Good news, bad news from last nights $330 NLHE Event at Commerce. For once, I got to play a little. My only other "big" buy-in live tourneys saw me folding rags after rags for two-three hours before finding a hand and having it crushed, sending me to the rail. I got to (mostly) fold for five hours last night. Oh yeah, bad news, I didn't money. I made it to the top quarter of the field, but nobody was in fear of my stack near the end.
My initial table with 80% tight. The guy two to my left in the 10 seat was extremely loose. Didn't do a lot of raising pre-flop, but did call a good percentage of the time. He'd also bet out on the flop, irrespective of the cards. He showed a couple bluffs, which was a bad idea, in retrospect. But his play was mostly effective and he took down a lot of orphan pots to chip up. The three seat was a limp-caller who would overbet if he got the slightest piece of the flop, "slightest" meaning gutshots, flush draws, TPSK (that's shit kicker). He'd lose a chunk, then out-draw to double up. I wanted to party with that guy. The rest were conservative and good company, including the guy in the 9 seat, with whom I greatly enjoyed talking for a couple hours.
I folded through he first level (T1500 to start; 40-minute levels, beginning at 25/25). In the first 18 hands, our table had aces 4 times. (Foreshadow alert!)
I picked up the (25/50) blinds once at Level 2 with AJ (gold!) before looking down to see two lovely red aces in MP. I raised 4x and Ten Seat called, as did the BB. The flop was K92, with two spades. Checked to me and I bet 500, leaving me 650 behind. Loosey called and I put him on KQ, KJ or the spade draw (at the high end; Lord knows his range was wide). The turn was the Queen of Clubs and while I groaned a little inside, it wasn't as forceful as had it been a spade. If he just caught two pair, so be it. I shoved. He called with Qs8s, giving him 14 outs. Get this drizz, none of them hit. Ship it!
At Level 3 (25/50), I busted a short stack with AsKs. A fairly tight player raised 3x from MP and the Short Stack pushed in his last 650. I re-raised it to 1200 to isolate (it worked!) and Shortie flipped The Drizz (that's 99, tourist). Get this drizz, I won the race when a king flopped. I'm now sitting at T4000, a very nice start and above-par stack. I drop a bit of it when I see a raised flop with 77. I'm out of position to the raiser and though the flop is a fairly helpful 965 rainbow, I check-fold. He shows me his QQ. Hey! I didn't totally mis-play a medium pair!
A level later (75/150), I get a little frisky with AKo in the BB. UTG and another had limped and I pop it to 600. UTG (my buddy; a player who has made several solid plays to this point) calls. The flop is ragged and I fire out 900. He hems and haws before folding. He shows me a queen and says he had another. I call him a liar and show him my Big Slick. He sticks with his story, so I chide him--good-naturedly--for a "terrible laydown." We're having a fun back-and-forth when our table breaks.
We started with 30 tables and were down to 17 at this point. My stack is grazing 5K and I'm above par. I wasn't crazy about getting moved, though. I had that table pretty well under control and my new group had three big stacks and, I would soon realize, no fear of raises. The first three or four hands were all multi-way pots, complete with check-raise-re-raise action. Okay, change gears.
The first hand I played was a suited AQ UTG. I'm not really crazy about it, but I ain't here to be a pansy, so I raise it 3x to 450. Three callers. Weeeeeeee! Flop is J93 rainbow and I check it. Big Stack (who had the full accoutrements: hat pulled low, bug eye sunglasses, three-day stubble, toothpick, brooding stare. Impressive, really) is check-raised by the guy to my immediate left who flopped a set of 3s. AK no good, sir. I win no pots at this table before it breaks at Level 5.
My new table is less aggro, but my luck begins to run out. The antes kick in at Level 6 (100/200/25). I'm willing to raise with a lot of hands here if I can be first in, but each is met with resistance. An AcJc raise is called by the SB (large stack, no toothpick) who checks the KQx (no club) flop and I smell a rat, so check behind. Rag turn doesn't make me feel any better and I fold to his bet. I open-raise in the CO with 7d5d and get re-raised by the (VERY) tight and (VERY) stacked BB. Gah. I did get the blinds and antes once, though.
Then, trouble. The next level jump takes my M from a solid, if unspectacular 9 to 4ish. Shove 'em in, Big Boy. The first time I do, with TT, I get called by JJ. 9-high flop is all diamonds and neither of us have one of those. The turn?
TEN! Of diamonds. You now what's coming, right? Yep. Seven of diamonds on the river and chop, chop. I was a little lucky there, though I was briefly VERY lucky. That table busts and as I make my way to the new digs, a quick check of the room shows us down to 7 tables. Twenty-seven places paid.
Only a couple big stacks at the table and I resolve to beat folks into the pot whenever possible. Uh, not possible. Jeez. For a full orbit, it's raised before it gets to me and my best hand during that time is KTs. By the time I find myself UTG, my M is less than 4. I look down to see 77. And away we go. Too bad about that guy having aces, though. No miracle for me and I trudged out into the Commerce night.
I told Ryan that my cut-off for going home was midnight. If I played past then, I'd have to stay in the hotel for a healthy $229. My watch read 12:10 at that point, but I cheated and drove home anyway. I was a little amped up, so the drive went quickly. Or maybe that was just me letting the new ride out a little on the mostly deserted freeway. I also took the back way home, because of a freeway closure, so got the canyon all to myself. The Infiniti, sedan or no, can take the corners. Bitches.
All in all, I was pleased with my effort. I think I could have been a little more active at the 75/150 and 100/200 levels with steals. Might have given me a little more ammo when the blinds escalated. Being moved twice during those levels didn't help, but that's the time to amp up the aggression and I failed to deliver. Otherwise, I had two pocket pairs in the last 80 minutes of play and ran into bigger ones each time. Not much you can do about that.