Thursday, February 19, 2009

Finally Over the Hump

I had a pretty good run last night. First, I won a small $1.20 sit and go. Next, I finally won one of the 90 man $.25 tournaments. Lastly, I cashed in the nightly $1.20 HORSE tournament.

I have to admit that I am pretty happy to finally win the 90 man tournaments. Field wise it was the biggest tournament that I've ever won. I've had some bigger cashes, but it always feels good to win a tournament no matter how much you are playing for.

Here are some key hands in the 90 man tournament.

This first hand was a bad hand for me.

Poker Stars $0.25+$0.00 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t25/t50 Blinds - 9 players - View hand 43385

The Official Hand History Converter

UTG: t3045 M = 40.60

UTG+1: t5115 M = 68.20

UTG+2: t3260 M = 43.47

MP1: t3620 M = 48.27

MP2: t6270 M = 83.60

CO: t2250 M = 30

BTN: t9115 M = 121.53

SB: t2845 M = 37.93

Hero (BB): t4535 M = 60.47

Pre Flop: (t75) Hero is BB with KK of hearts AA of clubs

UTG raises to t150, 1 fold, UTG+2 calls t150, 3 folds, BTN calls t150, 1 fold, Hero raises to t500, UTG calls t350, UTG+2 calls t350, BTN calls t350

Flop: (t2025) 44 of diamonds 44 of clubs JJ of hearts (4 players)

Hero bets t1300, UTG raises to t2545 all in, UTG+2 folds, BTN folds, Hero calls t1245

Turn: (t7115) JJ of spades (2 players - 1 is all in)

River: (t7115) 33 of hearts (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: t7115

UTG shows QQ of hearts QQ of clubs (two pair, Queens and Jacks)

Hero shows KK of hearts AA of clubs (two pair, Jacks and Fours)

UTG wins t7115

I'm entirely sure what my line should have been on this hand. I am fine with my re-raise preflop, but I was definitely not happy to get 4 callers. On the flop, I continuation bet 1300 into a pot of 2025. In retrospect, I think this was a mistake. UTG pushed for 1245 more. Getting 4.7 to 1 on my money makes this an easy call. As it turned out, I was lucky to not run into AA or KK and had six outs. In the end, I didn't get there and was knocked down to the short stack at the table with 1490 chips.

Thinking back, I now think I probably should have check folded on the flop. UTG raised pre-flop which usually indicates a strong hand. He also was the first to call my re-raise preflop. At this point, I should have put him on a very strong hand. Making such a large continuation bet on the flop meant that I had to call his push. If I had check folded this hand would have cost me 500 chips instead of 3045.

Not much to say about this next hand other than I was very lucky to double up.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.25+$0.00 Tournament, 40/80 Blinds (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

saw flop | saw showdown

SB (t6475)
BB (t11935)
UTG (t1345)
UTG+1 (t11436)
MP1 (t2910)
MP2 (t1800)
MP3 (t10200)
CO (t3130)
Hero (Button) (t945)

Hero's M: 7.88

Preflop: Hero is Button with 3, 3

UTG calls t80, UTG+1 calls t80, 4 folds, Hero raises to t945 (All-In), 3 folds, UTG+1 calls t865

Flop: (t2090) Q, 3, 3 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: (t2090) 2 (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t2090) Q (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: t2090

Hero had 3, 3 (four of a kind, threes).

UTG+1 had J, J (two pair, Queens and Jacks).

Outcome: Hero won t2090

The moral of the story of the next hand is to not go crazy if you get played back at after limping with a big hand.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.25+$0.00 Tournament, 40/80 Blinds (8 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

saw flop | saw showdown

UTG (t5555)
UTG+1 (t11575>
MP1 (t985)
MP2 (t11451)
CO (t1080)
Button (t1680)
SB (t4420)
Hero (BB) (t3230)

Hero's M: 26.92

Preflop: Hero is BB with 8, 6

6 folds, SB calls t40, Hero checks

Flop: (t160) 6, 8, A (2 players)

SB checks, Hero checks

Turn: (t160) 2 (2 players)

SB bets t80, Hero raises to t240, SB raises to t400, Hero raises to t3150 (All-In), SB calls t2750

River: (t6460) 7 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: t6460

SB had Q, A (one pair, Aces).

Hero had 8, 6 (two pair, eights and sixes).

Outcome: Hero won t6460

I'm not sure if I would have limped in the SB's situation AQ is a nice hand but it is beaten by any pair unimproved. Why give the big blind a free chance to hit a huge hand, especially when we still have decently large stacks in relations to the blinds? I may make this play with a huge overpair or heads up when the blinds are huge in relation to our stacks, but I hate it in this situation.

Here is another example of why you shouldn't limp!

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.25+$0.00 Tournament, 200/400 Blinds 50 Ante (7 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

saw flop | saw showdown

UTG (t13735)
MP1 (t10725)
MP2 (t3631)
CO (t27897)
Button (t16955)
SB (t28310)
Hero (BB) (t12817)
Hero's M: 13.49

Preflop: Hero is BB with 7, J

2 folds, MP2 calls t400, 1 fold, Button calls t400, 1 fold, Hero checks

Flop: (t1750) J, 7, 2 (3 players)

Hero bets t1000, MP2 raises to t3181 (All-In), 1 fold, Hero calls t2181

Turn: (t8112) 6 (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t8112) 4 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: t8112


Hero had 7, J (two pair, Jacks and sevens).

MP2 had 6, 3 (one pair, sixes).

Outcome: Hero won t8112

After those two hands, things were mostly standard. I stole a lot of blinds with preflop raises and continuation bets. I also won a couple races. The rest of the hands mostly involved all-in preflop bets.

My heads up opponent was fairly easy to play against. He either pushed all-in preflop or he folded. Eventually, I trapped him for all of his chips. All-in-all I'm happy with the way this turned out. I got extremely lucky on a couple of occasions, but my patience paid off and gained a lot of confidence with this win.

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