More Early June Poker Success :-)

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This one is very long, so if Poker stories aren’t of interest to you, quit now! 🙂

I can feel myself getting sucked in to more “frequent” poker updates, oh oh… I think it’s only because I’m in NY for a decent stretch, and finding a little more playing time than when we’re at Zope. One more week to go on this home stretch.

OK, so after I reported my nice win on Saturday night, I played in two additional tourneys that night. The first was my regular $22 Omaha Hi-Lo tourney, and I didn’t make the money there. Then I played in one Hold’Em SnG (Sit ‘N Go, which are the one-table tourneys) and lost $11. So, I gave back $32.40 of my previous winnings, as predicted. 😉

Yesterday, I started off playing in an Omaha Hi-Lo one-table tourney (they just introduced them on this site, and they were my favorite on my old site which stopped permitting US players). I bombed out there as well. Then I played in a $5.50 Omaha Hi-Lo. 81 entrants, paying top 10, and I bombed out in 14th. I honestly thought I’d make the money in that one, oh well…

Then I entered the regular $22 Omaha Hi-Lo tourney. 104 entrants, paying top 20. Before going into this specific tourney, permit me a little meandering on a side topic. There is a guy who regularly plays in this tournament (in fact, there are a lot of regulars). I consider him my nemesis. He has busted me out of three tournaments on or close to the bubble (very close to the money, in my case, missing by 1-3 places…).

I consider him to be a terrible player, and worse, he’s so slow as to be maddening. That said, I’ve learned that many players who I consider to be terrible, and often lucky, are actually not that bad, and maybe even good, they just have a style that doesn’t work for me personally. To be specific, some players are more than willing to bomb out frequently, as long as the same strategy produces top three finishes with some regularity. On that score, he can’t be a bad player, because he finishes in the money more often than any random measure would predict.

OK, back to our tourney from last night. Since we play in the same one together often, I usually keep his table open at the same time that I’m playing mine, so I can get a feel for how he’s playing and doing at the moment. Last night, he doubled up on the first or second hand, and remained strong for quite a while.

I started off a little slowly, because there were two maniacs at my table. They can be a great source of chips, but can also easily be the source of a very early exit. After settling in, I caught a few good hands, and was able to triple my chips from the original 1500 to 4700. What some people call all-in bets with is just incredible.

I then did something that is completely uncharacteristic for me. I limped in with A25J off suit. The maniac to my immediate left raised to 225. Given my chip stack, I fully intended to call that. The guy to his left went all-in for a total of 545. I intended to call that too. The second maniac called the 545, and so did I. The maniac to my left raised all-in, to 1445, instead of just calling. The second maniac went all-in for a total of 2140. Previous to Saturday’s win, and if I didn’t have a nice big chip stack, I definitely would have folded. Instead, I called. I figured that unless I got really lucky, I would perhaps get a quarter of the pot by splitting the low. Unfortunately, there was no low, and the second maniac scooped the entire pot, and ended up with over 6000 chips. I ended up at 2800 (still a nice stack, but nothing like the 9000 I would have had if I had been the scooper of the pot).

The first maniac who started it all was out. The guy who won the pot (with a very lucky hand, since he had no shot at a low if it materialized!) ended up winning a bunch more pots and was the overwhelming chip leader for much of the tournament. He made the money (which surprised me a drop), but ended up 18th or 19th, which basically got him his money back.

I ended up drifting in the 2400-2800 range for a very long time. Meanwhile, at the other table, my nemesis was drifting between 4000-5000, so he was doing better than me.

We finally got down to 30 players, and were 10 away from the money. The prize structure in most tournaments is highly skewed toward the top three payoffs (as it should be), and when they pay more than 10 places, payoffs above 10 are often barely more than you put in to begin with. This one was no different. Prizes for 11-20 were $24.20, for an original investment of $22. Better than losing, but nothing to crow about.

I was in a position where making the money was not guaranteed, but I had a good shot. I think I was in 14th when there were 30 of us. Not safe enough to be aggressive, or, ironically, too passive, but enough to be able to play cautiously and wait for some good hands. I ended up making the money reasonably easily. My nemesis did too, but he had some scares along the way, and was no longer in a strong chip position.

When we were down to 14 players, I was in 12th, and was pretty darn weak (in terms of chips). I really didn’t think I would make the next cut. 10th paid $48, so nearly twice what 11th paid. Lucky for me, the two times that I had hands that might have held up with my all-in bets, everyone folded, and that gave me enough chips to survive another couple of rounds of blinds.

Finally, someone bombed out in 11th, and I was at the final table. I think I was in 9th at the time. If I could survive one position, I would get $73 instead of $48. A few hands later, that happened. Then one other guy bombed out and I was in 7th (second to last) chip position, but now I was guaranteed at least $97. Then I got a very nice hand. My nemesis was in last position (his luck in making the final table was exceptional, again, but at least not against me this time!). He was in the big blind. I decided to limp in, under the gun (UTG).

Everyone folded, which was surprising given how few chips I had (I couldn’t have busted any of them), but I guess that I had played so tight for a while that it was a suspicious limp. My nemesis called. Flop wasn’t great for me, but it wasn’t awful either. The turn card appeared to be good for me. He went all-in, and I thought that I had him for sure. I called. It turned out that my good card was his great card, in that it gave him a straight. There was no low (I ended up with three Aces, not bad either), but I lost. Now he was “healthy”, and I had $2115 left, and the big blind was $2000. Oops.

Anyway, when I was the big blind, only the small blind raised, and I called, and won. Then I won two more in a row (in all three cases, I had the best hand before the flop, and after, so I was lucky in that I was dealt good cards, but not lucky that I won hands where I was an underdog). A few hands later, I won one more, and I was in 4th place with 8 still left!

Now I’ll cut to the chase, I got a little unlucky, but I can’t complain whatsoever (obviously), and I finished in 6th, and got $146.40 back. The guy who was in 8th with 8 left ended up winning the tourney, as he won something like 8 hands in a row to climb into third. He won $652, to put the skew into perspective!

Again, I am not complaining. It was a very satisfying tournament, and I think elevated my game a drop. Oh yeah, and I also finished 2 places ahead of my nemesis, so no complaints there either. 😉

New total for June is: +$226.11. Again, no illusions that this will last, but enjoying it while I can. 🙂