Saturday, September 16, 2017

Colin's $100 Tournament - 9/16/17

Going in, I was super pumped for this tournament. Dana and the kids covered the $100 buy in as a birthday present and was a special occasion since Colin hasn't hosted a CPMG game at his place in years. This was my third CPMG tournament since I came back to the poker group a few months ago.

30k starting stack. 30 minute levels with 1 emergency rebuy before 1st break ends. My table, left to right: Julie, Papa Z, Nicole, Randy, Connor, Colin, TK and Pyxis.
Level 1, 50/100 - Last hand of the level, I get KK vs Julie's QQ. Ace hits the board but I still bet river and she called. I end the level with 34950 chips.
Level 2, 100/200 - 2nd hand of level, I get AA in the cutoff. TK raises to 700 and I re- raise to 2100. Julie, TK and Pyxis call. Flop J 8 4, two spades. I bet 2500. Julie moved all in for 7125 total. I call and she shows JT. Turn [J 8 4] 8. River 10. Julie busts and rebuys. I end the level with 47875 chips.
Level 3,150/300 - I won a small pot vs Pyxis with A9 vs A4. Checked to the river (which was an Ace) and my 9 kicker played.

A bit later, I have 97dd on button. One limper ahead of me and I raise to 700. Julie re-raises to 1900 from SB. I call. I flop a straight [8 6 5]. She bets 2500 and I smooth call. Turn K. She check-calls 4000. River T. She check folds to my 10k bet. I end the level with 62425.
Level 4 200/400 - I end the level with 59025 chips, pretty uneventful.

BREAK - Colin and his wife were gracious enough to provide a wonderful spread that included pulled chicken, buffalo chicken dip, pasta salad, coleslaw, chips, cookies, etc. Thank you very much for that awesome meal! That was not needed but your hospitality was very much appreciated!
Level 5, 300/600 - The second hand back from break, I lose 3400 against Colin calling a raise with JThh. The board was Ten-high with 4 clubs and Colin showed QQ (no club). Twitch joins the table to my left. I end the level with 53550 chips.

Level 6, 300/600/50 - I pick up 66 in early position but brick. I'm pretty card dead for the last hour and a half, and end the level with 46150 chips.

Level 7, 400/800/100 - Antes have been in play since last level, but I'm still card dead and don't get any opportunities to steal any pots/antes. I'm in the big blind with T2o in a 4-way pot. Flop A 2 Q. I bet 1000 and Papa Z only caller. Turn [A 2 Q] is a T, giving me 2-pair. I bet 2000 and Papa Z calls. River [A 2 Q T] is a Q to pair the board. Check-check and he has AJ for the higher 2-pair on the river. I end the level with 41550 chips.

Level 8, 500/1000/100 - Randy busts making us 6 handed, but Adam Lumpkin takes his seat (never played with him before). After a blistering start, it has been 2 straight hours of nothing but rags. Finally, I look down at AKo in the SB. Terry raises to 2100 from button. I reraise to 5000. He thinks for a minute and calls, albeit reluctantly. I don't think he's very strong. Flop 8 7 5. I'm out of position and bricked the board with about 30k left in my stack. I should probably bet 4-5k for information, but that's a good chunk of what I have left in my stack. We both check. Turn [8 7 4] 6. Terry bets 8k. I fold and he shows T9o for a straight. Even if I bet the flop, Terry is probably calling with an open-ender while sitting on a big stack.

I'm UTG+1 with pocket 8's and raise to 2100. Colin calls from the BB. Flop is 9 X X. I bet 2200 and he calls. Turn [9 X X] Q. Check-check. River blank. Colin bets 4k and I call. Colin shows T9 suited for a pair of nines.

Last hand before 2nd break. I have ~21k. I'm UTG with AQo and raise to 2200. 2 callers (Connor on button and Terry in BB). Flop Q T 2. I bet 2800 and both call. Turn [Q T 2] A. TK leads for 15000 (which is a less than what I have left). I certainly thought about Terry having KJ, but also thought AT (smaller 2pr) was a possibility. My gut was telling me to fold top 2-pair. Of course, there are hands that beat me besides the straight (even a set of twos) but I called his 15k bet anyway, thinking AT was more likely than KJ due to the size of Terry's bet. The river was [Q T 2 A] 6. Terry puts me all in for a little under 1k and indeed turns over KJ to bust me out in 19th or 20th place out of 27 runners (with 6 rebuys).

Final thoughts - I shouldn't be going out of tournaments with 2 pair, especially in a deep stack format. If I fold that hand, I have ~16000 left to play with at 600/1200/200 blinds. One double up and I'm right back in the game. Overall, I'm pretty disappointed with my decisions after the 1st break. I was on fire to start the tournament only to see my chips slowly disappear. Part of that was 2 hours of rags, but I got a little impatient as a result and it cost me in the end.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Home Game Preferences?

It's been about a month since I returned to the poker felt and I'm preparing to host games at my house again soon. I would have liked to have hosted a game by now, but my space is limited and my poker supplies are outdated. I'd like to invest in some new decks, a new tournament chip set (I have a bountiful supply of generic Super Diamond chips with no value labels and would like to upgrade) and a new poker table (the felt is in great shape, but the padding along the outside of the table is not).

As I'm thinking about these things, what are the most important things to you when you attend a home poker game?

Temperature - I realize things will get warm when 10+ people get together but my basement is much cooler than my living room upstairs. The basement is not a glamorous setting and the lighting isn't the best.

Setting - Would you rather sit in a crappier looking basement that is cooler (temp-wise) and offers a bit more space, or a nicer looking living room that is warmer and a bit cramped? The bathroom is upstairs near the living room.

Chip set /Table - Would you rather have really nice chips or does this not matter as much?

Chairs - Folding chairs, or ones with some type of cushion?

Structure - Do you prefer a $20-$40 donkament that is faster paced, possibly with rebuys? Or do you prefer a $60+ extended structure with deeper stacks and 30 minute levels? What about a low-limit cash game $0.25/$0.25?

Just a few things to think about. I welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Friday, August 11, 2017

$40 Sit-N-Go at Caryn's

After an extremely busy day at work on Thursday, August 10th, I received a call from Doug Poker wondering if I wanted to play in a $40 tournament later that night. I found out later that it was being held at Caryn's house in Brecksville, a short 15 minute drive from my house. Doug mentioned I should show up by 6:50pm for the 7pm tournament start, as Caryn would award a 5k bonus tournament chip for showing up early. I arrived shortly after 6:40pm and enjoyed catching up with Doug before people starting arriving and the tournament started. With the 5k bonus chip, we started with 20k in tournament chips. 20 minute levels. I drew the Ace and chose a seat in the middle of the table, which makes it much easier when it's my turn to deal. Seated to my left were Caryn, Krazy Joe, David Lee, Molly, Todd, Luckbox Linda, Doug Poker, Nikki, and Lyft Driver Dave.

Level 1 (25/50) - With AQdd, I raise to 200 from UTG+1 and get 4 callers. Flop is 10 high and I bet 350. Nikki is the only caller. Check-check on the turn. River is a Jack and Nikki opens for 500. I only have Ace high but I'm curious and she shows two-pair with J-T. I end the level with 18550.

Level 2 (50/100) - Nothing to report. I end the level with 18325.

Level 3 (75/150) - With two red Queens, I limp UTG and Caryn raises to 500. There are 3 callers behind her and I re-raise to 2800 total. Caryn is the only caller. Flop K96 rainbow. I lead for 2500 and Caryn goes all in, showing KK for a flopped set after I fold.

The next hand I get A8ss in the BB and see a flop with two other limpers. Flop offers two spades. I bet 200 and the Lyft Driver Dave calls in the SB. Turn gives me a gutshot straight draw. Dave checks and my 700 bet is called. I miss all my draws on the river, but bet 1300 and Dave folds.

A few hands later (the first hand of 100/200 blinds), I get JJhs in the hijack. I raise to 525, Krazy Joe calls in the SB and Molly calls in the BB. Flop T42 rainbow. Both blinds check and I bet 1200. Molly is the only caller. Turn is [T 4 2] 3. Molly checks and I bet 2800. She raises to 10k. I put her on A-T, K-T or even a mid-pair like 88 or 99, so I went all in for not much more than the 10k. She instantly calls and turns over 65 for the nut straight. I'm drawing dead and on my way home after a short hour at the poker table.

I suppose I want that call on the flop every time... just feels like a kick to the nuts.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Like Riding a Bicycle

Hard to believe it has been 4.5 years since my last blog post. To be completely honest, I hadn't had any desire to play poker, watch poker on TV pr read about poker (books, articles or social media), for all those years. I hadn't logged into the Cleveland Poker Meetup Group (CPMG) website during that span. I wasn't even sure the group still existed. Nothing about poker even remotely piqued my interest until I caught wind via Facebook that former CPMGer 'Krazy' Mike Krasienko was doing well in the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event.

During his successful run in the tournament, I'd wake up every morning for work, check Facebook on the bus ride to downtown Cleveland and read the latest status update from Mike. I even got to watch him "live" (via 30 minute delay) on ESPN2 when he was seated at the tournament's feature table. He was among the tournament chip leaders from start to finish and wound up finishing 17th out of 7,221 participants for a cool $340k.

I credit Mike for sparking my interest in poker again, but it wasn't until I logged onto the CPMG website and made a last-minute decision to register for Pyxis' $80 tournament on 7/29/17 that I truly realized how much I missed being seated at the felt. The tournament used extended 30-minute levels with a $15,000 chip starting stack.

I was happy to see some familiar faces at my opening table, including Colin, Caryn and Tom Gross. Terry K, Monsignor, Prowest and Pyxis were seated at the other table. I didn't recognize anyone else, but David Lee and Jason Lawless were two players at my table that I got to know quickly.

I ran pretty hot for the first 5 levels, turning my 15k starting stack to 19,825 at the first break. Almost immediately, I got a "Big Blind Special," flopping two-pair while holding J2cc. I also flopped a set of eights (holding 88) and a set of threes (holding A3). I was pretty lucky, but I was playing extremely well, like I had never went on a 4.5 year hiatus. Colin mentioned to me that it was like riding a bike. Colin also went out of his way to praise me with some really nice comments about my play and about me as a person, which I really appreciated.

After the break, things turned sour. At the 150/300 level, there was a limper ahead of me and I limped on the button with Q9cc. The flop was Kc Jc Xc. David Lee (seated to my left) led out with a small bet from under the gun and I was the only caller from the button. The turn paired the board with another King [Kc Xc Xc Ks], which was a little concerning. David shocked me by leading out with a 5k bet into a roughly 2k pot. Suddenly my second-nut flush and draw to a straight flush didn't look as good as it did on the flop. After about two minutes of deliberation, I reluctantly folded and David proceeded to show K8 off-suit. It was a punch to the gut knowing I was ahead the whole time, but at least it was valuable information.

A bit later, Jason Lawless raised to 800 from middle position. Caryn called and I called from the button with K3ss. The flop was Kx Xs Xs, giving me top pair with a flush draw. Jason led out for 2400, Caryn and I both called. The turn was [Kx Xs Xs] Ad. JLaw bet 5k into the 10k pot. Caryn thought for a while and folded and I folded too with 16k left in my stack. Jason said he had a pair of Kings, which meant I was probably out-kicked.

A short time later, I raised to 800 from the cut-off with 10c7c and got 2 callers. The flop brought 2 clubs and I decided to see a free card when it was checked to me. The turn was an 8, giving me flush and open-ended straight draws. I don't recall the betting that occurred on the turn, but it was a sizable amount that I ended up calling. Unfortunately, I missed the river and fell below the 15k starting stack to the 12k range.

I was card dead for the next 1.5 hours and blinded down to around 8100 until I was moved to the other table with Pyxis, Megan Thomas, Monsignor, Terry K and Larry. After an orbit at my new table, Terry raised to 1600 on the button and I shoved for 6500 more with A6. He folded. I saw Ace-rag quite a bit at my new table, but couldn't find a spot to make any more moves. Finally, I picked up AJhh and moved all-in for 6500 total after Megan raised to 1600 from UTG. Monsignor thought for a moment but folded what turned out to be AJ off-suit. Megan showed AK, and while the flop gave me a straight draw, I bricked the turn and river to bust out in 11th or 12th place out of 20 runners.

The tournament results were as follows:

1st - JLaw $460
2nd - TK $420
3rd - Megan Thomas $240
4th - David Lee $240
5th - Colin $240

Many thanks to Pyxis for hosting.

I'll be checking the CPMG boards regularly again, not only attend some games, but host some as well. Dana and I don't have a lot of room in our house, so we're limited to hosting 1-table tournaments or cash games. I plan on hosting some games similar to Data's Poker After Dark tournaments in the near future. Probably in the $40-$60 buy-in range to start with a few higher buy-in tournaments later on if all runs smoothly.

Hope to see you all soon at the tables!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cash Game Success

Man it has been a while since I've done one of these.

Last night I decided to head over to Marc's house for some .25/.25 HA cash game action.  I couldn't stay long due to other commitments (new Walking Dead episode and the WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view that I promised my downstairs neighbors I'd watch with them) but I was excited to play some poker nonetheless.  Bought in for $40 and left an hour and fifteen minutes later with a $90 profit.  It was a nice little win for me; my first positive poker result in God knows how long.  Going in I figured it would be an inexpensive way for me to gain some much-needed experience in Pot Limit Omaha.  To my surprise, that's where most of my profit came from on the night.  Granted, I was very fortunate to hit some big hands (ie - nut straight on the turn with the nut flush draw and hitting in on the River only to get paid off by the second nut flush).  I also spiked a big NLHE hand with 57hh.  Pot was raised preflop with several callers.  Flop was 5x 5x Ah.  Terry led out with a $7 bet from early position.  I made a pot-sized raise to $31 and Gary pushed all in behind me for a bit less than that.  Terry tanked for a bit before folding and I ended up hitting runner-runner hearts for a flush.

Overall, it was nice to sit down in front of the poker felt again.  Hoping to do it again very soon.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Rebuy Recap

Last Friday's $10 Rebuy Tournament was a good time.  We ended up doing unlimited rebuys until the first break.  I doubled my stack early when I attempted a squeeze play from the Button with J5ss.  Yosh was the only caller and the Flop came Jack high.  Yosh and I got into a raising war and the chips went in.  He had AQ for only Ace high and my pair of Jacks held.  With a healthy stack, I played LAG style for the next few levels but hovered around 14-18k.  Anytime I 3-Bet I got several callers and kept bricking flops.  Meanwhile, joedrummer proceeded to steamroll the table.  He's an aggressive player who plays a lot of pots and doesn't like to fold.  He aggressively bets Ace-high and he will bet and/or call any draw.  He twice called All-Ins on the Flop with the nut flush draw and got there both times.  Doug Poker was victimized one (maybe both?) times holding pocket Aces.  After the break and the rebuy period ended, I took a chunk out of Joe's chip stack after I made a Flush and got paid off on sizeable Turn and River bets.  It was all downhill from there, however, as I ended up stacking off to Doug Poker.  I flopped top pair (Jacks) but Doug flopped a set (fours) and rivered quads for good measure.  I think I finished 6th or 7th.  Not the outcome I wanted but I had fun playing poker again.  After my elimination I dealt for the remaining players until the tournament concluded.

10 players, 5 rebuys

1st - joedrummer - $90
2nd - Cheryl - $45
3rd - Yosh - $15
Bubble - Good Ole DP 

Hopefully I can squeeze in another game before the New Year.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dealing and a Rebuy Tournament

This past Wednesday night, I dealt for a $1/$1 NLHE cash game until the last orbit around 2:30am.  Had a lot of fun and Terry K went out of his way to praise my dealing skills which was very much appreciated.  When I'm called upon to deal, I really do make an effort to get as many hands in as possible for the players in attendance.  I know if I take care of the players, they'll take care of me which goes a long way in helping me bring in some extra income for my family.  As such, I take dealing seriously and treat it like it's my 2nd job.

Tonight, I'm hosting a single table $10 Rebuy Tournament and I couldn't be more excited.  You're probably wondering why I'm amped about a measly little $10 game?  Quite simply, I'm just excited to sit down and play poker, regardless of the stakes.  It seems lately that more and more micro-stakes games are popping up in the CPMG.  Marc S has been hosting a regular .25/.50 HA cash game for most of 2012 and we've seen .25/.50 and .50/.50 games hosted by Adam, Data, Julie and Diabl0 this year as well.  It's good to see the micro-stakes games thriving along with the medium and higher buy-in games that have always done well in the CPMG.  Joining me tonight for the Donkament fun are Dana, Doug Poker and Special K, Jamie W, Yosh, Cheryl, Bad Beat Mucker Rob's son Michael, joedrummer - a relative newcomer to the CPMG who attended my Micro Stakes cash game back in June, and Gary Senkar - aka, Ichiban nit - who I will be meeting for the first time.  I keep wavering in my stance on allowing new members to attend my games, but Marc S vouched for Gary which is always helpful. Eskimo had RSVP'd for the tournament as well, but after much debate I decided to ban him from attending games at my home.  I'm aware that Eskimo has had better behavior recently and I have never had any problems with him directly ala Eskimo v Doug Poker, but I'm simply not comfortable with the idea of him being in my home.  Apparently, he's not happy about the ban per his posts on my tournament wall but I'm not going to reply and start a war with him about the ban.  I emailed him privately (and very politely I might add) and I'm just going to leave it at that.

More on the topic of hosting and new members in a blog to come, as well as a quick tournament report from tonight's festivities.

Thanks for reading!