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Daniel - Poker Journal

My Sunday Grind Results

01 Feb 2010

So as promised, I played 7 tournaments on PokerStars on Sunday, and here is how I did:

10:00am $215 Sunday Warm-Up: There were 5268 players in this event, and about 1.5 hours in I raised with JJ. The small blind re-raised me, and I went all in. He called with 10-10. Bink, 10 on the turn and that was the end of that.

1:30pm $215 Sunday Million: 19,377 players. Yeah, that's not a typo people. Almost 20,000 people played in this tournament! I'm still in shock. I was shocked at 14,000 and then it just kept getting bigger and bigger. I was doing great in this tournament. It paid 3150 spots and I cruised into the money without even realizing it. I had a good stack of chips too, until disaster struck. With blinds at 1500-3000 I min-raised with Ad 6d and the big blind called. The flop was K-5-4 with two diamonds. My opponent checked, I think I bet 9000 or 12,000 and he went all in. I could call here and still have 24,000 in chips, plus the pot was laying me a good price. Besides that... I could have the best hand.
Or, I could have the guy CRUSHED! I called, and he showed Jd 8d. Turn an 8 and a 120k pot went his way. Ugh. Then on my small blind I moved all in with A-9 and the big blind woke up with 10-10. Bu-bye. I got back $299.28 for the effort for 2653rd place.

2:30pm $530 Sunday 500- 1567 runners, and I was cruising in this tournament for most of the way. Then I raise with JJ from the cut off, the small blind re-raises, I go all in, and he decides to call me. He has A-Q. Good flop, good turn, Queen on the river. Yum. I later went all in from the cutoff with 3s 6s and got called by the big blind who held AK. The flop came K-4-5-Q-3. Out in 912th place.

3:30pm $215 Second Chance- 1801 players and once again I got hold of some chips and looked like I was going to make the money again. I called a raise from the small blind with Ac 8c versus an early position raiser with a good stack of chips. The flop came Qd 8s 8d. It looked like a good flop, especially since my opponent had 8-9 off suit. The turn was a 9, and I finished in 234th place. It paid 216.

4:00pm $109 $80,000 Guarantee- I never got too much going in this tournament, and eventually moved all in against a late position raiser with 55. He had 66, and I finished 723rd out of 1620 players.

4:30pm $109 with Rebuys- By the time this tournament started I was already in four other tournaments. As you may know, I find anything more than one table to be difficult, but was managing pretty well with 3 or 4 and was looking forward to the challenge of a 5th table. Well, the very first hand a guy goes all in. I have 1500 in chips and called it with AK. Another player behind me also called with AK, and we were up against JJ. I lost that pot, and decided NOT to rebuy at all since I had four tourneys already going.

5:00pm $215 with Rebuys- My last tournament, and since I was playing so many I decided once again that I would not rebuy. I made it through the rebuy period with decent chips and by that time I was down to just two screens, so I did the $200 add on for 2000 in chips. Seems really stupid not to take that add-on because you get an extra 500 in chips.
It looked like I was a genius for a second. I raised in late position with KK. The small blind re-raised me, and the big blind went all in. I went all in also, and it was heads up. Me with KK, the BB with Ac 10c. Flop 10-3-3-5.... and whaddya know, Ace on the river. The hand didn't break me, but later, short stacked now I went broke with A-10 to A-Q.

I played 7 events with just 1 cash. I invested $1808 and got back $299.28. That's not the result I was hoping for, but I've been playing poker long enough to know that results just aren't all that important. I know when it was me playing poorly, and when it was just bad luck. So far this year I'm running well below expectation in the tournaments I've played. I'm putting myself in position consistently, but I've been losing those key pots that either propel me into the top tier chip stacks, or leave me crippled.

I'm not disappointed in the least. I was proud of the way that I grinded and actually tried to take it seriously. I've had problems with that online in the past, but I took all the events seriously and feel like I was able to manage four tables pretty comfortably. I never came close to timing out or anything like that. In fact I think I rush myself TOO much and actually have way more time than I take. I just need to get used to it I guess.

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I'll probably still be in LA next Sunday so I don't think I'll do the grind. I've never really gone to LA as a vacation before so this will be a first. It's always been either for a poker tournament or some other poker related work, and I'm excited to see what LA has to offer when you are away from downtown, or the Commerce area.

My next tournament will take place at the M Casino. It's just a 12 person field with a fun format, and I'm a sucker for fun formats. It's the Premier Leauge IV and I'll be playing with Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, David Benyamine, Luke Schwartz, JC Tran, Vanessa Rousso, and a few others I can't name off the top of my head. It's a $100,000 buy in event.

I watched the WSOP Caesar's Cup event tonight and I thought it was an entertaining show. Would be nice to have more play next time, but what you guys need to understand is that we only had one day to do it, so the structure had to be fast. Our team just didn't adjust well enough to the pace of the structure. With what should be absolutely automatic plays, our team actually made bad blunders. Ivey actually made a couple. This format doesn't exactly allow him to show off his talents. Hellmuth just butchered several hands. Back to back KJ plays were just really bad for this structure. Limping with KJ to "trap snap call" when you are the short stack just isn't good poker at all. He says, "That's the way I play," and that's also one of the reasons the kids on the forum make fun of him so often.
The next KJ was just shocking. Our team couldn't believe that he folded away 6000 in the big blind with KJ. Online players understand those situations and know that it's just impossible for it to be correct to fold against the button's raising range. We saw the amateur re-raise with K-10 out of position earlier in the match, so there is no reason to think he couldn't have K-10 again. Besides, even if he turns A-9 face up, based on our chip stack, the correct play would still have been to call.
At that stage it's not really "poker" anymore and there are plays that are clearly correct, and clearly incorrect. There isn't much room for imagination or psychology at that point. Guys like Bill Chen, Chris Ferguson, and Andy Bloch would simply never make a mistake in those situations. It's all math. Nothing more, nothing less.

I played one hand that Annette seemed to wonder about, but it was the right play with such a quick structure. It was raised and re-raised before the flop and I had 8-9 off suit on the button. If you didn't watch the show you may not understand the format. Hellmuth played pre-flop and min-raised with the 8-9. The amateur re-raised from the big blind. Then Phil told Elky and the other team exactly what we had essentially. I thought, he has to be lying. We have QQ or KK for sure.
In this format, I get the hand on the flop in position against Elky. There is 20,000 in the pot pre-flop and Elky bet 13,000 on the 10-8-6 flop. I only have two choices. Call or raise. No one would ever fold on that flop. We had a bit of a chip lead, and we only start with 100,000 total in chips. If I call the flop, we can't really risk giving away a free card when we are ahead, and with the pot getting that big by the turn, we can't really fold either. Calling could also get us bluffed off the pot in some cases.
I decide to raise to 41,000 which is essentially the same as going all in. Elky moved all in, and it was actually a bit of a cooler. They had K-10 and flopped top pair. Doesn't seem like a cooler in the traditional sense when you are deep stacked, but that shallow, it's pretty unlucky to flop middle pair and a straight draw against top pair. You can't profitably get away from 8-9 there with those stack sizes. Ask Bill Chen :-)

Wow, did I just write a blog about poker hands and stuff? I can't remember the last time I did that..









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