Monday, September 20, 2004

Push On Til the Day
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. - Sun Tzu
This weekend was the last weekend of Summer, so I'm told. July was my sole losing month in this sun-filled season. If I didn't take so many days off to travel, and if I didn't fleece my bankroll to fund my excursions... I'd be sitting pretty right now on a mountain of cash. Instead, I'm grinding away at the tables on Party Poker, building up my courage, confidence, and bankroll ...eventually with my eyes set on a bump up in levels. I refuse to advance unless my bankroll can withstand a several bad sessions. It's been taking me longer to rebuild than I expected. I'm back to my hit and run strategy at the tables, winning enough to play in a few tournaments at night, and pocketing the rest.

Stud and Oamha

My Stud play is the best it's been in years. I never played online until just recently. There's no middle class in the online stud games, I'm quickly finding out. Either players are really good or they're very fishy. I understand that one week of crushing the micro limits doesn't make me a world class player. It has, however, given me the confidence that I can improve my game while make a few dollars at the same time. My Omaha play is slightly improving. I finally won another SNG. I discovered that I have a tough time playing shorthanded in Oamha hi/lo. Heads up is where I'm struggling. I'm really making stuff up as I go along, but having to factor in split pots heads up is tough. But that's something I don't have to worry at a full ring table.

Bad Beats of the Week:
AA lost to KJ
KK lost to QJ
KK lost to 66
QQ lost to 10-9
AKs lost to Q4
AK lost to Q3s
AK lost to A7
AK lost to A8
AK lost to 64
AQs lost to J2
Yeah, my AK hands got slaughtered this week. My pocket aces held up at a decent rate. They were only cracked once in five times. I got booted from tournaments with the Hilton Sisters twice this past week.

Aussie Million Satellite B Write Up

If you haven't heard, I came in 34th place out of 73 players. The buy in was $600 + 45 and I won a single table Qualifier free roll for my seat. The top three places won seats/prize packages. Fourth place won $3000, Fifth $1800, and Sixth place won $1200. I originally was slated to play on Wednesday but the tournament was canceled by Party Poker due to technical problems. No less than a dozen bloggers and readers showed up again to cheer me on. And I must have bored them to death folding hand after hand.

Level 1: The levels were 20 minutes long. My plan was to play super tight, survive through the first break and then I'd make my move with a short stack. I expected at least half the field to be gone by the end of the first break and I liked my chances attacking with a short stack with three tables of players remaining. About the fifth hand in, I'm dealt the Hammer in the big blind. Four players in the pot, which was checked all the way down to the river. The board was terrible. But I made a pair of twos... and guess what? I won the pot.

Level 2: Loose player raised 3x the BB. He had been seeing a lot of flops, limping in with any suited two gappers and any ace or king. I had a bad feeling. If he had garbage he would have limped. Since he raised, I was suspicious. I folded AK in MP. If I was going to see a flop, I was going to re-raise. I didn't feel comfortable pushing my stack all-in if he came over the top of me. I wasn't prepared to get knocked out of the tournament with AK in level 2. I also folded 88 UTG before I limped in a pot with AK on the button. I should have raised to drive out the blinds and two limpers, but I wasn't comfortable having to play back at anyone so early. I also didn't want to build up the pot at a semi-loose table. I probably made a bad move trying to slow play Big Slick. I didn't hit my flop and folded right away. By the end of the level, I had T860 with 60 players remaining and the average stack was T1200+.

Level 3: I was moved to Table #1. I hoped that was going to be a good sign. I folded A4s and 44, both in MP. I made it to the break with T665. I was 41st out of 47 and about 3x behind the average stack.

Level 4: I found the Hilton Sisters and moved all-in with the short stack. No action, and I won just my second pot since the fifth hand. Who would have thought I would have made it for over an hour playing only two hands... the Hilton Sisters and the Hammer? I pushed my chips in when I had 10-10 and AJs on the button. I picked up the blinds and could have been a lot worse off with T895. I was 32nd out of 34 with an average stack size of T2200.

Level 5: On the first hand of the new level, I moved all-in with the Hilton Sisters in LP. The BB called with AKs. I lost again with QQ, booted in 34th place. Not very impressive, I know. I folded my way into 34th place. I'm lucky I made it that far with no cards. I was dealt exactly 100 hands in the satellite. I won 5% of those hands, won 2 out of 6 showdowns, and saw just 8 flops.

Tournament Binge

Since the Australian Poker Championships are in January 2005, I'll have a few more chances to win another seat via a qualifier. I've also been trying my hand at a few multi-table and SNG qualifiers. I bubbled out of both... winning prize money instead of a seat on the $300 European Open Satellite.
Tournament Results on Party Poker this past week:

$5 Omaha hi/lo SNG (3): 4,4, 1
$5 Multi-table NL (2): 703 out of 1018; 857 out of 1684
$9 Euro Open Sat. Sub-Qualifier SNG: 1 (won a seat in the $36 Qualifier)
$10 Euro Open multi-table Qualifier: 4 out of 80
$10 Multi-table NL (2): 177 out of 330; 90 out of 496
$10 Stud SNG: 5
$30 SNG (3): 6, 1, 4
$36 Euro Open Sat. Qualifier SNG: 2
$600 Aussie Million Satellite: 34 out of 73

Money invested: $194 + 2 Freerolls worth over $636+
Tournaments I made the prize money: 5
Gross Winnings: $240.20 + $36 freeroll
Profit/ROI: +46.20 + $36 freeroll
Felt good to win a bunch of different tournaments and SNGs. I was close to winning seats in the Euro Open Satellite, but bubbled out in both. I was a bubble boy twice in Omaha hi/lo and a $30 SNG. Those are tough to stomach. I still make plenty of mistakes when I play, and if I just made one less in each of those instances, I could have netted a little more prize money. Ah, but like I said, I generate all the entry fees from my winnings grinding away at the NL ring games. This week, I expect to play a few more Stud and Omaha SNGs as well as a few single table sub-qualifiers to the Aussie and Euro Open satellites.

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