Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hitting the felt

After that last post of mine, let's put aside the inconsequential matters of national politics and personal achievement and focus instead on something more important that I have not blogged about in a while - poker!

I recently was playing online and decided to try my hand at something called a freeroll, basically, it's a tournament that the online site allows you to enter for free. These freerolls usually attract thousands of players (because they're free, duh!) and the prizes vary. But for this particular freeroll, I was playing to try and qualify for another tournament that had some potential for big money. So, this was basically a qualifying tournament. And while I say it is free, this particular one actually required using 10 frequent player points to enter, with the option to re-buy if you get knocked out. The players usually are pretty crazy in these tournaments because they've spent little to nothing to enter. So people push all their chips in with nothing and just hope to get lucky. I generally try to wait for an excellent hand and pick these people off.

So, very early in the tournament, I pick up pocket Aces, woohoo! I push all my chips in and two people call me, excellent! Unfortunately, one of them lucked out and beat me with I don't even remember what. So now, I have to decide whether or not to rebuy. I decided to and the very next hand picked up pocket Kings. Wow! Again I push all in and get 2 callers, this time my hand holds up and I'm sitting on a huge stack. To be honest, I don't remember any other hands in the tourney but I know that I lasted long enough to win my way into the next tournament.

The next tournament was a biggie. 12,000 people, no rebuying allowed. If you get knocked out, you're done. The top 4,000 made the money, with the top 100 winning a .01% share of one of the players at the final table of the World Series of Poker, which at minimum would be worth an extra $900 but could be as much as $9,000, depending on how the dude did at WSOP. In addition, the winner of the freeroll got $10,000 with the prizes descending to the people in places 2000 - 4000 making $9. Not bad for a free tournament!

Each player started with $1500 in chips. Very early, I picked up a hand where I made 2 pair and wound up essentially doubling up to $3000, making me the chip leader at my table. From there, I absolutely took off. On one hand, I made a straight on the river and knocked out a guy, picking up another $2k in chips. A couple other hands I got lucky and knocked out some guys with smaller stacks. And I had a few other big hands thrown in. Within an hour, I was up to $10k in chips and as high as 30th overall in chip stack. Great start!

I then got moved to a tougher table with some bigger stacks. As the tourney progresses, blinds and antes got higher and the pots got bigger. I was able to hold my own and increase my stack to around $16k. I easily cruised into the first and second money level, guaranteeing myself at least a $15 payout. I was about middle of the pack in chip stacks. At this point in the tourney, people usually only play excellent hands except for people who are close to out of chips, who are forced to push all-in with any decent holdings. So I basically hunkered down and waited for good hands. I picked up pocket 10s and tried to pick off an all in but the person I was playing against managed to hit a good card on the river. This put me towards the bottom in chips.

As I was running out of chips, I decided to push all in with the worst hand in poker 2-7 offsuit. One guy with a huge stack called me and I caught a 7 to double up and stay alive. Shortly after, I picked up pocket queens on the button and pushed in, getting 5 people to fold and picking up a very nice pot. At this point, we're down to 500 people or so and I've guaranteed myself a $31 payout. But I'm about 200th out of 400 and eyeing a much bigger prize, sitting on about 32k in chips.

Unfortunately, I stupidly wasted 6k in chips on hand with pocket 4s. With blinds and antes, I got down to about 24k, which was around 250th of 400. I woke up with an AK offsuit on the button, an extremely strong hand. Waiting for my turn to act, One guy in early position raises to 3 big blinds, or 12k. A shorter stack goes allin for a total of 15k. This is my chance to really make a big win and I'm likely to be a favorite or at worst 50/50. I think it's a risk worth taking and push allin for 24k. The original raiser calls and we are looking at a 57k pot. The first guy turns over pocket 9s, the second guy pocket 7s. If I can hit an Ace or King, I should win and I'm a 38% chance to win, with the guy with 9s a 45% chance and the favorite. Unfortunately, I came up empty and the nines were a winner. I finished 402 out of about 12,500, good for a $31 payout. Obviously I was happy to do so well but couldn't help but be disappointed about what might have been, especially with so much $$ on the line. As it turns out, the piece of the guy we were playing for was worth $4,000. Bummer.

Amazingly, the next day I played in another 12,000 person online freeroll and finished 44th. This tourney was for Limit 7 card stud, Hi/Lo. It was really fun and cool to play a different game.. The prize for this one was to win a spot in another tourney that has a nice prize pool. I'll post results after I play in it.

On the live poker front, I have a tourney tomorrow night for my poker league where I currently stand 2nd out of around 30 or so guys. I'm pretty far behind the guy in first but it's not impossible for me to catch him. The top 6 places get paid out at season's end, which includes tomorrow's tourney and one more beyond. It should be fun! At the end of the season, there is a big tourney where there is no entry fee for those who have played in most of the events, with a nice sized prize pool as well. I'm looking forward to it.

On the school front, I am deep in research on Moby Dick in preparation for writing my term paper. I'm hoping to discuss my ideas for the paper tonight with my professor. It will be a lot of work but I feel like I've got a pretty good start and some good ideas. And, thankfully, I've got the whole Thanksgiving holiday to work on it!

This past weekend the better half and I watched the summer blockbuster Ironman. I have to be honest, I really thought the movie was decent but didn't match up to the considerable hype. Robert Downey Jr was good but the whole love interest thing was completely unnecessary and detracted from the story. The effects were great and I definitely loved The Dude as a bad guy. I was waiting for him to show up in a robe with a White Russian in hand though. On the docket this weekend, a trip to the local multiplex for Madagascar 2. It's going to be bedlam.

Song lyric of the day "If I had a gun for every ace I have drawn / I could arm a town the size of Abilene " Cracker covering the Grateful Dead - Loser

Until next time.



Anonymous said...

Very solid finish friend! Would have been nice if that AK had paired! I haven't been online lately, but am itching to. Really looking forward to the tourney tomorrow as well, should be very fun! See you sunday!

Ace said...

Thx dude, had another very solid finish in another tourney very recently also, hopefully I'm in the groove in time for tomorrow's tourney.

Nadine Hightower said...

How much school do you have left...I thought last spring was the last semester.
We saw the Bond movie this last weekend. It's not the best Bond movie better than Moonraker. But the story goes with the Casino Royale.