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Monday, February 19, 2007

A better weekend

Well, this weekend went a little bettter than the last one, which wasn't too hard considering.
After last weekend, I was a bit sick of poker and hadn't planned to play during the week as a kind of cooling off period after tilting on Sunday, but I did play in the Crypto £4k Gtd tournament on Monday night and finished 19th of 415 for a £42 return.
I then laid off the poker all week until Saturday, where I avoided the cash games and played a couple of $25 sit and go's on Betfair with no success, I also played the $1750 Gtd, which is becoming a bit of a favourite, and ran well until I bubbled in 19th.
Sunday I played a few $10 sit and go's on Pokerstars with 45 runners and managed a 8th place and a 12th place with 7 getting paid.
So onto Sunday night to try to turn the week into a winning one, I decided to try the $50 buy in $25k Gtd on Pokerstars at 9pm and play the $1750 Gtd on Betfair simultaneously to keep from getting bored.
The $1750 started well when my pocket Queens won against KK and AJ with a Q on the turn, and then went from good to better when with 46o in the BB I Flopped the nuts with 357 rainbow and had my bet raised and reraised by A7 and TT as we ended up all in to take my stack up to 9k and the chip lead on level 2.
After that start,things had to quieten down, and they did, but I reached the final table in 6th place, and thats where I finished when my 66 ran into pocket aces giving me a $96 return.
The bigger tournament on Pokerstars didn't start so good, 3 hands in I get dealt KK on the button, in an unraised pot, I raise from 20 to 80 and get two callers.
Thje flop is a nightmare AAx, I bet out 160 and keep one caller in the pot, turn is another Ace, oppo checks, and so do I, river card is harmless, and oppo bets out 360, I put him on a smaller pair and consider pushing all in, but Im scared of the case Ace, and dont want to crash out this early in a (for me) big buy in multi so I just call.......
....and he has the Ace.........lucky escape for me, opponent congratulates me on not going bust, and we move on.
Next hand of note was QQ, I had recovered a little, back to the 1500 starting chips, when I pick up QQ in late position, no raise in front of me so I raise to 4 x BB, early position limper reraises, I push and he insta-calls with AKo.
For the first time in living memory, my pocket Queens stand up against overcards and I double up to 3k.
A little later I get a huge stroke of luck when I fluke a flush with 99 v KK and I'm up to 9k and going well in the top 20.
The crucial hand came with the blinds at 300/600 and I have 99 again on the button, its folded round to me and I make it 2400, and get a call from the BB.
The flop is Th 7c 2s, and I make the mistake of not raising enough, because Im worried by the Ten, oppo checks, I bet 3000 and he flat calls, turn is 6h , oppo again checks and I bet 3000, he calls, by now I have no idea what he has but Im worried by AT or an overpair, the river brings a third heart, but to be honest Im not considering the flush until he bets 6000, with over 20k in the pot, I call fearing the worst (probably not thye best move), and he shows A4h.
Pretty poor play by him is rewarded, but if only I had raised more on the flop, I would have been in great shape, instead of crippled, from here I manage to limp into the cash, going out in 149th of 1179 for about $100, when an attempted button steal with A6s runs into A9.
Two cashes make it a rare profitable week in 2007, but also a string of 'could have beens'
I would be interested in peoples thoughts on the 99 hand, it seems that the conservative thinking which saved me early on with KK cost me later with the 99 hand.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A bad weekend

Had a terrible weekend, so bad that its took me a whole week before I could bring myself to blog it.
Started off last Saturday playing 0.25/0.5 ring games on Betfair, I'd had a prety good week on cash so far and decided to try and improve the finances a little more by playing Saturday afternoon, whilst watching the football on tv.
Well to cut a long story short, it ended up a bit of a disaster losing $130 before I decided that I still had no cash game and packed in.
I've heard other people say its harder to win on the cash tables at the weekend than it is on weekday evenings, and thats what I have found too.
But worse was still to come on Sunday, chastened by my losses at the cash tables I decided to win it all back on the $25 sit & go's on Betfair and Victor Chandlers.
I then suffered the worst run of bad beats I have ever seen which, I guess started tilting me to even worse results.
I won't bore you with all the details, but I had AA beaten twice by smaller pocket pairs outdrawing on me. AKs v KJo losing as oppo made a flush etc etc etc
In all I played 15 games for a total buy in of $412 and all I managed were two third places for a total return of $90 :(
I started off 4th, 4th, 3rd, 5th, 3rd, 4th, before the tilt set in and I lost my complete bank on VC before I had the sense to log off.
Over £200 in a weekend is a disaster, but at least, hopefully, I can learn a lesson from it and not make the same mistakes again.
Funnily enough, one thing I did learn is that the standard of play on the $25 games is no better than in the more familar lower stakes games, sounds a little crazy after losing £200 in a weekend, but at least I have the confidence that I can play at this level, and I feel I have nothing to fear from the average $25 stt player
I guess time will tell if this is true or not.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Moving on up

Back to a familiar theme this week, starting a determined attempt to step up a little in my tournament play.
I've decided to give up on the Crypto £4k Gtd, as although the std of play is generally poor, the blind structure turns it into a crap shoot befoe the final table is even reached.
I've turned my attention recently to the $25 Gtd on PokerStars which usually has a total prize pool of between $40k and $50k for a $50 buy in. I havent had much success in it so far, though from the 5 times I have entered, 3 times I have lost with a pocket pair against a smaller pocket pair, in the words of Phil Helmuth 'If it wasn't for luck, I guess I'd win them all'.
The standard of play on Pokerstars does seem better than a lot of other sites, I know it sounds strange, but I think this will help my game, too many idiots playing junk make it very difficult to put anyone on a hand. When a guy calls your 5 x BB raise pre-flop and the flop comes A33, you would assume that unless he has flopped quad threes your AK is ahead, but then they turn over J30 and your out of the tournament.
I've also been playing on Betfair again recently, the $1750 Gtd runs alongside the stars $25k Gtd and I like playing them both simultaneously to help stave off the boredom in the early stages and reduce the temptation to play too many hands.
I've also moved my cash game from stars to Betfair as the cash tables are undoubtably looser and easier to win on, I may try Crypto for cash in Feb as they are giving away up to £100 bonus for earning fpp's on UKBetting poker in Feb.
The year hasn't started too well with no major cashes in tournaments and an overall loss on cash tables, in conjunction with the increased cost of playing the higher value tournaments, but overall, I'm fairly happy with my game.
I think my luck hasn't been great so far and when it turns, I'll be in the money again.