Played some live No limit pokerz tonight at the local casino. I figure that I can now work on my NL game when I go to the casino since most all of the LHE games online have dried up, even at the new sites and live LHE stakes that I would be playing are like .02-.04 online at the moment. It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride for a while as the game was filled with action and some LAGGY-ass players. I finished +$107 for the night after 5 hrs. I still have quite a ways to go, but I playing rather TAP at the moment so that my mistakes may limit my variance, although I’m sure that is possibly hurting my WR as well. It’s still the beginning.
There is one hand I wanted to post for any possible feedback from the crowd. A little over halfway through the session and I had a rather TAP image. I wasn't limping from EP all that much and wasn't calling without a strong hand or draw. The table was rather LAGGY and had gotten even more so when I drunk short stacker bought in for $50 and another LAGGY talker joined the table. There were 2 online guys there, one of which constantly used familiar online jargon and another young guy who was wearing a Full Tilt hoodie and sun glasses. Very subtle.
NLHE $1-$2--live casino--9 handed
Hero is UTG+2--$197
Hero is dealt K K
2 folds, HERO raises to $10, one fold, MP2 calls $10, 3 folds, BB calls $8 more.
FLOP--A A 8
BB checks, HERO checks, MP2 checks.
BB bets $15, HERO...
I feel as though I misplayed this hand. To give you a little insight, BB was one of the online guys with the shades, who liked to cold call alot of one-gap, 2-gap, and 3-gap-suited connectors. MP2 was a LAGGY player who liked to cold call weak Ax hands, middle to high suited connectors, and any pocket pair from 2s-10s without a reraise. I was most concerned with MP2 having an Ace before I saw the flop, but looking back, I think I should have c-bet as this flop hits my range and I don't want to give either one of these players a free card if I am ahead. Any thoughts are welcome.
One Friday night in late January 2007, my wife and I were out to dinner with our group of friends which consisted of 5 couples and an occasional straggler. I was informed that someone’s brother-in-law had a friend who was throwing a big tournament in his house which had 5 full poker tables. All of the guys were going the following weekend and the buy-in was $75 each. 1st place paid over $400 and the Top 3 players were in the money. Each player received 5,000 in chips and we were starting with 25-50 blinds. Each level would move up after an hour, which is quite a long time in between levels, but the NFL playoffs were on which was bound to slow things down and it was a friendly game, so people were going to start talking and eating, and drinking…yada yada yada…
I start off at a table with 9 other players I’ve never met. Most of them police officers, fire fighters or acquaintances of the host. I was set to prove to my group of friends that I knew how to play poker and even more so, finish in the top 3 and cash so that I could put to rest the shellacking I took a few years earlier during my friends Super Bowl Party. Things started off rather rocky for me as my pocket Queens lost to K10o, I missed a bunch of flops with hands like AQ, AK, KQ. Low pocket pairs were constantly facing a lot of action on flops that wouldn’t allow me to continue, the standard thing in poker. 3 hours in, I was down by half of my starting chip count and I was grateful that no one was paying attention to when the blinds should be going up which kept me in the game. Players started to get knocked out and it was nice to see my friend who had the Super Bowl party, we’ll call him Stan, to be one of the first players knocked out. Another one from our group joined Stan soon after. We were close to taking a break so that a few tables could be condensed and I picked up AKo in late position. It was folded around to me and I had a little over 12 BBs left. I wanted a chance to play after the break with more than 6 BBs, if it so happened that I missed the flop again, so I just pushed all-in. The Big blind tanked for a few minutes kinda smiling at me.
“I think we’re racing.” he half questioned.
I found a fixed point on the table and just stared at it so as to practice my “poker face”. This may be the closest I get to a serious live tournament poker moment, so I tried to be as blank as possible. The Big blind mucked 2 red 9s faced up and I was happy to go get a sandwich and beer. When we came back from the break I was one of the short stacks, not only at my table, but out of the remaining 30 players. I thought about it and I was going to have to start pushing preflop and hope to double up. 2 of my friends were still in it with rather healthy chip stacks. My strategy started to pay off as I was able to pick up some uncontested pots in order to keep from being blinded off and then had someone call my pocket 7s with A5o. I could see that there was still some loose play going on so all hope wasn’t lost. More players were being knocked out and now with the football game over on TV, the blinds were being raised much faster than before. Pretty soon we were close to being at one table and I was hoping not to get into any marginal situations with hands like KJs, A10, or small pocket pairs. The 11th player was out and we started playing at one table. I was about 7th in chips and I felt a renewed confidence about my chances. I had the chip leader on my left and some shorter stacks, who liked to talk a lot shit on my right. I took down a medium sized pot which gave me some more breathing room and put me up to 35 BBs or so which was about average at the time. No one player was head and shoulders above the others with respect to their chip count. One big hand was when I picked up AKs on the button and the CO to my right made a standard raise to 3 times the big blind. I reraised to 10 BBs with the blinds at 500-1,000. He looked at me, took a big breath and called. The flop came Ace hi ragged rainbow board. He checked and I put him all in which was about 14 big blinds left. He turned to me and asked if I had it and then called. I was astounded when he flipped over pocket kings. I kept my mouth shut and watched the turn and river seal the hand for me. I was now in 2nd with a strong image as well as chip stack. Players were being knocked out every other hand and we finally got 3 handed. The blinds were rather high to the point that the 3 of us were just about equal in chips, yet had around 15 BBs each. After being blinded down a few times, I picked up 910o in the small blind. The button folded and I shoved for my last 10 BBs. My friend, we’ll call him Randall, looked at me and said, “I don’t think you have anything” and called with J6o. I was stunned. I still don’t know how he could have called me with that hand, even if he was able to look into my soul. That type of hand cannot easily connect to a straight or flush and the kicker is terrible, not to mention the high card strength is mediocre, IMO. Nevertheless he made the “right” call and the flop came down Q83 rainbow. I just took away a few of his outs with the gut shot straight draw, but was still an underdog with the turn and river to come. A 5 fell on the turn and a Queen on the river to put me out in 3rd place. I was pretty disappointed, but happy for Randall who ended up winning the whole tournament. I was also pleased to show my circle of friends that I was not going to be pushed around in poker anymore.