Sunday, August 26, 2007

Scott 1, Me 0

Played in my friend Scott's heads-up NLHE tournament this afternoon (after an absolutely fantastic DMB show last night at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin). I was (and am) pretty beat and brain dead after quite a bit of drinking and dancing last night. Add to that sleep deprivation (got about 4 hours of sleep before having to pack up and drive back to Chicago for a fantasy football draft), and you've got a pretty dead version of me.

Of course, as my luck would have it, I got matched up with Scott for the first round of the heads-up tourney. I think we started with 14 players, 2 of which sat out the first round on byes. $100 buy in and top two places paid.

I shouldn't feel as disappointed as I do about the fact that Scott knocked me out in the first round. We played well over an hour, and I honestly can't think of any hands that I would have played differently (except the one where I checked down a straight to the river because I was remembering my hole cards incorrectly). I felt that it was a really good match, though I didn't expect anything other than a good match vs. Scott. Neither one of us are push-monkeys, and we've matched up well in the past.

I had a slight lead at the break, mainly due to a hand that really taxed me, decision-making-wise. I think I could play that same hand a hundred different ways, depending on the day and the situation. Heck, I think if the wind was blowing in a different direction I might have played it differently.

I had KQ of (red, I think). I believe I was on the button (forgive me - I have killed a LOT of brain cells due to DMB and partying during the month of August). I called preflop and Scott raised. I called. The flop came K-x-x, all spades. Heads-up, the range of hands I put Scott on was pretty wide - anywhere from any pair to a middle suited Ace - and he's also capable of pulling off the random bluff or semi-bluff to keep things interesting.

So I hit top pair, nice kicker (unless Scott had AK). I couldn't really limit him to AK, though. He bet into me. Of course, I didn't like the 3 spades onboard, particularly since I didn't have one myself, but heads-up, I also didn't want to run from monsters under the bed. I had a lot of hands beat that Scott could have raised with. I debated and debated, and finally called his bet. (He was betting big enough to make it a tough call, though I can't remember blinds or amounts right now).

The turn was a blank, and he bet out again. Aside from the thought process that I went through on the flop, if I believed that was the right move then, the turn didn't change the scenario. I was very close to folding. It ultimately game down to a coinflip in my head - as in, I couldn't come to a strong argument to defend calling OR folding, and after all that thinking, I went with whatever came out of my mouth - which was "call." The river brought a 4th spade. I was done with the hand, but Scott checked to me and I showed my king. It held up.

In retrospect, I can only imagine that he had QQ. Of course, betting into that scary board, he had to figure that if I wasn't holding a spade, I'd bail. Like I said earlier - if it were 2 degrees cooler in the room, or the wind was blowing a different direction, maybe I would have. It was a big pot to win, and while I wouldn't change how I played it, I can't say I'd play it the same way again, either. It was just one of those borderline types of hands where you go with your gut.

After the break, Scott caught up (blinds were getting big). He had probably 70% of the chips when I finally went out. I raised preflop with 77 - 3x BB, which was close to half of my stack. Scott called. Flop came 10-8-6 (I think). Scott pushed all in (I was on the button). I called. He had A8 of clubs and I didn't improve.

The only thing I might have done differently was to fold to his all in bet (duh) - but, I mean - he did turn the action around on me, and calling all in is a lot different than betting or raising all in. However, Id have been left with maybe 5 big blinds if I folded, and that's just unplayable anyway. It was not a bad flop for 77, and I was pretty much committed to it at that point.

Randy made it to the 2nd round, but went out early in a brutal boat over boat (a rivered 2-outer, no less). He had 10-4 and flopped trip 4's, then turned the boat. His opponent had pocket 9's and rivered the 9. I don't think Randy could have done anything differently, though. The highest card onboard was a 10, and that looks pretty good for 99. After the hand, the guy said that on the turn, he put Randy on a 4 - so, he put his opponent on a hand that crushed his, and still called Randy's raise on the river. That guy wasn't going anywhere. I just feel bad that I dealt it.

Ahh well. That's poker!

Oh - and, good news... it looks like you guys will be seeing me in Vegas this December for the WPBT Winter Classic, thanks to my roomie :)


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