Monday, January 26, 2009

2009 WSOP Schedule

Harrah's released the 2009 WSOP poker schedule. The wait is over, and the big news is that we will be waiting until the middle of November again for the Main event Champion to be declared. ESPN and Harrah's have decided to hold the final table in November to create another publicity machine they called the"November Nine". While ESPN's TV ratings went up and hundreds of fans slept outside the Penn & Teller Theater to watch the live event, many poker players and fans doubted the success of last years event. There was not much publicity outside of the poker community, and the actual TV show was more hype and interviews then great hand coverage. The WSOP and it's players committee have made mistakes before and learned and from them. Hopefully, this year the will finally present us with the product they so proudly promoted last year.

There will be 57 events this year, starting from May 26th through the first week of July. The big changes this year are the exclusion of rebuy events and the addition of the "40th Anniversary of the World Series" $40,000 No-Limit Hold'em Event. (Event #2). They have ten $10,000 events and kept the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E event.

Taking out rebuy events was released a little while ago, and caused some heated debate between pros Doyle Brunson and Layne Flack. I don't think rebuy events are only favorable for the more well off players. Everyone knows its a rebuy event, and they should know that a rebuy event means plenty of crazy players in the beginning levels. No one should go into a rebuy event expecting to only have one buy in. They also shouldn't think that because the person next to you bought in more then you that they have an edge or are "buying a bracelet". I think they should have at least one re-buy event because its popular, creates a greater prize pool and also generates more revenue for the casino.

I just hope they also scheduled what rules the tournament floor personal should stick to. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Bicycle Casino- 1st tournament of the year

On Sunday, I went to The Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, CA. This was my first time there, it is a really nice casino. Well organized, clean, big area, and lots of games are spread there. I came for the 7pm $60 tournament ($50 +$10 entrance fee). The structure is real nice. 2000 starting chips, with 20 minute levels, blinds starting at 25-25, and the ante's coming in at the 6th level. I registered early, (you need to sign up for the players card to register) and got Table 5. They let people register and enter up to 7:30. I started off really good, my first hand of the whole tournament I had Ace-Jack, raised four times the blinds and won the blinds. When I started there was 3 dead stacks, two of them being on my right. Within the first orbit I got pocket Aces on the button. A limper came in early to the pot and a late position raiser made it 75 to go. I made it 275. The original limper and raiser called. The flop went King, 8, 6 with two clubs. The first position player shoved all-in. The next to act player, tanks for a second and the asks the other player questions trying to get a tell. Then he folds in disgust saying its too early in the tournament. I instant called. The player showed Ace-Queen, no flush possibilities. I won the hand and had doubled my stack up over 4,000. I played very tight aggressive for the next hour. I was chip leader of my table all the way up to the middle of the fourth level. Then this hand came up right before the first tournament break:

I was the big blind, the blinds are 75-150. Two people limp, the small blind completes the bet. I raise 500 on top. The only person who calls is the person who just won a large pot and now is the new table chipleader. The flop comes , 5, 2, Queen, rainbow. I bet 600 , the player right away min-raises me to 1200.  I think for about 5 seconds and just call.I know this about the player so far, plays most hands pre-flop, won all the chips by going all in with second best, and getting lucky on the river. I was pretty sure the player didn't have an Queen. The reason I called was to push on the turn if a non Ace or King come, otherwise I check-fold. The turn is a 4. I instant shove my last little over 2,000 chips into the pot. He instant calls and flips over his hand; Ace- 3, for the nuts and I'm drawn dead. I'm out right before the break and way earlier then I should have because I was playing really good.

I went to the casino with a friend from work, and we discussed the hand and came up with different outcomes that might have kept me in the tournament. We both agreed my pre-flop play way good. When the flop came I bet 600 into a 1400 pot. When the player min-raised me, my read was that the player was trying to push me off the pot, that was what I thought I wanted him to do. My friend thinks I should have three bet here, if I was pushing on the turn anyway. This would get the player off any draws or weak Queen pair. If the turns gives him two pair or a better draw then maybe they call with better odds. I think I should have just bet 600 again on the turn or check-fold. It was too early to put all my chips in and not even with top pair. However if the turn does not come an Ace or a 4, my play wins me the pot and I regain chip lead.

After everything else, the tournament got 240 players, 1st place received $4,300. I went to play in a cash game and lost $40. Total trip down $100. I will definitely play this tournament again. 

Let me know how you would have played the hands. Comments are greatly appreciated. 


Saturday, January 17, 2009

2009 Goals

I read an article in Cardplayer magazine by Steve Zolotow about Planning your poker year. My goals this year are going to be based on 3 things. They are small and reasonable. My monetary goal is to make over $1,000 playing poker this year. My second goal is an improvement goal, it is too become more aggressive at the tables, I usually just sit and wait for action instead of creating it. I fall into the tight aggressive player, but when I get a hand no one will pay me off cause I'm to tight. I will usually just sit and wait for hands that are good to play instead of good situations to play. My third goal is to start playing in live tournaments at local casinos. I haven't played tournaments in a long time and think its a good idea to get better at them at the local cheaper levels. 
I really just to keep a positive outlook this year. I had a bad year last year and after too many things built up I had to quit for a while. This yeah I got more free time and extra cash to take shots more. I am looking for poker mentors that are more advanced then me. You can read all the books and articles you want but to have a conversation where more then one opinion is heard is better I think. 
Here's to a profitable 2009!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First Session of the Year.

Went to Hustler with my friend Brian. Got there around midnight to play in $50 min -$100 max game. The first table we sat at was like a team table. There was 3 guys who knew each other and were real tight players. Two other friends were complete drunks and throwing away money. It was a great table until it got four handed and the table got broken up. I cashed out my $90 profit and went to the next table where this interesting hand came up.
I had 2h 3h in the big blind. Seat 7 is a drunk Australian who raises $5 more dollars, but he doesn't count chips he just grabs and throws into pot. This is usual for him.  We get 6 callers to the flop: Qh - 7h- 9d. I check, and its checked the Australian who already had his 20$ stack of chip ready to bet. The tight player to my right calls. I put the drunk on complete air. The tight player I think has a Q weak kicker or maybe a straight draw. He would have raised with a better hand with so many players in, and he looked hestitant to call. I have 26$ left, I can only consider all-in or fold. I think that my 26$ wont get anyone before me to fold, but maybe other will if they see there's so much action behind them. I also think about my odds, I have already 2 callers and a nice preflop pot. I don't put the two players behind me on a flush draw. The problem here is I have the lowest flush draw possible. I decide to shove it all-in. Well I get 2 callers behind me too, "Oh boy I'm in trouble". The turn is the King of Hearts. I make my flush but with 4 other people still in I don't think I have the best hand.  The second player to act pushes all-in for like 70$. All other players fold. The player shows two pair Qd 7d. I was so shocked, by his push on the turn and his even playing the hand the way he did. I was even more shocked when the Queen of spades hits the river. Well the pot would have put me over $200 for the night, but instead I end my session with a $10 loss. 

Monday, January 05, 2009

Preparing a Comeback....

Well done with college. Took a few moths off from poker to ease my mind. I am preparing a comeback. It's been over a year since I blogged. I will try to do it once a month now. I got new poker friends and some moved away when we got out of the dorms. I got some new poker books including both of Harrington on Cash Games. I plan on starting the grind of poker tournaments. Only the really low buy-ins at local casinos for experience or until they totally tilt me. I have a full time job now and no school so I can start to play more now. Well until next time.....