Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Almost There

I bought into a Poker Stars Step 2 a few days ago. I did not want to mess around trying to win the $7.50 Step One, so I figured the $27 was worth avoiding the hassle.

I have not been able to play every day, but I have managed to move all the way up to step 5 without having to take any steps backwards. Tonight's step 4 was a shining example of my luck box skills.

I started out a little more active than usual, because the table was extremely tight. I had added a couple hundred to my stack, when I got involved in a pot that I shouldn't have and lost it all back. I raised an utg limper with A5o on the button. He called the 4x raise to 120. The flop was 7c-5c-Qc. I did not have a club. It was checked to me and I bet 180. My opponent min raised to 360 and I was done with the hand. This dropped me down to 1175.

My least favorite hands in SNG's are low pocket pairs. You never really have a big enough stack to play them for set value. I hate raising them, because I always have to fold like a little girl if I am reraised out of position.

I had a weird stretch where in 3 consecutive hands I was dealt 77, 77, and 88.
I raised the first time and won the blinds. I folded the second time because I felt like I would get raised or have to play them out of position. Good thing I did, because two players ended up all in with QQ and AKs. Then I had 88 under the gun and just limped. It was folded through the blinds and the flop came KK4. I made a small probing bet and won that pot.

So I am almost back up to my starting stack with 8 left.

A couple of hands go by and I get 88 in the cut off and raise. This time the big stack at the table smooth calls behind me on the button. The flop is Tc-9h-3h. I check and fold to a bet of 200. I was actually cursing my card luck because if I was going to catch pocket pairs, it was going to need to be bigger than 8's.

After a couple of rounds of blinds at 50-100, I am in the big blind with 1010 in chips and there are still 8 players left. I am dealt KhTd. Miniatus in middle position makes it 300 to go with 1945 left behind. I decide to resteal since I need chips bad and unless he has a monster like AA, KK, QQ, or AK I will be in ok shape to suck out, or he folds. He takes the maximum time to consider and then calls with KcJd. I guess he was getting 2-1 but it seems like a loose call.
Anyway, I build the drama and wait until the river to spike my ten and double up.

The very next hand on the small blind I pick up pocket Aces. Cards Speak (chip leader at 4290 in chips) raises to 250 under the gun. It's folded to me and I raise to 600. Cards Speak calls and we have 1300 in the pot.

The flop is 6h-8c-5s. I check hoping he has an over pair and wants to bet to protect his hand. Instead he checks it through. The turn is a beautiful Ace. I check again, hoping for some action. He checks again. Shit! The river is a 5 and pairs the board. I have the nut full house. I make a weak looking bet of 500. Cards Speak min raises to 1000 and I put the rest of my 970 in for the last raise. Cards Speak shows 66 for 6's full of 5's. I had him crushed preflop, he had me squished on the flop, and I re-sucked out on the turn.

Suddenly I am the chip leader with 4240 in chips.

Cards Speak makes a come back and with 5 players left, he takes 900 of my chips after I raise AJo in small blind to his Big Blind. The flop has an Ace and 3 hearts. None of my cards are red, but I make the continuation bet and get called. The turn is an offsuit 6 and I check and he bets 975. I can't stand the heat and fold. He says in the chat that it's a good fold. I guess I believe him.

I tread water for a while and there are now 4 of us left. Top 3 get their money back. 4th place goes back to Step 3. The blinds are 100-200 and I have 2290 in the small blind. It's folded to me and I push Qs8d. I'm pretty sure this is an ok play according to SNG Power Tools. For some reason Cards Speak calls me with As8s and only 2520 in his stack. This time I end the suspense on the turn and hit my Queen. Now I have 4500 in chips and I'm in second place with 4 left and one shorty.

I eliminate Cards Speak the next hand when I pick up Ace-Jack on the button and limp in so I can include the Big blind when Cards Speak pushes in the rest of his chips in the small blind.

Three of us left and now it's truly a free roll. The end comes when my opponents square off with AhQs vs. KcJc. Lucky for me, the flop comes Ks-Kd-Kh and the larger stack eliminates the other player and I am on to step 5!

On an unrelated note, my golf game has been struggling lately. My Driver has been really wild and I bought the Leadbetter Interactive DVD set to try and correct some things at the top of my swing. I recorded my swing on my video camera and noticed that I was taking the driver back way inside and flat and then moving it more upright at the top. It looked pretty bad.

So now I am trying to concentrate on taking my arms back in more of an upward motion and less around my body. I want to use the software in the DVD's to analyze my swing in more detail but so far I have been unable to get the damn thing installed on my laptop.

On Monday of this week my country club had a US Open qualifying tournament. 86 players shooting for 6 spots. The USGA set up the course and the pins. Bill and I decided to test our games against the pros and see how far back we are.

We both birdied the first hole which is a Par 5 down wind. Man this is easy! Oops. It all fell apart after that. I shot an 88 with 5 double bogeys. Worse yet, Bill shot a 91. This was a week after he shot 74 on a course in Prescott.

This morning I left Bill a voice mail, rubbing in my ugly victory and asked him what was going through his head seeing the vast difference in his game from week to week. Bill blamed it all on the fact that he missed too many fairways. In Prescott, the course was wide open and even if you were off the fairway from the tee, you still had an open shot at the green. At Phoenix Country Club, you are constantly fighting the trees if you are the slightest bit off line. Hell there are some fairways, where you need to be on the right side or you have trouble with the trees.

Bill stated, "If I can play from the middle of the fairway on every hole, I will shoot 74 every time." I sense a bet coming. Bill did miss some fairways, but his bigger problem was his wedge game. I believe if you miss the fairway, that a good golfer should be able to make bogey from just about anywhere. Bill had a few double bogeys and worse, due to missing the fairway, and then hitting bad wedges to the green. Maybe we'll play for fun and I'll give him a ball in the fairway on every non par 3 and bet him if he can shoot the 74. Or maybe he gives me 10 strokes and I play my ball against his. We'll see.

1 comment:

#1 Stalker said...

Great suckout skills dude! Good luck in the step 5 - take it down.

When people say "good fold" while mucking their cards, I never believe them. I reckon he was on a heart draw.