Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Off To A Reasonable Start

Recently, I had enjoyed good fortunes playing a variety of games on PokerStars and had turned an initial bankroll of $80 into just over $400 playing low stakes games. With this money, I opted to cash the majority out to enjoy the annual Dundee University Series of Poker, which would fund my buy ins for the three day event, along with my travel costs and some refreshments. After withdrawing £200 sterling, I was left with the princely sum of $16.40, which had remained untouched until today.

Firstly, I will briefly explain my aims and objectives. With this paltry sum, I am going to attempt to build it back up to a fairly significant sum once more, which can be used in the future as my bankroll for other “Scoop Troop” projects. At the moment, I obviously want to raise it as far as I can, but realistically, I would like to hit landmark figures, the first condition to not allow the roll to fall below $10, and hopefully increase to over $20, before upping the ante each time profit is made. PokerStars offer a range of both single and multi table tournaments in their sit and go stable, with buy ins as little as $1 + 0.10, upwards.

I opted to play it safe and enrolled in a $5 + 0.50 no limit hold ‘em 9 man S.T.T., with cash paid to the top 3. I sat down with a motley crew of players from all corners of the globe. PokerStars used to be overpopulated with American players, but has recently become infiltrated with many Scandinavian and German players in particular, and this was certainly in evidence on this table.

The action got underway with blinds of 10/20, with a stack of 1500 in front of each player. The usual nonsense prevailing in the early levels, with either half of the table limping in, or someone pushing their entire stack into a pot of 30 chips ! One player, in particular, “dsgnwrx” (nice name) comes across as being particularly loose, and proceeds to lose half his stack in the opening five hands. I stay out of the action early on, raising only with AKo in hand seven, and scooping the minimal blinds.

Although I wasn’t involved, hand 14 was the first meaningful display of the tournament, with “Bofrost” raising 5* Big Blind to 150 in middle position, and despite this strong raise, is flat called by two players, one of whom is “MadMaxLeo” (who has a rather striking Lion on his avatar). The flop comes 10 high; rainbow. The continuation bet of 240 comes from “Bofrost” who is then raised by “MadMaxLeo”, who perhaps should have really known he was in trouble when his opponent pushed the remainder of his stack in. Suffice to say, the large overpair of pocket kings held by “Bofrost” did not let up against the pair of 10’s with a nine kicker held by “MadMaxLeo”.

Personally, I had played no hands since the first five minutes, and had built up something of a tight image at this table. I finally see a playable hand of KK in hand 26, and raise to 250 total with the blinds at 25/50, and it certainly looked like I was going to get some interesting action as “MadMaxLeo” sat thinking. Unfortunately, it emerged this was not the case and he was merely disconnected ! No action. Three hands later, I look up to see QQ, and raise to 200 total in early position, but once more, none of my opponents want to join the party.

Seeing how much respect I am commanding at the table allows me to make the odd steal with hands such as KQ suited and small pairs, again without a caller. However, an ill advised move with AQ off almost costs me my tournament life as I reraise initial raiser, the aforementioned hooligan of the table “dsgnwrx” who immediately calls with AKc, and duly doubles up to leave me crippled with just 585 at the back in hand 56.

By this stage of the tournament, the action is down to five way with the blinds at 75/150, and I wholly expected to go out, if not the way of Broomcorn’s Uncle ! Stealing the blinds by pushing with K9s soon gets my back to the 1,000 chip mark, and I live to fight another day. My Big Blind came around on hand 63, and once again the small blind “Skylarblack” makes a move on me. By this point, I really have to make a stand with any two cards, and call them with J5o, hitting a 5 on the flop to outdraw their KQo and get me back up to 1620 in chips again, and it is clearly evident there is some luck on my side in this particular game.

Unusually, if a player gets a commanding chip lead in a low stakes S.T.T., especially close to the bubble, they can dictate the tempo and generally bully the short stacks, but on this occasion, the commanding chip leader “Bofrost” who was holding well over half of the chips in play was struggling to do so, and thus allowing short stacks to steal his blind and make moves they really should not be doing and was far too passive, but we will laugh about him in a short while.

Hand 79 was a turning point in the game. I was again down around the 1500 chip mark, and with only ten big blinds in my stack, it was time to make a stand with any pair or any ace ! I pushed with A4o, only to be called by the quiet “Bofrost” who showed pocket tens, but a board of 5s As Qs Ks 2c was enough for a welcome double up. However, the very next hand, I was dealt a similar blow to the one I had just inflicted, as I put the diminutive “MadMaxLeo” all in with my JJ, which he instantly called with A10o, again hitting his Ace. What comes around, goes around, I guess ! I was back down to 2050 in chips again. Boo !

Three hands later and “dsgnwrx” is dumped out with his pocket nines losing a race to “Bofrost” whose AK turned two pairs, and we were down to the bubble. This took an unusually long time for a low stakes STT, (about 25 minutes) and in a bizarre turn of events it was the massive stack “Bofrost” who was the one who didn’t make the cash after some very substandard play and an outdraw or two. I play it hard and fast, pushing my stack in with big aces and all pairs, and taking man sized portions of blinds and antes, which does my stack no harm at all. I double up with QJo when pushing from the button, only to be called by “Bofrost” with his rag ace, which holds true until a rogue jack appears on the river to put a dent in his stack. By this time I knew I was riding my luck, and settled back for some more conservative play.

The time came that the once great “Bofrost” was down to next to nothing in chips, and I put the pressure on him by pushing him in with my 87o from the small blind, hoping to get lucky. I was delighted when he called with 37c, and I made three of a kind to eject him from the tournament. More so, I was happy to make the cash, having been close to busting out on several occasions earlier in the game.

Despite making some good plays when down to three way, I am continually outdrawn by “MadMaxLeo”, but to be fair he had few chips on the first two occasions this happened. It was down to “Skylarblack” to remove him from the tournament, then it was down to heads up, which lasted only 3 hands, as I was not well endowed on the clay chip front.

To summarise, I was more than happy to place second, and take the prize of $13.50 with me, especially having had such an up and down game. My closing balance for this account was $24.40, meaning a profit of exactly $8 was attained. Hopefully we can enjoy more of the same, or hopefully one place better next time.

Thanks for reading,
Mountain Man


TheHat said...

fuck me, big enough post about one stt?

Mountain Man said...

I thought it was quite lenghty ! I had loads more to write from my notes too.

Anonymous said...

lol O_o