Thursday, October 1, 2009

Calling with the worst calling hand

Relatively low key week so far. Haven't put in much volume online this week as I want to be relatively fresh for tomorrow's Late Night Stars of Poker heat. Ian and Mags came on Monday to film my "before" interview, joining me on one of my runs in the Phoenix Park.

The pros in my heat at Big Mick G and Scott Gray. Big Mick is more or less the stt king and Scott is of course a WSOP main event final tabeist. I've played with both on a few occasions. I think Big Mick has knocked me out of at least 3 tournaments either on the final table or the penultimate one, so I'm obviously hoping for a reversal of fortune. The celebs are boxer Jim Rock and rugby player Frankie Sheehan: I'm told both can play.

Most of my online efforts this week has been aimed at 6 max STTs in preparation for Friday. I've done very well in them so that's a confidence boost.

I also managed to win the last of the Bruce online IPR series. This also turned out to be a 6 seater! Albeit a much tougher one than normal, with Wally, Chris Dowling, Nicky O'D and Ian Cheyne in attendance. In the event, I got headsup with the only player I didn't know. Because of the rather bizarre payout structure (half the field paid), I couldn't actually catch Wally even if I won and he didn't cash (which happened) so from the point of view of the series the most important thing was for me to outlast Nicky O'D. Wasn't looking good early on as he aggroed his way to a giant stack and I rocked along more sedately but the balance shifted later when I won a number of all ins with dominating hands.

A couple of interesting hands along the way: one big one with AK v Chris' JJ early on, and then another when we were three handed. I'd been raising Nicky's blind a lot as I saw him as the big danger and didn't want to give him an easy ride to headsup where anything could happen. Blinds 200/400, I made it 1K with 22 on the button and he shoved for 5K. Getting just over 6 to 4 makes it a call because:
(1) I think Nicky's range is very wide given I've been button raising so frequently: not just any pair but almost any ace, two cards over 10, suited cons and a few random air bluffs. Against that range 22 has around 42% equity
(2) I had 4 times his stack so my bubble factor was very low (and his very high)
(3) It's a chance to knock out a very dangerous opponent, a more active approach that simply surrendering over 6K in chips without a fight
(4) If I win, I'm headsup with a massive lead
(5) If I lose, I still have the chiplead

Normally I call getting 6 to 4 in those spots but because of factors 3 to 5, I would probably have called even lighter (5 to 4ish).

As it happens, Nicky had a hand I was happy to see, KTo, and the 2's held.

The headsup swayed a bit, my opponent was playing very tightly so the pattern was he'd blind down, then catch a hand and double up, blind down again, double up again and so on until I won an all in eventually.

Anyhoosers, looking forward to tomorrow, and Killarney this weekend.



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