Sunday, April 30, 2006

Decisions decisons - part 2

Thanks for all the responses to tournament hands on the post below ... here it what happened, and my thinking!

Hand 1

Out of the three options i like calling the least. It doesn't give me much information and if an Ace, King or Queen arrive on the flop, the situation becomes even worse. I could call to try and flop a set.

If i was to raise, I would make it 35000 to cover the original raiser. This play would indicate a massive hand. Most players would put me on QQ, KK or AA with this move. The problem with raising that much, is if the button does have a genuine monster hand and then pushes in for 75000... i would then probably fold even though i am kind of pot committed. The original raiser could also have a hand that he wants to play his 35000 chip stack for... especially if he considers that the button and cut off may now fold, offering him even better odds to call.

What i actually did was fold. Though i wouldn't fold here every time.... something like fold 70%, call 15% and raise 15%.

Hand 2

Given that the SB has only called before the flop i ruled out him holding JJ, QQ, KK or AA as he would have reraised with these hands. So the hands he could have here in my opinion are 55, 66, 77, 88, 99, TT, A7, A8, 56, 67 and 89. Leading out with a set here would be a good play is it’s likely to get action from an overpair. Was he making this move though?

I actually decided to call. Reraising was too expensive and i wanted to see his reaction to the call. If he led out with a big bet on the turn i was willing to fold. The turn was a Jack. He checked and i bet 20000. He folded and showed 99.

Hand 3

Well the options here are call or fold. This is probably the most easiest decision of the three hands and i called. He mucked very quickly. I thought he could only have me beat with 69 as i think he would definitely have raised preflop with 77, 88, TT or KK.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Decisions decisions

I thought i would share a few hands i played in the $25000 Bellagio tournament last week.... these are all from Day 2.

Hand 1

Blinds 400/800. I have 100000 chips. Middle position makes it 3500 (35000 stack) to play. Cut off calls (50000 stack). Button (75000 stack) player makes it 14000 to play. I look down at JJ in the BB. What now? If you raise how much?

Extra info. Not been sat at the table long. Could be a squeeze play by the button perhaps. Folding/calling or raising were all possible moves.

Hand 2

Blinds 600/1200. I have a stack of 90000. UTG (60000 stack) makes it 4500 to play. I am UTG+1 and call with 99. All fold to the SB (80000 stack) who calls. Flop 568 rainbow. SB leads out with a bet of 13000. UTG folds. What is your decision here? Why?

Extra info. The SB opponent was a normal opponent... not particularly aggressive and hadn't been involved in many pots in his two hours at my table.

Hand 3

Blinds 600/1200. I have a stack of 90000. I limp in middle position with 33. One other limper and SB calls. Four way pot. Flop 378 rainbow. Both blinds check and i make it 5000 to play. Just the SB (125000 stack) calls. Turn T. He checks. I decide to check behind as i think he will lead out on the river when any card falls and unless he has 69 then i am way in front. I don't see him having a set. River K. Now he makes the strange move and bets just 5000 into a pot of 15000 ish. I feel i am ahead and ponder for a while and make it 7000 more. He then reraises me another 16000. What now?

Extra info. He had lost a big pot early then tilted for half an hour. He had won a few big pots lately and seemed more composed.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I just completed one of the longest and definitely my best online session ever. I played for 23.5 hours mainly £10/£20 PL Omaha, and i was down £10000 at one point. The tide turned and i eventually got two stacks over £20000, which put me up £28000 for the session. So tired.

I haven't been playing too well lately despite decent results. I have been calling to much and playing too loose. So i played far more aggressive and tried to dominate the table.

I also wanted to say congrats to Roland for finishing 3rd in the big one at the Bellagio. $1 million is some payday....

The next few months are looking quiet on the tournament front before the WSOP of poker in Vegas. A Gutshot showdown poker tour event and WPT Paris are probably all i will play before July tournament wise. I have been planning my schedule. It looks likely i will fly over around the 7th July for a month, and play between 6-10 events.

The $50/$100 PL Omaha on Ultimate Bet has been tempting me of late. I may allocate $30000 to take a shot. Tempted. For a game so huge the standard isn't so great. There are good players, but plenty of average ones as well.

Just one other thing. I just watched this clip on Tillermans blog. Click here to see it. Tony G trash talking Surindar Sunar. Very entertaining.....

Friday, April 21, 2006

Bellagio Five Star Poker Classic - Update 6

I'm out!!

Annoying.... guy to my my left has been reraising me every time i raise.....Playing 130k stack him a little more. Next time i raise it up with AA to 5000 to play ... he plays with his chips and counts out 20000 to do it again. Instead he just calls. Flop 5h9hQc. I bet 14000. He calls.... turn 2s ... i bet 30000 .. he calls. River 2c. I check he moves all in. I wanted him to make a move as i felt i was ahead... but all in?!! What to do now? He has already bluffed massively a few times and got lucky! Well i called and he had 99 for a full house. Anyone else and i could have passed!


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bellagio Five Star Poker Classic - Update 5

The $25000 WPT Main Event Day 1

I promised i would do updates daily whilst i am in the main event so here goes.....

Started with 50000 chips and on my table was Martin De Kniff, Phil Laak and Kirill. Most of the other players were very tight. Didn't start well at all and in the first two levels of 90 minutes i managed to lose 10000 chips. Mainly because i kept calling with suited connectors and small pairs and missing the flop completely.

I lost a few thousand bluffing the table rock as well when i thought he had just top pair, in fact he had the flush. In fact the few bluffs i did try went horribly wrong. The worst was betting into TT on a 4TQ board when i had QA.

Level 3 came and went and the cards were not improving. I think i won just 3/4 hands in the first 4.5 hours. I could not get going at all. I reached a low point of 17000 and i was wasn't particularly happy with the way i was playing, or my reads on opponents. I picked up a bit and reached 23000 when the dream hand happened. I was in the big blind and blinds were 300/600. UTG made it 1800 to play, UTG+1 called, the button then made it 7400 to play and i looked down and found two Aces. Given the fact i was reasonably low in chips i decided to maximise my chances of a double up by just calling. Sure there was a risk i would get outdrawn but i was willing to take a chance. I gave it a few minutes thought and called. The player UTG then moved his 40000 stack into the middle. BINGO. The other players passed JJ and QQ and i called in a shot and doubled up against KK.

I was back to over 50000 which felt great. I was scooping my chips as the very next hand was dealt. UTG made it 1500 to play and got a caller in early position. To my amazement i found the Aces again in the small blind! Wow.... i hadn't seen a big pair and now the rockets twice! I quickly made it 6000 to play, hoping they would think i was bullying with my new stack. The original raiser passed but the other guy called. The flop was A92. I checked as i felt i wanted to give him a chance to bluff. The turn was a Q. I went to bet 5500 and by mistake picked up the wrong colour chip and bet 15000. He called quickly. The river was a 4 and i moved all in for his last 30000. He deliberated for an age before passing AK. If either of us had bet the flop he would have lost all his chips but was convinced i had made a set of queens on the turn. Suddenly i was up to 75000 in just two hands.

I felt much better after that and picked up a number of small pots and reached 80000 going in to the final level of the evening. I decided i would be happy to finish the day with 80000 so my strategy was to avoid big pots unless i had the goods.

With just two hands to go i picked up AK in the BB. Martin De Kniff raised my blind making it 2500 to play again, i was considering just calling and playing on if i hit and Ace or King. Instead, i decided to raise it another 10000 happy to pick it up then. He called after deliberating. The flop was an ugly 38J with two clubs. I decided i had two options.... check and fold if he bet... or check/raise him. Leading out i didn't like as if he called or raised me i was in alot of trouble. I checked and he bet 10000 after thinking. I asked for a count of his chips and and he had slightly less than me. After the count i moved all in and he quickly mucked.

I finished the day with around 108000. Roll on Day 2.....

Monday, April 17, 2006

Bellagio Five Star Poker Classic - Update 4

Not much playing to report! Been relaxing and haven't played since the $5000 except online. I got brutalised playing £25/£50 NL Holdem... losing one pot for £18000 with A flush v my K flush which came back door. I got it back what i lost playing Heads Up PL Omaha... coming back from a potential big loss often feels better than winning. I haven't had a losing day online now since February. I should have lost yesterday the way i played but the poker gods were nice to me.

Its the main event tomorrow. I just want to get started now whatever happens. I hope i get some decent players on my table. Much better than playing rocks in such a slow structure. Bring it on......

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bellagio Five Star Poker Classic - Update 3

$5000 No Limit Holdem

Very very frustrating. I ended up finishing 29th of the 347 thats started. I managed to dominate my starting table that included Tim Pham, Grinder and Matasow and was up to 80000 from 10000 starting chips by the end of level 3, i was chip leader for a good few hours. Played one pot bad then got unlucky and found myself back down to 40000.

I ducked and dived and with 40 ish people left i was averaged stacked. This was the turning point hand. I had 65000 chips and everyone passed to me on the button. Blinds were 1500/3000 and both blinds had 24000. My hand was AsJs so the correct strategy is to push here. I bet enough to put them both all in. SB dwells for 2-3 minutes and calls with J8 OFF? Of course the 8 rivers and i am left shaking my head in disbelief. This guy had actually been playing tight before that. I got back up to 70000. Mid position made it 10000 to play i had AhKh on the button and pushed all in. The BB this time went into the tank and eventually called his 37000 stack with AQ off. The original raiser passed. A queen on the flop scooped a 88000 chip pot. I win that one and i have around 120000 instead i had 33000. Got back up to 65000 again and lost a coin flip for another 50000 chips with 99 v AK. Eventually i walked into KK with my KT suited when short stacked.

Hopefully i am saving my luck for the main event. I should have made the money in that tourney at the very least!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bellagio Five Star Poker Classic - Update 2

$3000 No Limit Hold'em

I could have asked for a better starting table considering the amount of good players there were in the field. If you raised 6 times the big blind you were guaranteed 2/3 callers at least. I couldn't pick up a hand though. We started with 6000 and i did manage to get up to 8000 at one point. My chip count slowly decreased and i was at 5000 on level 4.

- Blinds 100/200 and running 25 ante. Four limpers as usual and i had AQ on the button. I made a large raise to 2000 and one of the limpers called. Flop 29K. He checked, i moved in and he had JK. That was that......

The same guy earlier called a small bet on a 9KA flop with 78 no flush draw. The turn and river were 5 and a 6 to give him a straight. lol

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Bellagio Five Star Poker Classic - Update 1

Just arrived after a 10 hour flight which was ok except the lady sitting next to me managed to spill orange juice all over me. I even managed to read a couple of poker books for the first time in ages. Championship Omaha by TJ Cloutier and How good is your Pot Limit Omaha? by Stewart Reuben. I got bored of the championship omaha quite quickly but the other book was easy enough to get through.

There are a few warm up tournaments that i will probably play before the biggie, so should have some updates on them in the next couple of days. Right now i am off to the pool.....

Monday, April 10, 2006

Luton Springfest

I made a last minute decision to play the £1500 main event at Luton, which proved a good decision as i managed to finish 3rd for just over £20000. I needed to play a decent size NL Hold'em event to get Monte Carlo out of my system, so was very happy with the result. Normally i would run through lots of the hands i played, but i have so much to organise before i fly to Vegas on Wednesday i haven't got time.

I can't wait to get to Vegas for the WPT championship now. Its a huge tournament, and with 50000 starting chips i'm sure it will be a different experience to what i am used to. There won't me too much dead money in an event with a $25000 buy in, so i expect i will have to be on my best form to even have a chance of doing well.

I shall update sometime later in the week after i arrive....

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Well thats what i am doing on the poker front at the moment. I am not feeling motivated to put in the hours online and whenever i do manage to play i am winning. Are blogs more fun when the player is winning or moaning about bad beats?

My weeks seem to have a theme at the moment. Play for a few hours on Monday/Tuesday and win £3000-£6000 and then retire and enjoy the week. At the moment i have no immediete need to increase my bankroll, so am more than happy ticking along with these wins at the moment.

I have won a few pots over $5000 since i last posted.. here they are!

- $10/$20 NL Holdem - I have $2800. I raise in middle position to $60 with 4s5s. The button makes it $120. It probably means a big pair but i am getting great odds to call. Flop 4d5dQs. I bet out $200 hoping he has an overpair and reraises. He makes it $440. I think the instant all in would make him think i was on a draw, so i pushed all in. He called with KK and my hand stood up.

- $10/$20 Pot Limit Omaha - I have $2800. I raise to $70 in the cut off with Ad4d5c6c. The BB makes it $220. The BB calls and i call. Flop AhQh4s. I'm not loving the flop considering the reraise so i check to the button. He checks behind. I can't put him on AAxx or AQxx as he would surely want to protect it against the flush and straight draws. The turn is a 3c. BB checked again. I was convinced the button would bet this time so i checked to him and he bet $650. The BB called. I was sure i was ahead, and if not i still had outs to make a straight so moved all in. The button folded but the BB called. He had a straight draw and flush draw that missed.

I am hoping to play the Luton main event this weekend but other factors may stop me from being able to do so. The same applies to the WPT final at the Bellagio. I am meant to be flying out next Wednesday so am keeping my fingers crossed that i will be able to go.