Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WBCOOP #3, in which the Deuce-Four reigns

Today was WBCOOP event #3, back to no-limit hold'em. By far my best performance so far. As you can see, I finished 45th out of 1843. I'd call that doing tolerably well, though short of impressive. I did outlast all of my poker blogger friends, so I suppose I gain the world's most minor bragging rights as a result. I also won a $16.50 ticket to a bigger tournament later.

Once again, the first 60 to 90 minutes was just a joke. There were only three players actually at the table, the rest were no-shows, getting blinded off. It was so bad that it tempted one player into no-no land, as this chat snippet reveals:

acehighness: lets take turns in raising
acehighness: and just rape their blinds
Rakewell1: Um, it's probably best not to attempt overt collusion via chat
Rakewell1: It's called "cheating"
acehighness: is it cheating if they are not playing? really ?

I didn't bother replying. I don't know whether the guy was really that unethical or just completely clueless. (Also: I love the casual use of the word "rape" there, don't you?)

Because the thing lasted for 4 1/2 hours for me, I'm too tired to try to do anything like a full evaluation of what happened. Instead, I present to you a comprehensive account of how the Mighty Deuce-Four played for me today. I had it eight times, and you can watch the results in a single Flash movie. Take particular note of #3, in which the 2-4 takes down not just a pocket pair of queens, but a flopped set of queens. Ho-hum, all in a day's work for 2-4.

There are four other hands that I thought interesting or dramatic enough to present separately.

First, there was this bizarre blind-versus-blind confrontation. I don't want to spoil the drama by telling you what happened in advance. Just watch:

Remember what I wrote recently about never wanting to see or have a set again? Well, OK, I rescind that now.

Next up is this one, which I think was the worst I played during the whole tournament. I always try to confess my mistakes, and give you my ugliest plays as well as my prettiest ones.

I probably misplayed that about as badly as possible, with the exception of not losing any more on the river. I had been cruising consistently in the top 10% or so of the leaderboard until this hand cost me a big chunk of my chips, taking me down to just under average, and it was an uphill struggle from there to the end. One badly played hand can really undermine your whole tournament.

Here's the other spot where I escaped potential disaster with a touch of good luck:

I don't know why the hand animator software screwed this up, but that big ol' side pot actually came to me, otherwise I would have been out. I lucked out on the river with a bigger two pair than my big-stacked opponent had made on the turn. Of course, I did have 13 outs on the turn (eight clubs, two 3s, and three kings), so I wasn't in completely horrible shape.

Finally, there's the hand that I went out on. Watch it, then I'll discuss it a bit:

This one is actually pretty interesting. Goral is a PokerStars pro. He hadn't been at my table too long, but he had been making a lot of small raises to steal blinds from the shorter stacks, as one might expect. Both times that I had been in the big blind and it was folded to him, he did such a raise, making it a pretty clear pattern. I was ready to shove with just about any two cards if that happened again. But this situation came up first.

My buddy Cardgrrl tells me she would have shoved pre-flop. It almost certainly would have won, because I can't imagine him calling that much with A-4 offsuit. But it wouldn't have helped my standing in the tournament very much. In my view, a push there is one of those moves that only gets called when I'm either a huge underdog or, at best, a coin flip if he has A-K or maybe A-Q. I really wanted a big move forward, instead of hovering near the basement. On the flop a shove is still a huge raise, but not as ridiculously so as on the flop. I did think about it, but decided that I was willing to risk losing the hand in order to try to milk more out of him. It was a calculated chance, and it backfired, but I don't think it was a bad way to play the hand.

I'm not sure I understand Goran's shove on the turn. He couldn't really want a call, but what did he think I had that I would fold? If I had flopped two pair or a set or a flush draw (which seem to me the most likely things with which I would have called his flop bet), he can't except me to fold. Seems like a bad move to me. Anyway, as it was, he had 13 outs (nine hearts plus three 3s), and hit one. So be it. I got my money in as a 3:1 favorite to not only double up, but become the table chip leader and be in strong position to go very deep in the tournament. I'm OK with the decision, though disappointed in the outcome.

Oh, and that thing about never wanting to flop a set again? It's back on.

1 comment:

WindBreak247 said...

I cashed in this event as well and was keeping an eye on you up through and for a little while after my 116th place finish. Incidentally, Goral was at my table when I busted, and its the first time I'd ever played with a "sponsored" online pro. Nice finish!