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Monday, May 17, 2004

Congratulations to Otis on winning the World Poker Blogger Tour III last night. He was followed by Mean Gene in 2nd and Boy Genius in 3rd. I finished way down in 17th (out of 30 players).

I'll echo CJ at Up for Poker that the tournament blind structures at Pacific go up way too fast for my taste. I knew this going in, having played a couple Pacific tournaments this week in preparation for the WPBT III. My main goal was not to get short-stacked early and thereby have my options reduced to all-in or fold.

I started out pretty well, raising only the minimum or twice the BB whenever I got a decent hand. Our table seemed the tightest of the 4 hands, and so I went from $800 to about $950 just winning blinds. Then one of the players at my table went alli-in with about $400, I called with QQ, and won. At this point I was very happy.

Then came the turning point. I limped in with 9-10 in LP. and two other players saw the flop. The flop came 998 rainbow. I made a huge mistake and decided to slowplay a little, betting the minimum ($30) on the flop. One player folds, and Chicago Phil calls. The turn is a 5. I bet $60 and Chicago Phil raises to $240. What could the 5 have given him to justify such a raise? If only I had pondered that question a bit longer before re-raising him to $480. He only had $150 after that so he went all-in and I called.

What a horrible move it was to slowplay. But really the slowplay wasn't the worst move. The worst move was that when Chicago Phil raised, all I thought was "A ha, he has fallen for my trap," and not "Oh, crap, why would he do that?" He showed 67 for the straight.

I was down to $400 and was soon moved to another table, where Bad Blood was on my right with over $3,000. He ended up finishing 4th.

With $400 and the rapidly rising blinds, my moves were pretty much fold or all-in, the situation I had really wanted to avoid. A $400 all-in was definitely going to get called. I ended up getting blinded down to $150 and pushing in with 66. A player named logan66 called with 77, and the flop didn't change what the best hand was.

The other lousy thing about the Pacific software is that once busted out, you can't view the chat tournament tables' chat windows. So as I watched the field dwindle further I was deprived of hearing the smack talk that went with it. Also, when two players go all-in at Pacific, cards are not revealed for the race. This made being a railbird at the WPBT III not as fun as I had hoped.

Even so, the final table action was pretty cool. In particular, Mean Gene was the short stack when it got down to the final 4, but it didn't stop him from pushing other players around by pushing his chips in more than anybody else. Though Iggy ended up 6th, he also made good use of the all-in to steal blinds and stay alive til the final table despite not having a huge stack. I think that aggressive style was definitely warranted.

Despite the juicy ring games at Pacific, I think I am going to cash out and play elsewhere for a while. A big consideration is that I want to start accumulating hand histories for PokerTracker, so that I can start examining my play in a more detailed way.

I also hosted another home game Saturday night, which I'l post about later today.

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