Saturday, July 22, 2006

Early Morning Blogging

Something, I think the pipes, is making an ever worsening sound when the AC kicks on, so loud that it woke me up this morning, at 4:30. /annoyed. Got up to investigate and turn off the AC so that it quits happening and to start looking up numbers for AC/plumbers, sounds like a great start to a Saturday.

If you are at all interested in keeping up with the WSOP this year you might want to add this blog to your bookmarks/rssfeeds. It is not the official update page but I really enjoy the writing style of Wil Wheaton who is writing most of the updates on days he is not playing, and after a poor showing in yesterday's Event #31 Wil is looking to be writing more than playing the rest of this World Series.

So the reason I have rediscovered the Pokerstars blog is Newsgator. I was starting to have rss feeds and bookmarks in so many places I was losing track of links that I either wanted to read everyday for personal enjoyment or needed to read everyday for work. The answer of course was a web-based rss reader. del.ico.us was and still is working well for my bookmarks but I'd rather not click through 50 bookmarks just to see the 5 that have updates. I have been using Sage for my rss feeds at work and home and really wanted that list combined, only way to go was with newsgator. The features I really enjoy are being able to mark individual posts as read versus the entire feed and the import of opml files which made getting both sets of Sage lists into it easy. So far I do not have any major complaints about this service at all.

Back to Poker for a minute and then this rambling is over.

A few weekends ago I went up to Blackhawk with some friends to play in a poker tournament. I had played some pretty bad poker in our last couple home games so I was not real thrilled with the prospect of heading up the hill to drop $70 quickly and then wait around for the rest of the group because I had played poorly but I did want to hang out with those guys so I went along. My strategy was to just play very tight, only try to steal when in position and nobody limped in ahead of you, and hope for decent cards.

The tourney started at 2pm and when we showed up at 12:30 to get register there was no one around yet other than the normal games going on in the Poker "Room". The Poker "Room" at the Ameristar is more of just an area with a fence around it that contains poker tables, I've always thought rooms had walls, see how much I actually know. When we registered there were maybe 10 names on the list already, we put it up to 15, and the pay out was guaranteed to the top 4, more if there are enough players.

Since it was lunch time food was in order and a greasy cheeseburger and a coke fit the bill just fine. I tried to lay off of the soda as much as possible to avoid getting jittery at the table and having to run to the bathroom during the breaks. It was also a rainy dreary day in the mountains and the casino still had the AC cranked on so I was freezing, soda does not help that shivering to stop much.

The game started with 3 tables of 10 or 11 each. I was immediately to the dealer's right at table 2 when play started, Jade was to my right and Leo was also at our table. Nate and Jay were at table 1. Rounds are 20 minutes long and blinds started at 25/50 with each stack at I think around 1500. My memory is not real good about this kind of thing and if I want to start blogging more about my poker playing I should probably start taking some notes every once in awhile.

The first round went by with no one getting knocked out but Jade was quick to exit once the blinds went up, unfortunately I did not benefit from his departure but I was not just giving away chips either. I was playing very tight and folding a ton of hands including a few middle aces if there was quite a bit of action before it was my turn to act pre-flop. After the third round we were down to 2 tables and I was one of the smaller stacks on the table but I focused on not doing anything dumb and going all in on the first pocket pair I saw, this worked out well as before too long Leo, Jay and I were all sitting at the final table of 10.

After a few hands I have the dealer chip and look down to see pocket Queens. Blinds are 200/400 at this point and everyone limped to me, I raised to 1000 and got 2 players to call. The flop comes Ace-Ace-Queen, full boat. The exact betting from here I am not exactly sure on since this was 2 weeks ago, notes I need notes! The turn was another Queen and my thought process was immediately damnit, he hit the boat too. Then I realized what I had, 4 of a kind, I pushed all in. I got folded to and pulled in the chips, I didn't quite double up on that hand but it was close and got me a lot closer to getting into part of the pay out.

This Saturday there were only enough players to pay out the top 4 so the final 6 of us were getting very fidgity almost everyone rooting against the short stack whomever it was, and it was rotating around the table. When we were at 6 I was trying to stay out of the way and not let a short stack double up but as soon as we got to 5 I got impatient and started calling those all ins with middle pair or top pair. Poker wise these were good moves, reality wise I got sucked out on 3 times, the last time busted me out where my queens got beat by a set on the river. Getting put out 5th in a tournament that pays out to the top 4 hurts quite a bit but I was happy with my play up to those last couple hands when I got impaitent. I am a firm believer that nothing is a waste of time as long as you learn something from it, and my lesson on this Saturday was to stay paitent and let the cards come to you.

Jay ended up taking 3rd and pulling in almost $400 and having 3 of the 5 of us at the final table was pretty impressive we thought, especially since none of us had played a tourney like this before. I think this was probably the best way I have yet to find to lose $70 in Blackhawk and look forward to my next trip up for a tourney, in a few months that is.

Ok an hour later this post is done!
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