular I know, a Hispanic gentleman named Emilio. Emilio isn't a great player, but almost no one at this casino is. He shows his cards before folding quite often (usually just to his neighbours), and likes doing a bit of trash-talking in jest. But I was glad to be to his left.

          I managed to chip up to 23bb after raising with A-Qo and A-Ko to steal some blinds and limpers. I then had an interesting hand against Emilio. He limped to open the small blind with a bit more than 10bb, and I just decided to check my option with A-8o. I flopped an ace, made a min-bet, and he folded and showed Q-10s, saying he probably should have shoved. If he had shoved, I'm not sure if I would have called or not. It's an interesting spot.

          A few hands later, though, I bet pocket 8s. But a 30bb stack 3-bet shoves over me. This time, because I had no reads on the guy, I had to fold, and I'm under 20bb again, although I did steal a bit more.

          Level 9 (500/1000) was my last level. I stole quite a few more blinds with big Aces. But I was still stuck around 15bb (starting stack was 12.5bb). I manage to get A-Qo in the hijack and open for a 2.5x raise. Then the overwhelming bigstack raises to 8k. I had decided beforehand that with 15bb, I'm getting all the money in with A-Qo if I get 3-bet. So I do. The bigstack calls and turns over pocket Kings, and I get no help. I'm out in 24th place after 4 hours of playing.

          To be fair, the bigstack was probably the best player I had seen so far - he was never limping to open, and was raising very well (although some of his isolation shoves against short stacks were quite large). I hope he did well, but I didn't stick around.

          In conclusion, I'm not playing this tournament again. It's too much time for a very small chance for a very small payday. Maybe I'll consider the cash games instead - they tend to be juicy.

          Bracelet Winner


          • #6

            2013 was an interesting year for me, poker-wise. I started playing more games, upped some of the stakes I played (not too much, though), and even took a 1-month break back in September. Overall, it was a very strange but good year. I can safely make the following conclusions:

            1. I have much better results in single-table SNGs than MTTs, bigger SNGs or cash games, but I also find them more boring to play. That's kind of a dillemma.

            2. My live results still stuck, and they're the entire reason I'm in the red for earnings.

            3. December was a VERY good month for me, as I managed to make two final tables in MTTs within 2 weeks of each other (I placed 2nd and 4th in a $1 180-Man and a $1.10 250-cap tourney respectively, for $32 and $20 each). This helped bring my ROI for online tourneys up into the black this year.

            4. The break I took in September did wonders for my patience, confidence, and time-management, and was proven by the day I came off of my break - won a SNG, won a ticket to the Big $2.20 for 32c, and made a deep run in that big $2.20 for over $13.

            5. I only noticed this in the last month, but the 2NL 6-max cash games are MUCH softer than the full-ring, which I found strange. I played a few more sessions of these for that reason, and had mostly good results.

            Overall, here are my results for 2013:

            Cash Games:

            Played a total of 35 sessions, 3 of which were 6-Max, for a total of 1610 hands, 135 of which were 6-max.

            Total profit was $2.96, leading to a total of 9.2 bb/100 on average, which is good.

            Online Tourneys:

            Played 640 tourneys in total, costing a combined amount of $528. This also included the stakes I put up for Gareth and the stakes I took from others.

            Winnings were a total of $573, making an ROI of 8.5%, most of which was from the last month and SNG wins.

            Live Tourneys:

            Played a total of 11 live tourneys. Didn't cash a single one, leading to a $825 defecit.


            This makes my profits for the year a total of $47.91 for online only play. Including live sessions, this leads to a loss of -$777.09.

            What a year. I probably won't be playing as often in the new year, however. Need to focus on studies.

            Bracelet Winner


            • #7

              Had a weird poker-related nightmare last night. It shouldn't have even been a nightmare, but it was. And I think it's proof that I play too often.

              In my dream, I had gone to see if I could play a heads-up 2NL cash game, which is unusual for me as I don't play cash games in general very often, and I've never played a heads-up cash game (I've only played a couple of heads-up tourneys). That's not the weird part, though - the weird part was that somehow, I got onto a 5NL 4-max cash game instead. I didn't realize until I had already sat down.

              First hand I had something weird like 4-Qs or something like that in the big blind. I believed I checked my option, and the flop had two 4s on it. I thought it was great, and got all the money ($5) in on the flop against one guy - who had flopped quad 4s, despite being physically impossible. I didn't even register during the dream that it wasn't possible, I was just concerned that first hand at the table I had already lost an entire buy-in in a table that was beyond my bankroll - and some irrational logic made me think for a second I had used my entire bankroll.

              Of course, I woke up this morning feeling fine and realizing it wasn't true, but I was shaken from such a weird dream - despite it not even being all that seriously.

              Bracelet Winner


              • #8

                Alright, so next week is "reading break" at my University. It's kind of like Spring break, only it comes a couple of months earlier, and you're technically still expected to work and study during it (not sure how many people actually do, though). However, I think it's the perfect time to play a little poker and really focus (along with finishing projects).

                First, however, a little background on the past couple of months. January and early February are not kind to me, MTT-wise. I haven't had a single deep run yet, which isn't too bad as I haven't played too many tourneys, but even my cashes are few and far apart - my last was over a week ago, and it was a mincash in a 15% payout $2.20 Turbo - not nearly enough to make up for my lack of results. STTs aren't faring great, but I'm at least keeping a small profit in them by consistently cashing (though I haven't had a win yet - Hyper-Turbos have great payouts, but that doesn't mean anything if you can't win).

                That being said, I redownloaded a trial of Holdem Manager 2 a couple of weeks ago - I got around the 30 day limit because it doesn't check if you're using the same account but a different computer. I plan on finally buying it sometime this month, as even though I'm not sure about the stats, the hand replayer and statistics are REALLY useful.

                That, and I started playing more cash games. I've been starting to take advantage of some kinds of players (Holdem Manager's stats seem more useful in cash games for some reason), and I've only had one losing session so far this year. That being said, that losing session was my largest session, losing about 40bb over 150 hands, most of which were in the first few against a Super-Lag who I couldn't continue my aggression with KK against when an A flops, as well as ill-timed c-bets.

                But overall, I've been doing well in cash games despite not finding them as fun. Last year I played a couple thousand hands total, and managed a winrate of around 10bb/100 (although this is too low a sample to make it accurate). So far, out of 520 hands I've played this year, I have a winrate of 22.8bb/100! It'll probably go down with time, but still!

                Also, I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again: I think that the 2nl 6-max games are softer than the full ring games. I'm not totally sure why, but I think there are a few reasons - one, even though there's probably about the same number of fish, there's usually at least one at a table, and in 6-max, the fish seem more spewy preflop. Worse, they're a different kind of fish - the kind who play fit-or-fold on the flop. They don't lose tons of money at once if they miss, but they are incredibly easy for even a Ass-burger's donk like me to take advantage of. Also, playing 6-max makes it slightly easier to transfer to a LAG style, simply because you will have position so much more often.

                But I digress. This blog was SUPPOSED to be about the future.

                Simply put, I have two major plans to play big tournaments (for me) this week. First, my parents gave me a few birthday presents, but one of them was that they would pay for the buy-in of ONE live tourney, which I plan to take sometime this week. I'm not sure I want to do it Friday - that was a long time to play for only going through half the field. But I DEFINITELY want to play sometime this week, and I'll be sure to make another blog about my hands and the results. I'm taking quite a liking to JWK's weekly League blogs, and you could say they inspired me.

                Secondly, for only the second time in my poker career, I'll be playing the Sunday Storm this weekend. The $11 buy-in is WAY beyond even my increased bankroll capacity, but I found away around that - a 5 fpp rebuy satellite. Somehow, spending only 25 FPP on rebuys, I managed to find my way to the top 17 out of a field of 495 super-loose maniacs and donks, making it my best tournament result in a long while. I'm celebrating by actually playing the tourney, rather than taking the $T. It's a great shot at boosting my bakroll, and I didn't pay anything for the satellite in the firsrt place.

                I did not play my absolute best during the satellite, though. There were a couple of spots that were almost SURELY -EV, but I took them anyways due to my desire to accumulate chips of of people who spewed 40bb with A-rag or worse, unsuited gap connectors. This was no doubt when I got 15bb in preflop in a 6-way pot with K-Js, and then rivered 2-pair to quintuple up. It was a terrible move, but it gave me a chipstack I had a chance with. Also, a couple of times near the end, I called short-stacked shoves with A-Qo under the impression that I was only BARELY in a money spot, and that if any short stack doubled up or we lasted too long, I would NOT make it in. Fortunately, both time I had the short-stack dominated, both times I eliminated them, and both times I got a more secure spot in the top 17.

                Because of this, I'll be playing the Sunday Storm in a few days, and I plan on making a blog about that one as well. Look forward to it, you (hopefully) won't want to miss it.

                Bracelet Winner


                • #9

                  After a breakfast of Waffles, I sat down to play the Sunday Storm. I had won a seat in a 5FFP rebuy tourney, and decided to take my shot. I'm moved tables almost instantly as I sit down, and I move tables. I get no hands during the first level, but I do start to get reads on the table. I'm at seat 4: Seat 9 is a chronic limper who finds raises scary; seat 3 is a LAG who raised utg with 10-2s, yet never cbet; seat 8 was aggressive, raising A-8o early on in the hijack; seat 5 was almost as bad as 9, calling raises with hands like K-4s, 6-4o.

                  Level 2 I see seat 8 call a c-bet blind vs blind with only one overcard and backdoor draws. This would have been important, but I move tables almost immediately after this.

                  This new table, first hand I get dealt A-Ks in the big blind. Utg+1 raises 3.5x, and so I 3-bet. He calls, and the flop is K-x-x, all hearts. Because I'm scared of a possible raise, I decide to check-raise instead. I manage to take it down this way.

                  The very next hand, I get pocket 7s. I try to setmine and whiff, and my cards go into the muck. I'm card dead for the rest of the level.

                  Level 3 came, and I soon get A-Ko again utg. I got AK a lot in this tourney. I raise, and the big blind calls. Even though I just moved about 10 minutes ago, I haven't seen the big blind (seat 2) play a hand yet. ANyways, the flop is J-7-6 rainbow. He checks and I c-bet half the pot. He calls. The turn is a blank, and when he checks, I check back. I spike a miracle K, and he checks again. This time I bet about 40% of the pot to try to get a call. I do - he had J-10s, and I take down another pot.

                  A couple of guys at the table were sitting out, so I made a steal with A-8o from middle position, as one was in the blinds. I managed to take it down. I also got some interesting reads - seat 8 was a big LAG-donk, and seat 5 was playing weak and was easily exploitable. I started the break with 6350 chips, up from the starting the 5000.

                  Level 4 came then, and I saw an amazing hand. Seat 6 called off a huge turn shove with A-6o or something like that on a A-Q-x-x board, two clubs. Seat 6 did not have a club, but seat 5 did - the king of clubs, as well as another Ace.

                  I soon had 9-10s in the big blind, and was considering calling a small raise due to the implied odds. But the raiser was seat 9, who was very loose-passive: this was literally the first raise he had made in 30 hands, even though he had limped 9 times before. So I had to fold.

                  I tried to set-mine against a cutoff raiser a few hands later with pocket 6s. The flop was 8-7-5. We check it down the whole way, and the turn and river are another 8 and another 7, respectively, and his K-10s which he never tried to c-bet or win the pot with took it down when my pair was counterfeited.

                  Once level 5 came, I got my best hand in a while - pocket 10s in the big blind! A LAG min-raised, and because he was making tiny bets post-flop all the time, I thought it was a great opportunity to 3-bet and play against him. But the small blind 3-bet first, which was his first. He hadn't played many hands, so I gave him credit and had to fold my 10s.

                  Seat 6, who had been playing tight, suddenly limped utg. I called with 8-6s in the small blind for a couple of reasons - 1, the big blind was sitting out, 2, the limp smelled fishy and I thought making a huge flop would get me paid off really big. But I whiff, and I check-fold the flop and turn. I also saw seat 9 defend out of position against a steal with K-2s, which was great to know. I also stole against the sitout one hand.

                  I played two more hands this level - K-Qo, I called a min-raise on the button. The flop was A-high and was all read, while my cards were black, so I folded. I also got pocket 9s utg and seat 9, the fishy button, called. The flop was K-Q-5. I should have checked here, but he had a large fold-to-cbet stat, so I made a c-bet. Mistake - he called. I checked the turn, and he bet 1/5 of the pot. Despite being so tempting, I still had an underpair. So I mucked.

                  Level 6, I only had a few hands: A-Qo. Seat 9 from earlier had limped, so I raised. He called, and the flop was 3 low cards. He checked and I c-bet, which he called. My c-bet stat on him seemed to be off - he wasn't folding to MY c-bets. I checked the turn and river, but he checked too - he had Q-Js, and I managed to take it away.

                  A few hands later, I saw a 3-way all-in. Two stacks, including seat 9 and 6, got 15bb in with A-Ks, and seat 2 called them with pocket Queens. The river a King, but it gives seat 2 the nut straight, so seat 2 eliminates them both.

                  I move tables again after this, and I'm back to seat 3 again. First hand, a guy limps utg. I've got A-Qo utg+1, so I raise to isolate. It works - the table folds, he calls, and I see a J-10-2 board, two clubs. He checks, I c-bet, and he SNAP calls. I have been getting NO respect with c-bets so far. The turn is the A of clubs and he bets again. I bet once more, intending to fold to aggression, a little less than 1/2 the pot, and he calls again. This time, the river's a blank. He checks and I check behind, as I have showdown value. He didn't have the flush - he had 2-pair, As and 2s, and he called a c-bet with bottom pair. Amazing play. I'm down to 26bb at this point, but the blinds go up, and it's soon closer to 19.

                  We reach level 7, and I start getting some reads at this new table. The same donkey who got two pair against me limped with A-Ko in a pot where 3 players already limped - there was then a short-stack shove and utg, who limped, isolation shoved, which the fish called. The short-stack had Q-Js, and utg had A-2s. Amazing plays, aren't they? I also see seat 7 raise pocket 10s 6x utg and 4-bet shove, and that seat 5 was as big a fish as seat 2.

                  I then get A-Ko with about 19bb left. The LAG utg min-raises, and I isolation shave. I get THREE callers - the pocket 10s guy, who was just crippled, called with... J-5s! The big blind, who was super-tight, called with... 7-8s! And the original raiser tank-called with... K-8o!?! So I have to survive THREE different players. I manage to survive the K-8o and keep 15bb, but both 7-8s and J-5s hit the board, and I'm short-stacked. The blinds go up the next hand, too, so it's really 10bb.

                  Level 8 I'm now looking for a spot to shove. I almost 3-bet shoved pocket 6s against a TAG utg min-raiser, but I didn't have ANY fold equity, which is the main reason to 3-bet shove small pairs. So I mucked them. I'm completely card dead this level, and I'm not even getting any spots. It finally folds to me in the small blind, and as the BB is sitting out, I steal his blind right before the break. But I'm still sitting on the break with 2475 chips left.

                  After the break, I shoved K-3s in the cutoff - the blinds were tight, and the button was still sitting out, so I take it down. Two hands later, I get A-10s, and I shove it. The button, who was playing tight, calls with the mighty A-6s. I river a full house, and I'm back up to over 6000 chips. Yay!

                  Level 9 arrives, and so I've got about 21bb. The cutoff min-raised, and I call in the big blind with pocket 5s, as I BARELY have the odds to setmine. The flop is 9-9-8. I should have check-folded all three streets, but instead I put out a small bet on the Q-turn, which is called. Should have figured - he had Q-3s.

                  A few hands later, I stole with 10-8s from the cutoff - the BB and button were sitting out.

                  Later, it was a Blind vs Blind battle. I called the big blind with A-7o. I got no help and had to fold.

                  Next hand, I'm down to 15bb again, and once more I get A-Ks! Utg limps, though, and he had been playing very well before that. Then the new guy at the table, a bigstacked utg+1, raises 4x. I 3-bet shove with A-Ks. Utg folds, fortunately, but the big stack calls with pocket 6s. The board gives me no help, and I'm out.

                  It was fun, but I was disappointed - I relied too heavily on my new HUD, and none of my c-bets got any respect. I should have realized this, but I didn't.

                  Bracelet Winner


                  • #10

                    As only the second live tourney I've played since the casino's structure changes, I wasn't quite sure what to expect tonight. Honestly, there were quite a few changes. First, the starting stack was increased to 8000 chips. Also, the add-on was for 1500, the largest it's been. Finally, I learn that the casino isn't allowed to rebalance any tables until after the rebuy period ends, so one table was playing heads-up for about 20 minutes due to one player busting two others early.

                    They removed the first level of 25/25, and has been replaced with a straight jump to 25/50. The first level, despite the fact that at most we were playing 5-handed, was fairly active for me. I learn a lot of the limpers are weak, as they will limp and fold to moderate raises. I managed to take a pot from a limper by raising Q-Js. I also noticed EVERYONE limping - seat 7 limped utg with J8s, A4o, seat 1 limp with 9-10s, and seat 4 (I'm seat 2) limp with 9-4o. Most of my wins this 20 minute level were small. I won the blinds with A-Ko, chopped a pot with A5o against a limped A4o, stole from two limpers with K-Jo, and even managed to take one down post-flop after getting a free flop in the big blind with K-2o.

                    Level 2, with 50/100 antes comes. I get pocket 2s in the big blind and check my option in a heads-up pot. The pot is checked all the way down, and my 2s get counterfeited by 7s and As on the board. The button bet on the river, I folded, and he showed that he slowplayed trip 7s one street.

                    A few hands later, I see seat 1, an iffy player, raise. I look down at 6-7s on the button and, because we're still deep, I decide to call. Seat 9, a younger aggressive player who still has a bad limping habit, calls in the big blind. The flop is 7-7-4 rainbow, sweet! Seat 9 donks out for 500 into a pot of 950, which he had been doing quite a bit. Seat 1, the aggressor, now flat-calls. Because of this call, I start to worry that one of them could possibly have 65 or something stupid like that, so I raise to 2000. Seat 9 folds, and seat 1 tanks for a minute before folding... AJs? Why was he calling and TANKING my raise with A-high and no draws?

                    I managed to raise K-10o a while later, which got a call, but my c-bet took down the pot. Shortly afterwards, I got A-Ko and raise. I got one caller in the small blind, which was seat 7. Because I didn't believe I could get him to fold on a fairly wet board that I whiffed, we managed to check down the flop, turn and river, and he turned over pocket 9s. I mucked.

                    Oddly enough, one hand later, there was an all-in situation almost 90bb deep - both seat 9 and seat 4 got all their chips in on an A-high flop, and when seat 4 pushed, seat 9 sighed, said "I guess you have two pair," AND STILL CALLED. He had A-Ko. Seat 4 - A-Qo, which lost. Seat 4 is crippled.

                    Blinds go up to 100/200, making this the last level for rebuys. First hand, something interesting happened: during the rebuy period, a set of stacks for all 10 seats is set out, and these stacks still have to pay blinds while the button moves, essentially creating a bunch of sitouts for the rebuy period. It folds to me in the small blind, and because the big blind is one of these stacks, I get a walk. Yay! Also, seat 1 busted seat 4 with 55>K8o. Seat 4 rebought on a different table, but we got a new late-reg player at seat 6.

                    The only hand I had this level was pocket 6s, which I stole the blinds with. I also see that seat 6 is a huge calling station - he called TWO large raises on a wet A-K-7 board with bottom pair. This is a huge read.

                    We end the level and I'm up to about 11,000 chips. And this is where another new feature shows up - they added a second add-on. This one, for $10, is an additional 3000 chips, which is about 10bb at this level. I decide to take it, as most of them are, and so I've got about 14,000 chips for about 46bb.

                    I move tables the moment we get back, and the final player total is revealed - 23, which is VERY small for a night tourney. I'm finally at a full table.

                    I get into a huge pot 2nd hand at the 150/300 level. In middle position, I limp with J-10 of diamonds because a couple of players limped behind me. There are several more limpers and we see the flop. The flop is 10h-9d-8d, giving me top pair+a straight flush draw! I'm getting the money in here every time, so when it checks to me, I bet 1200. I thought this was 2/3 of the pot, but I may have miscounted: it easily could have been 4/5 of the pot. Anyways, seat 6, an older gentlemen, min-raises me. It's folded back, and I check his stack - he has about 8000 behind, so I reshove. He snap calls, and he flops the idiot-end of the straight, 7-6o. And it's the 7 of diamonds too, claiming one of my outs. I've still got 14 outs, but the turn and river are both black Kings, and I'm crippled to 12bb. Literally all that's keeping me alive is the add-on, and seat 4 (my direct left, who I've played against before), says there was nothing I could do - he'd get the money in there every time as well.

                    For the next while, I'm looking for a shoving spot, and not finding any. I had some decent hands, but they were Q-10s and K-10s utg, and at a full table, I'm not THAT desperate left with 12bb. But eventually, it's folded to me in the cutoff with K-Jo. I shove my last 10.5bb, and the man on my left snap-calls with pocket Queens. I sigh in disgust as the flop is blanks, and the turn is no help either. River - KING. I doubled up to 6900, and have a workable stack, although the blinds go up again.

                    I'm completely card dead for the 200/400 level, but I noticed that there's a LOT more raising than I expected there to be at this level. Some of these players actually know how to be aggressive. Also, the standard raise so far is 3x.

                    Level 6 at 300/600, I'm card-dead again. I did notice seat 2, my right, limping utg with A-Jo. But at the end of the level, I get another spot: utg, I get A-Qs, and I shove my 5700 chips. Seat 7 sighs, and is obviously upset that I shoved, and he folds. Seat 9, the same aggressive seat 9 from my last table, tanks. I hear him audibly say, "I hope you've got two high cards. If you've got a big pair, I'm in trouble." Eventually, he calls... with pocket 4s? Obviously he's hoping for flips to take him all the way. But on the flop, there's an ace! I double up to 11,700, enoguh for almost 20bb.

                    The blinds go up again, and here's another change. The casino finally added antes to the tournament! So the blinds are 400/800 with a 100 ante. Unfortunately, I run into trouble on the first hand - utg, the seat on my right, min-raises. He gets about 4 callers. I look down at A-10 of clubs, and because of the enormous pot-odds, I decide to call. The flop is Q-x-x, and the blanks are clubs. The board somehow gets checked around, and we see a turn, which is a blank. This time, the aggressor makes a delayed c-bet of 3000 chips into a pot of about 9000. Everyone folds, although seat 1 tanked, and I think: why is he waiting till now to bet? And why so small? I'm given JUST the right pot-odds to call for my flush, but it's almost 1/3 of my remaining stack. After tanking, I call. The river is a blank. UTG fires out 3000 again, and I muck.

                    He says he was hoping I had a Q, and claims he had pocket Kings. Why the hell would he check on a wet Q-high flop in a 6-way pot with pocket Kings?! That astounds me. But unfortunately, I'm down to 6000 chips.

                    Worse, I'm card-dead for the rest of the level. By the time the 500/1000 with a 200 ante comes, I'm down to 4bb. I'm getting no shoving spots, as seat 6 keeps limping EVERY HAND and isn't giving me the proper fold equity. Eventually, desperate with 3000 chips, I shove 7-6s utg. And I get 3 callers. I stand up, ready to lose. I flop a 6, but there's a 10 and an A on the flop, too. The turn - another 6! Now seat 6 bets into a dry side-pot, and the others fold. He had 10-9o, and I quadruple up to 12,000!

                    Next hand, I get to see a free flop with A-3o. I flop a 3, but that's not good enough, so I fold to a bet.

                    Next level is new - 700/1400 with 300 ante. I got another check in the big blind with K-8o and flop middle pair, but that's not enough when everyone checks the flop, so I fold.

                    Next hand I get AQo in the small blind. Seat 6 limps utg again, and I shove my 9000 chips. The big blind, who now has a bigstack after busting several players, calls. Seat 6 tanks and then reshoves his 10,000 chips. The big blind has A-Js, which is a fine call for a big stack against a short shove. But UTG has A-8s, and thought it was good in a 3-way all-in. I'm dominating both, but the turn is a J, so I'm out in 12th. UTG is out in 11th, and we bubble the final table.

                    I got very lucky this game, but my rungood didn't last long enough. I hope I get something like that again so I can get some moneys back.

                    Bracelet Winner


                    • #11

                      Greetings, peasants*.

                      Please excuse my hubris and cockiness. I don't even really have the right to be so cocky, seeing as how I haven't been winning anything major, just minor little things. But unfortunately, my rungood has been such that I feel a little boasting may be called for.

                      So far, in the PSO March Madness series, I have been 5 for 5 in cashes, including 2 wins.

                      I think the main reason for this, however, has been good luck - that's not the only reason, but the fact that I kept winning most of my flips and even occasionally when I was dominated helped keep me alive and allowed me to gather a stack in each one. So far my results have included:

                      *2nd in Event 4 ($0.27 NLHE)

                      *1st in Event 6 ($1.10 Heads-up NLHE)

                      *4th in Event 8 ($0.55 NLHE)

                      *6th in Event 9 ($0.27 Stud Hi/Lo)

                      *1st in Event 10 ($0.55 + $0.10 Knockout NLHE), plus 11 KOs.

                      All this was in addition to a (min)cash in the Big Bang on Saturday. Now these results AREN'T enough to get me a top 10 spot for the end of the series (I'll need at least one more 2nd place to even have a shot). But they are a very good start, and a huge boost in confidence, especially in the Heads-up department, as I always considered Heads-up a weakness of mine (winning that tourney, especially knocking out Fadyen first round and beating spand in the finals, really made me happy).

                      I have noticed the following things, however, that I think helped me with playing in these PSO events:

                      1. Playing SLIGHTLY more Loose-aggressive than usual can be very profitable in the PSO Home games. This is because there are a LOT of very tight nits/rocks, especially in the middle stages. There are also quite a few standard loose-passive fish, though, so be careful and choose your spots carefully if you plan to go the LAG route.

                      2. I actually feel much more confident when playing heads-up if I'm the chip leader going into heads-up - it makes me feel like I already have an advantage (and I guess in a way I do). The problem is that I usually struggled to get to heads-up as the chip leader.

                      3. When playing 3-handed or heads-up, do NOT be afraid to call a little bit lighter than you feel comfortable with, especially if your opponent is short-stacked. Basically, if they've got 10bb or less and shove, any two face cards, any ace, and most pairs are good enough to call.

                      4. Collorary to 3, pocket pairs in general are VERY strong heads-up, and getting the money in preflop with any pair is profitable unless both players are more than 20bb deep - in fact, it's usually better to get the money in preflop than see a flop, as most will miss you.

                      That's all I really have to say about that. I've got some work to do at University this week, but I'll try to bink a couple more tournaments to cinch a top 10 spot.

                      *Surgeon's warning: I am aware that the actual definition of peasant is a rural professional farmer, usually struggling financially, and that (most) of the people reading this do not fit this description. If you or someone you love is actually a real peasant, one, you are applauded for helping with agricultural needs of humanity, and two, please stop playing pokerr so you can make sure that ends meet for you and your family. Thank you.

                      Bracelet Winner


                      • #12

                        To celebrate the one week break I get after the two exams I wrote last week, I took a trip this Thursday to my local casino again to play in one of their tourneys. As it was Holy Thursday and the start of the long weekend, not to mention the crowded parking lot, I expected today's tourney to be bigger than usual. It didn't disappoint - it attracted a total of 87 players, when generally weekdays are lucky to get more than 40.

                        I started off at seat 3. With the dealer add-on, stacks started at 9500, and blinds start at 25/50. And quite quickly I see how this table is going to happen - I'm going to get almost no cards, but I start to make more amazing reads on players then I ever have previously.

                        Most of the players are fish - notable is seat 1, who limped on the button with A-Jo. Although he won the pot and admitted what he had, he said he didn't raise because "he didn't want people to fold." Um, with A-Jo, yes you do want people to fold. So there's a good one already.

                        Seat 5 is an aboriginal kid with a backwards cap. He's playing quite LAG, which actually makes him one of the better players unbelievably. He also tries getting tricky, though, and he does bad bet sizing, only raising 3x after 3 people limped, then checked with top pair+2nd kicker+open ended draw before check-raising a probe bet on a blank turn. Also, the only hand I played this level was a BIG mistake on my part - he limped utg, and a fishy woman in seat 9 raised to 150. I look down at 67s in the big blind and call, because the stacks are deep, but then the LAG kid limp-reraises big! My fault - I called this reraise. I should NOT have done this - a big leak for me. He later said he had pocket 10s.

                        Also, seat 9 is notably a calling station, chasing draws without the odds and playing her made straights and flushes passively.

                        Level 2 (50/100) starts and I'm down to 8800. Seat 4 just joins; a young aboriginal-looking woman. And I immediately see how she's going to be playing. Twice she limped to open out of position, called a raise, and then donked-out big. One of the times was with Q-Jo, which she flopped two-pair with. And she's doing big donk-bets all the time. She's playing surprisingly aggressively postflop.

                        Seat 6 is also a new player, and he's also good from what I see - he raised A-Ko utg and bet top pair top kicker every street.

                        I then see seat 4 claim a stack on a stupid play, making me think she was ripe for the picking. Once again, she donked out against the LAG kid - I don't quite recall what she had exactly, but the LAG kid reraised her BIG. She tank-called then instantly shoved the turn, which the LAG kid called. It turns out seat 4 donked out with a gutshot draw and turned a flush draw - which hit the river, claiming most of the LAG kid's chips.

                        The LAG kid is then on tilt - he shoves 32bb the next hand, which gets folders all around. Two hands later, he shoves 34bb. Seat 7 is a man in a cowboy hat, who tank calls... with K-Js! And it wins. What an awful play. The LAG kid sighs and goes to rebuy, leaving the table.

                        Seat 8 has been here since the beggining, but he's been quiet until now. When I raised with ATo, I got calls from seats 4, 7 and 8. The flop is 8-3-2 rainbow, and I don't c-bet due to all of the players. Surprisingly, seat 4 doesn't bet, but seat 8 does - he bets big. But I'm the only one who folds. Seat 4 and 7 call, and eventually lose quite a bit when seat 8 reveals his set of 8s.

                        Level 3 starts at 100/200 antes. Notable here is that seat 4 finally raises utg instead of limping. She gets two callers, and the flop is ATT. She c-bet, but then got raised AND re-raised by the other players. This screams that one of them has a T, but did she think that? Nope - she said she didn't believe it and 4-bet shoved with A-Ko, getting snapped by A-T.

                        And then it happend - I get A-9s on the button, best hand I've had in a while, and raise to isolate 2 limpers - the limpers don't call, but seat 4 does. The flop is A-Q-6, two spades, and she donks out with a pot-sized bet. Since she does this all the time, I instantly shoved on her. I only had about 6500 behind, so she's getting 4500 to call a pot of 10,000 - decent to call with anything but a bluff. She sighs and calls, flipping over K-T of spades - she had a combo flush+gutshot draw. And she spikes the gutshot on the turn.

                        Needless to say, I lost control when I saw that J. My backdoor flush didn't complete on the river, and I stormed out of the casino, ultra-pissed. But as I was about to head back to my car, I thought - I'm getting upset at losing a 60/40. This shouldn't be like that. So I thought - there were still plenty of people left, and most of them were terrible. Also, the nice spring evening was calming my nerves. I spent 6 minutes outside before I headed back into the casino and rebought.

                        My rebuy put me at seat 9 on a different table. I did NOT take the dealer add-on this time, as the next level was 3 minutes away and would only be worth 5 big blinds at that point. I DID take the end-of-rebuy add-on, though, which was an additional 10bb, so I start level 4 (150/300) with about 10500 chips.

                        One thing I notice is that it's harder for me to get reads on this new table. Worse, I've gone completely card-dead. The best opportunity I get is to steal from seat 10 and a sitout with Q-2s, but I don't because I'm not that desparate yet, and it's quite likely seat 10 would call a raise (he limped utg earlier). Seat 10 is actually gone fairly quickly, but I do see seat 8 to my left with a sizeable stack. He explained to me that he had quintupled up (!!!) in the first level, but got nothing going since then.

                        Level 5 (200/400) comes, and I'm still card dead. Thankfully, I start to get some reads. Seat 4 is being talkative, and he's short-stacked. He raised a little more than 2.5x with only 12bb left, and didn't get the money in until the flop. Seat 3 was a... actually, I can't say. It would be offensive. But there was something up with him, and he was limping and calling raises a LOT. In later levels, he stopped calling raises, but he never stopped limping.

                        The first 3-bet of the table came this level from seat 7, who was playing kind of tight in hindsight. I was in the BB and look down at T9s, so it's into the muck. Seat 8 also plays, limping to open on the button - don't know why he did that.

                        The only playable hand I get this level is K-To, but I can't play that with a raise in front of me, especially when I'm in the small blind. It's into the muck.

                        Level 6, 300/600, comes and I'm down to 15bb. But it's here that I finally win some pots. I get 3 limpers when I'm in the BB, and I check my option with A-9s, as these players will sometimes limp with AQ to AT. I flop top pair, though, and I make a bet - I get a caller, and the turn is a blank. Another bet, another call, a flush-completing river. We both check and I take down a pot, taking me up to 20bb.

                        I also manage to get pocket 10s, the best hand of the night so far. I get a couple of callers, but they fold to my c-bet on a Q-high flop.

                        Level 7 comes, with 400/800 and a 100 ante. I get K-Jo and Q-Js early in the level, but I have to fold them because tight players (including seat 7 and are raising. I might have been able to play the Q-J, but it was for a lot of my stack. I'm down to 17bb at this point.

                        That's when the bigstack moves directly to my left. A quick count shows that he EASILY has more than 83,000 chips - more than 100bb! I'm worried my steals won't get respect from this guy. He then shows how he got the bigstack - he called an utg raise with K-Qo, flopped top two-pair and raised big. I also noticed seat 6 at one point call a shove on the flop with nothing but an overcard - I don't know exactly what went down, but that's a bad play in almost every case.

                        Then the bigstack limped utg with a sigh. The flop was 5-X-X, all hearts, and he called a bet with it. Then a black J hit and he reraised all-in, showing J-5o (J was a heart). Wow, what a play.

                        Level 8 - blinds are 500/1000 with a 200 ante. First hand, there's several limpers, and I look down at A-10o. I shove my short stack, get a bunch of folds, and I'm up to 18,000 chips.

                        Unfortunately, I then made a really bad play this level - seats 7 and 8 limped out of position, and I look down at K-Js and limp. BAD PLAY - one, my stack's not deep enough to play so speculatively; two, I'm WAY out of position. This is confirmed when seat 5 reshoves his 12bb, and I'm forced to fold.

                        A little later, I get pocket 6s utg. Because I want to show strength and keep a stack, I raise 2.5x. But then a short-stacked seat 2 flat-calls for 1/5 of his stack, and seat 4 reshoves 8bb against me. Against this, I'm screwed, so I have to fold. Seat 2 calls, and they flip over A-Jo and pocket 9s. The 9s hold, and seat 2 is down to about 3bb. I'm down to 14bb, and it's soon 8bb once level 9 comes.

                        Level 9, 700/1400 with 300 ante, starts off with a cooler elsewhere. There wa a raise somewhere, but seats 3,4, and 5 call (4 and 5 are the blinds). Flop is K-4-4. There's action, but eventually all the money gets in between seats 4 and 5 on either the turn or river. Seat 4 says "I've got 2nd nuts" and turns over pocket Kings, which he flat-called with a short stack out of position?! Wow. And seat 4 says "I've got nuts" and turns over pocket 4s for quads! Worse, someone else says they folded a K, so a coolered seat 4 who misplayed his Kings is out.

                        All I do this level is steal with A-8s utg+1, which gets through. I get up to 15500 chips, but I still have work to do.

                        Unfortunately, Level 10 (1000/2000, 300 ante) goes south. I'm completely card dead again, and even if I wanted to steal, I can't against all the limpers. Another bigstack, seat 1, joins the table, and I watch him play pocket Aces passively every street. Eventually, because I will have no fold equity left if I don't, I shove my last 11,000 chips utg with 10-9o. Seat 10 sigh-calls with A-Qo and I get no help. After one rebuy, I'm out in 24th and have no chance of seeing that $1100 win.

                        Today was a great lesson for me in both reading other players while playing live, and in trying to manage my tilt control. When I went on tilt, I went outside for 6 minutes before rebuying, and it helped clear my head enormously. I hope I do better later.

                        Bracelet Winner


                        • #13

                          Today, on a spur of the moment, I decided to head to my local casino this morning to play in the morning tournament. I've played in one morning tournament before and it didn't go well (overshoving 40bb on the flop in the first 40 minutes with middle pair and spiking a 2nd pair - sigh), so I've normally avoided them. But I thought that today, it might go differently.

                          I was very right - it DID go differently. The casino was pretty empty, seeing as it was 9:30 in the morning, but another problem was that the tournament info screen that often comes up wasn't working today, so we were going with a handheld digital timer for the three tables that played. Also, it did get a slightly bigger turnout than last time - 25 runners. But these tourneys never pay out very many spots, which was why I was so nervous.

                          Also, I end up sitting at what would turn out to be the final table. And already several of the guys are talking about poker, the big monthly tournament my casino had yesterday, one of them even talked about how he multi-tables Pokerstars. So instantly, I'm wary, especially since at the other side of the table is the same guy who busted me back in April.

                          Of course, some hands go okay, and I get some good information. I manage to get a decent pot with pocket Kings one hand, and another I get valuable information when I raise with QJs, and the big blind squeezed with pocket 3s. A lot of these guys are showing their hands, too, which helps quite a bit.

                          I didn't keep a full track of hands we played, but I do know that several people are busting and rebuying. But then, just before break, I managed to get VERY lucky: there was a raise and a call while I was in the big blind, and I look down at A-K, which I 3-bet with. I get one caller - the multi-table grinder, whos an older gentlemen. The flop is a complete blank, something like 4-7-T, but I still make a c-bet. Problem: The c-bet was more than half of my remaining stack. Not good. I should have just shoved. I get called, of course, and the turn is a blank. Realizing there was nothing more I could do, I put my last 2475 into the pot with A-high. The other guy tanked before calling - with 98s, just an open straight draw. My A-high holds, and I double up just before the break. However, the skilled guy didn't forget that hand, and he played the rest of the tourney thinking I had nothing whenever I raised.

                          The middle levels were fairly uneventful, other than that some of my chips got taken away due to bad flops in multiway pots, and that I once checked down a hand with T-high on a board with 3 overcards - and WON. But mostly I was trying to stay away from confrontations, as some stacks were still quite a bit bigger than mine, including a few new faces.

                          But then, it happened - we reached the final table, and I still had a middling stack. However, the blinds were raising MUCH more quickly than the evening tournaments, and they were already up to 500/1000 with a 100 ante by the final table.

                          Of course, people started to bust, generally after limping with mediocre hands. However, just before the 2nd break, I got dealt K-Js 7-handed utg. Counting, I had only about 10 big blinds left, so I shoved. And guess who calls? That's right - the same guy who busted me last game. Except this time, instead of A-Q, he has pocket 6s. However, I flop a jack to double up, although he still has a huge stack.

                          It's right then that I realize I had a decent shot of actually winning this thing for once. They only paid three spots, but that was fine - I could make it, even though my stack was only average. Unfortunately, the first hand after the break had blinds raised to 1k/2k with a 300 ante, so already I'm short stacked again. Another couple of players bust, and I get some steals with A-Q and pocket Jacks, but I'm still in trouble.

                          But then, the turning point happens. The player utg while 5-handed min-raised, and I look down at pocket 8s. I ask how much the guy has left - I have him covered, but only barely. Even though I'm almost short-stacked, I do just flat-call, as I had a plan seeing as how we were so close to the bubble. The flop is 6-5-4 all spades, and since I had the 8 of spades, I realized I could actually pull off this plan. I checked, and the guy made another small raise. I then purposefully checked my cards - I knew I had the 8 of spades, but I wanted it to look like I was checking to make sure. Then, before putting my cards down again, I announced that I was shoving.

                          The original raiser tanked HARD against this. It seemed like he didn't think I had it, but he didn't think he was strong enough to call. Then, in a blatant attempt to get a tell from me, he revealed the Q of spades in his hand without folding. I tried my best to stay straight-faced, although I did stare at the card a little too much. Eventually, he folds, saying the other was a non-spade ace and that he thought I was on the nut flush draw, which was still better than him. Not quite, and I DID make a mistake here - I showed my hand. And most of the final table thought that I played that well, and particularly liked the flop shove with an overpair+straight flush draw, although one guy admitted that he folded the 7 of spades. I shouldn't have showed, but I couldn't help it - the rest of the table was showing too often, and I thought it was courtesey.

                          However, even with that, I was still only 2nd or 3rd in chips, with the guy I doubled up through being the bigstack and two spots to my left. I was getting really few opportunities to steal, but then it happened - the bigstack lost two big hands in a row and busted in 5th, making a young guy with huge headphones the bigstack, and one who was only moderately aggressive for a guy used to bigstack bullies, but MUCH more aggressive than most of the people at these tourneys are. In fact, I think the entirety of that final 5 were probably some of the best players I've seen at the casino - they weren't great, but they were decent, knew about correct calling odds, some were good at reading hands, and generally could be VERY good.

                          However, I was good as well. We made a small consolation prize for the bubble boy - we each chip in an extra $20, and 4th place takes that $80 prize while the rest of us fight for the $125, $255 and $500 pay spots, respectively. Eventually, the shortstack to my left busts in 4th, leaving the Pokerstars multi-tabler and the aggressive headphones guy in the money. My first cash!

                          I'm consistently 2nd in chips, but still short stacked, throughout the 3-handed period. But I try to be aggressive when I'm in control. I raise the short stack with flush draws, I bet my good hands, I do everything I can to chip up. But eventually, the multi-tabler busts to the headphones guy, and we're heads up, with him having about a 2:1 chip lead.

                          It's then that I figure I'm shoving any pair I get, any ace, and any two cards T or higher with my stack of 6bb. And crazily enough, two cards T or high composes about 75% of the hands I get dealt in the small blind. And because I'm pushing so often, the headphones guy keeps saying he'll call the moment he gets a hand that doesn't suck. And eventually, he does. I shove Q-To - and he calls with Q-To, and we split.

                          It's another several hands before he shoves, and I call with pocket 9s. He has A-3o, and I flop a set. Instantly, I'm now the slight chip-leader.

                          Because the blinds are so huge though (5k/10k with a 500 ante), once this happens, the headphones guy asks me if I want to chop. After a bit of consideration, we do it - we each take home $375, with my extra $5 going as a tip to the dealer.

                          All-in-all, I made some mistakes, but I also capitalized on short stacks and how players might play near the bubble, and it resulted in my first live cash AND a semi-win. $300 profit is nothing to sneeze at.

                          That's all I have to report. Chris out!

                          Bracelet Winner


                          • #14
                            Good job! <AK> Tough spot, wouldn't this have been a shove preflop if you are pot committed on the flop? - good result! <88> Interesting table talk, I wouldn't have showed since this guy is putting you on a hand that can beat him and if he does it once, he can do it again and is more likely to let you tip him over <Bubble boy> Love this, fantastic gesture! I reallllllly want to play live, but haven't played live and think that i would look a bit of a tit


                            • #15
                              Wish I had the opportunity to play live... But there are no casinos here... Congrats on your first live cash!



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