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It's been a while...

Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008

...since my last final table of a large multi-table tournament, but it was worth it. The tournament was a $10 1r1a at Full Tilt. This means in the first hour, you can rebuy more chips, but only once, then a final option to add on at the first break.
What this means is that if you take the rebuy option straight away (which I did) you are very deep stacked early on and have a lot more freedom to play more marginal hands than you would otherwise.
I ended up 4th out of 362 players for a nice prize of $740. Not bad for a $30 entry. All things considered, with the exception of a couple of missed resteal opportunities, I don't regret any of the plays I made, and am very pleased with 4th. I'm not thinking "I could have won if I did this or that". I'm very happy with the result.
To be honest I did get dealt some good cards, and they usually came at convenient times which meant I could profit from them. For example, in one period, I had raised with good cards 2 hands in a row and everyone folded. On the 3rd hand, I get dealt AA. I raise again, and of course someone doesn't believe me and takes a stand by reraising me. Thank you! Timing is everything in poker. You may get good cards, but sometimes you don't get paid with them.
But I was also pleased at the way I played. I tried to play it carefully and thoughtfully. I didn't take any risks, or make any outrageous bluffs. So many times, I've gone out of tournaments because of a bad decision due to the fact I've not thought through enough how to play the hand properly.
There was one key hand which came fairly early on that could have put me on tilt for the rest of the tournament, and sent me crashing out early. I raised with AA and got a call from a player on the button. Flop was a harmless 2Q8. I bet just over half the pot, he calls. Turn was a 6. I bet a bit more, this time just over 3/4 of the pot. Again he just calls. What hand can he have? I suspect something like a pocket pair, AQ, KQ, maybe QJ or he has an overcard, say AJ or AT (although more unlikely). He could even be on a flush draw (there were 2 diamonds on board). River was a scarey Q. Again, I continue my line and bet out 3000 into a 4900 pot. He goes all-in. I have him slightly covered, but will be crippled if I call and lose. I did think for a while before folding. He claimed in the chat box that he had nothing and that he put me on KK. This could be true, and would be a bold move if he did, although I think he would have shown the cards if he was bluffing. This could easily have been a ploy to disrupt me and put me on tilt. I'm pleased that I didn't let this affect me as it did cost me half my stack. However, after a few blind steals over the next few orbits, I soon build it back up again.
There were also a couple of hands that I really liked the way I played. On both occasions I read my opponents for not having anything and was able to take the pot away on the river. In the first hand, I have AQs in the big blind and call a raise from middle position. Flop is 945. This is unlikely to have helped him. I check to the raiser and he makes a standard continuation bet of just under half the pot. I just call. turn is a safe 7. I check and he checks behind me. Now I know he has nothing. River is a 3. I bet 7000 into a 13,500 pot and he folds.
On the 2nd hand, I have K8 clubs in the small blind. A player limps in 1st position, I complete and the big blind checks. Flop is 98A. What could player 1 have? Well, he could be slow-playing a monster, but I'd rather discount that for now. I'll soon find out, but generally a player just calling from 1st position will have a mid to small pocket pair, maybe 2 suited cards. I doubt they have an Ace. I have paired my 8, and that may be ahead. I check, big blind checks, and player 1 bets exactly half the pot. I call with a view to re-evaluate on the turn. Turn is a 4. I check and player 1 checks. River is a 7. I lead out with a half pot bet and player 1 folds.

The whole hand history can be found here:
http://www.pokerxfactor.com/HA151428/5500 guar.txt/9050 (you need to register first).

Read Full Poker Blog Post

It's been a while...

Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008

...since my last final table of a large multi-table tournament, but it was worth it. The tournament was a $10 1r1a at Full Tilt. This means in the first hour, you can rebuy more chips, but only once, then a final option to add on at the first break.
What this means is that if you take the rebuy option straight away (which I did) you are very deep stacked early on and have a lot more freedom to play more marginal hands than you would otherwise.
I ended up 4th out of 362 players for a nice prize of $740. Not bad for a $30 entry. All things considered, with the exception of a couple of missed resteal opportunities, I don't regret any of the plays I made, and am very pleased with 4th. I'm not thinking "I could have won if I did this or that". I'm very happy with the result.
To be honest I did get dealt some good cards, and they usually came at convenient times which meant I could profit from them. For example, in one period, I had raised with good cards 2 hands in a row and everyone folded. On the 3rd hand, I get dealt AA. I raise again, and of course someone doesn't believe me and takes a stand by reraising me. Thank you! Timing is everything in poker. You may get good cards, but sometimes you don't get paid with them.
But I was also pleased at the way I played. I tried to play it carefully and thoughtfully. I didn't take any risks, or make any outrageous bluffs. So many times, I've gone out of tournaments because of a bad decision due to the fact I've not thought through enough how to play the hand properly.
There was one key hand which came fairly early on that could have put me on tilt for the rest of the tournament, and sent me crashing out early. I raised with AA and got a call from a player on the button. Flop was a harmless 2Q8. I bet just over half the pot, he calls. Turn was a 6. I bet a bit more, this time just over 3/4 of the pot. Again he just calls. What hand can he have? I suspect something like a pocket pair, AQ, KQ, maybe QJ or he has an overcard, say AJ or AT (although more unlikely). He could even be on a flush draw (there were 2 diamonds on board). River was a scarey Q. Again, I continue my line and bet out 3000 into a 4900 pot. He goes all-in. I have him slightly covered, but will be crippled if I call and lose. I did think for a while before folding. He claimed in the chat box that he had nothing and that he put me on KK. This could be true, and would be a bold move if he did, although I think he would have shown the cards if he was bluffing. This could easily have been a ploy to disrupt me and put me on tilt. I'm pleased that I didn't let this affect me as it did cost me half my stack. However, after a few blind steals over the next few orbits, I soon build it back up again.
There were also a couple of hands that I really liked the way I played. On both occasions I read my opponents for not having anything and was able to take the pot away on the river. In the first hand, I have AQs in the big blind and call a raise from middle position. Flop is 945. This is unlikely to have helped him. I check to the raiser and he makes a standard continuation bet of just under half the pot. I just call. turn is a safe 7. I check and he checks behind me. Now I know he has nothing. River is a 3. I bet 7000 into a 13,500 pot and he folds.
On the 2nd hand, I have K8 clubs in the small blind. A player limps in 1st position, I complete and the big blind checks. Flop is 98A. What could player 1 have? Well, he could be slow-playing a monster, but I'd rather discount that for now. I'll soon find out, but generally a player just calling from 1st position will have a mid to small pocket pair, maybe 2 suited cards. I doubt they have an Ace. I have paired my 8, and that may be ahead. I check, big blind checks, and player 1 bets exactly half the pot. I call with a view to re-evaluate on the turn. Turn is a 4. I check and player 1 checks. River is a 7. I lead out with a half pot bet and player 1 folds.

The whole hand history can be found here:
http://www.pokerxfactor.com/HA151428/5500 guar.txt/9050 (you need to register first).

Read Full Poker Blog Post

It's been a while...

Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008

...since my last final table of a large multi-table tournament, but it was worth it. The tournament was a $10 1r1a at Full Tilt. This means in the first hour, you can rebuy more chips, but only once, then a final option to add on at the first break.
What this means is that if you take the rebuy option straight away (which I did) you are very deep stacked early on and have a lot more freedom to play more marginal hands than you would otherwise.
I ended up 4th out of 362 players for a nice prize of $740. Not bad for a $30 entry. All things considered, with the exception of a couple of missed resteal opportunities, I don't regret any of the plays I made, and am very pleased with 4th. I'm not thinking "I could have won if I did this or that". I'm very happy with the result.
To be honest I did get dealt some good cards, and they usually came at convenient times which meant I could profit from them. For example, in one period, I had raised with good cards 2 hands in a row and everyone folded. On the 3rd hand, I get dealt AA. I raise again, and of course someone doesn't believe me and takes a stand by reraising me. Thank you! Timing is everything in poker. You may get good cards, but sometimes you don't get paid with them.
But I was also pleased at the way I played. I tried to play it carefully and thoughtfully. I didn't take any risks, or make any outrageous bluffs. So many times, I've gone out of tournaments because of a bad decision due to the fact I've not thought through enough how to play the hand properly.
There was one key hand which came fairly early on that could have put me on tilt for the rest of the tournament, and sent me crashing out early. I raised with AA and got a call from a player on the button. Flop was a harmless 2Q8. I bet just over half the pot, he calls. Turn was a 6. I bet a bit more, this time just over 3/4 of the pot. Again he just calls. What hand can he have? I suspect something like a pocket pair, AQ, KQ, maybe QJ or he has an overcard, say AJ or AT (although more unlikely). He could even be on a flush draw (there were 2 diamonds on board). River was a scarey Q. Again, I continue my line and bet out 3000 into a 4900 pot. He goes all-in. I have him slightly covered, but will be crippled if I call and lose. I did think for a while before folding. He claimed in the chat box that he had nothing and that he put me on KK. This could be true, and would be a bold move if he did, although I think he would have shown the cards if he was bluffing. This could easily have been a ploy to disrupt me and put me on tilt. I'm pleased that I didn't let this affect me as it did cost me half my stack. However, after a few blind steals over the next few orbits, I soon build it back up again.
There were also a couple of hands that I really liked the way I played. On both occasions I read my opponents for not having anything and was able to take the pot away on the river. In the first hand, I have AQs in the big blind and call a raise from middle position. Flop is 945. This is unlikely to have helped him. I check to the raiser and he makes a standard continuation bet of just under half the pot. I just call. turn is a safe 7. I check and he checks behind me. Now I know he has nothing. River is a 3. I bet 7000 into a 13,500 pot and he folds.
On the 2nd hand, I have K8 clubs in the small blind. A player limps in 1st position, I complete and the big blind checks. Flop is 98A. What could player 1 have? Well, he could be slow-playing a monster, but I'd rather discount that for now. I'll soon find out, but generally a player just calling from 1st position will have a mid to small pocket pair, maybe 2 suited cards. I doubt they have an Ace. I have paired my 8, and that may be ahead. I check, big blind checks, and player 1 bets exactly half the pot. I call with a view to re-evaluate on the turn. Turn is a 4. I check and player 1 checks. River is a 7. I lead out with a half pot bet and player 1 folds.

The whole hand history can be found here:
http://www.pokerxfactor.com/HA151428/5500 guar.txt/9050 (you need to register first).

Read Full Poker Blog Post

It's been a while...

Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008

...since my last final table of a large multi-table tournament, but it was worth it. The tournament was a $10 1r1a at Full Tilt. This means in the first hour, you can rebuy more chips, but only once, then a final option to add on at the first break.
What this means is that if you take the rebuy option straight away (which I did) you are very deep stacked early on and have a lot more freedom to play more marginal hands than you would otherwise.
I ended up 4th out of 362 players for a nice prize of $740. Not bad for a $30 entry. All things considered, with the exception of a couple of missed resteal opportunities, I don't regret any of the plays I made, and am very pleased with 4th. I'm not thinking "I could have won if I did this or that". I'm very happy with the result.
To be honest I did get dealt some good cards, and they usually came at convenient times which meant I could profit from them. For example, in one period, I had raised with good cards 2 hands in a row and everyone folded. On the 3rd hand, I get dealt AA. I raise again, and of course someone doesn't believe me and takes a stand by reraising me. Thank you! Timing is everything in poker. You may get good cards, but sometimes you don't get paid with them.
But I was also pleased at the way I played. I tried to play it carefully and thoughtfully. I didn't take any risks, or make any outrageous bluffs. So many times, I've gone out of tournaments because of a bad decision due to the fact I've not thought through enough how to play the hand properly.
There was one key hand which came fairly early on that could have put me on tilt for the rest of the tournament, and sent me crashing out early. I raised with AA and got a call from a player on the button. Flop was a harmless 2Q8. I bet just over half the pot, he calls. Turn was a 6. I bet a bit more, this time just over 3/4 of the pot. Again he just calls. What hand can he have? I suspect something like a pocket pair, AQ, KQ, maybe QJ or he has an overcard, say AJ or AT (although more unlikely). He could even be on a flush draw (there were 2 diamonds on board). River was a scarey Q. Again, I continue my line and bet out 3000 into a 4900 pot. He goes all-in. I have him slightly covered, but will be crippled if I call and lose. I did think for a while before folding. He claimed in the chat box that he had nothing and that he put me on KK. This could be true, and would be a bold move if he did, although I think he would have shown the cards if he was bluffing. This could easily have been a ploy to disrupt me and put me on tilt. I'm pleased that I didn't let this affect me as it did cost me half my stack. However, after a few blind steals over the next few orbits, I soon build it back up again.
There were also a couple of hands that I really liked the way I played. On both occasions I read my opponents for not having anything and was able to take the pot away on the river. In the first hand, I have AQs in the big blind and call a raise from middle position. Flop is 945. This is unlikely to have helped him. I check to the raiser and he makes a standard continuation bet of just under half the pot. I just call. turn is a safe 7. I check and he checks behind me. Now I know he has nothing. River is a 3. I bet 7000 into a 13,500 pot and he folds.
On the 2nd hand, I have K8 clubs in the small blind. A player limps in 1st position, I complete and the big blind checks. Flop is 98A. What could player 1 have? Well, he could be slow-playing a monster, but I'd rather discount that for now. I'll soon find out, but generally a player just calling from 1st position will have a mid to small pocket pair, maybe 2 suited cards. I doubt they have an Ace. I have paired my 8, and that may be ahead. I check, big blind checks, and player 1 bets exactly half the pot. I call with a view to re-evaluate on the turn. Turn is a 4. I check and player 1 checks. River is a 7. I lead out with a half pot bet and player 1 folds.

The whole hand history can be found here:
http://www.pokerxfactor.com/HA151428/5500 guar.txt/9050 (you need to register first).

Read Full Poker Blog Post

It's been a while...

Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008

...since my last final table of a large multi-table tournament, but it was worth it. The tournament was a $10 1r1a at Full Tilt. This means in the first hour, you can rebuy more chips, but only once, then a final option to add on at the first break.
What this means is that if you take the rebuy option straight away (which I did) you are very deep stacked early on and have a lot more freedom to play more marginal hands than you would otherwise.
I ended up 4th out of 362 players for a nice prize of $740. Not bad for a $30 entry. All things considered, with the exception of a couple of missed resteal opportunities, I don't regret any of the plays I made, and am very pleased with 4th. I'm not thinking "I could have won if I did this or that". I'm very happy with the result.
To be honest I did get dealt some good cards, and they usually came at convenient times which meant I could profit from them. For example, in one period, I had raised with good cards 2 hands in a row and everyone folded. On the 3rd hand, I get dealt AA. I raise again, and of course someone doesn't believe me and takes a stand by reraising me. Thank you! Timing is everything in poker. You may get good cards, but sometimes you don't get paid with them.
But I was also pleased at the way I played. I tried to play it carefully and thoughtfully. I didn't take any risks, or make any outrageous bluffs. So many times, I've gone out of tournaments because of a bad decision due to the fact I've not thought through enough how to play the hand properly.
There was one key hand which came fairly early on that could have put me on tilt for the rest of the tournament, and sent me crashing out early. I raised with AA and got a call from a player on the button. Flop was a harmless 2Q8. I bet just over half the pot, he calls. Turn was a 6. I bet a bit more, this time just over 3/4 of the pot. Again he just calls. What hand can he have? I suspect something like a pocket pair, AQ, KQ, maybe QJ or he has an overcard, say AJ or AT (although more unlikely). He could even be on a flush draw (there were 2 diamonds on board). River was a scarey Q. Again, I continue my line and bet out 3000 into a 4900 pot. He goes all-in. I have him slightly covered, but will be crippled if I call and lose. I did think for a while before folding. He claimed in the chat box that he had nothing and that he put me on KK. This could be true, and would be a bold move if he did, although I think he would have shown the cards if he was bluffing. This could easily have been a ploy to disrupt me and put me on tilt. I'm pleased that I didn't let this affect me as it did cost me half my stack. However, after a few blind steals over the next few orbits, I soon build it back up again.
There were also a couple of hands that I really liked the way I played. On both occasions I read my opponents for not having anything and was able to take the pot away on the river. In the first hand, I have AQs in the big blind and call a raise from middle position. Flop is 945. This is unlikely to have helped him. I check to the raiser and he makes a standard continuation bet of just under half the pot. I just call. turn is a safe 7. I check and he checks behind me. Now I know he has nothing. River is a 3. I bet 7000 into a 13,500 pot and he folds.
On the 2nd hand, I have K8 clubs in the small blind. A player limps in 1st position, I complete and the big blind checks. Flop is 98A. What could player 1 have? Well, he could be slow-playing a monster, but I'd rather discount that for now. I'll soon find out, but generally a player just calling from 1st position will have a mid to small pocket pair, maybe 2 suited cards. I doubt they have an Ace. I have paired my 8, and that may be ahead. I check, big blind checks, and player 1 bets exactly half the pot. I call with a view to re-evaluate on the turn. Turn is a 4. I check and player 1 checks. River is a 7. I lead out with a half pot bet and player 1 folds.

The whole hand history can be found here:
http://www.pokerxfactor.com/HA151428/5500 guar.txt/9050 (you need to register first).

Read Full Poker Blog Post

It's been a while...

Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008

...since my last final table of a large multi-table tournament, but it was worth it. The tournament was a $10 1r1a at Full Tilt. This means in the first hour, you can rebuy more chips, but only once, then a final option to add on at the first break.
What this means is that if you take the rebuy option straight away (which I did) you are very deep stacked early on and have a lot more freedom to play more marginal hands than you would otherwise.
I ended up 4th out of 362 players for a nice prize of $740. Not bad for a $30 entry. All things considered, with the exception of a couple of missed resteal opportunities, I don't regret any of the plays I made, and am very pleased with 4th. I'm not thinking "I could have won if I did this or that". I'm very happy with the result.
To be honest I did get dealt some good cards, and they usually came at convenient times which meant I could profit from them. For example, in one period, I had raised with good cards 2 hands in a row and everyone folded. On the 3rd hand, I get dealt AA. I raise again, and of course someone doesn't believe me and takes a stand by reraising me. Thank you! Timing is everything in poker. You may get good cards, but sometimes you don't get paid with them.
But I was also pleased at the way I played. I tried to play it carefully and thoughtfully. I didn't take any risks, or make any outrageous bluffs. So many times, I've gone out of tournaments because of a bad decision due to the fact I've not thought through enough how to play the hand properly.
There was one key hand which came fairly early on that could have put me on tilt for the rest of the tournament, and sent me crashing out early. I raised with AA and got a call from a player on the button. Flop was a harmless 2Q8. I bet just over half the pot, he calls. Turn was a 6. I bet a bit more, this time just over 3/4 of the pot. Again he just calls. What hand can he have? I suspect something like a pocket pair, AQ, KQ, maybe QJ or he has an overcard, say AJ or AT (although more unlikely). He could even be on a flush draw (there were 2 diamonds on board). River was a scarey Q. Again, I continue my line and bet out 3000 into a 4900 pot. He goes all-in. I have him slightly covered, but will be crippled if I call and lose. I did think for a while before folding. He claimed in the chat box that he had nothing and that he put me on KK. This could be true, and would be a bold move if he did, although I think he would have shown the cards if he was bluffing. This could easily have been a ploy to disrupt me and put me on tilt. I'm pleased that I didn't let this affect me as it did cost me half my stack. However, after a few blind steals over the next few orbits, I soon build it back up again.
There were also a couple of hands that I really liked the way I played. On both occasions I read my opponents for not having anything and was able to take the pot away on the river. In the first hand, I have AQs in the big blind and call a raise from middle position. Flop is 945. This is unlikely to have helped him. I check to the raiser and he makes a standard continuation bet of just under half the pot. I just call. turn is a safe 7. I check and he checks behind me. Now I know he has nothing. River is a 3. I bet 7000 into a 13,500 pot and he folds.
On the 2nd hand, I have K8 clubs in the small blind. A player limps in 1st position, I complete and the big blind checks. Flop is 98A. What could player 1 have? Well, he could be slow-playing a monster, but I'd rather discount that for now. I'll soon find out, but generally a player just calling from 1st position will have a mid to small pocket pair, maybe 2 suited cards. I doubt they have an Ace. I have paired my 8, and that may be ahead. I check, big blind checks, and player 1 bets exactly half the pot. I call with a view to re-evaluate on the turn. Turn is a 4. I check and player 1 checks. River is a 7. I lead out with a half pot bet and player 1 folds.

The whole hand history can be found here:
http://www.pokerxfactor.com/HA151428/5500 guar.txt/9050 (you need to register first).

Read Full Poker Blog Post

It's been a while...

Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008

...since my last final table of a large multi-table tournament, but it was worth it. The tournament was a $10 1r1a at Full Tilt. This means in the first hour, you can rebuy more chips, but only once, then a final option to add on at the first break.
What this means is that if you take the rebuy option straight away (which I did) you are very deep stacked early on and have a lot more freedom to play more marginal hands than you would otherwise.
I ended up 4th out of 362 players for a nice prize of $740. Not bad for a $30 entry. All things considered, with the exception of a couple of missed resteal opportunities, I don't regret any of the plays I made, and am very pleased with 4th. I'm not thinking "I could have won if I did this or that". I'm very happy with the result.
To be honest I did get dealt some good cards, and they usually came at convenient times which meant I could profit from them. For example, in one period, I had raised with good cards 2 hands in a row and everyone folded. On the 3rd hand, I get dealt AA. I raise again, and of course someone doesn't believe me and takes a stand by reraising me. Thank you! Timing is everything in poker. You may get good cards, but sometimes you don't get paid with them.
But I was also pleased at the way I played. I tried to play it carefully and thoughtfully. I didn't take any risks, or make any outrageous bluffs. So many times, I've gone out of tournaments because of a bad decision due to the fact I've not thought through enough how to play the hand properly.
There was one key hand which came fairly early on that could have put me on tilt for the rest of the tournament, and sent me crashing out early. I raised with AA and got a call from a player on the button. Flop was a harmless 2Q8. I bet just over half the pot, he calls. Turn was a 6. I bet a bit more, this time just over 3/4 of the pot. Again he just calls. What hand can he have? I suspect something like a pocket pair, AQ, KQ, maybe QJ or he has an overcard, say AJ or AT (although more unlikely). He could even be on a flush draw (there were 2 diamonds on board). River was a scarey Q. Again, I continue my line and bet out 3000 into a 4900 pot. He goes all-in. I have him slightly covered, but will be crippled if I call and lose. I did think for a while before folding. He claimed in the chat box that he had nothing and that he put me on KK. This could be true, and would be a bold move if he did, although I think he would have shown the cards if he was bluffing. This could easily have been a ploy to disrupt me and put me on tilt. I'm pleased that I didn't let this affect me as it did cost me half my stack. However, after a few blind steals over the next few orbits, I soon build it back up again.
There were also a couple of hands that I really liked the way I played. On both occasions I read my opponents for not having anything and was able to take the pot away on the river. In the first hand, I have AQs in the big blind and call a raise from middle position. Flop is 945. This is unlikely to have helped him. I check to the raiser and he makes a standard continuation bet of just under half the pot. I just call. turn is a safe 7. I check and he checks behind me. Now I know he has nothing. River is a 3. I bet 7000 into a 13,500 pot and he folds.
On the 2nd hand, I have K8 clubs in the small blind. A player limps in 1st position, I complete and the big blind checks. Flop is 98A. What could player 1 have? Well, he could be slow-playing a monster, but I'd rather discount that for now. I'll soon find out, but generally a player just calling from 1st position will have a mid to small pocket pair, maybe 2 suited cards. I doubt they have an Ace. I have paired my 8, and that may be ahead. I check, big blind checks, and player 1 bets exactly half the pot. I call with a view to re-evaluate on the turn. Turn is a 4. I check and player 1 checks. River is a 7. I lead out with a half pot bet and player 1 folds.

The whole hand history can be found here:
http://www.pokerxfactor.com/HA151428/5500 guar.txt/9050 (you need to register first).

Read Full Poker Blog Post

It's been a while...

Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008

...since my last final table of a large multi-table tournament, but it was worth it. The tournament was a $10 1r1a at Full Tilt. This means in the first hour, you can rebuy more chips, but only once, then a final option to add on at the first break.
What this means is that if you take the rebuy option straight away (which I did) you are very deep stacked early on and have a lot more freedom to play more marginal hands than you would otherwise.
I ended up 4th out of 362 players for a nice prize of $740. Not bad for a $30 entry. All things considered, with the exception of a couple of missed resteal opportunities, I don't regret any of the plays I made, and am very pleased with 4th. I'm not thinking "I could have won if I did this or that". I'm very happy with the result.
To be honest I did get dealt some good cards, and they usually came at convenient times which meant I could profit from them. For example, in one period, I had raised with good cards 2 hands in a row and everyone folded. On the 3rd hand, I get dealt AA. I raise again, and of course someone doesn't believe me and takes a stand by reraising me. Thank you! Timing is everything in poker. You may get good cards, but sometimes you don't get paid with them.
But I was also pleased at the way I played. I tried to play it carefully and thoughtfully. I didn't take any risks, or make any outrageous bluffs. So many times, I've gone out of tournaments because of a bad decision due to the fact I've not thought through enough how to play the hand properly.
There was one key hand which came fairly early on that could have put me on tilt for the rest of the tournament, and sent me crashing out early. I raised with AA and got a call from a player on the button. Flop was a harmless 2Q8. I bet just over half the pot, he calls. Turn was a 6. I bet a bit more, this time just over 3/4 of the pot. Again he just calls. What hand can he have? I suspect something like a pocket pair, AQ, KQ, maybe QJ or he has an overcard, say AJ or AT (although more unlikely). He could even be on a flush draw (there were 2 diamonds on board). River was a scarey Q. Again, I continue my line and bet out 3000 into a 4900 pot. He goes all-in. I have him slightly covered, but will be crippled if I call and lose. I did think for a while before folding. He claimed in the chat box that he had nothing and that he put me on KK. This could be true, and would be a bold move if he did, although I think he would have shown the cards if he was bluffing. This could easily have been a ploy to disrupt me and put me on tilt. I'm pleased that I didn't let this affect me as it did cost me half my stack. However, after a few blind steals over the next few orbits, I soon build it back up again.
There were also a couple of hands that I really liked the way I played. On both occasions I read my opponents for not having anything and was able to take the pot away on the river. In the first hand, I have AQs in the big blind and call a raise from middle position. Flop is 945. This is unlikely to have helped him. I check to the raiser and he makes a standard continuation bet of just under half the pot. I just call. turn is a safe 7. I check and he checks behind me. Now I know he has nothing. River is a 3. I bet 7000 into a 13,500 pot and he folds.
On the 2nd hand, I have K8 clubs in the small blind. A player limps in 1st position, I complete and the big blind checks. Flop is 98A. What could player 1 have? Well, he could be slow-playing a monster, but I'd rather discount that for now. I'll soon find out, but generally a player just calling from 1st position will have a mid to small pocket pair, maybe 2 suited cards. I doubt they have an Ace. I have paired my 8, and that may be ahead. I check, big blind checks, and player 1 bets exactly half the pot. I call with a view to re-evaluate on the turn. Turn is a 4. I check and player 1 checks. River is a 7. I lead out with a half pot bet and player 1 folds.

The whole hand history can be found here:
http://www.pokerxfactor.com/HA151428/5500 guar.txt/9050 (you need to register first).

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It's been a while...

Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008

...since my last final table of a large multi-table tournament, but it was worth it. The tournament was a $10 1r1a at Full Tilt. This means in the first hour, you can rebuy more chips, but only once, then a final option to add on at the first break.
What this means is that if you take the rebuy option straight away (which I did) you are very deep stacked early on and have a lot more freedom to play more marginal hands than you would otherwise.
I ended up 4th out of 362 players for a nice prize of $740. Not bad for a $30 entry. All things considered, with the exception of a couple of missed resteal opportunities, I don't regret any of the plays I made, and am very pleased with 4th. I'm not thinking "I could have won if I did this or that". I'm very happy with the result.
To be honest I did get dealt some good cards, and they usually came at convenient times which meant I could profit from them. For example, in one period, I had raised with good cards 2 hands in a row and everyone folded. On the 3rd hand, I get dealt AA. I raise again, and of course someone doesn't believe me and takes a stand by reraising me. Thank you! Timing is everything in poker. You may get good cards, but sometimes you don't get paid with them.
But I was also pleased at the way I played. I tried to play it carefully and thoughtfully. I didn't take any risks, or make any outrageous bluffs. So many times, I've gone out of tournaments because of a bad decision due to the fact I've not thought through enough how to play the hand properly.
There was one key hand which came fairly early on that could have put me on tilt for the rest of the tournament, and sent me crashing out early. I raised with AA and got a call from a player on the button. Flop was a harmless 2Q8. I bet just over half the pot, he calls. Turn was a 6. I bet a bit more, this time just over 3/4 of the pot. Again he just calls. What hand can he have? I suspect something like a pocket pair, AQ, KQ, maybe QJ or he has an overcard, say AJ or AT (although more unlikely). He could even be on a flush draw (there were 2 diamonds on board). River was a scarey Q. Again, I continue my line and bet out 3000 into a 4900 pot. He goes all-in. I have him slightly covered, but will be crippled if I call and lose. I did think for a while before folding. He claimed in the chat box that he had nothing and that he put me on KK. This could be true, and would be a bold move if he did, although I think he would have shown the cards if he was bluffing. This could easily have been a ploy to disrupt me and put me on tilt. I'm pleased that I didn't let this affect me as it did cost me half my stack. However, after a few blind steals over the next few orbits, I soon build it back up again.
There were also a couple of hands that I really liked the way I played. On both occasions I read my opponents for not having anything and was able to take the pot away on the river. In the first hand, I have AQs in the big blind and call a raise from middle position. Flop is 945. This is unlikely to have helped him. I check to the raiser and he makes a standard continuation bet of just under half the pot. I just call. turn is a safe 7. I check and he checks behind me. Now I know he has nothing. River is a 3. I bet 7000 into a 13,500 pot and he folds.
On the 2nd hand, I have K8 clubs in the small blind. A player limps in 1st position, I complete and the big blind checks. Flop is 98A. What could player 1 have? Well, he could be slow-playing a monster, but I'd rather discount that for now. I'll soon find out, but generally a player just calling from 1st position will have a mid to small pocket pair, maybe 2 suited cards. I doubt they have an Ace. I have paired my 8, and that may be ahead. I check, big blind checks, and player 1 bets exactly half the pot. I call with a view to re-evaluate on the turn. Turn is a 4. I check and player 1 checks. River is a 7. I lead out with a half pot bet and player 1 folds.

The whole hand history can be found here:
http://www.pokerxfactor.com/HA151428/5500 guar.txt/9050 (you need to register first).

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It's been a while...

Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008

...since my last final table of a large multi-table tournament, but it was worth it. The tournament was a $10 1r1a at Full Tilt. This means in the first hour, you can rebuy more chips, but only once, then a final option to add on at the first break.
What this means is that if you take the rebuy option straight away (which I did) you are very deep stacked early on and have a lot more freedom to play more marginal hands than you would otherwise.
I ended up 4th out of 362 players for a nice prize of $740. Not bad for a $30 entry. All things considered, with the exception of a couple of missed resteal opportunities, I don't regret any of the plays I made, and am very pleased with 4th. I'm not thinking "I could have won if I did this or that". I'm very happy with the result.
To be honest I did get dealt some good cards, and they usually came at convenient times which meant I could profit from them. For example, in one period, I had raised with good cards 2 hands in a row and everyone folded. On the 3rd hand, I get dealt AA. I raise again, and of course someone doesn't believe me and takes a stand by reraising me. Thank you! Timing is everything in poker. You may get good cards, but sometimes you don't get paid with them.
But I was also pleased at the way I played. I tried to play it carefully and thoughtfully. I didn't take any risks, or make any outrageous bluffs. So many times, I've gone out of tournaments because of a bad decision due to the fact I've not thought through enough how to play the hand properly.
There was one key hand which came fairly early on that could have put me on tilt for the rest of the tournament, and sent me crashing out early. I raised with AA and got a call from a player on the button. Flop was a harmless 2Q8. I bet just over half the pot, he calls. Turn was a 6. I bet a bit more, this time just over 3/4 of the pot. Again he just calls. What hand can he have? I suspect something like a pocket pair, AQ, KQ, maybe QJ or he has an overcard, say AJ or AT (although more unlikely). He could even be on a flush draw (there were 2 diamonds on board). River was a scarey Q. Again, I continue my line and bet out 3000 into a 4900 pot. He goes all-in. I have him slightly covered, but will be crippled if I call and lose. I did think for a while before folding. He claimed in the chat box that he had nothing and that he put me on KK. This could be true, and would be a bold move if he did, although I think he would have shown the cards if he was bluffing. This could easily have been a ploy to disrupt me and put me on tilt. I'm pleased that I didn't let this affect me as it did cost me half my stack. However, after a few blind steals over the next few orbits, I soon build it back up again.
There were also a couple of hands that I really liked the way I played. On both occasions I read my opponents for not having anything and was able to take the pot away on the river. In the first hand, I have AQs in the big blind and call a raise from middle position. Flop is 945. This is unlikely to have helped him. I check to the raiser and he makes a standard continuation bet of just under half the pot. I just call. turn is a safe 7. I check and he checks behind me. Now I know he has nothing. River is a 3. I bet 7000 into a 13,500 pot and he folds.
On the 2nd hand, I have K8 clubs in the small blind. A player limps in 1st position, I complete and the big blind checks. Flop is 98A. What could player 1 have? Well, he could be slow-playing a monster, but I'd rather discount that for now. I'll soon find out, but generally a player just calling from 1st position will have a mid to small pocket pair, maybe 2 suited cards. I doubt they have an Ace. I have paired my 8, and that may be ahead. I check, big blind checks, and player 1 bets exactly half the pot. I call with a view to re-evaluate on the turn. Turn is a 4. I check and player 1 checks. River is a 7. I lead out with a half pot bet and player 1 folds.

The whole hand history can be found here:
http://www.pokerxfactor.com/HA151428/5500 guar.txt/9050 (you need to register first).

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The Vic - 30th May 2008

Date: Sat, May 31, 2008

I played at the Grosvenor Victoria (The Vic) yesterday in their Friday £30 freezeout tournament. I had played it once before and finished 6th then, so I knew the standard of play there. The tournament capped at 72 players, although with alternates, we ended up with about 86. Top 9 got paid.

I didn’t play a hand for the first couple of orbits, then I went on a rush.

Victim #1 – I raised UTG with JJ and got called by the button. With the board showing T976, the button pushed on the turn. I was worried he’d called my pre-flop raise with 88 but that thought lasted about 2 milli-seconds. I called and he showed A9 for 2nd pair. I doubled up.

Victim #2 – UTG limped. He had been quite loose. I had AT in late position and raised. UTG pushed, but he was so short I had good odds to call. He showed 89o and I held.

Victim #3 – UTG limped as did a couple of others. I held AJs in the BB and raised. UTG called, the others folded. Flop was A high, I bet out, UTG pushed. I called and he showed AT. I held again.

Victims #4 & 5 – One guy was so short he was all-in pre-flop anyway. A limper in front of me and I call with J9s in the cut-off. Flop JJ9. I check, BB checks, MP bets 500. BB announces raise to 1000 out of turn. His bet is binding but I elect to just call the 500. BB raises as he had to, MP folds, I push. I can’t remember what the others had now.

So, at 1st break I was up from a starting stack of 2000, to 12,500 and had knocked out 5 guys. My table had started to nickname me “The Terminator”.

After the break, I carried on from where I left off knocking another 2 players out. One was a desperately short stack where I had no choice but to call from the BB with 32o. He had something like K9. I spiked a 2. I honestly can’t remember the details of the other one.

I was chip leader for most of the tournament and used my stack well. I stole a lot and was able to push people off hands more easily than usual. People were saying they were afraid to play a hand with me. I’m not used to that.

My stack wittled a little just before the final table as I tried to take out a couple of short stacks, but I eventually made it to the final 9 with 19,500 in chips. I was probably about 4th or 5th in chips by now, but there was no big chip leader. Most stacks were fairly even.

Blinds were now really high and I had to make a move but couldn’t get a hand. With 7 players left and blinds at 2000/4000 ante 500, I was on the button with about 9000. It was folded to me and I knew I had to push almost anything even though the Big Blind was priced in to call with any two cards. I saw K3 and thought ‘good enough’. BB called with K5, but I spiked a 3 to stay alive.

A few hands later, a short stack pushed. I have 89o, but with only 3300 to call in a 9600 pot, it was and easy call. I was dominated by K9, but that was no match for my rivered straight. Oops! With a couple more uncalled pushes (JJ & AT) I was up to about 40,000.

We soon got down to 4 handed when everyone suggested a chop of the prize money. I ended up walking away with £450 for my troubles.

The Vic is a lucky venue for me. In 6 visits there, I’ve made the final table 4 times. I really must play there more often.

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APAT National Championships - Cardiff

Date: Tue, Jan 15, 2008

I entered the APAT National Championships in Cardiff last weekend. I actually qualified for the Manchester leg, but as I couldn't make that one, APAT agreed to transfer my fee over.

This turned out to be one of the most frustrating tournaments I've ever played in. I was so card-dead, it was beyond belief. In the 10 hours or so I was there, I never received aces, kings, queens or jacks once. In fact, I'm not sure how I managed to go as deep as I did.

There were a total of 194 entrants with the top 23 getting paid (although I think places 21st-23rd only got their entry fee back). Somehow I ended up in 36th.

I started off okay. After about 3 levels, I had built my stack up from 10k to about 15k. I had just played solid, saw a few cheap flops, and took a few stabs at pots and taking them down. However, after a while I realised I was bleeding chips. I was trying to see too many cheap flops behind limpers with very marginal hands. I therefore decided to tighten up.

As it turned out, I had no choice but to tighten up. I wasn't getting dealt anything worthwhile. Eventually my stack had wittled down to 5300 (I think blinds were about 200/400). I managed to boost my stack a bit when I pushed from the big blind with AK after a few players had limped in, but I got no callers. One fairly loose player folded and showed AJ. Damn! I was surprised he folded that. I managed to steal the blinds the next 2 hands by pushing A9 and A8 respectively and all of a sudden I was back up to about 12k.

This was pretty much my tactic afterwards. I tried to steal blinds by pushing in late position with anything worth pushing with (mostly ragged aces). I did eventually manage to double up, but in rather fortunate circumstances. A player had raised in early position. I pushed with 55. He called with 88, but I managed to flop a 5. I was now able to open up a bit more. I managed to get my stack up to around 39k, again by seeing cheap flops and taking stabs at them.

I did make a couple of mistakes near the end, which if played correctly, may have seen me make the money. On the first occasion, with blinds at 1000/2000, the table big stack raised from mid-position. He had about 90k. I had probably between 25-30k (IIRC). I was on the button with 55. I had considered calling and seeing a flop in position, but I folded not wanting to invest about 20% of my stack on a weak pair. What I should have done in retrospect is try to resteal by pushing. He had been raising quite a lot lately and so his range was quite wide. I probably would have taken the pot down there and then. I had the perfect stack size for restealing. I actually should have spent more time thinking how to play the hand. Lesson learnt.

The 2nd mistake was when the guy to my immediate right pushed his last 5k. He had just lost most of his stack the hand before when his aces got beat. I had played with this guy (Suraj) most of the day (and also at the last regional tournament in London) and knew he'd be pushing light. I looked down at AT. Now, this was a bit of deja-vu for me. In London, Suraj did exact the same thing when he was short. I had AT then and also pushed as I was short, but the big blind woke up with AQ and knocked us both out. I still had that memory when I saw the hand, so this time I just called hoping that if anyone wanted to play, they would just call and I'd make my decision from there. Unfortunately, the guy on my right raised and I folded. In retrospect I should have also pushed. To rub salt into my wounds, the board came down xxKJQ and I would have made a straight.

I day of misery was ended when I pushed from UTG+1 with QJ. Blinds were 2000/4000 and I only had about 27k left. I was about to get hit by the blinds and figured this hand was decent enough. Besides, no one had been calling my raises until now. I got called by 66 and KK and it was 'gg' to me.

I'm aiming to play more APAT events this year. If I can get 36th with no cards, just think what I can do once I start getting aces ;-)

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I'm going to Cardiff!!

Date: Fri, Dec 21, 2007

Well I managed to get a seat in the APAT National event in Cardiff next month, and I didn't need to go through the "clickfest".

About an hour before the seats became available online, I was emailled by Des at APAT as I had been chasing him for a refund of my entry fee from the Manchester event which I qualified for but couldn't attend. He asked if I wanted to transfer the money for a seat at Cardiff, and he would reserve me a seat straight away. Result!!

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APAT Season 2 - Regional leg 3

Date: Tue, Dec 18, 2007

I was really hoping for a good finish in this event as I wanted to qualify for the National event to be held in Cardiff next month. I played in that one last year and finished 17th, so was keen to play it again. It was quite ironic that I did so well last month and qualified for the Manchester event, knowing full well that I wouldn't be able to make it anyway.

This time, we only had 56 starters, so it was only top 6 qualify for Cardiff. I was sat on the same table as my friend John who I met at the last event. (We both reached the final table then, and he stayed to cheer me on after he got knocked out). Unfortunately he misplayed his AJ against me when I was holding KK. I went all-in and he still called despite realising then that he was beat. Early exit for him, good start for me.

With blinds at 200/400, the following hand came up. It was folded to me in middle position. I raised to 1200 with A8. The short stack on my immediate left put in his final 1100, and the Big Blind pushed his stack. I had to call 2700 in a pot of about 6800. This gave me odds of 2½:1 which was nice, but I wasn't sure how far I was behind. I made the "reluctant" call. Shortie showed QT, the big blind showed AJ. I hit my 8 on the turn to knocked both players out. The big blind was not happy! This took my stack up to 13,800 (we started with 3000). I posted this hand on the BlondePoker forum, and got a mixed bag of answers, so I'm still not sure if it was the correct call or not.

My stack took a hit shortly afterwards when I pushed KQ on a K high board. Unfortunately, my opponent had AA and I was back down to around 9k. After that, I couldn't get anything going. The table tightened up and all I could get was blinds to maintain my stack at a constant level. The blinds were catching up with me and I needed a double-up, but I couldn't get the cards to make a move with.

With blinds at 400/800, I was in the small blind with about 6500 left (after posting the blind). A short stack had raised about 3600 leaving only 800 behind (strange move!). I looked down at AT, the best hand I'd seen for a while. I didn't like it, but figured it was my best chance. I pushed the remainder of my stack. Unfortunately, the big blind also pushed, and I knew I was in trouble. He showed AQ, and the shortie had only QT. I couldn't catch one of the 2 remaining Tens in the pack, and was out around 23rd.

This was definitely a strange tournament in that on each blind level, I kept expecting lots of players to get knocked out, but it never happened. Certainly on my table, everyone had roughly the same stack sizes (~10-15k) and there was no dominating chip leader. It very quickly became a crapshoot without the knockouts.

I had another stab at trying to qualify for Cardiff last night by playing online at BlueSq. Unfortunately I was card dead for most of the tournament. The best hand I had was 99, and even then I had to cold-call a pre-flop reraise hoping to flop a set. My final attempt will be to buy-in directly tonight if I can beat the rush. These tournaments do get oversubscribed very quickly.

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