Another poker weekend. There was a local stud tournament here and guess what? I did not liked to go there! The thought of a nice quite night at home was to tempting (you already know, I work far from home half the week). While I liked to play some events online Katja did go there.
It was a two day event with a buyin of 500eur, unlimited 100eur rebuys for the first few levels and then three possible 200eur rebuys for some more levels if could get pretty expensive if you run bad. The levels were relative short with 30 minutes and the limit started with 20-100 (spread limit) and a stack of only 1000 chips. Katja needed two 100eur rebuys before she finally started to catch something and finished the first day with an about average stack. She came home right thereafter and joined my for some more online action.
The second day had an early start at 6:30 p.m. to gain some more time for the cash game (casinos here are not open 24/7) and Katja was doing excellent. At the end of the rebuy phase she called me to talk about taking one or more of those 200eur rebuys, now add-ons. For each 200eur another 4,000 chips would be given, her stack size being about 17,000. She said she was the tables chip leader so far and in good standing overall. I recommended to take just one add-on. I am not sure if the math is right and to lazy now to calculate but that is what my stomach said. She did it exactly like I suggested like any good wowan would do (lol). From there on she went to take the co-chip lead within the next few levels. Like things go she got busted shortly before arriving in the price money against the other chip leader when she lost full house in 5 cards against a better full house arriving with the 5th, 6th and 7th card. Outch.
Katja did play some cash game thereafter (500 eur pot-limit stud/holdem half/half) but after loosing another 4 full houses she had enough (and had lost enough) and came back home to me far after midnight.
I was playing many events over the weekend. Friday night I played the $109+R tournament on stars and managed to avoid any rebuy and even the add-on as I had a monster stack. In fact we had "Gigabet" on our table who made about 30 rebuys (not kidding) and played like crazy so after the first hour the four chip leaders were all on my table and me being one of them. I had played only 4 hands, all of them being 77. I won two coinflips with them and sucked out one time against 4 players when a 7 rivered. Big pot. There were many players in the tourney but I finally finished 18th some before the money then my AA lost to AQs (should have waited for 77).
Saturdays $300+30 event saw me going home quickly hen I lost set over set in 3 minutes two times.
Sunday I played a $3+R qualifier for the nights $500,000 guaranteed and managed to qualify with only one rebuy, so for a investment of $6 I got my $215 worth seat. This turned out to be good invested time as I got 59th in there for a $1,500 winner. 59th is good, considering over 3,300 players. It was ok to bust there as I was card dead for many hours and stole my chips to stay just below average most of the time. I re-raised an all-in player (very few chips) with KQo for protection but someone found AKo and called. That was a marginal play, I knewed that but there was already 30k in the pot with the blinds being 6,000-12,000 and 400 ante and the all-in players chips and I was in middle-late position. I busted at 3:30 a.m. our time here and had to leave at 4:30 for my job in Stuttgart. I did sleep that hour and some more while traveling but the day was pretty hard anyway - boring meetings, being tired and having missed the $130,000 first-place money is a combination I dont like to much ;)
Barry's wrote in his email that he thinks I am wrong in some details about the hand. Let me share his view:
You will probably be disappointed to find out that you misremembered the hand. Here is what actually happened:
You raised in, in first position, and I reraised and you made it four bets. The cap in the limit games at the World Series was five bets (a bet and four raises), and I decided not to cap it. At this point, I was the clear leader at the table. I assumed you had Queens or better, or Ace-King suited. I thought Aces was the most likely hand for you, since you weren't in nearly as good shape as I was, and you would be crippled if you lost this hand.
The flop came K-7-3. I check and called, waiting for the turn to raise.
The turn was ugly for me, an Ace. I suspected I might already be beat. I could have raised, but decided to play it conservatively. If you had Aces, calling (or actually folding) is the best. If you had Ace-King I will lose a bet, but I still might regain that bet if I read you for some concern on the river. In case you have neither of these and are out on a limb, a call may get me another bet on the river.
The river was a truly disgusting second Ace. I was sure I was beat and I checked. I wanted to show you my hand before I decided whether to call, but the WSOP rules forbid that. I said, "You might had thought you had me, but you got very lucky here." Then I said, "Call," before showing it. I didn't put any chips in to the pot yet as I showed my Kings. I only put chips in the pot after you showed your Ace-King. I felt I lost the minimum. If I would have won that pot, I would have had more than 40% of the chips at the table with six players still remaining.
Now, who am I to disagree with Barry Greenstein. My guess is he plays successfully for a reason and having door-like holes in his memory may not be the kind of weakness this guy has. So I admit he is right and my memory does not serve me to well these days; in my memory the action took place slighly different, he said "I hit my hand on the flop also pretty well" before folding and no chips from him went into the pot on the river. In that regard I just saw a study in TV about eye-wittnesses on traffic accidents: they tested a group of "normal" people (are those really out there?) and a group of police officers (that those are not "normal" I can confirm) thru presenting accident situations to them for a limited time like 60 seconds. The goal was to find out a) how different the situation details would be remembered by each person and b) if the professional education of the officers would make any difference. Well, the results were horrible for both groups almost to the point that a judge says he could not use eye witnesses anymore in his trials and in combined results the police officers -trained ground abutments of our society- were much worse (by over 10%). Wrong memories on important details like gender of the person driving etc. What makes you even more thinking is that over 70% of the officers were ready to swear an oath on there (wrong) testimony! Ok, enough of these disturbing sidenotes and back to Barry. Now Barry himself admits that there was no "great laydown" and that he called my final bet on the river. If he really had put any chips into the pot after the showdown itself it totally passed me. I am sorry to any reader of our little blog here in case you took part in one the various discussion of the hand and either defended Barry for wrong (about his "ridicoulous" laydown as some have stated) or attacked him for the very same thing. In any case, attack me. Send me your flames or just sit down at any table I am playing, I might pay you off with AK vs. your KK. Proven and confirmed.
Sundays pokerstars $500,000 guaranteed ($215 buyin) saw me reaching the money, place 299th out of nearly 3,200 players. I got a whooping 300something dollar payout that makes us losing only about $100 on this tournament as Katja played there also. I choosed the wrong strategy there when deciding after an ugly beat with about 380 players left (324 on the money) that reaching the money would not be a bad idea and so I missed some good opportunities to steal myself some chips.
In a monday $109-R NLHE tournament on stars I got far as 16th out of 90 (9 paid) and that even without taking any rebuy and losing 3 good sized pots in a row to all-in players in the middle/late stage with about 35 players left. Two of them with over 70% favorites like AKs vs. A9o or 77 vs. 55 and one with JJ (me) against AKs. I could have reached the money by just holding myself but having my mistake from the sunday nights tourney fresh in memory I decided to defend my BB against a guy that had raised me 10+ times on the button and I always folded to him when he raised me one more time and I found A8s I went all-in with an about average sized stack. He called in a split-second with his AA... outch. My move was questionable and I talked quite some time with Katja about it.
Saturday Katja and I went to a live 10/20 limit holdem game after we went to a birthday party. The evening was fun but uneventfull. Katja won about €10 and I made a little over €200, mostly thanks to the various sidebets I did with our friend Kai. They were fun and even better, they created the "illusion of action" for me, which is seldom neccessary for me but was this night as I played maybe 3 hands - in one I lost AQo on a AQ6 flop to a river K which made JTo win and in another I lost top pair aces to a turned trips. Did I really won a pot that night? Oh yes, when 77 tried to bluff me with QQ on a ace high flop but failed to look me into the eyes. Great read against a 20 years old new player... lol.
*edited 08/12/2005*: due to several comments and emails I changed the title of this post. I was not aware that BJ also means "blowjob" in US/UK slang. Damn, if I could only remember if I got one sunday night I could have left the title as it was and change the writing... would you guys be more interested in a sex-life blog? Well, there was this nasty little... dream on!
Sunday evening we played a small entry black jack tournament in our local "casino", Ca-sino Schenefeld. The initial buyin was 50eur for each of us and there was one possible rebuy for another 50eur. There was food for free and Katja had bought us in some days before so we went there. The rules: two qualification rounds (the second one needed a rebuy), the chip leader of each table is qualified for the semi-finals directly. 21 players in semi-final, the rest is determined by chip count. They had about 47 players, 100% payout, this "beach-chair" you see in the picture added for 1st place, 3 extra lady prices, a lucky loser price and a free tombola with 2 paid entries into the "german black jack championship", valueing a whooping 100eur each! So I guess the overlay you get there is pretty big especially considering the bunch of the worst black jack players in the world sitting there (12 against picture or ace is a sure "rest" in their mind) I would say that any decent player should be a 30% favorite to make something there.
Of course, I was one of the very first to bust out. Katja played great and won a lot of chips but in the last two hands one lady played maximum and won both hands with BJ so she was only second in chips on her table which meant not surly qualified for the semi. We both bought into the second round. Naturally, I busted and Katja won her table. In fact she was double-qualified thru her nice stack from the first round and I was a broken railbird (so everything went like usual for us, really). I went home to play Sunday nights tournaments on party and stars while she stayed there to play the semi-final and hopefully the final table.
I came home just in time to play the tournaments. In the stars tournament I played good and tight and then awful bad: on a K-high checked flop I made a bet when an ace appeared on the turn and called the re-raise all-in with my Ats. Of course the other guy had AQ and I was gone, a questionable play by him but mine was much worse. I am not talking about the raise when the ace appeared but about a) being in the hand in first place and b) calling that re-raise. I really played as bad as one can there. In partys event I was card dead. I had one big hand very early when I raised with KK to 90 (BB being 30) and got one caller for a flop of 3K3. Even two times checking and making a small bet on the river got me no more action so I won a very small pot only. I was down to 800 in chips when I shoved all-in with QQ 90 min-utes into the tournament only to get called by a big stack with KTs and staring at a KK7 flop. So much for that. About 3 minutes after I busted out of both Katja called me to tell that she made it to the final table of the black jack tournament. Wow. She finally made a 5th place for a 300eur payout and also won a ladys price so we made a 100euro that night. As I took the car to drive home she needed to be dropped at home by some guys which made a city sightsee-ing tour with her just to keep her company somewhat longer…
I played about 10k hands at 30/60 and 100/200 the last week and although the "drop time" feet to be longer than usual I still made no turn-around and lost about $1500. I know, nothing for these games but anyway, a win would feel much better.
Katja goes to the low limit live holdem game whenevr possible and manages to bring home money nearly each time (righ now she has 6 winning session and 1 loser there). Honey, what would I do without you? As Chip Jett already said: "I try to lose less than she [his wife Karina] makes". Oh so true!
15 minutes in the life of a not-so-lucky poker player:
Pokerstars $109+R rebuy tournament, it's the first after the break. I managed to not need an rebuy, build a stack of 8,000 chips and take the add-on only so I have a little over 10,000 in chips for 7th chip position with about 80 players left. I find AA in early-middle position and make a big raise, about 3.5 times the big blind. I get two callers. The flop comes with T83 rainbow and I bet strong. One guy raises me, he's all-in. I have him covered, I call. He's got 88 and I don't improve so there I am with busted aces and about 2,000 left. The next hand I get rags but then in I get KK and call a UTG players raise. I figure my stack to low to scare anybody off so I take my chances. One more caller and we see a flop, J high. Guy bets a little, I raise all-in (not even a full raise) and other players call. Turn is a Q, they check. River is a Q, check-bet-fold, guy shows QTs and I am out. Very nice.
I play 2 more tables 30/60 at the same time. About 5 minutes after I busted out, I had just called Katja in Schenefeld she is playing limit holdem live there, I get AA cracked by 33 in a big heads-up pot. One minutes later I lose 55 on a 57K flop against JJ when a J showed up on the river.
This is just a short outtake from the 5,000 hands I played this weekend already with a up- and downswings in the 5k area. The action is wild and the players there play and hit every kind of hand. To play there and still sleep well you got to have good nerves, lol. I do.
I just hit an one outer on the river! In a 30/60 game on stars I raised in MP holdeing the 65 of clubs. One caller, poor guy "laker_fan". Flop came down T77 with the 7 of clubs. I bet, got called. Honestly, I would have folded here if getting re-raised. Turn comes the 9 of clubs, now I picked up a flush draw and an inside straight draw. I did bet, got raised and raised again, hoping to take it down on river get lucky. River was the eight of clubs, giving me a straight flush. I thought for a second but decided against a check-raise-try as I will win it either uncontested (leaving everyone in the dark about my miracle gutshot) or I will get raised in case he really has that 7. So I did bet - wonderfull, he raised! I made it three bets and he capped it. I could only call and he showed 97 for a full-house and I took down a wonderful pot (not really regarding size but it looks like ages since I got lucky like this in a hand).
I know from previous bad streaks (did I talk about my 2 year loosing streak in 2000 so far? lol) that they end for me with a big-bang, a turning point, a very feelable moment. Like a baloon finally getting busted. This hand could it be!
I will stick to my (newly adjusted) game and results will show us. But, just in case it may be true I will play some higher-buy tournament this coming weekend...
First I have to pimp my friends Bedros and Tony for totally running over the poker trophy in Velden (Austria). Tony "Professor Tony" won the No Limit Holdem Masters for a whopping 41,000 euros and then as if that was not enough Bedros won the limit 7 card stud trophy for 50,000 euros !!! Absolutly amazing and I congratulate both of you! Maybe we get our local PLHE game running again with all this fresh money ;) Both guys are years-long regulars in our local game and high-stakes experienced. Tony is a serious student of the game and strong competition in every holdem game while Bedros is the ultimate stud tournament cracker in the last 4 years, having won almost anything available (I myself have been beaten by him in second place a few times).
I admit I have no clue how he does it as he is all-in in early stages many times with hopeless hands but he survives with a deadly safety and his confidience is unmatched. Again, congratulations! If you like to read more about the event read the above report at pokerpages or go and read german poker pro Michael Keiner's report about it (german).
In one of our local casinos they started to spread 5/10 limit holdem since a few weeks on request from a few internet players wanting to try out "the real thing". Hearing about it and going there was a non-brainer for Katja and in the two session she spent there so far she won 50 and 80 big bets... nice! Every buck counts in this after-wsop-lick-our-wounds time. These "internet guys" are actually quite nice. They have a german spoken forum, found under www.cardcore.net which is just starting up but holds some nice reads already.
Katja critized me about not writing enough about her successes here. Yeah, she's right, I forgot to mention her success at the last NLHE tournament in Casino Schenefeld, where she made the final table and some nice pricemoney but due to losses in the PLHE cash game it was just a break even weekend (for her, I lost my ass of online like usual) and therefore maybe it does not got the attention from me like it has deserved (it's all about the money, isn't it?). I apologize! Katja is the greatest female player I know and I say along with Chip Jett about his wife Carina: "I try to loose less than she win's and in good month's I suceed". Amen.
I myself play online these days only and try to adjust my game, therefore I can be found in all kind of low-limits from $1/2 to $15/30 on party and stars. I try out a few different strategies and don't like to do this in $30/60 or higher. I played $30/60 for two days at stars, got my ass handed to me with a nice run of ridicolous beats and backed of.
Talking about beats, what about this? I played the sundays $700,000 guaranteed tournament at pokerstars with a buyin of $500+30 like 1,800 other players did. It went so lala until I got moved to a table with one of the chip leaders who played every hand. He already busted 3 players when his A9 held up against QQ, his AK held up against QQ and his 33 held up against AK. I made a big laydown against him when I had KK on a A78 flop and he re-raised me all-in. Somewhat later I found TT in the BB (100), a MP players raised to 300 and mr. chipleader called like always when not raising. I thought about my options, the initial raiser was unknown to me. Having about 1,800 in chips i decided to move-in and to my delight the raiser folded. This would be no story here had mr. chipleader not called the hand and showed ducks, a pair of deuces. The flop was safe, the turn was safe but the river brought the deuce and my tourney was over. Another brick in the wall.
I did also play partypokers's million guaranteed on saturday for $600+40 buyin like 2,200 more players. I got a pretty good start when I had AA in LP, limped only and the blinds stayed in. The flop came a fantastic 6-A-6. I checked, both blinds checked also. Turn was Q and the small blind betted out like 60. BB folded and I played hollywood and thought about 60 seconds before raising to 150 which was supposed to look like a "test-the-water-raise" with one ace against a open pair. He called. On the river he played 300, I moved in after some hollywood-like hesitation and he called, showing J6. I doubled up in the first level! In the second level I made bad mistake by limping in EP with KJo, hitting my K on a K78 flop but had to lay it down to a big re-raise on the turn which was a 9. 800 chips I wasted with that hand. Play continued for hours then without any real hand or good situation for me until only 580 players were remaining when I moved in with TT, got called by AKo and survived until the river which was a king. Good thing only that I had won the buyin for this tournament playing $1/2 and $3/6 in the afternoon trying out some new moves...
I wonder when it gets time for me to win a high-buyin tournament or at least place in the top 3. I feel pretty good about my game (still) but can't get out of the black hole I falled into some months ago. If I re-read all those beats from Tunica, Bellagio, WSOP, Online etc. I truly expect to have an "EV-pool" of about 70% or higher. I mean the long-range have to set in somewhere, havn't it? I do suckout on others, yes, but I am way to seldom in spots to do it, mostly only when I get on tilt (very seldom) or I badly misread my opponent/the situation (sometimes) or I just gamble (seldom in high-buyin events as I want to win one, damnit).
Being back from the WSOP now almost four weeks I must say that I recovered from the experience 100% (not financially, this will take a little more time, lol). I managed to put myself in an optimistic, learn-adjust-win mindframe and I found fun playing again. I am not sure about any bigger live events in the near future (PokerEM in Baden/Austria, world biggest 7stud event, would be next followed by Bellagio's Fiesta al lago IV/Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship (WPT) in early October) but we will not stay away forever, that's for sure.