The Miscellaneous Rantings of Marie-Lizette
With the Mega Million Dollar Guaranteed poker tournament starting on September 30th, I figured my weekend would be booked with nothing but tournament poker, so I had to assume Thursday might be the only day that I could cushion the blow that the re-entry event might have on my wallet. I drove down to the Bicycle Casino around 5:00 p.m. There were a few tables running, most with 1 to 2 seats open...a slow night. I set my loss limit at $500 and my profit goal at $600 and put $200 into the $2-3 No Limit Hold'em game ($100-$300 spread buy-in). I was quickly up to $550 and only needed another $50 to meet my goal, but the $2-3 NLH is a fishy game. Too often players sit with just $100, and wait for an all-in moment. Sure enough, I picked up Jacks on the button a the same time the short-stacked Big Blind picked up Kings. All-in pre-flop and $100 gone just like that.
A few hands later, I picked up Kings in early position, with a ubber-tight limper under-the-gun. I raised to $16 (a pretty standard raise with a $3 blind) and got 2 callers behind. Ubber-tight raised to $50. Shit. Aces obv. But the Bicycle Casino offers a bad-beat jackpot and Ubber-tight and I had been playing pretty friendly so I flatted figuring that it wouldn't hurt to see a flop. Who knows, maybe we'd hit a jack pot...I knew where I was in the hand and $50 was just the right price to see a flop with Kings, in my opinion. One player folded, but I was a little surprised that Luckbox in Seat 7 (who was clueless in most hands he played) called behind. The flop was 9♣, 6♣, 3♠...no jackpot, Aces win. Ubber-tight bet $120 and I insta-mucked Kings face-up. Luck box then shoved all-in. Ubber-tight made the call with his last $50 and showed his Aces. Shocked, Seat 7 showed him the bad news - pocket 6s. I asked Luckbox if he regularly makes $50 calls with 6s and he proclaimed that he didn't realized Ubber-tight had Aces there, then told me he was amazed that I had Kings and I folded them on the 9-high board. I chuckled and said, "easy laydown." I bought Ubber-tight a Corona and wished him better luck next time.
It wasn't long before I was back up to $550...just shy of my $600 goal, mostly because of a super loose "genius" with over-sized Rayban sunglasses that sat down to gamble. I should have just accepted that $550 was a enough for my $200 investment. Rayban went on a heater and rivered back to back to back wins against me. An example: He limped with 9♣2♣ UTG, I raised in mid-position to $20 and because there were 2 callers behind, he called. I flopped and Ace, he flopped a 9 and filled-up by the river. Really, what pot-odds was he hoping to get open limping with nine-deuce under-the-gun? I know, I know... it was suited. I allowed him to frustrate me and ended up down $400 for the night. I gave-up at midnight and went home.
I returned to The Bike on Friday at around 1pm for the tournament. I didn't even make it to the first break. I was definitely feeling a little off my game. I had mentally scolded myself for not picking up with a profit the night before and for letting that horrible player put me off my game. Needless to say, I didn't get a good night sleep and was not as focused as I need to be. I took a short half hour break, then decided to play a little $5-5 NLH ($300-500 spread buy-in) determined to bring myself back-up to even. I was feeling a little gun shy, but I set my mind to remaining focused on my $600 goal. I caught some good hands and turned some mediocre hands into nut-crackers for some big pots. (But, I will never play nine-deuce or any naked deuce under-the-gun...there's a difference between playing range and position... and just plain bad play.) At one point, a player outright said that he didn't know what hands he could call my raises with because I have such a wide range. I've heard that before...I LIKEIT! I hit my goal just as the clock struck 6pm - time for me to register for the 2nd flight of the day.
The first 6 levels of Flight 1B were frustrating. I'd play preflop with the best hand and lose the pot, then have to take risks to win big pots with drawing hands. I worked for each and every chip. I stayed at double average for the majority of the day. Unfortunately, as the blinds went up and the shorties began to shove, I went card-dead. I made it to the top 10% with average chips but got blinded down. At around 2am, I finally picked-up 7s in high-jack position with just 45K (5K-10K+1K ante) and got it all in pre-flop. The Big Blind called with Queen-Jack off suit and flopped trip-Queens. Game over. I placed 16th for $500.
On Saturday, I woke up around 10am. I rolled out of bed, took a quick shower and returned to The Bike to try again. I had hoped to play a satellite before the 1pm Flight, but the Event Center had not opened yet. There was no $5-5 NLH game going so I sat in a $2-3 NLH game. It was a slow limpy table and after an hour I was down $75. Disappointed, I left the game to play the tourney.
I had a great starting table! I had doubled early and maintained triple average for the first 12 levels. Then came the dreaded broken table move. There were 6 shortstacks to my left, all with 10 big blinds or less. I lost every race but still above average. Finally, I picked up Queens under-the-gun. I 3-bet raised and got 3 callers. The board was all low, with a diamond draw so I C-bet 2/3 the pot. One caller folded and the Button shoved. I called and he opened up Jacks. YES! The turn was a Jack... NOOOOO! And the Jack on the river was just plain overkill. I had just 5 big blinds left. I shoved with Q/Jo on the button and the Big Blind called with 6s. Did I mention that I had not won a single coin flip at that table? I was out at 5:30 pm. I registered for the 6pm flight and didn't even make it to the antes. I was out in record time when my Jacks were cracked by a set of deuces...yup, he limped under-the-gun and then flat called after a raise and my button re-raise, then a few hands later rivered a gutshot straight against my two pair, all-in on the turn.
Where did I go next? You guessed it...straight to the cash tables. I chose to buy-in for $300 into the $5-5 NLH game. There were some really deep stacks along with some shortys. The conversations was good but the action was even better! By 9:00 pm I had turned an $800 profit. I thought of staying until midnight, but my daughter sent me a text message asking me if I'd be home soon and I had to consider that my son had an 11:45 am soccer game scheduled on Sunday morning. It was time to leave.
Three straight days of poker, poker, and more poker - averaging 12 hours per day. Lots of bad losses, lots of good wins, and a whole lot of variance.