The Miscellaneous Rantings of Marie-Lizette
You may, or may not, have seen yesterday's post: "Down Swings, Run Good and... Tebow?," but I posted a sample hand in that blog entry that exemplified how many times (and believe me - there were lots of them) that I pretty much flopped perfect then lost to runner-runner. I'm not really one to blog about game theory or go on, and on, and on about hands that I've played because as both a poker player and as poker media - I see a lot of hands and the last thing I want to do is revisit them.
Every now and then I do include the details of a hand that I've played because this is a type of poker blog and I suspect that those of you who don't eat, sleep and breath poker enjoy hearing about the way pivotal hands play out. Well... a hand that I left out of yesterday's post, but was actually the most pivotal hand of a profitable night, turned out to be a topic of conversation with a friend of mine last night so I decided to post the hand for feedback.
First, let me lay a quick foundation of how the night began. I started with $300 at The Bicycle Casino's $100-300 NLH game (2-3 blinds). It was a new game and the majority the players at table had just busted out of a tournament and bought in for a minimum $100, with just 3 players in for $200. I sat down at 7:30 p.m. and, in the beginning, had a bit of a yo-yo stack. I picked up Aces once but didn't get much action and picked up Queens three times and lost all of them... damn Ace magnets. The one hand I seemed to get over and over again was Ace-King and it was good about 50% of the time.
I was able to set a good table image within the first 2 orbits when I laid down after I re-raised the 4x raise under-the-gun and he went all-in for just $65 more. Since he was immediately to my right, I tapped the felt, showed him my and mucked...he tapped back and showed me pocket Kings. I must have been pegged as super-nit right there and then. A few hands later I called a 3x raise on my Big Blind and checked dark to the flop. I had and the Flop was . The raiser checked back to me and we both checked the second on the Turn. A hit the River and again I checked but the raiser went all-in for $50 (total pot was about $20). I called and sure enough, my 4 was good. That hand became the joke at the table..."Remember the four? Pro-fes-sion-al."
With the exception of , I pretty much stuck to playing big hands that night. I usually mix-up my game with all types of drawing hands and as most will confirm, I play relatively loose-aggressive most of the time. But after six weeks of running bad I felt that adjusting my game to stay within the ABC poker parameters of pairs and big Aces, raising in position and stay out of pots when off position would be the right move so that I could cash-in a positive session. By 10:30 p.m I had turned my $200 investment into $600. That's when the big hand happened.
After about 3-hours of pretty solid play, showing big hands at showdown, mucking all three of my pocket Queens face up on the Flop, and just the mere fact that I'm a girl that hadn't played a hand for about 2 orbits, I figured I could make a play with in hijack position to steal the dead money in the pot (there were 4 limpers plus the blinds and a straddle).
It almost worked. All but two players folded to my 5x raise (a total of $30). Now, for those of you don't know me...I hate raising big!!! I prefer small raises, between 2.5x and 3x max, but at the $2-3 NLH game at The Bike, a 4x to 5x raise is a pretty standard raise...and is often called by the less savvy players at the table holding inferior hands hoping to get lucky under the guise of "pot odds." I literally only raised 5x two times prior and both of those times I showed pocket Queens (after losing the first time, I played those evil little witches aggressively, pre-flop.)
The Flop was Jack-high with a Nine on board, giving me a gut-shot straight draw. One player checked and the second player bet $40. I considered re-raising to further convince him that a Jack was no good and pulled out a $100 stack. I counted it out while I pondered my options...then quietly announced, "call..." gazing at the person who had checked the Flop, represent that I wanted him to, "come on in, the waters fine." However, he chose to fold and the remaining player and I went to the Turn, heads-up. My goal was to simply call the flop and then aggressively bet the Turn.
The Turn was so insignificant, I don't remember what it was. My opponent checked to me and I began counting out chips to bet. While I was counting out my bet, I reconsidered my plan an thought of checking for a free card to keep the pot small, but my original game plan going into the hand was to represent that I had a big pair. It simply would not have made any sense to check the Turn there and I believed I could end the hand with the right sized bet. I thought about the range of hands he would have called my pre-flop raise with and, although I had put him on when he lead out on the flop, maybe my opponent had been set-mining with an underpair and checked to me after realizing his feeler bet on the flop didn't win him the pot or, even better, he believed my story and decided that his Jack was no good and gave up after not turning two pair. I knew that if I checked the turn and failed to connect my Queen, King or catch a Ten on the River, that I was not going to win. The pot was about $140 so I bet out $80. I figured he'd see a half-pot sized bet as a value bet, which it kinda was.
I arrived at the number $80 based on my desire to either 1) get great value should he want to continue fishing for a set with an underpair when he's already made the decision to fold if he misses, 2) control the pot size should he in fact have and is too stubborn to fold - believing that I still had outs to the 10 and two overs to the Jack, or 3) value to fold should my opponent ship-it all in over the top of my bet. He had started the hand with about $500 and while I was willing to invest $80 to try to win the $140 in the middle, I certainly was in no mood to play for stacks with a gut-shot. He hardly gave it any thought and flat called the $80 bet.
Well, clearly he did not believe that I had him beat. In fact, when he smooth called my Turn bet I had to give him credit for a big hand, and it seemed plausible that he could have had a set of Jacks or set of Nines and was just slow playing me. After all, I had seen him crack Queens an hour earlier with pocket Jacks when he flopped a boat and he played that hand exactly how he was playing this hand. As the dealer reached for the deck to deal the River card, I had pretty much convinced myself that unless a 10 came, I was done with the hand because there was no way I was going to succeed in bluffing the River.
Well guess what? I binked the on the River! I know, I know...lucky donk. Not only did I hit my straight, it was a total rainbow-unpaired board. I had the stone cold nuts right there. I knew I wanted maximum value for my hand but I was afraid that, unless he had a set, he would fold to a big River bet if he put me on Queens or better. I decided that $120 was a bet he could not fold to if he had a pair of Jacks and would at least min-raise back at me if he had a set. After pushing my bet forward, he leaned back in his chair and hung one arm over the backrest. "Dammit," I thought, "He's going to fold." But, how wrong was I?!?!? He looked me dead in the eyes and said, "Well, guess I'm all in then." I looked to the dealer to see if it was binding and when he tossed the all-chip in front of my opponent I assertively said, "I call."
I totally expected him to turn over a set of Jacks...or at least . Again, how wrong was I?!?!? He proudly turned over and I showed him my . My neighbor to my right, tapped the felt and said, "Well played, I thought for sure you had Aces there." The third person in the hand nodded and said he folded on the flop believing I had Queens. I have to be honest, I was in a state of shock and utterly flabbergasted that my opponent invested over $500 on a naked Jack. What was even more incredulous was the fact that, after overcoming his initial shock of not having the best hand, he went ballistic and began berating me as the dealer pushed all of his chips my way.
He asked me if I knew what my odds where to hit the gut-shot and told me I was a donkey for calling him down with such a shitty hand. I admit that I got defensive and tried to educate him about the theory behind my play. I explained that, as the initial pre-flop raiser, I had intended to represent a big pair from the very outset of the hand and smooth called his $40 bet on the flop with every intention of making an aggressive play on the Turn. He told me that I'm an absolute horrible player - the worst he's ever seen - and that he hoped I frequent The Bike often because the next time he sees me, he's going to school me. Calmly, I tried to clarify that I raised with the best hand pre-flop and simply attempted to continued to represent a better hand in my bid to win the pot... the straight draw was inconsequential until he called my bet on the turn. I even let him know that had he shoved over the top of me on the Turn, he would have absolutely won the pot right there and then.
The dealer asked if he wanted more chips and he declined in a very rude manner. He stood up and the dealer called out, "Seat open." But I my opponent was not quite finished giving me a piece of his mind. He stood behind the dealer and proceeded to tell me that he deserved all my chips and that if I hadn't been such a lucky donkey he would have my entire stack sitting in front of him. I agreed that I had gotten lucky on the River, but disagreed that I would have shipped my entire stack to him - even if I had paired my King or Queen because I had given him credit for a set of Jacks when he smoothed called on the Turn. But, he didn't hear a word I said. Instead he continued to go on and on and on about what a donkey I was to chase a gut-shot and that I'm too stupid to know what my odds to win the pot were with just three outs. He then informed me he has plans to get his money back and more, the next time he sees me. Not knowing what else to say, I told him that I'm at The Bike every Friday, pointed to the Live at the Bike set, and said, "I'll be right over there."
He continued yelling obscenities at me and I was just about to call a Floorman when the gentleman to my right, clasped my hand. He looked at me and said that I had played the entire night exceptionally well; I did not need to explain myself to that angry man. He said that from the outset of the hand, I made all the right moves to win it. I played it well and got the result I wanted and I should be proud of my game regardless of what anybody says. I took a deep breath, looked around at the faces at the table, they all had gentle expressions for me and a regular player who was seated to my left nodded in agreement. I motioned to the dealer to start dealing again, not saying another word about he incident. He walked away and I played for another hour, made another $200, then called it quits.
So, what do you think?
Source: ConfessionsofaPokerProWannabe. com
Last Thursday I made my way up to Commerce Casino looking for a little run good of my own in a bid to get into the L.A. Poker Open Main Event after WhoJedi cashed in yet another event. I played four, count'em FOUR satellites and didn't make it to the 2nd break on any of them. I may have played bad, I definitely didn't run good, and at least a few people assured me that I was merely the victim of a series of unlucky bad-beats. As any poker player will tell you, there are just some hands that you can't win once you've decided to play them.
For example, I had in the big blind with an average stack when my loose-aggressive neighbor with a short stack raised 3x under-the-gun, pre-flop. It was early, the blinds were 50-100 and we each started with 5K, but my neighbor managed to lose a few pots and was down to a little over 2K at the beginning of the hand. The flop came and I checked to the raiser. He bet another 300 and I smooth called, hoping to induce an all-in on the turn (or maybe even fold if a 3rd club came). When the hit the turn I checked again, and sure enough - he shoved all-in. I insta-called and he opened , then binked the on the river. I asked him if I shoved all-in preflop (like I would ever want to do that with nearly 5K at the 50-100 blind level) would he have called, and he said, "Definitely - I was short-stacked."
Okay, I don't agree that 20 big blinds is "short-stacked," but if that was his pre-flop plan of attack - - then the only way I don't lose chips there is by deciding not to play and folding my hand pre-flop. It's unfortunate, but it happens. I don't know that there was any good or bad way to play that hand because the hand played itself. I could give you several other examples, but you get the gist. Thursday just wasn't my day as far as tournament poker was concerned.
Thursday was, however, the day for Pacifico Beers, ubber-deadly Margaritas and Tebowing! After busting out of the final satellite for the evening, I was all set to go home when Matt "McMattoPoker" Affleck realized that the chances of a $280 single table satellite going before the end of the night was unlikely so he invited WhoJedi and I to have a beer with him. The sports bar was having Karaoke night so we elected to hang out at the Commerce's rendition of the "Hooker Bar." All the televisions screens were aglow with Tim Tebow interviews and game footage following the Denver Bronco's win against the New York Jets, and WhoJedi and McMatto were discussing the possibilities of having a Tebow trophy for the next Commerce poker series.
Gses was a redonkulous chipleader in the final mega satellite so he joined us for a Pacifico or two while the field whittled down, followed by DMoonGirl and Owen Crowe. Danny wanted a margarita so the bartender hooked her up with a double Patron margarita on the rocks (that was more of a 3x if anything). It was so incredibly knock-your-socks-off, it was instantly named "The Tebow," and everybody except WhoJedi and me ordered one. That did it. Within minutes everyone was thoroughly shit-faced and we all proceeded to launch a twitter campaign of #Tebow poses around the Commerce Casino.
It was a crazy, memorable night and I didn't get home until 4:30 a.m. on Friday morning!
I had meetings and Live at the Bike scheduled for Friday but I was too lethargic to focus on anything productive. The meetings ran long and I had just enough time for a 30 second Live at the Bike interview before show's end. Zac from QuadJacks.com had come to town so we both wondered over to Commerce so he could say his Hellos. We didn't stay long as he was headed right back to Vegas and I needed to go home to get some sleep.
I was feeling so dejected after such a bad run on Thursday that I didn't venture back to L.A. until Monday. I had to pickup a check at The Bike, so I figured I'd make a day of it and sweat the L.A. Poker Open final table and maybe put in some hours at the cash tables. I brought my friends at Commerce some pumpkin-spiced cupcakes and then played a little $3-5 NLH. I won a few small pots and lost big pots to a series of unfortunate Runner-Runner WTF!? hands and gave-up after 3 hours. I was only invested a single $200 bullet, but I just didn't see the point in continuing to play a game that I clearly could not beat. I said my goodbyes since everybody was headed out of L.A. after the series and headed over to The Bicycle Casino.
I picked up my check and realized that I had another hour to kill before traffic was cleared up enough to return home to Orange County. I put $300 down in the $2-3 NLH game. I played my usual game and can't say that I played great nor that I played horrible. I could have won some huge pots if my reads where a little better, but I made some pretty sick calls and well timed plays. The one thing I can say is that I worked hard on my table image and used it to make moves here and there that proved to be profitable. By the time I left The Bike at 11:30 p.m., I was up $600 for the day.
I'm really hoping that last night's win marks the end of my horrible 6-week run and is a sign of brighter things to come.
Source: ConfessionsofaPokerProWannabe. com
It's been a week since my last post (Back to Back Busto) and a few interesting things have happened since then.
Friday 11-11-11 was easily my most exciting day. Not only did the long anticipated Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim hit the stores, I had a great Live at the Bike evening planned. I had scheduled former PokerNews.com reporter, Jay "WhoJedi" Newnum, and Mega Millions Series II runner up, Greg Sessler, to be a guests on the show... and if you've been following along on all my past blog posts - when I get to entertain guests it's always a party.
You may remember that WhoJedi shipped a Commerce Casino event early last week so he was excited to play on Live at the Bike in the hopes that his #CoronaRunGood streak was still going strong. Well, guess what?? It was!!! For the first time in Live at the Bike history, the Bicycle Casino's Super $100K Bad-Beat Jackpot was hit at the table. How good does WhoJedi run? The $100K Bad-Beat Jackpot is only paid from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm every other hour. Live at the Bike only airs from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. - literally a small window of opportunity to hit the Jackpot on the show.
Elan took the bad beat with Quad 3s and received $50K. C.W. won the hand with Quad Qs and received $25K plus the $500 pot. The remaining 7 players at the table each received a table share in excess of $3.5K. Based on how incredibly good WhoJedi runs - my official Twitter hashtag is now #WhoJediWannabe. Hell, maybe I should just change the name of my blog to:
I mean really, who needs to be pro when you can run-good like the Jedi?
All of us involved in producing the Live at the Bike show agree that the 11-11-11 Jackpot show was the most exciting one to date. I was able to do several field interviews and Bart Hanson admittedly had a "Bartgasm." The only person who seemed at all disappointed by the jackpot was Greg Sessler who maintained a ho-hum attitude throughout the night, which I'm convinced was all part of his evil plot for max EV on camera time. If you missed it, the show is saved in the PokerNetcast.com archives and I recommend watching it.
In other news, I have managed to continue my down swing. I played two flights of the Commerce Casino $125 Turbo $200 Guarantee on Saturday, November 12th and totally donked. I just couldn't make anything happen. Disappointed with my performance, I chose to buy Skyrim and retreat into a world of dungeons and dragons on Sunday afternoon and have been there ever since.
I did crawl out of my hole for a few hours last night to attend a little shindig up at Beso Hollywood hosted by my friend Chad Brown, then I stopped by Commerce Casino on my way home to say hello to Danielle "DMoonGirl" Anderson who is back in town for a few days and sweat Maria Ho in the $1K L.A. Poker Open event. Tomorrow I will play a few satellites in a bid to get into the L.A. Poker Open main event and I'm probably going to beg WhoJedi to loan me his Micros shirt and Purdue sweatshirt in hopes of a little run good of my own.
Yesterday I played in a couple of Commerce Casino's L.A. Poker Open events. The first was Event No. 7, the $225 6-Max NLH event. I thought it might be a good day because I got some pretty good hands and was able to be aggressive, until became obvious that my hands weren't holding up. Of course, as so many superstitious tournament players will tell you, it is a bad sign when you get Aces early. Well guess what... I got Aces within the first orbit - on the button - and no action whatsoever. I was out midway through the second level with vs. .
I then jumped into an $80 single table satellite. I stayed about average throughout most of the levels. When we got down to 4 players, the shortstack proposed a chop and the big stack objected. The very next hand, the big stack shoved on his small blind (which he had done 3 orbits in a row) into my big blind. I looked down and and snap called. He flipped over . We both filled up, on the , , board, my hand being best. Immediately after, he offered a chop. I offered to save the $80 and play for the rest and the other three players agreed. Once everybody was assured to get their money back, the play loosened up a bit and I managed to catch some great hands. I literally won the table in 6 consecutive hands.
The 6pm L.A. Poker Open event was the $340 H.O.R.S.E. event. I'm not a great mixed game player, but I enjoy the challenge so I spent a hour trying to decide whether to play or not. Because of the current state of the economy, mixed games don't attract the donkeys the way they used to, so it was a very tough field. In the end I decided to play.
Again, I was cruising right along in the event, when who should sit down at my table? None other than Shirley Rosario, a friend, fellow poker blogger and top ranked mixed game player. Talk about drawing the nut low. But it got even better when Jay Newnum sat in Seat 4 after Ben Lamb busted out of the WSOP main event. To quote Danielle Anderson, "Doom switch officially on." The table was pretty nitty and we just kinda pushed the chips around. By the time the table broke, we all were just a little above starting stack, having only knocked out one player during the first 4 levels. The table broke around level 5 and I busted shortly thereafter. Booooo!
I can't complain though. I went to Commerce with $300 in my pocket. I played two events and a satellite and returned home with $100. Not a bad price for a full day of entertainment, playing poker and hanging with friends. It costs me just about about the same to take my kids to a sit-down dinner and a movie, with popcorn and stacks.