Monday, August 21, 2006

Atlantic City trip

I spent the weekend in AC with some other League members and had a blast. My weekends in AC always follow the same pattern. Play poker, play poker, player poker, eat, sleep as little as the human body can stand, play more poker, eat, go home. Sometimes I vary it. I eat less.

Because I was there specifically on a League trip, I played almost all tournaments rather than the normal 1-2 NL I would usually play. I did pretty well, placing 22nd out of about 85 in one tourney and placing 2nd out of 31 in another. The third tourney was a bust when Michael Brown busted me early on with his AA vs. my 77.

I only made three big mistakes during the weekend.
Mistake #1: I played tired. Scott and Adam wanted to play some late night craps at Caesars so I went, intending to waste time at the Pai-Gow tables. When I couldn't find one offering $25 stakes, I should have left. Instead, I went to the poker tables and sat down at a 3-6 limit game. The incredible thing is that I chose limit because I knew I was tired and couldn't lose too much! That thought alone should have sent me back to my hotel room. I did lose during the session, dropping $76 total for two hours of play. Incredibly though, my play wasn't as bad as it could have been, and had it not been for some guy sucking me out of a $100 pot with his 24 offsuit(!), I might actually have been even. In that hand, I had Ac8c in late position. A loose player in early position, who had been hitting just about everything he went in on, raised it to $6 and I limped in along with a few other people. Mr. 24 offsuit called from the small blind. It might have been a loose call on my part to come in, but at lease I had an Ace. The 24 was inexcusable. The flop came A85, with two spades. The original raiser bet out $3 and I raised to 6 with the top two pair. Mr. 24, incredibly, called and everyone else folded, including the original raiser. The turn was a harmless looking 3. Harmless looking to me that is, but it gave the moron with the 24 a wheel straight. He checked, I bet, he raised. I put him on pocket 3's with the check raise but I still had outs to win and I had to see what he had. I called and the river was harmless. He bet out again and I called just to confirm he had it. A crappy suckout.

Mistake #2: I let my familiarity with a player cause me to play incorrectly. In the second tournament the group played in, we were in the 5th blind level and I had a good sized, but not huge stack. Michael Brown was sitting on my right with a slightly large stack. I got a little frustrated with my cards when I looked down UTG at pocket 7's. I decided to take the pot and antes down and I bet 3000. The blinds were at 300/600 at this point so 3000 put just enough pressure on people that they would fold unless they had very good cards to gamble with. My assumption was that I could fold into a big re-raise if I had to and still be in OK shape. Well, everyone folded around until Michael, in the BB, pushed all in. Now, I've seen Michael do this before and it was a pretty good spot to bluff in for a good pot, especially seeing as he was already in for the Big Blind. But I let my comfort with Michael blind me to the fact that he might have the monster I was afraid of. I assumed he wouldn't try to bluff me specifically since we played in the League together. I also assumed if he had a monster he would try to slow play me instead of pulling the trigger in one shot. So I used my intuition (erroneously) to deduce that he must have a 'gambling' hand like AK or KQ or even a small pair. The right play for me at this point, even if my assumptions were correct, would be to fold because Michael could have easily dominated me with a pocket pair that beat mine like 88, 99 or TT. Instead, I called thinking he had AK and he flipped over AA. Yeesh, did I get THAT one wrong. He busted me out and I licked my wounds at the 2-4 table, where I made $67 dollars before the next tournament started.

Mistake #3: I mispriced a bet on a big hand. In the third tournament I played, I placed 2nd for a big payout. My play was nearly flawless up until I got into the heads up round. I was doing the right amount of raising and folding and all that but my opponent had a chip lead and I was going to have to ratchet up the play. With blinds at 2000/4000 and the antes at 500 each, there was 7000 in play before betting even started. I had about 40000 to his approx. 80000. While I was in the big blind, I picked up Q9 offsuit. A reasonable hand heads up but not a raising one. My opponent raised in the small blind to 10000. It was now 6000 for me to call with 15000 in the pot. I made the easy call and the flop came down with a Q and two rags. I was pretty sure, but not positive I had the best hand here. I was first to act and led out with 12000, about a half pot bet. He called! Now I know he had something but the lack of a reraise led me to believe it wasn't as good as it could have been. The turn was a 9, giving me top two pair. Now I was sure I had the best hand and I moved all in. That's where my mistake was. He went into the tank (confirming for me that he had a good, but not premium hand) and I took the pot. It was a very good pot and it kept me around for awhile, but I'm convinced if I had made another 12000 bet, he would have raised me all in. I could have doubled up and been in a much better position to win the tourney.

Regardless, I had a great time. Also, for those of you who care, the Italian restaraunt in the Showboat is excellent!

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