The Big Game at the Palm Beach casino

19 Feb

The last couple of weeks I have been working on my game; going through the hand histories, watching heaps of poker videos and getting involved in the discussions on the poker forums.

I am getting ready for the UKIPT Manchester and want to be playing my A game against which is no doubt going to be a tough field. I am very excited though and really cant wait for it, its going to be my first large national tournament with a big field and one which would be great to take down.

The highlight of the last two weeks for me was playing in the Big Game at the Palm Beach casino last Monday.

For this blog I will look into key hands played and will explain my thought process behind my actions.

Blinds: 25/50

I lost a few blinds but apart from that the first level went without much action. I was just observing the table and trying to formulate an opinion about each player and their style of play. There were a couple of familiar faces on my table, which made my decisions much easier when in a hand.

I was seated between two very aggressive players. Everyone else on the table seemed pretty competent, although a couple of players were playing only premium holdings and were very easy to read/play against.

Blinds: 50/100

A loose aggressive player raises x3 to 300 in hijack and I just smooth call with AK on the button, bb calls too. Normally I’m inclined to re-pop here as I’m not mad on inducing a three way pot, but I feel with the initial raise proving to be a bit of a maniac thus far, I need to hope to hit and trap. The flop comes K Q 5 rainbow.

The agressive guy bets 600 and I raise it up to 1,500, as I was confident I was ahead! I hoped he’d mistake my bet for something like J,10 drawing- a reasonable calling hand from my position pre-flop. The aggressive guy called my raise whereas the bb got out of the way. Next card is a J bringing two diamonds on board. My opponent bets out 2,000.

I’m still confident I’m ahead and call. I nearly re-raise, but with position hope he barrels on the river and providing it is benign, I’ll call or even min-raise. The river is a blank 2. He checks and I’m now thinking maybe he missed a draw. He either has nothing or I’m beat- so I check and he mucks announcing a missed draw.

Blinds: 100/200

Tightish good player limps utg and I pick up Ad 9d in the cutoff, considering that it is the last hand before the break and everyone is eager to leave the table, I proceed with a raise to 600. Both blinds fold, and the initial limper smooth calls. The flop bings 5s 3s 9d.

He checks, thats good enough for me and smelling weakness and with top pair n kicker in hand, I fire out 850 into the pot. He thinks for a little but in the end calls my bet. At this point I am hand profiling thinking it is likely that he has a small pocket pair, maybe 66,77,88, although a set of 5’s is a worry. The turn brings a 2 of spades, completing a flush.

He checks and I check in behind thinking it could be a bit trappy as he’d played similar when ahead earlier. The river brings a 4h and my opponent bets 1,000 into 3,200 pot. With a straight, i’m now only worried about 66 and a made flush. I have to call and he flips the 66’s which makes sense. I feel better knowing I get a call if I bet the turn anyway. 4 levels have passed and my starting stack of 10k is down to 9,4k. The average is around 12,5k, hence still lots of play left.

Blinds: 150/300 A boring level – you get those sometimes…

Blinds: 300/600

My stack is back up to around 12k at that point. I raised it up to 1,400 in early position with J 10 suited and an aggressive guy to my left re-popped me to 3,000, everyone folds and action is back on me.

Well, there’s a decent chance that he is making a move once again (he has done this a couple of times previously) and with me having a tight image and not having played many hands, I had a gut feeling  that he is bullying me a bit. Feeling my hand plays well against lower pockets and AK, AQ if I’m wrong, I push all in and he instantly mucks:)

Blinds: 600/1200 antes 75

After the second break, the blinds have gone up, and we are down to 35 players. The average at this point is 24k, and I have 14k. I was looking for the spots where I could shove and steal the blinds/antes and get in a race.

I manage to make some chips, when limping in the SB with J10, with one initial mid position limper in the pot already, the BB just checks and we are off to see a flop of Js 10h Qh. It’s a great board for me and wanting to extract the max value I check, and BB (aggressive player) bets out half the pot, which mid position limper smooth calls.

That’s the action I was looking for! I announce all in, BB instantly mucks and the limper goes into the tank….but he folds. Cant complain, as I have increased my stack by nearly 70%!

Blinds: 800/1600 antes 100

We are down to around 25 players and the average at this point is 28k and I have 23k, still some work to be done. After taking down a pot using position, I’m getting some joy with a more active approach as I new I would.

A couple of orbits later, I shove on the small blind raiser ( 3rd time running), when he tries to steal my big blind and I am up to 30k and the average at that point is around 31k. We are down to 20 players now.

Shortly after, everyone folds to my SB and I look down at my hand to find AQ offsuit. I know that the guy to my left is an aggressive player who has been pretty active in the latter stages of the game. I decide to limp, confident he will bump it up and I can come back over the top all in.

So I limped and sure enough, he made it 4,500 to go, and then I shoved over the top. He went into the tank and was in a obvious agony. He was staring at me and asking lots of questions, but I kept my composure and kept quiet and tried not to give any info away that would make his decision any easier.

To be honest, when he didn’t snap call, I knew I was in good shape, worse scenario being a flip, so if he called or folded, either way I was happy. A double up with 19 left to north of 60k puts me in great shape.
He did call in the end and showed 66 and although I hit my Ace I still lost to a set:(
I do think he made a pretty light call considering my table image and my stack size, it’s just unfortunate that it didnt work out for me. Maybe next month.

Out in 19th/60 and it fell to James Mitchell to take down the £20k first place.

The Jimmy Choo’s will have to wait……

And if you are looking into playing next month’s Big Game at the Palm beach casino, there is a charity poker game on February 21st on Genting Poker where you can win a seat worth £1,080 for £10. I will definitely be playing, great value!

Please see more details below:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=124729910934173#!/event.php?eid=124729910934173

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