I final tabled and cashed in my first MATH last nite finishing in 4th. What was even cooler was that my gal pal LJ also final tabled and finished 3rd. When was the last time two women made the cash and FT at the same time in the MATH? Probably never.
I have mentioned before that I only started playing the MATH when it moved to Full Tilt and became part of the BBT. The 10 PM start time was a little late for me. Coupled with the $20 buy-in when on Pokerstars and not a huge bankroll on-line after the Neteller fiasco I had to come to grips with the fact that the MATH buy-in would be 10-20% of my stars bankroll and a potentially expensive learning curve that could deplete my funds.
Now I missed the first few weeks of the BBT as I was in a bit of a funk back in February and March. Live Play was my focus, I was down on on-line play and to be honest I didn't feel like playing much at all. Now the MATH move to Full-Tilt opened up options to us (even with the higher $26 buyin) in the post UIGEA arena with the ability to satellite in for $8.80 at the 18 man SNG's and then the addition of the token frenzy for $6.50. And I had a re-newed focus on continuing to improve at this game that I've pretty much been successful at since the get-go.
Ive moved up the ranks from freeroller to low buy-in forum grinder. Up until last August my biggest buy-in was $10 on-line once a month or so and the occasional $20 buyin on-line. That changed after my Vegas trip last year and my live league play began. I finally met my buddy Trent who I knew from the Poker Analysis forum and who only lived a short hop up the Northway. I missed season I of the APL but after Vegas I wanted to play more live and with a change of work schedule that would allow me to get up to Ft Edward with time to spare and no speeding tickets (well I got one) I was able to join up the league.
Trent (aka LGkeeper) invited me to a home game at his house last August to meet a couple of people that would be playing in the league. I met Karen that nite and I met Ray aka Snake5970. I had never dealt before and was nervous, I was tight. I made the final table and bubbled after doubling up when I pushed all in against Snakes raise with QT when he had AK and I spiked a ten on the flop and one on the river. I wanted to bust his ass for two reasons (even if my move was a bit hee hawish in retrospect) he had qualified for the Main Event two years running and had just gotten back, and he had found it humorous that I had gotten blown off by a guy right before my Vegas trip. Even though I laughed back and said I know that's ridonkulous (the situation) he irritated me. (little did I know he was laughing with me as we kind of had the same thing happen).
We had two pre-season live games which I went deep in final tabling both times. For whatever reason I decided that Ray was a good guy even if he teased me from time to time. So I did what I had never done before, after I busted out I marched over to him and handed him my phone number. He had kind of taken me under his wing without me even asking him too even though I probably irritated the hell out of him in my shrill Jennifer Tillyish perky voice. Of course the fact that I also have her chest and youthful appearance also cancelled out any of the negatives. And my game began to improve rapidly with his coaching, cajoling and on the flip side his game got better too.
I came close to winning a seat for the Aussie Millions, I final tabled a seat for the Ultimate Poker Classic. I was getting closer and closer to bigger scores but they were slipping away. Ray was trying to teach me aggression to over-come my girly poker tendencies but I didn't think I was getting it. I went on a down-ward spiral the last few weeks of the APL in live play even though I cashed in my first Mookie on-line. The next turning point was I shot an email to Lucko21 after reading a round-table discussion that he hand Fuel55 and Matt Matros had done with CC. His reply albeit non-specific helped big time with the girly poker thing.
And then Neteller went AWOL on us Americans and Ray had some unfinished business to take care of and wasn't playing much poker at all, and APL was over till the fall. I was without most of my bankroll and my coach and best guy friend, heck make that someone who had become one of my best friends. Welcome to IG's funkytown. I'm a player and after a couple of months of I'll play when I want and stick to live I snapped out of my funk in April after my trip to Foxwoods.
I final tabled the Blogger Bracelet Race at the end of April. Another Mookie cash and FT. I had started playing the MATH and would go deep but would fall short. I even made my first Blogger Big Game and played solid making little more then the points. I had started making more aggressive moves (some really really aggressive moves on re-steals some worked some didn't). I opened up my hand ranges. It was all coming together just not always at the same time, I was doing bigger buyins (Mookie, River Chasers, BBG, and MATH were my focus) and cashing bigger just not as often Still nothing major but instead of $50-70 scores I was usually pulling down $100-$250 (on a $10-$20 buy-in).I'm getting myself in position to win, I'm just not getting the overall win. I also had Ray back working we me, but I was also working with him. In the two months he was away from the game he had noticed that mine had completely changed. I basically feel his strengths are my weaknesses and mine his. Together we have an almost perfect game.
I started the BBT late and had to scramble to get twenty in as I was bouncing down in the basement of qualifying by points. I finished up strong. Hoyazo remarked that I didn't slide in to the top 50, I played my way in. After Gigli'ing the Blogger Big game after a set over set debacle I finished up at 38th (I was 35th going into the finale).
And last nite after an hour of no results playing small-ball poker and missed flops and being card dead, I looked down to 99 right before the break and pushed all in against Buddy Dank's AK and the IG held. After the break I worked my stack up to a mid stack. And then I did what I knew I had to do. I needed to go on the Counter-offensive to the big stack (Astin at the time). He was open raising with his big stack from any position. I remembered the WPT where either Hoyt Corkins or Dewey Tomko started moving in to take position away from the Aggressor. I also invoked the KOD rule on my BB. I will admit that on a couple of occasions I didn't even look/care what my cards were. I moved in because I knew that was the right move at the time against the player I was playing in the heads-up situation.
And it payed off. I got lucky a couple of times. I gave some chips back but I final tabled and finished 4th playing for first. (I got a little crazy at the end). I had commented to LJ in girly chat that I wasn't giving up at any point and it was kind of sucky that she was in the SB when I was in the BB and we had to tangle with each other. And then a blogger who I really respect and like popped up in chat (he was railing after he got knocked out) and paid me a huge compliment and that made my day even though I didn't win. Sometimes the improvement comes in baby steps sometimes it comes in leaps in bounds. Sometimes the pieces are all there and its just a matter of putting them all together. That's kind of the way I feel right now about my game. I know I can keep improving and working on things but on any given day I am a contender.
My goals for next year (I'll be playing three years in late September):
1) Make a concerted effort to become a cash game player. Snake transitioned nicely in Vegas where he still is (rarely played cash before) and I know MiamiDon is a wealth of info (and another good friend to boot)
2) Score a cash in the $5k range in one event either live or online. After winning $1165 in one live event ($100 buy-in) $50-$60 is peanuts.
3) Win a blogger event!!! MATH, MOOKIE OR BLOGGER BIG GAME...
4) Invest in PokerTracker or Poker Office to log my results. I really really really need to take notes instead of keeping stuff in my head. This will be paramount for ring game success.
5) Do a SNG ladder challenge for myself ala Blinders.
I'm still kind of limited to my on-line bankroll which is spread out over a bunch of sites. I'm sitting on $315 in tourney credits on Bodog which I hope I can make something happen with in some of the bigger tourneys. Hopefully, the next few days will see Neteller announce that we can sign in and move our money. I'm a little concerned because one of the arrestees plead guilty. I wonder if they will release the money now knowing he admitted to pleading guilty. From what I have heard they have to release the money in order to be able to resume trading on the London Stock Exchange.
Enough of the boring retrospective.
And Congratulations to Lucko21 who is sitting on a playable chip stack moving on to Day 2B of the 2007 WSOP Main Event. He lost a big coin flip right as the clock wound down to end his day 1 play.