Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Getting Ready for the Blogger Tourney

I made my first deposit at PokerStars tonight. There is a blogger tournament coming up, and I wanted to make sure I was somewhat familiar with the site before then. Check for more details. Its open to poker bloggers and readers of poker blogs, so if you are reading this, you can play.

Honestly, I wasn’t that impressed with what I PokerStars. I know it is one of the most popular sights, so I expected more out of it. I’m used to playing on PokerRoom, so that’s about all I have to compare it to, but PokerStars came up a bit short. Lack of hot keys, less modular chat window, nine vs ten player tables, and having to request stats and hand histories via email are some examples. Not that it’s a horrible site; I just expected a bit more. In all fairness it could also be that I am not all that familiar with the site, so maybe I’m missing things. On the plus side, I do like that you can choose your own avatar. That is something that is certainly lacking from PokerRoom.

So I played a test three table sit and go with play money, nothing exciting. I think I finished 8/27. I don’t remember or really care. I then decided to take the plunge and deposit some cash. I have $100 to play with. Hopefully I can make it last for a while. The first $20+2 immediately went to register for the blogger tourney, and I don’t really have any high expectations for that, so I figure I’m already down to $78. Time to try out my first SNG.

Since they only do 9 player tables, this is going to mess up my stat tracking. I can’t group these in with my PokerToom ten player tables so I decided I’d separate out my stats by site. Since this is only the second site I play at, it shouldn’t be too big of a deal yet. If and when I start playing at a bunch of sites I may need to rethink this strategy.

My first attempt went about as poorly as I could have imagined. I was kind of tired and not really in the mood to play, but I felt like I needed to try it out. The first memorable hand came when I am dealt TT in late position. This is one of my least favorite hands to play because there is almost always on overcard on the board and I can never seam to get the courage to bet into that situation. Well this time the flop was queen high and I bet at it thinking that since I raised preflop maybe I can represent a queen, AQ, KQ or something. I got two callers. Turn is a rag, and I fire again, this time with only one caller. At this point I figure he’s the one with the queen and I’m in trouble. The river brings an ace, and I think, maybe he does have the queen, but maybe that ace can help me scare him off. No such luck as he calls my bet, and I end up significantly short stacked less than ten minutes into tourney.

A couple hands later, I have TT again. There are a series of preflop raises and I go all-in. I get called by AA and KT. There’s a ten on the flop, and I think I just tripled up, but a jack and queen on the turn and river complete a flush for the KT and I’m out. 9th place. What a way to start.

On to tournament number two. Once we got down to six players, it got real tight. All my preflop raises were folded around, and it seemed like the first one to bet post flop would win the pot right there. I inflicted a bad beat on someone when I raised with A9s from the small blind, and the big blind went all in. I called, partially because I was getting tired of playing, and partially because I was thought he was bluffing and he was just tired of me stealing his blinds. He had AQo. The flop and turn were no help to anyone but the river brought me a 9 and put me in the chip lead. We dropped to four soon after that when the two shorter stacks both bet into a straight and lost.

The four of us played for ever. At first I liked the fact that the blinds didn’t go up as fast, on PokerStars (Every 10 minutes vs. Every 10 hands), but I really wish the game hadn’t taken as long. There also wasn’t a lot of betting, usually one bet and everyone else folded, so it seemed to move slower.

Finally, one of the players was down to about $T450 with 100/200 blinds. He was in the small blind, and I was on the button. I had K2 off, and decided to call, hoping he would do the same, and that either I or the big blind could hit something on the flop to knock him out. But he folded. The flop was the perfect for me. A22. We both check. Turn is a 6 and he bets T600. I raise, all in. He thinks about it for a while, then calls with A8. The river is another 6 to give be the boat, and I’m now the chip leader. Short stack gets knocked out right after that, and I made the money. Woo-Hoo.

I think I tend to overvalue my cards once we get down to three players. I’ll raise with just about any face card, and think that any pair on the flop is a winner. This aggression usually allows me to steal a bunch of pots, but it also tends to lead to my downfall.

This time it happened when I get to see a free flop out of the big blind with A3. When the board game 368 I figured I was probably still good, and bet at it. When an Ace came on the turn, and was sure I was ahead. I bet, and got raised all in, and foolishly called. He had wired sixes and left me with only about T1000 in chips. The final blow came when I had QQ and the flop was AA9. We both checked, and I went all in on the turn. He had an ace and I was done. But I got $18 which almost left me at even.

It was probably just a fluke, but I got a disproportionate amount of wired pairs in the two tournaments I played. I had tens three times, there was a stretch where I had KK, 88,99 in consecutive hands, and I had 22 at least twice and nines on at least two other occasions. I’m sure that happens every once in a while, but it definitely felt strange.

Can’t wait for the blogger tournament next week. Hopefully fare a little better.


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