Blogs @ www.randylew.com but copied here for your viewing pleasure!
Here's that interview/article that I did with Kristy Arnett that I was talking about in my last post! Check it out!!
Today I played event #12: $1,500 Triple Chance. At the WSOP, your starting chip stack is always 3x the total buy-in of the tournament. This tournament was similar but slightly different. You start with 1500 chips and you get 2 rebuys for 1500 chips which you can use at any time. The majority of the players opt to buy in for 4500 chips immediately so it actually ends up playing like a $1500 9max tournament. Watch the video I attached for a little more explanation and my thought process in what I believe is optimal for this type of tournament.
I did a interview with Kristy Arnett of Pokernews of a hand I played in this tournament in the first level which I'll post when I find it.
I was very happy with my first table draw and felt I was playing pretty well overall while chipping up slowly in very solid spots. Eventually, I get moved to a new table in which when I first sit down, Carter King asks me, "how many other tables are you playing?" And the whole table started laughing. hahaha it was a very tough table but very chatty. I played some solid poker and then this hand developed against Dutch Boyd. He raised on the button at 150/300/25a to 900 OTB. I call in the BB with 77 with about 35bb effective. I think 3betting would be a decent play but I felt that I had enough chips where I could take a flop and play it for pair value especially against a button raising range.
The flop came T87r so I flop bottom set. I opted to lead into this pot because I felt that he was going to check back a good portion of his range on this flop in which I wanted to stop him from getting a free card as well as start charging him. It was also one of those boards where I didn't expect him to cbet a lot of random pure air given how connected and hard this board smashes my range so I wasn't expecting to induce many bluffs when I check. I led for 1200 chips, and he raised to 2700 chips. When he raises me on this flop, there's no point in me to continue slowplaying on this board especially if I run the risk of letting any card that makes a straight on the board such as a 6, 9 or J. When he raises me on the flop with these stack sizes it does seem that he likes his hand and is willing to go to war with it. So I opted to repop him to ~6200 and he went all in and we got it in. He flipped up AA and I faded the turn and river. This brought my chip stack to around 22k.
The last hand of the table break, I got dealt KK UTG and I raised it. The BB calls who seemed to be competent but was playing slightly looser. The flop came 874s, and he c/c my 1200 bet. Turn was the Qs which brought a flush. I bet 2800 on the turn and he c/r min me. I tanked for awhile and eventually released my hand as I didn't have the redraw and it looked like a spot that he wouldn't be bluffing. Also given the fact, he's been raising some flops prior, I would expect him to raise strong hands like sets or straights on the flop more often than not especially due to the drawy nature and flush drawed board. The only real bluffs I beat would have to be hands that he's turning into a bluff on the turn but my read on the player was he woudn't be messing around in this type of spot in this manner. When I released my hand, he showed me the As and eventually told me he had the nuts as that would very likely be true given the action unless he was playing offsuit weak aces which I doubt given the positions.
This left me with about 16000 chips and I got moved to another table. I played some hands but got chipped down a little bit. Eventually I had about 10000 chips, and I opted to raise KTs in early position at 300/600/75a. I think this was a mistake given how short I was getting and some of the stack sizes behind me were getting kind of short. Someone reshoved over my raise for about 4200 chips total so I ended calling given it wasn't much more to me (pot odds) and he had AJ and his hand held. This left me with about 9.5bb (5800 chips) in the BB in which early position raised, an guy flat called who seemed to be playing a lot of hands and I had 55 in the BB. I opted to shove because I felt that I can get this pot heads up if someone calls or there is a slight chance that they both fold as well. Given the fact that the antes were at 75 a piece meant that if I took this pot down without showdown then I would gain 1575 chips in blinds + 1350*2 (raise and call) which is 4275 chips. Which is almost doubling up if there's no showdown which has some chance and if someone does call then I would have even more chips and quite possibly be flipping against a hand like AT+, KQ, etc. So to me this seemed like a good spot given the amount of chip equity that I could gain and the strength of my hand so I opted to take it by shoving. The original raiser ended up reshoving instantly with TT and he held and I busted with about 270 players left in which 144 players paid. There were 1340 entrants in this tournament and I gotta say that I'm fixing some mistakes that I've been making with experience in the live tournament and I'm getting better at them and more confident as I continue to play them. I already registered for tomorrow's event which is event #13: $1,500 NL Shootout so wish me luck in that!
Hello everyone! I've played 5 events so far this 2011 WSOP. Got the farthest in event #4 5knl and all of the other events I busted on day1. I remember each tournament pretty well so I'll definitely get around to posting some thoughts and some hands from those events. The next event I'm scheduled to play is event #12 NL triple chance which I should be sleeping for! However, I wanted to give you guys a blog update as these long live poker days have been taking quite a bit of my time. I've attached my 2011 WSOP Schedule of all of the events I would play if I'm in the playing mood (which I imagine I'll be) and/or if I was capable of playing all of the events. If I make it deep in some tournaments, I'll be missing some of these events as they'll overlap so this is the tentative schedule if I bust out everything very quickly. You'll notice it's basically the majority of the NL and LHE events and quite possibly every single one since I've arrived. I missed the 25k HU NL. Anyways, wish me luck!
So the EPT Grand Final in Madrid has passed and I realized I haven't shared with you how that tournament went down. In terms of the structure, I think the structure is great as it gives you a lot of room to play without feeling short at all. I played pretty solid poker throughout the tournament and I felt that I had strong reads on my opponents after observing the play. You start with 30,000 chips and the blinds start at 25/50 which eventually led me to the biggest hand I played that tournament which was the main deal breaker for me. Onto the hand:
The blinds are 100/200 w/ no ante:
I would say that I've been playing very solid and I haven't had any big confrontations up to this point. It was folded to me in the CO in which I looked down at 55 and decided to open the pot to 500. There's not too much to comment at this point seeing how I see this is a raise 100% of the time given the positions and the strength of my hand as well as the stack sizes. Everyone was playing with at least 30,000 and I suspect my stack to be around that number at the time or slightly more.
The SB called and the BB called which resulted in 3-way action to the flop with me being the player with the initiative. The player of most significance in this hand was the BB who I developed a very strong read against just from observing his bet sizing and mannerisms. He was an older aged player and very friendly. In terms of bet sizing, he would bet based on the strength of his hand. What I mean by this is that if he had 1 pair and he was value betting then he would bet a lot smaller than if he had a 2pair+ type hand. This tends to be a common bet sizing thing I notice amongst less experienced players. Also, I noticed that he did not bluff very often if at all throughout the time I was at the table. I say this with more confidence because I noticed that when he had the initiative with a very weak hand such as 9 high in a heads-up pot on 442r. He did not fire a single barrel on any street. Well that's enough info for now let me move onto the hand before you forget what I've been telling you!
So the flop rolls out: 543r
I flop top set which is awesome. The pot is 1500 and both blinds check to me. I bet 1000 chips. The SB folded, and the BB that I've been describing thought for a little bit then called. At this point, although I saw a little bit of hesitation whether it was deciding to raise or to call, I did see something that clearly wasn't going to be a fold. I didn't think much of it because, regardless, I have top set which is very powerful. The turn is a 'T' which still leaves the board completely flush draw free.
So the board now reads: 543r Tr with NO flush draws.
Often times, whenever your opponent calls you, I like to put them on a range to help define their hand so I can act accordingly. When he did c/c the flop, I put him on any pair 22-JJ, Ax, or a hand like 57, 46, something like that. This is a bit important because of that whole range I laid out, the majority of it has a piece that is reasonably strong and the majority of the range will call at least 2 barrels especially in the hands of a less experienced player.
So on the turn, I opt to bet a little bit larger than normal because I think the bet sizing should not affect his decision to call or not. I bet 2800 into a pot of 3500 and he quickly c/r to 6500 total. Now this set off some really big alarm bells in my head. This was the 1st time he's ever raised postflop and he did it VERY quickly...almost immediately. This was also the first time that he did not move at all and looked away from everyone. 1st off, given the quickness of his action on the turn, it seemed that he knew his decision already. Meaning he either liked his hand on the flop or he liked the turn card. Secondly, his mannerisms indicated that he did not want to give off anything by not moving or anything. Having seen him being very friendly throughout the whole day and whenever his cards were flipped up, it wasn't ever a hand that was overly strong like a set+ so there was something different here but the thing is that he also wasn't the bluffing type as I laid out earlier. This heavily weighted his range towards a very strong hand.
If I was to assume that he would c/r very strong hands on the flop (2pair+) then the only hand that improved him on the turn would be TT. I do believe that TT is in his range preflop as with his preflop play prior it indicated that he was not the type to repop TT. I would say that he would not play any hand like T3, T4, or T5 which are hands that I would beat that would have improved on the turn. The other hands that he could have that are considered very strong would have to be slowplayed hands. These hands would be sets 33 and 44 as well as straights A2 or 67. I would rule out 26 because that hand is very weak like T3, T4, and T5.
At this point, I wasn't sure exactly what hand he had and there was the slight chance that he might've raised just to raise and I still had outs to fill up a full house which I would beat any slow played straights that he might have in the case that I was behind. I decided to call here but with intentions to proceed cautiously.
The river was the J. So the board reads: 543r Tr Jr
He bet 15,000 into 16,500 which is almost pot. This is an absurd amount of strength and a humungous bet from this type of player and the whole table throughout the whole day. No river bets got passed 5,000 throughout the day and those were rare occurrences in itself. Once again he was a statue not giving off any cues. My play would have been easy if I hit my boat as I would jam over his bet expecting to get paid off very quickly but now I was in a very tough spot. If I folded, I would still be in a decent shape w/ about 22,000 chips and if I called I would have been left with about 7,000 chips which would not be great shape at all. Sometimes looking at your chip stack is a decent thing to do to help skew your decision one way or the other but in this instance I didn't mind so much as I was more interested in the actual hand itself.
The J doesn't change his hand range at all. If anything, him betting very big very quickly into this card only further strengthens his hand because nothing has changed and he doesn't seem to care. If he somehow had JJ, his hand improves but I don't think that was a likely candidate anyways. TT would still be very happy and of course any straight or lower set. Against that range, I am actually behind that range as I only beat 2 lower sets (33 and 44) and I lose to TT and straights. I'm pretty sure there are a lot more straight combinations than set combinations so that further increases his range in that direction.
With all of the information out there, I would say this is a fold even with a hand as strong as mine. I would say it's a very easy fold if I was holding bottom set or worse. I really wanted to fold but a part of me really didn't want to fold such a big hand. I tanked for a good while as I'm use to making decisions very quickly but ultimately decided, if I'm beat I'm beat. He flipped up A2 for the straight and took the huge pot.
Now here's the thing, if this was an online poker hand, I would snap call this hand very quickly on the river or even reraise and get it on the turn. This is the difference between live and online poker, you can make very intense reads on your opponent based on mannerisms and being able to analyze every single hand being played much more closely. Online there are many distractions that make it hard to analyze every hand whether it's playing multiple tables or using the internet while playing. This goes to show that the style of play in live poker is much different as well as you being able to concentrate at a much higher level.
Another thing I noticed is that I called knowing I should've folded. The reason I say this is because whenever I lose a hand in poker, I never show my cards. However this time was different, I showed my cards even though I was shown the best hand instead of mucking it to show a 'cooler'. I think subconsciously I wanted the acknowledgment from all of the other players that I got unlucky. I wanted them to know I got unlucky or rather I wanted them to know that I think about decisions that might look easy to others. This is where I am wrong and I've learned after reflecting on this hand. I should not have to care about what others think about how I play my hands. I should always trust my gut instinct and make the right play regardless if it's suppose to be a cooler or not. We're playing a game of imperfect information in poker and I absorbed and found the bits and pieces of information that would have led me to make the correct decision here. What I failed to do was follow through with it. I'm glad I wrote this blog post out as I think I've learned a great deal and I'm glad to have shared it with you. Let me know if you liked it or thought it was informative! I'm sure I rambled a lot!!!
I should've fell into the water w/ that poor decision making!
So Tuesday morning I’m going to be going to EPT San Remo! I’ve always heard great things about the tournament over in San Remo and a lot of people seemed to also go to the EPT Grand Final as well since the tournaments are so close together in terms of dates. So this year around with my bigger push towards tournament poker, I decided to enter both of these events. After San Remo, there’s a 3 day gap in-between so I’ll be checking out Paris, France with vacation on my mind. Then after that, I’ll be flying over to Madrid, Spain to play in the Grand Final over there. I’m looking forward to the trip and I’m going to be gone for about 2.5 weeks, I’m really hoping not to forget anything while packing! I must say, my foreign language skills is next to nil so I’m going to hope my charades is going to pull through for me. As long as the internet is somewhat reasonable, you should be able to expect a lot of blogging out of me while I’m down there! In the meanwhile, I better pack up and not procrastinate and end up bringing only 1 outfit!
A little blip of 2-sided views between Hachem and I! He's at the final table of the Big Event! Best of luck!
So I just busted out of the Big Event at the Bike at around 96th place. 56 players paid out out of the 417 total entries. I was card dead for the majority of the day and eventually picked up 88 to shove over a raise from fellow team online member Jorj95 who held JJ. Unfortunate but still think I played pretty well given my circumstances.
So instead of going back to my room…I’ll actually be playing a live cash game here at the Bike called ‘Live at the Bike’! It’ll be streamed for about 3 hours starting in 1 hour from now which is 7:30 PST. You can see all of the hole cards and everything!!! Definitely check it out…I think it’ll be a lot of fun to watch.
Wish us luck!
You can find that stream over at: Live at the Bike
So I made it to day 2 of the Big Event at the Bike! I'm sitting on 41,600 chips and the blinds will be going up to 500/1000/100ante so I'll have 41 big blinds which is very sizable despite being below average. I'll be resuming back on Monday but in the meantime, I'm going to continue playing poker today! Today is the Sunday Million $5,000,000 guarantee in which 1st place is guaranteed $1,000,000+ and a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4! I think that would be a real nice upgrade to my current ride hahaha.
Also on Monday, if for some unfortunate reason I get busted out of the tournament, I'll be playing a special invitational live cash game with Supernova Elites! That will be on Monday night and it's a LIVE STREAM with hole cards and everything. I'm looking forward to playing that but also hoping to stay in the Main Event as well.
You can find that stream over at: Live at the Bike
Lastly, at the end of Day 1a, I did a PokerRoad Radio episode w/ Joe Stapleton! He's a very chill guy who does the commentary for the Pokerstars Big Game. I talk about a hand I played in this tournament and lots of other stuff! So check it out!
I'm here in Los Angeles right now. Tomorrow (more like today but Saturday) I'll be playing the main event over at the Big Event at the Bike! I'm pretty pumped for it so hopefully that turns out well! I'll try and twitter update and stuff like that. Here's a picture of the room I'm staying at.
Also, recently I've done 2 podcasts!
One of them is with PokerNews! They talk about a lot of strategy oriented things, etc.
You can find that hear at this link:
The other one is with ESPN's poker podcast - The Poker Edge! They talk about a lot of great stuff too so definitely check these podcasts out!
I've been getting a lot of great feedback about the "I AM NANONOKO" short film and I'm always loving to hear feedback! I'm answering questions over at 2+2 but will be getting side tracked real soon when I start playing the Main Event !
Wish US luck!
I'm super excited to present this video! I want to give a special thanks to PokerStars and Ryan Firpo for creating this masterpiece! Check it out!!!
In the meantime, I'll be answering a bunch of questions related to the video and stuff over in this thread on twoplustwo:2+2 nanonoko short film thread