Monday, August 15, 2005

Seven and a half hours of WPT Satellites

My dance card was full today. A week or so ago, I had stumbled upon Iggy's post about the massive overlay in the Poker Blue WPT Legends of Poker Freeroll promotion they were running and last night I finally made my deposit and quickly knocked off the four hours of play required to qualify. Doubled my deposit and then some three-tabling $1-2 LHE. The play was spectacularly bad. But then again, so was the site interface. The monochromatic look to the place (they're not kidding about the "blue" part) made it difficult to keep track of where I was sitting, which players had cards in front of them, and where the button and blinds were. Compounding this, was the inability for players to rotate the table (so I could at least be in the same spot at both tables) as well as the absence of avatars or any sort (so I'd have a point of reference or something to focus on). In addition, there's no note-taking function that I can find, and I searched all over the website and still couldn't find the tournament structure before the event began. But, this was a free 1 out of 138 chance at a WPT seat. I feel ahead already.

I couldn't have played any better than I did, and feel I made good decisions. The field was VERY weak-tight and I cruised through the first couple of hours, never falling below average for very long. By the second break I was in the top 20 and with 25 players to go I held the chip lead with $12,200. Blinds were up to 400-800 and as we got down to the final two tables, I kept hovering between $12-14K in chips. In early-middle position I picked up AK and made it 2500 to go. The chip leader called from the BB. Flop comes out K 8 6 all diamonds. I don't have a diamond, but lead out anyway for 3000 with TPTK. It's risky, but I'm going to find out right away where I'm at. The way this guy is playing, I feel that if he flat calls, I'm in deep shit/likely facing a made flush and can just get away from it on the turn. If he doesn't have a diamond at all, he'll just fold right here. If he raises, it's defensive. Well raise he does, pushing all-in and it's $7000 for me to call. Instinct tells me he's semi-bluffing with just the ace of diamonds (AK, AQ, AJ, AT, A8, A6 or the like). I know that's what I'd do in this spot when the blinds are high and it's a winner take all situation. I call and he turns over A4 of diamonds for the flopped nut flush. I even got another ace on the turn, but no miracle full house on the river. And I'm out in 16th.

It was stupid to call off my chips, but I felt like I had to really gamble it up in order to get the chips I needed to win the thing. I didn't pick up AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT, AQ, or AJ once the entire tournament. For the cards I was dealt, I'm surprised I lasted as long as I did. Then again, the skill level was hardly anything to fear. I'd say half the field were fellow Angelenos and Southern Californians looking for some late-August excitement down at the Bike and two grand we wouldn't have to spend on flights and hotels and rental Toyotas.

After that, I hopped over to Full Tilt and rubbed salt into the wound by playing a little Razz. $30 down the drain in as many minutes in two very close pots and the nausea rises. Starting. To. Tilt. So I go to Taco bell and get one of those Crunch Wraps. Man, those things are from heaven. A fantastic tilt band-aid.

So, feeling a bit better, I sign up for the $24+2 satellite into next Sunday's WPT Borgata Super. Again, I cruise for two hours, barely facing a major decision. I had decent enough cards, position raises were working, and I was especially proud of one really spectacular bluff (an area I've been working on). We're down to 14 from 80, 11 spots are paid and 8 seats are awarded. I'm sitting in 6th or 7th with 9100 in chips. Blinds are 200-400/50 and the table is seven-handed. I pick up KK UTG+1 and raise it to 1200. The button flat-calls and the BB calls.

Flop comes Td 9c 9d. Good flop for me. No ace, a pair on board. If either of them were calling with a pocket pair, I have them crushed. It it's a big ace, I'm way ahead as well. I bet out 2800. The button puts the confused face on his avatar for a moment, before folding. But the BB pushes all in for 11,350. It's 5000, aka the rest of my chips for me to call and I'm getting over 3.5-1 with one card to come. Most of my stack is in already and I feel pot committed. I really want to go with my read here. If it's right, I'm ahead. Go with your read Change, go with it. Trust yourself. I call, and the donkey turns over Q9 offsuit. No way I ever put him on Q9 or any 9 really calling a big PF raise. I mean, he was a moron, but not that much of a moron. And the fishies swim away with my chips.

I capped off this horrid day with a multi on Full Tilt. A better idea would have been to run a $20 bill through a shredder. Got deep again, and busted with Kings by a pair of threes flopping the set. The pain was far too intense now. Step. Away. From the laptop. Power down. Exhale. Pack bowl. Inhale... Exhale...

Now that's my idea of pot committed.

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