Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Calling AI preflop with AQ in the WSOP $1500 NL

On this hand I had between 90k and 100k, blinds were 1500-3000, don't remember the ante. A young player with a big stack (around 180k) was moved to my right just a while ago, and as soon as he sat down he tried to control the table with his stack. On my first hand with him, folded to him in the SB, he raises, and I went AI without hesitation in the BB, with AK or a medium pair, don't remember, he folded. There were about 120 players left I think (out of the original 2778), when the hand came up, he was in the CO and made a weird raise to 7600, I had AQ on the button, and was pondering if I called or raised, I decide to go for the raise and make it 22,500; folded to him, and he starts counting his chips, staring at me, I thought he was folding but after a while he declared all in, I think that was his mistake, to take that much time to go all in, if I called I have to call AI of course since he covered me, and I'm never happy to call all ins with AQ, if I folded I still had around 70k, which it was decent, but this time 2 things didn't add up, his raise preflop (for his type of player) and the time he took to go all in, those 2 things told me (or made me think) that he didn't have a big hand, no AA-JJ, not even AK, the better hand he could have for me was a medium pair, but it was possible he was bluffing at all, given his type, the young internet aggressive players of nowadays. I studied him for a while and decided to went with my read and called, he said good call and he flipped QJo, perfect for me to have him in a dominated position, but of course I still had to dodge the board, no bad beat this time and I went to 200k and to be one of the chip leaders at the time.

Monday, July 16, 2007

My 2 most important calls in the WSOP NLH #1500

There were many key hands in that tourney, obviously there should be, if you're going to navigate through 2800 players. 2 of the most important ones were 2 difficult calls I made after analyzing the logic of the plays and my opponents for a while.
I'll try to remember the details as accurate as I can.

With blinds 500-1000-100 I was in the SB with a 43k stack, a lady in her 40's kind of new to the table was in the big blind with around 31k. I had been fairly active on the table. Folded to me in the SB, I saw 32o, of course with such a monster I called and she checked.

Flop came Qh5d2h and I proceeded to bet 2000, she called. Mmmmmm, in my mind she have a flush draw or a pair.

Turn came 7h completing the flush, I decided to represent the flush myself and fired 6000, she called. Now I am done, or am I?

River is the 8h, putting 4 hearts in the board, I kind of remember I have one heart, but I checked, now she went all in 22k instantly, what the fuck?

I checked my cards and effectively I had the 3h, and now I proceeded to analyze the evidence and stare at her once in a while, I was on seat 10 she was at seat 1. For some reason her instant all in bet just didn't add up, and the more I stared at her, the more she looked nervous, but what kind of nervous, maybe Qc6h nervous?, nah, after a while I counted my chip to notice I would have only around 13k if I called and lost and based on my read she didn't want me to call the more time it passed, I said call, she flipped Qc8c for 2 pairs ?? Was she valuebetting?; since I covered her, she excited and I rake a nice pot with my 3 high flush.

Next: My big call preflop with AQ

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My last hand in the Main Event

I fought very hard on day 2 with my short stack, and was getting away with it since I had a very good table. I made some good plays without too much of a hand to keep my stack with a size that allowed me to go all in (with a raise or reraise) and still be a threat to the other players. Then the following hand came:

The table has been limpimg a lot, which was very good for me and my stack, this time it was no different, 4 limpers, including Chuck Kelley in the button with a +200k stack; by the way, his game had not impressed me so far, since I saw him making some obvious mistakes and since I had position over him, he was at seat 1, I was on seat 3, I was hoping those chips came my way, but of course I needed to be lucky first and double up, the opportunity came in this hand, after he limped, I found AK in the SB, blinds were 600-1200-200 at the time, so 3600 to start, and with 4 limpers, 4800 more, perfect situation for my 22k stack, of course I went all in, waiting to take the 8400 unless somebody had a real hand, since calling 20k more it would be difficult for all of them but Chuck, and even if he called, I didn't mind to race with AK, but I was not expecting him to call anyway, since he didn't raise the limpers, but maybe he had a small pair and decided I was making too many "moves". Well, he called the 20k more and now the pot had near 50k, I was expecting to see something like 22-66 and race for the chips, but no, the donkey had KTo !!!; I couldn't believe it, but of course I was really happy, couldn't expect a better situation to put all my chips in the center, I was already thinking about my new stack and how to control the table. Well, this is until a ten hit the turn, no help in the river and that was my main event; table feeling sad for me with the usual good game and you played that short stack pretty well, I just smiled, wish everybody luck and exited, beginning the wait for 2008. Incredible, this was my only all in all the tourney, that is, the only one that was called. The round before I was almost called, when again some limpers, I completed in the SB with 53o, flop came 743, I checked and it was checked around (such a nice table), 7 in the turn and I was going to bet some but I better went all in, a guy with a 100k or something stack, thought for a while while asking me if I had the 7 before folding his pair, I wonder which pair it was, 66?, maybe A4?, but of course I was glad he folded. Maybe Chuck saw this and decided to teach me a lesson with his powerful KT, but that's poker and you need to win these "flips" in order to advance. For example, one of the most important hands I had in the $1500 event was a sick call I made with AQ when I had like 90k versus a bully who went AI (after my reraise) with QJ and his 170k stack (and blinds were like 1k-2k !!), but of course that time I won and could use my stack to almost make the final table. Exiting the Main Event is always a sad day, I just can't help it, it's such an experience to us poker players to play in it. I'm pretty sure I'll be there once again in 2008.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The night before Day 2-B

I finished Sunday with a short stack with respect to the field, I have 21,200. Blinds tomorrow Wednesday will be 500-1000-100, I'm short but not desperate. I'll be playing on table 30, looks like I draw a good table since I don't recognize the names, with the exception of the table chip leader Chuck Kelley, who got a 2nd place in a WPT last January.
I feel good and hopefully my plan for tomorrow will work and with some luck, I could make it to day 3.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Dinner break

We're at dinner break at the moment. Play resumes at 8:30 PM PST, I have around 42k chips, we started with 20k. I have a good table and hopefully things continue to go well. I'm at table 35 seat 9.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Flying to the Big Dance

I'm here at El Paso airport, waiting for my Southwest flight to Vegas, I just booked it yesterday along with my hotel room and a car rental (so I don't have to walk under the 115 degrees sun). The main event is already under way, many people was already eliminated yesterday on Day 1A, I'm starting tomorrow on Day 1C and as usual, I'm pretty excited, playing the Main Event is a great adventure, no matter the result. Hopefully I'll post some interesting things from Vegas and from the tournament, but as usual just wishful thinking, I'm a terrible blogger. I have so many interesting hands from my cash in the $1500 NL, I played there more than 24 hours and there were some amazing hands, material enough to fill at least this blog for a week. I haven't played barely any poker since that tourney, I've played some online 5-10 NL 6-handed hands, but that's about it. Still I feel pretty good and in the mood to have a good tourney.

P.S. I'm already missing my family, it's weird to travel without them.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Going to the WSOP Main Event

I decided to play the Main Event, last week I walked to the Rio's cashier with 2 purple 5k chips and paid my registration. I chose day 1C, so I will be starting Sunday July 8th. Last week I went to Vegas to play just 3 events in the WSOP. I cashed in one of them, event#38 $1,500 No Limit Holdem, I placed 14th out of 2778, good to win around $30,000; so I decided that was my "satellite" to the Main Event and decided to use $10,000 to play it.

This will be my 5th main event, despite my 8 for 25 in cashes in the WSOP, which I think it's pretty respectable; I'm 0 for 4 in the Main Event, hopefully that changes this year. I feel good and I will be leaving for Vegas next Friday. May the poker Gods be with me.