Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sniffles can't stop me now!

I wish there was a way to dock a poker window so it was always on top - so I could write this blog post while keeping an eye on the one game I've got left going. I'm mostly folding but my playable hands are paying off, so I'm not quite ready to leave. Hmmm.

Anyway, my big news for today:

FTP 20 SnG Win

Yes, I won my very first ever $20 sit-n-go on Full Tilt Poker! I am a happy camper.

Let me rewind a bit. Last night, as you know from my previous couple posts, I was on the short end of a big whoopass stick that Lady Luck had decided to wail on me with. I did run into StB on the ring game tables, but I was getting killed so bad at my other table that I had to bid him farewell. After walking away from the computer and watching some TV, I just couldn't get the itch out of my system. My sleeping pattern is all screwed up, being sick and all, so I decided to fire up Party Poker. I know, glutton for punishment.

I decided it was time to sit down at my first $20 SnG. Randy has a good bit of success with them, and I figured that if I was willing to sit down at a ring game with $20 prepared to possibly lose it, why should I not be willing to risk the same amount in a tournament? Granted, the Party SnG's are such that luck is a BIG factor, and considering my luck for the day (or lack thereof) I probably should have avoided the tourneys, but I sat down nonetheless.

The first game (yes, there were more): I busted out 9th on a horrific oversight on my part. It was a few hands in, and I got to see a free flop from the big blind with 67 suited. I flopped the straight with 8-9-10 onboard. I couldn't believe my luck! WOW! I ended up with all my chips in the pot, so giddy that I could make the amazing luck turnaround.

Yeah. Someone was holding J-Q, and also flopped the straight. The nut one. It was like being hit by a Mack truck. Totally blindsided me - I was so unfocused that it didn't even occur to me that there WAS a straight better than mine. That's what I get for not paying attention. Bye-bye, me.

With that splash of cold water, I probably should have gone to bed, but I'm glad I didn't. It's almost like I got a good smack in the face. I scolded myself and did the unthinkable. Sat down to another $20 SnG. It was a hairy experience at best - as we got down to 4 players, I was a significant short stack, with less than 3 BB in my stack. But, I managed to steal 2 sets of blinds in a row (with AK and JJ, both raised all-in and folded to... so that's not really a steal, is it? I wanted to be called). That was enough to tide me over until shockingly the next shortest stack dumped all of his chips to the chip leader. Wow. Limped into the money! I put myself into all-in or bust mode, and doubled up once. Then, equally shockingly, the middle stack (I was still short) dumped all of HER chips to the chip leader! Well, I'll be darned. I just made 2nd place. We didn't go long heads up - I was totally dominated by his stack, and my pocket 5's didn't hold up at the end, but that's A-OK with me! The $60 win recovered my earlier losses and then some.

That must be where I got the confidence to try a $20 SnG on FTP.

I almost sat down to a $10 instead, but comparing the prize structure, and again thinking that I'd be risking $20 to sit in a cash game, so why not risk it here - I chose the $20. I played tight early on, winning enough chips to cover my blinds plus a little. As we got down to 5 handed, I was the short stack relative to my opponents (one guy had fewer chips than me), but I still had 20x BB in front of me. I kept telling myself, no worries. Your stack is plenty playable. I took out player #5 and now had a decent stack - 2nd and almost tied with the chip leader, and the two short stacks had half of what I had. When we got to the bubble, it was tight tight tight. So, I took the liberty of being the aggressor at the table. That was a new role for me. I don't think I've ever consciously decided to do that. (I should do it more often).

It was working well - I was trying to put the two short stacks to decisions (both to my left), while avoiding the chip leader to my right. I took down a handful of blinds, until I raised 3xBB with my K8 suited, and guy to my left went all in over the top of me for about double what I'd bet. I decided to call (it totaled a fifth of my stack or so). He turns over KK. Ouch. He won it. My pride wanted to back down and go back to playing passive poker, but I kept telling myself, "Scared money never wins. Keep pushing." He tightened back up, and I kept taking his blinds, until a few hands later when I found AA in the pocket. I did my same raise (which worked well, since he probably thought I was stealing), and went all in over the top of me again. I called. He had KK again. My Aces held up and I knocked him out.

In the money!

I took out the other short stack soon after when I raised him, and he moved all in. I had pocket 9's and almost laid them down, but figured he could be going all in with anything, as short as he was. I bit the bullet and called. He had snowmen, pocket 8's. Wahooo! I ended up taking the pot with a 4-heart-flush onboard and my 9h beating his 8h. Heads up, baby! I had about 7500 chips to my opponent's 6000. He turned on the aggression, raising every pot, and I did the same. Within a few hands' time, I saw AA and just called his raise. Flop came Q68. He bet out, I raised, he went all-in, I called. He turns over Q6 for two pair. Then the board paired 8's, and my two-pair beat his for the win.

$90 baby! That wipes out all of yesterday's losses, plus a bit. While playing that SnG I also managed to make $15 at a no-limit cash table. I just played ABC poker in the background of my SnG.

I must say, for some reason the no limit ring games make me uncomfortable. I feel like scared money at those tables lately. I don't know why. No limit tournaments are my favorite place to be, so why are the ring games so intimidating to me? Ever since Party ran me over last month at the NL ring games, I've been snakebitten. Just can't get back in the saddle. That's OK for now. I'll continue sitting the limit tables and SnG's for a while. Might as well, since they are paying me off nicely!

Ahh, a good day. Tonight I'm having some friends over to play cards. I think we're going to do a $1-3 spread limit game. We'll see. Most people have to work tomorrow, so it probably won't be a late night. I guess I should get off this computer and go clean up the house. I guess...


Post a Comment