One of my fellow PAers and live leaguers just emailed to chastise me saying "Some blogger you are.. no updates in three weeks!!". IG has been busy and grumpy, restless, irritable and discontent. Been in kind of a slump the past few weeks where I'm just treading water. Came back from my down week to eek out a nice profit the following week, but last week, once again I felt like I was backsliding to the point of wanting to take a few days off.
Almost three weeks ago now, LGkeeper lured me to his house for a home game under the premise that I would meet some of the live leaguers I will be playing. Up the Northway I drive for a $20 buyin with about 12 or 14 players. I meet LG who is my fellow PAer, plus Karen (who trades off weeks in the league with her hubby Steve) and Ray (two time WSOP main event qualifier thru pstars) who will be playing in the league too. The other players were co-workers of LG's. My table started out kind of loose passive, the kind of poker I am not fond of playing. I wasnt getting any hands to really even join the crowd to limp with, let alone raise with. When I did limp I would miss as happens more often then not. Finally, I button raise with A2 suited just to play a pot and of course the BB( a young chica who checked down quad tens) calls me. the flop comes two to my suit plus a str8 draw with a 4 and 6 (and eventually a 3) . I throw out a continuation bet, call, another one, call I miss my flush and str8 but pair the Ace on the river and fire again. I figure I might have her now.... Of course not La Chica hits her str8 with 35os on the river. UGH.. This leaves me short stacked and now I have to evolve into my alter ego short-stack lightening. Ray eventually looks at Tasha the calling station and says ' You are going to call me down no matter what arent you.. ?? Yup she does. I manage to double up off Tasha's beau who has been drinking and whose cards must be looking a little blurry as he keeps staring at them and then at the board with a befuddled look. I am about to be sent to the rail and push all in against Rays raise with QT. I announce with a little speech " I hate this hand but I m calling anyway" (heck, i have a 40 minute drive home). I think he had KJ or AJ and he misses his str8 when I pair my ten and for good measure and overkill I river trips. Once again the worst hand wins!! Eventually we are down to about 7 or 8 and I double up with AK against a bigger stack. Down to 6 and I' m in decent position. Trent has just laid down to an all-in from the dude I doubled off of with the AK. I have quickly discovered that Trent will raise with anything and he has a stack to do it. He fires from the BB to $1600. I push all in with AQ for about another 3000 or so. He has me outchipped is getting odds and calls... He announces that if i have a pair mid or better I have him. I shake my head no and flip my cards announcing I only have overs. Then he flips his cards and i see them ......................................72os..................THE HAMMER...................we bloggers fear its power and I off course am sent to the rail when a deuce hits on the turn. The next morning an email arrives with the title The HAMMER and the body of which is just two cards that say it all: 72os. I crack up. Did I mention I was the bubble?
Friday of the next week brings our preseason league meeting and a $30 tourney. Up I go again this time to Ft Edward. I manage to actually get some cards and raise and raise which I find that people will lay down to as they dont like 4x bb raises. I play my good hands aggressively. Trent had told me I was too tight at his house which was true. Didnt know how anyone played and I had no cards early on. I manage to final table again. I double up with 33 rivering a set against Trents A5 to stay alive and am again in contention to cash. Im 4th in chip count with 6 left, Ray being the short stack this week and Trent being bubble. I raise Trent all in from the button with QQ. He calls with KT or KJ. I realize that its not just me and Trent. Karen was in the hand having limped with a big old stack and she goes into the tank. She calls with AT. My QQ looks good on the flop. Trent hits a king on the turn. I have him covered but on the river an ace comes, and its a two bagger for Karen. I go home bubble again.... Sigh Sigh Sigh. I do manage to win a small on-line tourney on Sunday to make up for my week.
Last week I am sucking big time in online play up a whopping 90 cents going into the weekend or some such thing. Work is driving me crazy. I bypass the WWDN and the Mookie and head up on Friday for another preseason tourney. During the week I practice dealing to Bailey(my big Maine Coon Cat) who has a grand old time chasing cards. This week there are almost 24. My first table is entertaining to say the least. An all in on the first hand when two loose passives go at it and one hits his str8. Next hand the dude who laid down hits some weird hand. I starting limping to see some flops and am missing. Finally bullets. First time in live play this year. I raise 4x bb. Kenny, "Mr loose-passive and any sooted cards look good" calls as does another player. When I push all in on a rag flop, I triple up (thanks boyz). Trent had tipped me off that most of these guys are pretty weak and dont like your standard 4x bb raise. The table dynamics are such that Kenny has a big old stack, having knocked out a bunch of players who try to take stands against him. You know the saying, Blind squirrels manage to find acorns now and then.
We are now down to two tables. I soon make such a newb play that I want to run outside and gut myself. I am dealt JJ. I raise it up. Out everyone goes except for Kenny (of course). Flop comes J33. The NUTS.. I check. Kenny fires a $1000 at the pot. What do I do???.... I am too embarassed to even say this, but for some reason unbeknownst to me, my cards are in my hand and I am about to throw them face up onto the table (prematurely) as I scream all-in (in terror I might add). The only thing i can think of is I was staring at his big pile of chips thinking he had me covered and I had him. Nope, I still had chips and since he got a whiff of at least one Jack he folded. OMFG..... Im shaking not from adrenaline as some of the guys thought but because Im terrified and horrified at the mess I just made of this hand.
I make it to the final table and at the break. Ray who is out and Trent who is bound for the final table with me again, grab me and ask me why the heck didnt I value bet the thing. Im about ready to crawl under a rock and die as it is. And too rattled still. But a pep talk from them and Karen who is also out (I'm last gal standing) settles me down. I'm in okay position heading to the final table but know there is one place that I am destined for and that is the bubble....I finish one off the bubble which to me really isn't as bad. The bubble to me is like finishing in 4th at the US marathon trials.. IT SUCKS. Three weeks in a row in live play and I'm BUBBLICIOUS or close again. But at least I'm consistent. Once I open up my game watch out.
Live play and having to deal, which is nerve wracking in and of itself has a learning curve all its own. I'll get there. Im just such a live newb. In Vegas and AC it was easy. I had dealers doing the work. I sat on my Italian hands to keep them still. I carefully thought out my decisions. I am rushing my decision making when I dont have too. But I'll seal the leaks and soldier on. Half the battle is recognizing those leaks. I've always been good at self-assessment which I feel is a skill untoo itself.
Saturday night I finally get to play the Acescracked Saturday night buyin on Pstars. AcesCracked is a forum that Ive belonged to for a while and that PAer, Shamanalinx (Bruce) is active with. I drag JBaldwin (Absolutely freerolls forum owner and blogger) to the game. I had knocked JB out of the Mookie two weeks prior and he takes his revenge on me when once again i am short stacked after trying to take a stand against a thief of my BBs round after round. The thief happens to be the league champ and my first time playing him I might add. Ill get it all figured out eventually. Ray from my live league, has stopped by to watch my debacle (UGH). After Im out( 5th of 6th) I watch his $25buy-in sng on stars which he takes down with some very nice aggressive play. No wonder he has qualifed for the Main event two times. That performance inspires me so much that I makes some quick changes in my game and go on to take down a small win on Titan with about 33 in it recouping the stars buyin. I also go deep in a $4.40 180 person sng on stars but miss the top 18 finishing around 30th or so.
Last night I am still feeling frisky so I play the $10 RVP buyin. Lou Krieger who is my lucky penny is in the field and we all final table. Down to five and into the money, Lou tries to raise my BB when I am the short stack(not by much) in 5th with a rag ace and I have AK. I raise him all in he has me outchipped and I win the hand. Now donkey play by others gets all of us even stacked. Lou goes out 5th. DCI starts on a rush and I go out in 4th after going card dead and the blinds took their toll as everyones M is crap. At least I am ending the week with a profit on-line that I think covered my live game too.
Tonite I ended with two final tables and in the money on both (4th and 7th) so Im feeling like Im back on track. I know what I need to do to seal the leaks that sprung and September is around the corner as is my two year poker anniversary. Im up to well over 30 MTT wins now (I stopped counting really but figure im up around 35 or so) I have wins at NLHE, Omaha 8 and Omaha HI and I still am the most horrible stud player in the world. Ah well it keeps me honest and humble.