Archive for September, 2011

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$300 NL Muckleshoot Poker Tournament

September 9, 2011

Okay, so I’m pretty embarrassed right now. It’s 11:45 A.M. and I’m sitting on my computer typing up this trip report for a deep stack poker tournament with 30 minute levels and starting stack sizes of 200 big blinds that started at 10:00 A.M. in a casino that is at least an hour’s drive away! Do the math there and you can see that I busted out of a tournament with an amazing structure within the first 20 minutes… something I thought was virtually impossible for a player of my caliber. I’d have to run AA into KK preflop and lose to a set, right? Apparently not… and here’s my story:

So the tournament starts with 3 players at my table missing and the cut off raising to 125 with blinds at 25-50. Before I can even look at my cards, the big blind–with the small blind and me still to act before him–has tossed out a call already. I look down at AcTc and 3-bet to 375. Seat 6 in the big blind instantly calls, not even considering for a second what it means that I saw him call out of turn and still decided to re-raise. The opener from the cut off folds pretty quickly and I take the pot down with a continuation bet after a pretty dry flop. Seat 6 already seems like a fishy noob to me.

I open to 150 from the hi-jack folded to me with ATo and the cut off and button (seat 6) both call. Not a great result… but a K72 board is about as dry as it gets, so I C-bet 375 and the lady in seat 5 raises to 1050 and seat 6 reraises to 2200. LOL. I fold and seat 5 folds KTo face up. Wow. Now I’m thinking both seat 5 and 6 are retards. A few hands later they get involved in another pot where seat 5 calls pretty substantial bets from seat 6 and folds to his all-in on the river.

Another hand occurs that I can’t remember exact details of, but I flopped a gut shot in position in a raised pot and declined the option of stealing on the flop when it checked to me. A little discouraged and gun shy from the previous couples hand, I limp in with KQo UTG+1 and get two limpers behind me and one of the blinds. Flop comes T42, two clubs. I check and it checks to black dude in Seat 7… He bets 150 into a 250 pot. He doesn’t seem like a tough player to me, and I have two overs and the Qc, so I decide to float him out of position and re-evaluate all my options on the turn regardless of what card falls. I spike the Ks and decide to let the donkey keep pushing, figuring I’m way ahead of him the vast majority of the time. He bets 400 and I merely call. The Ac spikes the river… Since the way I’ve played my hand actually looks like a mediocre club draw, I’m worried he’s checking behind on that river most of the time and I want to get a little more value out of my hand, so I decide to lead right into him for 600. He calls pretty quickly and shows me Ad5h. Groan.

UTG raises to 125 and one person calls in front of me. I have the button and 7h4h and can’t resist making the call in position on both players. The blinds both call, and we go 5 ways to a Q53, two club flop. It checks around to me… Even though betting here seems reasonable, I feel like 3 of my 4 opponents are loose and one of them is willing to get all his chips in, so I try to turn the nuts for free. The turn is Ts and it checks to me again. Now I can’t resist trying to take the pot down with so much weakness in front of me. I make a 60% pot-sized bet and black guy calls me. River is the 9s, which brings in a running spade draw, KJ, and some random 9x straight draws I think he might still pay off with… so I decide to check behind and he shows 9c7c, a hand I think he calls any reasonable bet with.

BUSTO HAND

So I’m sitting on around 8K and realizing that I’ve managed to lose 20% of my stack during the first level of the tournament. I’m a little perturbed by this result, but not wanting to switch gears too much just yet, I open to 150 with the 8h7h. Only seat 6 calls me in position. He’s the table chip leader and has seemed to me to be the most reckless player at the table. I’m eager to find a good spot with him. The board comes down QhTs5h. Since my image has been pretty bad so far, with some failed c-bets and semi-bluffs in my recent history and facing an opponent that I’ve seen willing to put a lot of chips in the middle, I decide to play my flush draw cautiously and check it to him… not wanting to get blown off my good draw by betting into him and allowing him to make some absurd raise. He checks behind me. 6h on the turn. Gin! I decide to lead out for 325 which I don’t think seems like a very strong bet after checking the flop, but with only 375 in the pot, that’s actually a pretty solid bet in retrospect. My opponent calls. The river is the Jd. I decide on a pot-sized bet of 1025. With a couple failed bluffs in my recent past and what I think has been a relatively weak line from me so far in this hand, I feel like this bet should reek like a bluff on my part. My opponent doesn’t take too long to announce he’s all-in. My first reaction is glee; he’s fallen for my trap! But then I realize I’m about to be all-in with an 8 high flush in the first level of a deep stack tournament. Not exactly ideal. Is it possible I’m beat here?? I take about a minute thinking it over and my answer is there’s no way in hell this opponent has me beat in this spot. If he had a big flush draw, why would he check behind on the flop when I gave him a chance to take it down by showing weakness in front of him. Then, he merely smooth calls me on the turn with a flush? I’m not buying it. Finally, aside from my river bet, I feel like I’ve played the hand rather meekly and that my river bet looks like a bluff. If he had a big flush, does he really think I’m paying off in this spot for my entire stack? Hardly! Plus, this is the third time in 20 minutes this same player has basically put his tournament life at risk. Even though I think an 8 high flush is pretty weak to be stacking off with at this stage of the tournament and I can fold and still have 130 big blinds, when I add up all the pieces of the puzzle (my bad image so far, his spewy image, my line this hand, his line this hand, etc.), folding in this spot seems ludicrous when it appears as though I’m increasing my stack drastically the vast majority of the time. To me, it really looks like he either rivered a straight or somehow thinks two pair is good. I make the call and he shows me Ah3h for the nut flush.

I’ve been trying to come up with ways I don’t get stacked in that spot with that action against that player and I just can’t come up with anything good. I was already a little frustrated with my play/luck so far and I can’t imagine how much more tilted I would be if I decided to fold my flush there and he doesn’t show me his hand. I’d have a hard time moving past it, thinking that I missed an obvious opportunity to double up. I wish I would have made the Hellmuthian lay down and could have managed to collect myself afterwards, but considering how he played the hand, I just don’t see any other option.

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A Few Movie Reviews

September 7, 2011

It’s been a while since I’ve done some movie review updates and the list of movies I need to talk about has been stockpiling, so I’m just going to get it all out at once.

Hobo With A Shotgun (2011) – This movie is straight grimy. It has the production value of a B-movie and is as gruesome as anything I’ve seen in years. There’s not a lot of story here, but you could tell that much by watching a trailer. If you like ultra-violence and tons of gore, you will be pleased. 6/10 (Recommended)

Source Code (2011) – This film had enough solid word of mouth during its theatrical run that it has been my most highly anticipated DVD release for quite some time… and it did not disappoint. With the unique premise of being able to relive the last 8 minutes of someone’s life in order to extract crucial information (in this case, the identity of a serial terrorist to prevent a future attack), Source Code is immediately engaging and keeps a quick pace throughout its short run time. Jake Gyllenhaal is great as Colonel Stevens. I enjoyed his swagger in this film. One of the more enjoyable films I’ve seen in 2011 with enough replay value to make me want to buy it. 8/10 (Excellent)

The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) – Matthew McConaughey stars as the title lawyer, a cocky defense attorney that finds himself representing a manipulative–and very guilty–client played by Ryan Phillipe. Surprising, thrilling, and entertaining, The Lincoln Lawyer is a solid court drama with McConaughey’s best performance since Frailty in 2001. 6.5/10 (Recommended/Must See)

Trollhunter (2010) – A Norwegian documentary/hoax in the vein of The Blair Witch Project focusing on Norway’s little known troll problem. A group of film students start investigating a bear hunter they soon learn has his targets set on much bigger game. Unlike Blair Witch, Trollhunter doesn’t leave anything to the imagination… the suspense level isn’t quite the same, but I must admit, the trolls are visually impressive creatures. For what looks and feels like a low budget fauxumentary, no expense was spared on this film’s monsters. They look great. And real. Are they? 6/10 (Recommended)

I Am Number Four (2011) – Yawn. I’m a little offended by how many people have told me they wish I could be more like James Frey. Between the controversy surrounding the authenticity of his A Million Little Pieces and this uninteresting Superman rip-off written under a pseudonym, I can think of plenty of writers I’d rather to aspire to be like. Obviously I wasn’t a big fan of the story here, but the film adaptation only makes things worse. Alex Pettyfer might have potential as a leading man, but let’s not start his career with a franchise like this. Dianna Agron, great on the Fox TV show “Glee”, is incredibly disappointing here, playing her character like a piece of stale bread and making me wonder if Quinn Fabray is the extent of her acting skills. The whole film has the feel of an MTV movie or an overblown (and bad) “Smallville” episode. Fuck I Am Number Four and fuck James Frey. 2.5/10 (Horrible/Skip It)

Blue Valentine (2010) – A bleak, depressing, and honest look at the evolution of modern courtship and marriage. Blue Valentine focuses on a young couple, Cindy and Dean, interweaving its story between the blissful days of their “honeymoon stage” and years later when they merely try to co-exist with each other. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are both fantastic in the lead roles, with Williams’ performance being particularly fascinating since it comes fresh on the heels of the death of her own husband, Heath Ledger. Whatever it’s goal, the film is a stark reminder that love doesn’t always have a happy ending and many young people jump into a legal connection without much thought. Not exactly a fun film, but definitely a necessary one. 7/10 (Must See)