peterbirks: (Default)
Most people notice that the nights are drawing in -- for me, it's the mornings. Distinctly dark when I get up now, but light by the time I walk to catch the train. That pleasure will disappear within the next couple of weeks. Then a couple of weeks after that it is dark when I arrive at Charing X, but light by the time I reach the office. Finally, we enter the hibernation period of perpetual darkness except for when I am in the office, although that gives me the pleasure of seeing dawn from my desk. Yes, we still live a life that we time by the seasons.

++++

"Only" $111 lost on Party last night. Since I double-tabled for just over two hours, this was a pretty insignificant amount in terms of big bets and volatility. I'm definitely not playing to my best. In particular, my instinct for when to bet and when not to bet on the river is awry. I probably missed a couple of big bets there. I also got caught nicely by a guy when I had middle pair ace-kicker in the big blind. He limped from UTG+1, everyone else folded, I declined the option with A8 and he then checked a flop of J86 two clubs. Turn was the two of spades so I decided to bet. He raised and I was in a novice's pickle, because I hadn't put him on any kind of hand that he could raise with here (except perhaps 22).

I'm afraid that I called this bet and the river bet out of genuine curiosity. He showed down KJ of diamonds. This was a nice play, although it has its perils. It was worthwhile because the size of the pot is fairly small, so he can afford to gamble it a bit. A ploy to add to the armoury against aggressive players.

So, maybe $50 lost by marginal errors in 250 hands. Not good, but not disastrous. I really feel that I am due a big win on Party. The opposition has contained some real shockers. And, once again, my losing table was the one where the fish was on my right, while the winning table was the one where he was on my left. Go figure.


+++++

I then managed 16th out of 53 in the Stan James Hendon Mob League tourney. At least I racked up some points, even if I didn't get into the money. Ironside managed to join the ranks of "I can't resist showing a hand when I have bluffed the river" players -- a curious breed. In fact he had Ace-high, quite enough to beat the hand that I folded. These players invariably justify their showing of cards with flannel by saying that it is about putting other players on tilt, or being part of a long-term strategy. This is utter tosh. It's "Look at how good I am, I just bluffed you off a pot", pure and simple — a male testosterone attempt to establish Alpha Male status. Poker players tend to be lovers of instant gratification, and this is one way they fulfil it. Its long-term gain is zero. Or, rather, it's negative. But this type of poker player is too much in search of the instant hit to care.

The tournament had been chugging along and I was down to about T$2,300 on level 2 when I picked up Aces in the Big Blind. MP1 (with about T$2000) raised it to 150 and everyone else folded, so I felt a flat-call was in order.

Flop came A97 rainbow, giving me a set of Aces. I checked. Opponent bet 200. I flat-called. Turn brought a Jack. I checked, Opponent bet 500. He had 1,200 left. I decided to pull the trigger and raised all-in. He paused and then folded.

Is there an argument for a third flat call here? Is there an argument for a mini-raise of 500? (In retrospect, I like this line best...)

I'd been playing in Sam Grizzle mode, limping a lot and going for post-flop play (the chips are realtively deep in this particular tournament) so on level three (50-100) I limped on the river with Ace-Ten suited against a tight small blind and aggressive big blind, no previous callers. SB folded and BB called. Flop came KK4 two clubs. BB had K4. I managed to get out for just 800 on the hand, which I thought was good going.

Then came a near disaster with 37 players left, level 4 (75-150). alanc in UTG+1 raised to 500 with 6,500 chips behind. MP2 then raises to 1,000. I have 2,200 left with QQ on the button. I see no reason in pissing around here. For a start, we might have the classic QQ v AK v AK situation. Any other combination (provided I am not facing AA or KK) is as good. I raise all-in. alanc quite correctly folds and MP2 calls. He has AK and hits an Ace on the turn. I am down to 175 chips.

Then came the age of Lazarus and the style of Sam Farha. All in next hand. Win. Up to 550. All in next hand. Win. Up to 1175. All in next hand. Uncalled. Up to 1400. Go quiet for a while. All in with 88 which is called by Simon Galloway's JJ. 8 comes on flop. Back in the game.

But I was still low on chips. In fact I remained in last place or thereabouts for the next 45 minutes, stealing blinds to stay above the water line, going all-in when down to 14 small blinds or less, and stealing the pot nearly every time. But I couldn't get up to average chip size.


My chance finally came when we were down to 16 players at level 7 (200-400). I was sitting on T$1800 (hmm, wasn't I there an hour or so ago?). Big stack in MP2 raises to $1600 and I find 88. I know that I should flat call here, but I have a vague feeling that SJ's software still allows a reraise of an underraise. This means that if I make it 1800, anyone behind me will worry about calling, because the original raiser will be able to reraise. I decide that this is a better bet than calling and then folding a dangerous board, leaving me with just half a big blind. I raise all-in. Everyone fold to MP2, who calls. His AK hits an Ace, and that's that. Not an unenjoyable tournament, in the sense that all tournaments are unenjoyable...

+++

Lunch at L'Escargot today with KPMG. Yum Yum.

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