Poker Through the Eyes of an Amateur

October 28, 2005

WWdN: Up4Poker Invitational

One hundred and eighteen players registered in the $10+1 buy in tourney. It was fun while it lasted, but I didn't make the money. The people were fun to play with, but the cards just weren't in it for me. I guess I can't be too upset after winning that iPod nano last weekend. Here's a play by play of my life in the tourney.

9:00 Cards go live!

9:10 Raise 3x in BB w AQ, get hit with reraise, call. K89 on flop. I check , he bets, I fold. Don't feel like pushing it too early. I'm down to 1120. In hindsight, I should have put out a feeler bet on the flop. I just wasn't thinking.

9:17 Can't catch any cards. Been getting a lot of Q-rags. Might have to play the next suited one

9:21 I min raised with K 4 on the button. Ace came on the flop and I stole it. Suckers.

9:22 Amusing table banter:

bdidde, referring to pastamancer's stick person icon: "How can you stay so skinny with all that pasta? you look like a stick figure"

pastamancer: "yes- it is my sperpower (sic) - metabolizing carbs!"

bdidde: "who is your nemesis? Dr. Atkins?"

9:26 redrebel min bets the nut straight on the river. ???

9:28 I took a decent pot with AJo in BB when J came on the flop

9:29 I took a $620 pot with KJo. Flop came KJA. I checked it, and reeled them in on the turn/river. I'm up to 1635 now.

9:30 S. Nickerson cracks Pastamancer's AA with 44 when he hits a set on the flop and sends him packing

9:39 I bought the blinds with a pair of 9s

9:40 qhsprn's nut flush busted bdidde's lower flush. We're down to 87 people.

9:42 I folded 78c after 1st position raised UTG for 4x BB. Would have hit a set of 7s :(

9:47 I folded K3d before flop when it would have been decent pot odds to call the BB. Would have hit flush on the flop, but would have lost to the boat. Dodged a bullet there.

9:48 Ouch, folded A9o in middle position and flop came KAA. This sucks!

9:53 I called a 3x raise with AJs. Flop came Q33. He bet out, I raised, he folded. Sitting nicely at 2185 now. It pays to have a tight table rep at times.

9:58 Tonychap just busted out 2 people two hands in a row. Luckily I just got moved to a new table... just in time to see a K9 but out an AJ with a 9 on the turn

10:00 We're at our first break. I'm currently seated 37th out of 71 with 2185. Blinds will be going up to 75/150 after the break. Wil is currently 32 with 2370. I'm also currently one table spot away from eulerian, a fellow Gaithersburg resident who lives by the Rio. There's also a guy from Alexandria. It's always kind of fun to be playing with locals.

10:15 ARGH!!! I had AJ spades in bb, and I called the standard 3x raise. The flop was 55J. I check, and the guy puts me all in. I call. He has 88 and ends up catching an 8 on the river to almost bust me out!! I'm down to 75, and it gets worse. I have 55 in BB, and I am all in. The SAME GUY raises it up and has KK. He catches a K on the flop. I hit my 5 on the river, which is worth crap. WTF?!?! I ended up going out in 62nd. Interestingly, Wil followed me out two places later. His live play blog can be viewed here.

Those two hands are definitely the worst combined bust I've ever had, and it's even weirder with them both coming back to back and from the same player. Oh well, such is poker. Hopefully I'll be back next week!

I've been linked!

One of the writers over at Online Poker Center took a bit of an interest in my summary of the PokerStars blogger tourney, and I've been quoted in their write-up. Hopefully this won't be the last time!

Tomorrow night I will be playing in the WWdN: Up4Poker invitational at 9pm. I'm looking forward to a great game and some good competition. I'll definitely have a write-up of it posted sometime this weekend. Look out, Wil! I'm coming!

October 26, 2005

Slow Week

It's been a slow week so far poker-wise. I've had some late days at work and some incidents to deal with, so I haven't had much time for it. I've played probably a total of an hour over the past couple of days, and just on the $1/$2 limit tables. I made about $40 in the process, which is alright, but I would much rather be playing in some tournaments. I jumped up to the $2/$4 limit tables briefly, but after not catching ONE playable hand in 12, I left. Very cold seat. I earned back the blinds I lost easily enough back at the $1/$2 level.

There won't be any poker today because of choir practice, and tomorrow is the Virginia Tech vs Boston College football game (go Hokies!), so there won't be any tomorrow either. Hopefully I'll have time to play in some tourneys this weekend. My wife is doing a walk for the American Heart Association on Saturday, so I'll probably be able to play while she's doing that. Until then...


Well, I got my prize confirmation email last night. The iPod should be arriving in a couple of weeks. They also sent me a trophy, which I thought I would display here for the fun of it, as I have not won any trophies since high school.

October 24, 2005

Inaugural PokerStars Blogger Championship

I write so much about my poker experiences on my personal site that I decided to go ahead and start a separate blog for it. My first entry will cover the Inaugural PokerStars Blogger Championship.

To be honest, I had actually forgotten about this tournament. I was in the middle of a one-table limit tourney when the blogger championship started and automatically popped up on my screen. So for about the first half hour, I was madly switching back and forth between the two games. The limit tourney was down to four people and was progressing quickly, and there were a lot of no-shows for the blogger tournament initially so hands were going by very fast there as well. I actually wasn't even trying my hardest for the blogger tournament at first because I had money invested in the limit game, while the blogger tourney was a freeroll. Most hands were forgettable at this point in time, but I do remember one.

I was in the big blind with KQ off-suit. Everyone folds, and one guy calls in fairly late position. I raise to about 3x the big blind, and he calls. The flop comes up 10 J Q rainbow. I lead out with a decent bet, and he re-raises twice my bet to put about 2/3 of his chips in. At this point I'm somewhat worried about a 89, QJ, Q10, 10J. I'm pretty sure that he doesn't have a pocket pair or AK because he just called the big blind initially. I had top pair with the open ended straight draw, and I also had him covered. I decided to put him all in. Turns out that he had a KJ off suit, and the turn/river cards helped neither of us; one more player gone.

The next couple of hours went pretty smoothly. I only had one gut-wrenching moment the whole tournament. It was about midway through, and I went all-in with QQ against a guy who min-raised the big blind. He called with AA. The flop helped no one, and the turn didn't either. I had only the two queens as outs, and I hit one on the river. Salvation! Amazingly enough, that was also the only suck-out I had the entire tournament. And that's really something playing online hands for five hours. The rest of it I just played good poker.

Toward the end, I couldn't get a hand to save my life. The chip leader at the time was at my table throwing his stack around, and I couldn't bluff to save my life. The blinds and antes slowly ate my stack away, but not before I made the good prizes!

I ended up coming in 31st place out of 1473 entrants. One person of note who I ended up outplacing is Wil Wheaton. He's supposedly a pretty good player, and I was a huge Star Trek: TNG fan growing up, so I just thought it was neat to be playing in the same tournament as him. I was never at the same table as him this tournament, and I didn't even know he was in it until he was out. Apparently he plays fairly regularly on PokerStars, so maybe I'll run into him sometime.

For coming in the top 36 players, I've won an iPod nano. I'm definitely excited about this as I've wanted one of these for a good while, although my wife will tell you I've not wanted one as long as she has and that I should give it to her. I'm not falling for her wiles this time, though. :-) I'd like to thank PokerStars for running an excellent tournament and congratulate all the players who placed. It was definitely a tough field. I look forward to playing in it again and hopefully having a more respectable poker blog by the time the tourney comes back around.