Sunday, January 22, 2006

I'm Still Here, Dammit!

Hello Bloggerland!

It has officially been a helluva week. I spent more time in my truck than I did in my office, and since I technically don't need a laptop for my job (trying to convince the powers that be...), I was only able to check in on things this week. Time to catch up.

Work was crazy. I've got a couple of projects going on that have required much more babysitting than you'd think a group of grown adults that supposedly are productive members of society would need. I'm not a big fan of asking people who their supervisor is, but I've had to do it more times this week than I probably have had to in the past year. The only plus that came out of it was getting to stop by and check out Pechanga's poker room. I will definitely stop by again, time permitting. Which brings me to...

Poker. The other reason I haven't had time to check in on the Bloggerdome is that I played in my very first live tourney on Thursday. It was a "pre"-satellite to the WSOP Circuit that is played at Harrah's Rincon Casino, north of San Diego. Mon thru Thurs they ran the prelims with 220 people per night, the top 30 of which went on to the finals on Friday. 3 members of the Tres Sombreros home game played, Jay-bo, Troll, and yours truly. Troll went out first of the gang, in around 150th. I managed to survive to around 100th, and Jay-bo almost made the finals, busting out in 36th. This was amazing, because when I went out, right before a break, Jason was down to a chipstack that could handle one more big blind (at that point, the levels were jumping to 1000/2000). Somehow he managed to double up a couple of times, and survived to 36th. Not the money, but very good all things being equal. Then we jumped into a 3/6 Fixed Kill game. I was down a bit on that, Jay-bo lost his ass, Troll was down some, and Gato, who railbirded the tourney, did alright. Which brings me to...

Friday. In optomistic anticipation of a late night at the casino and a stellar finish in the prelims, Troll and I took Friday off, and planned a round of golf. I invited my father (who recently retired) so that he could celebrate his birthday, and my gf came along as well, so that she could check out the third cash drain in my life (the first two being her and poker). We played at Tecolote Canyon, a very nice executive course just north of downtown San Diego. I shot horribly (as is my usual game), but had a blast. Most of my golfing lately has been at a driving range, hitting off mats, so a live round of golf was a great treat, regardless of how crappy I did. All of which brings me back to...

Poker. Tonight (technically, last night, as it is currently 1:45 a.m. and my gf STILL isn't home), the gf was going out with some friends to do a birthday celebration. The upshot of that, I get the whole evening free!! Normally, the most free time I have in an evening is approximately 3 hours, from the time I get home in the evening to when she gets home from teaching. It is enough time to get in a couple of SNG's, but not enough for an MTT. Tonight was going to be the night I played in my first MTT. I signed up for a 10+1 rebuy and 1 addon tourney on Stars. The field totaled 1641 players, with the top prize being something over $14,000. Once the rebuy period was over, they calculated the prize pool and determined that the top 180 places would pay. I wasn't sure I could make the money, but I figured I'd try. I must admit, I played my best poker ever, and can only point to a few hands that I played like the donkey I really am, that ultimately cost me the tournament. I was usually in the top half of my table, and several times I was leading, at one point by almost a 2 to 1 chip lead (270k to 140k). Troll railbirded for a while, and at one point told me I had the 4th highest chipstack in the tourney! Early on, I got pocket pairs (JJ, 88, 44) 3 times in 5 hands. I worked hard to establish a conservative image, only to be moved to a new table. Of course what happens, I get AA, AKs, ATs, 55, 88 over my first 10 or so hands. I look like a freaking calling station. Of course I hardly get called, so nobody sees the freaking amazing cards I've gotten. Next thing you know, we made the money. After a long stretch of absolute junk deals, I get antsy and play something less than stellar,JTc. The flop isn't too bad, Qh Js Kc, which pairs my jack and gives me a straight draw. The other big stack at the table (who I had covered by about 50k), goes all in. I'm not feeling the love with bottom pair and a just a draw, so I fold, losing approximately 50k from my stack. Thus began the tilt. The very next hand I get A9h with a stack of around 162k. I call a min raise, and then a smaller stack goes all in for around 70k. I call it, and one other player calls as well. The flop pairs my ace, but also brings a jack and no help on my flush. The other player decides to go all in, and I like my ace, but I've got a weak kicker and no help on the flush. I fold, and at the showdown he flips over KK. I would have won about another 200k!! Now I'm really tilting. I try to maintain control, but my stack is severely crippled, just as the blinds and antes really rise (6000/12000). Then I get moved again and I've become the short stack. Everybody at that table would post the blinds, and have them folded to the BB. When I would be in the BB, somebody would go all in, EVERY FREAKING TIME!!! Some of my hands were junk, but some of them were decent (K4s, Q9s, etc.) but not hands I felt comfortable going to war with. Naturally, I got to the point in the BB that pushing all in had to happen. I had a J6o, and wound up all in against 99 and AJo.
The flop was the hammer boat flop (272). A jack on the turn brought a slim bit of hope, but I knew I was outkicked on the jack. Praying for a 6, and the river brought a a 4. Your hero goes out in 45th place, just at the beginning of the new prize level. For my $31 investment, I got to take home $199.65. Not a bad investment, I'd say. Of course, it would have been nice to win, or even place higher than I did, but with the exception of my last several hands, I'm damn proud of the way I played. Which brings me to...

Now. I'm tired. I'm going to bed. Thanks for hanging around, sorry it took so long to get this post up, and I'll see you out in that inter-webby thingie.

6 comments:

River Driver said...

Nice job on the poker tourney. How much have you had to budget for your money-absorbing hobbies? Glad I just spend my money on kayaking gear...

Dad said you guys had fun on your golf excursion on Friday. I'd have probably been riding the cart with Jodi--I've learned golf is just not my thing.

iamhoff said...

I budget all I can. Jodi costs several thousands of $$$ lol. For the online poker, I started with $100, and I'm now somewhere over $280. Golf ain't cheap. About the only thing that is cheap, is the driving range that I go to screwed up and gave me the wrong range card. I bought one that was supposed to have $30 in rental ball credit on it, and I wound up with one that had around $500 on it. So the driving range is free. Clubs are not cheap, tho, which is why I have a no-name set. That, and I suck, but that's another story. Still, it's all money I set aside for these little ventures, and that's the fun.

Matt Silverthorn said...

Congrats on the MTT. That's a nice finish and payday!

iamhoff said...

Thanx, Matt. I knew it would take several hours, but I went out after 5 hours and there were still 5 full tables going! I don't know when I'll have another 5-6 hour chunk of time, but should it happen, I will do this again. It was a blast.

Klopzi said...

Good job! The most I've ever won from a tournament was $100 and that was for placing 19th in a $5K freeroll at The Gaming Club.

Although you made your $200 by playing well, I made my $100 by not playing at all. I think I played 5 hands, all told. Nothing better than being card dead the entire tournament and still squeezing into the money.

iamhoff said...

I hear ya. That was one thing about this tourney. I played tight, but I'd have stretches where I was card dead and it wouldn't have mattered how aggressive I wanted to play, nobody would've played my cards. And then I'd have stretches where out of 10 hands, I'd have 4 pair (incl. A, K, T) and AKs, AQs, KJs. I've not had such an up and down set of cards before. It was a trip.