I decided to dedicate myself to 4 specific games over the weekend. My motto would be, "head down and grind it out" in all four.
I'd not been really 'working' at my NLHE of late, more just playing around instead. So this past weekend I made the decision to really focus and treat it more like "The Office" than I ever have.
"You're a brave man. Go and break through the lines. And remember, while you're out there risking your life and limb through shot and shell, we'll be in be in here thinking what a sucker you are."
Game #1 - $3.30 90 player MTT.
I basically fold a bunch of crap for 35 minutes straight. At about the 40th. minute, I pick up 10-10 in my BB. Now as has become customary on my BB as I've continually folded pre or post-flop, there are five limpers. I think a cull is in order to increase my odds of winning. I make it 4x to go and get all five calling the bet. (so much for reducing the competition!) The flop comes down A - 7 - 10 and I've made my set. There is a pot sized bet thrown out and to my amazement, a call ahead of me. I've watched and watched for the first half hour or so and I can pretty safely say that one of these players has A-? and the other more than likely has A-? or, some type of soooted connectors. The 8-9 is indeed possible, but my gut say's they're both on A-?. Action behind me is possible I guess, but I figure in order to win these things, you gotta' take a shot with a hand like a set early. I jam.
At first I thought, "that was stupid you idiot!" With all of the folding I'd done, now they'll all know I'm on some type of monster hand. What I was doing however was, giving them FAR too much credit. My all-in is called by not just the original better and caller, but two others as well. Three with A-K, A-J A-7 and an unfortunate pair of pocket 7's. My hand is dominant and I hold on to knock out 3 of the 4 and collect their bounty's. I also more importantly, have a huge stack of chips to play with.
Nothing else spectacular happens for quite some time. The odd small pot was pushed my way every once in a while, but it's just enough to survive the ever increasing blinds and antes. With 10 players left, we are on the money bubble. It is once again my BB and I have about 9 BB's left, after putting my blind and ante in. I'm dealt A-A and have had a pot sized bet made into me, from mid-position chip bully. It is called by the SB and I quite naturally, (to me) jam my stack with pocket Aces. The initial better folds and the caller takes about 80% of his time bank, before deciding to call off all but 300 of his chips. My A-A is no match for 3-4 o/s and I am bubble-boy.
"I could dance with you till the cows come home...On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows when you came home."
Game #2 - $3.30 90 player MTT.
I run like a God in the early going. I'm dealt pocket pairs to make sets, limped BB's holding suited connectors that constantly get there and flopped the nut flush twice in a row! About thirty minutes into this game, I am chip leader with five bounty's already. Then the card gods decided I should be taught the virtues of patience once again. So I wait, I fold and fold, I wait and I fold some more. I wait and I fold without seeing any playable cards or even seeing an opportunity to make a move of any kind, all the way to 13th. place of 13 players left in the tourney. Mercifully, I am dealt J-J in the SB with one limper ahead of me. I have exactly 4.5 BB's left and I'm at the table of six-handed play, there's no time to lose! Jammo !! Both players call and we're off. Flop = 10-J-3 and the smallest stack jams instantly and is just as quickly called by the other player. I see A-J and Q-K, my set is still good until, Turn = K, river = Q and I am busted out runner-runner to the straight style.
"Get me headquarters. Not hindquarters, headquarters!"
Game #3 - $3.30 90 player MTT.
Good solid and steady progress through the field. I don't bust a single player but once again, some fairly standard TAG play gets me a pot here and there. I pretty much stay mid-pack up until second break. About 10 minutes into the third hour, I arrive at the final table. I'm going to get paid finally! Down to eight, seven "holy crap!" we're down to six already! In the SB, I see 5-5 with no action before me. The blinds are huge and I'd be quite content to take the pot right now, the way they are dropping like flies! I make it pot to go. The BB does the time thing and eventually just flat calls. We see a beautiful looking flop of 5-A-Q and I do the sneaky check-raise all in move! Again he tanks to the bottom of his time clock, goes into reserve and then makes the call. With a pair of sixes! When one of you can make sense of that for me, given that he pretty much played the entire event at my table and has to know I got a little something on that board, let me know what the genius thought process to making these types of decisions is all about. Like magic and to kill off all hope as quickly as possible, the turn brings a 6 to bust me in sixth.
"Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honour. Which is probably more than she ever did."
Game #4 - $3.30 90 player MTT.
Focused ! I was actually really and truly focused in this game. I played really good, solid and slightly aggressive NLHE. ..................... waiting for laughter to subside............ no no, go ahead..... get it out of your system....... I'll wait....... hell! ...... I'm still snickering a bit myself........
I managed to make it to mid-pack with just two tables left in the event. A shorty moves all-in for about 2.5 BB's, I'm holding Q-Q and raise to isolate. We're head's up and I'm against pocket nine's...... that naturally make a set on the flop. I lose an 80 / 20 race and take a small hit. About four hands later, I pick up pocket Ladies again. The same shorty jams once again and again, I make the isolation play. We're heads up again and my Q-Q is up against his 4-4. I think I actually giggled out loud at picking up the what? one extra percentage point in the race. Flop = 4-4-A...... are you kidding me? Another blow to the stack.
Thinking that the third time just has to be the charm, when there is one limper to my BB and I see those darling faces of pocket Queens again, I decide to see just how interested that limper really is in getting my BB. I put about 1/3 of my stack in as a raise and after taking some tank time, he jams them all in the center. My read from his earlier play was possibly big-slick, (60/40 to the good) but a much more probable hand was A-10, A-J or even A-Q, where I may be up in the 70/30 side of the race. The pot is huge and it will get me to the final table quite comfortably. I have him covered by about 3500 as well so, I think I will call! Pocket freakin' two's! TWO'S for cripes sakes!!!!! I'll save you all the drama.... the two came on the river and I'm the new shorty.
I get all my stack in, (about 4 BB's I think) pre-flop with the A-Q of hearts. I only get called by the BB and I can't blame him for the amount and the cards he was holding. My suited A-Q is up against his suited A-10. I hit my Queen right in the door, but then see the Jack and King come right after her. I'm done for the night.
"I got a good mind to join a club and beat you over the head with it."
And so, good poker got me nowhere on the weekend, except to a good state of mind. I know I can apply what I've learned over the past year of playing, listening and reading. I know that I can get it in reasonably good with the reads I'm making and I know that I made a few folds here and there that turned out to be genius once play had resumed. I avoided A-A traps twice in the one game, while holding J-J once and A-K the other. That is not something you'd consider normal of my NLHE play for certain!
I'm also pleased that with a little more focus and attention to the players at my table, I made it deep in all four games. No real winnings to show for the effort I'm afraid, but I get the feeling that they'll start to show up if I take this a little more serious than I have been.
All I need to do now is, win a couple of the races.
My sincerest thanks for dropping by....