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Friday, May 22, 2009

Sometimes you just can't win

Went to the Masters Warmup tournament at the Oceanscard Casino near Passau. Not too bad of a structure with 10k chips and 30 min. levels. Unfortunately they still have the awful jump from 100/200 to 200/400(25) ... hope they fix this some day to make it a real good tournament. 38 players created a prizepool of €3,800 awarding six paid spots with about 1.2k for the winner.

This was a strange tournament for me. I got a lot of playable cards but beside AK two times there were no premium hands during the first levels. My highest pair was a pair of 8's. I connected to the flop sometimes but never good enough to face a strong competition. So my stack went back and forth between 8k and 13k for a long time. Already in the awful 200/400(25) level I managed to get a break. Raised it to 1,000 with KK and got an all-in from a guy with 12k. Of course he could have had aces but based on his previous plays I estimated that he was trying to protect a vulnerable hand. So I called and he showed AKo. No further help for him and I was up to 24k.

From there I took down some nice pots and peeked at 32k. In the following two levels I was rather card dead so my stack went down to 24k. Still nothing to panic about. Average at this time was 20k. Then during the 800/1,600(200) level I picked up QQ and was faced with a 9k all-in from a short-stack. Of course I called and was delighted to see his TT ... until another Ten hit on the river. Down to 16k. Now it was time to panic. No, not really ;-) But this was a real cooler. Still managed to bring my stack back to 24k again.

Finally I received AA in first position. Raised it to 4k and got a re-raise all-in from the button who had about the same amount of chips then me (24k). Of course I called and he showed QQ. Nice! Until a Queen appeared on the flop. Out in 18th position instead of being among the chipleaders with 52k. What the hell do people think I may have when I raise from UTG? Sure he couldn't re-raise with a 24k stack but he also should have put into account that I may have a real strong hand. To be honest, I loved his call ;-) only didn't like the result.

As said in the title "sometimes you just can't win". Today I played a good game with no major mistakes. There was nothing I could have made different to alter the outcome. Still it was a good training for Vegas and I am more and more comfortable with the way I play. My current style allows for a lot of play with less risk even when I don't get premium cards. Can you believe that none of my pairs improved to a set on that day? In addition this style allows to trap people easily. Unfortunately traps can fire back some times.

Most probably this was my last live game before Vegas ... just 16 more days. Starting to get excited. Don't forget that there are still shares available on Chip Me Up. Altered my plans a little. Now the final schedule includes tournaments at Caesars, Venetian and Golden Nugget.

Although I love the Caesars poker room I don't play the Mega-Stacks exclusively this year for some reasons: First is the fact that I don't like that Harrahs takes away 10k from the prizepool for a main-event seat. I would prefer that this money is distributed between those ITM. Second is that the Venetian really has improved their structure in the middle stages. It's time to test them again. In addition I found it somewhat exhausting to go to the same place over and over every day during last years trip. A change of venue is always refreshing. I also added the Golden Nugget as they offer a very good structure in relation to the buy-in.

Playing at the Golden Nugget is somewhat like coming back home for me. The Golden Nugget was the place were I played my first ever hand of poker in 2004. Being a cardcounter at that time I never expected that the game of Poker could influence my live so much. Now I only need a major cash in Las Vegas. I had some nice final tables and cashes in other places but in Vegas I still miss a big hit. Maybe this year! ;-)


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