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Lego, Star Wars, and taking it on the river

First off, Poker Dominator is currently down, so no bankroll reports or anything money related until that site gets back up.

Secondly, I dumped two of my X-box games yesterday: World Poker Tour 2K6 and Mafia. Why, you ask? Well, WPT 2K6 was not fun. I thought that it might be fun to play against Gus Hansen and Antonio Esfandiari in avatar form, but it never really panned out. The blinds increased too quickly so any skill you have in poker never comes into play. Secondly, I don't like watching hands play out in real time. Seriously? What the f*ck were those guys thinking? I tried out the other game types, and did quite well in the five card draw poker, but I basically sucked at everything else. So, the game is gone.

As for Mafia, I never really gave it a chance. Although it had some potential, I could start to see the flaws in the game and decided it would be too disappointing to continue playing.

So, what game did I buy? Lego Star Wars by Eidos. So far, so good. Basically, you walk around as Lego versions of Obi Won, Qui Gon Jinn, Amidala and more (I've only played about an hour). It does seem to be very much a kids game, but it'll keep me busy for a while - I just want to control Lego Darth Vader or Lego Boba Fett.

Anyway, let's talk poker...

Played some 0.50/1.00 FL (fixed-limit) at EuroBet last night. I only played for about 40 minutes because the fish were definitely not playing. Another night of the tables being full of TAGs feeding off each other. Myself, I'm not too keen on trading money back and forth with other players and letting all my money be raked away.

Here are the stats:

  • Time Played: 40 minutes

  • Hands Played: 70 hands

  • Raked Hands: 33

  • $ Won: -$4.00
Why did I lose money? Here's why:
  • First hand, I pick up KK and raise it from the SB. BB calls and MP3 calls as well. Flop comes 7 6 7. I bet out, BB raises, MP3 gets out of the way, and I re-raise. BB calls. When the turn is a 2, I bet out again. I'm thinking that if the BB were to raise, I'd fold. Instead, he calls. Another blank falls on the river. I had two choices: bet or check-call. In retrospect, a check-call could have worked since I didn't want to get raised on the river. However, I bet out and the BB calls. He shows a 75s and takes the pot. I should have tried for the cheap showdown - who knows, he may have checked the river as well. Still, I didn't think that in a short-handed pot, I'd run into a guy holding trips on the paired flop (a recurring theme in my play). -$4.50

  • I lose $3.50 on another hand when I raised from SB with an A6s. I was trying to steal the pot since everyone had folded to me. Well, the BB re-raises me - I call. Flop comes K T 8. I'm trying to represent the king, so I check and induce the bet from the BB. I quickly re-raise him and he calls. Since he didn't three bet, I'm guessing he's not all that comfortable with his hand. When the turn comes with a third spade, I decide to bet out again and BB calls. The river is a fourth spade and I have to give it up. Luckily, my play up to this point has bought me the free showdown - we both check. When we turn our cards over, the BB shows his pocket queens. Damn...
I also lost a few hands when my top pairs and a couple sets were cracked on the river by better sets or rivered flushes. It was just one of those nights, I guess. Luckily, I made a lot of my money back when I picked up trip aces and made a set with my pocket Jacks. It only takes a couple hands to really get back into the game - I just need to remind myself of that if I find myself down early in the session (I was down 12 BBs in the first 5 minutes of play last night...).

After finishing up down 4 bucks, I decided to sit back and watch The Apprentice with my wife. Afterwards, I was off to PokerRoom to play a SNG. Here's the recap:

Level 1 (10/20): I get nothing at all in level 1. I pick up 72o and 92s in BB and SB and am forced to fold by large PF raises from various players. We also lose a guy (it's been a while since I've seen someone out in level 1) who raised it to 5xBB PF with 89s. When he catches bottom pair on the turn, he pushes all-in and loses to the BB holding top pair.

Level 2 (15/30):
I'm 5th out of 9 with T1470. I pick up QQ, get 4 callers. Flop is J 6 6 and come in for a bet of 3/4 of the pot and get one caller. The turn is a 3 and we both check (I'm afraid of paired flops). The river is a 6. I check, button bets 600 into the 900 pot and I call. Button shows 77 and I take it. I'm now in 2nd with T2685 (200 behind chip leader)

I also won a 1400 pot with KQ - won against chip leader with top pair. He was on a flush draw and called my pot sized bets on the flop and on the turn.

Level 3 (25/50): I'm in the lead with T3265 and 9 players still left, although two players are almost gone. I win a mid-sized pot with pocket tens - I bet big pre-flop and on the flop. The guy to my right tried to make a play on the turn with the board showing 5 6 8 5, but I re-raised him to force him and everyone else to fold. I'm up to T4390 with eight players left.

We lose one more guy when he decides to push on the flop with his pocket 7s and the board showing T 9 4 - he lost to a pair of nines. Weak...

Level 4 (50/100): I have T4290 and 1st of 6. I lose T1200 when I put a guy all in on a board of x A x Q. No one had bet the flop so I thought I might be ahead. Nope - the short stack had and A4o. So I'm down to T3000.

Level 5 (75/150): I'm in 2nd place out of 6 with T3095.

Level 6 (100/200): Still in 2nd with T3395 - still 5 others hanging on. My cards are shit and the new chip leader is pretty aggressive - raising each pot by 2x or 3x the big blind. We lose another guy though...

Level 7 (150/300): Hanging on to 2nd with T2795 - only 5 total players left. I manage to knock a guy out with my set of 6s. I push him all in on turn and he calls with top two pair. I'm in the chip lead with T5800 and only 4 people left.

Level 8 (200/400): Still in the lead, but the game's tightened up with everyone trying to make the money. I'm stealing pots where I can. I make it up to T7130 when I raise it to T1200 pre-flop and get a caller. Although the community cards totally miss me, I take the pot with ace high. I then knock out the short-stack with my A9 when I hit an ace on the flop. I'm up to T8780 and looking good.

Level 9 (300/600): I'm stealing a lot of pots and make it up to T9300. When the guy to my right knocks out the third place guy, we're heads up and I'm slightly behind in chips.

Then disaster strikes on the first hand. Chip leader in SB min raises it to 1600 pre-flop (blinds 400/800). I call with my A8. Flop is 9 T 9. I check, he checks. Turn is a 3 - I check, he checks. River is a 9. At this point, I'm thinking that I'm probably ahead since there was no betting and the third 9 on the river pretty much eliminates the possibility of him having a nine in his hand. So, I push all-in. Honestly, I probably should have just checked it since I would have to fold to a re-raise. But no, I push. SB types "sorry" in the chat window, and I know I'm out. He's holding Q9o. I lost to quads. Still, second place pays $15, so I can't complain.

So, where did I go wrong? On the river. My reasoning should have been the following:
  • This guy has slowplayed big hands through the SNG.

  • Since he raised PF, he could have a pocket pair. Since he's been passive, it could be a pocket pair between 3 and T.

  • By pushing all-in, I will only get called if I'm beaten. So, if I truly thought I was ahead, I should've either put out a small bet, or better yet, induce the bluff. My push looks desperate and would encourage opponent to call with any pair.
As they say - "Live and Learn". I have to learn to be more patient heads up and really think about my moves before making them. A rash decision cost me $10. I tend to do better if I can get a feel for my opponent heads-up. Even the blinds were large, it's still better to live and fight another day.

That's all for now...just glad it's Friday!

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