Playing Against Donkeys!!

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

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Midland Masters at Walsall Casino

So i return to Walsall to play in the Midland Master Event # 2 the £200 freeze out. For those who do not know, i used to regular go to Walsall casino once ot twice a week last year at University but after a £20 rebuy night i stopped going after i felt i had been cheated in a game. The outline of what happened was i had made final table and there were 6 left, me and outsider and 4 locals, the money only really got interesting for top 3 as there were only 35-40 runners. I was doing well and started to notice that the tournament was taking a while after one of the dealers mentioned it. I then started wondering why were there no big pots. I then notice that chips were moving left to right between the locals. They were in seat 1-4 and 5 was the outsider and 6 was me. I felt maybe i was reading too much into but then i saw JJ s in the BB being checked all the way down and some flopped top pair, turned a str8 draw and did not bet on any street. It was getting late and looked more and more suspious as the hands went by. I then picked up a few hands and got aggressive while i was disgusted at the play from the other players. I had recently heard a story about Barry Greenstein who said that if you feel cheat take your money and go, as this was a tournament i couldnt exactly leave but i could not wait to get out of there. Barry G also mentions there is also no point in complaining to the management, especially as these locals actually run the card room in the casino. So i never went back and told myself i would not unless it was a festival where the locals were out numbered.

The Start of the Tournament

I was not thinking too much about the tournament before, it was a healthy buyin but i felt i was comfortable playing this tournament especially as i had $150 bought in for me by (link on the right side). Also winning £100 on roulettle before the tournament started helped! (stop gambling DHRUV!!) The screen came up with the table and i was put on table 17! With 170 runners that means it was the last table, i walked over and it was the 'bum' table, it had lower chairs and not a great look to it compared to the other tables. I knew it would be the 1st table to break so it was not too important to create a reputation or spend too much time reading people at a price (in terms of chips) Dave Lu was also drawn to my table as well as this 'pro' which Flash mentioned to me.

So normally when i sit down i look for reads in terms of how people sit, move their chips, talk on the table or see how they look at their cards. i picked up nothing for once! Apart from one chump on the table everyone seemed like they have played for a while. This was not great as it meant it would be a tough table which in turned out to be, but with the 5k starting stack i'm sure we would lose 10 runners soon for our table to break.

I pick up AAs early on and make the raise to 150 and the BB calls in c/bet the flop and he lays it down, nice start. The play on our table was not to my liking. They were strong players, the 'pro' was making it 125 to go pre flop when on the other side some guy bet into a 700 into a 250-300 pot 8 hands in. There was another player who caught my eye. He was talking to the 'pro' alot and i felt they travelled together. He seemed like a strong player. He has just lost the biggest pot on the table with AT vs AJ on a A high board in a limped pot. He then raises on the c/off and i call with Ah4h on the button. The flop is 4 Q J two spades. He bets out and i quickly call, trying to freeze him on the turn. The turn was a 9 and he checks, i feel i can take this away and bet out, maybe even with the best hand. He then moves in!!! hmmmmmmm Opps! I felt he was tilting from the hand before and felt he might be on a big draw with like AsTs or something like that, i let the hand go as i was not about to call of my chips here with bottom pair.

The 'pro' then does something very strange. There is a limp in MP and i limp on the button with rags and the SB pro raises to 550, very big raise considered earlier he made it 125 to go and with one limper before he made it 150 to go. I figured he had AA, AK or rags and was on the steal. I was very surprised by this raise. The more i think about it, it seems like he really wanted the pot here as he was out of position the rest of the hand and maybe he had a hand he could not get away from like KK and AA in a non-deep stacked tournament. So he gets one caller and i fold. The flop bring two diamonds and a Q and a T, he bets out 1500 and the limper moves in while standing up saying he has to go 'classic!' The pro calls with AAs but does not like it. The limper has AdJd, gutshot and a flush draw. The diamond hits instantly and the guy doubles up. Now lets look at the hand if the pot was player smaller. If he makes it 250 to go pre and gets called his flop bet would be around 500 not 1500 and if the guy calls the next card is very scary, he can now get away from AAs. Phil Hellmuth likes to play AAs slow so he can play the flop especially in early stages where it is difficult to get people to fold pre flop. This allows you to get away from the hand at a cheap price and if you need to pay someone off it will not cost too much. I remember hearing Phil on the Circuit on cardplayer saying the one time he played AAs fast he went broke on the flop when the guy floped a set, but if he saw the last few cards it came like K,Q and there was a T on the flop (the guys had a set of Ts) He claims he would not lose his stack with danger cards comming off later. But then again AAs are infront!!!! Why not make it a big pot! When the money went in AJ was a slightly dog and AAs did have an edge. The more i play i see that pocket pairs are very difficult to play, the reason being because its hard for them to improve! AK and 78 is nothing! But when it hits a flops it great. I prefer hands like that in deep comps and at early stages of any comp, give me AAs towards the end pleeeeasssseee!!! If you have read my GSOP post, i only got dealt pocket pairs and found them difficult to make money on.

Talking of pocket pairs i pick up AAs again, my stack is about 3.5k and i make it 150 to go, i get two callers including Dave Lu, i'm UTG and i am out of position for the rest of the hand. The flop came 8 J 8. I decided to play this small. They cannot hit two pair against me. If they have an 8 they have me and if they have a draw i think i get away cheap. I check and the old guy bets and Dave folds, i call. turn is a blank card and i check and he bets 500 and i call. The river is a K so no str8 out, no flush just an 8 to beat me really or a lower set for a house, i was hoping he had KJ and he would bet big which i could call but not raise incase he lead out with the 8 the whole time. I check and he fires out 1k and i quickly call he slowly turns his hand over i see an A and a non picture card! I felt like crap, plz no 8! It was a 6! Pheww i scoop a nice pot.

Table Breaks!!!! I get put on table 16!!!! which means that will break soon! So again i dont need any good reads. I then see my table, Guv(house mate) was there, Scott O Reily (ex Warwick 54th in WSOP 2006 Main Event) was there and to my right was David Colclough (one of the UKs most well known players). This table was sooo much better they were limping into pots and checking. It was a much softer table! Also another note about table behaviour was that they all knew how to play, i remember saying 'wow this people even fold like pros' I picked a few small pots here just betting in position with draws or middles pairs. There was no re raise bets towards me which is always nice. Colclough then gets involved UTG and a few others limp. Flop is very low and Colclough bets outs, he get raised by someone and action back to DaveC he then starts to talk to himself. Saying why i have you left your self with 225 chips, what he could not see was the guy had another 1k chip back on his card protector. DaveC then says ok and throws in enough to put the guy all in but thinking he only had 225 left not 1.225k. I then say he still has chips and DaveC was like oh shit, i've lost now! Then turn comes out and DaveC puts the guy in who shows bottom set for the scoop against his JJs, I then ask did the chip protector get in your way he said maybe but 'i have really bad eye sight' Guess even the pros make fundamental mistakes!!!

Move table!!! I get put on table 15!!! What a joke!!! It will not be long until 15 breaks as well!! This was really ruining my game, i had no time to get to know the players at all and when i did the table broke, i was on table 15 for about 6 hands and guess what the table breaks!!!!

Table THREE Whooooo hoooo, so i guess i can finally get comfortable on a table. The break started in a few minutes so i left my 6.5k in chips at the table and went to the bathroom. Better to go now than 150+ players heading their during the break! I bump into Tom and he is out, going out with top two pair against bottom set, yuk! Tom points out to me that Action Jack (Paul Jackson, got heads up in Monte Carlo this year and one of the best Uk players about) is on my table. This table was even tougher than the 1st one. But i had some chips and a good feeling about the competetion so far.

I pick up 9s7s on the button and call as did Action Jack in MP, SB and BB are in too. Flop is 9d Jd 7c! Nice flop for me! Not liking the Jack connecting the cards though. Action Jack bets out and i smooth call. Other fold the turn is a 5 and he checks instantly as if he knows his hand is no good. That gave me the impression he was on a pair + a draw. I think he still bets out with a pair and a flush/str8 draw so i figured he has a pair J or 9 with a gutshot, therefore JT, J8, 98, 9T hands he is likely to want to see a cheap flop with. i check on the turn (maybe should have bet) but by checking wanted him to think i had a flush draw, so he might call a bigger bet on the river if the diamond does not fall. The River is an 8!! Ok so the board is 5789J. I have two pair which is awful, i can beat KJ but no gutshot + pair draws, but he quickly checks again, i think he is scared of the str8 so i know he does not have a T in his hand, he couldnt have a 6 just because of the flop and the check on the turn. So if has 98 or J8 or 78 but hopefully KJ and looking to check call. SO i decide i can beat 2/4 hands so i need to bluff! I bet out around 50% of the pot making it look like a value bet, like i have hit my str8. He goes into the tank saying you cannot have missed diamonds, and started talking to himself. He had the chips in his hand hovering over the line and was taking a while. He eventually makes an absolute crying call, one of those calls where people say 'i know i'm behind but i have to call' (not that he said it but thats the look he had in his face). He calls! I turn over my hand and he says. ' oooh i can beat that '. he shows J8 and rivered two pair. He then said to me surprised you bet two pair on the river, i said ' i did not think two pair was good '. He gave a look of confusion, maybe thinking this kid knows something about poker, i think or he thought what an idiot! Who knows!

The dealer then started dealing some wild hands and with the blinds increasing people were dropping like flies. We were down to 80ish pretty soon. I started raising in LP with rags and got re raised three times!!!! Hate when that happens! Oh well! I then get it in with KcQc with about 4BB and get called by AQ, but i hit a K! I got lucky!!!

Then i wished i was a bad bad poker player! Big stack opens up and Action Jack re raises i look down and see TTs!!!! At absoulte best i am 50/50 and about 60/40 (or better) if they both have AQ and AK as the AQ would fold and some outs gone but due to the size of the re raise (smallish) i knew he had a big pair. I fold! Then a short stack pushes with AQ and the big stack calls. Hands : Big Stack 99s, Action Jack QQs and AQ with Short stack, so i make the right fold! Board comes with an Ace and the river the T!!!!!! The pot was about 18K i would have tripled up (ish) and be the chip leader or 2nd in chips! on the table and with a good good shot at makes some moves! But NO!!! I fold! Oh well i guess it all about long term poker!!

I was then back on the steal just moving in with any Ace in late posistion and connecting cards as well. A donkey came over to the table who i remember from the last time i went Walsall. Blinds were 200-400, he has 1600 and limps. Someone else then calls and i shove with K7 for about 3.7k, blinds fold and the donkey with 1200 left folds (i knew he would), the other limper gives me a 60 second swet before he mucks AJ and i go on tto claim i had 99s.

I then found JJs and the guy to my right opens the pot with 3.5xBB i have about 8BB and shove! He calls and flips over AAs! No help and i go out! With about 7 tables left! Overall a great tournament well structure and the standard was good enough to keep the game going at a great speed, no one was dwelling up or slow rolling or asking the dealer how much it is to go or when it was there turn. The standard was much higher than the £100 freeze at Gutshot on saturday nights.

Online on UB

I do not like to complain about bad beats but i played a $50 MTT yday on ulitmate bet and i was moving along nicely in the 1st three levels increasing my stack by 70% with out any big showdowns. I then get TTs in my BB and i call a raise, flop is Td 3c Kc, i check, he best min i call, turn is a blank i checkm he bets i raise and he shoves i call, he has KKK!!!!!!

Then i have no chips but still 6xBB, i have 10c7c and check my BB. About 4 others in the pot. Flop is 3c 7d Qc, great flop! i do not have alot of chips but its going in!. i want to check raise, so i check and it checks round opps! I check on the turn as the Kc falls (giving me the flush) Guy bets out and is called a raise basically all in, get 2 callers, and the river a blank and they both push!!! Guess what! The so called pair and flush draw flop being so great i was a 2.1% favourite to win the flop!!! One guy had a set of 3s and the other the A high flush draw! I was drawing to running 7s or 7, T or TT. So sick!!!! Two great flops and basically drawing dead on both of them!!!!!! Something tells me someone did not want me to play that comp!!!! Maybe it was because i had a 9am the next day (which i missed!!!)


At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good post dru, shame nobody out of the 7 of us could make it deep into the tourney but there's always next time!!! And that is pretty sick with that set over set, i wonder how that must feel like..............


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