I had a great time being back on the circuit. That is where I belong.
In the real world, outside of poker, I’m often considered rude, blunt, candid, selfish. These are all things that are cherished in the poker world. Combine that with the fact that I am unfailingly ethical and it creates the perfect storm for me. Typically I am one of the most liked players.
The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. Immediately upon finishing the lammer season, Michael and I went to Cherokee. Then on Saturday/Sunday night we all three left for Delaware. That Sunday evening after finishing the tournament for the poker cruise (Glenn won a fully paid poker cruise for two), we rushed over to Maryland to start the Capitol Poker Classic, where we stayed until Friday at noon, when we raced back to NC to play in the regional get together.
So things went really well in some ways. In other ways things were devastating. I’ll address those concerns later. This post will accentuate the positives.
At Cherokee I was unable to beat the baby 1/2 NLHE games. This bothered me, because everyone wanted to play Hold’em, we couldn’t even get a PLO8 game going during a big festival!
I tried again at Dover, then one last time in Maryland. No, I simply can’t beat these games anymore. A combination of apathy and never being any good at Hold’em has rendered any skill I previously had in that arena null and void. Even the 1/2 fish were outplaying me!
So Glenn and I had a strategy session and went back to the drawing board. If I was going to play Hold’em, I might as well just play tourneys when I felt like it and there were no other games going on. At least I’m somewhat competitive in the tournament arena. Other than that I decided to just stick to mixed games and/or O8.
On Tuesday, during the Capitol Poker Classic there was an afternoon event and I decided to play in that one. Altogether, given the re-entries we had about 150 players. It was much easier and softer than I’d expected.
I’d already almost doubled up before the first hour was over. My table filled and eventually grew much tougher, but those early hands worked out very well and I was able to either buy small pots or get a weaker player to give me most of his chips when I had the better hand.
As players busted and either re-entered or new players filled our table the dynamics changed. For a while we had a tough table, then it got gradually softer. A few hours later our table broke and I was sent to a new table where I never even played a hand before getting moved again.
Finally we were down to two tables. The top 18 players were going to get paid. I was a short stack (what’s new?), so I had to make moves frequently in order to stay ahead of the blinds and antes. Somehow I either never got called or when I did I had the best of it and my hand held. I must have been all-in about 25 times before getting called the first time! What a table image. In fact, the big stack said he only called me because I’d been all-in two dozen times and he couldn’t believe I’d never had to show down a hand. He wanted to see my range, I guess. He eventually won the tournament, so it didn’t hurt him in the least. Thank you, sir!
Two of us were severely short stacked on the bubble. The other guy went all-in and doubled through so then I was under pressure. Luckily, I have grown and didn’t play to avoid the bubble. I managed to make it.
I stayed short during almost the entirety of the tourney save that first hour. While it is obviously more comfortable to have a good chip count, being a short stack specialist is something that is normal for me. At one point I was down to TWO antes! Um, I’d say that is too short, even for me ;)
I managed to turn those last two antes into 153k, but never really became a winning force in this event. That is obviously something I need to work on.
Eventually we made the final table. I believe I only had 88k at that point, so my expectation wasn’t awesome.
One of the chip leads hesitated before almost folding when it was passed to him. Then he brought his cards back and instead raised. I knew he was on a total bluff, so when I looked down to see Q7s in my BB, I snap called all-in. Sure enough, he had T9o. I managed to get a seven on the turn, but he caught a nine on the river and IGHN in 8th place.