Last week saw me finish 9th after about an 8 week hiatus from club play. I returned last nite for another fix of live poker. Now that the Adirondack Poker League is over (and for me its for good as I have bigger fish to fry), I'm starting to head down Sunday nights to Upstate NY's version of Salami. I've decided to concentrate on SNGS online (Two wins in a row: one in an out of my element Fixed limit O8 tourney another in a turbo NL SNG on stars both small stakes) since its less of a commitment of time vs MTT's. And I don't have to play for hours only to take a ridiculous beat where I go from hero to zero in the course of two suckouts. The new Pokerstars Battle of the Planets leaderboards got me thinking about challenging myself to a SNG block. But I digress.
Snake called me to see if I was heading down and if he could pick me up or tag along as hes only been there once and that was back in September for the big game. Plus, they are holding a live WSOP satellite this Sunday and he wanted to get a feel for some of the players before then. He just cant wait to get back for his fourth stab at the Main Event(he is currently sitting on a Step 5 on pokerstars per his update). I figured since he would probably stay to play cash if he busted earlier then I, I'd take my own car as I have to work in the AM and he is a man of leisure. Plus that way he'd remember how to get there himself. The club is a good hour away for him but closer then TROCK but its just 20 minutes for IG_E_BABEE.
When I got there this week Chad says "IG, I was reading your blog and was looking for WSOP logos and found this gals blog and as I was reading thru I saw pictures of you and I said WOW that's IG (okay so he used my real name)". So, I explained that that I have met many of you folks linked to my page and that we meet in Vegas twice a year and a few other places too. Many of my club mates don't play a lick of online poker and have no idea what a blog is and its something I don't even talk about. Snake looks around the room to notice its increased size and says I know that guy from TROCK and Ive seen that guy there too. And his eyes got was wide as the deer he hunts when he looked over at the cash games (I honestly think he'd rather bust out of the tourney and go play cash). I point out a few of the players and my reads on them for him in case hes seated with them. I then lick my lips and toss out an imaginary fishing line and reel it in and Snake starts cracking up.
While Snake rails the cash games getting info for later, Hank and I chat it up with a few others. Hank laughs and says "Why are you looking at me when you say Donator"?? and I laughed and said "Not you Hank, that one and that one". Lucky me I got them at my table again. WOOT
So this is how it kind of went down. I have a young gun Matt on my right. He had finished 2nd to Jason last week. So he remembers me and I him. Other then he I dont really see much competition. There is another woman who I never played that after two hands I realize shes a chaser. I ask Matt if my read is on and hes like YUP.. Another dude is an okay player, really quiet though and seems to be annoyed at the world in general. I love those players. Two old calling stations: one I busted last week (feeling a little guilty that I was taking an old guys pension check), and the other, who is the better of the two (and who actually final tables this week) I had taken a ton of chips off him last week, but then he got lucky a few times and hit his hands on others and got paid off by people who didnt realize he wont lay down a hand. (Kind of like a few of the Adirondack league players).
I play not one hand the first orbit. I even fold the hated KJ when it got around to me as there were already to many cooks in the pot. I didn't know enough about a few of my table mates and there are certain things I look for which takes a few hands to pick up on. Plus there was no raising, it was a family pot, if i raised it would get called only to make a bigger pot. Let one of the donks get the chips and then isolate later.. As it turned out I would have hit two pair but it would have been second two pair as someone limped with AJ and then the winner of the hand sucked out a flush.
I enter my first pot with 66. I limp early. I get raised and there is at least one other caller and I think two before it comes around to me... I call.. The flop runs out A6x rainbow. I am first to act and check on a rainbow board. The raiser fires, another call, we lose one and I call. Turn is a K a beautiful card for me as I am sure no one has KK or AA for a bigger set and their AK KQ, etc are toast. I bet and get two calls.. the river is the 4th 6.. DQB ALL YOU CAN EAT BABY. I pushed in and stacked one of the other players and had most of the others chips..I am up to over T17000.
The rest of the nite goes like this..I bust someone who I correctly place on either AK or a small pair. I was the preflop raiser with QQ. If I lose it dents me a bit. I tank for a bit and decide its worth the gamble and based on table dynamics if I lose a hand I can easily get some back. The Ladies hold. I am over 20k really early.. I add on for the $3k additional chips even though I dont need them (it gives me a few orbits to relax or play a little looser), I call a limp with 22 hit a set on a board of AT2 with two hearts. This time I fire at the pot and get two callers along for the ride. I bust both. I watch one of the old guys check quad queens first his set then the 4th card, and think this is not a friendly game and remember Tilly checking her full house on Poker After Dark. The overall dynamic is People arent raising, its limp city and no one knows a lick about pot odds or proper bet-sizing or stealing or what pot committing themselves is, and it is just glorious.
Matt, who is pretty healthy, but a little jealous, looks at me and says "Dang you are getting great value on your hands". I had another hand where one of the old guys (the quad checker) wouldnt lay down pocket 6's on a board with at least 3 if not 4 overs. Got paid off good there. I was definitely in the live poker zone and playing good if not great poker. I did fold A4 on my deal instead of just limping. I'm a little superstitious after dealing myself out of three weeks of the Adirondack Poker league. Had I limped I would have hit my four and then nailed trips by the river. Another hand kind of went that way too.
Matt gets moved and says good luck I dont want to get moved from this table it is so easy to run over. The dude who won the big game in September, was at another table. He had acquired 80k and I was probably second chip stack for a good portion of the early middle and early late stages. Snake had busted out and was on the cash tables and was up $200 pretty quickly, got up another $200 and lost a $200 pot on a suck-out.
I get to the final table in the top 5 chip stack wise. I had lost two flips prior to the Final table which dented me a bit but I was still really healthy. I mean how often do you have a final table stack about 4 levels in to a tourney where you can ride it for all its worth? One of the coinflips I lost was when I raised with 55 to about 5k. Tony, Matt's friend, another good young players pushes in for another $7200with what was AK. I loose the flip when he rivers his card. I also lost a flip with KQ suited. Think I was either dominated with one of the cards or I lost against a weaker holding who caught. (I really need to write down key live hands when I play). In neither hand was I a huge dog and probably was a slight favor in both hands I lost.
My biggest mistake at the Final table other then the one that knocked me out was folding a pair of 77's. I would have hit a set and probably knocked at least one and severely dented if not knocked out another player. Blinds were pretty high and I figured too high to set mine and I didnt want to jam there with 77.
Since I'm running out of steam here, suffice it to say.. I finished 4th for $320 running Q9 into KK (first was close to a grand, 3rd was $420 and 2nd about $650). I would rate my overall play an 8, my reads almost a ten on people. I never put myself at jeopardy to lose a big hand, I think I was good at my bet sizing especially when I knew I was going to get paid. I easily picked up who bet $600 into a $3000 pot giving me 5:1 to chase the flush to the river and then pay me off. I could have taken a few more chances at the final table but all in all I did pretty well and even stole at the right time and right spot.
I was exhausted and my brain was tired when I left. Snake left up just under $200 after tips and tokes and his tourney buy-in. He'll be back for that live WSOP satellite on Sunday which I am sitting out, as I will probably be doing one if not two MaxCreek shows this weekend. But I am thinking of sneaking out of work early and heading down Thursday and may show up to rail for a bit on Sunday plus its always good for gathering info on player..
7 trips to the club: 4 Final tables, best finish I believe is the 4th I had last nite, 1 money bubble (KK into AA into AK at the big game. I remember it like it was yesterday and it still hurts a tad). Not bad stats in fields that average 48-70 players with the big game at 130 and the best players in the area. I'm taking this down soon.