Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Concentration Is Not Just for Orange Juice

I don’t know what kind of karma points I got for watching Wife Swap with my wife and staying awake, but I think I cashed in the entire amount last night. The IRC girly chat box was fired up last night and some well meaning people (i.e. money-whoring poker bloggers) as they saw my dead money name and coaxed me into signing up for the always fun Wil Wheaton dot Net (in exile) weekly tournament. I like to give away money, as seen by my second hand departure last week when my hammer bluff fell about 99 yards short of the goal line. I figured to play for the first hour, bust out due to a mixed cocktail of bad play/suckout, and make sexual remarks about my favorite female body parts in the chat box, then go back to my usual $1/$2 PLO8 game until it was time to sleep.

Then I made it past the break.

Then QQ held up versus AJ.

Then I got Aces versus Kings and they held up.

Ruh-roh Drizz has chips, lots of em, we’re talking Doritos factory mountain size stack. 73o? Excellent hand for a 1384 chip raise! If you want to figure out my system for size of raises… you’ll have to guess, because if I raise T1111, I’ll have Aces or 83o, your choice. Choose wisely as the Knight from the Crusades said to Indy, for one will grant you eternal tournament life, the other may take it from you.

While I enjoyed a sizable chip lead, a PLO8 tourney that I try to play every day was starting up on Full Tilt (click on the banner above!!) with 107 runners and me who left his cross trainers and spandex pants in the closet.

My first and only suckout occurred as I pushed an isolation raise from a short stack’s all-in with QQ, the other big stack in the tourney called the all-in plus my raise and we checked it down only to reveal his AQ pairing his Ace on the river. As someone pointed out last night, the side pot was NOT dry and contained a sizable amount of chips and I should have bet. With a King high flop, and both stacks leading the tourney with 16 left, do you bet here hoping to push your opponent off his hand or check it down and accept the fate of the river card? Chalk it up to my lack of tourney experience there.

Hmmmmmm… I doubled up, then tripled up in the PLO8 tourney, this could be good.

Good steals, bad steals and I made the final table to win some WHEATON BUCKS WHOO WHOO! (I believe PokerNerd coined this one). Quickly I get KK, flop a set, get middle pair to call and river quads.

Yeah, this game is easy.

Then QQ wins a race (yes I won another race, please contact PokerStars there’s a glitch in their system) vs. AKs. Again, this game is easy.

But, I spewed chips away with bad aggression. And while still solvent and three handed, I pushed with top pair-kicker so small you needed a chromosome viewing powered telescope to see it, which was correctly called by two pair and Drizz was on life-support with T224. Then I doubled through FOUR TIMES, until the party crashed down when the eventual winner hit top pair and my ace high was no gOOt. Thanks for all the rail well-wishers, I hoped to notch my first MTT win in a year, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Out in 3rd place.

Aren’t you still playing PLO8?

Holy shit, I’m in the money again! After going the entire month without a MTT cash (the dime tourney does not count) I found myself vying for two final tables in the same night. A night that I really needed sleep as the Nyquil I took at 9:30 was keeping me a step above comatose. Although I was the short stack almost the entire time at the final table, I managed to place fourth for a 10X buy-in win. The cards were not there, but bad play was.

And for once it wasn’t my bad play, as I closed down all other games to concentrate on this one. The gignormous chip leader lost all of his chips in a matter of 5 hands for not recognizing the cardinal rule of PLO8… aggression pre-flop does not work 100% of the time because it is correct to call with almost any four cards. He raised every flop for five hands straight with very poor cards and got called by potential scooping hands 4 out of 5 five times, and lost post flop because he wouldn’t let go when he was drawing to half the pot. Post flop play was the only reason I remained the tournament so long, because I took two flops while nine handed and could have considered myself “pot committed” after calling but folded when I didn’t connect at all with a “premium starting hand”.

Yes, it’s good to sweeten a pot pre-flop with a starting hand that is better then average (especially short-handed), but being able to get away from it once the flop comes down is the key to O8. People get married to AAXX way too much, yes it’s a fair starting hand HU, but you’re not an automatic 80% pre-flop favorite like you are in Hold Em’, sometimes you can be reduced to no more then a 60-65% favorite over a hand that is connected (straights and flush possibilities) and able to scoop the low and high.

I wish I could spell out my PLO8 strategies like a Hank or JoeSpeaker but I’ve always been that annoying kid who solves problems in his head and doesn’t know how he got there. Maybe if my writing improves, I’ll try to share a little more of what I’ve learned while giving away monies at the PLO8 tables.

Thanks for dropping by, now here’s Phil Hellmuth’s tips for the past two days (combined for your displeasure).

Phil H. “A great call makes your opponents afraid to try to bluff you and it lets you know you’re “In the Zone””

Drizz: I curse Rini every day for giving me this calendar.

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