February poker begins…

5 Feb

Over the last 7 days I haven’t been playing much poker, as I have been away on a trip in Reykjavik.

I have to admit that Iceland is beautiful in its own cold way:) despite of the breezy and wet weather I enjoyed a day out in Blue Lagoon and a heart warming Scandinavian food at the Fish Company restaurant in the evening.

Blue Lagoon in Iceland

We were not so lucky with the Northern Lights though, as after 5 hours on a coach trip hunting for the lights ended up in being a disappointing view of white cloud in the sky which looked nothing like the pictures/post cards you get to see….

I got a little side tracked but back to poker now:)

I’ll talk about a tournie this week to begin – the $35k guaranteed on Genting Poker which was $100 buy in, courtesy of the excellent winter sale promotion. Although I need no incentive to play poker on a Monday night, especially with the TV full of football transfer news!

With a 5k starting stack and with a slow structure in place this game usually attracts a few decent players. Feeders and the promo had swelled entrants to a healthy 389 entrants, I had no doubt that there are going to be a few fish swimming about, hence I was going to adjust my strategy accordingly.

The first few levels went by without much action, as I was failing to get any strong holdings on a super aggressive table and was just mostly playing position and post-flop poker but ticking along above the average.

We were down to 290 players, and blinds going up to 150/300, when I played my first serious hand. At that point I had 27bb and was just a little below the average in chips.

I raised from third position x 2.5 with Kh Qc and got a call from the BB. The flop brings Ks Qs 6h. BB quickly checks the flop and I bet out around half the pot with the intention getting it in. I figured the bet would make a caller pay for the draw or entice a shove given my level of fold equity.

It transpired to be the latter and with trips frankly unlikely, unless he turns over J,10 spades, I’ve got it in good.

I call and my opponent shows As Js for the nutflush draw, and annoying another 3 extra outs I wasn’t banking on!.. But the turn and river bricked out and I doubled through.

I took it easy for the rest of the level – well, that and I was pretty card-dead. Although I still managed to lose some chips to the short stack who pushed on my BB from late position and my A10 suited failed to improve aganst his 33.

Shortly after (now 300/600 and 15bb) I looked up at my hand to find a pocket 9s UTG +3. A raise here gives scope for a re-shove, and puts me in a tough spot. I decided on shipping my 9.2k in and banking on a prospective call being a race.It was, AK off calls me on the button.

My 99 stood up and I was back in the game and above average.

I’m a firm believer in avoiding limping into the money. You don’t need to go crazy, but with the money so weighted to the top 5, why worry about the payout in 40th.

With 60 left and placed around 35th on the SB I re-popped the button raiser all in with my 77, confident it was ahead of his range.
The BB calls, which isn’t good, and the initial raiser folds to the action. Fortunately it is another race against KQ and I’m back up above average where I like it.Things are going well, I winning races, I’m feeling confident.

I make the money without any major incidents. I am also thinking I’m due a hand. In three hours I have had precisely no premium pocket pairs. I keep busy, but get three bet off a late position raise with trash, and with 34 left, i’m in 24th.

After shipping it in with KQ and chopping against K,2 I am not so convinced it is gonna be my night. Sure enough it isn’t. I pick the wrong time to come back over the top of a serial raiser with my A,7 and he calls with JJ. I’m out in 33rd with no regrets.

In all I’m happy. I have got through 350+ players, without an outdraw or major pocket pair. Just couldn’t quite get the momentum I wanted to carry me to the final table.

On a side note, I’d had an interesting end to the week the day before in a live tournament in London.

Ticking along in a Sunday freezeout I limped in when on the cut off with Qd10d and got to see a cheap flop of Ad 5c Jd when the SB called and BB checked. It’s a sweet flop, and after two checks, I check in behind, hoping to get more chips if I can hit the turn.

Boy, do I hit it! With the K of diamonds! The SB bets small and BB mucks so it is the easiest call I’ll make this year.The river is a blank 9 and I take a risky path and check again in order to represent weakness/fear of the board and to induce a bluff. ( I would advocate betting made hands 90% of the time, but I took a gamble here) I thought it is likely that he is going to take a stab at it.

After some deliberation the BB bet half the pot and I after a few minutes of my own I shoved over the top. I was hoping that he has a decent piece of the board and is going to call me light, as it looked like I was making a move.

Alas his holding must have been slight as he folded suspecting a steal and my casual flip of my hole cards brought a decent cheer from the table it must be said!

Im off to Stoke this Sunday to play in a £150 deepstack freezout event and then on Monday I am in the Big Game at the Palm Beach Casino in London…Let’s do this!:)

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