Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Poker Gods are Fickle

It's been a while between posts and unfortunately I don't have any good news to report on the poker front in my absence. Although everything is going smoothly with the job, I'm pleased to say, and of course that's more important than my misadventures on the felt.

I have to keep repeating to myself that variance is part of poker as I've endured a nasty downswing in my online bankroll due to dropping buy-ins like they are going out of style in my cash game play. And it's not like I have been playing poorly . . . I've had the best hand when all the money goes in and my opponents keep hitting their 2, 3, or 4 outs after I've induced them to make grievous mistakes. The worst of it is, I had recently stepped up in limits so the losses have really hurt and taken me back nearly to square one after a lot of good work to get my initial $400 investment on FTP up to nearly 2K.

Ah well. I'll take a few days off to regroup and start grinding it back up. In the meantime, I continue to compete in the BBTwo series of blogger tournaments, and I've been pleased with my play, although I've yet to make a final table despite some good opportunities to do so. Last night was the Mookie, with 112 runners.

I started off with a bang, bluffing on the very first hand from the SB with the Hammer, and chipped up to nearly 4000 in chips before losing quite a few chips -- I was down to 1800 in short order -- with some very good but expensive second-best hands where I showed discipline and lost about the least I could reasonably have expected to lose under the circumstances (rivered 4-flush gets a villain there vs. my two pair, etc... standard FTP shenanigans.). From there, I aggressively played some medium poker pairs preflop and chipped up. Then I gambled with AQo vs. a regular nemesis, surflexus (who had taken away some of my chips earlier and had a large stack early on) and got all the money in the middle preflop against his 88. I (gasp!) improved and won the race to get back up over 4000 in chips.

I used that as a springboard and managed to double that up again to 8000 or so, which would be my highwater mark. Unfortunately, FTP moved me to a different table from the comfortable situation I was in, and my stack was average as the blinds and antes kicked in. At my new table players were dropping like flies as the action was fast and furious and people were gambling like crazy with some very marginal holdings, and I soon found myself dwarfed by three or four large stacks. Going card dead for the better part of an hour didn't help either. Finally, I seized an opportunity to make a move with ATs on the button as I jammed over a LP raiser. Of course, he happened to insta-call with pocket kings and I failed to improve. I go home in 58th or 59th place or something disappointing like that. Still, given my early struggles it was a respectable showing.

Fuel outlasted me by one whole spot, sadly. I wanted to last longer than him despite not having a last longer bet on. To my happy surprise, this donkey from my Friday night game continued his strong play of late to place third. I really thought he was going to take it down with over half the chips in play three-handed, but Astin -- he is way overdue to take down one of these blonkaments! -- and the eventual winner Mike_Maloney played well and played hard, ultimately proving to be Simon's downfall. Simon lost the bulk of his stack on a setup hand where he flopped a set against a flopped nut straight, and Simon didn't get his full house redraw once all the money went in.

Given the state of my online bankroll and the fact that I'll be away for all of Saturday, it seems likely I'll miss Sunday's Big Game, which saddens me immensely. I love deepstack tournaments.
Maybe I will try to farm out some of my $26 tokens into a $75'er so I can get in to the game on the cheap.


Julius_Goat said...

Hey, I didn't realize Shrike had a blog!

Hey, is "Shrike" a "Hyperion" series reference?

Shrike said...

It is, partly. I am a literary nerd and own many books written by Dan Simmons, including his Hyperion series.