Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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It has been difficult to play any live poker lately since our baby was born in October. I finally got a chance again last night to play in the Wed. night UPC tourney.

Tourney Details
$150 buy-in
18 players (actually 17 + 1 guy rebought in a seat that was a no show)
Top 3 Paid
Starting Chips - $16,000
Starting Blinds - $100/$200, escalating every 20 minutes

(If you don't like long tourney reports - this post will bore you.)

I had one of those nights were everything was clicking. I had a hectic day at work and was just looking forward to playing some poker and blowing off some steam. The last time I played there, I went in thinking way too much about everything that I needed to do to win. This time it was just about playing my game.

From the start of the night, I was in a zone. I haven't had that feeling with live poker in a while. The kind of feeling where you are certain when you have the best hand and make the perfect bets to extract the max. chips. The kind of feeling when you have a good hand that you know is beat and don't even second guess yourself for laying it down. It also helped that I caught a few hands early.

One key hand came early when I was dealt QQ on the button. A guy in late position that had been raising a lot raised the 200 BB to 600. I flat called along with SB and BB. The flop came 852 and LP guy bet 800. I raised to 1,800. SB and BB fold. LP calls. Turn is a blank. He checks and I bet 3k. He calls. River a blank. He checks and I bet 4k. He calls. I don't like to waste time and I immediately flip up my QQ knowing that it is the best hand and LP mucks. I think that if I raised preflop with the QQ then I don't make anywhere near as much on that hand. I don't know what the guy had but I would have bet anyone $100 that he had A8.

A few other key hands:

Dealt Q8o in the SB and call after three other callers. I checked "in the dark" and the flop came Q88 with two diamonds. It checked around and I was hoping someone would be chasing a flush. Turn was a 9. I bet and 1 guy called. River was a 7. I bet again and won the pot. I showed my hand to let everyone think I was only betting big with my great hands.

I was a monster stack and get dealt 99 UTG and limp. A guy in middle position, who is tilting a little after losing JJ vs AA makes a standard raise. The BB goes all in for a little more than 1/4 of my stack. The middle position raiser has about 1/3 of my stack. I push all in and MP thinks and folds 88. BB has 77 and my 99 holds up. (My thinking was BB had an ace. He had made a call against a short stack's all-in with A6o for about half of chips earlier. I didn't want middle position to catch any overcards.) There was no difference between going all in and calling.

I cruised into the final table (11 players) with 80k in chips (27% of the chips). It was nice to be down to the final table at UPC and have the blinds at 300/600 to start. After the break all the small chips were raced off and the blinds went up to 500/1,000. I played pretty tight and didn't pick up any hands for a few levels as other got knocked out. I began stealing a lot of pots when the blinds reached 2k/4k. I put a short stack all in with AJ vs his KJ and the AJ held up.

The final four was tough. The other three guys were all very good players. 4th place was the bubble and all of the other guys had a few chips and didn't need to take big gambles yet. I started selectively stealing since I had a big chip lead. Then the perfect hand came up against Dan.

Dan raises from the button and I look down at AA. I think for a few seconds and flat call. Flop is A57 and I immediately check. Dan thinks, counts his chips and then goes all in. He made a good move at the absolute wrong time. I turned my cards up and after the blank on the turn, he mucked his cards without showing.

Shortly after 3 handed play started the blinds increased to 5k/10k. I went card dead at this point but picked up a few pots because of my stack.

2nd stack busted out the low stack and I barely had a chip advantage - 160k vs. 130k. First place was $1,080 and 2nd place was $650. Instead of the normal chop, I suggested that 1st place give $100 to 2nd place to make the payouts $980 and $750 and we agreed.

Frank was very aggressive and I had to put all my chips in a couple of times with mediocre hands to stay close to par. The blinds were now 10k/20k so it wasn't going to last long. I limped with 57s and Frank checked. The flop came KK7 and I bet out because there was 40k in the pot and the only way that he was calling was with a King and possibly a 7. My luck ran out as he flipped up AK.

It felt good to play some live poker and I'm happy with 2nd place for $750.


1 response to "3-2-1 and We're Live (Nice to play live again)"

  1. Well done Cmitch!

    You didn't mention the "BB - check in the dark / flop a straight" hand though. Now that's when you know you're in the zone!