Hmm, so last week my filthy goal of finishing in the money came up a bit short (about 30 places short) when my short-stacked pocket eights met pocket jacks and came out the worse for wear. I've noticed a little pattern in the last two weeks of my play: when the pressure starts to ramp up, I have a wee bit of trouble letting go of a good starting hand even if the flop and turn don't give me any love. So, hot tip here, if you're up against me after the break and I'm going all in, it's probably because I have a crappy hand and I'm just trying to scare you off.
Of course, I also might have flopped a set. You'll get no warranties or guarantees from me, my friends. ANd I'll make no guarantees of live-blogging all the way to the finish, despite SirFWALGman's admonitions in the last couple of weeks for bailing out early. I figure two hours is a good enough investment over here in the Eastern Standard Time zone, especially last week when I was starting a brand new job the next morning...
Let's see how things go tonight.
8:28 My starting table is studded with stars: L0K1, Up4Poker, Astin, sellthekids, HighOnPokr, and Maudie.
8:30 Up4Poker steals the blinds with a modest raise, and cries out "chip leader!". You go, CJ!
8:31 L0K1 tangles with Astin; turns out the low-key one has pocket queens and flopped a set. Astin escapes with T1120 after flopping two pair (jacks and queens). Smart player!
8:35 sellthekids wakes up to HighOnPokr's preflop 400 bet, says "I'm not going to war with pocket 9's -- nice AK", and folds -- and HighOnPokr yells BOOYA and drops the hammer. Nice!
8:36 Wil arrived at the table bearing T3490 in chips. This really is a star-studded table!
8:46 We ponder whether soul-crushing or ball-crushing is worse. Getting all metaphysical, I ponder aloud whether a soul has balls, and Wil responds definitively that a soul has red shiny balls.
8:54 Chat box is going crazy; at one point many many self-referential arrows are flying, my only contribution is <----- Steve Martin -----. Yes, I'm a lame ASCII joker.
8:56 Back to back hammers as first CJ, then louddwnunder drop winning hammers. This table is in fine spirits!
9:02 Ax suited, first hand in ages UTG, I raise to 150 (3xBB). louddwnunder calls, and Maudie raises to 250. I call, and louddwnunder calls. Flop comes Jx9 rainbow... troublesome. Maudie bets 650, I think about it but (shockingly) fold, and louddwnunder pushes all-in. Maudie shows AJ to louddwnunder's KJ... but of course louddwnunder picks up the runner-runner flush to (somewhat embarassingly) take the pot.
9:28 I peek down at pocket queens. L0K1 bets 300, I raise to 800. sellthekids says "what's that term - fold equity?". L0K1 calls. Flop brings a QJ2; I check, L0K1 goes all in, and I quickly call. He's got a pair of jacks, but my set holds up, so I'm sitting at T3000 chips. One hand makes a big difference!
9:29 Wil is magically sucked away from our table.
9:30 We're on break.
9:42 Some live blogger I am -- no chip counts for you tonight! L0K1 and I have been moved to a new table, featuring Garthmeister, bdr1968, and Villainiss (with T5500, s/he's the big stack of the table).
9:45 Big damage for me when I turn up pocket nines UTG. I bet 450, but with T1200, L0K1 goes all in, and Garthmeister increases the damage by going all-in himself. It's just another 1300 for me, so I call, and see that Garthmeister has cowboys vs. L0K1's big slick. Of course, an improbable king drops on the flop taking away what little hope I might have had for a suckout
9:47 With AK and T1200 I push all-in, going over top of randomjustin's 450 pre-flop bet. He folds. I breathe a little easier, although my stack is still pretty marginal.
9:51 UTG again, I open with pocket tens and a bet of 600. SoxLover goes all-in (with his 810). I call and the tens hold up. This is just like that birth meditation script I was reading last night; breathing deeper, breathing slower.
10:00 With T3000 I'm 20th out of 30 remaining players... #1 (L Fudpill) has T11500. I'm feeling good, folding like a fiend. But I'm almost through my post-break beer. This could be trouble.
10:02 Pocket Rockets! I bet a nice, safe 600 (3xBB), and hacker59 in the big blind pushes all-in with his remaining 1000 chips. I call, he shows pocket fives, and the aces stand up... phew. For a second my beer-addled brain thinks the river 4 is a 5. Maybe I shouldn't drink and play poker? Perish the thought.
10:04 Garthmeister is evvvvilll for raising me in the big blind, all the time. He claims to keep getting hands, but I know the truth. He's evil.
10:08 See? I limped in UTG with my suited Jx, and only Garth (in the BB) stuck around. With a flop of AQJ I've got bottom pair, but of course I disbelieve that Garth could have had anything and wind up giving him, oh, about 2200 chips to leave me with 1800 when he reveals a Q.
10:09 Poor Garth just went all-in with the hammer and Villainiss called... no luck for Garth tonight and he's out of the tourney in 30th place.
10:13 CJ successfully throws another hammer; that makes about ten on the night and he has T3600! Scary. But good scary.
10:20 With T985 in the BB, I need a good hand and get one: AJ suited. But everyone folds around. Boooo.
10:22 Maudie pushes all-in with pocket 8's against CJ's AQ, but CJ picks up river-river queens to make a set and send Maudie packing.
10:23 HAMMER in early position! I push all in with my 1000 chips, but Villainiss calls me and shows AK. Hmm. The king on the flop is the cement on my ankles and once again I am knocked out of this tourney (22nd place this time) due to a hammer. I think Villainiss, by the way, has taken out at least three hammers tonight--nasty wench!
10:34 On the button, louddwnunder bets 1000 (2.5xBB), and the short-stacked Systems2005 pushes all-in in the big blind with an extra 1000. louddwnunder calls, showing suited J9(?!) and Systems2005 shows A5. Flop brings a 5, but the turn brings a 9 and Systems2005 is the 15th-last person to leave the tournament.
10:35 Second break, the chip totals are:
- Villainiss: 25769
- L Fudpill:21013
- Troublecat: 17233
- Up4Poker: 9375
- FishyMcDonk: 9219
- louddwnunder: 8362
- S.t. B: 7520
- farmboy03: 6985
- FatTabbyMama: 6505
- Rookette22: 5585
And that's all for me tonight (I can hear SirFWALGman booing from here). My post-game analysis suggests that either I have to stop attempting to play the hammer in critical situations, or I should stop drinking beer during these tourneys, and maybe I'll actually make some better judgement calls so I have a chance of landing in the money. Ah well... until next week folks, may all your pockets be rockets.
Guerilla update at 11:23 L Fudpill, with a T25,000 chip count, managed to sit out for the last fifteen minutes of the game and landed in third place. Then, after starting headsup play with a dominating T100,000 chip count, Villainiss slipped to T8000 after a disastrous low-pair gambit failed against S.t.B.'s flopped pair of kings... and a few hands later, despite crawling back to T24,000, Villianiss is out when her flopped pair of aces cannot improve against S.t.B.'s flopped two pair (8's and 9's). Good game all!