Monday, 26 January 2009

GUKPT National League

I have decided to give a few of the events in the GUKPT National League a go on Blue Square in my quest to qualify for a big live tournament. The league is already a week in but I only started tonight in the $15 NLH Freeze Out (52 runners .. pays to 8). I guess to qualify through these you will have to enter every event (and win a few), which I doubt I will be be doing, but they are cash prizes so have nothing to lose.

In the early stages I fell into the trap of slow playing a couple of hands to maximise my winnings. In two big pots, despite being heads up, I lost the first to runner-runner spades to get the flush I had already hit on the turn (holding two spades) counterfeited by my opponents higher spade by the river. And in the second, again heads up, the guy hit runner-runner hearts to beat my flopped straight with a flush.

I did then manage to get back into the tourney in level 3 when my KK held up against 2 opponents ....

......this was doubly satisfying as I had managed to lay down QQ the hand before under great resistance and re-raises to my initial raise.

Then after raising too much with 2 limpers in the pot (possibly because of my outdraw memories from earlier) another KK was wasted as everyone folded and I reached the break 9th of 35 remaining with 3,970 chips. I feel my stack would have been much bigger than this at this stage had I taken down some pots when I had the chance and not being so worried about building a pot with my 2nd KK.

In the 2nd hour I got straight into another unlucky outdraw when my flopped 2 pair 78, hit the flop of 789 almost smack in the face, but the Ten turn slowed me down and I was happy with how the pot size had been controlled to only have to call a small bet on the river to be beaten by J9 with a minimum loss.

After a couple of unsuccessful moves my dwindling stack was again bolstered by a nice looking KK when it set up again against AQ all in, leaving me 11th with 20 left. A couple of hands later than that I raised smaller this time with AA, only to see all fold and give me the blinds.

By the 2nd break I was desperate sitting 10th of 13 left; would be nice to hit the final table and earn myself an extra point at 9th place, but it was looking bleak.

But patience is one of the things I have in abundance and managed to steer my stack just into the money and to 3 points total for my first League appearance.

Until next time

Keep it tight!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Just can't get January going!!!

Can't imagine what my ROI for January is at the moment, but it won't be much!!
So far I have been concentrating on the double ups as my main building blocks of success. However I have had the worst run of consecutive losses (6) followed by the best run of consecutive cashes (12) intermingled with win, loss, win, loss .... to make me a small profit to date (including a cleared bonus of $50 with another $25 pending).
Come on consistency where have you gone? Just look at that terrible graph!! Arrgggh I'm pulling out my already receding hair line!!
Admittedly I have invested some profit into multi and cash games, at no reward. This has been prompted by the thinking that I'd never get rich just playing double ups, and they don't really stretch you that much ... they are just a profitable grind and I crave more excitement.
So poker gods if you are listening ... be nice ... pleeeaase.
Hang on ... they may have something big planned for me that requires me to have this sort of January ..... on second thoughts forget I ever asked!!
Back to the grindstone for me!
Until next time
Keep it Tight!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Another Final Table - Titan $1K Freeroll

My second final table of the year has come from the Titan Poker website. I usually just generate a couple of points here just to get into the PokerListings $1K freeroll held every week.

The competition started with the maximum 500 players, and paid down to 50th position. Fortunately the field doesn't play as large as it seems because many of the players don't show and get blinded out. So at around the 1 hour mark, the 300 players left get whittled down to about 150 in the space of a level, and all that remains is to ensure you get your fair share of the dead money.

Nothing dramatic happened until the bubble burst. After the bubble burst my half than average short stack was pushed on a number of occasions seemingly hitting runner runner to double and triple up until I got to the final table second shortest in chips.

My final hand pushing with AQos one off the button was called by the big blind (automatic call for him with 24os) and saw him hitting the full house, I was out 10th.

My best performance in this tournament is 5th place for $60 as can be seen at this link .. Username: GTJester

This time I only won $15 ... is it worth it I hear you ask. Well it gets me a couple of pints and I can never turn down the chance to win free money .... one day I will win the $250 first prize. I also find it improves your patience as with freerolls the tendency is to play looser and hope to get lucky, I just treat these like any other tournament, and it is giving me practice.

So until next time

Keep it Tight

Thursday, 15 January 2009

GUKPT $109 Qualifier - Short and Sweet

I knew I was up against it here as I was trying to qualify for a GUKPT tournament just using my buy in (no rebuys, no add ons). So my strategy was to try and double up early on to keep pace with the rebuyers.

So when I first got QQ and hit my set on a rainbow flop, my hopes were high, I however lost the interest of the other player with my "first to act after pre flop raise, 1/2 pot bet".

When I got QQ for the second time and again hit my set on the flop after a pre flop raise, I had equally high hopes. The only worry here was the flop had 2 clubs on it. I again 1/2 pot bet and got a call. Club on the turn! I check, he bets the pot .... a flush bet ... didn't look like it and if it was I was going to take my chances hitting the Full House ... going with my fast strategy I went all in. He called with the flush, the board didn't pair and I was out 48th (from 51).

In hindsight I could have called his turn bet and folded when the river didn't pair the board, bet but it would still have left me next to chipless ... so on to the next sub qualifiers!

Until Next Time

Keep it Tight

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

At last a $109 GUKPT Satellite Ticket

Finally I have managed to get a ticket for tomorrows $109 GUKPT Satellite from tonights $5.5 rebuy sub qualifier.

I played my usual rebuy game (which is different from what all the books say but I find it works for me) and ended up having 1 rebuy and 1 add on. So after the break with 9 players left from a starting 11 (winner takes the $109 ticket and 2nd gets the $16 left overs) I had $4,900 chips which was about average.

From here I played my normal SnG strategy, until the blinds reached $300/$600 when I got incredibly lucky on the following hand!

bigalhx3 had been quite active when he raised again in the BB. After one limper and my completed SB I just thought he was on the steal. So with the 1st limper calling I thought the pot odds were pretty much the same as I was prepared to limp in with in the first place. Hoping my KJ suited was enough for the call ... call I did (pretty suspect on hindsight). When the flop came down AAJ I found it difficult to believe anyone had the A. A check from the big blind and a weak bet from the first limper sealed the deal and I went over the top with the intention of taking the pot there and then. When bigalhx3 went all in and I knew I was in bad shape, indeed I was, because he had the A. However the runner runner diamond gave me the flush and bigalhx3 must have been sick to the bones, although he took it with great composure.

This left me as chip leader with $13, 260. The next hand that would catapult me into an almost unassailable position was the following.

Dealt the beautiful AA bigalhx3 was to be the victim again, he raised UTG. When no one else called until it got to me I decided against the re raise; I was so far ahead of his starting requirement I was going to see this hand to the river regardless, so flat called. The SB folded as I expected and we were heads up. As I envisaged he popped the flop, I flat called ... he then committed himself on the turn by another bet and my all in saw him call having hit the K on the flop. The AA held up and we were down to 5 players.

From here on in I used pressure in position until we had it heads up.

Heads up lasted for 4 hands (2 of which my opponent went all in and one I folded in the SB). Fourth hand I get 99 and raise in the SB, he over the topped all in and I called with closed eyes, knowing he could have anything given the all in strategy he had adopted. To my relief I had it just about as good as it gets and won the tourney.

So far it has cost me $68.60 to get a $109 ticket, at least I haven't spent more than the ticket is worth!

So wish me luck (unless your playing against me tomorrow).

Until then

Keep it Tight

Thursday, 8 January 2009

First Final Table of 2009

So far this month I have entered 3 multi tournaments and tonight I entered the Ladbrokes $10 Deep Stack which had 82 entrants, paying to 10th place.

I feel I made absolutely loads of mistakes mostly from tightening up too much around the bubble. Read on!

Anyway having been whittled down to an alarmingly small stack (2,400 after the posted SB at blinds of 500/1000) and about 20 players I call 500 to see the flop with 47spades (as a list ditch hope). With 4 players in the pot the flop came down all spades. When it gets to me I shove my last 1900 into the 4,000 pot and get called by one player. Stack now at 7,800.

Same circuit I find TT. I raise 2,500 hoping to get one caller knowing that I can bet the pot with my remaining chips regardless. Anyway I end up with 2 callers, not ideal! but when the flop came 9 high I pushed as planned to get called by the button on a flush draw, dodging the flush my stack now sat at 18,100.

Blinds are raised to 1000/2000 and I have to fold both leaving me with 15,100.

On the button I get QQ. It was raised 2xBB by the UTG (which smelt a bit fishy) so I just flat called not wanting to lose my stack to a race if he was holding AK or if I was already behind. The flop came down all lower than my queens and a pot bet after his check took down the pot. Stack now at 26,100.

This is where I made a really big mistake in my opinion, I didn't play the cards, my mind played with me ... doom mongering. Same circuit UTG flat calls (he has about 16,000 behind) I have AA in 2nd position.

Did I raise 3xBB ... no!

Did I raise 5xBB ... no!

I pushed ... HA! My forehead is still sore from slapping it since. I have been on a rush and was scared they would think I was at it, scared I would get a call by a lesser hand and it would beat me. Doh ... I want someone to think I'm at it, I want someone to call me with a lesser hand.

So after that debacle I was sitting on around 31,000 chips in 5th position (to think I could have been 3rd with about a 45,000 chip stack if I'd reeled in the UTG caller).

It was shortly after this I re found another weakness in my game ... short handed play. Play proceeded with 13 people left sitting at the 6 man table and then a 5 man table for about 25 minutes and in my opinion I wasn't nearly aggressive enough ...

Anyway I reached the final table with about 25,000 chips and went out when my AQ met AK.

8th position and a small reward for what felt like a lifetime of poker ...

Note to self ... "I must try to put myself under less pressure"

Until next time.

Keep it Tight

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

So Far .... No Good!

I have really been looking forward to January, with an empty poker log and all the feelings of poker promise that the new year might bring. I had hit 6 months of constant profit at the end of 2008 and am feeling that 2009 might be the year I break into the higher stakes and actually achieve something.

Then the reality of poker hit home as I start with a bad run at the double up tables. Losing 7 out of the first 11, then throw in a couple of non cashing MTT and I find myself nearly $100 down on the first day!

Heeellooo! Wake up call!!!!!!

Back to the grind ....

As of today I have turned things around .... marginally .... and am now $30 in profit. Whoopee, big deal eh? But a profit is a profit and I am back in a good mood. I almost beat my record of 7 Double Up tourneys in a row when my AA got beaten by a KTs flush, that would have carried me to 11 consecutive wins given that I won the next 3. As for now my personal best stays at 7.

I have also kept to my new years resolution of playing some sub qualifiers.

So far I have played 3 GUKPT sub qualifiers on Blue Square with fields of 13, 14 and 16 with me finishing 6, 5 and 10 respectively (very disappointing).

In the second one I was going well until I raised with AT and was called by one player. The flop came down 266, I bet out heavily only to be re raised, well I thought he was at it and was pot committed anyway as he didn't have many chips left I pushed all in. He instantly called holding 66 for quads ... niiiicccccceeeee!

However I am not letting this put me off, I am signed in for another tonight (and am playing the poker player freeroll on Virgin for the Newcastle Festival), any live ticket will do.

That's all for now

Keep it Tight!