Saturday, March 18, 2006

Best Laid Plans

I'm on Schedule Change Tilt right now, my morning plans of leisurely coffee and footy, followed by a trip to our local park for some "climbing structure" fun for AJ (his words) morphing into a furious house-cleaning/floor polishing session thanks to a wayward Real Estate Agent waking me up at 7:30 in the ayem to say she's bringing some prospective buyers by this morning/afternoon, a range of hours rivalling that of your basic cable outfit. So they're still not here, the house is pristine in its goodness, I'm shaking from the effort and lack of food and I'm probably not going to be able to get my goddamn dry cleaning today because in 20 minutes, I have to win my WSOP seat.

I'm in a Stars Round II Satellite to the Main Event. Two seats given away. Currently there are 382 runners. All Round I sats have been completed, so the only additional participants will be ponying up 4K FPPs to join. About 20 have done so in the past two hours.

I'm gonna open up in this bad boy. The patient approach isn't gonna work. I'll still sit back for the first 20 minutes or so, getting the lay of the land as I have no idea what level of play I'll be facing here. But I'll get involved more if conditions dictate. I'm certainly going to try to exploit the first-in vig earlier than usual. I want chips, dammit. I want the ability to play post-flop instead of being forced into push and pray before the end of the second hour. Gotta be willing to die in order to live.

Yesterday, I got another unexpected phone call, altering my plans for NEXT weekend, one I'd been looking forward to for a long time. More Schedule Change Tilt. This call, however, pushed me in the opposite direction than the one this morning. Can't reveal the details just yet, but it has nothing to do with The Troubles. Unless of course this is Karmic Payback, which is possible. Not much has gone right for me lately. This...well...if this is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

It also has nothing to do with the fact I have a date on Tuesday. Check my shit out. While nothing gives me greater pleasure than revealing every last bleeping detail of my life here in this forum, I'm gonna go ahead and lay low on this one, as well. I know what you're all thinking and yeah, it's probably too early, but she is aware of my situation and well...get busy livin' or get busy dyin', I say.

I didn't get any St. Paddy's Day action, unless you consider a surreal call from...


We interrupt this bloggery for real life situations. One of the sentences you never want to hear as a parent is, "Daddy, I pooped my pants," especially when your 4-year-old is exceptionally dependable in that regard. You specifically don't want to hear this sentence when people are coming over to view your house with the purpose of buying it and making you semi-walthy for the short-term. And you REALLY don't want that sentence to be followed up by, "I also pooped on the toilet and on the carpet," two things which have been recently cleaned and buffed to a blinding shine. Sigh.

I asked AJ how this happened and he said, "I was pooping standing up." Which is odd, but also funny enough to get him out of jail. Anyway, where were we...

...surreal call from Reverand Al during his day-long bender. Suffice to say Al kept me highly entertained for a good 15 minutes of my train ride home. St. Paddy's Day also happenes to be my Mom's birthday, so I spent it having dinner with her and my sister's family. My neice just had her second birthday and she and AJ are a riot together, so it was an enjoyable evening. I got home in time for the $9K and moneyed, though it left a horrible taste in my mouth. In the money, sitting mid-field with an M around 10, I called a short-stack all in with AK. I was up against A9 (flop was 998, thankyouverymuch), taking me down to a 9K stack instead of having 17K. A few orbits later, I called another push with AK. He showed A5 and flopped his five to put me out in 37th. Speaker. Smash. Things.

I did get out on Thursday night as my buddy Jorginho was in town on assignment. I remember now why I don't drink much on school nights. Good heavens. A local microbrew's Red variety kicked my bleeping ass. Of course, I began the evening with a dial-a-shot of whiskey from the one and only Daddy. My Friday workday was fraught with headaches and tiredness and, at least once, I caught myself snoring on the train on the way in. That's right ladies, I'm available.

My satellite is starting (428 players). Let's call this semi-live blogging:

Much passivity in the early going. Min. bets, check-checks on turn and river. No flops for me thru an orbit. Table is 7-handed with two sitting out. And as I type that, I get moved. Limp UTG+1 with JTs and play to a min. raise behind. Flop is QJJ. Giddyup. I milk 600 out of a dude--flop check-call, turn check-min. raise--before he figures it out and folds to my river value bet.

This table is passive, too. Lotta butt clench play. Pre-flop raises are universally good so far. I, myself, have let The Hammer go twice to a raise.

Well, when I do play, looks like the flops are hitting for now. Raise with AQo, two callers. Flop comes AAJ. Silly. Since I played the last one fancy, I went ahead and bet out, though continuation-size. Didn't work. T2290.

Seventy players gone already, nearly 1/6th of the field. Still at Level 1.

I just got rivered in back-to-back hands. Unfucking believable. Back to starting stack. Unimproved A8 called raise, flop and turn bets to river my KK. And checked his aces. Then, with me, with second pair/top kicker and the nut flush draw, he calls a pot-sized bet on the turn while chasing a gut-shot and ends up pairing higher than I. Same guy. Checked the river again, too. Won't fold, won't bet. Good player.

Oh My Lord. No reason to get involved without a hand. These fuckers won't fold. Unimproved T6s just went to the river with no draws and paired his 6 to beat KQ. Perhaps patience is required.

Heh. I just realized we have 30 minute levels. Might be a reason for the tentative play, huh? Well played, me. Well played.

Patience, schmatience. Limped with A7s. Shorty pushed for 200 more and with two big stack--shitty players mentioned already--I have odds and position. Ace on the flop and I pray shorty doesn't have one, 'cause I'm bettin' into a dry side pot. He doesn't. T2230.

Okay, please, please, please somebody explain to me how one can chase a fucking draw and then not bet it when it comes in on the river? Seriously, are you people brain-dead?

Maybe it's just me, but if there are 3 aces and a king on the board and two people are all in before me, I'm gonna assume at least a boat and fold my flush. Not that guy. Quads are good.

This new table is 6-handed and both seats to my left are unoccupied. Nice. The Drizz takes the blinds. Yippee. Rough estimate of non-players is around 80. With that into account, I'm sitting mid-pack among live players.

Fuck me. There's really nothing I can do about anything. JJ gets re-raised and I call. Ten-high flop and a war breaks out. Against a lot of players, I'd think JJ was always behind and drop it. Not this one. King-fucking-ten rivers two-pair. T900.

I can, however, more than double up with JJ v. 99. T1920.

I can also limp with KK (6-handed!) and make a little cash on a J-high flop. One caller who dropped on the turn. T2120.

First Break: Stack: largest 11415, smallest 200, average 2377
Your current position is 118 out of 270

I'd say a quarter to a third of that 270 is dead (absent) money, so, I'm in worse shape than it appears. Plenty of time, though. King-rag seems to be my hand of the day

A9o is gorgeous 6-handed. Got two pre-flop calls. Ace on the flop is good. T2595.

Guy to my immediate left just showed up. Seven-handed. No more free blinds.

Two new players at my table are donators. Not to me, of course.

I'm not averse to chasing. Flush comes in. T3465.

KKQ is not a good flop for TT when 3 fucking limpers call 250 more to play pre-flop. I'm pretty sure. That 300 chips didn't stay in my stack long. I am slightly above par, however.

I am amazed at the number of pople calling flop and turn bets with nothing. NOTHING. I'm also amazed that a limp equals a call of any raise, too.

So much for the flop hitting me. A raise with 88 gets two callers. AKQ. Thanks.

My strategy of being more aggressive has pretty much been hindered by the longer levels and the calling stations all around me. Still having to wait for a hand at this point.

Forget what I said. Pick up two orphan pots in position on ragged flops. T3540.

The good thing about the longer levels is that my long periods of card deadness are less prohibitive. I've only played 10% of flops. Horrible, but conditions are not conducive to doing what I want. Once the absent money leaves (they have about 700 left), it'll change, I'm pretty sure.

I'm able to limp with baby pairs. I've had 7, including 33 4 times. Stats say I'll hit a set once in the next 4. Stats also say each flop with these little pairs won't be all aces and faces, but I guess we have an outlier situation today.

My new hand of the day is 73, both suited and un-.

Kiddie game is down the street. Called pre-flop with 55. Fired at the J97 rainbow flop. Check-called by PFR. Fired again at the 2c turn and he laid it down. AQ or AK, yeah? 8s? T4890.

Guy at my table has shown aces three times this level. Gotten no action on any of them.

There's my set of 3s. Too bad I folded. Was 1300 for me to all a shortie. Quarter of my stack with three to act behind. Got a caller who had QQ. Three in the door on a 10-high flop and I woulda got rich (assuming QQ didn'r re-raise if I called pre-flop, a distinct possiblity).

Big Slick is profitable. T5440.

82s in the BB flops two pair, turns a boat. I got 400 out of a guy, though I mis-played it. He had second pair and the queen-high flush draw on the turn and probably woulda called a couple hundred, but I checked it. He did call the value bet on the river. He couldn't hit one of his twelve outs for two pair or better? Help a brutha out. 'Course ha also had two outs to bet me so, no complaints. KK on the next hand gets the BB and a limper. T6040. Hear that? It's me making a little move.

Second Break:
Stack: largest 20185, smallest 105, average 4652
Your current position is 41 out of 138

I love making a raise from the SB with a playable hand (JTs in this case), having a limper call and seeing an ace on the flop. I bet out, he folds. T6790

These kids are very readable. I can unquestioningly fold my open-raised AJo to a 5K push, I think. Especially to the tighest player here.

Okay, maybe not so readable. Button limps and I complete with Q7o. 8-high flop is checked around. Turn 6 makes me open-ended and puts two flushes out there. Checked to button who min bets and BB and I call. River pairs the 6 and it's checked around. Button wins the pot. What does he have? If you correctly guessed pocket 9s, you might need therapy.

I'll call weak bets on every street with second pair. It'll be good, too. T7470.

Got my flops seen number up to 18%. That's more like it.

Sigh. Min. raise and a call and I'm licking my chops in the BB with 44, until the SB pushes for 3K. I have to drop. One caller, with, uh, QJ. SB has AQ. Four on the flop. our on the river.

You know what? I'm playing my ass off. My reads kill. A9s to a min. raise on the button. T9x flop with two of my suit. I call a smallish bet. Jack on the turn--not my suit--and pop another smallish bet 4x. He mucks. T8740

Now, if I'd just call those pushes in the blinds with my little pairs, we might be going to The Show.

Up to 100/200 blind level. My first steal attempt with T9o is met with resistance in the form of a re-raise from the Big Stack in the SB. Oh well, live and learn.

I'm in the top third of the remaining 78. Well behind the top stacks (who have 25K), but plenty of play to go.

Big Stack to my immediate left just pulled a limp-push. Tricky, trappy fella.

Since there's no time stamp on this here semi-live blog, what you don't know is I've been folding for most of the last half-hour. T7770

Bad turn card for me. Dropped 1500 with 77. Two guys chasing. One with a king apparently.

Brokeback next hand and I simply call a 3x raise in the SB. KT9, two club flop is juicy. Potentially dangerous, to be sure, but I ain't no pussy. I check-call a grand. Ace turn doesn't give the flush and I still ain't askeered of QJ, so I check-raise his 2K bet and he folds. T10040

Power Poker. I open-raise with ATo. Two callers. Qxx flop and I bet 3/4 pot to take it down. T11340

Table change! Guy to my immediate left is sitting out with 7K. Two comparable/bigger stacks, both in the 3 seats to my right. Good spot.

Heh. I raise over a limper with AdJd. Call from the button, push (for 7K) from the SB. I fold, button calls and AK and AQ are flipped. Two pair on the board and they split. T10340

Third Break:
Stack: largest 35835, smallest 1380, average 10700
Your current position is 20 out of 60

Just in case you didn't think there were still donkeys in the tourney at this relatively late stage, a guy with an M well in the green zone just went to war with K2, which is a bad idea when the other guy--who is now a top 3 chip stack--has KT and flopped two pair. Happy Hannukuh.

Again, I repeat, Kiddie Game is down the street. This is not hubris. I am not on Hubris Tilt. I'm just taking pots away with garbage when I sense weakness and I've been almost spot on so far. In this particular instance, I raised with 76s and the SB called. On a J53 flop (one of my suit), he bet 800 into 2200. I popped it to 2600 and he went away. Hey, I had a gutshot. T11965

Pussed a little with KQ. I have a sordid past with that bastard. Simply limped behind two others on the button. K32 rainbow flop is about the best one could hope for with that stupid hand and my bet takes it down. T12540

An exceptionally aggressive player on my immediate left. Must. Get. Hand. To. Trap.

We have arrived at Moving Day: 200/400/25. I don't chip up this level, my M will drop below 10 at the next. Accordingly, I just limped with T7s and took the pot on the flop by betting my second pair. Position, position, position. T12790

Things that make poker difficult: Flopping TPTK in the SB (842, two heart flop with A8o in this instance) and betting out, getting a caller--the BB--on some kind of streaight or flush draw and having an overcard land on the turn. Doens't complete the draws, but he could be holding. I bet out anyway and he folded. I wasn't exactly excited about it, though. T16865

Chip leaders have lengthened their distance from the field. Only two seats, remember. I've been about a third of their stack all day, but the Top Guy is now sitting on 67K (second at 41K). Long way to go, though. Get me to the Final Table with a reasonable M and I'll take my chances.

Me and my folding winners in the blinds. Push from the CO. I fold A9o. BB calls with 33. CO has QQ. Ace on the turn, 9 on the river. Definitely a leak in my game. Yes, I'm kidding, but if I sucked more, I'd have 67K.

CO raise with 44 is no g00t. Villain wasn't strong, but he WAS short and nearly pot committed with his flop bet. I surrendered willingly. T14790


Time to gamble. Limped on the button with Ah8h behind two others. Crazy aggressive SB raised 4x and the BB called, so I was getting 2.5-1 on my admittedly loose call. 9h5hx flop and SB pushes. I have him covered by...uh...400 chips. BB folds. I stare at the screen for untold seconds and decide I gotta give it a shot here. I need to double. My fate is in the hands of the poker Gods. I call. He shows KK. Eleven outs twice (since he has Kh). 8 on the turn gives me two more outs and the beautiful Jh falls on El Rio. T28016

Fourth Break:
Stack: largest 71894, smallest 2024, average 18882
Your current position is 4 out of 34

Um...everybody calm down, 'kay?

I'm tempted to log onto the girlie chat thingee at this point, but I think I will stick with what got me here. Abject loneliness.

That 4th place standing is a little mis-leading. I'm half the stack of 2nd place and 45K behind first. But as I said, get me to the FT with a reasonable M. It's all I ask. And I can pressure now.

Turned Broadway. Made some money. T33865

Fuck me. Hurtful. QQ v. JJ. J in the door. T24379 instead of 43K. Bitches.

I'm a card rack. KQ flops a K and caller chases one more card. No flush on the turn and he drops. T30929

Those three hands above occured in one orbit. Only 3 of the other 8 players at my table have as much as a third of my stack. This is good.

Card Rack. KJ open-raise. J-high flop. T33583

Down to 3 tables. Two stacks above me at my new digs, but only by a few grand.

Your opponent can not fold unless you bet or raise. Flopped the nut flush draw from the SB. Didn't need to catch it. T36183.

Crazy. The Drizz in the CO. Get blinds, antes and the last 1300 of a short-stack holding AK. T38729. This is ALL still happening at Level 9.

Okay, rush died and folded to Level 10. M is currently 23+. I guess that's okay.

Raise with JTo. Get a caller. J-high flop. Me likee the flopee. T40179

Man. I made an overly aggressive play, knowing there was a good chance I was behind, but also a good chance it would end up a split pot if I couldn't get a fold. SB open-raised and I called in the BB with A6. AKQ flop. He bet, I raised, he min. re-raised. I have him covered by 17K. I push. He goes down under 10 seconds before calling with A9. King on the river chops it. I like my play. Put him to the test and he did a good job. The longer it took for him to call, the more I knew he had me.

Two tables. T40740 is good for 7th overall.

Playing some Power Poker. Taking the lead at this table is worth its weight in gold.

Made my straight on the River. Too bad the other guy flushed. Dropped a bit.

Fifth Break (T37204):
Stack: largest 208184, smallest 16272, average 53500
Your current position is 6 out of 12

That's it. I'm calling in the horses. No more blogging. Screen shot of my victory (hopefully) to come.


At 7:01 PM, Blogger Chad said...

You fucker. I had to read for 15 minutes before realizing you're still in this.

Railbirding now.

At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Jen said...

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! I read this whole thing only to discover it was a to-be-continued???

At 7:58 PM, Blogger Dr. Pauly said...

I'm watching you at the final table.... you can do eeeeeeeeeeeeet!

At 8:17 PM, Blogger Kel said...

geez, try to hide the soap opera tidbits in all that poker jumble - NOW I have to check back on the date that's not to soon and the unexpected phone call

At 9:10 PM, Blogger CraigNY said...

Ouch, ouch, OUCH. So well played, and karma owed you big. My heart aches after watching that final table.


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