Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Staring at the Abyss, part one

Preamble

You know you're headed to Vegas when ... your seat-mate on the airplane is a 25 year-old male clutching a passpart, airline ticket, wallet, and a roll of $3000 US wrapped in an elastic band in his hands during the flight. (I discovered this degen's name was Brock and that he was a Tsawassen bartender who had won a seat into the Bellagio Five-Diamond tournament.)

Those who know me well will tell you that I am uneasy and introverted in a crowd of strangers.

The five-act play that was the winter blogger gathering never elicited that introverted defensive shell from me, for which I am profoundly grateful. Everyone I met, without exception, had a smile on their face and was happy to strike up a conversation. That made the trip worthwhile all by itself.

Dramatis Personae

CK and F-Train (the guides): two of the warmest people you'll ever meet, they played the role of hosts to perfection and I gladly fell into their orbit for much of my stay. From The Great Pinball Expedition to a great late-night sushi dinner on Saturday after the blogger tourney where we all started at the same table to blogger mixed games to blogger 1/2 NL games to the IP mixed games ... well, that's a lot of good memories packed into four days!

Al (the roommate): I cannot forget the sight of meeting him for the first time at McCarran. He looked like death warmed over, but that didn't stop him from greeting me like a long-lost friend and telling funny stories the whole weekend. He even laughed at my scooter joke about the sorely-missed Riggstad!

Joanada, Astin, Kat (the fellow Canadians): compatriots who offered warm hugs & handshakes, talk of home, and knew their hockey and the Blue Jays. They were also much much better at slots and video poker than I was!

VinNay (the honorary Canadian): also knew his hockey, especially his Sabres. We both took a bath during the blogger mixed game on Friday night at the MGM and I had to laugh as he gallantly wore a Patriots jersey on Sunday and watched his Bills throw away a football game with admirable stoicism.

OhCaptain and OhCountess (the Minnesotans who could do no wrong): two of the nicest people you could ever meet, we had many pleasant conversations. Tim was one of the two official chroniclers of the Great Pinball Expedition (MetsFan was the other); he also managed to place 5th in the blogger tourney. Not to be outdone, his better half quickly outstripped that modest feat with huge video poker exploits of her own.

Donkey Puncher, Joe Speaker (the well-dressed): DP wore a suit all weekend, enough said.

KuroKitty, Recess Rampage, Gnome (the serious poker players): we all trekked over to the Venetian together on Thursday night as proof of our determination to try to find and exploit +EV situations. I owe Recess $1.

Dr. Pauly, Derek, High on Poker (New Yorkers): good guys who happily would listen to me talk or take my money in the mixed blogger game. I waved a deli sandwich in front of Pauly's face late Sunday but he didn't rise to the bait since it wasn't pastrami.

Grubby and Grubbette (good-looking Asians): nice people to talk to at the bar and fierce competitors at my starting table at the big Saturday blogger tourney. The hammer was thrown down at least once, and I inadvertently caused Grubby's demise at the hands of Derek -- I should know better than to play AQ from early position!

Doc Chako, The Wife, Joshua Carlson, Zeem (southern neighbours): really nice group of Seattle-area bloggers. The latter two bought me many drinks and said nice things about me, which expanded my hat size; the Doc spiced up the Sunday cash game at the IP and knows his whisky; the Wife was the prettiest thing around and modelled Vikings gear at the poker table to my great amusement as she tried not to injure herself. A Pacific Northwest mini-gathering should definitely be in the works!

Smokkee, Dawn Summers, Bacon Mary et al. (Sunday cash game participants): tough foes at the IP cash game, all of them, who slung chips and dished out the beats and took them with a smile.

Bayne (the craps maestro): his mojo didn't appear to be working this trip, so it's just as well I didn't join him for a dice session after all. His intake of Stella Artois (my beer of choice) vastly exceeded mine. I was humbled.

Emptyman and MiamiDon (the invisible ones): the former holed up at the Strat most of the time and failed to make a planned lunch on departure day. I think this was a plot to foil any opportunity for me to flirt with his better half (Jesse clearly married up) ... so I will have to plot my revenge! Don ... he ran behind schedule on Thursday so we didn't see much of each other except for at the blogger tournament. Next time I want to make the golf happen!

Well, that's quite the cast of characters, and I know I've missed mentioning quite a number of new friends. In part two I'll try to rectify that with some more talk about the Great Pinball Expedition, and some actual poker content.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vegas Return

Trip report will be up tomorrow, I trust. I gotta catch up on sleep.

Edit: Managed to wake up in time to win a Skillz game.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vegas Departure Imminent (Redux)

My flight leaves in less than 24 hours. I can hardly wait.

Pinball is looking more and more popular as a planned activity; it looks like we'll end up trekking over in the early afternoon on Friday. I must remember to take some photos to satisfy my father's jealousy. ;)

The over/under on how much time I spend at the museum? Three hours.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Vegas Warmup part two



Clawed back from big deficit headsup but got outdrawn/setup to eventually finish second for my troubles. I think I should get bonus points for knocking out both Bayne and Waffles ...

Things are looking up for my forthcoming Vegas trip. Now if only this success translates to the big bloggament at the Venetian on Saturday.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Vegas Warmup

After being setup or badly outdrawn in the Mookie, I started to shake my poker blues with a dominant Dookie win. By the time we got down to the final table I had more than half the chips in play and was never in any real danger of losing my lead at any point. If only I was a card rack in higher stakes games I'd be truly set!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vegas Anticipation

I can't believe I missed going here on my first trip to Vegas, since I've inherited the pinball bug from my father, and we often try to meet up for some quality time competing at our favourite machine(s) at a downtown arcade (he usually crushes me; he's remained king-of-the-hill even as I grew up and was able to outpace him in athletics).

So, I guess it won't be wall-to-wall poker + mild debauchery come December. We'll have to wait and see if I rage solo to the museum, or if anyone else is interested in going.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stud8 exercise, part three

It's past time to post some strategy thoughts on my recent run of profitable low-stakes Stud hi/lo sessions, so here are some illustrative examples of profitable situations to be involved in.

#1: Action from drawing hands that miss

*** 3RD STREET ***
Dealt to Hero [Qc As] [Qd]
Dealt to emptyman [Ks]
Dealt to NemoRailBird [4h]
Dealt to philoillini [3c]
Dealt to SMARTway10 [Ah]
Dealt to JOSH1205 [3h]
Dealt to maddmom555 [8s]
philoillini is low with [3c]
philoillini brings in for $0.50
SMARTway10 folds
JOSH1205 folds
maddmom555 calls $0.50
PirateLawyer completes it to $2 - deceptive raise with split queens; often I will fold this preflop but I can get away cheaply if I don't like 4th street
emptyman folds
NemoRailBird folds
philoillini calls $1.50
emptyman stands up
maddmom555 calls $1.50
*** 4TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Qc As Qd] [Kh]
Dealt to philoillini [3c] [8h]
Dealt to maddmom555 [8s] [2c]
PirateLawyer bets $2 - easy spot to lead out as I'm charging low draws at this point
philoillini calls $2
maddmom555 calls $2
*** 5TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Qc As Qd Kh] [Ad]
Dealt to philoillini [3c 8h] [6d]
Dealt to maddmom555 [8s 2c] [5d]
PirateLawyer bets $4 - with disguised aces up no need to slow down here
philoillini calls $4
maddmom555 calls $4
*** 6TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Qc As Qd Kh Ad] [8c]
Dealt to philoillini [3c 8h 6d] [Qs]
Dealt to maddmom555 [8s 2c 5d] [2h]
maddmom555 bets $4
PirateLawyer calls $4 - I'm prepared to call down for half now that the pot is getting big; I discount the possibility that this fishy opponent has trip deuces
philoillini folds
*** 7TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Qc As Qd Kh Ad 8c] [9s]
maddmom555 bets $4
PirateLawyer calls $4 - call down as planned, but a clear missed bet here as I could easily have raised for value
*** SHOW DOWN ***
maddmom555 shows [Ac Jc 8s 2c 5d 2h 5h] two pair, Fives and Twos, for high
PirateLawyer shows [As Qc Qd Kh Ad 8c 9s] two pair, Aces and Queens, for high
PirateLawyer wins the pot ($40.80) with two pair, Aces and Queens
No low hand qualified
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $42.80 | Rake $2
Seat 1: PirateLawyer showed [As Qc Qd Kh Ad 8c 9s] and won ($40.80) with HI: two pair, Aces and Queens
Seat 8: maddmom555 showed [Ac Jc 8s 2c 5d 2h 5h] and lost with HI: two pair, Fives and Twos

A scoop as villain bluffed two streets with a busted low draw and two lower pair.

Hand #2: taking advantage of a passive weak opponent

*** 3RD STREET ***
Dealt to rainnyboy [2d]
Dealt to skysoldier82 [2c]
Dealt to mjafer03 [9c]
Dealt to SMARTway10 [Kc]
Dealt to emptyman [Ad]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [8d 6s] [5s]
skysoldier82 is low with [2c]
skysoldier82 brings in for $1
mjafer03 folds
SMARTway10 folds
emptyman folds
PirateLawyer calls $1
rainnyboy folds
*** 4TH STREET ***
Dealt to skysoldier82 [2c] [Th]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [8d 6s 5s] [Kd]
PirateLawyer bets $3 - easy bet when I rate to have the best hand
skysoldier82 calls $3
*** 5TH STREET ***
Dealt to skysoldier82 [2c Th] [8h]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [8d 6s 5s Kd] [Td]
PirateLawyer bets $6 - see above
skysoldier82 calls $6
*** 6TH STREET ***
Dealt to skysoldier82 [2c Th 8h] [Ks]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [8d 6s 5s Kd Td] [9h]
PirateLawyer checks - with my low chances bricking I hope to get a free card; I'd certainly call if opponent bets
skysoldier82 checks - my opponent checks behind with what is certainly a weak holding
*** 7TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [8d 6s 5s Kd Td 9h] [7d]
PirateLawyer bets $6 - Gin! I hit my gutterball and bet for value
skysoldier82 calls $6
*** SHOW DOWN ***
PirateLawyer shows [8d 7d 5s Kd Td 9h 6s] a straight, Ten high, for high
skysoldier82 mucks
PirateLawyer wins the pot ($34) with a straight, Ten high
No low hand qualified
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $35 | Rake $1
Seat 2: skysoldier82 mucked [7h 7c 2c Th 8h Ks 6c] - HI: a pair of Sevens
Seat 6: PirateLawyer showed [8d 7d 5s Kd Td 9h 6s] and won ($34) with HI: a straight, Ten high

Notice how much trouble my passive opponent got into with a crappy one pair hand with a poor low draw that never got there.

Hand #3: Surviving a big multi-way pot to take the high half with a rolled-up hand

*** 3RD STREET ***
Dealt to Bilbo20 [Jh]
Dealt to crimsonluvr [Td]
Dealt to TOPSHELFrt [7d]
Dealt to FlushMcDuffy [Ac]
Dealt to emptyman [6d]
Dealt to c-jackal [Kh]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [4h 4c] [4d]
Dealt to HEADoc [Qs]
PirateLawyer is low with [4d]
PirateLawyer brings in for $0.50
HEADoc calls $0.50
Bilbo20 calls $0.50
crimsonluvr folds
TOPSHELFrt completes it to $2
FlushMcDuffy folds
emptyman calls $2
c-jackal folds
PirateLawyer raises to $4
HEADoc calls $3.50
Bilbo20 calls $3.50
TOPSHELFrt calls $2
emptyman calls $2
*** 4TH STREET ***
Dealt to Bilbo20 [Jh] [Ts]
Dealt to TOPSHELFrt [7d] [Kd]
Dealt to emptyman [6d] [Ad]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [4h 4c 4d] [3s]
Dealt to HEADoc [Qs] [9h]
emptyman checks
PirateLawyer bets $2
HEADoc calls $2
Bilbo20 calls $1.65, and is all in
TOPSHELFrt folds
emptyman raises to $4
PirateLawyer raises to $6
HEADoc calls $4
emptyman calls $2
*** 5TH STREET ***
Dealt to Bilbo20 [Jh Ts] [2s]
Dealt to emptyman [6d Ad] [8c]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [4h 4c 4d 3s] [7c]
Dealt to HEADoc [Qs 9h] [3c]
emptyman checks
PirateLawyer bets $4
HEADoc calls $4
emptyman calls $4
*** 6TH STREET ***
Dealt to Bilbo20 [Jh Ts 2s] [Qc]
Dealt to emptyman [6d Ad 8c] [Th]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [4h 4c 4d 3s 7c] [9s]
Dealt to HEADoc [Qs 9h 3c] [3d]
HEADoc checks
emptyman checks
PirateLawyer bets $4
HEADoc calls $4
emptyman calls $4
*** 7TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [4h 4c 4d 3s 7c 9s] [Jd]
HEADoc checks
emptyman checks
PirateLawyer bets $4
HEADoc calls $4
emptyman raises to $8
PirateLawyer calls $4
HEADoc calls $4
*** SHOW DOWN ***
emptyman shows [5d 3h 6d Ad 8c Th 2d] Ace Ten high, for high and 6,5,3,2,A, for low
PirateLawyer shows [Jd 4h 4d 3s 7c 9s 4c] three of a kind, Fours, for high
HEADoc mucks
PirateLawyer wins the high side pot ($29.55) with three of a kind, Fours
emptyman wins the low side pot ($29.50) with 6,5,3,2,A
Bilbo20 mucks
PirateLawyer wins the high main pot ($14.40) with three of a kind, Fours
emptyman wins the low main pot ($14.40) with 6,5,3,2,A
Bilbo20 is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $90.85 Main pot $29.80. Side pot $61.05. | Rake $3
Seat 1: Bilbo20 mucked [Ah Tc Jh Ts 2s Qc 7h] - HI: a pair of Tens
Seat 2: crimsonluvr folded on 3rd St.
Seat 3: TOPSHELFrt folded on 4th St.
Seat 4: FlushMcDuffy folded on 3rd St.
Seat 5: emptyman showed [5d 3h 6d Ad 8c Th 2d] and won ($43.90) with HI: Ace Ten high; LO: 6,5,3,2,A
Seat 6: c-jackal folded on 3rd St.
Seat 7: PirateLawyer showed [Jd 4h 4d 3s 7c 9s 4c] and won ($43.95) with HI: three of a kind, Fours
Seat 8: HEADoc mucked [As 9c Qs 9h 3c 3d 8h] - HI: two pair, Nines and Threes

This hand was fairly self-explanatory; I dodged flushes and straights despite never filling up.

Hand #4: Filling up for another high half in a multi-way pot

*** 3RD STREET ***
Dealt to crimsonluvr [Th]
Dealt to TOPSHELFrt [4s]
Dealt to FlushMcDuffy [2h]
Dealt to emptyman [Td]
Dealt to c-jackal [8c]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [9s 9c] [9h]
Dealt to HEADoc [5s]
FlushMcDuffy is low with [2h]
FlushMcDuffy has 15 seconds left to act
FlushMcDuffy brings in for $0.50
emptyman calls $0.50
c-jackal calls $0.50
PirateLawyer completes it to $2
HEADoc calls $2
crimsonluvr folds
TOPSHELFrt has 15 seconds left to act
TOPSHELFrt calls $2
FlushMcDuffy calls $1.50
emptyman calls $1.50
c-jackal calls $1.50
*** 4TH STREET ***
Dealt to TOPSHELFrt [4s] [Ts]
Dealt to FlushMcDuffy [2h] [6h]
Dealt to emptyman [Td] [9d]
Dealt to c-jackal [8c] [Ah]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [9s 9c 9h] [7s]
Dealt to HEADoc [5s] [Kd]
c-jackal checks
PirateLawyer bets $2
HEADoc calls $2
TOPSHELFrt has 15 seconds left to act
TOPSHELFrt calls $2
SMARTway10 has returned
FlushMcDuffy calls $2
emptyman raises to $4
c-jackal folds
PirateLawyer raises to $6 - I want this multi-way pot as large as possible with my equity edge for the high half
HEADoc calls $4
TOPSHELFrt folds
FlushMcDuffy calls $4
emptyman raises to $8
PirateLawyer calls $2
HEADoc calls $2
FlushMcDuffy calls $2
*** 5TH STREET ***
Dealt to FlushMcDuffy [2h 6h] [6d]
Dealt to emptyman [Td 9d] [Kh]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [9s 9c 9h 7s] [3h]
Dealt to HEADoc [5s Kd] [2s]
FlushMcDuffy checks
emptyman bets $4
PirateLawyer calls $4
HEADoc calls $4
FlushMcDuffy calls $4
*** 6TH STREET ***
Dealt to FlushMcDuffy [2h 6h 6d] [5d]
Dealt to emptyman [Td 9d Kh] [Qh]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [9s 9c 9h 7s 3h] [Qs]
Dealt to HEADoc [5s Kd 2s] [Ks]
HEADoc bets $4
FlushMcDuffy calls $4
emptyman raises to $8
PirateLawyer calls $8
HEADoc calls $0.45, and is all in
FlushMcDuffy calls $4
*** 7TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [9s 9c 9h 7s 3h Qs] [Qc]
FlushMcDuffy checks
emptyman checks
PirateLawyer bets $4
FlushMcDuffy raises to $8
emptyman has 15 seconds left to act
emptyman has requested TIME
emptyman folds
PirateLawyer raises to $12 - easy 3-bet now that I've got the high half locked; but I expect to chop.
FlushMcDuffy calls $4
*** SHOW DOWN ***
PirateLawyer shows [Qc 9s 9h 7s 3h Qs 9c] a full house, Nines full of Queens, for high
FlushMcDuffy shows [Ac 5h 2h 6h 6d 5d 3c] two pair, Sixes and Fives, for high and 6,5,3,2,A, for low
PirateLawyer wins the high side pot ($17.35) with a full house, Nines full of Queens
FlushMcDuffy wins the low side pot ($17.30) with 6,5,3,2,A
HEADoc mucks
PirateLawyer wins the high main pot ($39.80) with a full house, Nines full of Queens
FlushMcDuffy wins the low main pot ($39.80) with 6,5,3,2,A
HEADoc adds $20
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $117.25 Main pot $82.60. Side pot $34.65. | Rake $3
Seat 1: SMARTway10 is sitting out
Seat 2: crimsonluvr folded on 3rd St.
Seat 3: TOPSHELFrt folded on 4th St.
Seat 4: FlushMcDuffy showed [Ac 5h 2h 6h 6d 5d 3c] and won ($57.10) with HI: two pair, Sixes and Fives; LO: 6,5,3,2,A
Seat 5: emptyman folded on 7th St.
Seat 6: c-jackal folded on 4th St.
Seat 7: PirateLawyer showed [Qc 9s 9h 7s 3h Qs 9c] and won ($57.15) with HI: a full house, Nines full of Queens
Seat 8: HEADoc mucked [Kc Qd 5s Kd 2s Ks Jc] - HI: three of a kind, Kings

Hand #5: Switching gears mid-stream and winning without showdown

*** 3RD STREET ***
Dealt to SMARTway10 [2h]
Dealt to crimsonluvr [Ah]
Dealt to TOPSHELFrt [8d]
Dealt to FlushMcDuffy [Jc]
Dealt to emptyman [8s]
Dealt to c-jackal [Td]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Ac 5h] [6s]
Dealt to HEADoc [6c]
SMARTway10 is low with [2h]
SMARTway10 brings in for $0.50
crimsonluvr calls $0.50
TOPSHELFrt has 15 seconds left to act
TOPSHELFrt folds
FlushMcDuffy folds
emptyman calls $0.50
c-jackal calls $0.50
PirateLawyer completes it to $2 - I obviously want to bloat the pot in this situation
HEADoc calls $2
SMARTway10 folds
crimsonluvr folds
emptyman folds
c-jackal calls $1.50
*** 4TH STREET ***
Dealt to c-jackal [Td] [Jh]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Ac 5h 6s] [3h]
Dealt to HEADoc [6c] [9h]
c-jackal checks
PirateLawyer bets $2 - with 4 to a low this is an auto-bet
HEADoc calls $2
c-jackal calls $2
*** 5TH STREET ***
Dealt to c-jackal [Td Jh] [4c]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Ac 5h 6s 3h] [Qs]
Dealt to HEADoc [6c 9h] [Kd]
HEADoc checks
c-jackal checks
PirateLawyer bets $4 - I should always bet here vs. their crappy boards
HEADoc calls $4
c-jackal calls $4
*** 6TH STREET ***
Dealt to c-jackal [Td Jh 4c] [Ad]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Ac 5h 6s 3h Qs] [Qh]
Dealt to HEADoc [6c 9h Kd] [3s]
PirateLawyer bets $4 - I've backed into a paired board of queens; again an auto-bet
HEADoc calls $4
c-jackal folds
*** 7TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Ac 5h 6s 3h Qs Qh] [Qd]
PirateLawyer bets $4 - again, simple bet now that my hand has morphed into a monster high hand
HEADoc folds
Uncalled bet of $4 returned to PirateLawyer
PirateLawyer mucks
PirateLawyer wins the pot ($35.70)
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $36.70 | Rake $1
Seat 1: SMARTway10 folded on 3rd St.
Seat 2: crimsonluvr folded on 3rd St.
Seat 3: TOPSHELFrt folded on 3rd St.
Seat 4: FlushMcDuffy folded on 3rd St.
Seat 5: emptyman folded on 3rd St.
Seat 6: c-jackal folded on 6th St.
Seat 7: PirateLawyer collected ($35.70), mucked
Seat 8: HEADoc folded on 7th St.

The villain who folded on 7 clearly overplayed a marginal drawing hand which likely only ever gets him the high half as I'm very likely to crush him for the low half.

Hand #6: Trapping an aggressive opponent when you have a disguised premium hand

*** 3RD STREET ***
Dealt to skysoldier82 [4d]
Dealt to mjafer03 [Jd]
Dealt to PirateLawyer [5s Ah] [3s]
Dealt to kidney bean [9h]
Dealt to emptyman [Kd]
Dealt to SMARTway10 [5d]
PirateLawyer is low with [3s]
PirateLawyer brings in for $0.50
BigBadLarry15 stands up
kidney bean calls $0.50
emptyman folds
SMARTway10 folds
skysoldier82 folds
mjafer03 folds
*** 4TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [5s Ah 3s] [As]
Dealt to kidney bean [9h] [7s]
PirateLawyer bets $2
kidney bean calls $2
*** 5TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [5s Ah 3s As] [Jh]
Dealt to kidney bean [9h 7s] [2s]
PirateLawyer checks - this is where I switch gears and let my opponent drive the action for me
kidney bean bets $4
PirateLawyer calls $4
*** 6TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [5s Ah 3s As Jh] [2d]
Dealt to kidney bean [9h 7s 2s] [8c]
PirateLawyer checks
kidney bean checks - he fails to follow up
*** 7TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [5s Ah 3s As Jh 2d] [Jc]
PirateLawyer bets $4 - easy value bet here with aces up
kidney bean calls $4
*** SHOW DOWN ***
PirateLawyer shows [Ah Jc 3s As Jh 2d 5s] two pair, Aces and Jacks, for high
kidney bean mucks
PirateLawyer wins the pot ($22.40) with two pair, Aces and Jacks
No low hand qualified
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $23.40 | Rake $1
Seat 1: skysoldier82 folded on 3rd St.
Seat 2: mjafer03 folded on 3rd St.
Seat 3: BigBadLarry15 is sitting out
Seat 4: PirateLawyer showed [Ah Jc 3s As Jh 2d 5s] and won ($22.40) with HI: two pair, Aces and Jacks
Seat 6: kidney bean mucked [Kh Kc 9h 7s 2s 8c 6s] - HI: a pair of Kings
Seat 7: emptyman folded on 3rd St.
Seat 8: SMARTway10 folded on 3rd St.

Notice how my opponent was way behind and was a payoff wizard.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stud8 exercise, part two

A good bankroll builder for me has been the low stakes Stud hi/lo games in poker online. Heck, even Waffles can win at them when he doesn't overplay pocket pairs!

Here's an exercise in value betting on later streets. I really find that experience and good judgment, properly applied, can lead to very important thin value bets to extract the maximum value from second-best hands. This is crucial to one's winrate especially as you move up in stakes.

Here's a good example where I have rolled up tens to begin the hand and bet unimproved into two scary low boards:

*** 5TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Td Tc Ts 7s] [Ac]
Dealt to villain1 [4c 9d] [6s]
Dealt to villain2 [3d Qd] [3c]
Dealt to villain3 [3s As] [6h]
villain2 checks
villain3 checks
PirateLawyer bets $4
villain1 folds
villain2 calls $4
villain3 calls $4
*** 6TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Td Tc Ts 7s Ac] [Qc]
Dealt to villain2 [3d Qd 3c] [2c]
Dealt to villain3 [3s As 6h] [8c]
villain2 checks
villain3 checks
PirateLawyer bets $4
villain2 calls $4
villain3 calls $4
*** 7TH STREET ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Td Tc Ts 7s Ac Qc] [Js]
villain2 checks
villain3 checks
PirateLawyer bets $4
villain2 calls $4
villain3 calls $4
*** SHOW DOWN ***
PirateLawyer shows [Js Td Ts 7s Ac Qc Tc] three of a kind, Tens, for high
villain2 mucks
villain3 mucks
PirateLawyer wins the pot ($46.80) with three of a kind, Tens
No low hand qualified
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $48.80 | Rake $2

Seat 3: PirateLawyer showed [Js Td Ts 7s Ac Qc Tc] and won ($46.80) with HI: three of a kind, Tens
Seat 6: villain2 mucked [Qs 5c 3d Qd 3c 2c 4d] - HI: two pair, Queens and Threes
Seat 8: villain3 mucked [Ks Jd 3s As 6h 8c 9s] - HI: Ace King high

Friday, November 14, 2008

Some Hot Stove Musings

I am a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Consequently, I am a big fan of Roy Halladay.

This post sums up my feelings about the deplorable lack of care some awards voters demonstrate year-in and year-out.

I will thaw somewhat if they get around to electing Tim Raines to his rightful place in the Hall of Fame sooner rather than later.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Your Fake Toronto Blue Jays, 1979 World Champions

Yes, I pulled off the unprecdented double of winning both of my imaginary baseball league championships at the same time. A lot of luck and some impressive performances by some all-time faves such as Jimmy Key (playoff MVP) and Andre Dawson, heroes of my childhood.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Funny Mookie exit



A pretty funny betting sequence .. I open for 180 chips (3x the blinds) with a starting 2K stack. lucko is the chip leader in the big blind with 7K. He jams. I insta-call.

Fittingly, I lose. That's poker for you.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Poker: Hobby, Pastime or a Grind

I've been doing a lot of thinking about why I play (or don't play) poker just as my Bar exams come to pass and I prepare for a long-overdue adventure in the legal world. I've been asking myself, what do I want to do with poker once my life changes?

Well, the simple fact is that I enjoy a lot of varieties of poker, and most of them aren't regularly spread in local casinos: various split-pot games, for the most part, which are simply not in demand by live players around here. That means I'd best look online for an opportunity to play those games.

This, in turn, means I need to develop a good foundation if I want to be a winning player. A good poker setup at my home office, proper use of a tracking database to examine my own tendencies and spot potential flaws, and so forth.

It also means I should shop around and consider opening an account at various poker sites if they offer some of the games I want to play. If I do, you can be sure I'll try to take advantage of two kinds of bonuses offered to new players: sign-up bonuses offered by the site itself, and a referral bonus offered by an affiliate program. The latter usually pays you back, in regular intervals, a percentage of the rake you normally pay out to the site for every hand you play. A good example that I'm strongly considering is ThisIsTheNuts, since it offers over a dozen opportunities at various poker rooms.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Skillz interlude, redux

Only managed a second-place finish when my aces up on 4th were outdrawn by a lower two pair hand headsup. Fun times! I lost the chiplead that this hand provided me and couldn't recover:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Your Fake Montreal Expos, 2024 Champions

Self-explanatory, and a fun distraction as I am in the homestretch with 10 days left until I write my Bar exams.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A poker rarity

It's hard to get paid off on a hand like this.

I found other ways to bust Waffles and preserve my lead on the Skillz game leaderboard with a second-place finish to BamBam (we were even in chips and I have a lot of work to do, so we just arranged to chop).

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stud8 exercise

I had the opportunity to put in four bets on 7th street with this hand but chose to simply call a 3-bet by my opponent who'd been the bettor throughout. His final board read [7d 8s 7s] [5s] so I had some worries about flushes and full houses beating me for high.

Was I too timid with a very good two-way hand here headsup?


Answer: of course I was, I had a board lock for the low and should always put in four bets!

NB. Oh, and apparently rolled-up jacks can lose to buried nines that hit runner-runner-runner-runner straight. !$#@%$

I don't even want to guess those odds, given I could've filled up at any time to lockdown the hand.

Blogger cash game shenanigans and a plug

Please don't forget to sign up for this fine event being put on by a pillar of the blogger community!


Here are a few hands of interest from the blogger cash game that Waffles set up Thursday night.

Waffles outplays me when we're holding the same hand. Boo!

I fail to get paid here. Sniff.

I cracked aces for the third time at this table here (the other two times I turned trips and called a shove and got it all in preflop with QQ and rivered a set). The above hand was particularly satisfying as I minraised the flop, got my weak opponent to check the turn -- at which point I happily took the free card and hit the gin card on the river -- which led to him betting out on the river and stacking off when I put him to the test.

Tonight I put in a very profitable L08 session at the cash tables. I single-tabled and managed a +50BB session against the fish despite one very poorly played hand where I needlessly donated ten bets when it was clear I was second-best in both directions.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stupid Test

I blame the usual suspects for this.


You are the Hanged Man


Self-sacrifice, Sacrifice, Devotion, Bound.


With the Hanged man there is often a sense of fatalism, waiting for something to happen. Or a fear of
loss from a situation, rather than gain.


The Hanged Man is perhaps the most fascinating card in the deck. It reflects the story of Odin who offered himself as a sacrifice in order to gain knowledge. Hanging from the world tree, wounded by a spear, given no bread or mead, he hung for nine days. On the last day, he saw on the ground runes that had fallen from the tree, understood their meaning, and, coming down, scooped them up for his own. All knowledge is to be found in these runes.


The Hanged Man, in similar fashion, is a card about suspension, not life or death. It signifies selflessness, sacrifice and prophecy. You make yourself vulnerable and in doing so, gain illumination. You see the world differently, with almost mystical insights.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bridesmaid

Pretty self-explanatory. I overplayed a pair headsup (I turned my hand into a bluff when the board came running aces on the turn and river as I could plausibly represent a lucky full house) vs. a flopped straight headsup and relinquished the chiplead. Then I was short-stacked and missed a freeroll to double up back up to a 3:2 disadvantage; we chopped. Then I got it in preflop with Ax in a 60/40 and villain turned a gutshot to bust me. I can't really fault villain for gambling with Kx with a 5:1 chip advantage, but it's not necessarily the spot I'd choose in his shoes with only 1 bet invested against my shove of 20 bets.

Fun times were had despite the disappointing finish, I think I only saw about 11% of flops all tournament, which is much tighter than I usually play. Of course, I was severely short-stacked in the early stages of the tournament, coming back from 200 chips with a quadruple up to become vaguely relevant, and patiently waited to double up back to a useably-sized stack. From there I kept my tight image and used it to pull off some big bluffs later on when I went card-dead. If I had won just one of five or six 60:40 weighted flips in my favour when we got down to the final five, I most likely would have had an insurmountable chiplead. Oh well. Sometimes you get unlucky.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Poker interlude

Played some low stakes limit poker this afternoon whilst taking breaks from studying. I managed to grind out some decent profits mostly playing O8 and Stud H/L. Along the way I had a couple of remarkable hands . . .

Your standard rolled up aces. I got paid off in full by two players and was even able to raise a couple of times along the way on later streets. I believe one poor villain had trip jacks on 4th and that got him in deep trouble.

I fastplayed your standard flopped quads and fortunately for me my victim had floppped the second nuts. I led right into him and that set off some fireworks, to say the least.

I flopped huge but my esteemed opponent stuck around with a lot of questionable values and went runner-runner perfect ... obviously I made the sick crying call on the end after ramming and jamming on the flop and turn ...

Oh well, time to crack open the law books again. I'll be very glad when the Bar exams are done!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Skillz interlude

Had a blast as a late registrant in the PLO deepstack event, was big chip leader for most of the tourney as my AAxx hands kept holding up vs. KKxx hands for stacks right there on the flop as I played them fast throughout the tourney and somehow got tons of action with them (some where my opponents were drawing to two outs, some where they were drawing for more). However, as we got down to 6 players I slowly crumbled and ended up as the bubble boy as I watched Bayne mount a furious comeback. I knew I was going to regret doubling him up earlier at the final table as he slowly but surely chipped up big-time and we ended up playing for a huge pot with four players left when I flopped a nut straight with a redraw to Broadway, but his set + flush draw got there on the river. I probably should have played it more slowly on the flop and jammed the turn (which was a brick) but we likely get it all in there no matter what. Maybe I could have dumped it when the river came ugly, who knows ... surviving that hand from a big picture tourney payout perspective is very important but in a small bloggament I was in no mood to fold there.

I had a lot of fun and racked up lots of scalps, which gave me the fun distraction from studying that I needed.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another week done ...

... in the grind that is PLTC.

And it's talk like a pirate day.

Enough said, really.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Not your usual second-best hand

I guess I need to take a lesson from Bayne, who knows how to quit for a while.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Conveyances ...

... are boring.

Ah, the joys of stuyding for exams.

Question: Is making up a conveyance checklist any fun?

Answer: it isn't.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

And now the true bloggament hiatus begins

On a good note I am pleased to say. I added a Dookie title to my bloggament collection.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Skillz farewell

In what will likely be my last bloggament for a couple of months, I managed to place 3rd in the Skillz game. Many interesting hands were played: I lost a couple of huge key pots late, the one below stands out;

but did manage a couple of notable scoops earlier in the tournament. They more or less speak for themselves.

DQB!

And the standard wheel with nut flush redraw freeroll on the turn.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Holiday fun preceding exam time

Labour Day weekend. The calm before the storm.

I knew I would be resting up this weekend prior to beginning my Bar course. Time to catch up on chores, prepare a planned routine for the next few grueling weeks, and to wrap up one last task for my principal to hand over late tomorrow after the orientation session at the Law Society. And fit in some family time before my sister and her husband head off on their two-week vacation to Scotland later this week.

So ... in betweeen sorting through some of those aforementioned chores I fired up a 2/4 LHE table on FTP, and chatted with emptyman, who is on a real heater when it comes to HORSE tourneys to say the least.

I didn't equal his tourney winnings -- he was in the process of winning yet another HORSE MTT this afternoon, but it felt good to rack up a killer 153-hand session where I booked a big win [+150BBs], with a stellar 87% win at showdown.

I had forgotten just how soft low-limit LHE can be. As long as you can run just average, you can book a solid profit. I happened to run fairly hot after a slow start, and I got paid off in spades.

This was a fun note to end upon as I'll be playing very little poker during the next two months.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's Exam time

Ten weeks of fun, starting on Tuesday.

I'll be glad when they are over. That will mean vacation time (Vegas!), and a brave new world come January.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another Skillz title

I booked a win in a variety of poker that is uncommonly played: pot-limit Omaha hi/lo.

Two fun screenshots for starters:


With a recent downswing at the L08 cash tables, this win comes in handy for the ol' BR ...


And busting Waffles never grows old. I suppose I can't fault him for felting with top & bottom pair + gutshot straight draw ... but my check-raise was enormous, so he had to figure he was beat ...

Anyhow, this tourney had three main phases. In the first hour, I was determined to play almost no hands, flop a huge hand, and get it all in. Sadly, it didn't work out as planned ... as I was crippled despite being a money favourite. In hour two, I played for my tournament life and ground my way back. And in hour three I zoomed my way up to the top, survived some beats, and outlasted everyone.

1) This was the last hand of hour #1 ...

Full Tilt Poker Game #7816018965: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 1 - 50/100 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 22:30:28 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 2: dfazman (719)
Seat 3: PirateLawyer (2,574)
Seat 4: kazor (5,187)
Seat 5: scottc25 (4,773)
Seat 6: Drizztdj (3,491)
Seat 7: DonK_TuckFard (1,893)
Seat 8: SirFWALGMan (7,450)
Seat 9: Mondogarage (1,738)
Mondogarage posts the small blind of 50
dfazman posts the big blind of 100
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Td Jd Qd Ts]
PirateLawyer raises to 225
kazor folds
scottc25 folds
Drizztdj calls 225
DonK_TuckFard folds
SirFWALGMan folds
Mondogarage calls 175
dfazman folds
*** FLOP *** [9s 8c 6d]
Mondogarage checks
PirateLawyer bets 387
Drizztdj folds
Mondogarage raises to 1,513, and is all in
PirateLawyer calls 1,126
Mondogarage shows [9h Ks 9c As]
PirateLawyer shows [Td Jd Qd Ts]
*** TURN *** [9s 8c 6d] [5s]
*** RIVER *** [9s 8c 6d 5s] [8h]
Mondogarage shows a full house, Nines full of Eights, for high
PirateLawyer shows two pair, Tens and Eights, for high
Mondogarage wins the pot (3,801) with a full house, Nines full of Eights
No low hand qualified

Villain demonstrably kept getting the chips in the middle light. In this case I am a favourite against a bare set and am clearly priced in to call his CRAI. Villain also had no low draws and could have been up against two possible straights ... this is a lesson on how not to play a set, but it worked out for him here.

2) I am at a low point of 656 chips with blinds of 60/120. I steal some blinds, and then am in for my tournament life with a two-way hand that makes a low against two opponents who are going high. Up to 1134.

I then get a nice double vs. Waffles:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7816239413: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 1 - 60/120 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 22:46:45 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 3: PirateLawyer (1,134)
Seat 4: kazor (6,117)
Seat 5: scottc25 (4,473)
Seat 6: Drizztdj (3,776)
Seat 7: DonK_TuckFard (4,306)
Seat 8: SirFWALGMan (4,578)
Seat 9: Mondogarage (3,441)
scottc25 posts the small blind of 60
Drizztdj posts the big blind of 120
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [As Ks 7c 3c]
DonK_TuckFard folds
SirFWALGMan raises to 420
Mondogarage folds
PirateLawyer raises to 1,134, and is all in -- my hand is easily strong enough to shove here.
kazor folds
scottc25 folds
Drizztdj folds
SirFWALGMan calls 714
PirateLawyer shows [As Ks 7c 3c]
SirFWALGMan shows [Ac 4d Ah Kc]
*** FLOP *** [8c 7s 6s] - well, flopping the nuts takes the pressure off in a hurry
*** TURN *** [8c 7s 6s] [Qs]
*** RIVER *** [8c 7s 6s Qs] [Th]
PirateLawyer shows a flush, Ace high, for high andPirateLawyer shows 8,7,6,3,A, for low
SirFWALGMan shows a pair of Aces, for high andSirFWALGMan shows 8,7,6,4,A, for low
PirateLawyer wins the high pot (1,224) with a flush, Ace high
PirateLawyer wins the low pot (1,224) with 8,7,6,3,A
The blinds are now 80/160

SCOOP!

All of a sudden, I'm back up to a starting stack of 3000 chips.

I continue playing in position and am very selective with my starting hands. I safely chip up to 4100.

As we lose some players, I adjust to five-handed play.

I suffer a huge blow to my stack as my opponent makes a heroic call of my 3-bet preflop and somehow scoops with a garbage hand:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7816459465: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 1 - 100/200 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 23:02:53 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 3: PirateLawyer (3,468)
Seat 4: kazor (7,497)
Seat 5: scottc25 (7,424)
Seat 6: Drizztdj (2,836)
Seat 7: DonK_TuckFard (2,316)
scottc25 posts the small blind of 100
Drizztdj posts the big blind of 200
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [As 2c Qd Kh]
DonK_TuckFard raises to 450
PirateLawyer raises to 1,650
kazor folds
scottc25 folds
Drizztdj folds
DonK_TuckFard raises to 2,316, and is all in
PirateLawyer calls 666
DonK_TuckFard shows [Jh Qh 6d Qs]
PirateLawyer shows [As 2c Qd Kh]
*** FLOP *** [2s 6c 9h]
*** TURN *** [2s 6c 9h] [Td]
*** RIVER *** [2s 6c 9h Td] [8s]
DonK_TuckFard shows a straight, Queen high, for high
PirateLawyer shows a pair of Twos, for high
DonK_TuckFard wins the pot (4,932) with a straight, Queen high
No low hand qualified

That is just a lesson on how to get your money in badly by the villain here.

I get it allin with A236 but end up having to chop.

I get it in ahead and flop the nut high for a scoop:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7816532610: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 1 - 120/240 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 23:08:24 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 3: PirateLawyer (1,062)
Seat 4: kazor (7,377)
Seat 5: scottc25 (7,424)
Seat 6: Drizztdj (2,266)
Seat 7: DonK_TuckFard (5,412)
PirateLawyer posts the small blind of 120
kazor posts the big blind of 240
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Td 9s Ad Kd]
scottc25 folds
Drizztdj folds
DonK_TuckFard folds
PirateLawyer raises to 720
kazor raises to 1,200
PirateLawyer calls 342, and is all in
kazor shows [Qc 4s 7c As]
PirateLawyer shows [Td 9s Ad Kd]
Uncalled bet of 138 returned to kazor
*** FLOP *** [Kh Qh Js]
*** TURN *** [Kh Qh Js] [Jd]
*** RIVER *** [Kh Qh Js Jd] [Ks]
kazor shows two pair, Kings and Queens, for high
PirateLawyer shows a straight, Ace high, for high
PirateLawyer wins the pot (2,124) with a straight, Ace high
No low hand qualified

I get there with a wrap draw vs. my nemesis, who had flopped two pair on a scary board:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7816562995: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 1 - 120/240 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 23:10:40 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 3: PirateLawyer (1,884)
Seat 4: kazor (6,075)
Seat 5: scottc25 (7,904)
Seat 6: Drizztdj (2,626)
Seat 7: DonK_TuckFard (5,052)
DonK_TuckFard posts the small blind of 120
PirateLawyer posts the big blind of 240
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Tc Qc 2s Kh]
kazor folds
scottc25 folds
Drizztdj folds
DonK_TuckFard calls 120
PirateLawyer checks
*** FLOP *** [7s Jh 9c]
DonK_TuckFard bets 480
PirateLawyer has 15 seconds left to act
PirateLawyer raises to 1,644, and is all in
DonK_TuckFard calls 1,164
PirateLawyer shows [Tc Qc 2s Kh]
DonK_TuckFard shows [9d 3d Jd Ts]
*** TURN *** [7s Jh 9c] [2c]
*** RIVER *** [7s Jh 9c 2c] [Qd]
PirateLawyer shows a straight, King high, for high
DonK_TuckFard shows two pair, Jacks and Nines, for high
PirateLawyer wins the pot (3,768) with a straight, King high
No low hand qualified



I then flop quads and get a little action:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7816576473: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 1 - 120/240 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 23:11:40 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 3: PirateLawyer (3,768)
Seat 4: kazor (6,075)
Seat 5: scottc25 (7,904)
Seat 6: Drizztdj (2,626), is sitting out
Seat 7: DonK_TuckFard (3,168)
PirateLawyer posts the small blind of 120
kazor posts the big blind of 240
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [9s Jh 9h 7c]
scottc25 calls 240
Drizztdj folds
DonK_TuckFard has 15 seconds left to act
DonK_TuckFard folds
PirateLawyer calls 120
kazor checks
*** FLOP *** [7h 9d 9c] - pretty nice flop
PirateLawyer checks
kazor bets 360
scottc25 folds
PirateLawyer calls 360 - smooth call ; hope he improves
*** TURN *** [7h 9d 9c] [Jd]
PirateLawyer checks
kazor checks
*** RIVER *** [7h 9d 9c Jd] [2d]
PirateLawyer bets 720
kazor folds - rats!
Uncalled bet of 720 returned to PirateLawyer
PirateLawyer mucks
PirateLawyer wins the pot (1,440)

I crawl up above the 3K mark.

I keep chipping up by aggressively playing solid Axxx hands that have scoop potential preflop in position. If I get called, I am able to make pot-sized c-bets and take them down.

I narrowly miss a scoop after getting it all in with AAJ5 preflop; the river low means I have to settle for a disappointing chop:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7816699198: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 1 - 150/300 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 23:20:45 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 3: PirateLawyer (5,028)
Seat 4: kazor (6,135)
Seat 5: scottc25 (6,914)
Seat 6: Drizztdj (2,806)
Seat 7: DonK_TuckFard (2,658)
DonK_TuckFard posts the small blind of 150
PirateLawyer posts the big blind of 300
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Ah Js Ad 5c]
kazor folds
scottc25 folds
Drizztdj raises to 1,050
DonK_TuckFard folds
PirateLawyer raises to 3,300
Drizztdj calls 1,756, and is all in
PirateLawyer shows [Ah Js Ad 5c]
Drizztdj shows [2s 8d As Jd]
Uncalled bet of 494 returned to PirateLawyer
*** FLOP *** [3s Qd Ac]
*** TURN *** [3s Qd Ac] [Kd]
*** RIVER *** [3s Qd Ac Kd] [7s]
PirateLawyer shows three of a kind, Aces, for high
Drizztdj shows a pair of Aces, for high andDrizztdj shows 8,7,3,2,A, for low
PirateLawyer wins the high pot (2,881) with three of a kind, Aces
Drizztdj wins the low pot (2,881) with 8,7,3,2,A

I finally get a scoop when my hammer makes it both ways and the villain can't release what is clearly a second-best hand:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7816776783: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 1 - 150/300 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 23:26:07 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 3: PirateLawyer (5,103)
Seat 4: kazor (5,085)
Seat 5: scottc25 (7,514)
Seat 6: Drizztdj (5,989)
Seat 8: BamBamCan (8,100)
PirateLawyer posts the small blind of 150
kazor posts the big blind of 300
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [7h 2c 3h 2s]
scottc25 folds
Drizztdj calls 300
BamBamCan folds
PirateLawyer calls 150
kazor checks
*** FLOP *** [4d 8h Jh]
PirateLawyer checks
kazor checks
Drizztdj checks
*** TURN *** [4d 8h Jh] [Qs]
PirateLawyer checks
kazor bets 300
BamBamCan: interesting play Kaz
Drizztdj has 15 seconds left to act
Drizztdj folds
PirateLawyer calls 300
*** RIVER *** [4d 8h Jh Qs] [2h]
BamBamCan: it worked
PirateLawyer bets 750
kazor has 15 seconds left to act
kazor calls 750
*** SHOW DOWN ***
PirateLawyer shows [7h 2c 3h 2s] a flush, Jack high, for high and 8,7,4,3,2, for low
kazor mucks
PirateLawyer wins the high pot (1,500) with a flush, Jack high
PirateLawyer wins the low pot (1,500) with 8,7,4,3,2
The blinds are now 200/400
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 3,000 | Rake 0
Board: [4d 8h Jh Qs 2h]
Seat 3: PirateLawyer (small blind) showed [7h 2c 3h 2s] and won (3,000) with HI: a flush, Jack high; LO: 8,7,4,3,2
Seat 4: kazor (big blind) mucked [4s Qc Ah Jd] - HI: two pair, Queens and Jacks

I reach the 7300 mark in chips. With blinds at 200/400 with five-handed play I am ramping up my preflop aggression given the 600 in dead money sitting out there every hand.

This is a good example of an easy button raise in this situation:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7816792973: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 1 - 200/400 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 23:27:16 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 3: PirateLawyer (6,753)
Seat 4: kazor (3,735)
Seat 5: scottc25 (7,514)
Seat 6: Drizztdj (5,689)
Seat 8: BamBamCan (8,100)
kazor posts the small blind of 200
scottc25 posts the big blind of 400
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Kc Ac Qd 6d]
Drizztdj folds
BamBamCan folds
PirateLawyer raises to 1,100
kazor folds
scottc25 folds
Uncalled bet of 700 returned to PirateLawyer
PirateLawyer mucks
PirateLawyer wins the pot (1,000)

Here is an exmample of playing position and taking a pot away on the flop:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7816811300: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 1 - 200/400 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 23:28:36 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 3: PirateLawyer (7,353)
Seat 4: kazor (3,535)
Seat 5: scottc25 (5,914)
Seat 6: Drizztdj (5,689)
Seat 8: BamBamCan (9,300)
BamBamCan posts the small blind of 200
PirateLawyer posts the big blind of 400
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Jh 2d 3h Jc]
kazor folds
scottc25 folds
Drizztdj folds
BamBamCan raises to 800
PirateLawyer calls 400 - I am not impressed by a SB min-raise
*** FLOP *** [8h 7h Ts]
BamBamCan checks
PirateLawyer bets 1,600
BamBamCan folds
Uncalled bet of 1,600 returned to PirateLawyer
PirateLawyer mucks
PirateLawyer wins the pot (1,600)

And here I finally get a big AAxx hand to stand up preflop for a monster flop:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7816844974: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 1 - 200/400 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 23:31:06 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 3: PirateLawyer (8,553)
Seat 4: kazor (3,535)
Seat 5: scottc25 (5,914)
Seat 6: Drizztdj (5,689)
Seat 8: BamBamCan (8,100)
BamBamCan posts the small blind of 200
PirateLawyer posts the big blind of 400
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [5c As 8d Ah]
kazor folds
scottc25 raises to 1,200
Drizztdj folds
BamBamCan folds
PirateLawyer raises to 3,800
scottc25 raises to 5,914, and is all in
PirateLawyer calls 2,114 -- happy to get it all in here
scottc25 shows [5d Qd Ac 2c] -- pretty decent two-way hand, actually, but I have the AA
PirateLawyer shows [5c As 8d Ah]
*** FLOP *** [Kc Qh 4d] - fairly safe flop
*** TURN *** [Kc Qh 4d] [9c] - very good turn
*** RIVER *** [Kc Qh 4d 9c] [8h]
scottc25 shows a pair of Queens, for high
PirateLawyer shows a pair of Aces, for high
PirateLawyer wins the pot (12,028) with a pair of Aces

SCOOP!

And with that, I vault to a comfortable chiplead as we reach the final table and resume full-handed play.

Full Tilt Poker Game #7816866072: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 200/400 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 23:32:42 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (9,438)
Seat 2: Joshuacarlsen (12,684)
Seat 3: Drizztdj (5,689)
Seat 4: cemfredmd (3,702)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (1,915)
Seat 6: RaisingCayne (3,470)
Seat 7: BamBamCan (7,900)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (14,667)
Seat 9: kazor (3,535)

Unfortunately, I begin by doubling up a shorty despite flopping the nuts:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7816890791: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 200/400 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 23:34:35 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (8,238)
Seat 2: Joshuacarlsen (11,484)
Seat 3: Drizztdj (7,889)
Seat 4: cemfredmd (3,302)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (1,915)
Seat 6: RaisingCayne (3,470)
Seat 7: BamBamCan (7,900)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (14,667)
Seat 9: kazor (4,135)
cemfredmd posts the small blind of 200
iam23skidoo posts the big blind of 400
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [2h 7c Ad Td]
RaisingCayne folds
BamBamCan folds
PirateLawyer raises to 999
kazor folds
SirFWALGMan folds
Joshuacarlsen folds
Drizztdj folds
cemfredmd folds
iam23skidoo raises to 1,915, and is all in
PirateLawyer calls 916
iam23skidoo shows [As Jc Ts 8s] -- very questionable shove
PirateLawyer shows [2h 7c Ad Td]
*** FLOP *** [9d Js 8c]
*** TURN *** [9d Js 8c] [Qc]
*** RIVER *** [9d Js 8c Qc] [6c]
iam23skidoo shows a straight, Queen high, for high
PirateLawyer shows a straight, Jack high, for high
iam23skidoo wins the pot (4,030) with a straight, Queen high

That hand just goes to show that flopped straights never win. Sadly, no low was able to come in as I had that locked up.

But then I crack a vulnerable holding when Cayne overplays a marginal KKxx hand; I flop a big wrap draw and get there:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7817014579: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 250/500 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 23:44:11 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (12,540)
Seat 2: Joshuacarlsen (13,484)
Seat 3: Drizztdj (7,889)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (3,630)
Seat 6: RaisingCayne (2,870)
Seat 7: BamBamCan (7,250)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (11,202)
Seat 9: kazor (4,135)
PirateLawyer posts the small blind of 250
kazor posts the big blind of 500
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Qd 4c Ac Ts]
SirFWALGMan folds
Joshuacarlsen folds
Drizztdj folds
iam23skidoo folds
RaisingCayne raises to 1,750
BamBamCan folds
PirateLawyer raises to 5,750
kazor folds
RaisingCayne calls 1,120, and is all in
PirateLawyer shows [Qd 4c Ac Ts]
RaisingCayne shows [6c 4d Kh Ks]
Uncalled bet of 2,880 returned to PirateLawyer
*** FLOP *** [Kd Jd 2h]
*** TURN *** [Kd Jd 2h] [9d]
*** RIVER *** [Kd Jd 2h 9d] [8s]
PirateLawyer shows a straight, King high, for high
RaisingCayne shows three of a kind, Kings, for high
PirateLawyer wins the pot (6,240) with a straight, King high

I suffer a fairly hideous beat as skidoo gambools it up and my nut low is counterfeited on the river:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7817097233: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 250/500 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 23:50:40 ET - 2008/08/26
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (14,790)
Seat 2: Joshuacarlsen (12,734)
Seat 3: Drizztdj (7,889)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (5,820)
Seat 7: BamBamCan (4,310)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (15,072)
Seat 9: kazor (2,385)
SirFWALGMan posts the small blind of 250
Joshuacarlsen posts the big blind of 500
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [2d Ac Qc Th]
Drizztdj folds
iam23skidoo raises to 1,750
BamBamCan folds
PirateLawyer raises to 6,000
kazor folds
SirFWALGMan folds
Joshuacarlsen folds
iam23skidoo calls 4,070, and is all in
PirateLawyer shows [2d Ac Qc Th]
iam23skidoo shows [Ah 3d 4h 9c] - again, he makes a loose call preflop
Uncalled bet of 180 returned to PirateLawyer
*** FLOP *** [5d 3c 6h]
*** TURN *** [5d 3c 6h] [7c]
*** RIVER *** [5d 3c 6h 7c] [2h]
PirateLawyer shows a pair of Twos, for high andPirateLawyer shows 6,5,3,2,A, for low
iam23skidoo shows a straight, Seven high, for high andiam23skidoo shows 5,4,3,2,A, for low
iam23skidoo wins the high pot (6,195) with a straight, Seven high
iam23skidoo wins the low pot (6,195) with 5,4,3,2,A

Needless to say, his preflop call was pretty awful. And the river gave him the unexpected scoop as my nut flush didn't come in and my nut low is counterfeited.

I make a couple of tough laydowns and slip down the leaderboard with 6K in chips as the shortstack with 6 players remaining.

I flop the second nuts and massage a payout from Waffles, who finds a fold but still pays me off in part:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7817225270: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 300/600 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 0:00:24 ET - 2008/08/27
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (18,365)
Seat 2: Joshuacarlsen (12,834)
Seat 3: Drizztdj (8,599)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (8,930)
Seat 7: BamBamCan (8,170)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (6,102)
SirFWALGMan posts the small blind of 300
Joshuacarlsen posts the big blind of 600
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [7c As Ac 5c]
Drizztdj folds
iam23skidoo folds
BamBamCan folds
PirateLawyer raises to 1,350
SirFWALGMan calls 1,050
Drizztdj: no, not often
Joshuacarlsen has 15 seconds left to act
Joshuacarlsen folds
*** FLOP *** [Jc Jd Ah]
SirFWALGMan checks
PirateLawyer checks - trying to set my hand to look like a delayed bluff
*** TURN *** [Jc Jd Ah] [4h]
SirFWALGMan checks
PirateLawyer bets 1,650
SirFWALGMan calls 1,650
*** RIVER *** [Jc Jd Ah 4h] [Qs]
SirFWALGMan checks
PirateLawyer bets 3,102, and is all in
SirFWALGMan: jerk
SirFWALGMan has 15 seconds left to act
PirateLawyer: just call
SirFWALGMan has requested TIME
SirFWALGMan: you habve like A2
pushmonkey72 (Observer): lol
PirateLawyer: I have KK25
BamBamCan: chip dump?
SirFWALGMan folds
Uncalled bet of 3,102 returned to PirateLawyer
PirateLawyer mucks
PirateLawyer wins the pot (6,600)

We lose a shorty and I am able to take half of the pot in a nice multiway checkdown as another shorty survives by winning the HI as I take the low:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7817268228: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 400/800 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 0:03:48 ET - 2008/08/27
iam23skidoo: holla
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (15,365)
Seat 2: Joshuacarlsen (2,104)
Seat 3: Drizztdj (7,599)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (28,230)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (9,702)
iam23skidoo posts the small blind of 400
PirateLawyer posts the big blind of 800
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Ad Th 6d 5d]
SirFWALGMan calls 800
Joshuacarlsen raises to 2,104, and is all in
Drizztdj folds
iam23skidoo calls 1,704
PirateLawyer calls 1,304
SirFWALGMan calls 1,304
*** FLOP *** [Qh 4d 6h]
iam23skidoo checks
PirateLawyer checks
SirFWALGMan checks
*** TURN *** [Qh 4d 6h] [Qc]
iam23skidoo checks
PirateLawyer checks
SirFWALGMan checks
*** RIVER *** [Qh 4d 6h Qc] [2h]
iam23skidoo checks
PirateLawyer checks - I think about a value bet with what I assume is a lock for low, but opt against it
SirFWALGMan checks
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Joshuacarlsen shows [As Ah 2c 9h] a flush, Ace high, for high
iam23skidoo mucks
PirateLawyer shows [Ad Th 6d 5d] two pair, Queens and Sixes, for high and 6,5,4,2,A, for low
SirFWALGMan mucks
Joshuacarlsen wins the high pot (4,208) with a flush, Ace high
PirateLawyer wins the low pot (4,208) with 6,5,4,2,A
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 8,416 | Rake 0
Board: [Qh 4d 6h Qc 2h]
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan mucked [Td 7c Ac 7d] - HI: two pair, Queens and Sevens; LO: 7,6,4,2,A
Seat 2: Joshuacarlsen showed [As Ah 2c 9h] and won (4,208) with HI: a flush, Ace high
Seat 3: Drizztdj (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (small blind) mucked [6s Jc 7h Jd] - HI: two pair, Queens and Jacks
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (big blind) showed [Ad Th 6d 5d] and won (4,208) with HI: two pair, Queens and Sixes; LO: 6,5,4,2,A

I start making hands in position as Waffles starts bleeding chips to me:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7817280216: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 400/800 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 0:04:45 ET - 2008/08/27
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (13,261)
Seat 2: Joshuacarlsen (4,208)
Seat 3: Drizztdj (7,599)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (26,126)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (11,806)
PirateLawyer posts the small blind of 400
SirFWALGMan posts the big blind of 800
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Kd 2c Qs 3c]
Joshuacarlsen folds
Drizztdj folds
iam23skidoo folds
PirateLawyer raises to 2,000
SirFWALGMan calls 1,200
*** FLOP *** [8h 5c 6c]
PirateLawyer checks
SirFWALGMan checks
*** TURN *** [8h 5c 6c] [Ac]
PirateLawyer bets 4,000 - time to bet pot with a strong two-way hand & the nut low
SirFWALGMan folds
Uncalled bet of 4,000 returned to PirateLawyer
PirateLawyer mucks
PirateLawyer wins the pot (4,000)

Another 3-way allin and I take half with a lucky backdoor low:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7817305059: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 400/800 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 0:06:44 ET - 2008/08/27
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (12,061)
Seat 2: Joshuacarlsen (4,208)
Seat 3: Drizztdj (6,399)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (26,526)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (13,806)
iam23skidoo posts the small blind of 400
PirateLawyer posts the big blind of 800
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Qc Ad Ks 7s]
SirFWALGMan folds
Joshuacarlsen has 15 seconds left to act
Joshuacarlsen raises to 2,800
Drizztdj folds
iam23skidoo calls 2,400
PirateLawyer has 15 seconds left to act
PirateLawyer calls 2,000
*** FLOP *** [2d 2s Td]
iam23skidoo checks
PirateLawyer bets 4,200
Joshuacarlsen calls 1,408, and is all in
iam23skidoo raises to 22,408
PirateLawyer calls 6,806, and is all in - crying call
iam23skidoo shows [2c 5c 7c 2h]
PirateLawyer shows [Qc Ad Ks 7s]
Joshuacarlsen shows [Jh Kd Kc 5s]
Uncalled bet of 11,402 returned to iam23skidoo
*** TURN *** [2d 2s Td] [8s]
*** RIVER *** [2d 2s Td 8s] [6d]
iam23skidoo shows four of a kind, Twos, for high andiam23skidoo shows 8,7,6,5,2, for low
PirateLawyer shows a pair of Twos, for high andPirateLawyer shows 8,7,6,2,A, for low
iam23skidoo wins the high side pot (9,598) with four of a kind, Twos
PirateLawyer wins the low side pot (9,598) with 8,7,6,2,A
Joshuacarlsen shows two pair, Kings and Twos, for high
iam23skidoo wins the high main pot (6,312) with four of a kind, Twos
PirateLawyer wins the low main pot (6,312) with 8,7,6,2,A
Joshuacarlsen stands up

Then I get it all in with KKxx and get outdrawn by the shorty:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7817384950: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 500/1000 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 0:13:15 ET - 2008/08/27
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (27,122)
Seat 3: Drizztdj (4,199)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (16,769)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (14,910)
Drizztdj posts the small blind of 500
iam23skidoo posts the big blind of 1,000
The button is in seat #1
SirFWALGMan: ship it
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Kd 5d Kh 9h]
PirateLawyer raises to 2,250
SirFWALGMan folds
Drizztdj raises to 4,199, and is all in
iam23skidoo folds
PirateLawyer calls 1,949
Drizztdj shows [Js Qh Td As]
PirateLawyer shows [Kd 5d Kh 9h]
*** FLOP *** [5c Ad Qc]
*** TURN *** [5c Ad Qc] [2s]
*** RIVER *** [5c Ad Qc 2s] [3d]
Drizztdj shows two pair, Aces and Queens, for high
PirateLawyer shows a pair of Kings, for high
Drizztdj wins the pot (9,398) with two pair, Aces and Queens

But then I turn the tables with a huge scoop to recoup my losses and burst the cash bubble:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7817393970: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 500/1000 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 0:14:00 ET - 2008/08/27
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (27,122)
Seat 3: Drizztdj (9,398)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (15,769)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (10,711)
iam23skidoo posts the small blind of 500
PirateLawyer posts the big blind of 1,000
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [7s Ah 2d Js]
SirFWALGMan folds
Drizztdj raises to 3,500
iam23skidoo folds
PirateLawyer raises to 10,711, and is all in
Drizztdj calls 5,898, and is all in
PirateLawyer shows [7s Ah 2d Js]
Drizztdj shows [Ac Ad 6c 4h]
Uncalled bet of 1,313 returned to PirateLawyer
*** FLOP *** [8d Qs 5h]
*** TURN *** [8d Qs 5h] [4s]
*** RIVER *** [8d Qs 5h 4s] [Ts]
PirateLawyer shows a flush, Queen high, for high andPirateLawyer shows 8,5,4,2,A, for low
Drizztdj shows a pair of Aces, for high andDrizztdj shows 8,6,5,4,A, for low
PirateLawyer wins the high pot (9,648) with a flush, Queen high
PirateLawyer wins the low pot (9,648) with 8,5,4,2,A
Drizztdj stands up

I am pretty confident given the past behaviour of skidoo and Waffles that I can get it in with the best of it against the former and nut-peddle vs. the latter ... time will tell if I am right.

I get skidoo to commit all his chips drawing to a chop ... and he gets there:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7817418939: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 500/1000 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 0:16:04 ET - 2008/08/27
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (28,622)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (14,769)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (19,609)
SirFWALGMan posts the small blind of 500
iam23skidoo posts the big blind of 1,000
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [7c Ad Qd 5c]
PirateLawyer raises to 3,500
SirFWALGMan folds
iam23skidoo calls 2,500
*** FLOP *** [9h Ac 6c]
iam23skidoo bets 7,500
PirateLawyer raises to 16,109, and is all in
iam23skidoo calls 3,769, and is all in
PirateLawyer shows [7c Ad Qd 5c]
iam23skidoo shows [Qh 4d As 3s]
Uncalled bet of 4,840 returned to PirateLawyer
*** TURN *** [9h Ac 6c] [5s]
*** RIVER *** [9h Ac 6c 5s] [8d]
PirateLawyer shows a straight, Nine high, for high andPirateLawyer shows 8,7,6,5,A, for low
iam23skidoo shows a pair of Aces, for high andiam23skidoo shows 6,5,4,3,A, for low
PirateLawyer wins the high pot (15,019) with a straight, Nine high
iam23skidoo wins the low pot (15,019) with 6,5,4,3,A

I trap Waffles with the AA overpair to the board but he rivers the nut straight along with me for another disappointing chop:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7817426665: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 500/1000 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 0:16:43 ET - 2008/08/27
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (28,122)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (14,519)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (20,359)
PirateLawyer posts the small blind of 500
SirFWALGMan posts the big blind of 1,000
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [As Js 4c Ah]
iam23skidoo folds
PirateLawyer raises to 3,000
SirFWALGMan calls 2,000
*** FLOP *** [Jh Ts Kh]
PirateLawyer checks
SirFWALGMan checks
*** TURN *** [Jh Ts Kh] [6d]
PirateLawyer bets 3,000
SirFWALGMan calls 3,000
*** RIVER *** [Jh Ts Kh 6d] [Qc]
PirateLawyer bets 4,000
SirFWALGMan raises to 22,122, and is all in
PirateLawyer calls 10,359, and is all in
Uncalled bet of 7,763 returned to SirFWALGMan
*** SHOW DOWN ***
SirFWALGMan shows [4h Ks 5d Ad] a straight, Ace high, for high
PirateLawyer shows [As Js 4c Ah] a straight, Ace high, for high
PirateLawyer ties for the pot (20,359) with a straight, Ace high
SirFWALGMan ties for the pot (20,359) with a straight, Ace high

But then life is good as I get skidoo to call down light as I flop the wheel and get paid:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7817437569: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 500/1000 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 0:17:38 ET - 2008/08/27
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (28,122)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (14,519)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (20,359)
SirFWALGMan posts the small blind of 500
iam23skidoo posts the big blind of 1,000
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [9c 3s 2h 9d]
SirFWALGMan: lol
PirateLawyer calls 1,000
SirFWALGMan folds
iam23skidoo checks
*** FLOP *** [4c 5h Ah]
iam23skidoo checks
PirateLawyer checks
*** TURN *** [4c 5h Ah] [9s]
iam23skidoo checks
PirateLawyer bets 2,500
iam23skidoo calls 2,500
*** RIVER *** [4c 5h Ah 9s] [7d]
iam23skidoo checks
PirateLawyer bets 4,000
iam23skidoo has 15 seconds left to act
iam23skidoo calls 4,000
*** SHOW DOWN ***
PirateLawyer shows [9c 3s 2h 9d] a straight, Five high, for high and 5,4,3,2,A, for low
iam23skidoo mucks
PirateLawyer wins the high pot (7,750) with a straight, Five high
PirateLawyer wins the low pot (7,750) with 5,4,3,2,A
*** SUMMARY ***
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (big blind) mucked [2s Td 8c Th] - HI: a pair of Tens; LO: 8,5,4,2,A
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (button) showed [9c 3s 2h 9d] and won (15,500) with HI: a straight, Five high; LO: 5,4,3,2,A

I continue to nut-peddle vs. Waffles. Sadly he finds a fold:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7817455191: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 500/1000 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 0:19:07 ET - 2008/08/27
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (27,622)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (8,019)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (27,359)
PirateLawyer posts the small blind of 500
SirFWALGMan posts the big blind of 1,000
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Td Kh 2c Js]
iam23skidoo folds
PirateLawyer calls 500
SirFWALGMan checks
*** FLOP *** [2h Jd 7d]
PirateLawyer checks
SirFWALGMan checks
*** TURN *** [2h Jd 7d] [9s]
PirateLawyer bets 1,500
SirFWALGMan calls 1,500
*** RIVER *** [2h Jd 7d 9s] [Qc]
PirateLawyer bets 5,000
SirFWALGMan: bastard
PirateLawyer: what do you have
SirFWALGMan: how do you have a straight when I have 2 8's
SirFWALGMan folds
Uncalled bet of 5,000 returned to PirateLawyer
PirateLawyer mucks
PirateLawyer wins the pot (5,000)
NYRambler (Observer): good fold waffles

I flop two pair but am unable to bet for value on a scary river; I happily take the pot down:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7817467133: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 500/1000 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 0:20:07 ET - 2008/08/27
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (25,122)
Seat 5: iam23skidoo (8,019)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (29,859)
SirFWALGMan posts the small blind of 500
iam23skidoo posts the big blind of 1,000
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [8d 3h 9d Ad]
PirateLawyer has 15 seconds left to act
PirateLawyer calls 1,000
SirFWALGMan calls 500
iam23skidoo checks
*** FLOP *** [5d 9c 3d]
SirFWALGMan checks
iam23skidoo checks
PirateLawyer bets 3,000
SirFWALGMan calls 3,000
iam23skidoo folds
*** TURN *** [5d 9c 3d] [Ts]
SirFWALGMan checks
PirateLawyer checks
*** RIVER *** [5d 9c 3d Ts] [Jc]
SirFWALGMan checks
PirateLawyer checks
*** SHOW DOWN ***
PirateLawyer shows [8d 3h 9d Ad] two pair, Nines and Threes, for high
SirFWALGMan mucks
PirateLawyer wins the pot (9,000) with two pair, Nines and Threes
No low hand qualified
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 9,000 | Rake 0
Board: [5d 9c 3d Ts Jc]
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (small blind) mucked [3s As 4d 6s] - HI: a pair of Threes

Waffles busts the short-stacked skidoo and we're down to headsup. I have a narrow 35K-27K chiplead with 600/1200 blinds.

Ten hands in, we reach a resolution:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7817508431: Blogger Skillz Game (58958097), Table 3 - 600/1200 - Pot Limit Omaha H/L - 0:23:37 ET - 2008/08/27
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (27,641)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (35,359)
SirFWALGMan posts the small blind of 600
PirateLawyer posts the big blind of 1,200
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to PirateLawyer [Jc Qd Jd 3d]
SirFWALGMan raises to 3,600
PirateLawyer calls 2,400
*** FLOP *** [2s Kc Js]
PirateLawyer checks
SirFWALGMan bets 7,200
PirateLawyer raises to 28,800
SirFWALGMan calls 16,841, and is all in
PirateLawyer shows [Jc Qd Jd 3d]
SirFWALGMan shows [Qc Kd Ac 2c]
Uncalled bet of 4,759 returned to PirateLawyer
*** TURN *** [2s Kc Js] [5d]
*** RIVER *** [2s Kc Js 5d] [4c]
PirateLawyer shows three of a kind, Jacks, for high
SirFWALGMan shows two pair, Kings and Twos, for high
PirateLawyer wins the pot (55,282) with three of a kind, Jacks
SirFWALGMan: bah gg
SirFWALGMan stands up
PirateLawyer stands up
No low hand qualified
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 55,282 | Rake 0
Board: [2s Kc Js 5d 4c]
Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (small blind) showed [Qc Kd Ac 2c] and lost with HI: two pair, Kings and Twos
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (big blind) showed [Jc Qd Jd 3d] and won (55,282) with HI: three of a kind, Jacks

Thanks for reading this far! I hope these HHs illustrate some important principles of the big bet PL variant of Omaha hi/lo. It does play quite differently than the limit version of the game.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

WWYD: deepstack tournament poker situation

Here is the situation: you have a below-average stack of approximately 11K (down from a starting stack of 15K; you've missed a couple of big draws early where you have correctly folded to pot-sized bets on the turn). Table is seven-handed; you're in a two-table live tournament with the top-3 places of 13 runners paying out. A proficient LAG who seemingly doesn't blog anymore opens for 3.5 bets in MP. The button calls.

You look down at 99. You decide to squeeze and make a pot-sized raise to 3.5K (putting in a third of your stack). The initial raiser puts you all-in, the button folds, and you have to call your last 7K or so to win a pot of approximately 23K for your tournament life (the SB and button contribute about 1K of dead money, so that means it's your 11K +1K dead + 11K villain). You believe your opponent is only putting in the last raise with bigger pairs or two overcards. This means you have roughly 40% equity against his range in a back-of-envelope calculation, you figure, as you go in the tank at the table. The chief difficulty is how much to weight his range towards the overpairs where you are a 4:1 underdog vs. the classic race situation where you can't get your chips in fast enough given the pot odds.

Do you call or do you fold?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mookie final table recap

I don't have time to do a full recap at present. I will just say that I risked being first out on the very first hand of the tournament (last week, as you may recall, I busted out on Hand #3). From here I rode my way to a 5th place cash, cursing as I lost a couple of key hands late and failing to dodge 7 outs with one card to come to vault into a commanding position and a strong chance to win.

Maybe next time Don won't be quite so cute with KK ... sometimes flopped straights do win!

Full Tilt Poker, NL Hold'em Tournament, 15/30 Blinds, 8 Players

SB: 3,000
BB: 3,000
UTG: 3,000
UTG+1: 3,000
MP1: 3,000
Hero (MP2): 3,000
CO: 3,000
BTN: 3,000

Pre-Flop: (45) J Q dealt to Hero (MP2)
3 folds, Hero raises to 75, CO folds, SB calls 60, BB calls 45

Flop: (225) 9 K T (3 Players)
SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets 120, SB raises to 330, BB folds, Hero raises to 990, SB raises to 2,925 and is All-In, Hero calls 1,935 and is All-In

Turn: (6,075) 2 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

River: (6,075) 4 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: 6,075 Pot
SB showed K K (three of a kind, Kings) and LOST (-3,000 NET)
Hero showed J Q (a straight, King high) and WON 6,075 (+3,075 NET)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Deepstack tournament poker analysis

Here is a lesson of what not to do in a deepstack tourney. This hand contains plenty of mistakes to critique. I'll go through it street by street.

Full Tilt Poker, NL Hold'em Tournament, 15/30 Blinds, 7 Players

CO: 3,030
BTN: 2,955
SB: 2,970
Hero (BB): 3,000
UTG: 3,000
UTG+1: 3,045
MP: 3,000

Pre-Flop: (45) Q T dealt to Hero (BB)
UTG folds, UTG+1 calls 30, MP calls 30, 2 folds, SB calls 15, Hero checks

This is a good spot to squeeze but on the third hand of the tourney and no real reads on how players are going to play, it's defensible enough just to take the free flop with a hand that has good multiway potential.

Flop: (120) K A 5 (4 Players)
SB checks, Hero bets 90, UTG+1 folds, MP raises to 390, SB folds, Hero raises to 690, MP raises to 2,970 and is All-In, Hero calls 2,280 and is All-In

A lot of very interesting decisions to be made in this situation. Leading out to build the pot with a big draw (12 clean outs to make the nuts) is, I think, prudent. The raise by MP can't plausibly represent AA, KK, or AK; hand range analysis leads one to believe that we're looking at a top pair hand with a decent kicker that probably can't stand a flop 3-bet, since as BB I can represent 2 pair plausibly, or even bottom set. If villain shoves with 1 pr I have nearly 45% pot equity and intend to call.

The nightmare scenario is if villain has KdJd but that is extremely unlikely, and sure enough they show up here with TPTK.

Turn: (6,060) K (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

River: (6,060) T (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: 6,060 Pot
Hero showed Q T (two pair, Kings and Tens) and LOST (-3,000 NET)
MP showed Q A (two pair, Aces and Kings) and WON 6,060 (+3,060 NET)

This hand, which was the third hand of Level One in last night's Mookie, features a plethora of questionable decisions by both players:

1) Above all, poor pot control;

2) Playing for stacks with one pair and a draw on the third hand of Lvl 1 of a deepstack tournament;

3) Semi-bluffing by the drawing hand out of position when the default assumption for bloggaments is that top pair hands rarely if ever fold means that the fold equity just is not there;

4) Choosing to coinflip instead of preserving 2200 chips despite getting the proper price to gamble when getting 2.6:1 pot odds with 45% pot equity us arguably a bad decision as you can fold and wait for another opportunity to chip back up with plenty of play left;

5) Villain could well have called the flop 3-bet in position and re-evaluate if non-scare card came, or fold if strong belief that the BB's represented 2 pr + hand was reasonable with only 10% of stack invested on flop RR;

……… but this is a bloggament, top pair top kicker is GOLD, which is why the flop 3-bet was very likely a poor line to take. Betting out to build a pot, however, was a good idea.

The BB in this hand was me, of course, and I earned the Gigli because I couldn't hit a diamond, a jack, or running tens.

Villain busted out only 10 slots after me. Always nice to see my chips put to good use.

Comments, as always, are welcome.