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Monday, November 19, 2007

Two more tournaments and no cash

On Saturday I played both of the tournaments at the poker-club. The first one ($10 Rebuy) was fairly small with just 20 players. I managed to become the chipleader at the end of the rebuy period (taking one rebuy and the add-on). Unfortunately I wasn't able to keep up with pace of the blinds and I went out in 10th position with three places paid.

Before the evening tournament (the $50 freezeout) I played an hour of 1/2 PL and again had this "out-of-turn-checking" guy at my table. While I was able to pump up my initial €100 buy-in to about €160 at my peak I finally lost a big pot to this guy.

With KK in the blinds I announced pot for a maximum raise. I got two callers including my nemesis (who had originally called from UTG). Flop was 469 with two spades. I bet about three quarters of the pot, one player folded but Mr. "I-have-to-pay-this" called again. Turn was a J of hearts and I bet another three quarters just to be called again. River was a four of spades. That wasn't good. But I had only a small portion of my stack left and was committed anyway. So I went all-in, got a quick call and was showed 78 of spades.

While it makes some sense tho call my bet here on the flop with a big draw I don't get it that he was involved in the hand at all (after I bet maximum before the flop), still stick to his hand on the turn and wasn't afraid of his opponent holding a bigger flush. Playing any two suited or any facecards and calling them down for the lucky hit later cost him his tournament life in the freezeout.

But there is another interesting story about this guy. We were involved in another hand during the cash game were I was holding top pair with ace kicker on a Kd-6h-Td-9d board. He had only called my bets till the 9 of diamonds on the turn. But as he bet the turn I was smelling a rat here and folded. He then showed QJ of diamonds for a straight flush. While the straight-flush gave him an additional €100 bonus from the house, betting the turn was the most silly thing he could have done. He had the nuts anyway but if an ace of diamonds would have hit on the river he would have gotten the big jackpot for a royal flush wich was I think about 20 times what he got for his straight-flush.

The €50 freezeout went quite good for me in the beginning and I brought my initial stack from 8,000 to 12,000. Unfortunately I made a critical mistake by overplaying a hand that I could have avoided. That hand brought me down to 8,000 again and out of the comfort zone with blinds at 200/400. Somehow I managed to stick in the game (even busting some shortstacks) and made it to the final table. Still shortstacked I was in survivale-mode but was able to bust another small-stack buying me another round of playing time.

Finally the moment of truth came with AJs in the big blind. A little earlier (with two tables left) the chipleader (about 5 times of the average) came to our table. Obviously this guy wasn't only lucky to get that much chips. He was indeed a fairly good player who also knew how to bully the table with his stack. While I avoided confrontations with this guy as good as possible, I was faced with a big bet from him (that would have made me pot comitted) while I was holding AT in the big blind. I was quite sure that he didn't have a monster here but it just wasn't the time and the place for someting that was a 50/50 chance at best. So I open folded my AT after I had taken a good amount of time. Now, at the final table it was us two again. As said before I had AJs this time and had 18,600 left (including my big blind of 4,000). I prayed for no raise in front of me but that was exactly what the chipleader did. He made it 16,000 and I had again a tough decision. We were 7 players left. 6th gets a bubble-ticket worth €50 and 5th place gets €92. I was on life support with a good hand anyway but what made it an easy all-in for me was that I felt that something wasn't right with the picture. Something told me that this was a clear steal. I wen't all-in and I could see from his face that I caught him here. Of course he had to pay the remaining 2,500 and showed T8 for two live cards. Flop was 972 for a perfect straight draw for him. Turn was another 9 and the river paired his hand with an 8. Oh, no! Out on 7th of 32 players.

On my way back home I decided that some changes in my play are required. In general I am fairly satisfied but I have one big loophole as I usually lose connection to the average or big stacks somewere in the middle stages of a tournament. Analyzing my play I came up with some reasons for that. These changes will most probably result in either earlier exits somwere in the middle stages of the tournaments or getting me bigger stacks going into the last tables. And, no ... I won't tell you which changes these are. You have to find out on your own ;-)


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