Hell, I played like crazy to make it but failed. Katja and I decided that we try to make it to Vegas out of a busy situation next week to the five diamands at the Bellagio IF we manage to make 20k online, playing these 30/60 tables at party. The tournaments look so good and we would have taken a flight on December 1st and stayed there a full week with two weekends 'till the 12th. With about 34,000$ only for the buyins this is far from a cheap trip and if you also calculate the money we won't earn in this time we are even more close to 50k for the trip. So we said, 10k from a nice weekend are already there, 4k were made in small games during the week so we need about 6k more and the race would be on.
From the first hand on nothing went like it should. I got roasted. While the only hand I remember is a major suckout on my part I know I got my ass handed to me. I played about 11,000 hands in 6 days and lost to the tune of 10k. What was easy two weeks before looked impossible now. The suckout I did (out of maybe 10 over all these hands) went like this: I had a nearly-maniac player at all three of my tables named slanskysux who played all tables with 5,000 each (like me) and was down about 4k together. He stated he is playing 15 hours straight so he was a little of. I sure dont gave him any credit. I was dealt AQo in MP and raised, he re-raised in LP and four player saw a flop of AT6, all different suits. There was a bet, I raised, slanskysux 3 bets, one fold, on calls, I capped although I was afraid the other remaining player has two pair or AK. Turn was annother ace, 4 suits open, check, bet from me, raise from slanskysux the other player folds, I thought for a moment, re-raised only to get it capped from him. Oh well I thought, honestly thinking I was beat at this moment but I could certainly not fold with three aces and a pot big like that. River was - ACE. I happily bet BUT GOT RAISED!!! Sitting there with the stone cold nuts I re-raised, he called, I showed my four aces and he folded. He wrote something about "xxxing unbelievable" into the chat so I went to the hand history to see what he held - he had TT, flopped the set and had me beat to runner-runner boat or quads. Uhh I shivered. Slanskysux, in case you read here, sorry for that one. I still stand for my thoughts and play but that one must have hurt a lot, more if you are already behind 4k. What hurts us now is that we failed and instead of going to Vegas we stay in the office and only read about "our" tournaments. Schnief, and I would have liked to see the newly extended forum shops so much, I don't even going to think about the side action that I miss now.
Katja and I got mentioned in a newspaper (no pictures). See the -german- article here.
Pokertracker showed me an impressive 4,300 hands that I played over the course of only 72 hours, mostly 30/60 (3 tables). I was quite shocked when I saw this number because I get NO RAKE BACK. I have my account well established with high limits so I dont want to mess around with it. What is even more impressive is my result, with well over 10k won in that time.
I would never have thought that that many hands went thru. In my starting days of poker I played twice a week 7 hours stud and wrote down every hand that I had - we had about 120-160 hands a night (stud, pot-limit, dealers which could not hold a deck twohanded) so I played an almost ridicoulous amount of hands in this short time. Interesting is, that I have not even thought that I played this much. There was plenty of time over the weekend to do some horseback-riding, have nice dinners with friend&family, do some work, slepp well, play tournaments and much more. One could certainly see that any flaw has a major impact on the result.
Talking strategy, I changed mine to ultra-agressive after that suffering in Baden a few weeks ago. And it pays of I must say. I could have been much more selective but I believe I would have gotten much less money as I showed down bluffs, draws and the like regulary while leading the whole way and got much money on my legitimate hands. My biggest looser over the weekend were in fact the dreaded aces. I lost 3 pots with more that 1,500 each, everytime holding aces. But all the money I got beause people where giving up their hands due to my constant preassure more than made up for it. While some player certainly think I was a maniac I myself don't feel like it. I believe I made great laydowns even right on the flop but seeking the weaker players and always put them to a descicion. I remember many times where I could tell Katja exactly what cards the players were holding, I had very good and strong reads on them. While I have know that I play good in b&m this is somehow new to me online. I always played to much on the strength of my own hand and not reflecting enough on the others. All-in-all I can say that "playing the player" is well possible online and that bluffing is a serious option in limit 30/60.
On the tournament front no news, I made triple money in a $30-Speed tourney. I will most likely not play one of these again, this much stalling is simply to much for me. This is no poker, this is like black jack although right now I must admit that is has a "positional training factor". And the money is good, given a $30 buyin (around 6k) and I did well in chance-games now and then :-). In a $109 I got place 33 with 30 in the money and in the quarter million guaranteed I was out after 10 minutes, losing with AT against A6 when a six came on the river.
In Phil Gordons new book "The Real Deal" is a training that got me thinking: take a seat in a very low limit game, put a black stripe on your monitor where your hole cards are and play to win, using only your positional advantage. Wow! The books says you should be able to beat these limits without even seeing your holecards. Reminds me of Luke Skywalker, training the light sword with no sight. Was there something like that even in Karate Kid? I think I will try this out soon - in 30/60!!! Please don't ask for day and time, I'm a fool but not a complete one, lol. But you are welcome to join and find out!
The poker weekend is over now. Sad. It was really much fun with mixed results. I already reported about the championship turnout (7th for 1,400eur) and the cashgame (+6,200eur) but the end of the online tournament bonanza is still missing. Here it comes:
Sunday was our "slow" day, Katja went for some horseback riding which I also do on sundays but I was to hot to stay away from the games. So I joined a 6max 15/30 game and played a few hours, showing a profit of about $750. Then we went to diner with the family and came back just in time to get a seat in the a) PPM qualifer, b) $100 NL multitable, c) $30 NL multitable and d) a 30/60 game. You see, we were in there for some serious action... Katja was thinking the $30 NL tourney, where we got busted soon with KK against AA. In the $100 we semi-bluffed a hand, made it and still lost so that only 15 chips remained. From there we went on a tear, going to 4500 chips in 30 minutes when the following hand came up: we were in the BB (100), holding 99. Everybody folded to the SB, which called. We raised to 400, the SB re-raised to 1600. We thought about and decided on some kind of steal and moved in. He gladly called with his KK and won the hand. Upps. Now as I write thru this hand I see things much clearer and should have opted to let this one go. Still running was the PPM qualifier: there was a small bad beat to put us on 2000 chips with an average of about 4000. I was in the BB (some thoughts on my BB game are pretty welcome) holding A4, when 7 people limped for 100. I could have checked, but decided to make a move an moved in. It took 5 minutes for everybody to fold except the SB, who thought for a feeled eternity. He finally called, having me covered with AQo. The flop showed a 4, but the Q on the turn sealed our destiny. Not qualified. Mission failed. While I still think the guy made a bad call with his AQo he still showed guts and was rewarded.
The 30/60 game was nothing unusual for party, brutal beats and nice suckouts while riding a 3,000$ swing down and up with a $300 loss when we finally quitted our poker weekend. All in all the online experience this weekend was a $1,900 loss, but with that many tournaments and that many bad plays I figure it is just ok. Now I am at my work project again with a broken wireless board, so no more internet poker this week (I think Katja is going to play a little) so no more posts this week that I can foresee now. Thanks for reading, get some cards and GOOD LUCK for now!
Low on chips did not mean low chance! I started the championship event today with a very short stack, went all in in the first hand with T2-T, got called by AA-3 just to buy four tens and survive. Two hands later I shoved my stack in on AK-Q, got raised by KK-7, called and won with a strait. Wow, very lucky. From there on I went to the chip lead in about 2 hours, which I held a long time. Finally I lost 2 big hands and came to the final table with just below average chips. Right away I managed to steal the very first hand with an open King, but that was it. One player (our firend and hero TanGo, who won 3 big online tournaments for well over 200k in the last 4 months, qualified already for the PPM and got 8th in the WPT in Paris this year, so don't think we sit there with amateurs!) managed to bust out before me by hitting the forced bet four times in a row and then loosing his all-in bet against aces, but then it was my turn. I raised with 9K-A and busted unimproved against queens, netting me 1,500 for 7th place. Not bad at all, given that I just made the cut to the final and was THE low stack going into day 2. Mission accomplished.
Katja played in the stud pot limit game while I was in the tournament, within 30 minutes she lost KK-K to JJ-J, aces up with four cards and some other nice hands. Thru some moves she managed to loose only 800 when she must quit and leeve to go home to play in the PPM qualifier, which was way earlier this night. Unfortunatly she survieved only about 3 hours and came to back to the casino. I was already sitting there in the "big game", half-half holdem/omaha, both pot limit with 10-20 blinds, about 80,000eur on the table. I was already loosing some buyins when she returned. Shortly after the game was paused to finish the tournament and award the price money. When we returned to the game it all changed, I battled it with Katja sweating me for 2 hours up and down (but no more new buyins) and then finally got a hand to win a pot of well over 7,000 and quitted the game shortly after with a 2,000 profit. So, the b&m play this weekend was very good to us, showing a nearly 9,000eur profit overall.
Online on the other side is so far a total desaster, with a overall loss of about 2,200$. When retuning home we were just in time to play the 250k guranteed on party, but after about 45 minutes I managed to bluff away all my chips with a pair of twos. At least we came to bed around 6am our time. But our trial is not over yet, we have a PPM qualifier and the sunday tournament still left to show up with at least some success and I am sure I will try a little cash game today (no action dryup over 6 hours on a weekend like this, lol).
Just a few infos for those who care: I am still in the championchip, but with a very low stack. In fact, I will go all-in tomorrow on the first remotly playable hand. Today I played the last two hands "in the dark", which means I did not even looked at my hole cards and raising whenever possible - I won both hands!! How it could got so far is a sad story of 3 lost full-houses, one lost flush and several times aces and kings up beaten. But.. there is still a chip and a chair!
The crazy cashgame afterwards: I played to two hours in a very tight und no-fun 30/60 holdem game to win 5eur (yes, five). I left and took a seat in the PLO game. In 5 minutes (first 4 hands) I made exactly 5,000eur (from a single 500 buyin). I played annother orbit and left very happy for the online tournaments.
If you read my last post you know about my nice run at 10/20-6max. Well, while I wrote the post I lost the first few hands and within 60 minutes afterwards I was down 800 and left the game. After returning from the casino I started plaing the PPM qualifier and the friday special like planned. I had some fun in both and busted within 30 seconds in both tournaments. In the PPM qualifier I got trapped successfully: I had the BB with QJ, UTG raised (had me covered, we both had more than average). SB calls and I call. Flop comes QJ2, all I could think about was the fucking Mirage if you know what I mean. SB checked, I bet the pot (1k already), UTG calls, SB calls. Turn is a blank, I move in, UTG raises, SB folds. UTG shows 22 and IGH. Well done and played! In the other tournament I bluffed all-in on the river with a busted straight draw and got called by bottom pair. Good read or bad play, eigher way, IGH. Now I am *very* tired, I pass the weekly PPM qualifier and catch Katja (she is still around, playing some smaller tournaments and qualifiers) and went right to bed. I fucked up up in the tourneys but I am still happy, why in the world does money make such a differnence?? I need to get over this when I am going to play fulltime (sometime) and dont let these daily results affect my feelings, but I am not so far right now. And: I dont care right now as I am feeling good!
A weekend how I like it! I am going to play the german 7stud championship today and hopefully tomorrow, this feels like a freeroll to some medium money (about 45,000USD in the pricepool) as the qualification is already over 2 weeks gone and I dont "feel" the buyin anymore. There are coming 32 players from different parts of germany, many of them I do know well. The cash game is going to be great!
But wait! There's more! This weekend is really full of online tournaments. Last night I did play: Single table PPM satellite, won. Single table satellite, 3rd (freeroll now). Multi table PPM satellite with over 700 players: made a seat (!). No wait, that was last weekend, I messed things up. Then the main PPM qualifier: arghhh, good start but after two hours I got KK cracked twice and got busted with AK. Meanwhile I was playing a 100$ multi-table NL and the super-thursday (150$). I got no money in both. This night, after wild action in the championchip I'am going to play the next PPM qualifier (226$ but using my satellite win), the friday special (215$) AND another weekly PPM qualifier (226$). This means three "majors" going on at the same time, ah I love this. And in case you did not got it by now: we really want to get on that boat!!!
Saturday will be no different: championship final, cash game and then annother PPM qualifier and the saturday $200k guranteed. Sunday will be a slowdown, with only annother qualifier and the Quarter Million Guranteed. That costs a lot you say? Sure it does! Now I tell you that I have still more in my account than before all these buyins as I got some real nice cards in the 10/20$-6max I played as my "sidegame" the whole time. Must be arround +$1600 now, wow, how nice the world looks when you do want you like and the cards are not treating you that bad.... I know, Sunday night it all may look different, when I made nothing, lost it all back, fucked up in the championship and still be not on the boat I will whine here a lot, but now... ah, I feel just great about the weekend and my chances!!!
Saturday I got informed about the upcoming Bahamas-event in January of Pokerstars and thought that some sun could not hurt us and we should try to qualify for that neat little thing (a WPT event that is). On checking their site I found an qualifier going on that saturday night for 650$. They even had a 500,000$ guaranteed event on sunday night (night at least over here in good old europe). Wow I thought, I could play both! I went right to the cashier but got stopped by an 600$ deposit limit (no Neteller available for us war chickens here in germany). I sended them email for a limit increase but due to the time shift I got no fast answer. Ok, then I got to fight my way into it! I quickly deposited the 600$ (not even got a bonus, oh are my business skills sharp or what?) and set myself the goal to make a quick 580 at the tables to be able to play the 650$ qualifier and the 500k (530$ buyin) event the following night. I picked up a seat in a 10-20 limit holdem game and gave my best. It took me only about 2 hours and "the fish was gotten" as we use to say here, I had 1,190 USD in my account plus some FPP point to play with. Nothing unusal happened, the best hand held up most of the times and every player had some reasons for his move - online poker can be something else than that party lotto?
Well confident I started playing the qualifier where I put some early pressure on my table, stealing here and there and having a small pot in the first 30 minutes or so. I was up 500 chips after an hour when I got A8o on the button and raised about 4x the BB. The SB folded but the BB called, having me barly covered. I thought right away "be carefull, don't bust in this hand". The flop came down J-8-3, all hearts. I had a black ace, the BB checked after about 3 seconds. I thought ok, I'll give it try and came our firing some 350, just a little over the pot size. Some "hesitation" on his side and a call. I guess you all know by now what he held but for some reason it did not came thru to me. Turn card was a beautyfull black ace, giving me two pair. My horses ran wild and so was I after he checked to me 1k went into the pot and I fully expected him to fold. He did not (oh well...) and called again. River was a blank and he came out betting! I had about 600 left at this point with a pot size of over 3000 and was sitting there like a duck. How could I come to this point holding A8? Katja, watching me, told me to give it up, he must held AJ or a flush. I thought about it, believed it and - still called, hoping for some total weired hand on his side like J8 or something and ignoring everything I know about the game of No-Limit holdem. Sure enough he showed me AT of hearts for the nut flush, having me milked all the way and throwing me out of the tourney. What did I thought? Why are these mistkaes done? I really like the way I put pressure on my opponents and I could even argue for my pot sized flop bet (take it or see where I am) - but how can I ignore what I see and change my thinking of his most likely hands into just a wishes-come-true behavior? Would I have done the same in B&M? I highly doubt it. Is my game sharp or what?
Sunday I did not play at all before the 500k event, mostly to punish myself for that stupid thing I did there in the qualifier (yes, not playing is still a kind of punishment for me so at least I have no poker-burn-out-syndrome yet ;). The tourney began and I got great cards right away - within the first 30 minutes I had KK two times, 3 other pairs, 20 or 21 hands another 6-7 times but I got no money! After these incredible good cards I was up 30 (for a stack of 2,530). I lost zero pots, made no laydowns so what happended? Was I on the tighest table on earth? Seemed so but others had chips well over 3k and one already 4k! I was stunned and while still wondering what adjustments to make the table broke and I got moved. Next thing I see is a pair of 4's, raise, Button re-raises, I call (argghhh!). Flop comes 5-6-8 giving me a gutshot and a under-pair. I quickly decided to move in giveing him a hard time without a premium hand to call. But unfortunatly that was exactly what he had, I saw his AA even before the chip animation ended on my screen. No help on turn and river (as none should come, the best hand shall hold up) and I was out, ugly and quickly again. Is my game sharp or what?
Friday the german championship in 7stud starts. 32 players going into the finals, including me. Stud is my best game, I play it better as the stakes go up and the money gets deep. The championship is played as spread-limit (do you remember spread-limit? Never saw any game in USA except 1-5, no ante, lol). Still, my confidence is high and the cash games over this weekend will be the best you can dream of. Everybody comes with pockets full of euro, just some of them are tournament experienced and the play the cash games like the last limit they had in the tourney - except the cash game will be PL which create's *many* very nice pots over the weekend... These tourneys are famous for their wild side action, I believe this is why they still happen.
Talking about wild side action, I came to think about dealer tips. Readings Linda's PokerWorks I remember playing for the first time in a 200-400 at the Bellagio ("upstairs" oh wow, there I was, finally), dragging a very nice pot and tipping a green chip, 25$. It took the dealer a minute to get that I dont want any change and that the chip was his tip. I already thought: huhh, 25$ to less? as the pot was over 4,000 but came back to earth as I got heat from the other players! Why I give so much, I shall keep "their" money, better throw it out of the window, you get the picture. This came fully surprising to me, as here in my city you are expected to give 10eur per 500 in the pot, so a pot like this would cost me minimum (!) 50eur tip (they already took out 20eur rake). Ridicoulous you say? I agree. Go play somewhere else? No chance, there is no other game. Don't tip? Forget about, after even one night you will get barred. I'm certainly not advocating this behaviour BUT think about this when you get the next nice pot pushed from a well qualified and friendly dealer and you object to give a nickel or a dollar! Service comes with a price and should have one and free markets will take care of the rest. When goverment comes to regulate it can get worse - much worse! Have fun with your president, by the way.