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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The beauty of AQ - a tale from Bregenz

Just came back from the €200 rebuy tournament in Bregenz. This one had all drama this kind of tournament can have. Fast rewind to yesterday afternoon.

I had decided to take the train to Bregenz as it was just more relaxing and the main station is directly next to the casino and the hotel. I had to work that day so I took a train that would arrive about one hour before the tournament starts. Plenty of time for the hotel check-in and changing clothes (you need a shirt and a jacket for the casino). Well, not really "plenty of time"! First I missed the subway and therefore almost missed the train. Shortly after the train went on to Bregenz they announced that due to some construction work there will be a delay of about 30-40 minutes. Damn! To make it worse the train itself had some technical problems and stopped several times. I think if I hadn't already sent the buy-in I would have gone home. It felt like the whole day was ruined and nothing works out correctly. Bad mood to play a tournament (especially a rebuy tournament). So I tried to calm down. I enjoyed some good food in the train, read my adapted version of Fuel55's "Dannenemann Sheet" which starts with "You're here to have fun...". Now I was starting to focus on the game again. I called the casino that I may be late and the told me that this is no problem because my seat will be reserved. I took a nap and enjoyed the outside scenery which is really nice in that area (especially as you approach the Bodensee).
Finally we arrived in Bregenz and even with the delay I had time for the hotel check in. Back on track.

Met Sindbad (the winner of the openBC tournament) and some other guys there. Nice crowd. They were fully booked and with the alternates we had about 155 players after the 2-hour rebuy period. I was card-dead as always in Bregenz but was able to increase my stack slowly but consistently. I didn't play to much hands in that time but it was still remarkable that I never had to show my cards at any time. They were heavily contested sometimes but they never went to a showdown. Looks my aggression factor has increased since my last Vegas trip. Talking about Vegas I was really surprised about the level of play here in Bregenz. There are a lot of "regulars" here that play very often. But I saw a lot of crappy play (pushing pairs with an ace on the board, pushing middle pairs, going all-in with nothing). It went a little better after the rebuy period but still there was alot of odd play. I took the add-on but never had to rebuy and still was in a decent shape.

Our table was in a side part of the poker room (usually used for BJ tables) and I was somewhat disappointed that this most probably would be one of the first tables to be broken. It turned out that I was wrong an indeed it became the second to last table. I wasn't forced to move due to table balance so I stayed at may table in a good seat for the whole tournament. There was only one time during the 7th and 8th level were I felt uncomfortable as I had a really big stack to my left. But fortunately he got moved somewhat later.

So what's that all about AQ? Well, the AQ part started after the rebuy period was over. I lost a good chunk of chips as I missed my flops for several times and became severly short stacked. Finally picked up AQ, went all-in and got called by JJ. A lucky Q on the river saved me and I stayed in the game. From there I hit some really good cards and was able to increase my stack to about double the average. The fun part is that whenever I played AQ and I got them about 5-6 times in a playable position I made some kind of a hand or was in front against an all-in. This became a running gag at the table especially as I severly hit a stack that just arrived and couldn't succeed against my AQ with his pair of nines ("We should have told you to fold against his AQ's")
But the best of all the AQ stories was this one: I limped from early position with AQ and the BB just checked. Only me and the BB. Flop came TJK for a straight (all rags). The BB bet and I called, turn was blank, BB bet again and I called. The river brought a Jack. The BB checked and I raised him all-in. He called and showed Jx for a set of Jacks. This guy went nuts on how I could call all his bets till the river. He obviously wasn't realizing that he was already beaten on the flop with the first Jack.

Finally we went down to two tables. The prizepool was about €78,200 and 15 got paid with places 11-15 getting a flat €782,- each.
Play went tighter and tighter and the blinds increased more and more. The structure of the tournament is great (half hour blinds increasing only 50% for the most part). But at this time the tournament was already in it's 7th hour and the blinds had gone to 4,000/8,000 (no ante) with an average stack of about 50-60K.
We lost the next players quite fast as we had some real short stacks on both tables but it took us more than half an hour to eliminate the bubble-boy. In that time the blinds increased to 6,000/12,000 and my stack of 50K was melting down to about 25K. As we got to 16 players I made a decision for myself: Knowing that I invested only €400,- but would get €786,- for 15th place I decided that I don't wanted to be the bubble-boy on this one. I would take my stand with a valueable hand (we had a short stack who folded JJ against a standard raise ... I wouldn't have gone so far). Most times it had been easy folds because I got nothing, was out of position or faced a raise with a medicore hand (e.g. 55). Usually I would have played it much more aggressively here but I wanted to make it into the money.
And finally the bubble bursted :-))) shortly after that I went all-in with my last 7,000 with KQ and got called by AQ and KJ. The ace high won and I was out on 15th place. Despite other times I busted I didn't feel depressed about busting out here. As said before I made the decision to secure the money knowing that this will most probably cost me a shot on bigger money (11th place would have been around €1,500,-). So I was happy about the outcome and mentaly exhausted after exactly 8 hours of play. I have to look it up but I'm sure this is my longest tourney ever. I played cash game for 18 hours once and it wasn't as exhausting as this one. I wouldn't have found my room number if I hadn't written it down as my brain was totally mashed up (it was 4:30 am in the morning when I busted).

Was I lucky or just not unlucky? Of course! You have to be lucky one or the other times to go that deep. But I think I played a good tournament with no severe mistakes. So luck wasn't the only factor.

I got exactly one hour of sleep before I had to wake up. I enjoyed a nice breakfast went to the train and got back to work in Munich. I had some wait-time in Lindau and realized that we have the 23rd of August ... the date the first issue of the "Deutsches Pokermagazin" will be available. So I went to the news store and tried to find it. After a while I spotted it next to some chess magazins in the cultural section. Buying it at 7:25 am in the morning I was most probably one of the first buyers :-)))
Originally I planned to sleep in the train - but you can imagine what I did? Yes, I read the "Poker Magazin" ... and I really like it. Interesting stories from good authors (e.g. Michael Keiner). They only have to polish their grammar a little as I stumbled across some things (and I'm far from beeing an expert in that area). But I think the will get this done and I wish them all the success they need to keep it a regular magazin (will be issued every two months for €4,60).

Trust me I will sleep very early and very good tonight. With the win in Bregenz either Schenefeld or the Austrian Classics are an option now. But I have to check the travel possibilities first.


Fuel55 5:03 PM  

I wanna read the SHadow SHEET!

Shadow 5:47 PM  

In the mindset section I added:
- Take your time, allways
- Dont play your cards only, you're playing with human people

In the position section I'm a little looser so I use AK instead of AKs and I removed the "Don’t go more than two orbits without playing a hand"

In the moves section I removed the "large pots" and it reads now "Avoid large stacks as much as possible"
I added: "You never go broke if you don't go all-in against a bigger stack"

I'm using the "Statistical Considerations" and "The Vicious Truth" but left out the rest to really mak it a single sheet.

You see most credit still belongs to you but I needed some tweaks for myself (feel free to use them if you like them).


thecortster 6:47 PM  

Congrats Shadow!

Anonymous,  7:53 AM  

Hallo Harald,

scheint ein nettes Spiel gewesen zu sein. Irgendwann musst Du mich mal mit zu einem Poker-Turnier nehmen.. Vielleicht können wir auch mal ein paar Runden Black-Jack irgendwo spielen..
Ich bin zur Zeit in Shanghai, falls Du also mal Lust hast in Macao zu spielen, können wir uns dort treffen, ich muss die nächsten Wochen sowieso mal nach Hongkong.

Viele Grüße aus Shanghai
Andreas (aus SW :-))

Shadow 10:16 AM  

Hallo Andreas,
jetzt weiß ich wenigstens wer der Leser aus Peking war der da plötzlich in meiner Statistik aufgetaucht ist ;-))

Klar, nachdem es immer mehr Turiere gibt läßt sich da bestimmt was einrichten. Melde DIch einfach wenn Du wieder da bist.


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