Monday, April 30, 2007

Lucky 44 and a late tart

I was all ready to play in the Blogger Bracelet Race last night. I decided that I would try and win a token as opposed to buying right in, so I fired up the laptop about an hour and a half before the start of the tourney. I logged into FullTilt and decided to see how many people were already registered. Hmmmm. No $24+2 tourneys starting at 9:00. Strange.

A quick visit to Al’s blog and I see that I got the start time wrong by 2 hours. So here I am, thinking I’m logging in early at 7:30, only to see that the tourney had already been running for half an hour. Ooops.

Congrats to whoever took it down!

Part of me wasn’t really in the mood to play, so I guess it was for the best.

I wasn’t in the mood, because Banky and I got in an argument on Saturday night over how I played….it boils down to this – he doesn’t think I take it seriously enough when I play online (I gamble too much), and I feel too much pressure when he watches me play, because I feel like he’s judging me and if I make the wrong play and lose, then I’ve disappointed him. It’s silly that we argued, but it just soured me on playing online for awhile. I don’t want the fact that I lost $5.75 in an OHL game and a $6 token tourney to result in an argument with my husband. Besides, online poker is rigged! ;)

Live poker, however, is the shiz.

We played in a 60-man bounty tourney in Guelph this weekend. I busted out early (between 45th-50th I think). I think I played fine…but I was card dead and couldn’t make anything happen. I think my biggest downfall was I slipped into passive mode when I got short stacked. But it was what it was, and I busted out when I was all-in with pocket 6’s against pocket Aces and AK. I hand over my lovely pink bounty chip to the AK (who caught a straight), and head downstairs to the $1/2 NL cash game…and that’s where the fun begins!

There’s one empty seat (UTG) at the table, I quickly sit and buy-in for $100 and get dealt cards…I ask the dealer if I have to post and he says no. Okey doke!

I get dealt 44 and limp in. A few more limpers and the SB raises it $10. I know this player, and know he’d do this with any 2, and figure if I catch a set I can get his stack, so I call the 10. There’s 1 other caller behind. Flop is…

2 2 4

Is this a dream?

SB bets out $18, and I, idiotically, say “$30”. The dealer says it’s an illegal raise and says I can only call. Ok…I thought I’d be committed to make it a legal raise since it almost was, but whatever. I make the call.

The player behind me, then says “30 on top” and I am flabbergasted.

He knows I love my hand, yet he’s still raising. What could he have? Please, oh please, don’t let him have pocket 2’s!

Now unfortunately my mistake of attempting to raise chases out the other player. Had I just called his bet, I’m sure he would have come along for the extra $30, but since he knew I was staying, he decided to fold. I go all-in, and my opponenet quickly calls. Oh lordy, he called so fast I started seeing quad 2s flashing in front of my eyes. But no. He didn’t have quads, he had A2 for three of a kind.

Another player said he folded a 2, so I knew the hand was mine. But I got a 4th 4 on the turn anyway. Woot! As I scooped the huge pot, people started commenting on the high hand…and I was told that the organizers were doing a high hand jackpot for the day, and that I’d qualified. Double Woot!

I cashed out about an hour or so later when Banky busted out. By then I was up $90 (lost a huge pot with JJ when a guy overplayed his AK preflop and caught a stinking Ace on the turn – bah!). But still…up $90, and a potential for more with the high hand. I found out the next day that my high hand did hold up, and I was $225 richer!

My cash game winnings covered the cost of our buy-ins, plus a tidy little profit – definitely a good day for the Tart.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bingo Bonanza!

After a brief foray into an $80 freezout, the past two Woody’s games have reverted to their previous rebuy bingo structure: $60 rebuys for first 3 levels, $20 addon for half a stack after the rebuy period is over. It’s fair to say that the Woody’s boys were back with a vengeance last night…as the prize pool was almost $2000 for 16 players. I think it worked out to almost $120 per person. It was insanity. I had to rebuy on the second hand after I overplayed my pair of jacks, and I saw one player (Guy) get his pocket kings cracked 4 times (twice busting completely and having to rebuy). He lost to me when I had pocket Aces, and to Banky when he had AK.

My hand was textbook. I was in the BB and player UTG+1 raises it 3xBB. Guy reraises him x3, and I look down and see Aces. I’m worried that if I reraise it’ll just scream Aces, but I wanted to get more money into the pot with two players who were anxious for action. I knew going all-in would scare UTG+1 out, so I just doubled Guy’s raise. UTG+1 folded anyway, and Guy said “raise”, and then my heart went pitter patter. He fumbled with his chips for a bit and then went all in. I immediately called and tabled my Aces. They held up, and I doubled up. Woot!

Guy also had AA twice that night, and they held up both times – but he ended up busting well out of the money after rebuying twice.

But that was just the beginning of the insanity. There were more ball-crushing suckouts than I’ve ever seen in one game. It was painful.

I misplayed the first two hands badly (and the second hand in cost me a rebuy), but after that I pulled my shit together and was able to play a very solid game. One of the most satisfying events last night was a call I made on Al. The details of the hand are unimportant, but the result was I read him as weak and even though I just had second pair/weak kicker I called his bluff bet on the river. It’s an amazing feeling when you know you’re making the right decision (and can also be sickening when you know you’re making the wrong decision, but do it anyway).

Long story short, I came in second and am now the money leader for the year.

Not bad for a girl in a room full of drunken monkeys!

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Secret to poker?

If I frequently get a lot of chips early in a tournament and then finish middle of the pack, what does that tell me?

I have to ponder on that thought, because that happens to me frequently. I played in another blogger tourney last night: the WPBT limit event. Early on I was doing well, but then my aggression got the better of me and I gift-wrapped and hand delivered half my stack to another player.

I found it hard to recover after that and I fizzled out in 13th place. I'm sure the spiced rum & ginger ales that Banky was feeding me didn’t help (although it did make for an enjoyable evening).

Banky and I have been watching the NBC National Heads-up Championship, and I was very impressed by Shannon Elizabeth’s play (although only a few hands of her match against Mr. Celine Dion were shown). However, I was a little alarmed at just how shiney her teeth were. They looked great, but really…who’s teeth are that shiney? It looked like they were covered in Vaseline. I’ll have to remember that trick when I make it onto a televised event.

What I was surprised to hear was Shannon’s comment to Shana Hiatt in her post-win interview. She mentioned that she’s using the Law of Attraction in her life. It was a little bit of a goosebump moment for me because I just read The Secret this week and was totally energized by it. I totally see the connection between playing poker and the law of attraction and how it can translate into “luck”. If you persistently think bad things will happen, bad things will happen (see Mike Matasow). I’ve always felt like I was a lucky person…and now I’m going to make that even more true than before!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cherry Poppin' Tart

I popped my poker blogger cherry on Monday night and played my first blogger tourney.

I had arranged to play a heads-up O8 game with Change100 (I won the ‘who is the biggest drama geek who reads her blog’ challenge). Unfortunately the SNG server was down so we couldn’t play, but I was up past my bedtime anyway and decide to try my hand at the Mondays at the Hoy game.

I had a great time…except for the part when my QQ gets crushed by InstantTragedy’s AJ when we get all-in preflop and the flop comes JJx. Bah!

That crippled me and I went all-in shortly afterwards with A10 to get called by IT (I think) with AQ and I go to bed.

Bankwell was a bit grumpy when I lost…he’s watched me play a lot lately, and the other day stopped playing the Wii for a minute and said “you get sucked out on. A LOT”, and why yes, yes I do…but it didn’t faze me on Monday night, because I had a good time.

It was nice to play with people who love poker, and who aren’t full of venom towards each other in the chat window. Although Al did bitch me out for betting into a dry side pot when he and I were in a pot with a third player who was all-in. I’m not convinced that what I did was so wrong. I called the all-in player’s bet with AQ, and the flop was Q high. I was worried that Al might have AK, and then if a K hits, I’ve lost a big pot (the main pot was over 4,000 chips, and I only had about 3,300 back). Al ended up folding, and the all-in player had AQ so we chopped. I know about the whole “checking it down” theory. But in this case I think my bet was justified.

One thing I found interesting was that some of the other players commented on how aggressive I was. I’ve never really considered myself that aggressive, so their reaction was surprising. Although if they saw the hands I was getting (high pockets out the wazoo) maybe I wouldn’t have seemed so aggressive.

In other news I also popped my hammer cherry! Raising 27o, taking it down pre-flop and then showing the hand…oh yes, I’m definitely a blogger now.

And in other, other news - I finally moneyed again in the Thursday night league after a 6 month dry spell. Too bad it was a light game and my third place finish was barely a return on my buy-in....but I'll take it!

Monday, April 09, 2007


You’d think that with my lack of blogging that I’ve stopped playing…but that is definitely not the case.

Since I last blogged, I’ve continued my losing streak at the Thursday games (haven’t cashed since November), won a bunch of $8 turbo ticket tourneys – and then subsequently lost when playing tourneys with those tickets, played at the same FullTilt tables as Chris Ferguson, Karina Jett, and Chip Jett, came third at Woody’s (Bankwell finished second that night), and won two HORSE tourneys on FullTilt.

The HORSE tourneys were not my biggest tourney wins as far as money goes, but they were my biggest online tourney wins as far as number of entrants. I’ve never had any success at online MTTs…so these two wins (on back-to-back Fridays, no less) felt extremely satisfying.

We’ve also attended and hosted some Saturday night fun games – and they really help me keep poker in perspective. First and foremost for me, I love to play poker. I love trying to read people, I love playing with chips (especially when I have to stack a huge pot I just scooped), and I love talking and laughing with the other players. I have lots of serious games in my poker playing schedule…I need to remember to include some fun in there too.