Wednesday, January 24, 2007

MTT Report 001: Clifford the Big Red Dog

"He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot."


Hopefully, this isn't going to be merely a chronicle of my big victories. Those are great, and I'll post 'em for sure, but my plan is to post on all tournaments, and to focus on the hands that I think I misplayed, or I wonder whether I could have played better. The blog is not here to help me pat myself on the back. The blog is here to hopefully help me get better.

I'm clear on my skill level. It's a whisker above mediocre. I'd say that puts me in the 90th percentile of online players. I'd like to bump that over the Mendoza line.

I've decided that the 18K Guarantee is my game. I've found myself without a 'go-to' tourny for a few months, and I've been like a sad little dog ever since. I used to have much love for the $11 + 1 Rebuy + 1 Add-On that used to run at 8:30 until they moved it to a time that just doesn't work for me.

Gadfreys, I love that tournament. The 1 rebuy made it essentially a deep-stack, giving me room to maneuver, and it gave about 80% of the field the impression that they were in a true rebuy, which gave me typically 2 double-throughs by the end of the break. Those were the days. I don't have actual statistics, but it felt like I was making it to the money over 50% of the time. Move it back, PokerStars, move it back!

The 18K is not bad, and I recommend it to any MTT lovers out there who haven't discovered it. The pool is usually about double the guarantee, the buy in isn't too awful, and average play is . . . how to put it? What's the word? Bad. Real bad. Keanu bad. Federline bad. It's razing the earth and salting the ground. It is the reason that children and old men cry.

I think I can beat this tournament consistently enough to make it worth playing. So far, the results have been encouraging.

Last week, I was bounced deep into the tournament (and well into the shallow money) on a three outer. This week. . .well, read on.

And sorry about the image quality. I'm still learning.


MTT Report #0001
PokerStars 18K Guaranteed
Buyin: $25 + $2.50
January 6, 2007
Entrants: 1326


My Starting Table

Let's meet the contestants, shall we?

dtuff. A five-foot, three-inch tall albino lumberjack, dtuff plays Pot-limit Omaha and No Limit Hold 'Em tournaments when he isn't strip-cutting Amazon rain forest to make cardboard boxes for Nabisco Shredded Wheat. His nickname is "The Big Squirrel." A relative newcomer to the poker world, dtuff hopes tonight to win some respect from his peers and enough money for some new ankles. His favorite hand is Ace-Ten suited.

ParliPro. ParliPro enjoys a good challenge. He also enjoys a bad challenge. He also enjoys ketchup on his pancakes. He also smells like cheese. Not in a good way. His favorite hand is Aces in the pocket, the big weenie.

(Incidentally, informs me that dtuff and ParliPro are the only successful MTT players of note. Let's see what that information and a bag of potato chips will get us, hmmm?)

Julius_Goat. Our hero, (nominally). Today, the part of Julius_Goat will be played by Elliot Gould. His favorite hand at this time is T8 offsuit. Why offsuit? Why, indeed.

Nano_Pair. Fun Fact: Nano_Pair struts. He struts everywhere. An up-and-coming neurosurgeon for marine mammals, Nano_Pair cannot walk backward without giggling. Nano is credited in the recent hit film Spider Man 2 as 'Man in Crowd No. 874'. His favorite hand (honest) is KJ offsuit.

(I actually have a note on Nano from a previous tournament. It tells me . . . that I've played Nano in a previous tournament. Thank you, unhelpful note!)

brills7. This card-sharp from Northern Portugal is being sponsored today by Hagen-Daz iced coffee paddle pops. She's a master of the squeeze play. Her favorite hand is her left one.

howdumb. Do not be fooled by the name. Our lad howdumb is the 1995 Saratoga county spelling bee runner-up, and can be booked for children's parties. His favorite hand is K2 diamonds, which he calls 'The Whillacker'.

All_in_Man38. Our last-minute entrant to tonight's event fought the law. The law won. His favorite hand just lost.

rcray. Only the warrior who can crack rcray's Aces can win her hand in marriage. Her shock of red hair is distinctive, even across the felt and under a green visor. Her friends all call her "The Gootch." Her favorite hand is pocket threes.

pdjd20. The most feared player at the table, pdjd20 (short for "Pabst: Don't Just Drink 20") has a long history of days, which form weeks, months and even decades. pdjd raises with anything better than pocket 4s, but he longs someday for a hand he can call his own.


By the time the chips are done sliding, only one of these jokers will get into the money. Let's see who that might be . . .

HOUR 1: Bring Out Your Dead (Money)

Some people are going to play very badly now. They will open-push with Aces. They will call a fourth raise with Top Pair Low Kicker. Some of them will get a whole lot of chips. The rest are going to go away very soon.

Other people are going to be very lucky. Still others are going to be totally snakebit. Yes, it's the first hour. Let's watch half the field go 'bye-bye'.

Hand # 4: ($10/$20) Didn't I tell you some people are going to play very badly? What I didn't tell you is that 'some people' means 'me'.

With rcray limping in early position, I look down to see AJ offsuit. That's gold in middle position, Jerry! Gold! I pop it 4x the blind and am called in short order by Nano_Pair and rcray. Flop comes Ace high, two hearts which is cranberry muffin time as far as I'm concerned.

I pop it T200 into the 240 pot. Too high? Maybe, but in my experience, it takes a bet of about 80% of the pot to say 'I really am serious, I have a hand' and I'm planning on taking this little pot before a third heart on the turn ruins my day.

But then Nano min raises. He was really supposed to fold.

Shouldn't this smell fishy? Really fishy? Min raise? Doesn't that just scream: "Please call me, here are the odds to please call my set please call me now please?"

But then my brain tells me that Nano is stealing with a flush draw. Instinct. And then I push all-in, which I immediately regret. Thanks a lot, big brain.

As the seconds tick by, I count all the hands that have me beat right now. I figure out just how far ahead I might be to a heart flush draw, which is what I hope I have. It's not really all that much.

I recall that I am deeply, deeply, stupid. And . . .

Nano folds. My read was right, perhaps. I am a genius, sort of. $590 profit, ship it.

In retrospect, I have to put him on absolutely nothing. You'll see why. At the time, I felt like I had just played the donkey and gotten lucky. And I had. A man in love with TPTK is a sad sight. That kind of play usually doesn't end too well.

Hand # 8: ($10/$20) This is a fun hand! ParliPro raises and rcray calls. Flop comes Jd 5c Ac.

ParliPro checks, rcray bets $90, about half the pot.

ParliPro performs the old check-raise and makes it $300.

rcray RE-raises nearly the minimum to $700.

ParliPro goes all-in immediately, and rcray calls immediately.

Goodness gracious. Later, ParliPro, none of your (admittedly numerous) outs are coming for you.

Don't look now, but we just had Starting Table Elimination #1.

Taking Parli's seat is nolivera64. Welcome to the table, nolivera64!

Hand # 9: ($10/$20) And . . . goodbye nolivera64, who calls a re-raise preflop with Ah2s, then goes all-in on a board of 2h 5h 3h Kd for the inside straight flush draw. All_In_Man lives up to his name with the call, and his Queens hold against (quick tally) 15 outs twice. Crippled, nolivera'll be out next hand.

We barely knew ye, nolivera64. We barely knew ye. Hello, SonnyInMtl.

Hand # 14 ($10/$20) Near death experience for Nano_Pair, whose aces get all-in against dtuff's flopped set of nines. An ace floats down on the river and takes a dump on dtuff.

Nano's got to be feeling good. You can realistically only hope to suck out like that once a tournament.

Hand # 21 ($15/$30) Hooray for Captain Spaulding! I have Kings in the pocket, and preflop action before me!

A raise from pdjd20, a call from dtuff. I pop it 4x to $360, fulling expecting at least one call. In my experience, the majority of players decide they are going to see a flop once they make that first call, and new information after they make that decision rarely sways them (how presidential).

Two calls. Let's see a flop.

5h Jh 6d.

I have no intention of giving somebody the right price to chase with hearts, so I bet $700.

Fold from pdjd, and a call from dtuff.

5s on the turn, and dtuff is immediately all-in for $920 more.

Hmmm. $920 to win $3445? Looks like I'm calling and hoping I'm not up against a set. Since I've been the aggressor all the way through, I don't see a set trying to scare me with a big bet. This smells like a flush draw to me. And If he called all that action pre-flop with A5 or (ye gods) K5, he's getting paid now.

But I did not put him on this hand.

Sorry, kitty. This is my pot pie.

Seriously. You guys. Seriously. That was the most successful player according to thepokerdb. ParliPro was second. Yow. I guess the moral here is that sometimes TPMK, no draw, paired board, just isn't worth it.

And that's Starting Table Elimination #2.

Welcome to the table, Raccoon4477.

Boom, baby. I'm rolling.

Hand # 32: ($25/$50): Raccoon scoops an big ol' pot with AK on a K high flop. Brills goes all-in on an Ace high flush draw, Raccoon goes all-in to isolate, and All_In_Man, who has everyone covered, is clearly aptly named, calling with Top Pair, Bad Kicker.

Big Slick holds for Starting Table Elimination #3. Goodbye Brills, hello grandslamal.

Hand # 39 ($25/$50): SonnyInMtl just decided that A8 was worth going to war over on a board that missed him. All_In_Man sure thanks you for all your chips.

Hello Moosebabies! You have my favorite name of this whole tournament! You sound like an extremely disturbing children's cartoon show!

Moosebabies! The new theater candy made of walnuts and nougat!

Moosebabies for drain commissioner!

Hand # 48 ($50/$100): Nano's badly hurt, as pdjd20's pocket sevens flop a QQ7 full house. Nano pot-commits himself on that flop with a huge bet (which I've observed is becoming a bit of a habit for him). Let's just say he doesn't get a fold. Tens are not enough, and Nano's M is in the red zone.

Hand # 49 ($50/$100): Nano, holding KJo, doubles through raccoon on a coin flip. Raccoon paired his low card and pulled ahead on the flop, but Nano caught a J on the turn.

Nano's got to be feeling good. You can realistically only hope to suck out like that once a tournament.

Hand # 56 ($50/$100): Now here's something not to do. I slough away a quarter of my chips to grandslamal (who is impressing me as a solid and cagey player) by raising pre-flop and then making an obvious continuation bet . . .

. . . with Ace five.


I cannot call al's immediate re-raise. But I can resolve to stop playing like that. Ugh.

Hand # 58
($50/$100): All_In_Man rubs out howdumb on a board of T5K rainbow.

Severly shortstacked, howdumb pushed with T4.
I have to say it: How dumb, howdumb.

All_In_Man, severely big stacked, has the luxury of being able to call with T8 for Starting Table Elimination #4.

Greetings, quixotic78.

Hand # 61 ($50/$100): Meanwhile, the late streets continue their love affair with our goodbuddy Nano_Pair.

Nano demolishes raccoon and is plenty healthy again. Nano called aggression on the flop with nothing but overcards and caught his pair. Raccoon pushed very hard with a pocket pair below the board, the sicko. Now' he's got enough money to buy a bus ticket home.

Nano's got to be feeling good. You can realistically only hope to suck out . . . um, how many times CAN you suck out??? Let's see . . .

Hand # 63 ($50/$100): With A3, raccoon pushes $70 more into an already raised pot to go all-in. He's called by KQ and AJ. The raccoon is gone and rehillj takes over at the one seat.

Hand # 64
($50/$100): Talk about tilting at windmills. After pdjd20 makes a huge re-raise, quixotic decides to call for his tournament life with 77. That's a terrible call, especially when pdjd flips over Aces, catches a set on the flop and QUADS on the turn.

And let's all say hi to Rudolph. He can play in all our reindeer games.

Hand # 66 ($50/$100): Moosebabies decides to risk his tournament with A2 offsuit, which is usually pretty bad against Ace with. . . anything else.

Goodbye, Moosebabies. I loved your name, but not your play. But in the spring, as the sap begins to run once more in the maple trees, and the flowers start to bloom, the wind will always whisper to me . . Moosebabies . . .. Moosebabies . . . Mooooosebabies. And here comes MaggieMayB into the Moosebabies Memorial Chair as we enter the break.

HOUR 2: How High's The Water, Mama?

Ah, the second hour. When stacks that have not improved or have lost a bit start to get desperate. When tight players loosen and loose players tighten. When the monster stacks get over-confident. The first wild hour. There's money to be made now. Bluffs are more allowable. The Goat may just bring his favorite trash hands out to play . . .

Hand # 76 ($75/$150) After an orbit or so of tight play, rehillj opens UTG with ATo and is called by a rather small-stacked rcray in the small blind with presto.

Flop: 3d 8s 3c

rcray pushes all-in to take it down . . . but he doesn't count on rehillj's precognative abilities. Rhillj calls with overs and catches the Ace he knew was coming on the turn.

I remind myself to push hard on rehillj if I have a good hand.

That's Starting Table Elimination #5. Howdy, richm1. Stick around, won't you?

Hand # 86 ($75/$150): After a decent run and pretty good play, rcray decides to play the TPTK he flops with AK a little slow . . . and $0 wagered on the turn gives grandslamal the pot odds he needs to get to the river, where he fills his flopped open-end straight draw.

When pdjd20 poooooshes, we have Starting Table Elimination #6.

Bye pdjd, bye rcray, Please join me in a round of applause for our new players, richmal and robbo33.

And let it be noted, grandslamal is impressing me as a dangerous player, and able to play on all streets. Luckily, he is sitting 2 to my left, so stealing is going to be a lot of fun.

Only All_In_Man, Nano_Pair, and Julius_Goat remain from the starting table.

Underscore in name = success. I'll sell you my lucky underscore for $800.

Hand # 89 ($100/$200) I have cowboys on the button, whoo hoo hoohoohoo! Sadly, this time it's folded to me, and neither blind bites on my min. raise.

I mis-played that situation. I think grandslamal is savvy enough to fear the min raise. He may have called on general principle if I'd popped it a bit more.

Money's good, though. I'll take money.

Hand # 98 ($100/$200): I'm getting antsy. My M is at 8 and it's fixing to get way worse if I play a hand and lose it. I see AQo in middle position with one limper and raisy-daisy to $800. All_In_Man, who's been loose all game, just calls and we're heads-up to the flop.

AIM bets the minimum into a raggedy 7s 9s 2h flop, and I decide to take my changes and push. After a long time, AIM mucks and I exhale. I don't even know if I wanted a call there; I suspect I was ahead, but didn't really want to race.

Got a little more room to breathe now, though.

Hand # 105 ($100/$200): With 92 offsuit, I check my option; rehillj on the button is the only limper. I'm hoping for a ragged flop to check-raise on.

And I get it. 3d 4d Jh hits the board. I check, and rehillj, who has been aggressive and unchallenged for quite a few hands now, makes a pot-size bet. I wait just a bit to sell the 'weak is strong' angle, and then re-raise x4. Fold.

Aaaaahhh, I like my play for a change! And, more breathing room.

Hand # 107 ($100/$200): Pocket Queens with a raise from Rudolph before me. I pop it up to $1800 and scoop the pot.

More room.

Hand # 108 ($100/$200): MaggieMayB out, pushing all-in with nothing but overs. PeposKool slides in.

Hand # 109 ($100/$200, $25 ante): Scary hand, questionable play here. I limp in EP with 66, call grandslamal's big raise, then dump about half my chips in on a ugly before al can make a continuation. Make a big move when out of position to take the momentum away from a LP raiser; call it continuationus interruptus.

Risky, but I am going with my gut. I wouldn't make this move if it weren't al, who I think is a solid enough player to be able to fold. After a looooooong consideration, he mucks.

Yeah, boy. I'm healthy now. Meet the table chip-leader.

Hand # 112 ($100/$200, $25 ante): rehillj DESTROYS PeposKool in the second of two consecutive hands. Nothing much esle to say. Pepos is behind and stays behind, and then he goes away.

Taking his place is lucky lindy2.

Hand # 115 ($100/$200, $25 ante): With Ace-low, I play some very dumb limp-and-check-call poker against Granslamal on an Ace-high board. Al's got the higher kicker, and the turn makes him Aces up.

What a fantastic way to lose half your chips!

I'm still healthy, but I'm not scary anymore.


Hand # 116 ($100/$200, $25 ante): And here's AhQd in middle position. OK, then. I'm perfectly happy with either a call or a fold-around. I raise it up to $1K and Nano_Pair doesn't hesitate to call.

Nano's been calling with nada all night. I'd really like a favorable flop.

How about 3d 4d Qh? That'll do. Nano's only got 1260, and that's how much I bet. Exactly that much, to communicate "I am pushing you off the pot here." I want a call.

Nada waits about 0.0003 seconds and boom, calls. He shows . . .

KhJd, for one overcard and a weaker backdoor flush draw.

Wow. I figured he had better than that. To recap:

He called half his chips off with KJo, without hesitation.

He called the rest of them off on a flop that missed him completely.

The turn is a King. Three outs? No problem for Nano_Pair.

Motherfather Chinese DENTIST!

Son of a farging bastiges ***ongle!

Meet the new short-stack. He's . . . me. He's steaming a little bit right now. Don't poke him.

Ghastly, ghastly call.

And you know what? I wanted him to make it. I practically begged him to.

After a while, I type: You called. Why?

He responds: Needed a break.

I reply: You're a sicko, but I like you.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Nano_Pair! Isn't he great?

Hand # 119 ($100/$200, $25 ante): richmal's QQ vs. Rudolph's AK preflop. The ladies don't hold up.

Better luck to our latest contestant, Kaymor116.

Hand # 125 ($100/$200, $25 ante): Nano_Pair decides to get feisty with Jacks. He pushes all in into a King high board and is insta-called by rehillj, who has King Jack.

Kill with KJo, get killed by KJo. How karmic. Bummer for you, Nano, nice knowing you.

Except . . .

The case Jack falls on the turn. One outer? We got your stinking one-outer right here.

I've lost count of how many times Nano's improved after getting all-in way behind.

Let's call him Clifford, shall we? He's a huge dog, but he always wins in the end. So be it. From now until the end of time, Nano_Pair shall be known in this blog as "Clifford."

Hand # 126 ($100/$200, $25 ante): After getting rogered by Clifford, I have an M just over 3, and the blinds are about to double in a minute, so I'm looking for a nice little place to open-push.

K4 offsuit? Gooooooooooooooooooot.

I'm called by All_In_Man, whom I actually have covered by just a little. Ouch, All_In_Man. AIM shows me A9o and I throw up in my mouth, a little bit.

Oh well, two live cards, two tiny stacks. Let's have a raise of the little people.

I pair my four on the flop, and AIM never improves.

Call me Travolta, I'm stayin' alive. AIM makes Starting Table Elimination #7, which means that it is down to me and Clifford from the original gang.

Rags4Me takes AIM's spot.

Hand # 128 ($200/$400, $25 ante): Kamor's pocket sevens fall to Rudolph's KQo.

Bye, Kamor. And now . . .ZionHsu.

Hand # 131 ($200/$400, $25 ante): Rags4Me desperation-pushed with Ace-rag and lucky lindy calls him with Tens. Tens hold.

After 5 hands at our table, Rags is gone. I feel like we should say a few words, but none of us know him. I opt for respectful silence.

Rags is replaced by the next guy, whose name is 22eddie.

Hand # 132 ($200/$400, $25 ante): Speaking of pocket tens . . . I have them. Lucky lindy bets x4, and I wait just a bit, hoping to put off some weak vibes and collect a call (probably unnecessary, since Lindy has me so covered he amost has to call). Lindy's behind, and he may be well behind. Just a feeling.

All in, and fold around to Lindy, who calls and shows . . .


Double through on the big stack. I'm feeling much better.

Hand # 144 ($200/$400, $25 ante): There's been some tight play for an orbit and a half, so with KJo (AKA 'Chico and the Man') in middle position, I raise to steal.

Which is great, until eddie22 raises me 3x. Unlike Clifford, I don't fall in love with this hand, which is essentially rags. I wouldn't even have tried the steal if the table wasn't so tight. I'm out of the hand as soon as the bet hits the table, though I pause long enough to make it seem like I'm thinking it over. I want the players who are paying attention to think I might have something reasonable.

Eddie shows me cowboys. He didn't need to show, but it's nice to have free confirmation that I'm reading well -- though Dr. Seuss is harder to read than that hand was.

Thanks, eddie22.

And that'll pretty much take us to the break.

LEVEL 3: Bubble In Paradise

And now, mein sprokets, is the hour where we get paid. Or don't. We'll hit the money bubble in about 1/2 hour, and I expect to see a general tightening now, with a few players taking advantage and stealing the not-inconsiderable blinds.

The bad news? Even with two double ups after Clifford the Big Red Dog bit me, I'm not in good shape. My M is a little over 3, and I have 3 hands before the blinds come. I'm going to have to make some obvious desperation plays with some very questionable hands. My goal is 2 live cards or an Ace, but I'll take what I must Ten high? Giddyup.

Thanks, Clifford the Big Red Dog. You donkey.

Hand # 152 ($300/$600, $50 ante): First hand, here it is. Ace six, one EP limper. Instructions? Push. Hold breath.

I give the EP limper no credit. Except for grandslamal, we've got Any Two Will Do players.

Holding breath . . .

Holding . . .

The limper (rehillj) calls (crap!) with . . . Ace five. (Yes!) And now I dance.

My kicker plays. Now that's a spicy meat-a-ball. I just doubled up on a steal and am over 10K in chips.

Hand # 153 ($300/$600, $50 ante): Ace QUEEN this time. I'm feeling it. Raise it up.

Rehillj calls me in the BB.

Flop K 6 3 rainbow. I don't like that King. I do not.

I check. Min bet from rehillj.

And now I eat a brain tumor for breakfast and just call.

Turn, blank. Repeat. Check call. Somewhere, the smart part of my brain is screaming at me about what kind of player check-calls it down to the river. There is a reason this is no-limit.

River, blank. Repeat. Yes, that's right . . . ANOTHER check-call. I'll never understand my play on this one. Worst hand I played the whole tourny.

Rehillj has pocket sevens, and I just gave back most of the chips I just took from him. I'm a dumb-dumb sometimes. Like right now.

Luckily, I still have enough bullets to steal judiciously, and the knowledge that I played badly there. I will play better.

Hand # 157 ($300/$600, $50 ante): I find pocket dueces in the small blind. It's folded to me, and now I have a decision to make.

Fold? I just can't see doing that. Unless Clifford in the big blind has a higher pair, I'm ahead. The odds of him having that higher pair are low. But a raise in the SB is such an obvious steal move that it almost invites a call, and I'd hate to have to play most flops with just ducks. An all-in raise wouldn't be fun either. Thanks to my donkish play on hand 153, Clifford's actually got me covered. And he WILL call with any overpair.

Limp? No way. I want to finish this before a flop if I can. I'd rather just have the blinds and antes.

So I raise it 4x to show I'm serious.

Clifford calls. I put him on overs or any ace.

Flop comes 757. I'm in the tank for a while.

I really like this flop. I'm almost certainly ahead if my read is right. If he's got a five or a seven, that's bad luck. If he's got an overpair, it's a cold deck.

I want the pot, I want it now. Problems?

1) I know just how easily my two pair can be counterfeited. Basically whatever comes on the turn besides a 2 or a 7 will add outs for Clifford's overpair.

2) I have seen Clifford play. He'll call with nothing but overs. I'm pretty sure of this.

In the end, I decide:

1) I'm ahead.

2) If Clifford calls, so be it, all the more chips if my hand holds up.

3) I'm pretty crippled if I let this hand go.

4) I can't afford to give a single free card.

5) I'm taking these hobbits to Isengard.

I go all in. Clifford calls with his AJo, actually a better hand than I gave him credit for. I think: one of us was doomed as soon as the cards were dealt, and then I see who is doomed.

Five on the river. Counterfeiting, it happens so often. Clifford has sucked out again. Stupid fat hobbit.

Starting Table Elimination #8 is me. Later, virtual poker players. I'm getting some rest, and Clifford is going on to make some money.


I got my money in with the best of it and a correct read, so I'm at peace with what happened. At the same time, I can't help but wonder if it would have been better to find a better spot. Pushing with 22 when you are pretty sure you're ahead is fine, but pushing against a known calling station is questionable. In other words, I knew I had a coin-flip, I knew I was getting the best of it, but I was still pushing with the knowledge that I'd probably get called. Given that my read was correct, was I far enough ahead to make the push the right move? I just can't see getting away from the hand on that flop.

The best thing would have been to throw it away in the SB, but I was ahead until the river. Even pre-flop I was a slight favorite. I improved every street until the river.

I guess I was close to committed when he called pre-flop (not a bad call there, either, given the range of cards I may have had). I was committed to a continuation, at the least, and I knew my continuation was going to have to be my whole stack if I had any hope of winning the pot right there (which was my hope).

The moral: stealing blinds is dangerous work, especially against somebody who is likely to call you down with extremely modest holdings. You can make a big score when your hand holds up, but you can find yourself playing with your tournament life on some awfully slim leads.

I'll say this: Reviewing the hand history, #115 and especially #153 are the hands that cost me. Badly played on all streets. I save these chips, I don't go out when I did, and those weren't luck -- they were me. In both cases, they were hands that I check-called down to the river. That's not a coincidence, and I am quite sure they're the only hands I played that way.

Good to know.

Not surprisingly, old Clifford didn't hold on for the final table. I looked him up about a half hour later just in time to see him crash and burn, calling off his whole stack after the flop with nothing but overcards. He has since married, had a wife, a pet carp, and five kids, and settled into a nice career in chartered accountancy.

We wish him all the best.

The Stats

Finished in 204th place.
157 hands played and saw flop:
- 6 times out of 18 while in small blind (33%)
- 7 times out of 19 while in big blind (36%)
- 17 times out of 120 in other positions (14%)
- a total of 30 times out of 157 (19%)
Pots won at showdown - 5 out of 10 (50%)
Pots won without showdown - 19


Michael Albert said...

V. nice post (though 2+2'ers might throw in a gratuitous TLDR).

You didn't mention stack sizes, M's etc on the final hand. It turns out that against the overcards you anticipated, it's pretty much a coinflip (as you seemed to recognize). So, could a case be made for playing it completely passively postflop? (Trust your read and call or push over any flop bet, otherwise just aim to check it down?)

Goat said...

Thanks for the feedback, Michael.

When the last hand started, I had T5640 for an M of four. With that M, all-in would be justified, but obviously AJ is calling there especially since Nano's the bigger stack, so the results are the same.

Clifford/Nano had 10740, an M of amost exactly 8.

Passively postflop was absolutely not an option for me, because:

1)Nano would put me all-in anyway (I'd say that's highly likely), and I wanted the fold equity.

2)As I said, I was pretty sure I was ahead. Giving a free card in that situation is a big no no.

Ultimately, I don't fault Nano's play on that last hand. He might have raised me all-in preflop, but he had to put me on a steal (which it sort of was), and feel that he might have the best hand on my continuation all-in.


Two Dwarves Like Rice?

slb159 said...

Ahhh, didn't know you had a site.

Nice posts and welcome aboard.

Dr Zen said...

I don't like was it #105, when you popped it over rehillj. You had already read him as willing to call with overs and planned to get it on with him with a good hand. So it's hard to grasp why you made the move you planned with a bad one.

I'm pushing 22 preflop on that last hand. If you raise and are called, very few flops are going to look very good and your opponent is likely calling with just about anything, given your read and the amount he's already put into the pot. But what do I know?