Friday, 30 November 2007

Ladbrokes Cruise Daily Final

Played the Ladbrokes Cruise Daily Final tonight and felt I had to post because of the way it finished!
20 runners and I'm down to the last 4 with 2 seats paying all equal chips.
At the table is a lad I know from Leo's - Phil Benton.
You've got to think that with 2 seat paying out one of us will make it....

Well think again because first Phil gets all the money in with AK against KJ and the flop comes down KJJ, an ace on the turn gives some hope but the river is a blank.

Well that's bad enough but a few hands later, against the same player I've got all my chips in with AK against KQ and what comes on the flop?
You guessed it.... a bloody Queen.

What are the odds of that? both going out against the same player with dominating hands like that.

Oh well, that's poker I suppose.

Came away with $250 profit but !!!!!!!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Raise blind!

Leos, £10 rebuy - 74 runners.

Another good start saw me up to 5000 chips inside 15 minutes (starting stack is 1000) - the beauty of the rebuy is that no-one believes you so no need to bluff, just value betting all the way.

So once again I hit the break with a healthy stack, having had no rebuys.

Unfortunately, once you hit the middle phase of these tournaments, unless you have a big stack, you generally need to find a few hands at the right time.

I frequently found myself looking at A8 in early position or It'll be late position after an earlier raise. Both situations that it is difficult to call with even though quite often there is a fair chance it will be ahead of the raising requirements of a lot of the field.

Anyway, I did not play many hands due to the raising machine that was seated in seat 2 when I was sat in seat 10.

I lasted to the final 2 tables when I picked up AhJh on the button and made what looked like a button raise, all in for my 8000 chips when the blinds were 800/1600. Unfortunately the big blind called with his pocket sixes and no improvement saw me headed to the cash game.

Unusually for Leo's there were 2 cash games running with one of them no limit so I joined the 6 handed table. I had an excellent seat to the left of the two loose players with Mr Rock sat to my right.

Unfortunately that is all that went right about the night.

The game was quite enjoyable and a good spot for some out of the ordinary play from myself.

Other than calling a small raise with speculative hands I generally play very tight in the game and if I reraise pre or post flop people will expect me to have the goods other than the occasional semi bluff to the nut flush etc.

However, I sometimes like to play the odd session entirely differently to create some doubt in people's mind.

To add to this, the player to my right took to raising pre flop blind and then following that bet through on the flop blind. Perfect for my position.

So on to the significant pots: Carl - the seat to my right, raised to £12 blind and I reraised to £30 with 9s7c which he called blind.

Heads up, the flop came down Q83 rainbow and Carl bet £50 blind so I reraised all in to £220 only for Carl to check his hand, find a Q and call me, winning the pot when no miracle arrived to help me!

Next up came a similar situation when he raised £12 blind again, which I called this time with 8To. The flop comes down AT6 and he again bets £25 to which I flat call this time.

The turn is an A and he bets £30 blind again to which I raise another £50. Now he checks he cards and calls.

The river was a J and Carl goes all in - covering my £200 odd and I fold, for him to show …. A6!

Talk about walking into hands!

The third time he did me was when I had a 9 and he had flopped a set of 7s on an 9s7As flop and called the turn card saying that he was on a draw.

I find that normally people who say things like that are telling the truth more often than not, so when an offsuit 2 hit the river and he checked I bet £20 into the pot of £90 telling him that he obviously didn't hit his draw then and he reraised me all in again.

Here I made the mistake of believing my first instinct and I thought he was bluffing again like he had quite liberally all game! As he said afterwards, he can change his game and he played that hand very well.

I did manage to win some of the money back with a pair of twos in the last hand of the day when I had straddled to £8 and Carl had made it £16 pre flop (5 handed at this point) I limped the extra £8 and Carl checked. The flop was something like J58 which he bet £16 into and I called feeling he had nothing. When another 8 came on the turn and he bet the same again I called hoping to be ahead with the expectation that a 2 would easily give me the best hand. The river was a 3 giving a possible flush and he went to bet something like £40 but did it in two stages and so the string bet was not allowed. When he protested I was sure he probably had nothing and called to win the £100 odd in the middle with a pair of twos.

So, although I lost £260 on the night it was all good fun and great experience as well as adding a little more deception to my play for when I do bet big with good hands in the future.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Cash Cow

Thursday November 22nd

Played Leo's again, £20 rebuy.

A couple of hands of interest in the tournament.

One involved me raising after 6 people had limped when I was on the big blind with 22 and a 2 hit on the flop giving me a healthy stack.

The last hand before the add on was interesting.

It involve a regular I know called Simon who has played a few bigger tournaments and finished 6th in the GBPT in Leeds.

It was interesting because we had been talking about playing trips on the flop and Simon had mentioned to someone else how he would normally bet trips because to check call gives away that you have the trips.

Anyway, in this hand I had 57 on the button.

The flop came down KK4. It was checked around. On the turn of a 9 Simon, in the big blind, lead out, it was folded to me.

I felt, here is the chance to test Simon, so I flat called with the intention of bluffing on the river.

The river was another blank and I'm expecting a check here but simon bets 1200 - the same value as his turn bet. This set me thinking about what he had. I had 7000 chips in total and Simon had me covered.

I picked up my chips and had a little think and the bottom line is I bottled it!

Simon's cunningly small bet threw me and I folded.

We talked about it in the break and he told me that he had nothing and he had bet small to make it look like he wanted the raise. I told him what I had and we both agreed that it was a great way to learn.

So lesson learned.

I went out shortly after the break with a button raise with J5 when short stacked and it was off to the cash table again.

To be honest, one of the reasons for me stepping up my action soon after the break was that I could see an open seat immediately to the left of our resident loose calling station.

I too my seat and unfortunately he left pretty soon after. However, what looked like a table short on action still worked out really well.

The most notable hands include one where I was very lucky with 24 in late position after I had joined the usual limpfest.

The flop came down 234 rainbow.

I bet after a few checks and was reraised by on of the blinds. Now this is easily done by A5 let alone an over pair so I reraised and he called all in with A5 so I needed a 2 or 4 and fortunately one came on the river.

And now for the most interesting hand.

I raised in to 11 in late position with AK which had 4 callers.

The flop came down Q T 4 and there was a bet of 10 from the small blind which was called by UTG me and the button.

The turn was another 4 which was again bet very small (20) by the small blind and called by the UTG so I thought that there was a chance that an A or K would be good and a J would almost certainly be good and I would see how the betting goes so I called, as did the button.

Now, before we go any further I would like to say that one my strengths is reading people. I have read a lot about tells and also body language and I find that I am quite good at telling whether someone thinks they are ahead or not.

Obviously I don't always get it right and I have made calls in the past when my read was that someone did not want me to call and so I have called and they were ahead, once when the player had top set but there was a flush draw on the board and he didn't want the call even though he was way ahead!

Anyway, back to the hand.
The turn was a J giving me the top straight.

So the big blind bets 50 and is raised by the UTG to 100 so I have a decision to make here. I still have the button to act behind me and the blind has another 100 so the utg can't reraise again. After a couple of minutes thinking I call, the button folds and the big blind reluctantly calls.

The big blind had trip 4s and the utg had K9 for a lower straight.

I got a bit of stick with people questioning why I took so long to call. One thought I was angling for someone to reraise. When I said that I nearly folded no-one would believe me.

My thinking was that the small betting from the blind could have been because he had a set on the flop meaning he could have had a full house in the end. I didn't think that was that likely but the fact that the utg raised really put the possibility of a full house on the board.

I would be interested if anyone else has any opinions on that (if anyone is reading this)

Maybe I'm too concerned with someone having the best hand, I'm not too sure but I think I'm going to have to be a bit looser regarding these situations in future, in this game anyway!

Anyway, it all worked out well and I walked away £580 up, so another good night.

Cash is king

Monday November 19th.

Played Leo's £10 rebuy last night - 80 runners.
First hand QQ Utg+1 and I'm all in because there's always a couple prepared to go all in first hand in the rebuys. 2 callers both with AJ and I've trebled up first hand.

Second hand AK raised to 500, reraised by QJ (one of the AJ callers) and I'm now sitting on 4000 chips.

A few hands later and my KK is being reraised by someone with 3000 and before I know it I've got 11000 chips and there is only 20 mins gone!

Trouble is, when you start off as well as that it the luck quite often turns against you before the rebuy period is over.

Suffice to say that I managed to make it look like I'm bluffing when I had AK on a King high flop so that I'm reraised by K2 only for the 2 to hit on the turn to lose 6000.

So when the rebuys are over and I've got 4400 chips and my Q9 from the big blind hits a TJQ flop all my chips go in after someone lead out with QJ. Blanks on the turn and river send me off to the cash game.

Still, every cloud has a silver lining, and my silver lining was in the shape of a juicy cash game.

We play £1/£2 pot limit where raises are not respected and it is not uncommon for a pot sized raise to see the flop 6/7 or 8 handed.

My silver lining took the form of a set of 9s on a flushing board that ended up with £300 all in in the middle on the Q94 flop that turned the flush and rivered the full house.

The other hand of note was 45 on a T 3 6 flop giving me a cheap look at the turn of 7 followed by a nice pot sized bet. Unfortunately when went to bet the river and the villain quickly grabbed his money I bet a bit too much and he folded.

Anyway, a nice tidy profit of £540 which is about the same as 4th or 5th place in the tournament would have paid.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Blackpool Main Event

Well, didn't trouble the live updates much in Blackpool.
I was on a table with James Ackenhead, Barry Neville, Richard Ashby and Willie Tann.

Not many hands of note to report.

I was reraised off AK pretty early by James Ackenhead after he had limped and I had raised from the button.

I had shown down one hand with 9 10 after a similar button raise and I had raised a couple of times from the button with genuine hands that were not shown so he may not have been that strong.

I don't think he would have limped with AA or KK so might have been better reraising again.

At the time I felt he most likely had a medium pair and folded.

Another hand of note involved a local who bet with JT5 board which I flat called hoding J7.
After a blank on the turn he bet half the pot and I called then when a T came on the river I bet the pot representing the ten to which he folded pretty quickly.

Then came the hand of death.

The blinds were 75/150 and I find AhKh on the big blind after 2 limps and raise to 750. Three to the flop of Qs8h9h. So I check planning on the check raise all in (I had 7000 left).

However the local bets 4000 and then Barry Neville reraises all in (about 8000).

Now I know I'm obviously behind but any heart gives me the nut flush and I have 2 over cards and I stand to win 15000 if the initial raiser folds, 18000 if he calls.

So I'm getting pretty good pot odds here but it is for my tournament life which I'm not too keen on.

Anyway, as I'm thinking Barry Neville calls the clock on me.

The dealer says nothing and after another minute someone says that time is up and I say to the dealer that he hadn't told me he was putting me on the clock.

So the dealer - who didn't know what to do told me that he that the minute starts and Barry Neville complains that he should have put me on the clock and I should have had to throw my cards in by now.

So now I know Barry doesn't want me to call.

Since I think there's a chance the initial raiser will fold I reckon I'm getting the right odds and I know that Barry wants me to fold so I decided to do what he didn't want me to do and I called.

The initial raiser reluctantly called and shows a set of 9's to Barry's set of 8's and I need a heart.

Turn and river are both blanks to leave Barry and me felted.

Thinking about it now I didn't feel that things were going well and I wasn't happy with my table image. If I call and win I've got a healthy stack so I'm happy I tool the gamble.

Especially since I went down to Leo's and came third to bag £1000 and but for a lucky Q for Q9 on a T95 flop I would have been in with a great chance of winning the 1st place £2650.


Friday, 16 November 2007

In the beginning...

So, I've decided to start my own blog, inspired by a few blogs I've been reading today including The Hit Squad, Strummer9 and Simon "Aces" Trumper.

I'm going to try to be consistent and write this blog after each live game I play and maybe if I play any significant on-line tournaments.

I usually play once a week or so, mainly in Liverpool and the surrounding area.

Tomorrow I'm playing in the GUKPT main event in Blackpool. Entry is £1000 with a top prize likely to be in excess of £100,000. The final table will be shown on Channel 4 later this month.

I won my entry on Bluesquare and this is the GUKPT 4th event I've played this year.

There are a few friends I normally play with playing tomorrow so good luck to Charlie Denton and Andy Booth too.