Thursday, 17 June 2010

Deep-Stack Extravaganza

Yo yo,

Pretty happy days, I cashed in the $340 deepstack extravaganza at the Venetian today finishing in 37/660 runners for $850. It's not a huge score but it's a start. I still love this tourney and as long as I still have the motivation and passion I'll try to play it as much as I can whilst I'm here in Vegas. People just dump off chips in this like theirs no tomorrow.

My bustout hand was sort of interesting, but not terribly. Old dude 3x's when we are about around 28-30bb's deep at 3,000/6,000 from the hijack and I flat the cut-off with AdQd. AsJd4d flop and he overshoves all in. Normally I'd be reshipping this flop all day long but he kind of did my job for me. I hadn't a clue what he'd do this with as it was such a large over-bet, but I figured he had something like QQ, KK, flush draws that didn't really want to see a caller and wanted to scoop right there. Well he had AK which is pretty funny as he's literally not getting called by hardly anything worse unless I have this specific combination which even then has sick equity. Liveaments!

To be fair though the only reason I got so deep in this tournament is because people spazzed out like this versus me. For instance about 50 off the money some guy flatted my MP raise when I had QQ about 30 big blinds deep from the big blind. The flop came Q88 and he overshoved all in on the 6bb pot for 30bb's with 22. Must be nice to be me eh!

It's pretty late now so I'm not sure what I want to do tomorrow. I'll see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow but might grind a few online tournaments or might try just chill by the pool during the day and play some live cash at night in the evening somewhere on the strip. I'll see how I feel. Exam results out in 24 hours too...Ahhh!

Gl at the tables all

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Punishment is due


I'm pretty pissed with myself from last night. Yesterday I went to the Venetian for the $330 and was playing good poker but feel like I spewed pretty badly on my bust-out hand. I mean it's by far from awful but it's one of those pushing the tiniest of edges which simply isn't necessary in a deepstack tournament.

I had just moved to a new table for a few hands and was dealt TT in the cut-off. From what I had seen a few times the bloke in the hijack seemed really fishy and had limped about 60% of hands at 150/300/25. He did so again and I isolated to 1000.

The button was the only youngish looking guy on the table, he seemed like an internet kid with the overly large headphones and semi-professional chip shuffling moves. Anyway he 3bet me to 2600 when I had about 18,000 and he had about the same. It folded back to me and I figured he knew I would be iso'ing the fish pretty light and I was probably competent enough to be able to iso/fold blah blah blah. Anyway I slapped in the 4bet and called to find he had Kings. Maybe it wasn't too bad and I would probably have found it very hard to get away from on the flop but whatever.

I then headed over to caesers to play the 4pm $230 turbo which is a sick little tournament that I hope to play more of if I bust my midday afternoon comp. You start with 30,000 chips at 25/50 with 20 minute levels. 600 big blinds and people still can't fold top pair. It's lovely :). I raised my stack to about 120,000 then ran my kings into aces practically bubbling. Sweeeeeeet!

Pretty pissed with that so I headed to our bar; money plays where several yards of beer were consumed with my equally pissed off house mates that had bust the $2500 6-max WSOP event. The other house mate Zach just lost a couple of buyins playing high-stakes PLO online (his main game). We drank, played shuffleboard, played chinese poker, whined about our various bad-beat storys and how everyone is shit apart from us but we just run bad. You know the usual :).

5 hours in and with quite a hefty bar-tab and feeling more and more as if I was on a boat at sea, somehow the thought of hitting the casinos came to mind and everyone thought it was a good idea. Fuck!

You see, in Vegas casinos, the cocktail waitresses come round and give free alcohol. Several more beers and yagerbombs later I find myself stumbling home with the other $500 lighter. I know $500 isn't going to bankrupt me etc. But it is a lot of money to waste pit-gambling. It's pretty funny really, I don't even give a crap if I bust a $500 tournament live as I feel when entering it that I'm +ev over the field. But no matter how you look at it, playing the pit games you will lose in the end. What's worse was I was up $500 at some point. Blahh, pretty disappointed with myself for wasting so much money yesterday!

As punishment for being a pit-degen I'm taking the day-off poker today and I'm going to work on my game an hour for every $100 I spewed in the pit. Probably watch some poker videos, go through some hand histories and discuss hands with friends to see if I can spot any leaks in my thought processes. I feel that if I played today I'll still be on subliminal tilt from last night and won't bring my A-game. And if I'm spewing and not bringing my A-game, then I may as well just be gambling in the pit anyway.

Tomorrow I'll get back on the grind and see if I can make some money again!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

The Venetian


I checked out the Venetian yesterday for their daily $340 and so far it's my favourite casino. For $340 you get 12,000 chips on a 45 minute clock with a very good blind-structure. The play wasn't as terrible as that at Caesers palace, but certainly ALOT of dead money.

Not only that but the poker-room and the whole interior is absolutely incredible. With a first prize of $47k with 750-odd runners it was definitely worth participating in. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'll give it another shot on Monday. The food was also incredible in this place, and I'd definitely recommend the Asian restaurant in the Venetian which is surprisingly quite cheap too.

After I busted in a rather standard pattern of losing a couple of flips in a row, I played a little craps with the remaining $200 in my wallet. I ran that up to $250 then decided to play a little poker after some dinner. I started with my remaining $250 at 1/2 and ran that up to $400 before hitting $2/$5 and going on a bit of a rush cashing out several hours later for $1600 which was a pretty nice spin-up in the end!!

If I can manage to play tournaments and then grind my buy-in back every day at the cash tables that would be pretty awesome. Then hopefully I'll bink big in one of the tournaments.

As for online, I've played 3 sessions so far which have all gone pretty horrifically. I've moved my monitor and laptop downstairs which helps and I can get input from the guys in a few hands that have helped out a lot. But none of that matters if none of my goddamn hands can hold %&*£*%("£*$!!!

I'm going to take the day off tomorrow, chill by the pool, sweat England on to victory and party in one of the clubs in the evening. Sunday I'm gonna hit the online tables hard and try to get unstuck online for the trip so far.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Off to the Venetian

Heading off to the Venetian in about an hour to hit the daily $340 there. From what I gather the field and structure is superior to that of caesers where I played yesterday, normally with about 600 runners making a $35k first place. Now that would be nice!

I thought the Caesers tournament yesterday was really good though. For $340 you get given 20,000 chips on a 45 minute clock starting at 25/50. It was so juicy. The amount of people stacking off 400 big blinds deep with top pair and stuff was just a joke.

I doubled up to 40,000 within the first level after 3x'ing KK from EP. Getting two callers then some guy 400 big blind reshoving AKo lol. I was seriously like 'FML he's woke up with aces and is tooling out, meh I'm a tourney donk, I can't fold KK'. Pretty glad I called it too as that set me up quite nicely.

I had a really good table and to be honest given the quality of play I expect I'll be coming back many times to Caesers over the summer. Over the next few hours I ran my stack up to around 85,000 when my bust out hand occurred. I thought it was a pretty interesting hand worth posting anyway:

It folded around to quite possibly the chip leader in the tournament, some wild bluffy Italian guy raising and 3betting almost every hand and imo stacking off way too light and trying too hard to bluff the wrong people. He 3x'd it and I elected to flat on the button with my AQo. I'm sure his range is very wide here, and kind of wanted to 3bet, but 80BB deep I felt I would have a greater success rate playing in position post-flop rather than raise/calling all in this deep at a very soft table.

So I flatted and we both went to a flop of AK9 rainbow. He checked to me and I cbet 2/3 pot. I think his range here is mainly weighted towards hands with showdown that don't want to cbet and not know where they stand. Hands such as Kx, maybe q9 or something. His cbet range would normally be his entire range on this board based on past hands, yet he has also been leading out with top set etc. so I was sure he had a marginal 1 pair holding. Inevitably he check-called.

The turn came the 10s putting a second spade on the board. Again he checked to me and I elected to value bet 2/3 pot again. Here he check-raised to 25k from my 9k bet (25k was about chip average in the tournament - we were both pretty stacked). This was kind of weird as I had about 35k behind. I was almost sure that he didn't have QJ for the straight but something like one pair that picked up a flush draw or a gutshot. To be honest with this guy I really think he could even have 67s or something trying to bluff me. The only value hand in his range that I could see doing this would be K10 hitting two pair on the turn but even then he may elect to check/call it rather than check/raise.

I elected to flat which I'm really debating now. Although if I shove, I get no value from anything that calls, I think he is bluffing/semi-bluffing such a large % of the time that I would get more value just calling and calling about 85-90% of rivers (non king and non spade). So that's what I did, which I'm not too sure about but it's certainly close. What really made me call though is that as I bought out the 25k in chips to call I saw him slightly gulp out of the corner of my eye and look straight ahead. I thought this was pretty weak and went for it.

The river was an offsuit Q. The board then was AK9TQ. With me having AQ. He instantly jammed and I called after a few seconds. The story he was telling was really polarised to QJ given my flop read, how he reacted on the turn when I pulled the 25k chips forward and given there are only 2 combinations of QJ available (I have 1 Q and 1 is on the board), the chance of him having QJ is drastically reduced. So I called and he flipped over KJ. I'm kind of happy with my read as I feel online I would normally fold the turn here, but still the added information for paying so much attention and live reads really does help to make better decisions. I'm still not sure about shoving turn or just calling but whatever, onto the next tournament!

So afterwards, I was a little annoyed given how I had about 2.5x average stack and punted it. Regardless, I headed over to meet up with house mates at the Mirage to play some cash. Won $300 at $2/$5 which free-rolled my tournament in a pretty soft cash-game. Had an amazing pizza for dinner using the comped vouchers then the whole flat went to this bar/pub just off the strip and spent the rest of the night drinking, chatting and playing pool/darts.

A fun day!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas

Good morning people!

Well I'm here, I've arrived. And I'm feeling good. I've settled in with the house mates now. It consists of myself, chud (from England), and 3 American poker pro's. We're all getting on really well so far and the Americans all seem like really cool guys.

The house is amazing, seriously nice. The weather everyday is in the high 30s to low 40s so I'm really thankful for our swimming pool in the back garden. We also have a mini-crazy golf course in the 'yard' as my American pals would put it. Plenty of drunken prop bets to be made on that I'm sure :)

So far I haven't really visited the strip yet. The house went to the Southside casino last night which is a little way off the strip, but it's seriously awesome. Unlike the English casinos, all of the drinks (beers, shots, cocktails) are free. It's such a good place to go and get drunk! The place is really fine and I went on a sick craps heater running up $30 to $200, before inevitably spewing it back in various pit games over the course of the next 3 hours lol. Had to be done!

Other than that, I've tried to grind online quite a bit while I'm here too so as to hopefully lower the variance of my live tournament grind and also potentially make a little money on the side to off-set some of the costs of the trip. I don't think I'll play _THAT_ much online, as I can save the heavy grinds for when I'm back in England. Saying that, I've put in a couple of longish sessions so far with little success yet. But I have to say, the American pro's have it good. It's pretty nice to start your grind at 10-11am and have big tournaments available and be able to wrap up by 5-6pm. I even did a full 12 hour slog yesterday, but doubt I'll do too many of these while the weather outside is so good and there is just so much stuff to do here!

I'm not sure whether I should be treating this as a holiday or a profit-seeking endeavour. I guess a bit of both! After-all, I can get down to trying to grind out serious profits when I'm back in England. Then again I can't spend too much money here or I'll inevitably go broke, which is WAY too easy in this place!

Today, I'm heading off to Caesars Palace on the strip to play the midday $300 tournament in their "mega stack series". From what Chud has said, the tournaments aren't great here compared to the Venetian. But I want to test the waters out myself in all of the different series and then choose where I like to grind the most. Pretty excited, from looking at previous entrants, they seem to get around 250 runners which makes for a $15k first place. Bring it!

Until then as I woke up ridic early again (damn jetlag), I'm just going to chill by the pool for a few hours and play a little golf on our putting range. It's not a bad life :)

Thursday, 3 June 2010

It's all over...


3 years down the line and my degree is now complete. Finished. No more exams, no more lectures and no more 9ams! I'm now turning my focus much more towards poker for the meantime, really focusing on my game and working on it with the aim to become one of the best and most profitable MTT grinders in the world. That's quite a mission isn't it now :)

I've got a solid-ish bankroll to start with, definately sufficient enough to play a good range of mid-high level buyins online and with some room for shots live.

Flying out to Vegas on Sunday for the world series, staying in a mansion with 5 other poker pro's. I CANNOT WAIT!

Pretty brief post, but I thought I would update you all. Expect to see more posting in the next few weeks :O)

But until then VEGAS BABY!!!!!