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Daniel - Poker Journal

0-3 and getting ready for some rebuys

03 Jun 2008


So here is the deal: The limit portion ends and this is the FIRST hand of no limit hold'em with 25-50 blinds. This is important to note. A player limps in late position, Bill Edler limps in the cutoff position, and I raise to 275 from the small blind with JJ

The limper calls, and then Edler makes it 1050. I found that to be a really strange play, especially for the very first no limit hand. I didn't think he would limp strong in late position when he already had a limper in the pot. I thought about actually re-raising pre-flop, but ultimately decided to take the safe route and just call (the other guy mucked).

The flop came Qh 9d 5h and I checked, planning on calling a bet on the flop and seeing what developed. Surprisingly, Edler checked. To me it felt like he was giving up on the pre-flop bluff/steal attempt, or had a small pair type hand. With a coordinated board and two hearts out there, if he had AA or KK I figured he'd bet the flop in the hopes of winning a big pot on the flop.

At that point I was convinced my JJ were good. The Queen on the board was essentially irrelevant as there is no hand with a Queen in it that I could give him. He was either in front before the flop, flopped a set, or I had him beat.

The turn card was a 9 and I decided to protect my hand, plus also hope to gain some information. I bet 1600 and Bill called. At this point I felt like Bill may have 10-10, or 8-8 and was trying to play a small pot with me hoping I was on a draw or a bluff.

The river card paired the 5 for a board of Q-9-5-9-5. I had about 7300 and actually decided to make a defensive/value bet on the river of 3000. With that bet I'm hoping to get called by a worse hand, or possibly save some money if he planned on betting more with a hand like AA KK QQ or even 99.

When Bill raised me I thought to myself, so odd, QQ? It was hard for me to believe he'd limp late with QQ after a limper and then re-raise? I don't really know much about Bill's game aside from the fact that he's extremely creative and capable of making plays in strange spots. He made a play like that against me in Atlantic City a while back. A play where it was raise, raise, raise and he had nada.

He raised me 4100 more all in. A bet that "looks" like it has to be the nuts or close to it. Bill knows I know that, and I was very curious to see this hand. It was played so strangely that I couldn't figure it out. Did he put me on a hand like JJ and think I was making a defensive bet? Did he think he could rob me if he moved in? I had no idea, so since the pot was laying me a price, I had no real choice but to call. Seems odd to say "no choice" but that's what it felt like since I had no clue what he had.

He turned over KK and his creative approach to the hand is what won him all my chips. Hats off to him, he clearly outplayed me on that hand. Had I checked the turn again I'd still be in the event, but because I took a more aggressive line it cost me.

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Tomorrow I am playing in the noon tournament. You won't get updates at www.fullcontactpoker.com until 3:00pm, but I'll pop into the VIP room at 2:00pm to let you guys know the final tally on rebuys. I would set the over/under at about $13,000. I rebuy right away and do a double add on which comes to $4000, so I think $13,000 is about right considering my volatile approach to rebuy events.

I have a bracelet bet with Ivey and he is playing that event also. His over/under should be at least that high if not higher. I assume he is going to gamble heavy in the hopes of pumping up the table so he can get more chips later on.

Having a madman at your table in a rebuy event is a huge advantage for you, even if you are playing only one bullet. If you can get your AK to hope up against a 9-6 you have a chance to pick up an easy double up.

There are two very different approaches to these events: 1) play fundamentally sound and take advantage of all of the spewing by giving yourself better odds on your money, and 2) gamble recklessly early, cosating yourself a few bucks, lowering your odds on your money, ubt improving your chances of victory.

If you have significant bracelet bets, there is only one way to go: gamble, gamble, gamble! If that's not a concern to you, you should play carefully early on and just wait for premium hands and hope they hold up.

My goal during the rebuy period is to build up my chips to at LEAST 10,000 before it's over and then do a double add on to 12,000. A stack of that size will allow me to implement a small ball brand of poker that suits my style perfectly. Until I get to about 8000 in chips, anything below that can be replaced for a $2000 rebuy so I am more than willing to take the worst of it and hope to get lucky. As PokerRoad's own Scott Huff says, "If you can't take the best of it, take the worst of it." Nice!

In the meantime, what often happens when you go on a rebuy rampage is that you send opponents on complete tilt. They too then feel forced to gamble and what you have is a table full of massive stacks. If your table doesn't break too soon, you'll then have a shot at a massive stack yourself if you can bust a player or two. Then, when your table breaks, you get there with 60,000 in chips while the average stack at the table is like 9,000! That makes the game easy when it works out that way, but it doesn't always.

Sometimes 10-3 loses to A-J an inordinate amount of times. That's really unlucky. Most people (aside from guys like Gus Hansen) don't really understand that fact. Losing with 10-3 against A-J four times in a row is really unlucky! Yes A-J is a favorite, but not that big a favorite.

I start tomorrow with 4000 in chips. One double gets me to 8000 and then one more gets me to 16,000. I don't "have" to have the worst hand either, something even maniacs get aces!

When the rebuy period is over I'll be happy if I've spent, say, $8000 and have 20,000 in chips. My absolute worst case scenario after the rebuy period is a stack of 8,000. A double rebuy, and a double add on.

With this approach, there is little chance for an early out, so I'll likely miss the 5:00pm Omaha 8 event and go deep in the rebuy tourney.

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