Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Puck Foker

This post was originally started on August 22nd, and I just never got around to finishing it. Well its now October 10th, and I'm finally gonna finish it, but just be aware that although things haven't improved vastly, this post is outdated. But there's still some good stuff for posterity. Then I'll try and post soon and get things updated. Although its pretty much more of the same...

So according to Blogger, I haven't posted in just a day short of a month. And, you guys remember what I said recently about not being able to blog when I'm running bad, right? Well do a little simple math there, and you'll be able to deduce the reasoning for my lack of posts.


I'm just gonna hit some hilights and then get outta here. Really, I just want some of this documented for posterity.

A few weeks ago I actually happened into an "extra" token, so for a few days I looked to get into the 7 PM central deepstack token tourney. 24k guarantee I think.

Anyway, one random Wednesday night I got into the tourney with over 1000 of my closest friends and things were going just swimmingly. After an early hit on some bad play on my part, I quickly found myself back ahead of the average, and just kept playing as aggressively as I could to stay there. I managed to stay ahead of the average with a nice stack all the way toward the end of the 2nd hour. I was bouncing around between 80th and 100th place and playing well. With a 10.5k stack and blinds at 100/200 or something, I have AJ in the BB. The button shorty (like 2400) makes like a 3x stealy raise, SB folds, and I decide AJ is probably ahead of his range and if he's gonna see his flop he's going to have to commit his chips. I jam, he calls, and rolls A5. Five on the river, and that's that. Fair enough. About an orbit later I pick up AA UTG+2. I make a standard 3x raise to 1200, and another 2400 shorty jams immediately behind me. It folds back around to me, and I make the easy call. He shows KQo and makes a straight by the turn. An ace on the river twists the knife. Ok, so now I'm sitting on a 5k stack and quite irritated. Five hands later I was out. I'm sitting on the button and it folds around to me. I make a relatively easy jam w/K6 vs. the blinds, the SB re-jams (this is the guy that sucked out on my AA w/KQ), and the BB folds. SB has KK, and I'm cold-decked again and out in something like 483rd.

So I really had a feeling that that was going to be the tourney that helped me turn the corner there for a while. I was making really strong plays to keep and grow my stack and stay in the ITM spots and while I showed down some winners, a lot of it was keeping ahead of the average by stabbing at pots to pick up blinds. Then I just got beat to shit by the deck and all of the sudden it was over in <15 hands and I wasn't exactly sure what hit me.

One of my favorite beats as of recent was in a $5 SNG when this crazy LAG raised UTG+1, and sitting on a short stack, I jammed without much thought w/AKs in the big blind. LAG didn't even think before calling and showing his AJs, the obvious nuts. The flop naturally comes J88, but there's two diamonds. Turn is another J giving him a full house, which, of course has me drawing dead, but in my mind I'm still calling for a diamond cuz its so fast I don't really realize it. Diamond on the river gives me the nut flush and I feel vindicated...until the chips slide his way and realize what just happened. So sick.

I also had a fun one at our monthly game where I found AKs in late position (cutoff or button), and raised it up to 3 or 4x, and got a caller from my buddy's boss, a complete donk, in the big blind. Flop comes 5,7,9, two spades. Ok, so I'm probably still ahead and I'm drawing huge. He checks, I make a reasonable, enticing bet. He raises all-in, and even though I know I'm beat...somehow...I make the call for all my chips. He rolls 86o and I'm drawing thinner than I expected, but I've got my trusty spades. Turn A, River A, and the deck gets the last laugh again.

I have felt a little better lately because I've played some with my brother-in-law and he's seen what's happening to me, and with my buddy and he's seen what's happening to me, and over at another buddy's place as he watched over my shoulder and watched this stuff happen to me. So I'm not crazy. I am just running so bad and there's nothing I can do about it but keep trying to play and not go broke.

So after all the online torture as of late, in a perhaps ill-advised move, I decided to mix it up a little bit and throw $100 down to play some 1/2 NL live at the local casino last Friday. And that...was an experience.

I got sat at a table that consisted of several familiar faces from when I've been out there before. So while I was hoping for some frat boys drinking it up and donking it off, I was set to deal with regulars, which is fine because although they may not give away their money in true donkey form, just because they're regulars doesn't mean they're good. I soon settled into the table and had pinpointed some targets, some seats to avoid tangoing with, and seeing who would show up next in the seats that would fill and empty. Eventually I was feeling pretty comfortable and happy to be tossing chips and squeezing two cards up off the felt as opposed to clicking buttons.

Prolly 45 mins or so in I pick up AA under the gun. Not being fully adjusted to my surroundings yet, I bump it to $8, and get, like, 6 callers. I forgot that any raise under $10 seems to actually *encourage* callers. So much for thinning the field. So I'm thinking to myself "flop an ace...flop an ace...flop an ace" or I may have to get away from it. Flop? QAx, two diamonds. I bet right out at it for $15, got one caller to my left, and it folded around to this old codger regular who I've seen play plenty of times and definitely has some solid game, but can be conquered. Codger raises to $35, and I put him on AQ, QQ, Ax or a flush draw, with flush draw being the likliest. I'm going all-in for my last $15 or something on top of the $35, but I play it up a little bit, hoping to get the other caller, a true donk with a stack that had steadily decreased since he sat down, to come along. When I finally push, the dude mucks, and codger obviously calls and rolls...52 of diamonds. Awesome. Thanks for that, puney little $8 raise. Diamond on the turn. Even more awesome. Q on the river. Awesomest of awesome. Suck/Resucks are probably one of my favorite things in poker. Whether I'm just watching or am actually involved, I just really get a kick out of them. I was halfway out of my chair after the diamond on the turn thinking "standard", so needless to say it was nice to see the board pair on the river and I drag a pot that will allow me to play a little.

So I almost busted about 45 mins into my session after flopping a set of aces in a $160 pot. After the beat that actually did send me packing, though, I'd have taken the 37%er any day of the week just for peace of mind's sake.

Its a little under 2 hours into my session and my $160 stack had been bled down to about $130 after blinds and losing $15 on a hand where I made middle pair on the flop and bet the whole way against an obvious flush draw, only for Flushy McFlusherson to hit an overpair on the river. Standard. Otherwise, I was just contributing blinds as I swear when I looked down 7 times out of 10 my first card was a 4. The other three times, the 2nd card was a 4. But I digress...

I look down and find KK either UTG or UTG+1. Hoping to thin the field at least a little more than last time, but being willing to let it go if I don't love the flop, I bump to $10. I get a caller over in the corner of the table, and this suckbox idiot in the SB bumps to $25. This guy couldn't keep himself out of a pot if he tried, and I have watched him dip into pots all night, and he was about as bad as it gets. He'd have a big hand in small pots and a small hand in big pots, but was still managing to keep his head above water by sucking out with shitty two pair and 4-straights like it was his job. He should've been busted about 4 times, and I was just *waiting* for a chance to take his chips. If we were heads up already I'd probably have flat-called the $25 and assuming a harmless enough board, chipped away at him street by street because I was almost positive he didn't have AA, but I couldn't have this other tagalong in the hand and for that reason and some insurance against the probability of his rockets, I bump it to $50. Tagalong folds and moron, looking all constipated, hems and haws for a while before he calls. Flop comes J-high, two hearts. He checks with zero strength whatsoever, and I jam my last $82, ready to take it down here or make him commit his stack to try and win (he actually only had $2 more than me, as we'll find out shortly). He goes into the tank for probably 3-4 minutes, and finally says, "I think I'm beat...I think I'm beat REALLY bad.", thinks for another 15-20 seconds or so and says "I call". Great decision, buddy. He flips two queens and I flip my kings. He has the Q of hearts, but I have the K of hearts, so runner runner flush is not an option. He's dead to 2 outs twice. A 10% shot. I'm in the 10 seat to the right of the dealer, so I can *sorta* see the cards before everyone else. The queenish looking paint card that comes off on the turn makes me feel a little sick, but the reaction from the table when the card hits the felt wasn't horrible, and c' can't be a Queen, right?? But the dealer pulls his hand away, and there lies a Queen. I take a quick look at suckbox and he's just looking at the queen with this stupid looking ecstatic but shameful look on his face, and I can just tell everyone else at the table is looking at me like I just saw my dog get hit by a car. I sweat the last card also hoping for the miracle of all suck/resucks, but I see the two hearts on the face of that card, and I swear I was out of the room before that deuce even hit the felt.

I probably could've rebought and made money at that table. Most of them were in pots where they had no business being, and a tight guy like me could just wait for my monster and get paid off. But, you know? After running bad for 3 2/3 months now, if I can't sweat 2 outs in the deck, I might've exposed myself as an even bigger putting another $100 on the table than the suckbox moron was for calling with those queens. So $100 was my stop-loss. Its one thing to lose to a <5 outer in a $2.25 or $5.50 SNG online, but I can't really afford to be losing a hundred bones getting my money in as a 90% favorite.

So, I had an absolute f-bombing blast playing some live poker while it lasted, but I walked out of there having taken not only my worst live beat, but very likely my most expensive bad beat ever, and there's nothing worse than walking out of a casino with a couple of milestones like that hanging over your head.

The next day I played 3 SNGs and bombed out of those with boat under boat, cold-deck, and cold-deck. I haven't had the desire to play since. Granted, its only been 3 days, but the whole thing is just really starting to wear on me. I've been reading again trying to get my mind straight, and like I said before, have an attitude of perseverance as opposed to "woe is me". I wanna beat this thing. But at this point even if I can pull out of the slump, I've still got a long ways to go to get myself back to even from my 2005 losses that I'm still trying to make up for, and I don't know if I have time to put together the sort of bankroll I'd like to have for February's Circuit Event in Council Bluffs. But at this point I've gotta take it one step at a time and just start trying to win as a favorite.

Good times.