Monday, November 01, 2004

One of those nights...

I didn't think I was going to have much poker content this weekend as my folks were in town and I spent most of the weekend with them. As I was cooking dinner for my mother's birthday on Saturday I peeked in at a freeroll tournament that had just started at Intertops. It was beeping me and saying I only had 5 seconds left to act and I saw AA so I hit the raise button, raising the 15 blind to 30. The flop had a A so when the action checked to me I hit the bet 15 button again. About 4 callers and action checked to me on the turn so I clicked 15 again. That struck me as really odd because it should have been 30. I looked up at the window title and saw the unexpected NL in the title. This was a NO LIMIT tourney, and I thought it was limit. A player behind me went all in. I looked at the board again and saw Ace King and Jack, and knew I was in trouble. I should have tossed it in right there but I hoped he was overplaying two pair and called his raise on 4th street and his all in on the river to see his QT and I was down to T20. Funny stuff. At least I cashed in the Intertops $250 freeroll on Friday night, so I would have something to blog about.

But Intertops had it's $1500 500 Raked Hands Required tournament on Sunday night, and I somehow had enough hands to play in it. There were more than 360 entries, and I made sure to check this time, it was a LIMIT tournament. I won an insanely large number of hands early, catching straights and boats every time I saw a flop. The first 45 minutes of limit tournaments are pointless however. I worked my T1000 up to T3000 in those first 45 minutes, but after the first break the blinds and speculation hands quickly ground that down to T1700. Still, people were beginning to get knocked out and I checked the payout schedule. $9.75 for 4th place, not bad for a freeroll. I was determined to get some money out of this tourney that started at 8:00pm but felt later because of Dayling Savings changing back to Central Standard Time.

I ground and ground, holding on for the no-shows to get knocked out. There is usually around 50% no-shows at these intertops tournaments. I'd think a 500 raked hands required tourney would be different, but sure enough there were only 5 of us actually there at the first table. If you can hold on and get close to the second break, the no-shows should have been blinded out and you know how many you have to make it through to see the money. After the second break, there were about 50 left, so I figured I could walk into 40th place, an I was right. 40 came quickly, and the next level of payout was 30th, so I held on and made it with just under the big blind amount. I got UTG with less than 1200, so I went all in with J9 hoping to win at least the blinds. 3 came along with me and I made a straight to the queen and tripled up. The next hand gave me Q6 of spades on the big blind, which I got to see for free. Three spades on the flop and the small blind going all the way with me put me around 8000. A tiny big of breathing space. The next BB gave me 24 of spades. I said out loud to Ms. Bogey, "Nice big blind, the flop had better be Ace-Three-Five." Sure enough A35 hit the board and the button had A3 and we capped the whole way. This win gave me enough to squeeze my way into the final table. 10th place paid $15 and went up $15 for each person who got knocked out. I vowed to hang on as long as I could. I was 8th in chips, and figured $45 would be very respectable if I could maintain my position. I caught AQ of clubs on my button and called pre-flop. The flop had Ace-Jack-Rag and called a bet by and EP player. I checked the stacks and although she had me by a lot, I could call all the way down and still survive. The turn was a King and she bet again, I called. Turn was another Ace. Now the only hands that beat me were AJ, AK, and A-whatever that rag was, and QT. She wasn't the tightest player in the world, catching a lot of goofy straights to get to the final table. One player even complained that she was the "King of Straights," and she corrected him to "Queen of Straights." She bet the river. I raised it, and she called, which told me I was good. She flipped 10-7o and I moved into 2nd place in chips. She had bluffed the whole way, and called with nothing. She tilted out the next hand, even though she had over 20k in chips left. Maybe it was past her bedtime. She took 9th, and I was guaranteed my $45.

I handled the chips well. I was barely in 2nd and didn't hold onto it for more than a hand, but I did let the chip leader knock out most of the other players. I took one out when he overplayed his AT against my AA. Neither one of us improved, but I was marching up the payout schedule. Finally I got heads up, but my 50k in chips was up against his 320k mountain. I went into standard SUPER-AGGRESSIVE heads-up mode, and took a few pots with lucky catches. If I held two rags, he would check all the way and I would catch a match on the river. I clawed up to 90k and hit a big hand. I held J5 and the flop was J75. I checked, hoping for some action and he bet. I just called. Turn was an Ace, and I hoped to hell he had a naked ace. He did, and bet it. I rasied, he re-raised. Turn was another 5, and he bet out. I raised and he typed "You probably have me kicked, but I gotta see," and called. I typed "boat," and he said "nh."

It was the most civilized heads-up game I think I have ever played. We almost never capped, and rarely bluffed. I called once when I caught a 2 on the flop with my 42s and he bet on the river to try and steal with an unimproved 53. He said "nice call." I just took pots from him at a very steady rate, until finally I caught two pair and he got all in with a pair of 10s. I caught a lot of cards down the stretch, but he folded a bit too much even when I didn't.

$375 for around 4 hours of limit poker. With a buy-in of $0, that's an infinite profit. I'll sure take the boost to my meager bankroll.


doubleas said...

Very nice. I was in that tournament as well (doublas), but inversely from you was upset that it was a limit tournament. I don't know how to play limit very well, much less in a tournament setting. I think some absentees placed higher than me. You playing in the $3K freeroll tonight? It is limit as well, but I'll give it a shot since it is free and so far there aren't many people registered.

DuggleBogey said...

I used to be unhappy about the limit tourneys they had there, until I figured out that ultimately, I have more success at the limit games. The NL games are just such absolute crapshoots that you cannot play ANYTHING for the first hour or two, and even if you make it in the money, you are up against guys who have huge stacks from winning the crapshoots. The limit games are more regulated.
My only advice would be to make it past the no-shows, any way you can. Even if you have to sit out the first 45 minutes to 1 hr. Or just play absolute NUT hands. That's basically what I did last night for the first hour. Fortunately I hit a lot of big hands early, but that didn't help me significantly.
You can only lose in the first hour, you can't significantly enhance your chance of winning.

John-Paul said...

Nice result Dug. I too like playing in Limit Tourneys, but NL tourneys definitely have the bigger crowds and bigger prize pools. BTW, I think I was one of the noshows who beat out doublas in the tourney. LOL. I was drinking with my buddies when my cellphone alarm went off (telling me I had a tourney). I thought about going home and playing, but ordered another beer instead.

JD said...

Congrats, Dug! I also like the limit tourneys and plan to be in that one next month.