June Poker Roll Continues, with a Twist :-)

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So, I last posted on June 4th, and things were going swimmingly. I played a bit on the 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 10th as well. On all but the 10th, I lost. This was predicted. I lost every single Omaha Hi-Lo game I entered on those days (not including the 10th). I came 3rd two times in Hold’Em SnG’s, which were my only 2 cashes in those 4 days of playing.

I was actually quite pleased with my play in the Omaha games, even though none of them worked out. In one, I was knocked out in 11th place, and they paid top 10, so that was frustratingly close, but still a good statistical result…

I was making some tough decisions, that ended up (mostly) being correct (decisions), even though the results weren’t always the ones I would have hoped for. When you get outdrawn as a big favorite, most often, you made the right decision to get your chips in. Not always, but most often.

Total for the 4-day down period: -$126.55 🙁

Then we come to yesterday. I played in 4 tournaments in total. First one was an $11 Hold’Em multi-table with 68 entrants, paying top 8. I rarely play in these types of tourneys. I ran into possibly the biggest maniac I have ever played against, and he was two to my left (which isn’t a bad place to have a maniac playing, as you can be sure they’ll raise you with crap, and call your raises with crap).

He was hitting the craziest hands. On one, he went all-in with 23 off suit (yes, that’s a 2 and a 3, not suited). He was called, and on the flop there was a 3, and the river was another 3, giving him three of a kind, and the win. Just one example of many. So, when I got AA, I didn’t hesitate to raise. Very astute players would have noticed that this was the first hand I raised all tournament, and might have folded. All the other players at the table folded, but the maniac called.

Flop came 689 rainbow. A touch scary for me, given the kind of hands he’s called with already. But, I was committed, knowing he was an idiot, that if he got lucky, that was my bad luck. I bet, he raised, I re-raised all-in, he called. He had Q6 off suit. So, he raised me with bottom pair. Of course, a Q or a 6 on the turn or river, and I was toast. Neither came, and I doubled up.

He continued his wild play, and continued to mow people down with insanely bad hands. At one point he was up to 15000 chips, when the second place player had 7000. In other words, he had a monster chip lead. Unfortunately, before I could double through him again, he was moved to another table. I had one opportunity to double through him (and even wipe another player out, nearly tripling) but I chickened out when an A came on the flop to my pair of 10’s in the hole, he had 5’s and overplayed them, surprise!

I had a strong suspicion that he wouldn’t finish in the money, but it seemed inconceivable, given his massive chip lead. I’ve already spent way too much time on this story, since it isn’t the great one of the day, so I’ll cut to the chase. He finished 11th. That was 3 out of the money, but 1 away from the final table. Poor guy…

I finished 7th, one better than last in the money. I got back $40 for my $11. Not too shabby, and very happy to get a cash in a multi-table Hold’Em against strong competition. It had been a while!

Simultaneous to this, I played in a $1.10 tourney which was a qualifier for the nightly $22 Omaha Hi-Lo tourney. In other words, the top prizes in this tourney paid the entry fee for you into the nightly tournament. I rarely get to play in these qualifiers, since they are during the day (when I am often pretending to work) 😉 but this being a weekend, I gave it a shot.

I rarely win these qualifiers, because they are unlimited rebuy and add-on tourneys. I refuse to rebuy too many times because that defeats the purpose of trying to win a cheap entry fee, and others don’t mind rebuying many times, so they can play ultra aggressive poker, since they have no fear of busting out. Eventually, they get lucky, apparently usually against me. 😉

This time, I didn’t rebuy at all, but did a double add-on, so I invested a total of $3.10 in the tourney. I came in 3rd, and the top 7 all got free entries into the nightly tourney.

Before the nightly tourney, I played in a $5.50 Omaha Hi-Lo with 82 entrants, paying top 10. I played well, but fizzled in the end. I finished 10th, and got back $10.25. No complaints, a cash is a cash. 🙂

Now the biggie, my free $22 Omaha Hi-Lo, my regular tourney, in which my nemesis was also playing. 🙂

In the second hand of the tourney, I was faced with a decision for all of my chips! Two guys before me were all-in after the turn. The board was 3-4-J-Q with 2 diamonds. I had the A and 8 of diamonds, so I had the nut flush draw. I also had a 2 in my hands, so I had the nut low draw as well. Also, if a 5 came, not only would I have the nut low, but I’d have a straight and would likely have the high as well. Finally, my fourth card was a K, so a 10 would give me the nut straight for a high as well. In other words, I had a monster draw.

Typically, this early in a tournament, especially a big one, with big prizes, I would fold like a little girl (no offense to little girls). 😉 Given the decisions I have been making lately (even though most haven’t worked out), I thought for a while, and I called the all-in. The river card was the 6 of diamonds, giving me the nut low and the nut high. One of the guys was out, and the other was left with 485 chips. I had 3795 chips and was in second place.

Needless to say, the guy with 485 chips berated me for being an idiot, and that this had to be my first tourney ever, etc. He had a few people chime in sympathetically agreeing with him that I didn’t know what I was doing, etc. Unfortunately for him, two hands later, he was out of the tourney, and he bitched a little more as an observer before shutting up and packing it in.

I stayed in the 3200-3800 range forever, drifting from 2nd to 10th along the way as others accumulated chips and passed me. Eventually, we got down from 82 players (top 10 get paid) to 30. This is where it gets really serious. Low stacks either play scared, hoping for 10th, or ultra-aggressive, realizing that this is their only serious chance. It’s important to notice which type each player is. Until pretty recently, I was the former, always trying to squeak in to the money rather than playing boldly.

This time, I wasn’t a short stack. In fact, when there were 20 players left, I had roughly 9000 chips, and was in 8th place. I certainly couldn’t guarantee getting into the money, but if I didn’t take stupid chances, it was more than likely I’d make it.

The guy two to my right for quite a while was the chip leader for a good portion of the tourney, and was reasonably aggressive. He was making a classic mistake of some chip leaders, and that is playing nearly every hand. They figure that if no one is raising pre-flop, they may as well see as many flops as they can, since they have the chips to do so, and if they get lucky, they have the chips to push people around.

Unfortunately, in Omaha Hi-Lo, it’s really easy to get second best hands which look good, and when you’ve got the chips, it’s a lot harder to lay them down, since you want people to know you can’t be bullied. So, his chips started to slide. In a 10 minute period, he went for over 12000 chips, to roughly 6200. At that time, I had 7500 chips.

We ended up in a hand heads up. I had A28T. At the turn the board was 34QK. He raised the max, which left him with 385 chips. I had him covered, so that if I lost, after his final bet on the river, I’d have only 1300 chips left (not a great amount at this point in the tourney). There were 17 of us left. I was still in a good spot to get into the money, but if I folded here, I would have had about 5200 chips left (in other words, I already had about 2300 chips in this pot). I thought for a while, and figured that he had to have a high hand already. Given his previous betting patterns, I didn’t think he even had a low draw.

It was a tough position to be in, given that if I didn’t hit my low, or a J for a straight, I would need extraordinary luck to make the money. On the other hand, if I won, I would have a shot at winning the tourney, and we all know that I rarely make those decisions in favor of going for it. This time, I decided to call. The miracle river card of a 5 gave me the nut low and a straight, so I scooped the pot, and I had over 13500 chips, and he was out in 17th. I read him correctly, as he had QQJ9, for a set of Q’s with no low draw.

While people at the table chuckled at his misfortune, at this stage of the tournament, people understand the type of call I made a little better, and I didn’t get any personal grief. The point of reporting it here is that I am never unaware of all of the good luck I get when I get it. I don’t attribute those two rivers in this tournament (the early 6 of diamonds, and the 5 in this hand) to my brilliancy, but rather to great luck. I am just pleased that I had the guts to risk my tournament life (for a change) in both those situations.

I was now in 4th place with 16 left. The rest of the tourney was interesting as well, and a real battle of ups and downs. In the end, I came 3rd, and got pretty darn unlucky (with no complaints about luck in this tourney!) to lose my last hand. 3rd was worth $245! That meant that I was 4 for 4 in tourneys yesterday in terms of cashing. Also, I ended up only paying $3 to win that $245, since I got in to this one from the earlier qualifier.

Revised total for June is now: +$493.07

Once again, I don’t have any illusions that this can’t be lost back, but, now that we’re down at Zope for 2 weeks, I won’t have quite as much time on my hands to shovel it back in as quickly as if I was home. 🙂