Saturday, October 04, 2008

Saturdays with Dr. Pauly Recap

I don't usually get to play Saturdays with Dr. Pauly because I'm always working somewhere tutoring or proctoring. But today, I had a clear schedule, so I actually got to play! Not sure if I'll get to defend the title next week... probably not, honestly, because my son's birthday party is next Saturday.

Anyway, I'll walk you through the win because... well, just for the hell of it. Overall, I'd say I had much better than average luck and, more importantly, never really got hit by a cold deck. My general strategy was aggression and not letting my opponents make the deciding bet (I'd rather make the all-in or committing raise than call it). I also had aces a huge number of times :)

Also, I generally don't know the mapping between Stars names and blogs. If you want me to link you up, leave a comment and let me know.

To start it out, I actually showed up a few minutes late. While I didn't miss any hands, I was really confused that Trane420 had already tripled his stack. I assume he knocked out the first player and crippled ResdentEvil to less than 10% of his starting stack. That dude has 9 lives, let me tell you -- he ended up making the money.

I raised my first hand Ah Jh 7 7 and won it. Turned the nuts on my third hand (a straight) and got zero action.

On the fourth hand, I had Td Ts 8d 8s and limped, then called ResdentEvil's min-raise for half of his stack along with BamBamCan. Flop comes Kd 8x 4d and I'm tricky, so I check after BamBamCan. ResdentEvil pushes (for 40), BamBam folds (dammit!), and I call. ResdentEvil shows Kc Qc Jd 9s and I've got him slaughtered. You already know he made the money, so I'll let you figure out how he won that one... The next hand, he flops a set and wins with a straight... Nine lives, man.

After that I fiddled around and missed a few flops, semi-bluffed a ten-high flush and got there on the river (nobody paid me off), folded a bit, and... oh yeah, played the hand I most regretted in the tournament. It was one of those "what could have been" hands more than anything else. I had 9c 9s 8s 5c in the big blind, and I called Trane420's raise to 90 (BB is 20). The flop comes Jc 8d 5h and I check. Trane420 bets 200 (pot was 360) and I... folded. I had him solidly on an overpair, but I didn't want to play a big pot with bottom two. After I folded and thought it over, I realized that I can't really have a better flop than that. Not only that, but if I raise to 500-600, he'll likely fold an overpair or at least just call and I can push the rest on the turn. It was pretty much a golded opportunity and I chickened out...

Then, more folding, lost a small pot with third nut flush (paired board), won a minimal pot with top two, folded top pair to ResdentEvil's set (9 lives!), and generally played relatively tightly. I wasn't raising much, but neither was anyone else. Overall, I felt like the table was playing a bit tighter than they should. I started raising a bit more, aided by pretty decent cards, and chipped up to T1695. Then, with Kx Qh Th 8x I flopped a huge wrap with Ah Js 9c but bricked twice and had to fold. In the hand, I raised BamBamCan from 50 to 200 on the flop, but he lead the turn for 150 and I just called although I was really considering raising again. On the river, I couldn't beat a bluff, so I folded. It was a strange pattern, and BamBam was pretty aggressive, but I just felt like he had some strength.

That hand knocked me down to T1295. But a few hands later, I won it back with two pair. Although I didn't get a river bet called -- the whole tournament, I felt like I wasn't getting paid off that much when I hit. It was around this time that Wil Wheaton got moved to the table. I will admit that his blog is now no longer in my bloglines, but I read him for over a year a while ago. So I expected him to play pretty tight, not get too out of line, and make witty comments. Oh, and not get upset about bad beats (foreshadowing!). I wasn't disappointed in any of those categories.

By this time, blinds were up to 50/100. I got Ad Qh Jd 6h and raised it to 300 from early position and was called by Trane420 and Slithey. The flop came 6c Td Kc and it checked around. The turn was the Ks, Trane420 checked, and I semi-bluffed (I felt pretty secure that nobody had a hand). No one called, and I added 600 more to my stack. I'm pretty proud of this play, actually, although it is probably pretty primitive. I'd often chicken out in this spot before, but it really is free money with the betting (and lack of betting) patterns.

After that, I increased my frequency of raising because the rest of the table wasn't stealing and defending as much as they probably should. I picked up three of the next four on steals and lost 200 defending to BamBam (who was the only other player really stealing as much as they should). I had almost T2500...

Then, I limped into the pot UTG with Ad Th Td 4h and got two other players to the flop, the big blind and ResdentEvil. Long story short, I got ResdentEvil all-in after turning a ten high flush, and he had a king high flush (9 lives!). Only cost me 380 on top of my limp, but I did consider laying it down (I check-raised him all-in on the turn).

The next hand, I defended my big blind with Qc Qd Jc 8h to BamBamCan's raise and flopped a flush draw on a dry king-high board. I checked intending to check-raise, BamBamCan bets the minimum, and I executed, taking it down.

Then I stole the blinds and defended my blind.... Bah... this is getting boring. I'll try to speed it up...

I raised limpers often, even with hands like a single suited AKT8... Five handed I stole a lot and took small shots on the flop. I got distracted by Wheaton talking about the rain. I called with a 6-high flush draw on a KK2 board and bluffed the turn to take it. Four small pots in a row chipped me up to T3990. I three-bet Wheaton with aces and he said "I only have a pair of tens. i can't call that. JEEZE!" and "GOSH WHATEVER MR. I RAISE WITH MY ACES BECAUSE I'M SMART." Wil Wheaton did a chat in my general direction!

After I turned a straight against HermWarfare (Derek) I was up to T5,490. Oh, and we made it to the final table, too. Then, stuff really started happening.

It started when I doubled up HermWarfare on a steal with AK85 with one suit. Actually, when the cards flipped, I wasn't too worried because he had a decent hand for me: Qs Qh 7d 4d. That is, it was a decent hand until the flop came Qd 6d 3d and I was basically drawing dead. To add insult to injury he hit the full house on the turn and the flush on the river.

The next hand, I had Jc Tc 6d 9s and limped UTG for 300 (a little tilty, but mostly I wanted to see a flop out of position and keep the pot smaller). Wheaton has the gall to raise it to T1,350 and I speechify ("I'm tilty right now... bad time to make that raise.") which is usually a sign someone will fold. But I was getting 2:1 from the pot, and I figured I'd push any two pair or decent draw, and I could get Wheaton to fold some hands that might have me beat with a push. So I called. The flop comes Kd Qh 6h which is good enough for me to ship it in. After a little pause, Wheaton calls. I didn't realize he had only 1350 left (I thought he had a little more). He also had top pair, a nut flush draw, and a straight draw with Ah Kh Jh 9c -- yikes! That left me with only 6 outs, but a jack came on the river to save me. Wil took it well though.

In hindsight, I think calling the raise pre-flop was a bad idea given that he'd be playing big cards too and he didn't quite have enough chips for me to put pressure on him on the flop. But you have to get lucky to win poker tournaments, and that was definitely a spot for me to get lucky.

Knocking Wil Wheaton out bumped me to second place with 7.4K in chips. Defending my big blind to a min-raise and flopping two pair got me up to almost 9K and the chip lead on the next hand.

Yadda, yadda, yadda, steal some pots, flop a set of threes, and I've got 9.5K with 8 players left. Then in the small blind I run into HermWarfare's aces with flush draw in the big blind. I led into the pot on the turn and river though (for small amounts) so I think I lost the minimum, considering I thought I had the best hand and had a nut flush draw to go with it. Derek gets aces on the next hand too and knocks out Trane420 to take the chip lead with over 13K. I'm down to 7K. No, make that 5K -- the next hand my pair of 8s runs into kicker trouble (king no good) and I double niktak up.

A little more time goes by (steal a pot or two) and I get lucky and knock DoubleDave and his jacks out with a rivered straight (gotta get lucky to win tournaments...) -- back up to 9K with six left. More pot stealing... Double ResdentEvil again with a failed steal (9 lives!).

More stealing and suddenly I have the chiplead again at 10K, still six left. I picked up a lot of pots on the whole final table in general, and it was critical to me just being around. Maybe I'm finally learning hand stealing values in PLO? At this stage I really started to try to put some pressure on the smaller and more timid stacks.

Finally, HermWarfare and MyLuckyGirls were knocked out one after the other, and we were on the bubble. I was second with about 10K, but we were all tightly grouped and a little talk of a chop came up. But nothing really came of it. (side note: glad we didn't chop!)

Four-handed we got into a pattern with niktak monopolizing first, I had second with about 10K, and ResdentEvil and holdin-ragz trading third and fourth. I pretty much targeted Res and ragz because they were playing quite tightly, but sadly I had to play quite timidly against niktak. When we finally left the bubble, niktak had 25K (!), I had 7K, and ResdentEvil had almost 6K.

Three-handed went rapidly and I was able to build my stack to 11K or so. Res was finally knocked out by both niktak and I when we both had two pair (aces and kings).

Now, I'm going to not go into too much detail about heads-up because it is very late as I write this. But I felt zero pressure heads-up since niktak had a 2.5:1 chiplead and I knew I just needed to get my money in and hope to double up. I was happy with second and willing to play the free-roll for more money. Nik had played the bubble time to perfection and did a great job with his big stack, so I knew he'd be pushing me around heads-up but would release to aggression if he had nothing.

One critical hand was when the flop came queen high with all spades and I raised nik's bet with second pair and a gutshot. He called, which made me believe he had a weak flush, but I improved to kings-up on the turn. We managed to check both the turn and river and he won with a ten-high flush, and I was very fortunate he didn't extract any value on the river. That knocked me down to 7K to his 32K.

We swapped pots back and forth for a while, until we finally got it in on a QT4 board with two clubs. He had top two and I had a flush draw and second pair. The flush hit the river giving me 17K to his 21K. I was able to take the chip lead a few hands later with an overpair (actually, rivered top pair) on a raggy board.

After that, the momentum shifted. Nik had been very aggressive before, but once we got even, he seemed to tighten it up a bit and do more call/folding. I was able to take a few pots with continuation bets (I hit nothing) and chip up to a 2.5:1 chip lead. I got it in with Ah Qd Jh 9h against tak's 4d 2d 8c 9c but he flopped a deuce and I never improved even after turning a flush draw. That gave him a 22K to 16K chip lead.

A couple of hands later I'd taken the lead back with a raise and a bet, when the final hand occurred. I had 7s As Qh Js in the 2K big blind and checked after he limped. Once the flop came Qs 8s 3c I was plotting how to get all the money in the pot and I started by checking. The turn was the 6d and I checked again, hoping Nik would take the bait. And he did, although he only bet the minimum. I went ahead and bet the pot and was happy when he made a 'Screw it' push. No, seriously, he actually typed "Screw it" and pushed an open-ended straight draw 4c 5h 2d Tc. My hand held up to his 6 outs and I took my first Saturdays with Dr. Pauly title!

Anyway, this is a long post likely riddled with grammar, hand history, and spelling errors. I don't care though!

I do want to thank Pauly for hosting such a great tournament, and I hope I don't win it again so I can avoid the two hours I spent writing this recap post!


Dr. Pauly said...


dD said...

very well done ... especially against the dude with 9 lives :)

hopefully you'll make it back at some point to defend :)



aka ResdentEvil

ps link me up, how can u refuse a BIG fish with 9-lives :)

Sean said...

dD, no problem. I'll link you up now.

Honestly, if you counted them up, you probably had more than 9 lives; I guarantee you are all-in at least twice that amount!

Way to dig yourself out of a bad start! (I didn't see the hand at the time, but the description on your blog explained why you were so low on chips).