Playing Against Donkeys!!

The life of a poker player ME!!! Dhruv Doshi

Monday, August 28, 2006

Tag Team Holdem at Gutshot and a $30 Rebuy on Ultimate Bet

Ok went to the play the £100 tag team holdem at Gutshot 2nite and was really looking forward to it. It has a 30 min clock with 4k starting stack, which is nice. The way it works me and my partner Pratik, Patrick, will tag in and out every 15 minutes as will everyone else in the room. Its as simple as that.

I take the 1st level and win the 1st 3 out of 5 hands, with AJs, QQs and K6. I made small raises pre and bet small on flops turns and rivers. Even flat called a river bet with two pair with AJ just to keep the pot small, was not looking to play big pots early on, there is just no need, I was really enjoying myself and started to look forward to the main event on Friday which is a real deep stack comp.

Pratik, Patrick comes on and plays solid, I don’t think he picks up many hands as when I come back the stack is the same. Ok so I come back and limp in with a few pairs and not really hit much. Pratik comes back on and doubles the eventual winners up. He limps with AQ in middle position (mp), which I do not like at all. The SB then moves in for about 2k as he sees weakness in limpers and feels he can pick up the pot, which is fair enough. Pratik calls knowing the style of player he was up against. The guy has 94, 1st card out is an Ace followed by two 9s! Oh well we lose some chips, down just below average.

I come back to the table and the dealer goes oh your partner got unlucky, I said not really he played it badly and AQ vs 94 is not unlucky, just poker, I mean two live cards against two unpaired big card is not too far behind. Not much really happens, we are down to short stacked poker and its all in or fold. I move in UTG with 97 and no one calls, I later raise with A10 and someone pushes, I wanted to call but we had enough chips to get people of hands later. I hate calling of my chips without a big big hand, although I will raise with a large number of hands. While pratik was in he picked up AAs and doubled up and then we had a nice stack. Then he was back in he picked up JJs after UTG pushed allin he had a decision. We had more chips than UTG by about 5 BBs. What should he do? The player who pushed is a solid player who is aware of his position on the table and I feel he pushed with AQ minimum and 99s or higher. However many players also push UTG on the short stacked with marginal hands as they are in the BB next and then the SB. This is also a good position to bluff at, which is why I pushed with 97 earlier. So pratik eventually call, which I think is a good call in this type of tourney. When the structure is not great you have to take gambles. Hopefully he has a small pair, he had AK and we are off to the races!! Ace hits and we are crippled, was a big pot and a win there with 4 tables left would have been very nice. We then get bk to allin or fold poker. We are down to 3 tables and im in the SB with 4 BB. The button raises. But what was interesting was that his raise was in his hand before the action got to him or before he looked at his cards. This gave me the impression he is raising with any two cards, which is fair enough when the BB and SB are short stacked. So he makes his raise and I look down and see an Ace and I go all in, he has to call as it is just a little bit more. Ok I have looked at one card, not the best poker but I know my A high is good 90% of the time, it does not matter about the other card. Ok I also know what if I have A rag I’m at best a 50/50 to a KJ, J10 but I felt we did not have enough chips to pass the small edge we had pre flop. He flips over Q10 and a few Qs come down and we are out!!!! On a nice note my good mates Gary and Zenal end up 2nd place and take home £1300!!

So went home early as I wanted to stay away from cash games as the main event was just around the corner. Do not think I had ever left gutshot so early, was about 12ish. So got home early and decide to play some online poker while watching some High stakes poker, which I downloaded the other day. So I tried to play some Royal Holdem and Pineapple on Ultimate Bet but no one was on the site, I looked over to the tournament section and saw there was a nice $30 rebuy a 10k Gtd but had already started. But UB does this thing called alternative list, which means you can come into the tournament when someone get knocked out but out but only in the 1st hour, I was 14th on the list and felt I probably would not get a game but I thought I just sign up anyway, plus if I get in it will be towards the end of the comp which would be good for me as a $30 rebuy is quite expensive, as I always take the double top up, which would turn it into a $60 rebuy. I eventually get the seat 3 minutes before the rebuy is over. I take the instant top up and then add on at the end of the level. I spent $90 and had 6k but average was only 7k and the UB structure is quite nice. So I had a fair shot and spent the minimum.

I play a very tight game early on and get a double up with some drawing hand, cant remember off the top of my head. But I like playing a tight game when I have average chips on the table. But when I got up double up I started raising every 3 hands, putting pressure on especially the short stacks. I played a lot of position poker by raising on the cut off a lot so if I got a call I would be in late position. Played a nice hand with 63, where I raised in late position, one of the blinds called. Flop came A 4 5, he bets out, I call, turn he bets, I call, river he checks and I push half of his stack in with 6 high, knowing he feels if he re raises I have to call (which I would not with my hand) as I made it looked like I am committed so he needs a hand to play back, he folds, which was nice. I played a lot hands like that just betting and betting, which is what I like to do. Also flopped some nice hands and picked up a few big hands which didn’t get cracked which was very nice. I was in the top 3 chip position when 50 left until final 2 tables. I slowly went down the order just because I kept playing small pot poker, which I feel I do better than a lot of people. I love keeping the pots small as the bluffs and suck outs are cheaper and you can call on scary boards cheaply. But with everyone else playing big pots more people went out and stacks got bigger. This is what I feel is a weakness to my game, especially it not so deep stacked tourneys, as I avoid big pots. So I never pick up massive pots unless someone is doing something silly or I get lucky (So not often!). I get to final and everyone is paid $200 (top 20 got paid) So now I at least double my money and I have my eye on the $2.9k 1st prize.

I’m about 5th in chips going into the final table. Now my strategy for final is to play quite tight, as now every decision can cost real money. The blinds were nice, they got the game moving but were not to high. The way I like to play final is quite tight when 9 – 7 handed. I like to sit back and let others knock each other out. I would prefer to stay out of their way and move up the money and get my self in a good position to win, which is easier when u have moved up to $800 in real money. Many people say , oh I play for 1st! and most people say that straight after they have been knocked out of a competition, which I think is just an excuse, I like to wait for good opportunities. Even last years world series of poker champion said that you cannot knock everyone out, as he sat back on final and let the others battle it out. I have spoke to a few mates about this, the whole I play for 1st thing. I strongly feel its not that important. However I’m not going to go into detail about that for now, as this entry is getting long enough, I will come back to this issue later on as it is a key one.

Back to the final, so plan is to sit back, 1st hand, I get AK in LP and someone in MP goes all in for less chips than me. I call and the BB (chip leader thinks for a while) I do not like that, he folds and types in he had AK. While the cards turn over I see I’m up against the cowboys KK, opps! So much for staying out of trouble. I lose and now on the short stack. A few people go out while I just steal on the cut off or in LP. We get down to 6 handed and I move in with A3 and the BB calls with A6. Well I’m completely dominated and need a 3 to take the lead however there is a 25% of winning and a 35% chance of splitting the pot so there is only a 40% chance of me going out, we end up splitting the pot which I am more than happy with. I then move in with A9 and big stack calls me with QJ and my A9 holds up. I move up to 2nd in chips. We then lose a few more people. When I doubled up I started raising most hands but not the big stacks blinds, I felt I should stay out of his way. I felt good with a few of us left and wanting it to get heads up. With the blinds reasonable I felt I could take anyone on heads ups as long as I’m not out chipped by more than 4 to 1. So we get 3 handed and the short stack raises in SB I got 77s and shove it in. He thinks for while and calls with K10, I win a RACE!!!! Whoooooooo!

So we are heads up. 1st gets $2960 and 2nd gets $1700+ so we are playing for $1200ish. He has a slight chip lead. I play a lot of small pots at the start to see what kind of hands he is playing heads up. I even call with K high just to see what he had, hoping K high was good to but it wasn’t L. I edge up with these small pots, so I have a chip lead of about 90k with 590k in play. I pick up the big hand AA! In a full ring game AA is massive but needs protecting, when heads up its soooo big that I wanted to take a gamble on them to win a big pot. He limps in SB and I 2x raise. He calls. Flop 6 5 2. He bets and I call. Turn 9 he bets I raise and he pushes!! HUH!!!! Now the pot got big! Like I said I love small pots but can never win a big pot here is my chance for a big pot and the win! (been a while) This would also be my biggest win ever!. I think for ages and final put him on a pair + a gutshot! I call, he has J5!!! SWEEET!!! River a J!!!!! YUK!!!!!!!!!!!
I now have 90k and he has about 500k blinds at 3k/6k, I’m in trouble!! I feel sick and almost give up, I fold the next few hands as I pick up 104, 62, 83, 82. I then say to my self if I fold the next hand I have no fold equity (enough chips to get the BB to fold to an all in raise) So I say to myself, I’m all in next hand. I pick up good old 10 4 and push and he folds. I’m now down to 32k btw he should not have folded any two cards there. So I then go allin with a A rag and get called by QJ and win! Get back up to about 90 k, I then push with KQ and he calls with K10. I get back to around 200k and type in the chat box, the game is back on, in other words no more all in rubbish, lets play poker! Back to small ball and I grind up above him, Blinds were going up so even the small pots were nice. With the chip lead I raise with KJ and get called, flop Q 10 8, nice flop, over card plus open an ended, he checks I bets he calls, turn a J, he bets I call, river the 9, he goes all in! I got the nuts and call! He has two pair and my straight is good!! I win a tournament!!!! My biggest tourney to date!! And with GSOP round the corner it should be sweet!!!! WHOOooooooooooooo!

Donkey of the Day
Award goes to DWEBB85 (or who played heads up really badly!! He played the tourny really well got lucky on me heads up, which is fine but he should have stuck me all in every hand once he had that monster chip lead on me! But thanks i'm £1200 richer thanks to you! Royal Holdem here i come!!


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