Monday, July 6, 2009

Frustrating day

Barely got through day 1c alive. Terrible table draw that included two ME final tableists, 5 internet hotshots comparing how many millions they'd made online, and an EPT final tableist. To make matters worse, the tight guy were all to my right and the loose guys to my left. There was only one obvious donkey at the table and I think early on the loose players targeted me as the only other unknown.

Card death for the entire day apart from KK once (more on that later) didn't help either.

On the positive side, I made maybe the best ever fold and the best ever call in one day and overall played about as well as I can. There were a few decisions I made that if I'd gone the other way I'd already be out so at least I've given myself every possible chance.

Most of the day was dull stuff: either folding, or raising in position when it was folded round to me, missing the flop, cbetting, and either taking the pot or having to fold. Really only three big hands.

First, the fold. Really tight guy who had played only two hands in first three hours not much more min raised to 525 utg. I make it 1600 utg. After some Hollywood, he reraised to 5100. After a bit of a think and a soul read on how comfortable he looked underneath the acting, I decided his range was just three hands: red aces, black aces, or one of each, and for the first and probably only time in my life I folded the kings. He showed one of each in disgust. Ironic I found this fold as I've been telling people recently I think it's a theoretical mistakes to fold kings and didn't think I ever would. But poker is situational and actually this was a pretty easy fold once I'd thought it through.

Second, where it all went wrong. Despite my card death, I finally managed to get above starting stack with 34K, mainly because I had a brilliant table image. Playing so few hands because of card death and the weird table dynamic with everyone trying to isolate the one donkey at the table meant that when I did play, I didn't need a hand other than the left raising/reraising one. I purposely let the small pots go early so I'd have a nittish weak tight image so when I did put in a big bet later in the big pots it got respect. Last hand before second break, I raise AK in MP to 600. One of the "I can outplay you after the flop" Internet LAGs flatted behind. The table donkey with a huge stack (fed to him by the Internet guys who played him so badly: they kept trying sophisticated bluffs despite the fact he couldn't fold bottom pair) made it 1800 in the BB. His range for raises/reraises appeared to be any pair, any ace, any two pictures. I elected to call as did the Dutch kid. Flop came J42 all hearts. I had the ace of hearts. Donkey led 5100 into 5500. Against a better player with fold equity I'd happily get it in knowing it's probably a flip if I get called, but knowing I had zero fold equity against this guy so I need to hit to win (but will get paid off if I do), and with the tantalising prospect of winning a monster pot if the Dutch guy has a high heart and stays in, I just flatted. The Dutch kid folded and the river was a non heart 5, giving me a few more outs. The donkey now made a horrible sized bet: 5K into 16K. Getting 4 to 1 I can't fold, and I can't ship either as I still have no fold equity. River is a 2, he checks, I briefly consider the house-representing ship but know I'm getting a reluctant call even from TT so I let it go. He has QQ with no heart. That hand essentially defined my day 1: had I hit I'd have been on 65K and set up. Had I shipped I'd be out.

Third hand, the hero call. Now playing 17K, I raise to 1050 utg with TT. The donkey flats on the button. Flop is a truly horrible KQJ so I check hoping for a free card and a 9 or an ace. He checks behind, turn is a 3, second diamond. Check check. River 2 of diamonds. I check and he now overbets the pot. Std fold obviously but in poker it's a mistake to play too standardly. He splashed the chips in which seemed to indicate weakness in the past. I couldn't put him on a hand that made any sense other than two low diamonds, but even that seemed unlikely because he seemed to bet his draws and would probably have bet the turn. The betting sequence of check to the river and then bet big looks either like a slowplayed monster or a bluff. I just couldn't find a monster he wouldn't reraise preflop: a set was unlikely, as were two pairs and AT, so after a long hard think I made the call. He had 8 high and there was general bemusement at the table when I turned over my hand. Internet kid beside me called over his entourage to tell them "Dude made sickest call ever with fourth pair. Wow".

After that it was revenge of the donk (who finished with 100k). I reraised him from the blinds with AKs, cbet a t high uncoordinated rainbow flop and folded to a ship. That left me short and only a number of uncalled ships late in the day kept me alive. I finished the day with 5475, which is just under 11 bigs when we go back on Wednesday.

Today I play the free Stars STT thing and maybe a bit online.


UL, just catching up on your WSOP trip reports now - I'm sure you'll get a decent cash elsewhere to make up for it all before you head home!


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