Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Choctaw Fall Poker Series - MONSTER STACK

I'm super excited to play the Monster Stack tourney at Choctaw on 10\26, schedule here:

Cliff notes:

-$250 buyin
-$20k added!
-20k starting stack!!

We'll start with 400 big blinds and have a chance to actually play poker before the shove-fests begin. I'm using this as a warmup for WSOP Circuit in Planet Hollywood, where I'll play as part of Team CardsChat in a $580 event.

Next week I'll travel to Colorado to visit friends in Fort Collins who I haven't seen in 4 years. I'm looking forward to it, and there is a Mini-River event at Winstar that I'd love to play on the Monday after I return. I hope to play it but will have a hard time getting someone to cover for me. 

In other news, I bought a pair of Blue Shark Optics poker glasses and will give them a test run at Choctaw. They work reasonably well, but you definitely have to wear a hat to keep light out because the inside of the lenses are also too much light and you're looking through a reflection of your eyeballs. 8-|  (<--poker face)


Busted in 48th of 374-ish, and 45 were paid. Held AJo with no fold equity (4-5BB). AJo<K8s when he flops a king. Argggggh! Then had to do the two hour drive of shame. Insult to injury: left my iPhone charger in the hotel room and had to buy a replacement. :-/

Overall, I think I played reasonably well considering I never saw AA, KK, QQ, and I got pretty far on one bullet. The problem was I made a few folds that seemed correct at the time, but would have doubled or tripled me up. It's that balance between playing theoretically correct and going with your gut despite the odds. If I had gambled more, I most likely would have cashed, despite running terribly.

Had some people at my table with over $100k in cashes, so it was interesting to see what kind of players they were. I thought they were both loose aggressive and unnecessarily spewy. One of them mincashed but bought in twice.

The Blue Shark shades worked very well. A hat is necessary, but is already part of my table gear.

In other news, just got back from a visit with friends in Fort Collins, CO. We drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park and had a great time. Thought about going to Black Hawk, but opted instead to buy my hosts a poker set so we could enjoy a friendly home game. It was funny to everyone that the guy who is all serious about the game got owned by the n00bies.

That's poker!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

League Reunion

On Friday, I revisited the live league I played in during 2013. I would normally stay over at my best friend and his family's house after the two games, but they have since sold their home and moved to Denver for him to pursue a career as a church music minister.

Thankfully, one of the best players in the group has offered to put me up in his family's guest room going forward, which I am very grateful for. We are just acquaintances at this point, but share a desire to improve our games for higher stakes in non-league events like WSOPC etc. In exchange for his hospitality, I have offered to share training ideas and info. He doesn't need my help, but appreciates any shortcuts and strategy tips. 

I thought maybe since I ended the previous season 2nd place in regular points, and went on to take down the final table championship, that I might get a little more respect at the tables. But if anyone was deferring to me, I certainly didn't notice; nor did I assume the role of table boss. I mostly played solid ABC to get a feel for how the new players played, and took time to consider pot odds, ranges, and equity.

Despite playing ok, and making the FT both times, I did not make the money. Entry was $40 per tourney, so I was down $75 after taking one bounty chip for $5.

I busted in push\fold land both times (8th and 6th), and with the same hand: AJo. In the first bustout, I shoved AJo from UTG+2 with 5BB left and Chris called on my left after saying "I hope you have trash." After Sean folded, I was surprised to see C turn over deuces. Not sure I agree with the play, because he'd be in a tough spot if Sean woke up with a hand and reshoved, and I had about half Chris's stack. He held and I was out.

In the 2nd tourney, I was in the SB and down to 4.5 BB with AJo. Sean raises to 2.5 from the button, I shove without fold equity, and he calls with AQo for the win. I could have folded and saw another round of hands for free (no antes), but there were lots of hands in Sean's range there that I could improve against, since he was priced in to call with almost anything. 

So that was that. I enjoyed the first game and seeing the guys again, but as usual, the 2nd game wore on through the half-drunken states of several players, including a slow dealer who made the mistake of dealing the flop from the wrong deck once, lol. 

An interesting thing happened after Charlie and Kev busted out though. Kev started talking about an overnight trip to New Orleans to gamble and party. Then out of the blue, he offers Charlie a first class plane ticket. Charlie couldn't tell if he was serious, but another player confirmed that he was. Kev then offered to give Charlie $1000 to gamble with, if he would go along on the trip.

It was an offer Charlie couldn't refuse, so he called the wife and she said Ok. Although, like me, he also didn't place in the money that night, with the $1500 first class plane fare and $1000, he ended up the biggest winner by far! Hopefully Kev doesn't regret the generosity, and that the trip was a fun one for both of them.

I'm still debating on whether to rejoin the league in 2015, as I played as a visiting non-member Friday. It's important to remember that the real value in the league is not in winning any one of what are essentially back to back turbos. The value is in making the final table championship with enough chips (stacks are point-dependent) to take down a share of player dues. First place usually gets $1500+ if there is no chop.

That's pretty good value, and decent live experience.  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

$1\$2 session at Winstar

Had a good session at Winstar last Sat night. Bought in for $200 and ended at $465 four hours later. Wish I could say there was some skill involved, but I mostly just had good hands and played TAG. I should have been running the table, but there were so many fish playing stuff like Q3o that it just seemed wise to lay traps and scoop chips.

Came home to a health emergency the next day, and spent most of the week visiting a family member in the hospital. Prognosis is good so far, but we're keeping a close watch.

Finished a pretty good book on Kindle: The Dark Side of the Felt by Tyler Nals. Had some interesting scenes that kept me turning the page.

Upcoming trips: Colorado for friends, and Vegas for new friends and hopefully some cash. We'll see.