Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Unlimited Hold Them

Four NL tournaments on the spin, and I think I’m playing better as I go along, but no joy in terms of cashing. First up, the $1500 donkament on Saturday which was capped at 2700 runners. I basically flipped my way up to 10K, plus one double up flopping a straight in the BB in an unraised pot, before busting to JR Bellande last hand before the break. Playing 100-200/25, I made it 650 in the CO with AhJh, Bellande reraised to 2K from the SB and I felt that given the last-hand-before-the-break dynamic, the 4-bet shove was the play (despite my previous promise to avoid marginal pre-flop allins). He called with KK, IGHN, even with 14 outs on the turn.

When I posted this on 2+2 the consensus was “he’s a lagtard, shove ldo”, but my own read on the day was that he wasn’t going to get out of line for all his chips, so who knows. It was probably a flat-out gamble. If he passes 40% of his hands it’s OK, and this may be about right.

Sunday was the $3K which was a noticeably tougher field. However, with some patience I was up to 14K from 6K soon enough. Mike Gracz called my 40BB effective 4-bet from the CO with his AJ, and my JJ held up. I was surprised to see the hand when he called but maybe he was just trying to gamble it up and get chips or play the $10K limit. Another guy threw his last 2K at me with Q high vs. my KK, I trapped someone for 3K more with AA and I was in good shape. Annoyingly though I lost 10K with top two on the turn against a set, although if I didn’t make 2 pair on the turn I’d probably have lost the same anyway. Standard short-stackery from there, won a flip but lost a resteal to bust with 33 < 77.

Yesterday I got off to a great start in the $2500 6-handed, flopping QJT with AK in the very first hand. Unfortunately, the A on the turn scared him off his JT. I also took my share of the table egg’s stack as he busted out inside half an hour. After that the play was pretty solid, I moved to 9K high point by bluffing Maria Ho on the river, but maybe got a bit carried away and dusted off 2500 check-raising a low flush draw on the turn and having to fold to his re-shove. Back to 5K playing 100-200 and lost a completely standard AK < AA, what can you do. Try again I suppose.

Finally today in the $1500 donkament, this was the first time I’ve really seen how soft these can be, given a good draw. I had the most passive table in earth history to start with, doubled up with quads and the old allin overbet on the river, and was licking my lips waiting for the antes to start when the table broke five minutes before that point. Marvellous. The next two tables were a bit tougher, but still with plenty of people who couldn’t shortstack properly. I called an active player’s allin with A8s and held off his 76s to move up to 8K and after that I do believe I hardly showed a hand in 5 hours, except the odd blind v blind check down. During that time I picked up exactly no premium hands. Finally with M5 I called a small raise in the BB with J6s, getting about 7-2 preflop, happily check-called the J92 flop allin, and was shown 99. IGHN. Standard play IMO, if I don’t flop I just get rid and if I do I almost invariably pick up one more bet and am ahead of his range.

Despite dusting off $8500 in those 4 tournaments I feel ok about it. My play definitely improved as the days went by, I was more patient and if you do just stay patient in these things with more than 25 BB, good things will happen. Then when you’re below that point it’s pretty random but I’m still better than 90% of the field and just as good as the rest with these stacks in these tournaments. So it’s back to the Stud tomorrow and then we may have one or two days off, depending.

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