Friday, May 18, 2007

Not quite there

I've been neglecting this blog for a while, but I'm preparing a longer posting (a.k.a. an "uber") where I mostly will whine about bad beats and suckouts, something I'm sure you are very eager to hear about from a low-stakes player. OK, there will be some poker philosophizing and rambling as well.

What else has been up? Started playing at a new site in March, where the rakeback (of sorts) is that you get shares according to your rake and bonus level. Shares are also added to the prize pool in some tournaments. At the moment I own 0.0008% of the company. The first/next shareholder meeting, if there is one, will be interesting. Since we're a group (and not "the public"), it's perfectly legal for us to play live poker, something that is otherwise a gray area in Swedish gambling law.

Playing above your comfort level makes you sharpen up. I played in a $25 Deep Stack tournament (I mostly play $5 to $10 SnG and multitable tournaments with the occasional foray into $20 if I'm "up") and whaddya know, I won it! Nervous at the start because... Very first hand dealt to me was AA. In a Deep Stack tournament, starting with 5000. You'll either win a small pot or lose a big one. And I don't want to go out in the first hand in a Deep Stack. I played it somewhat carefully and won it, up 1000, although it was a troublesome board. Not any obvious draws, but since it was DS, there was always the possibility of "any two". "Jack Six off suit? Sure, I'll look at a flop, I've got plenty of chips".

And I played in a live tournament also above my comfort level. About $140 buy-in to a freezeout, usually it's $30 rebuy. Twenty participants, five paid and I wasn't worried at the final table. I know some shortstacks will knock themselves out, out of necessity. Yup, third place and a small win at the post-tournament cash game meant I left with three times as much cash as I arrived with. A good day. It goes into my "poker kitty", where I'll get cash for the next time I'll play live. A nice feeling, having (thin) wads of cash lying around the apartment. I also have a (very) small bundle of dollar bills left over from my trip to the US and Vegas and the WSOP last summer. Some day, somehow, I just know I'll go around at home gathering it all up for That Big Score, like in Rounders.

I coulda been a contender. I wrote earlier about trying to satellite into the monthly $750.000 Guaranteed at Full Tilt but not making it. I got to the satellite by way of a 54-seater SnG that I won. Now I'm gunning for the FTOPS IV Main Event with $1.5 million Guaranteed.

Yesterday I played four supersatellites, 54 players and the winner goes on to the satellite with the standings yesterday at 45 seats guaranteed to go on to Main Event and 1900 participants. My results: Fourth, fourth, twentyninth (bad beat, AQ vs JT all in preflop and him hitting trip Jacks) and third. Three final tables and good results. At the times I made it that far, the blinds were so high (it was Turbo tournaments) it was mostly "all in or fold" and all knockout situations were classic coin flips; two overcards (AQ) versus a pair (99) or face cards against face cards with shared cards (KQ vs QJ) and someone hitting or outkickering.

But I feel confident. Three final tables out of four. The satellites I've played have been bought in for with frequent player points, there are also $ buy-in satellites. I've got a good "bankroll" of points, so I'll keep trying Friday night, making a push towards the Saturday satellite for the Sunday final. I really would like to strike gold again.

Also trying WSOP freerolls. And I'm doing well in another grind at the site where you get shares, they have Ranking tournaments where the top 15 in each of the 17 Ranking tournaments get ranking points and the top 10 points rankers meet in a SnG at the end of the month. Winner gets on the team which will go to Barcelona in September to play in the EPT, in a live satellite to the main event, and team members splitting possible winnings 50/50. 50% to the player, 50% to the team. I'm in the top 10 and will probably make it to the SnG if I don't mess up. Like if I play in more ranking tournaments and don't get enough points, or someone lower in points makes a big rush and passes me. Ya gotta play to win!

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