Sunday, July 04, 2004

Bubble Boy
"He who observes times and seasons to regulate his conduct is not a man of wisdom." - Chuang Tzu
A couple of bloggers played in the $5 NL Multi on Party Poker yesterday morning. Boy Genius challenged me in the 10:30 am multi for our weekly wager. Whoever did better won the $5 bet. Pretty simple. And guess who won? Yep, I outlasted Mr. Genius and won $5 (which I promptly attempted to parlay into a thoroughbred tip). Rounding out the list of bloggers were: My brother Derek, Chris Halverson, and Al Can't Hang.

On Wednesday, I made the money in my first $5 NL multi on Party Poker, coming in 47th place (out of 769). On Friday, I woke up late and rushed a few errands to make the Friday multi with Al Can't Hang. He didn't last the first level when his AA were cracked. Me... I busted out 115th (out of 969) and missed the money by 15 spots when my 99 ran into the Hilton Sisters from the chip leader on the button. Yeah... I have been grinding my way in these multis this week and yesterday was no different.

What's my game plan in $5 multis on Party? I play very tight up until the first break (first four levels). I rarely see a flop with any marginal hands, waiting for the all-in maniacs to weed themselves out. Obviously, I need a certain amount of luck... getting that coinflip situation... and winning a hand like AK vs 10-10 or beating AK with my QQ. In the next few levels, I'm looking to double up and steal a few blinds to survive to the next break. By the second break, if I'm a shortstack, I'm aggressive and look to push it all-in as soon as I get that gut feeling or a decent hand. If I'm the chipleader or up there in chips, I'll be the bully and try to add to my stack picking up blinds. The difficult decisions to make are when I'm just below the average stack; not low enough to play aggressive and not high enough to be the table bully. Patience is the key and I usually wait around for someone to make a mistake (letting me limp in with a marginal hand or letting me see the turn for next to nothing) and I jump at a pot at the first sign of weakness. When the multi's hit their second hour, some players tend to get anxious and their frustration shows. When that happens, you have to be ready to take their stack. I learned these lessons from being on the other side of the table. There's a difference in "making moves" and playing a hand out of sheer frustration... albeit a slight difference.

So what happened yesterday? 1082 players with the top 110 players getting paid. First place would have netted $1136.

Level 1: I flopped a flush with Q-10s in the BB. A few hands later I had AQs and chopped a pot with AQo. We both flopped an ace and he put me all-in on the flop. I thought about it for 19 seconds then called. That was pretty close. T1105 and doing better than BG.

Level 3: Three hundred players already knocked out... 1/3 the field gone on the first 45 minutes. Avg. stack was T1500 and I had less than T975.

Level 4: I bet 4x the BB with 10-10. I faced an all-in raise and took all my time to call. I put him on AK and luckily he had AQo. He had two overcards. On the turn I caught my set, but it gave him a Broadway straight. I thought I was busted until a miracle 2 fell on the river (which paired the board - a 2 fell on the flop) and the full boat on the river saved me... and doubled me up with T2085. I was watching Halverson's table and he was seriously shortstacked. I suggested the next hand he was going to play... that he go all-in. He found 77 and pushed in his stack. Unfortunately, he ran into AA! And was busted out in 593rd place. He outlasted half the players which is not easy to do especially with a short stack.

Level 5: Derek was booted in 533rd place. He wasn't getting any cards, and when he got cards, he didn't get any flops. I won a race with 66 against AQo to have T2515 and ahead of BG.

Level 7: When the level started there were 364 players left with an avg. stack of T3000. I had about T2500. No action for AKo. Two hands later I get one caller with my AKs. I lost to A8o when he caught an 8 on the river. Unreal. I was pretty irked losing half my stack. Then suddenly, Boy Genius pushed in his stack with 10-10 and ran into AA! Ouch. He busted out in 347th place and I silently rejoiced on winning week 7 of our weekly bet. However, I had very little time to celebrate. I went all-in with 77 and got two callers. I hate getting stuck in a multi-way pot when I go all-in. My chances of having the best hand in a multiway pot are much slimmer than heads up. I flopped a set and took down AK and A9s. Tripled up (and then some) with T4125. Al Can't Hang was the only other blogger left with T5600+, who was looking great after he nailed a huge pot with AKs and got his nut flush on the river.

Level 9: Lord Geznikor popped on to sweat us. He left a few funny comments in the chat about me allowing Al Can't Hang having a bigger chip lead. As soon as I stole the blinds and got the blogger chip lead, Lord G was there to tell me how I was doing. I was raising pots with solid hands like AK and 10-10 and getting no callers. With 150 left, I had T4837.

Level 10: In three hands (out of six dealt): AK, AK, AQ. No action on any of them so I picked up the blinds. I picked up a pot with AJo in LP when I flopped an ace. I had T7237, a nice lead over Al Can't Hang. With 127 players left, I was just below the average and I could walk into the money if I wanted. I wish I did.

Level 11: One guy was bluffing at a lot of pots. I raised in EP with AQo. He reraised me and I moved all-in. I put him on a middle ace or low pair. He had JJ. Better than I thought, but I liked my chances with two overcards. I didn't get a good flop and was knocked out in 115th place. Again! Bubbled out... five more places and I would have made the money for the second time this week. D'oh!

Congrats to Al Can't Hang who impressively finished in 80th place (money winner). And yes, the score right now is: Pauly 4, BG 3.

A Wacky Night at the Tables

On Friday night, I played NL ring games. I was on a table with Maudie and she just won a pot to push over $100 (on a $25 table). One guy had a monster stack and was talking smack. I dubbed him the table idiot. He was going all-in more than he should. In less than an hour, he dropped $200... most of it was his stack, but he did a rebuy three times during the time I was there. He beat me out of one pot which almost set me on tilt. I was waiting to get a good hand to bust him, but they never came my way. It was one of those nights when I lost to quad 7s.

Last night, I played a little again with Maudie. I guess she wanted to try to crack my AA and get a free room in Paris. I bluffed her out of a pot with 10-10 (lots of paint on the board) when she wa son a flush draw. Whew. She also saw my KK get taken down by AA. What are you gonna do?

I've been getting my ass handed to me at the NL tables since my return. I played 3 $20 SNGs and netted a third place win, my only money finish. Looks like I have only been playing well in the multis. Alas, I hope to make back all the money I lost in the upcoming 48 hours.

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