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Archive for March, 2011

JHDSS Main Event

March 21st, 2011 Poker 3,332 Comments »

The Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series Main Event is one of my favourite events of the year.  For a $550 buy-in you get a 3 day event, a decent enough structure, a pretty soft field and a pretty good prize pool.  I’ve played it twice for a 25th and a bubble, so I was pretty keen to get an opportunity to play again this time around.

I played Day 1b, with the mindset that I had a second shell to fire with the repechage on Saturday should I feel like playing again.

I arrived at my table to find Mat Hawker on my left and had to chuckle when I saw Nobbi Tanaka sit down to my right.  After some fun times against Nobbi in the 6-handed event, it would be nice to have position on him today.  I didn’t know anyone else at the table but there were a couple of faces that I’d seen before.

There was one Asian guy who decided he wanted to be table captain as he lagged it up pretty early.  I made a nice call down against him with ace-queen on a scary board, pretty early when he triple barrelled.  A few minutes later I gave some back when I called with KT on an AKx22 board.  It was a limped pot and I was in the small blind. The flop was checked, I check-called turn and river.  I knew he wouldn’t bluff me twice in a row, so I should’ve folded the river.  But I paid him off and he showed 2T – the only way he could win was with running deuces.  Sigh.

Nobbi was continually iso’ing the limptards, so I was trying to find a good spot to punish him for it.  When the cutoff limped, and Nobbi raised the button, I decided I was going to three-bet the small blind with any two cards.  I looked down at Kd7d which seemed reasonable enough.  It was 100/200 and he iso’d to 700.  I made it 2,100 but he came back over the top to 5,100.  My instinct was that he’s so full of shit, so often, that the right play would be to basically shove on him here with my entire range.  But I decided it was early enough to let it go.  It’s disappointing as my instincts were right, but I was just outplayed as Nobbi later told me he had Q7.

I lose a chunk of chips with pocket deuces on a baby board when I fold river, and next hand I find AQ under the gun and raise it up.  Mat Hawker is next to act and he three bets me.  I respect Mat’s game and he had been pretty solid up until this point.  I haven’t played with him before, and I know he grinds solidly online, but I guess I assumed his style was probably similar to my own.  I don’t often raise a full ring table light from UTG, so I wouldn’t normally 3-bet myself pretty light.  I didn’t want to call and play OOP, so I let it go.  He later told me he had As7s.  Owned again.  Sigh.

I didn’t find too many spots over the next few levels with my opens getting three-bet and my c-bets getting check-raised.  It was just one of those days where nothing stuck.  I was down to around 15BBs when Nobbi opened the cutoff and I shoved KdQd from the button.  He called with Ah8d and I spiked a queen on the flop, only for an ace to crush me on the river.

I was pretty frustrated but the next day, decided that it was worth raising some funds to take another shot.  Day 1c was the complete opposite to Day 1b.  I had a super-soft table full of nits, with Julian Cohen the only solid player on the table.  I had a Scandi on my left who was pretty bad, Michael Haddad who was good fun as usual but donked his chips off, and the rest were fish.

I called the Scandi down with ace-high in a blind versus blind and he showed queen-high, and I made a couple of other nice reads/calls to chip up a bit in the early stages.  With the blinds at 100/200, I opened to 525 with pocket kings and the Scandi called before Haddad moved all in (without looking at his cards) for around 5,000.  A nit in the big blind then moved all in for about 13k.  I wasn’t thrilled but I was never folding.  Scandi folded, Haddad showed Q4 and the nit had TT.  40k pot and of course the fkn ten hits the flop.  I was back down to 13k but kept chipping away.  I got a lot of good raising hands like QJ and KT in late position, and they just kept letting me steal their blinds.  Unfortunately the antes hadn’t yet kicked in, but I was happy to chip up and keep the table guessing.

Three times I raised with small pocket pairs, hit baby flops, and got called by fish with nothing but overcards.  Twice they hit their six outer, and the other, I called a guy down who had king-queen-high.  However everytime I’d chip up, I’d have something go wrong and get knocked back down.  I rivered two pair in a pot against a fish who already had a bigger two pair.  I thought for a moment about donk value-betting the river but I checked and for some reason he checked behind to thankfully save me some chips.  I then had pocket queens and had to fold on the river to heavy action on an ace-high board.

A failed bluff attempt against a super-nit put me back down to around 8,000 when I picked up AA in the big blind.  Two limps at 200/400/50 and I made it 1,200.  They both called and the flop was 678.  I bet, got check-raised, shoved and he snapped with 9T.  Game over.

I learnt a lot on Day 1b on a tough table, while there was nothing I could do on Day 1c after having AA, KK and QQ all cracked.  It’s been a tough few months poker wise, so I’ll be taking a little break with a few events coming up that I’ll be working at.  Hopefully a little run-good is around the corner.

However the week wasn’t a lost cause as I was able to rail Josh “procession” Bell onto 3rd place in the Main Event.  Well done mate!

Next stop Perth!

Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series – Prelim Events

March 17th, 2011 Poker 43,631 Comments »

So this week was the Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series at Crown Casino. It was the sixth instalment of the popular low-limit series and one of my favourites to play. The buy-ins are a perfect level for me, the fields are usually extremely soft as most of the interstate pros don’t travel to play it, and the structures are pretty good. They do get pretty shallow later on in the tournament, but you get plenty of gameplay for your buck so it’s pretty hard to complain.

Before heading over to the Crown Casino in Melbourne, I’d decided to play the $340 Terminator and $340 6-Max and then maybe some of the cheaper midday $180 events if I felt like playing. I’d also play the Main Event later in the week.

First event was the $340 Terminator event which I’d gone very deep on the last two occasions at the JHDSS, only to cop a couple of rough beats late. We got a 15k start bank and 30 min levels, so there was plenty of room to move. Trung Tran was the only notable on my starting table, but I started off by dropping 1,000 on the first hand of the tournament and pretty much went South from there. Not much went right, at all. Took a pretty bad hit when I raised AJ from early position and found one call from your generic old-school live player to see a J87 flop. I bet flop, then check-called turn and river for him to show me T9.

A few hands later there was a limp from the cutoff into my small blind. I completed with K9 and after a flop check around I check-called two streets on an AKxxx board. Of course the cutoff had “craftily” slowplayed his AA. WP sir.

Down to around 12BBs, action folded to the SB who completed and I shoved A4s in the BB. He thought for a moment and called with QJo. I guess the $100 bounty was too much to resist. Queen on the flop and I’m out around 110th of 156.

A few days later and got talked into playing the $340 8-Game Mixed Event. I used to play a fair bit of HORSE but haven’t played much PLO or 2-7, so I planned to tread lightly in those games. Turns out I knew 2-7 better than most. lolz. Within the first 6 hands we saw someone raise with high cards (it’s lowball dude), showdown ace-high (ace is high not low dude) and then a straight (straights count dude, or and before you play another hand, so do flushes). lolz.

I didn’t lose a single pot for the first two hours, only chopping one pot during the Stud H/L round. Unfortunately as solid as I was early on, it was the complete opposite for the next two hours where not much went right. I got outdrawn in three 2-7 hands, and rivered in PLO. I made one mistake in Stud H/L where I put in a third bet with a low draw and bricked.

In the end I made my last stand with 2345J in 2-7. I tossed the J and drew a 5. Tossed the 5 and drew a Q. Tossed the Q and drew a K. GG. Roughly 30th out of 56.

The next day was the event I was most looking forward to with the $340 6-Handed event. I love having a six handed event at that price range but surprisingly it only got 105 runners. I arrived a few minutes late to the casino and was pretty sick to see Nobbi Tanaka on my direct left. Probably the most hyper-aggressive player in the field. Sigh. Fortunately I knew how he played, and I suspect he didn’t know much about me. I was able to get a couple of 4bets in against his aggression to keep him in check, but unfortunately things didn’t go so smoothly around the rest of the table. I tried to triple barrel Jimmy Ghobrial off what I perceived as a flush draw – I was right except that the running aces gave Jimmy trips to go with his flush draw and he quickly called me down.

I found myself down to around 4,500 of my original 15k start bank with only about 20BBs. This was a level I pretty much maintained for the next few hours as I continually chipped up and held my spot without anything too special happening. I got one double up with AJ vs Nobbi’s 99, but he quickly got it back when his QJ paired up against my A8.

Andrew Scott and James Potter joined the table to make it a little tougher, but we were the next table to break. Nobbi 4bet himself into Andrew’s pocket aces, and I pretty much stayed out of trouble, other than getting berated for my min-raising!

We then broke to a new table where I sat with Manny Stavropoulos as we inched closer to the money. I doubled up with QQ against Manny’s 66, before flopping a flush in a battle of the blinds and getting three streets of value. I got myself up to around 90k at 1200/2400 which was about as deep as I’d been since the start of the tournament. I was above average with 20 left and 12 finishing in the money.

I raise-folded KTo preflop to a young Internet kid’s 3-bet, before a few hands later he opened the button into my big blind and I looked down at AsJs. In hindsight, I should’ve just called to keep things small ball and see a flop, but I wanted to give the impression that perhaps I was just playing back at him light, so I 3bet him pretty big. If he 4bet, I was ready to jam, but he surprisingly just flatted.

This indicated to me that he was intending to “outplay” me post-flop, with perhaps some sort of marginal holding. The flop was a draw-heavy QhJd6h. There’s lots of ways I could play this, but at the time my thinking was that I wanted to get the last bet in. If I c-bet and am raised, it’s pretty yuk. But if I check, I’m certain he’s going to be aggressive and bet. I can then check-raise shove which looks strong and shuts out a lot of the draws which he is likely to have on that sort of flop. Unfortunately he snap-called with QTo and the board bricked out. I don’t really like his call preflop, and there are like two hands (AK and AJ) that he beats on the flop, but I guess once he flops top pair he kinda has to go with it.

It was a disappointing end after I’d fought back from the short stack. I don’t mind so much how I played the hand, but perhaps I didn’t need to let the pot get so big preflop, when I had a decent stack to work with and continue to chip away small ball towards the money.

So I was 0/3 in the prelims before the Main Event in the Crown Casino on Friday. Hopefully I can turn it around for the big one!