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Playing on stars May 18, 2005/11:43 AM

Except for the Step Higher SNG's I am playing on Pokerstars only these days. I don't know why exactly but somehow I like it over there these days more than party. The software offers more small-but-nice features, examples would be the touney lobbys where you not only see the players and their current ranking but also their hometown and their chip amount or the ability to see for which tourneys you are actually registered already. It feels they have their ear a little more on the players needs and I appreciate that a lot. Totaly fitting into that feeling is a line from their "career" webpage:

Conduct market research of current and prospective real money players to develop understanding of needs and expectations of real money players
Yesterday I played some tournaments there with mixed results. Most important I played two MTT qualifiers for the sunday big $215 $350,000 guaranteed event, on for $11+R and one for 500 FPP. I got lucky and made a seat in both, the second giving me T$215. There were 122 and 188 players there so I am really satiedfied with this result. I also played the evenings $109+R event. Wow, that was a rollercoaster ride. I got a pretty big start, and came doubled up very early, then took some blows and needed to rebuy after 45 minutes. I increased my stack from there, took the add-on and was at about 8k after 2 hours. I was sitting to the right of a very active player, "ActionJeff" if I remember it right. And that guy got cards! I got into four confrontations with him, won the first, lost the second (with the better hand), won the third (with the worst hand) and then raised his pre-flop raise holding KQs all-in. He called, having me covered, showing JJ. Pot was about 15k. Flop came KQ9, two pair for me, but the turn showed the T giving him the straight and the ace on the river did not help me so I was out. Note that the guy played not bad at all, he was just agressive and catching some cards also. This is a total different thing than the jerk limping/calling my all-in raise with KJo monday night and then turning a straight to beat my set (see below).


Sunday night, tournament time: I played the quarter million guaranteed at party but did not go anywhere, a quite exit without any pot after about 90 minutes. Other in the $350k at stars where I made 106th place out of over 2,800 players. And I got a beat there, wow. I had nearly average chips and got in in holding AQs against KT and flopped AQ2. I made a big mistake there, yelling at the turn "NO JACK!!!" (which had some success) and again yelling the same thing at the river, which had no success, a ugly J appeared and I was done. Ughhh. At the same time I played a $35+R WSOP qualifier where only 27 out of maybe 400 players were left at the time. I had the BB and there were 5 limpers. I had more than average chips and found 44. I raised all-in (I know, questionable but the limpers had less chips than me and were all weak-tight, I did not fear aces or kings from a tricky opponent there). UTG called! All others went out of the way. He showed KJo which made for a very very bad call I think don't matter what I had. Anyway, flop came A4Q giving me a set and him 4 outs to a straight. I said to myself and Katja (she was watching) "no ten please" and before my mouth was closed the ten was laying there on the turn. Sure enough, the river brought no help for a boat and I was crippled with less than 2k in chips. I throwed those in on the very next hand (SB) with 94, got two pair and won. I waited for a few hands but only trash even by my standards. Right before the blinds I shoved with 96 of hearts, got one caller with AQ, found a nine in the flop but a Q on the turn and was out in 23th place.

Monday I played a $109+R MTT. I got to the chip lead after about 2 hours (98 players, 9 getting paid) and made a very bad decision there: to leave my game plan and play tight and wait for a premium hand. Which of course never appeared. For the next 2 hours I saw nothing except one hand where I had AA and busted a very small stack. Short story: I finished 10th with 9 paid, getting all in on the button with QTs against the chip leader with 99 in the BB. Two times before other small stakes had survived her all-in's, I lost my first. It was frustrating, especially since I had seen my mistake but failed to do anything against it. I remember very well when I was on the button with A6 of spades and it was folded to me (a sure raise for me at other times) - and I also folded!, having still left 30k of chips, nearly average with about 15 players left. I just could not switch gears back from rabbit to tiger. It was a little unreal. I learned from it, hopefully and proved that yesterday in the qualifier, where I looked out for the "right gear to be in" depending on the tourney situation and wrote about it via MSN to Katja, putting myself under pressure to not find any excuses for not doing it. And, look, I made it so there is something to it. Based on my last experiences I am very proud and confident about me NLHE tournament game right now, still having a handfull glitches to fix but I am surly improving. Feel free to critize my plays.


While these are so-lala-news I have also sad news to share: I lost $8,000 of my winnings from the last weekend. How came? Well, I could not say either. I know I looked for a shorthanded game and found a $30/60 stud game. I consider stud to be my best game. The higher the stakes the better I am. I played up to $300-600 live many times and can not only hold my own, I expect to win there. So joining a shorthanded 7stud game for "small stakes" like $30-60 looked like no bad idea at all. But it was. Lord, it was a joke. I could not win a hand. There was one guy who bought in for about $400 only and whenever he was over about 1k he left and bought in again for 400 something. He was unbeatable. Whatever I or another opponent had, he had it better. He must have done this win-leave-come-back thing for about 10-15 times. I played there for three hours (failing to leave as always when running bad) and made it a very nice day for two other guys. Actually I was under shock afterwards. If I at least would have seen that I am overmatched, outplayed or being dominated in any way it would not been so hard, I can easy accept the fact that I get under sharks and fail to swim fast enough and pay my price for that. But I yell at the fact that I get pushed around by two guys while my hands are tied behind my back (=getting bad cards) and I forget to use my other tools (=my legs) to escape the situation. No, I, being the clever guy that I am, think "oh brother, wait until I free my bonds then I get back to you" while being pushed around and laughed at. Talk about plugging some holes in game dicipline here.


Some friends are off to Barcelona for the big heads-up tournmant. Good luck! I just heard that Ivo Doney made his first match in bracket #1, very nice!

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