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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Poker Friday with no cashes

First I went to Salzburg to take a shot at the €100 Freezout at the Poker-Club. This is a real deep-stack tournament with 10,000 start chips and blinds starting at 15/30 (20 min levels, later down to 12 min).

Waiting for the start of the tournament I heard somebody saying to me "I recognize this face" Uh? "...from openBC (Xing)" Ah! Indeed it was a guy I know from the poker group at Xing. I was somewhat surprised because I thought for some reason that he was from Vienna. But he told me that he lives in Salzburg and comes to the Poker-Club from time to time. Unfortunately we had been seated at different tables so I couldn't see him play.

I was able to pick up two small pots early and then everything went wrong. I got good and decent starting hands but they never connected to the flop. I had to fold to bets or raises and even continuation bets didn't get much respect here. This is one of the seldom times were proper raises will hurt you more than dumb calls. Therefore my stack was slowly shrinking and shrinking. With about 6,000 chips left and the blinds at 200/400 it was time to think about a good all-in bet. Unfortunately at this time I didn't get any more good or decent hands. A2 and A6 (in early position) was the best I got ... and I wasn't desperate enough to play those at this time. Finally I was able to play KQ in late and 88 in middle position to pick up the blinds. At the 300/600 level it was now time for "Any Ace". I was in the small blind, one caller, went all-in with 6,300 chips (A8 of spades). Big-blind went all-in for 300 more. I was happy about that as she later showed A7 of diamonds. Unfortunately the caller in late position decided to call both of our bets with AKo. Of course no spade and no 8 but a King hit the board. Out on 22nd position. The mosty funny part of the evening was the TV-Kid next to me. After looking at his cards he arranged them side-by-side like on TV (putting them on an imaginary glass for the cam). And before folding he again looked at his cards like on TV (each card on his own) and then moved them into the muck the TV way.

Back home I prepared myself for the first FTOPS III game at FullTilt. The $200,000 guarantee was topped by almost another $200,000 as 1,922 players paid the $200+16 buy-in. First prize was about $70,000. Several FullTilt Pro's like Erik Seidel, Mike Matusow and others joined the crowd. Bracelet winner Rafe Furst was the unfortunate FullTilt Pro who busted quite early as the first of the Pro's. My game went similar to the game at the Poker-Club ... folding good and decent hands because of bad or scary flops. The toughest fold was JJ. There was a raiser in MP. I re-raised to three bet from the small-blind and he called. Flop was QT7. I bet half the pot and he re-raised three times my bet. He never showed his hand but despite this was a stone cold bluff it could only be AA, KK, QQ, TT ... whatever my JJ's weren't good with that flop facing this bet. With blinds of 50/100 and 1,600 left I raised 99 on the button and was re-raised again. I think I played well for the whole night so far (just the cards didn't fell right) but here I made a crucial mistake. I was somewhat tired about being pushed off good hands and decided to take a stand here. Went all-in ... and he showed Aces! The flop was great for me: 678. I got 10 outs, a 40% chance of winning against pocket aces. But a 4 on the turn and a King on the river destroyed all my hopes. Went out on 1701st position just around the same time as Barny Boatman.

So I added another $20+2 SnG for my online challenge. This one went much better in the beginning. I was able to catch some nice trips with A3 and 22 in two rounds in a row due to weak pre-flop betting of my opponents. These are the hands that pay-off big because they are unexpected. Unfortunately later I caught those kinds of hands that get expensive if they don't connect with the flop: I got AK of spades two times in a row (first from EP then from the BB) and no other spade, no Ace and no King hit the board. This put a big dent in my stack. My last hand was a perfect ending for a cruel day: raised with KJ one off the button. The button calls. Flop comes 996. I bet half the pot and he calls again. Turn is a Jack. Being sure that he doesn't have trip nines it was time for action ... went all-in with what was left from my once decent stack, he called and showed JJ. Out on 66th position ... and good night folks.


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