Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Since I won't be able to play in this Saturday's Piece of the Pro tourney on Full Tilt, I decided to plunk down $55 and played in last night's Greatfull Red tourney instead. There were about 140 entries, with the winner getting $1,800 PLUS 1% of whatever all the 25 or so Full Tilt pros win in today's WSOP event. Was delivered a huuuge body blow early on when I lost 3/4 of my stack with QQ vs JJ...both of us were all in before the flop, which brought an ugly J...ironically enough, the name of the player who outdrew me was pjacks.

Down to about $300, I more than doubled up with my own pocket J's vs A7. I hovered around $800 for a little while, and then was dealt my least favorite decent starting hand- 10 10. With blinds at $40-80, I raised to $200 and was called by the button. Flop was K-x-x and I was worried, so instead of just pushing in my last $600, I checked...so did the button. Turn was a J, I weakly checked again and the button bet $300. Hoping it was just a steal attempt, I pushed all-in and called by QJ, with no help on the river...bad move on my part, I should've either pushed on the flop (button would've probably folded) or folded to the turn bet...my "I-always-lose-with-tens-so-I-don't-know-how-I-should-play-them" strategy backfired yet again.

I tried to make back the $55 by playing 3 $25 NL cash tables, only to break even thanks to more stupid big bets with inferior hands. I know aggression is required to win at no-limit hold'em, but I have to learn how to rein myself in when I (should) know that I'm beat.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I won a sit & go qualifer earlier this week for tonight's $100 + 9 Piece of the Pro tourney on Full Tilt (see banner on right). I began with $2,000 in chips, and quickly started adding to them. Two key hands...first I raised on the button w/KJh, called by the big blind. Flop came Qh-J-Th, which gave me middle pair and straight/flush/royal draws. I bet the pot & was quickly called. Turn was another J, I made a modest bet and flat called again (hmmm). River brought my buddy Jack the 4th, I bet half the pot and was called by AK...sorry!
A while later I picked up KK and raised, short stack to my left went all in and I gladly called. He showed QQ and didn't improve...$5,700 by the first break, I'll take it! Unfortunately, that's as good as it got for me.
Early in the second hour, I got to see a free flop from the BB w/Q9s. Flop was 10s-9-7s, I bet the pot and was called. Turn and river were blanks...I bet both cards (weakly, maybe 1/3 pot each time...my only real blunder so far) and called down by K9...yak. A couple orbits later, again in the BB, the SB and I see a flop, I have J5. Board read J-J-K, we both checked. Turn was A, he made a smallish bet and I min-raised him, he called. I'm thinking good, he liked the Bullet. River was 7, he bet about $1,000 and I gladly called...and he flipped over J7!!!! That one hurttttt, brought me back down under $3,000.
At the $120/240 level (with $25 antes), I decided it's time to start getting aggressive. I made my first attempt of the tourney to steal the blinds in late position w/Q5d, but the BB put me all-in and I had to fold. Next two hands were AJc and AKs, both times I pushed and both times got no action...but now I was back up to $2,500 and had a little bit of breathing room...or not. Dealt 55 on the button with a couple limps before me, so I decided to push it all in and hopefully pick up the pot or get called by a couple of big cards...well, I got called all right, but by the UTG limper w/KK. Bye bye me, I'm out 150th or so out of 450+....but I feel I played decent poker, so I'll be able to sleep tonight...