The Miscellaneous Rantings of Marie-Lizette
Last Friday (April 20th) I made another appearance on Live at the Bike. I've always admitted to my LAGish style and this was evident during the show (VPIP 41%/PFR 25%). What wasn't obvious was that I had a plan every time I played a hand. Sadly, I didn't get any credit for my plays or thought processes - Dave Tuckman didn't expect me to last an hour...I guess he doesn't remember that I've now played on the show five times, and have only been stuck once when he just so happen to flop perfect against me (see my PokerProWannabe.com blog posts dated Sept. 16, 2011; Sept 27, 2011; Dec. 3, 2011; and, Feb. 27, 2012). I will be posting video clips and address some of the comments on the show later in the week.
Anywho... my kids went with my Aunt to U.C. Davis to visit my cousin for the weekend, leaving me with plenty of free time. While a could have done some work, I thought, "Nahhhhh...I'll go play a tournament." I'm actually not supposed to be playing any tourneys right now, I'm supposed to be grinding up cash and rebuilding my bankroll but, while trolling the local casinos' websites, I stumbled upon Hollywood Park's $400K event structure. I can't say that I thought it was a great structure...but it seemed to me that with well timed aggression and a whole lot of luck, it might be worth the $220 investment for a shot at $100K for first place. I know I still have leaks in my game, but I feel as though I played fairly well on Friday, with 80% of my plays working out the way I wanted them to. So, I thought that I could afford to reward myself with a small buy-in tourney...just because it's so much fun to imagine what I would do with $100K.
I doubled up early in the event, had a few big hands hold up, and took a couple of pretty sick bad beats. I managed to keep an even temper (for once in my life) and just stayed the course. I was actually the tournament chip leader during Level 16 (1.5K/3K+500 ante). I didn't want tell anyone (text, twitter or facebook) that I was playing because I wanted to focus on my game. It wasn't until I had already made it into the money that I posted my first tweet.
Even with over 175K, I grew concerned that I had gone card dead just as the blinds were going into the nose bleed structure. I had been whittled down to just over 15 BBs by Level 21 (5K/10K+1K) and the shortstacks were pretty much open shoving with any ace or pair, so I had to really pick my spots carefully because every chip matters at that stage of the game. I quite literally only played 3 hands in the last 4 levels of play.
Feeling a bit desperate, I open raised under-the-gun +1 with because the Big Blind was playing super tight and 3 of the 4 players in between were fairly soft. The Big Blind had been at a prior table with me and he knew I picked on him quite a bit so he gave me some action. The flop was , and my opponent had checked in the dark. His range was no where near that flop so I bet and he folded, increasing my stack back up to 140K but leaving me at just under 10 BBs just as the blinds went up to 10K/20K+3K ante (Level 24).
The button moved a couple of times and I found myself on the Big Blind with . The only aggressive player was in the cut-off and picked that time to raise to 45K. The table was 6-handed and the Small Blind had folded, so I was heads-up with the pre-flop raiser. I weighed my options and since it was only costing me 15K more to see the flop and potentially win 90K+, I made the call. I know that based on my effective chip stack I'm supposed to shove or fold there, but I didn't want to just surrender my chips without a fight and I thought I could out play him on the flop, and oh what a flop it was! ..GIN! I had about 94K in front of me, exactly a pot-sized bet so I checked, knowing my opponent was going to c-bet. He only bet 50K but I didn't think he had any fold equity so I shoved. Unfortunately, he had air and folded...but I was happy for the win. I elected to show my hand, knowing that the next play I was going to make would have to be a shove situation and I wanted to be sure that I got action because only 10 people advanced to Day 2 in that flight and we were down to 11. I was not willing to make the 44 mile drive (88 round trip) just to come back without chips...I wanted to double up or go home.
A few minutes later I had the button and American Airlines baby! That's right, . Of course, just my luck, it folds around to me. Well, I certainly wasn't going to limp and given my hand history, I figured I'd get looked up if I raised on the button, so I made it 45K to go. The small blind, who had been with me at at least two other tables, counted and re-stacked his chips (about 120K give or take) and then pushed them forward, announcing, "All-In." (Yay me! ) The Big Blind folded and I made the call. He turned over . (Yay me! ) The flop was all paint and he was drawing dead on the turn.
With that knockout, the flight was down to 10 qualifiers and we bagged and tagged for Day 2. I found myself with 375K which, given that my flight was the largest field of the 18 flight event, is one of the larger stacks in play. I'll be starting Day 2 with just under 40 big blinds since the levels roll back to Level 21 (5K/10K+1K).
I'm going to do my best to stay focused and play my best game. I'll try not to be overly aggressive and pick my spots well. Wish me luck!
The last of the annual tournaments held by The Bike, this year's Big Poker October is probably the most affordable tournament series so to be offered by any Los Angeles area poker room this year. A No-Limit Hold'em deep stack series the event begins on . . . (click here to read the entire article)