Monday, March 19, 2007

Poker And Softball...A Good Mix

I really like playing poker. The challenge of taking other players’ chips while a whole table of players is trying to take yours is both a game I guess that is part of the beauty of the game. It is one against all and the winner gets the big piece of the pie.

So after a nice run through February culminating in a second place finish and a nice payday in a 600 player hold’em tourney I was looking to see if I could keep the run going. Before Friday night I hadn’t played s many tourney this month but until this week had some success. I final tabled a pair of Horse tourneys, made a couple of deep runs in Omaha finishing 12th and 11th and made a couple of nice runs in Hold’em. Then Wednesday hit me hard. It started with PLO and ended with PLO with suck out attacks from every direction. I dropped a good chunk before it was done with no return and it continued Friday as fonkey after fonkey made terrible calls that cost me chips. Nevertheless, I knew I was making good decisions so I kept pushing on.

I fired up a tourney on UB with 200 players give or take and decided to continue playing my game as I always do. I understand that variance will turn back for me and I just have to be ready. Around the same time I played my Razz tourney that I love so much. Now these smaller tourneys have been my savior in a sense. I seem to excel with the smaller fields and thus my bankroll has seen the benefit. In the end I went deep in both.

Well I am the self-proclaimed Razz King so I’ll start there. There isn’t a lot to say other than I played tight and chipped up early. I went card dead for just about an hour then hit some hands to chip me up. As the bubble approached I made a mistake with a made 9vs another made 9. I had 9875A and he showed 986Q on 6th street. I missed after trying to raise him off and dropped way down. When the bubble broke I was involved in a hand the saw me with 543 and after hitting a 2 on 4th I did all I could to get my short stack in the middle. But I bricked the rest of the way and ended up with a small cash. I’m happy with most of my play in this but it’s hard to do well in these if you don’t catch some low cards late.

So my UB tourney is progressing. The structure there is such that you can wait for some hands and let the donkeys pay you off. Tonight was no different. I stayed tight and got paid with my good hands. My first big hand was winning a coin flip vs. a shorter stack. I held AK and out flopped his 66 to move up the ladder. As we moved into the last 30 players I had a small run of cards that got me into the top 10.

With 25 players left I have around 11K and find QQ in late position with blinds at 200/400. Two limpers, one being a guy I have a great read on, are in an and I raise it to 2700. The blinds fold and the limpers call. This is a big pot but the flop comes K42. This isn’t what I want. The limpers check so I look at my options. Checking is out as I was the pre-flop raiser and have represented strength. I have been very tight so I thought my best option was to give a value bet 2950 into an 8700 chip pot. This can be looked at as weakness or strength. This late in a tourney most players push or fold so I wanted confusion to take center stage. The first limper folded while the second limper waited. This is a guy I sat with for over an hour and have a good idea of his hand. I had him on a medium pair. He had pushed all night with AK, AQ and even AJ while I know he would re-raise with AA, KK or QQ. His stack was slightly bigger then mine but he still called 25% of his stack with something. My final read was 9s, 10, or jacks. When he pushed all-in I had to decide if my thoughts were correct. I looked back at hands I had played with him and I remembered him pushing a guy in a similar situation and showing an under pair. But would he do this so close to the bubble. He knows that I’m playing tight and that I can throw away a hand. He might push with a king but he wouldn’t call with KQ or KJ and he would have raised with AK. I call and he shows JJ and I become 2nd chip leader. He proceeded to chastise me in the chat box but I didn’t feel then need to make him a better player.

The bubble burst and I tried to keep my stack near the top. My tight image was strong so I took blinds as I needed them and when we go to the final table I was sitting solidly in 6th place.

I stayed tight and chipped up a little as players started to drop and was sitting in third with 7 players left. The blinds are getting big so steals are now worth the trouble and a big stack can buy pots. Then we get down to 3.

I made a big play on the small stack when he raised from the small blind and I cold called with Q4. The flop missed me by a mile K72 but I figured him for a steal when he bet into me. I hesitated and came over the top and took a huge pot of 30K. Now with a stack a little smaller then the chip leader I changed gears and started taking charge of the table. I raised and re raised 4 hands in a row. Then I get pocket Aces. I raised like the previous 4 hands and the big stack re-raised me a little over min. I pushed and he called with A7 and I’m the huge chip leader. I have 4 times the other two combined and within 10 hands it is over.

It’s nice to play the game and be rewarded for making the right decisions.


L had her game Saturday night and was a monster. Now she had a great game last week with base hits and a triple but wow. On her first at bat she took an 0-2 pitch deep to right field for a home run. It went 200 feet in the air which is the equivalent to homerun distance for most high school fields. Not bad for a 7th grader. Anyway She hit another shot over the right fielders head next time up and also hade a base hit to end up 3-4 on the night. She also struck out 2 of the three batters she faced.

The discouraging thing that is happening with her is that she probably wont pitch much. She is so strong out in the field and as a catcher that she will only pitch round robin games according to the head coach. I made the point that if she is throwing well that you wont need a strong fielding team but I understand his reasoning…I just don’t agree with it. Anyway, she’ll get plenty of pitching in the local league she is playing in so the head coach can continue to try and teach his daughter to pitch. Besides, none of the girls can catcher her anyway.

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