Monday, 5 March 2012

The Run Bad Continues!

Played the MPT Grand Final on Saturday. It was a £50 BI but I was freerolling due to having won an earlier event on the tour. With only 19 players, there was £650-£400-£230 for the top 3, and quite a few juicy spots. 15k start stack, and by level 4 (100-200) I had around 16k. Then the next hand came up:

Adam Smith, who plays online and can mix it up quite a bit, opened UTG+1 to 500. I was next to him with Ac3c and decided to make my first 3-bet of the day to 1250. I was flatted by the button, and then it came back round to Adam who made it 3100. I 5-bet to 5,850 and both players folded, Adam showing AQ off. I tilted him by showing the 3c.


Adam opens UTG to 500, I look down at....AdAs! Dream spot. Guess what? I made it 1250. Rather surprisingly Tom Gannon flatted in the seat to my left, which, given he's a great player really limited his range to 99-QQ. It folded round to Adam and he went bigger on his 4-bet this time, to 5k straight. I tanked and made it 8,475, Tom G folded (he had JJ) and Adam shoved his 20k in. I snapped, and Adam had QQ which was pretty sick, I felt like given the previous hand he could be getting it in much lighter. Anyway, after the J on the flop I felt pretty good given that I expected at least one of them to make a set, but in this case it was both as the Q hit the river.

That was for the chiplead, I got my 7bbs in with QJ vs A9 and didn't get there. A good tournament series, with Yiannis Liperis a deserving winner of the final, I just wish I could have been around a little longer!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Ah poker. Don't you just love it?
Well I don't.

Week off work, and I decided to invest some capital and grind a decent schedule of Stars MTTs. 5 days, 50 hours and 60 tourneys later and we have nothing to show for it apart from an emotional breakdown, utter humiliation and a huge slice of self doubt! Call it the curse of Asbury Court! One year in my new house and my biggest score remains $300. Gone are the days of 4 figure scores, and I do believe Amy is questioning my own enormous self-belief in my MTT abilities.

"Where's the money?" she asks.

"Variance, sample size...blah blah...running bad...blah".

These are the perils of a part timer. 60 MTTs over 5 days and I've definitely run badly. I have no doubt that the short-term variance will turn around but the problem with having a real life job is that it takes a hefty amount of time to reach a decent sample size. Even in my most prolific year, 2010, I only played 650 MTTs. This figure would be dwarfed by a full-timer, and while downswings are a reality for all good players, the higher the volume the shorter the real-time downswing length becomes.

I did make a 2nd place. Typically it was in the lowest prize-pool of any of the tourneys I regged for. A paltry $60. I even ran terribly in the heads-up where I had him in as a 70% favourite twice without holding.

Moan, whinge, whine! Tomorrow I play live in the Grand Final of the Midlands Poker Tour, a £50 BI that I'm freerolling in having won an earlier leg of the tour. Run good please?

Monday, 18 October 2010

Day 1c

Day 1C begins with Begleiter, Dwan, Antonius and Chan highlighted, Scotty Nguyen interviewed, and the yearly empty seat of Phil Hellmuth. The feature table is the defending champion, Joe Cada.

"What do you do for a living?"
"Yeah, who isn't a professional poker player these days?."

Hand 1 begins in the second level (100-200) Alex Gregory raised 75 off from +1, Cada flats and Ross flats with Ac7c. The flop is 962cc and they check it through to Ross in position who bets 1,100, Gregory lats and Cada makes it 5k to go. Ross calls with his nut flush draw and Gregory folds. The turn is the 6d giving Cada a full house, he bets 6,500 and Ross folds. People try to paint Cada as a luckbox, but people who pay attention see that this hand came over 1 and a half hours into the day, it wan't the first hand.

Hellmuth's table put a $100 bounty on his head.

Johnny Chan doubles up with top set vs middle set. Imagine if Cada had done that?

Scotty Nguyen loses a hand to Matthew Ashton and tries to tell us he's a nice guy. He knows the cameras are watching.

Negreanu has his stack in on the turn on AQJ8. His opponent folds.

We get a rundown of Hellmuth's entrances throughout the years. Racing car driver, Army guy, Julius Ceasar. And here he comes for this year as an MMA fighter.

"This is tame, and even by poker brat standards, so so lame."

Hand 2 and David Katalan maes it 300 with 99 from the HJ. Hellmuth defens his blind with 76off. 10 7 5hh. Hellmuth leads for 400. Katalan flats. The turn is the Qs. Phil bets 400 again and gets flatted. 2300 in the pot and the 9h hits. Katalan bets 1k. Phil folds. Nice 1k chips lost to start with.

Jeff Fennick an Australian boxer in the HOF is shown winning a hand. Eric "Basebaldy" Baldwin is also shown losing a hand. Tony Campagna, a Mr America bodybuilder does an inane celebration followed by a rant. Donk.

Third level now and Hand 3. Cada makes it 800 on +1 with 77, Nils Bardsley makes it 2200 in +2 with KK. AA7s is a decent flop for Cada, and it goes check check. The turn 2s gives Bardsley's Ks a flush draw. Cada bets 3600 and Bardsley flats, the river is the 4s and Cada bets 11k. Bardsley gives it to him.

Hand 4 has us on the turn, Cada has 109 off on a 9923hh board. Miller bets the 53off and Cada flats. the river Ac sees Miller check fold to Cada.

Cada tells us about last year.

Darvin Moon rails Dennis Phillips as he loses a pot with KK to aset of 6s. I like seeing Phillips lose for some reason. Billy Kopp doubles up with 63 on a 33KJ board against QQ. Some old donk stacked off even though the K was there. Antonius beats "Little Man" Mike Sica. Durrr plays a pot while wearing Peter Jetten as a Koala bear button. Durrr has the nuts and wins.

Table 2 has changed, Phil remains. Hand 5 has Hellmuth with 55 on an A65 rainbow board. Rollason bets with AJ and Phil calls. the turn is the 9d and Rollason bets 1500. Hellmuth flats. The river is the 9s. Phil checks and the old guy checks behind. Who would have thought and old guy would check behind. Phil wins the minimum.

Hand 6 pits James Carroll (crol online) with the wild card hand against Hellmuths JJ. The flop is 543ss and Carroll bets when checked to. Phil flats. The turn is the 3c. It goes check check. The river 10s completes the flush. Phil leads 1475 into 4350. As Norman Chad says, "Whats the point in betting now? He's either got nothing or can't call or can beat you and will raise your mixed martial behind!" Carroll raises to 6,200 and Phil calls. Carroll has A6ss. Well played Phil.

Chau Giang is all in with 1010 against Esfandiari's AQ. AQ10 flop and Chau dodges the outs. Back to Durrr and he has the nuts again, beating Todd Butts. We get a Durrr interview, with a random high five from some girl. We then see Peter Jetten, subject of Durrr's button. He loses a hand.

Hand 7 and it's a new level, 150-300 with a 25 ante. cada makes it 800 from the HJ. Miller calls with KJdd from the sb. QQ4dd. Miller checks and Cada bets 1k into 2125. Miller calls. 9d hits the turn giving Miller a flush. It goes check check and look what it is! The old 3h. Miller bets 1600 and Cada makes it 8500. Miller calls. Nice life Cada.

Hand 8 and Cada has Bardsley all-in with QQ vs AJ. Cada wins. Bye Nils.

Out in the field Robert Mizrachi gets Clement Thumy all-in with KK vs QQ on a 982 flop. Mizrachi wins. Negreanu has a Dutchman called Meelis on a 885KJ and bets 2400. He gets raised by Meelis to 5800, and Daniel makes it 11,200. Daniel shows 43off.

Hand 9 and Carroll makes it 800 from the button with AA. Hellmuth defens out of position with A4 off. Good stuff Phil. A95ss is the flop, Carroll bets 1550. Phil calls. The turn is the Jd. Check and Carroll bets 3250. Hellmuth has 10k back and flats. the river is the Kd. Phil checks and Carroll shoves. Hellmuth folds and rants. Excellently played Phil. "Another cooler" claims Phil.

Durrr has J high against Markholt. He bets. You don't mess wiht Lee Markholt. Chau and Antonio get it in on a KQ93. Giau has J10 and Esfandiari KQ. Antonio fils up on the river. He then goes heads up with the Chadster.

Max Pescatori joins Cada's table. HAnd 10 and Cada makes it 800 with 87hh. Chris Brice calls with 66. the flop is 998. Brice checks and Cada bets. the turn is the Js. Brice cheks and so does Cada. J on the river counterfeits both of them. Brice bets 3500 and Cada folds.

Billy Kopp has Alex Gomess all-in with top 2 against a double gutter. He;s up to 114k. Dwan is all-in with J10 on a J1086. His opponent Talebi has QJ and hit a straight on the 9 river. Durrr is out.

Cada has JJ utg and makes it 1100. It's 200-400 now on Hand 11 he gets 3-bet to 4k by some guy on the Hi Jack whi has 77. Cada puts him in for his remaining 3k or so. lol @77. So much dead money. Cada knocks him out. (Gio Ruby, a sculptor. 2show me some of your work, I'll make you an offer.")

Hand 12 and Hellmuth is all-in with JJ against AK and QQ. He loses to the Queens. Bye Phil. Another appalling performance.

That's a wrap! Huck Seed, Jerry Yang and Steve Begleiter wave goodbye.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Main Event on ESPN: Day 1B

Here we go with Day 1B! Snapshots of Kido Pham, Jen Tilly, Joe Sebok, Dan Harrington and Erik Lindgren. Annette Obrestad is on Table 2 and the main feature table has Gavin Smith, with a cameo from Ivan Demidov.

Incredibly Gavin Smith persuades his entire table to show a card of their choice when they win a pot. Hand 1 sees Peter Jaros raise Q10cc to 250 and he gets called by three Ace Queens! Balazs Botond (who min-cashes), Smith with AdQd and George Karambinis. The flop is Kd 6d 4s, and despite being out of position against three players Jaros continues, betting 600 into 1150. Only Smith calls with his nut flush draw. The Jh hits the turn, giving Jaros an open ender, and he continues for 1500 into 2350, Smith flats. The river is the 3h, and Jaros finds the heart and commitment, making a nice 1500 value bet bluff into 5350. Extremely aggresive from Jaros, very tough for Gavin, other than raising the flop I can't find any other way to play it.

Hand 2 is joined on the flop multiway, Annete has 44 on a JJ4dd board, she bets and gets called in position by Brandon Steffens with J7. The 7d hits the turn to crack Annete's hand, she bets 2550 into 3600. It makes it even harder for Annette that the turn made a flush. The river is the Qh and Annette bets 5050 into 8700. Steffens raises it to 12k total and Annette makes an awesome laydown, again given the fact that a flush hit the turn it's even more difficult. Steffens gave a lot away during the conversation on the river but the fold is still a premium one. The rest of the episode isn't so kind to Annette but this fold will be difficult to top this year.

Dan Harrington is playing against Batman!

And Jamie Gold is out!

"Jesus the valet hasn't even parked his car yet!"

Hand 3 and Gavin makes it 250 with A6 off. Ken Croener calls him out of the bb with 7h6h. The flop is 532ss and Gavin bets 350, Croener raises to 1025 with his overcards and gutshot. Gavin calls with his overcards and gutshot. The Jc hits the turn and Croener bets 1250 into 2600. Gavin folds. Another tough spot for Smith. In my book he hasn't done anything wrong so far.

Hand 4 and Gavin makes it 250 with A10 off, Demidov makes it 800 from the button with 99. The flops is a dream one for Demidov, 10 9 2cc, Gavin checks and the Russian bets 1050 into 1750. The turn is the 2h giving Ivan a full house. Smith checks and Demidov bets 2800 into 3850. Smith is a non-believer. The river is the Qs. Smith checks and Demidov value bets 6550 into 9450. Smith pays him off. Hmmm. Again, nothing terrible, Smith clearly knows Demidov could be three-barelling. The river seems like a good card for a bluffer to fire a final bullet on, but really, Smith can only beat AK at this point. Ambitious.

Hand 5 is back with Annette. She has JJ on a 873 rainbow. She is checked to by 65off and KQ off, and fires 1125 into 1400. The button is Steve Wilson, an old guy with a beard.

"He says he is a socio-political philosopher, I assume that means he doesn't work."

He has 10 10 and makes it 3k total. Annette makes an understandable fold when it comes back round. If she calls she'll be out of position in a 7k+ pot against an old guy that raised the flop. She has to figure him for a set here. I know I would fold. For what it's worth I'm pretty sure Wilson thinks he has the best hand as well.

We get an Annette segment, talking about her early success.

Out in the field we see Liv Boeree angrily losing a hand to Kevin Iacofono. Next up is Thuy Doan making a studied fold. Erica Schoenberg is shown winning a pot.

"Like me she is a former model and personal trainer."

Over to her boyfriend Erik Lindgren, "Why would she date this guy?".

We see Lindgren get his last 8k in with Jc8c on a QcQs6c board. He's called by 99, hits the Kc on the turn but a 9 appears on the river to eliminate the '08 POTY.

Elky, Bellande and Phil Laak are featured, Laak is shown losing to Tristan Wade who finishes 113th.

Hand 5 is joined at the flop, pre-flop smith raised 99s from utg+1, Seth Thomsen 3-bet with AQ off from utg +2 (questionable) and the flop is Q97dd. Smith checks and Thomsen bets 3200 into 4650, Smith, who had under 15k (50bbs) to start the hand then shoves, it's cost Thomsen 10k more. I can't help but feel he did it to himself by turning this into a 3bet pot, the best he's going to see is a draw, Gavin never turns up KQ here surely? He calls and Smith doubles back to his starting stack.

Smith gets an interview now, focusing on his bracelet and his mindest coach, Sam Chauhan.

Gavin's table is strong. Botonds, Croener, Jaros and Karambinis all have decent cashes, and then there's Demidov. There's not too many weak spots there.

We go back to Annette for Hand 6, there's 2900 in the pot, she has 99 on a 10 5 3cc flop, Grantlin Hillman has JJ. Chad tells us that pre-flop Annette limped UTG and Hillman made it 6x with JJ from the button. Annette checks and he bets 1600 into 2900. Obrestad ships her last 8150 in, and Hillman tanks for a little and calls. She accuses him of slowrolling, which is harsh, she's disappointed to have 2 outs. It's ok cause the 9 arrives on the turn. She doubles up to half her starting stack.

We get the usual Barbara Enright story about women in the main event. Then we see Elky getting knocked out, he has a flush vs a full house. Phil Galfond arrives on our screens! OMGClayAiken bets Thuy Doan out of a pot.

Aaaanddd it's time for a Thuy Doan cancer survivor tearjerker. I prefer this to the usual sob stories we get in the Main Event, as she is someone that's semi-known in poker circles, rather than some random ESPN picks up.

After the interview we see Sebok knocked out in a race.

Hand 7, Smith makes it 800 with AJhh, Demidov flats in position with 88. The flop is A76 raibbow, Smith bets 1150 into 2050, Demidov calls. The turn is the 9d. Gavin checks, and Ivan checks his up and downer. It's the 4d, Smith bets 1625 into 4350. Demidov makes what I think is a great fold. He could have made this pot bigger but he kept it small, and still managed to make a good fold.

Robert Iler of the Sopranos is here, as is Orel Hershiser. Jen Tilly is knocked out, then we see Laak play a monsterpotten with Tristan Wade, the money going in on the turnm Laak having two pair vs Wade's set. Wade has over 100k and Laak still has 58k, he must have had a huge stack!

Hand 8, Gavin makes it 800 UTG and is flatted in the HJ but John Mousseau, definitely the weakest player we've seen on Gavin's table. the flop is K108 all spades, Mousseau has a set. Gavin checks and the Moose bets 1200 into 2k. Gavin makes an ambitious call. The 9h appears on the turn giving Smith a straight. Mousseau bets exactly the same amount, 1200 after Gavin checks to him. Gavin calls. The river is the 9c giving the Moose a full house. There is 6850 in the pot and this time Gavin leads for 3800. For some reason known only to himself the Moose flats. There's no way Gavin ever has 10 10 or K K and checks the tree spade flop, and for that matter K9 either. The moose has to raise for value ger especially as their are straights and flushes on the board. Smith is startled not to have won. I don't like the way he played it either, but Mousseau played it a lot worse.

Hand 9 is with Annette, she has As10s against ultra experienced pro Chris Bjorin, the flop is 873cc and it looks like Annette raised pre and was called out of the bb by Bjorin. She bets 1000 into 1575. The turn is the Jh, and Obrestad tries 2300 into 3575. Bjorin sticks around to the 8s river. Bjorin goes for the sneaky check but Annette gives up. She moans a little but Chad is a little harsh in his criticism.

Liv Boeree is out, Thuy Doan doubles.

Wild card time at the feature table. Hand 10 and Botond makes it 800 with AJ off from the HJ (he has the wildcard). Gavin flats the cut off with Qs8s and Demidov joins from the bb with 87cc.

"So we're going to have a Russian a Hungarian and a Canadian being analysed by an American nutjob."

The flop is AcQc9s. Chad has Botonds pegged for a weak ace.

"It's a weak ace whether you're from Birmingham or Budapest." I hope he meant our Birmingham but probably not.

There is 2775 in the pot and Demidov checks his flush draw, Botonds checks, Smith bets 1650. Demidov makes a great raise with his flush draw, correctly analysing that Smith was taking a stab in position. He pops it to 4450. Unfortunately he falls victim to Botond's weird play/fantastic read of the situation. Botond flats. 13325 in there, the 2c hits the turn giving Demidov his flush. He bets 6k and Botond calls. 25325 in there and the fourth club hits, the 9. Kc, Jc and the 10c beats Demidov. Botond bets 10,900 which is the remainder of Ivan's stack. I don't know what Botond was up to herem whether it was good or bad, but it worked out for him. I honestly have no idea.

Hand 11 sees Demidov all in with AKs vs the KQ off of his nemesis Botond. Botond hits the Q and takes out the 2008 runner up.
Botond finished the day in 5th overall.

We see Galfond in 4th, sitting next to Gabe Walls in 2nd, he gets it in pre with 10s7s vs Steven Thomsen (wearing a Germany shirt) who has AhQh. Walls flops trips but Thomsen goes runner runner and then does a ridiculous celebration.

We then see Fillipo Candio, who they say is chipleader (he was actually 2nd). Maybe we'll see more of him?

Hand 12 is our last one, Bjorin raised to 900 with QQ from early, Annette flatted with AJ off from the button and Steffens joined them with Q10 off in the bb. the flop is 922. Steffens leads with air, 1800 into 3225. Bjorin raises to 4500 and Annette shoves 19,950. Wowww. A cold 3 bet all-in on the flop. Bjorin makes the call. When she sees his hand she comments that she thought she could get him to fold his hand, and gives him a bit of "nice call" needle. She either has Quad 2s or 9s full and surely she woudn't cold 3-bet shove for 60bbs with those hands? It's an easy call for Bjorin as her hand doesn't make sense. She is unlikely to have KK or AA either having flatted the button. It was a very bad, needless bluff.

Day 1C coming soon!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Main Event Day 1A on ESPN

Wooo! The Main Event is here! Flash montage and then clips of the opening days field.

"Lon I can't believe I'm saying this but Greg Raymer just gave me chills."

The feature table is, once again, Mike Matusow. He was on the Day 1 feature last year, and 2006, not sure about the intervening years but it's a strong possibility. Also at the table is Jason Lester who was 4th in 2003. Allen Carter is at the table, he won the WPT Southern Championships in Jan '09 for $1 million. Alex Carr is a young online pro with 4 cashes at the 2010 World Series.

Hand 1 sees 22 year old Alex Carr make it 250 with A6 off, flatted by Matusow in the CO with A6hh, Gerhard Maurer from Munich flays the button with 10c and a mystery card, Alan Carter calls out of the bb with 53 off. The flop is Q64 rainbow, Carter leads 600 with the open ender and Mike flats with second pair. Carter leads 1050 on the 5h turn and Mike pops it to 3k. Carter flats and checks the Kh river, Matusow thinks he needs to bluff and bets 4,400. Carter snap folds. Mike talks about playing it real slow on Day 1 but he had 80 big blinds at risk in this early pot.

Table 2 and hand 2 features Erik Seidel. We get to the flop where he's out of position with AcAs vs Matt Groves AdJd on a 456 flop. Erik check calls every street, the board running out 2 then 7. Seidel masterfully let the aggresive kid fire 3 barrels.

We see Jeff Shulman and TJ Cloutier in the field, then see Ted Forrest all-in with 88 vs J10 on a 10 6 2 flop. It doesn't matter because there's two eights to come.

Back to Matusowland. Hand 3 and the blinds are up to 100-200, Carr makes it 600 with Jh 9h from the button. He gets called by both blinds, Matusow and Maurer, bith with QJ off, the fun flop comes down Q98cc. Mike leads 1k into 1800 and gets called by both of them. All three payers make a straight on the 10 of clubs turn, nobody has a club. Matusow checks, Maurer bets 3k into 4,800 and Carr flats. Matusow does some inappropriate talking and makes a sensible fold. The river makes it even scarier, pairing the board with the 10h, and Maurer kamikaze shoves for 8,925, Carr calls.

I like the way Mike played this, a sensible spot to avoid variance. Not sure how Maurer found a shove, and given Carr is a very good player I have to think he knows Maurer is donkish to call him on the river.

Matusow comes out with one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard, in the 2008 WSOP, "Only 1 person of the entire 100 chip leaders of day 1 cashed". Not even close Mike.

ESPN asks a load of players how to win the Main Event, apparently you have to watch Rocky.

Back to the field, Bobby Baldwin, Chris "Depressed to be playing poker for a living" Moneymaker, and Greg "I just got 300 big blinds in with a pair and a flush draw vs a set" Raymer.

Hand 4 has us on the Jd 4d 2h flop, Mike has 10d8d and bets 600, Carter calls with Ks8s for king high. The turn is the 9c and goes check check, Matusow bluffs King high on the 4s river and doesn't show the 'bluff'.

Raymer is out, finished off by Mikhail Shalamov, a player whose attire sparks Chad's, "What is this, fashion week on QVC?" comment.

Tiffany Michelle and Maria Ho are shown, Maria knocking out 2+2s 'Dante', Jeremiah De Greef, AA vs KK. Ray Romano bests Martin Schirp with a bet on a Q666 board and then shows Aces. Forrest doubles again with AA vs 88.

We see a feature on the Matusow vs Forrest weight loss bet.

"Ted's gotta lose 20 more pounds in less than 2 weeks to win the bet, ain't gonna happen, and even if it does, do you think he's gonna be able to collect $2 million dollars from Mike Matusow? Ain't gonna happen."

Hand 5 sees Carr raise Qd3d and get flatted by Matusow in the co with 8h5h. the flop is Ad9d8s and Carr c-bets his flush draw, Matusow calls with bottom pair. There's 4450 in the flop when the Kc arrives. Carr bets 2k and Mike makes it 5400. Carr decides to fold his draw. Mike makes another nice play, he plays good in these spots, I don't know why he is addicted to scared careful Main Event play, he's much better like this.

Hand 6 is one of Eril Seidel's worst ever televised moments. Taylor Larkin, runner up in a $1500 for $390k has 33k and AK off in the c/o. Seidel has A6 off in the bb. Larkin makes it 725, Seidel pops it to 2325. Larkin 4-bets to 6,500. Seiderl 5-bets to 17,000. Larkin 6-bet shoves for 17,425 more. Seidel is getting 3:1 and has invested half his stack. Why is he putting himself in a position to fold? He should have 5-bet to around 11k if he planned on folding to a shove. Making it 17k and folding is atrocious when he needs a 25% hand. Larkin couldn't believe he dind't get called.

Seidel tells us a story about beating a guy out of his boots in Backgammon.

Yay! A Scott Seiver and Isaac Haxton sighting, as well as EPT star Jeff Sarwer beating fellow pro Peter Feldman.

Hand 7 Carr makes it 750 utg and gets called by Matusow's 8d5d. Robert Pisano calls from the bb with the Wild Card Hand. Carr bets 1500 on the 8s7s2c flop. Both players call to see the Js. It;s checked round to Mike and he bets 3,050 into 6,900. Pisano's wild card hand makes it 8,100 and Mike has no choice but to fold. Pisano has AsKs for the nuts. Kind of a spewy turn bet from Mike.

Shawn Marion is knocked out. Who the hell is he?

Yay! Abe 'bet bet' Mosseri is shown trying to knock someone out but getting sucked out on.

It's Grinder time! We see him winning a pot and having a nice big stack.

Hand 8 and Mike limps utg with Ad5d. Ugh. Carter makes it 1225 from the Hijack with Ace Queen off and Mike flats. Ugh. Qh 8h 4d on the flop and Mike leads for 1325. Carter nicely flats. The turn is the 9d, giving Matusow the nut flush draw. Mike donks out 3500 into 5550. Carter is happy to string him along further. The river is the Qc and Mike donks out 7k. Carter calls obviously. Mike should have shut down here, what did he think Carter had? He loses half his stack here.

Hand 9 and Pisano (who goes on to finish 23rd) makes it 900 from the cut off with AJ off, Mike makes it 3100 from the bb with JJ and Pisano shoves. Mike started the hand with 55 big blinds. He shies away from this but spews half his stack in bluff spots? I'm not going to be overky critical about not wanting to get 55 bbs in with Jacks, but if you're going to play smallball then you need to be consistent. Don't limp/call early with A5 and then lead all 3 streets with air. That's not smallball.

Hand 10 sees Seidel hooked up with strong pro Noah Schwartz and Peter Bartagov. Seidel hits running two pair after the flop is checked and Schwarts pays off on the turn and river with Ace high to see Seidel back to his starting stack.

Out in the field we see a Barry Shulman bluff against Andrew St.Jean (we saw Tedd Forrest playing against an Andrew St.John earlier!). TJ Cloutier is out. And now......

We go over to Mike "the Mad Genius of Poker" Caro's table. Mike bets in the dark with J3 off into 4 players (one of which is Will Molson). "Look at how Genius moves and breathes." James Taylor calls. The turn is the 9d. Genius checks. "absolute genius". The river is the Qs. Genius checks. Taylor bets. "Genius is, as genius does." Genius folds and Taylor shows a bluff. "He may be the mad genius but I've never seen him win."

Hilariously Mike gets dealt an Ace that gets exposed. His second card was also an Ace. Classily he folds face-up. Mike moans.

Ray Romano gets eliminated when Schirp makes a straight flush. Bye Ray! Moneymake makes a straight and wins a pot against Michael Swimelar. The Grinder wins another pot! Imagine if he final tabled this? That would be amazing. Ted Forrest doubles again vs John Jiles. He now has a massive 3,900.

Mike is down to 6675. He tells everyone he never goes broke on Day 1. HAnd 11 and Mike makes it 850 with KJ off. Varter flats 88 on the button. Lester flats AsQs from the sb. There's 3075 in the pot. J85cc. Mike moves in for 5800. Carter has a set. He calls. Mike is gone. Bye!

He played pretty badly, it's all well and good being a nit pre-flop with big hands, but he needs to stop spewing in situations he shouldn't be in.

Day 1b is coming soon!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

50k Part 2

Five players remain, Oppenheim holds the chip lead. The Mizrachi brothers are the short stacks. In his usual rapper-esque get-up Chino Rheem tells MM to "shake it off".

Hand 1 of the episode begins with one of the favoured Chad-isms, Shchemelev raising with A6dd, "Schemelev studied mathematics at St Petersburg state (lol) University in Russia, I believe they are the Rambling.....?" I've never understood any of those references, I guess you have to know about US college sports to compute that correctly.

Juanda flats in the seat next to him with JJ, a move that has been criticised, but I don't mind in this situation. The Mizrachis are still to act with 12.5 and 16 bbs, perfect for a shove, while Juanda has 35bbs and is covered by Vladimir's 70bbs. I can't see him getting much value with JJ and those stacks by 3-betting in that spot. He also has to consider the ICM implications, going broke with 35bbs would be disastrous given the brother's stacks. The only thing a 3-bet achieves is to ensure a heads-up pot. The way it plays out, given that we knoe the hands and outcome, flatting looks bad, but I don't think it was necessarily a bad move. Juanda flats and then Michael Mizrachi also flats KQ off. Vladimir made it just under 3 bbs to go, Mizrachi has 16 to start the hand. It's definitely a live player move, good online players are folding or shoving there, but I don't think it's the awful mistake many have made it out to be.

"There are a lot of other poker playing brothers people don't know about Lon, the Super Mario brothers, the Jonas brothers, the Marx brothers, Parker brothers, the Almond brothers, Smothers brothers."

Both blinds fold and they all go to a Q 10 5 flop, Vladimir and Juanda check, Mizrachi shoves, Vladimir quickly folds and Juanda deliberates then folds.

Hand 2 is the brother vs brother destruction hand, Michael opens QJ off to 200k from the button, Robert shoves for 665k. Michael is priced in and has to call. He opened over 3bbs here, 2-2.5 and maybe he can fold, but probably not. Robert had 10bbs so his play was easy.

Oppenheim remarks that, "This is going to be like a Greek tragedy", Chad is quick off the mark with, "Well in Greek tragedies someone always dies no?"

Michael turns the Jack and eliminates his brother in fifth, and bumps Michael to around the 30bb mark. ESPN shows us the history of the $50k event, Reese, Deeb, Nguyen and the man who the TV shunned and is destined to be known as the forgotten champion, David Bach.

Hand 3 has Michael making it a little less this time, 150k and 2.5bbs from the button with KcJc. Schemelev makes a questionable call from the bb with 65off. The flopp falls 9 8 3 rainbow and goes check check. Vladimir makes the donkey end of the straight when the 7 hits the turn. Vladimir bets 175k, giving Mizrachi 3:1, not an unreasonable call to make if you think making a pair is live. He runs good when the 10 lands on the river. Vladimir leads for 350k which I don't like, as it opens him up to being bluffed, and he's unlikely to get value out of anything that he can beat. Check-call was deffo the best play. MM makes it 1m to go and Vladimir folds.

"I think Schemelev has just found out that the Grinder and Robert are related."

Hand 4 sees Juanda shove 21bbs UTG with K9dds. Ermmmm....ok. Not sure what he was up to there, he's fine to open and then fold if shoved on, which would have happened as Vladimir has 10 10 in the bb and wins.

Then there's a short clip about how the Mizrachi's love each other. "I don't buy it, I'm still bitter that my older brother Steve beat me in a potato sack race in 1969."

Hand 5, and the blinds are up to 40-80k, Mizrachi completes K7 off in the small and Opie checks 76hh in the big. The flop comes Ah3h5d, massive for Oppenheim. Suprisingly he checks behind. The turn is the 7c and Mizrachi bets 125k, Opie flats him. the river is the Ad, and Mizzrachi makes a very nice value bet of 440k into 470k. Oppenheim tanks and does live player histrionics, melodramatically telling Grinder he had "a straight flush draw."
"If that's a straight flush draw, I'm the count of Monte Cristo Lon."

Oppenheim decided that he wanted to get more value out of his massive drawn than just a c/fold on the flop from the Grinder, but that got him into a sticky spot.

Hand 6 is another Grinder sb vs Opie bb battle, at just over 60bbs effective. Grinder has 10 8 off, Opoe J7 off, check check on AQ8ss, 5c on turn, Mizrachi bets 100k into 220k, Opie floats, 4d on river, Grinder bets 300k into 420k, Opie makes it 850k total, 550k more, and Grinder calls!

There has been a lot said about Mizrachi's play on this Final Table, but he just owned the supposedly spectacular Oppenheim here. The river is a relatively easy check call, but the bet-call is superb, and I really think he had it in mind that Opie might try a funky bluff. This pot propelled him back to the chip-lead.

Hand 7 is the wild card hand, Opie in the sb with the wild card vs Schemelev in the bb with Q10 off. Opie completes, Vlad checks (I would raise here). Q72dd and Opie bets 130k into 225k. Vlad flats. The turn is the Jack of spades, Opie bets 345k into 515. There is 1.2m in the pot going to the Jh river, and Opie bets 390k. Vlad calls, and Opie shows 9h7h. How he thought he was getting 3 streets of value out of that hand is beyond me. Another million dropped by the cash game wizard.

We get a Schemelev segment, which is all subtitled, he basically tells us how ace he is and how Russia owns poker.

"A Russian wearing snakeskin loafers, that's like Elvis eating Borscht, I don't know what to believe anymore."

Hand 8 has the blinds up to 45k-90k with 25k ante. Vlad makes it 250k from the button with A4 off, Grinder makes it 600k with KQ, and Opie makes it 3.3m total with an all-in ship. It costs Grinder 2.7m to win 4.225m so he's getting 1.5-1, needing 42.5%. It costs him half his stack to call.

I think the Grinder should have made it more like 800k to begin with, as the Russian was almost certainly going to call an extra 350k in position with most of his button raising range. Opie ships around 37bbs in, so given the action and what little I know about him I have him on 22+ AJ+, and against that range Grinder is 38%. If he had made it 800k in the first place it just about squeaks his call into the mathematically correct territory.

Overall I think it's a marginal error, but Grinder decided to gamble and it worked out, Opie showing 88 and losing on the river. The Grinder and Vlad go heads-up. Grinder stars with 10m and over 110bbs while Vlad has 7.2m and 80bbs so they're both pretty deep.

Hand 9 has Grinder making it 245k with KJ off and Vlad re-popping aggresively with 86 off to 790k. MM makes the call and they see a Q93 rainbow flop, Vlad puts 1.1m into 1.63m. Grinder calls, the flop is now bloated to 3.83m. The turn is the Qc, and Vlad is in no mans land. He checks over to Grinder, but Grinder declines the invitation to take it down, and they see a 6d river. Having made a hand, Vlad checks to Grinder, and Grinder checks behind. Vlad wins and tilts Mizrachi. This puts them back even at 9m apiece, 100bbs.

Hand 10 has Vlad raise out of turn, it's Grinders button yet the Russian tries to make it 245k. Mizrachi limps and Schemelev then follows through. He has J9 off and Mizrachi has A6 off. Vlad seems eager to play out of position in bloated pots vs the Grinder, not normally a great tactic. The flop is JJ8ss, and Vlad bets 300k into 630. Grinder calls and they see a 7c turn. Vlad checks, Grinder bets 500k into 1.2m. Vlad calls and the river is the Ks. Vlad check calls 600k from the Grinder.

Post-flop I really liked how Vlad played this, he flopped a monster and allowed the Grinder to hang himself, getting max value out of the situation.

Hand 11 is joined on the flop, Vlad has 55 out of position vs MM's 8d4d, the flop is 433. There is already 540k in there so there was a raise/call pre, and given that Vlad checks to grinder it was probably Mizrachi who raised. Grinder bets 275k, and Vlad raises to 600k. Grinder is nothing if not stubborn and he min 3-bets to 950k. I have no idea what he's trying to achieve with this bet. If he sizes it better he at least asks a question of the Russian, but he makes it a size that means most hands are unfoldable. The turn is the 10h and Grinder bets 500k into 2.4m after Vlad checks. Vlad calls the tiny bet.

"By the way if this guy's an amateur, I'm a proffesional broadcaster."

The river is the Kh and it goes check-check. 3.4m goes over to Vlad. What on earth was MM playing at here? He didn't really give Vlad the chance to fold, even though it seems he was trying to.

Vlad has 13m and Mike has 4.4m. The blinds go up to 50-100k, Hand 12 sees MM make it 200k with Ac7c, Vlad makes it 750k with AdJd and Grinder shoves. Given how aggresive Vlad has been out of the bb from what we've seen, it's tough not to shove here if you're Mizrachi. He sucks out with a flush anyway, bringing the stacks back to almost level.

Hand 13 is joined at the flop, MM has Q7d in the sb, Vlad has 98off on a K87 rainbow. Mike check calls the flop and binks on the Qs turn. Mizrachi checks and Vlad bets in a spot where he should be checking, 1.1m into 1.7. Mizrachi ships it in, and Vlad folds.

Mizrachi has 14.5m and Vlad has 3m. We get no real explanation as to how that happened, they were even after the Mizrachi double-up and now it's almost over. Maybe Hand 13 encapsulates the flow of the heads-up portion we didn't see.

Hand 14 sees MM raise to 225k with 3d2d, Vlad flats with Q5cc. The flop is AQ8ss and it goes check check. The turn is the 3c and again it goes check check. The river is the 3 of hearts and now Vlad bets 250k for value. Mizrachi tanks and makes it 2m. The raise is great, but my only complaint is why on earth didn't you put him all-in? Grinder left Vlad with chips to double up with.

Hand 15 is the final hand, Grinder shipping it with Q5off and Vlad calling with Q8 off. The Grinder turns his 5 and ships the tournament. I feel like he is a deserving winner and didn't deserve the criticism he recieved for this performance.

If we analyse all of the individual performances I don't think anyone shone. Thuritz was very unlucky, Alaei wasted a lot of chips with KQ, Baker had a night to forget, Robert Mizrachi didn't stand out, Juanda made a strange pre-flop shove for his bust-out, Oppenheim lacked patience and tried to bluff too much, the Russian put himself into lots of difficult spots and the Grinder was very erratic.

All in all it was a good show and an entertaining final table. Now for the Main Event!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

WSOP 2010 on TV - 50k Player's Championship

The WSOP is back on ESPN! The first episode covers the final table of the 50K mixed event, the opening event of the series and direct descendant of the 50k HORSE.

Lon and Norm are back! They immediately play up the brother vs brother storyline, with Mike and Robert Mizrachi both at the table.

"If they ever find intelligent life on Mars Lon, I believe they will be playing mixed games."

There are shiny new graphics, including a notation informing the viewer which position the player they're watching is in. The first hand has Grinder raising A10 in the HJ and going up against David Baker with 77 in the sb. Baker check calls a c-bet on an 832 flop.

"I believe the continuation bet has cost more people more money than anything other than federal income tax."

The turn is an Ace and the Grinder checks behind. Baker rivers a two-outer and leads into Mizrachi, who has no option but to call given the play of the hand.

The second hand is more typical of an ESPN televised hand, it's a coinflip! Mikael Thuritz, an L.A. based Swede raises the Cut-off to 110k with JJ on 20-40k, Juanda flats KQ off in the sb and then Alaei ships for just over 30bbs with AK out of the bb. Thuritz makes the simple call and Alaei turns the A.

The third hand sees Thuritz crippled down to an ante chip getting 40bbs in with KK vs the AA of the Russian Shchemelev, changing the chip lead.

"Like they say Lon, a chip and a chair, though I would save that chip and use it to buy a whole set of chairs, maybe with leather backs."

The fourth hand is one of those hands where everybody limps in with crap because someone is akready all-in pre-flop. Chad is apoplectic amidst all the limping.

"Boy I hope these new graphics don't explode!"
"Thuritz with a chance to sextuple up, which sounds illegal."
"I'm trying to follow that yellow next to act thing, but man I'm dizzy, I feel like I'm inside of a pinball machine."

Mizrachi flops trips with K9 on 997. He bets 50k into 275k and gets floated by Oppenheim with A8. The turn brings a 10, giving Oppenheim an open-ender, which gives him the impetus to semi-bluff the Grinder, raising his 125k turn bet to 425k. Mizrachi snaps him and they see an offsuit 3 on the river. Mizrachi checks, Oppenheim unleashes 550k, and the Grinder folds his trips, which means Thuritz does sextuple up as his J3 off rivered a pair which beats the A high of 'Opie'. Oppenheim played on the fact that Thuritz was all-in to put money into the dry side=pot and outwit the Grinder, though surely he didn't believe trips would fold? The Grinder had 1.2m left on the river, 30bbs, so calling and losing would have left him around the 15bb mark. Grinder tells his brother Robert, "I thought he had 68 for sure."

"Welcome to the big game" says Norm.

The camera flashes to Robert, Norm ponders his thoughts:

"Did I raise my kid brother this dumb?"

Thuritz gets the infamous ESPN 'We didn't have time to spare for your bust-out hand, so when we come back from an ad-break you will be shaking hands' treatment.

"Ah he was a kid with a dream" - one of the Chad trademarks.

The first backstage interview of the year, predictably goes to the Mizrachi brothers. 2010 is the World Series of Mizrachi - when people reference this year in 10 years time they'll say, "the one with the Mizrach brothers."

Hand 5 is the Wild Card hand. Juanda makes it 150k with J9 suited on 25-50k, and is called by Robert Mizrachi in the bb. Robert's hand is concealed, we see Alaei fold Q3 offsuit.

"I'm putting Alaei on Queen-trey offsuit Lon".

The flop is J98 all clubs, Juanda c-bets 250k with his 2 pair and Mizrachi calls. The turn Qs sees Mizrachi lead 375k into Juanda. Three clubs and a 1 card straight is scary, and Juanda folds his two pair. I had Robert on K10 with the K of clubs, in fact it was AJ without a club, a flopped top pair top kicker that Robert decided to kind of "probe-bluff" on the turn.

Juanda gets an interview, about finding his 'drive' again.

Number 6 sees brother vs brother, Robert opening UTG with J9, Michael calling out of the SB with KJ off (hmmm). Michael donks out (he loves the donk-bet by the way) on 954 and Robert flats, it goes check-bet-fold on the 2 turn.

"By the way Lon, correct me if I'm wring, but I believe Cain murdered Abel after tsking a bad beat in Razz."

Number 7 sees a misstep from David Baker, opening K10cc utg, he gets flatted by MM with about 25bbs and Q10 off on the button. Baker check-raises all-in on the Q 10 3 flop, and obv gets snapped and doubles up the Grinder. Chad revealed during this hand that Baker believes he will be the best all-around player in the world in 5 years, an Ian Poulter-like prediction.

Hand 8 sees Alaei open-limp KQ off utg+1, a curious move, Opie picks up Aces and makes it 225k in the hi-jack which Alaei flats. the flop is K104 and Alaei check-raises all-in abd Opie calls. Alaei turns two pair but Opie rivers a better one. Alaei had 40bbs to start the hand and it feels like a bit of a waste to lose all but 9 of those bbs with that hand in this spot, esoecually in the fashion he did.

Opie gets an interview with the usual high-stakes-cash-game-player-moaning-about tournaments-on-tv-stuff.

Hand 9 sees Alaei ship his last chips in, re-raising a Schemelev open with A6hh. Schemelev has AK, Alaei departs.

"Lon we are closer to a possible heads-up between Robert and Michael Mizrachi, that would be like Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez auditioning for the same lead role."

Number 10 sees Baker bust, shipping AJ and 30bbs over Grinder's utg+1 open. He gets the first 'whamboozling' of the year from Norm as he departs in 6th.

Chad makes a mistep in Hand 10, being obsessed about Schemelev's amateur status. Norm still doesn't understand that it's enntirely possible for a professional to play badly and an amateur to play well. There are also quite a few rich "amateurs" (such as Eli Elezra and Dan Shak) that do nothing but play poker having made a fortune in the 'real' world. Vladimir could easily be one of these characters. The Russian makes it 175k on 30-60k with 44 in the c/o. Mizrachi flats Q10dd out of the sb.

"I know it's suited, but if he plays this I'm going to send him to Queen Ten rehab centre. After two weeks there you won't play Queen Ten against a guy playing with just one card!".

Mizrachi does his favourite move and donks out with air on a 762ss. the turn is an Ace and Mizrach checks, Schemelev checks behind, then MM bluffs small on the river J. It costs Vladimir 330k to win 1.3m and if he has been paying attention to the donk-betting MM I think it's a call he has to make.

The last hand (11 of the first episode sees the chip leaders MM and Opie clash in a huge hand. mizrachi covers Opie by 1m (18bbs). This is important because that is the amount Michael has left after losing the chip lead!

Opie opens to 175k utg on 30-60k with 44. Mizrachi flats him with AQ out of the bb. The flop is the cooler-esque Q54ss. The pre-flop effective stacks were just shy of 80bbs. Grinder checks, Opie bets 235k into 455k. Mizrachi check-raises to 735k. I'm not sure I'm a fan of this move out of position, because he will either get flatted and be in limbo out of position vs a great player on the turn, or he will get worse hands to fold. If Oppenheim comes back over the top then surely AQ has to be folded given this is 1st in chips vs 2nd in chips and there are intetense money jumps coming up. Oppenheim flats which means there is 1.9m in the pot and Oppenheim has about 3.5m back. The turn is the blankish 8 of hearts, giving 76 a straight. Mizrachi bets 1m and Oppenheim ships in 2.7m more. Grinder calls, presumably putting Opie on a semi-bluff flush draw, total air or KQ. I hate the way Mizrachi played this hand given the dynamics of the Final Table.

That concludes the first episode, leaving 5 players left, Oppenheim having double the chips of Schemelev in 2nd. Oppenheim has 150bbs, Schemelev about 65, Juanda with 35, Michael 15 and Robert 12bbs. The brothers at the bottom of the totem pole.