Another big bust

Here’s the hand that busted me:

We’re 7-handed, down to 21 players at 3 tables. I have just under 9000 (8800, I think) in chips. Blinds are 500/1000 with a 100 ante. Pot was 2200 before the flop. We’ve been at this table for about 25 minutes. The table is playing pretty tightly, but people don’t seem to be afraid to put their chips in with two good cards.

I’m UTG and I look down at TT. I move in for about 8800. Everyone folds to the cutoff, who has me covered. He moves in, everyone else folds and he turns over KK. His KK holds up to win the pot.

I thought for a while about the hand and I’m certain I played it correctly. There was just no way I could avoid going broke in that situation. The flop came 7-high anyway, so I’m sure I would’ve been all-in after the flop.

What was interesting was that there were still 21 players at this level. Last month, we played the same structure, only we had a smaller starting level for the blinds (tonight, we started at 25/50, last time we started at 25/25). Last month, with the slower structure, we only had 13 left at this point. Also, I think I may have busted on exactly the same hand as last time. Blinds/antes were identical and I was at a 7-handed table.

Other highlights:

My best hand of the night was a Big Blind special. I had 23o, the SB completed, I checked my option. (Blinds were 25/50) Flop came down A25. SB checked, I bet 75, SB called. Turn was a 4. SB checked, I checked. River was a T. SB bet out a little over 75, I raised to 200, he called. He told me later that he had AK; I have played with him before and I believe him.

I hadn’t caught any cards all night and finally got AJo in the cutoff. There was one limper, UTG, and everyone else folded to me. The limper had limped with KQo two hands ago. I raised to 4x the BB, he gave a little speech and moved in for the rest of his chips. I had to call because of the pot-odds being offered (I needed to be almost 100% certain he had AA in order to fold). He turned over AA and it held up.

Not too much later, I got 88 UTG+1. UTG raised to 2.5x BB. I thought a bit and folded. That’s a little tight, even by my standards, but here’s why I folded: UTG is a very tight player. He’s the same player who completed in the SB with AKo, rather than raising when no one else had entered the pot. His opening requirements from UTG are pretty limited. The best hand he could have (for my 88) was probably AQ. Also, we were at a 9-handed table, so there were still 7 players left to act. Finally, the button, SB and BB hand ALL shown that they would raise frequently if multiple limpers/callers were in ahead of them. There was too great a chance that 1) I was totally dominated by a bigger pair from UTG and 2) I wouldn’t actually get to see a flop by calling his bet.

Blinds were 75/150 and I picked up KK in the BB. Everyone folded to the button who had been playing very aggressively, especially on the button with no one in the pot. He made the minimum raise to 300 and I just called. After my call, I had about 3000 chips left. My plan was to check-raise on the flop, unless it was extremely safe. Flop came J-high with two hearts. I checked, he bet 600, I moved in. There was 1500 in the pot and I didn’t want to get cute in case he had a flush draw, hit the Jack or had an Ace. I figured I would grow my stack by 50% if he simply let it go, but I didn’t mind doubling up if he called. He said something like, “I guess top pair was no good there.” and folded.

Later, I had 77 in middle position. UTG raised to 4x the BB, I thought he looked pretty strong, so I folded. He took down a big hand with QQ.

I started getting short-stacked and went into “all-in” mode. I picked up A5o in late-middle position and pushed. Everyone folded.

Two hands later, I got A4o in early-middle position. I pushed again and everyone folded to the BB… who was taking a bathroom break. His absence didn’t affect my decision, but I think his hand should’ve been folded since he wasn’t at the table. We waited about a minute for him to return, he found KK and called. I hit an Ace on the flop and doubled-up. Dude was pretty upset that I put a beat on him.

That was about it before I busted out. I managed to accumulate some chips after my double-up (the double-up put me at about 6000 chips). I ran up to about 9000 before I busted. I felt like I played pretty well considering I ran pretty badly. I ran into AA and KK twice and basically just had completely unplayable hands all night. Best unpaired hand was AQo and it won a small pot. I had 73 of clubs probably 5 times. I was never dealt suited connectors.



$115 tournament at the Horseshoe in Shreveport

Well, I decided to play the $115 tournament and it was definitely the correct decision. It started a little earlier than I would’ve liked (10 am), but the structure was excellent. We started with T$1500 in chips, played 30-minute levels, and the blinds started at $5/10. There was a lot of room for play. The levels were as follows: $5/10, $10/20, $15/30, $25/50, $50/100, $100/200, $100/200 $25 ante… and that’s all I got to see.

Here are the highlights for me:

Fourth hand, I limp on the button with QJo. I think four of us saw the flop, which was Q9x with 2 clubs. Everyone checked to me and I bet the pot. The BB called, everyone else folded. Turn is a non-club Jack. BB check to me, I bet the pot, he calls. River is an offsuit 7. BB checks to me, I make a small value-bet, he check-raises me to 3 times my bet, I think for a while, figure him for two smaller pair (I thought he had J7o) and call getting pretty good odds. He turns over 77 for a rivered set that beat my top two pair.

Then I won a few small pots with top pair, good kicker. Lost one small pot on a pseudo-bluff with KTs.

A bit later, I get KK in the hijack. Blinds were $10/20, I raised to $80, the BB re-raises to $160, I pop it up to $660, he calls. Flop came down something like 998 with two clubs. He checks to me, I bet $1000 to put him all in (he had about $960 left), he looks disgusted and calls with AA. His AA held up, I was down to just over $300 in chips. I had put him on QQ or maybe JJ–he didn’t even have enough left in front of him to make a pot-size bet on the flop and I figured he would want to get all the chips in with AA before the flop since he would have to play the hand out of position. Obviously, it was unlikely he had KK since I had the other two. If he had re-raised me all-in before the flop, I think I might’ve actually folded the hand…

I whittled down to $200-something and then got 54o on the button. It was folded to me, so I raised to 3x the BB (both blinds were playing relatively tight/conservative and I hadn’t opened a pot in a while). Both blinds called. The flop was something like KTxr. We checked around. Turn was a Q. We checked around. River was an A. They checked to me, I moved in, they both folded. SB told me he had 88, BB didn’t show.

Next time I got A7o. Three or four people limped, flop came down 694r with two diamonds. Everyone checked around. Turn was 8d, putting a three flush and possible straight on the board. Small blind checked, I moved in, everyone folded to the SB who called. He turned over T7h for a turned straight. I hit the nut flush on the river and doubled up.

Next time I had the BB, I got 23c. The button limped, SB called, I checked my option. Flopped came down 235 with two spades,. I checked, the button bet the pot, I check-raised all-in, he called with ATo. Bottom two pair held up and I doubled up to a little over $800 in chips.

A bit later, I took down a small pot with KQs. I raised before the flop, got called by the BB, checked the flop behind the BB, bet the turn and took it down.

The ellipses denotes much time passing with nothing special happening. I got moved to different, much tougher table at the $50/100 level. One of my first hands at the new level, I picked up A8c in late position. I made a standard raise and everyone folded to the BB, who called. This hand was interesting because I felt like the BB was a pretty good player. After he called, I protected my cards and just looked over at the guy to see his reaction to the flop. Then, he looked over at me to see my reaction to the flop. At first, he seemed like he wasn’t going to look away until I did, but since he had to act first, he eventually looked at the board, checked, and looked back at me. I was going to bet regardless of what happened, but when I looked at the board, I saw that it had come down 998, giving me 8’s and 9’s with an A kicker. I bet about half my stack, he thought for quite a while and folded what I think must’ve been AQ or AJ. I feel like I could’ve moved him off the hand even if I didn’t hit the flop and I’m glad he folded since he had at least 5 outs. In a cash game, I want a call; in a tournament, I just want the pot.

After that hand, I was up to around $2400 in chips.

Then, I started melting away. I didn’t play another pot until the blinds got to $100/200 with a $25 ante (I’d say it was over an hour, maybe an hour and a half) the blinds went up to $100/200 and I just couldn’t pick up a good hand or find a good spot to make a move.

I was down to about $850 chips when I moved in with A9o in the SB (best hand I’d gotten since moving to this table). There were 3 limpers and no one had shown real strength. I was actually pretty sure there was a reasonable chance my A9 was good here (there were several players limping often with medium-strength and worse hands). Of course, the BB woke up with AKo and moved in immediately. UTG folded reluctantly (he said he folded TT or JJ, I think) and I couldn’t get lucky. I’ve thought a lot about the play and I’m pretty satisfied with it. I was getting just about 2:1 on my all-in and BB’s call meant I was getting about 3:1 as a 2:1 dog.

All in all, I think I played very well, but just couldn’t pick up a big hand… ‘cept for KK, which ran into AA. I lasted 3.5 hours and finished 20/55.