Monday, June 2, 2008

Back down to Earth

Close but no cigar in the SE Summer Festival main event. I played pretty well except for 2 mistakes late on day 2. I was chipleader with 16 left and could probably have coasted to the final table in reasonable shape, but that's not my style. The hand that swung the tournament away from me was against Ken Powell (kpnuts). He'd just arrived at our table, raised from mid position, one caller in late position, small blind completed, and I had a speculative hand that plays well multiway: K6s. Flop was J 9 7 with two of my suit, it's checked to Ken who bets 10K (more than pot). Everyone else dies. At this stage I'm putting him on a weakish Jack or pair, so I decide to go for the semibluff with my flush draw and overcard and go all in (he's only got half my stack so really I'm only putting in 48K to win 18K). Obviously the move is heavily reliant on fold equity but even if he calls I'm 35-50%, so the move is fine. Actually, Ken's got a brilliantly disguised J9 for top two pair. No way I put him on that hand given the preflop raise and the flop bet that looks like it doesn't want callers. I've still got the flush draw but it doesn't come and I've lost half my stack. He played the hand quite brilliantly, obviously anticipating that anyone with the flush draw would make that move.
After that, I played hyperaggressively for a while and got my stack back to 50K when I lost half of it on a pure bluff representing trips from the blinds against Michael Muldoon (preflop raiser) and Keith McFadden on the turn. McFadden's got top pair ok kicker and calls me down. I figured a bluff against Michael would get through but once Keith called the turn I should probably have aborted as he seems pretty unbluffable. So, first mistake.
Second mistake was also against McFadden. I flopped the nut flush draw and a gutshot. With one overcard, I had at least 9 pure outs, a possible 3 more from the gutshot, and a possible 3 from the overcard. McFadden fired at the flop. I missed on the turn and he fired another 10K, half my stack. With 23K in the middle, I was definitely getting the odds to call if I really had 15 outs, but I couldn't be sure I had. On the other hand, I could beat a bluff or semibluff if all he had was a worse flush draw (there were 3 hearts on the board so any heart gave him that), and I was mentally ascribing a higher probability than normal to that possibility based on how he looked and his speechplay (when he saw me looking at the pot, he said "You don't have the odds to call", which is what I'd expect someone like him to say if all he had was the flushdraw himself). In the end I decided to pass and wait for a more clearcut opportunity. I still had a playable stack but unfortunately subsequent card death meant I could do no more than jog on the spot until I reached the final table with just 6 big blinds. So in hindsight, I should have called as if I win that pot, I'd have been right back in it.
Eventually got it all in with K10s and lost to the Chief's A5o. I was pretty devastated afterwards, not because I was out, not even because I'd failed to cash from a commanding position with 16 left, but because of those two mistakes.
Played the side event the next day but my heart wasn't really in it and never got going in truth. I lost one biggish pot to Hyzepher when I check-raised him with a 6 on a 776 board, he called with 109 and hit his 10 on the turn (luckily I lost the minimum as he was afraid of a 7 so it got checked down). Went out with 10's against Mick Steven's 3's when he hit his set. Flop was raggy so I thought my 10's were good until he raised the turn all in, and by then I was pot committed (and still beating some legitimate hands like 2's,8's, 9's, two high cards).
My mate Mark from England ended up losing headsup to Mick who is on a real roll. Mark's still hanging around, we may hit the Fitz tonight. He just offered me the most amazing staking deal to try to get me to play 15 of the online Sunday donkaments: I think I actually can't lose on the deal, I'd virtually be freerolling, and all he gets is 50% of any profit I'd make over 100% (ie, I have to double my money before he gets a cent).



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