Monday, January 29, 2007

Baby Steps

Yesterday I got my first MTT win in a while. OK, so it was more of a 2-table SnG than it was a MTT, but 2 is more than 1, so in my book, it counts.

Won a small pot with ATo. Flop was all low cards but turn went check bet fold.

Got AK in UTG+2 but with two limpers just raised to 3xBB. Flop missed and I fold to a pot size bet and call. Would have won too - limpers only had straight and flush draws. WTF?

Play was par for the course for $5 games. 7 hands in, and the chip leader raises 20xBB from MP. No one has a hand so everyone folds.

From the button I try to isolate a shortstack with QJo. Unfortunately he has KQo and I lose 195. Down to T1325 after that.

At 25\50 a shortstack limps from the button. I raise to 200 with A9o. He then pushes all in for 695. I don't think he's sophisticated enough to have a hand so I call, and he has JhTh. Flop comes AAQ and he never catches his K. T2140.

Get AA in the BB with 3 limpers. They all fold to my 6xBB bet and I'm ok with that.

Limp with JT from the button. Bet the nut straight when a turn is a second club but the BB had no piece so he folds. T2600.

Take the blinds with 88, AQo.

Chip leader limps UTG at 120. I push with JJ for 2600 and he folds. More blinds. T2900.

First big pot lost: Raise on the button with 66 and big stack calls. Flop comes T78. He min bets 120. Either he's slowplaying a big hand or trying to stay on for a draw, so I decide to figure out where I am. I raise to 720 and he goes all in. I guess I'm behind. T1820.

Get KK in the SB, it folds to me and the BB folds to my raise. T2060.

Steal some blinds with AJ then I get my first big pot:

Seat 1: mclarich (2,080)
Seat 2: rayrivera7 (4,220)
Seat 3: Ice2271 (3,120)
Seat 4: PlaterAA (5,715)
Seat 5: jimzol (2,385)
mclarich posts the small blind of 80
rayrivera7 posts the big blind of 160
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [As 6c]
Ice2271 folds
PlaterAA calls 160
jimzol calls 160
mclarich raises to 2,080, and is all in (Don't really want a call)
rayrivera7 folds
PlaterAA calls 1,920 (fuck!)
jimzol folds
mclarich shows [As 6c]
PlaterAA shows [Jd Td] WTF?

Let's look at that again:

mclarich shows [As 6c]
PlaterAA shows [Jd Td]

Even if he thinks got live cards...I dunno the math, but I don't need to know it to know that's a bad call.

*** FLOP *** [8h 5c 8c]
*** TURN *** [8h 5c 8c] [2h]
*** RIVER *** [8h 5c 8c 2h] [Qd]
mclarich shows a pair of Eights
PlaterAA shows a pair of Eights
mclarich wins the pot (4,480) with a pair of Eights
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 4,480 Rake 0
Board: [8h 5c 8c 2h Qd]
Seat 1: mclarich (small blind) showed [As 6c] and won (4,480) with a pair of Eights
Seat 4: PlaterAA showed [Jd Td] and lost with a pair of Eights

Steal more blinds with AJ, KQ. Then this miracle hand hits which, after all is said and done, I'm glad I wasn't a part of.

Seat 1: mclarich (4,720)
Seat 2: rayrivera7 (3,580)
Seat 3: Ice2271 (3,120)
Seat 4: PlaterAA (3,555)
Seat 5: jimzol (2,545)
Seat 6: ucfplaya13 (4,505)
Seat 7: 64 JUSTIN (1,320)
Seat 8: PokerDude 20817 (995)
Seat 9: PutUonTILT (2,660)
PlaterAA posts the small blind of 80
jimzol posts the big blind of 160
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [9d Ad]
ucfplaya13 folds
64 JUSTIN calls 160
PokerDude 20817 folds
PutUonTILT calls 160
mclarich folds

Why did I fold this? Perhaps it was still the bad taste in my mouth when I went out on this hand in the Mookie. Besides, I've got a pretty good feel for the table and I'm willing to wait for a better hand.
rayrivera7 calls 160
Ice2271 calls 160
PlaterAA folds
jimzol checks
*** FLOP *** [Qd 7d 8d]

Fuck me! Blow a huge chance to build a bigger stack here. Fuck fuck fuck.

jimzol checks
64 JUSTIN bets 160
PutUonTILT raises to 320
rayrivera7 folds
Ice2271 calls 320
jimzol folds
64 JUSTIN calls 160
*** TURN *** [Qd 7d 8d] [Kc]
64 JUSTIN checks
PutUonTILT checks
Ice2271 checks
*** RIVER *** [Qd 7d 8d Kc] [7s]
64 JUSTIN checks
PutUonTILT checks
Ice2271 bets 600
64 JUSTIN folds
PutUonTILT folds
Uncalled bet of 600 returned to Ice2271
Ice2271 shows [7h 7c] (four of a kind, Sevens)

Now THAT was a close one. I dunno if I could have pushed him off the pot at any point. I probably would have slow played this and got screwed. Good laydown Matt.

Very next hand I get QQ, everyone folds. After that its 77. I get one caller and I have to fold when he leads out with an A hitting the flop. T4360, 2nd out of 9.

3 hand later, get QQ again, everyone folds.

Get A9 suited again, this time hearts. 2nd biggest stack calls from the BB and check folds when I pair my ace on the flop.

Lose a chance at a huge pot when someone limps from the CO for 300. The shortstack pushes from the button for 1300 total and I have to fold my QTc. Shorty has AQ, limper has KK. Flop comes K high, all clubs. Damn that would've been sweet.

Then a huge hand that works out pretty well for me. I've been pretty active in the blind-stealing area, and I've shown one or two hands just to let people know I'm not always raising with air (which may or may not be true). Here's a hand where I'm trying to run over my opponent and I end up making a hand.

Seat 1: mclarich (5,100)
Seat 2: rayrivera7 (5,345)
Seat 3: Ice2271 (5,620)
Seat 5: jimzol (5,690)
Seat 6: ucfplaya13 (4,045)
Seat 7: 64 JUSTIN (1,200)
Ice2271 posts the small blind of 200
jimzol posts the big blind of 400
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [Ac 7s]
ucfplaya13 folds
64 JUSTIN folds
mclarich raises to 1,200 (just trying to steal some more blinds)
rayrivera7 folds
Ice2271 folds
jimzol calls 800 (don't call me man, I got a big hand)
*** FLOP *** [Kd 8h Qs]
jimzol checks
mclarich bets 1,600 (bet it out like I got a big hand)
jimzol calls 1,600 (that's not good, need a miracle here)
*** TURN *** [Kd 8h Qs] [Ah]
jimzol checks
mclarich bets 2,300, and is all in (booyah! My ace has to be good)
jimzol calls 2,300 (ruh roh)
mclarich shows [Ac 7s]
jimzol shows [6h Qh] (phew - he's got outs, but at least I'm not behind)
*** RIVER *** [Kd 8h Qs Ah] [Kc]
mclarich shows two pair, Aces and Kings
jimzol shows two pair, Kings and Queens
mclarich wins the pot (10,400) with two pair, Aces and Kings

This puts me more than 5k above the next opponent with 5 left - 4 players cash.

The bubble pops when a limper and I call a shortstack for 400 more. Shorty's got TT but my Q5 hits top pair and we're in the money.

I start mixing up my play - stealing the blinds with my crap hands, checking good ones in the blind.

Hit a high water mark of T14250 before I ever take a big hit. I get down to heads up against ucfplaya13. He's been playing very loose and starts becoming a push monkey when we get heads up. I start off with about 2000 more than him in heads up play.

Limp with 44 and he just calls. We both check a K25 board. Turn is a 3, giving me the OESD. I min bet and he min raises. I call and the turn is an A. He leads out for 1800 and I just push. I could have value betted the river but I thought he would be loose enough to call. Alas, he wasn't. T17450.

Limp with 44 again. Flop comes 8Q6 rainbow. He calls my min bet. Turn is a T, we both check. I hit a 4 for trips on the river and he calls my 1800 bet with AcKc. Motherfucker slowplayed AK against me. Wish I would've pushed preflop.

Limp with KJ and make a boat on the turn - 77KK. I push the river and he folds.

Push monkey keeps pushing until I wake up with AK. I've got him covered by 6k. He shows 67 and flops a 6. Fuck me! Down to 6100. Time to become a pushmonkey myself.

I push the next hand with Qc3c and he calls with JT. I make two pair and we're just about even. Then I finally get him:

Seat 1: mclarich (12,200)
Seat 6: ucfplaya13 (14,800)
Dealt to mclarich [6d Td]
ucfplaya13 calls 400
mclarich checks
*** FLOP *** [Qd Jc 4d]
mclarich checks
ucfplaya13 checks
*** TURN *** [Qd Jc 4d] [Kd]
mclarich checks
ucfplaya13 checks
*** RIVER *** [Qd Jc 4d Kd] [8c]
mclarich bets 800
ucfplaya13 raises to 2,400
mclarich raises to 6,400
ucfplaya13 raises to 14,000, and is all in
mclarich calls 5,000, and is all in
Uncalled bet of 2,600 returned to ucfplaya13
*** SHOW DOWN ***
ucfplaya13 shows [Kc Qc] (two pair, Kings and Queens)
mclarich shows [6d Td] (a flush, King high)
mclarich wins the pot (24,400) with a flush, King high

I take a huge lead at this point, but the next hand, his AQ beats my KJ and he's still in the running.

I call his next push with 44 - he has A6 and makes two pair. We're pretty much even again.

Two hands later he pushed with T8 suited and I call with 99. He doesn't catch a 3 outer. He has me covered by 200. It takes me 3 hands to finally send him home.

I only scored $31 profit but it's nice to have played a good consistent game again.

(Edit: looking back on this, I made a mistake on the A7 hand. For all intent and purposes, the dude could've had 66 or JT and I end up pushing while I'm way behind. I don't think it was wrong to c-bet the flop, but I should have been a little more hasty when that A hit the turn. I don't think I even took the time to figure out what his call meant on the flop, and I got into donkey mode when I saw that A. That's a leak I'll need to plug when I play my next big tourney.)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Damn Anna Kournikova

Played my 2nd Mookie tonight, with much better results. I knew it was gonna be a good night when I covered my buy in with one pot in .10\.25 O8. It's always nice to triple up when you flop & turn the nuts with no low possibilities. Luckily, I didn't get a flush sucked out on me.

You know what that means, right? Freeroll!

Things started off pretty sweet with 7 of my 20 hands containing pocket pairs. I limp-called with TT UTG but had to hold to two overcards on the flop. Won 3 of my first 5 hands with 88, AJ, and the hammer. Lookin good so far.

Took down a lot of hands with just aggression and patience. Raised preflop with Q9o and took down the pot when the only caller min bet then folded to my raise with just middle pair.

First big hand was vs TripJax. He raises from the CO 2.5x and I call with T8o. Not the best hand, but I think I've got live cards so I call:

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [8c Th]
Obie315 folds
wwonka69 folds
Patchmaster folds
lightning36 folds
patryn21 folds
TripJax raises to 150
OtisDart folds
chipperdh folds
mclarich calls 90
*** FLOP *** [Jh 6s 4s]
mclarich checks
TripJax checks

I think about betting out here to steal the pot but I decide to save my chips. But then he checks behind me, and I'm thinking I can steal this pot later.

*** TURN *** [Jh 6s 4s] [Kh]
mclarich bets 180
TripJax calls 180

I decide to take a stab at when the K hits, and to my chagrin he calls. I'm pretty much done with this pot.

*** RIVER *** [Jh 6s 4s Kh] [Td]
mclarich checks
TripJax bets 325
mclarich has 15 seconds left to act
mclarich calls 325

He leads out with a 1\2 pot size bet. How did the T help him? Did he hit two pair? I don't think he's got AQ. Or does he have a busted flush draw and is trying to steal the pot? Yeah, that makes sense. Let's call

*** SHOW DOWN ***
TripJax shows [As Tc] (a pair of Tens)
mclarich mucks
TripJax wins the pot (1,340) with a pair of Tens
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 1,340 Rake 0
Board: [Jh 6s 4s Kh Td]
Seat 1: mclarich (big blind) mucked [8c Th] - a pair of Tens
Seat 7: TripJax showed [As Tc] and won (1,340) with a pair of Tens

So much for that. Should've bet the flop.

A couple hands later I get a break. Folds to me on the CO and I raise my standard with JJ. Last week's leader, wwonka69 calls. Flop comes T high and I bet just less than the pot. He pushes and it's time to take a stand. Luckily it's a race against AK and I'm able to double up. I reward him by linking his blog.

I sit tight as the good cards go to everyone else for about ten hands. It folds to me with KJo. As I've been doing, if it folds to me, I'm raising. Only iam23skiddo calls from the BB:

Dealt to mclarich [Kc Js]
TripJax folds
DuggleBogey: Fool!
iam23skidoo: hey fuel
OtisDart folds
chipperdh folds
mclarich raises to 300
csquard: how goes it, fuel?
csquard folds
surflexus (Observer): whassup 55?
DuggleBogey folds
lightning36 folds
iam23skidoo calls 200
*** FLOP *** [As 9h 3d]
iam23skidoo checks
mclarich checks

Fuck this flop.

*** TURN *** [As 9h 3d] [Kd]
iam23skidoo bets 300
mclarich raises to 900
iam23skidoo calls 600

I hit my card and he decides to lead out. Now, if I've got a big hand, like AK or 99, there's not much of a reason to bet the flop. So I act like I have a big hand. If anything, I take control of the pot.

*** RIVER *** [As 9h 3d Kd] [6c]
iam23skidoo checks
mclarich bets 800
Fuel55 (Observer): the usual
iam23skidoo folds
Uncalled bet of 800 returned to mclarich
mclarich mucks
mclarich wins the pot (2,450)
Fuel55 (Observer): missed the start

Good fold.

I wonder why everyone's talking about Fuel55 like he's there. I just now realized that I must have observer chat turned off.

Fold AhJh UTG. Not going out with Ace junk again in EP again. Although it was sooted....

Steal with KTo. It is nice. I like.

Raise in MP with presto. Get two callers, have to fold to all overcards.

Again with the AhJh UTG. Fine, I'll play it but I'm just limping. Of course it gets raised and called preflop. Fine, I'll call:

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [Jh Ah]
mclarich calls 160
csquard folds
mookie99 folds
DuggleBogey folds
lightning36 raises to 480
iam23skidoo calls 480
TripJax folds
Berglar folds
chipperdh folds
mclarich calls 320
*** FLOP *** [9d Jc 7c]
mclarich checks
(out of position, I'll check it to ya)

lightning36 checks
(preflop raiser checks it? Your AK is no good now)

iam23skidoo bets 800
(why so big? I think I got you:)
mclarich raises to 1,600
lightning36 folds
iam23skidoo calls 782, and is all in
mclarich shows [Jh Ah]
iam23skidoo shows [5c 5d]
Uncalled bet of 18 returned to mclarich

(Booyah. Now just hold up)

*** TURN *** [9d Jc 7c] [3h]
*** RIVER *** [9d Jc 7c 3h] [2s]
mclarich shows a pair of Jacks
iam23skidoo shows a pair of Fives
mclarich wins the pot (4,844) with a pair of Jacks
mookie99: gg
csquard: gg brian
iam23skidoo stands up
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 4,844 Rake 0
Board: [9d Jc 7c 3h 2s]
Seat 1: mclarich showed [Jh Ah] and won (4,844) with a pair of Jacks
Seat 6: iam23skidoo showed [5c 5d] and lost with a pair of Fives

At this point I'm in the top 5 in chips. Dugglebogey's the leader and he's just spitting aggression. So much so that I fold AKo in the BB to his raise. A questionable move, but I've got no need to risk chips against the leader right now.

Steal some blinds with AK, QT, keeping my stack fresh.

Call one of DuggleBogey's raises with KQh in the BB. Flop doesn't hit me but it's all low cards with two spades, so I lead out. He comes back with 3k. Damnit, take it.

Finally, my first big pair, KK. Raise it 3x from the CO again. You think I'm stealing, don't ya. Go ahead, push it in shortstack:

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [Ks Kh]
lightning36 folds
NumbBono folds
chipperdh folds
mclarich raises to 720
csquard raises to 1,728
(fine, keep your two chips, but your AQ is no good)
mookie99 folds
DuggleBogey folds
mclarich calls 1,008
*** FLOP *** [3c Ah 4h]
mclarich checks
(fuck, your AQ is good)
csquard bets 2, and is all in
mclarich calls 2
(getting odds, gotta call)
csquard shows [Th Jh]
(I'm ahead, but fuck this flush draw shit. Come on black!)
csquard: fold
mclarich shows [Ks Kh]

*** TURN *** [3c Ah 4h] [Qh]
(Damn you that isn't black!)

*** RIVER *** [3c Ah 4h Qh] [6h]
csquard: sweet
csquard shows a flush, Ace high
mclarich shows a flush, Ace high
mclarich wins the pot (3,995) with a flush, Ace high
csquard: not sweet
DuggleBogey: ouch
csquard stands up
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 3,995 Rake 0
Board: [3c Ah 4h Qh 6h]
Seat 1: mclarich showed [Ks Kh] and won (3,995) with a flush, Ace high
Seat 2: csquard (button) showed [Th Jh] and lost with a flush, Ace high

Now I've got some chips, let's do some damage.

Call a shorty with KT off, check it down with Duggle and I river a T to beat his middle pair.

Get moved to a new table, and immediately I take out a shortstack with A6o. Stack is big enough to try and be aggressive, but Budohorseman throws his shortstack in with 44 and my Q9o can't connect.

Steal a couple blinds with Kcrap, keeping the stack healthy.

I start to go card dead at the wrong time: a short handed table with a bunch of shortstack pushers. I could start playing with aggression but my stack is big enough that I can afford to wait.

I end the 2nd break 3rd in chips. Things are looking good.

First hand after the break and I get 77 in the BB. NumbBono raises to 1750 on the button. Is this a steal attempt? He's barely got me covered but I'm going to force him to make a decision. He calls with his AK and the flop is no good for me. I'm out in a respectable 12th, not bad for a 2nd timer, but the way I played should have been more.

Oh well, at least it was a freeroll for me!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Is It Better To Burn Out Or To Fade Away?

My days of playing online poker are coming to a close, quickly. It's amazing to see how much things have changed in a week.

I looked into the last two viable transfer options, ePassporte and Click2Pay. Neither one makes much sense to me. ePassporte has too many fees involved (I haven't fully investigated it yet, but based on the article at Pokerworks, it seems like too many) so I doubt I'll be using them. As for Click2Pay, for some reason my router makes my IP address look like it's from outside the U.S. So I'd have to unplug my router and connect to my PC each time I use their service, and that seems awfully annoying. Plus, it's my understanding that they aren't accepting new U.S. accounts anyways.

So that means it looks like my $50 deposit on Full Tilt last Wednesday will be my last deposit for a while. In a way, this isn't all that bad. It's probably best for me, financially-speaking, to limit my online poker playing, and not being able to deposit more money will certainly achieve that. Additionally speaking, if I do want to continue playing online poker, I'll have to make that $50 deposit stretch (now $53.80 thanks to some sweet flops in .10-.25 PLO HL).

Anyways, considering the worst-case scenario of failing to cash in any more events, this is what I intend to play in the next couple of days:

1\24 - The Mookie ($11)
2\7 - The Mookie Hammer Day Event ($7.90)
At least 1 large field MTT ($11)
At least 2 multi-table SnGs ($11)
At least 2 1-Table SnGs ($11)

That brings me to a total of $51.20. Then I'll probably put the final $2.60 in something like .02-.05 PLO. If I cash in any of those then I'll figure it out from there.

Otherwise, it looks like my foray into online poker will be coming to an end. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Random Randomness

I have a tendency to over-obsess about certain hands. I'll think about particular hands for days, weeks, maybe longer. There's even a chance that I'm still tilting from when someone cracked my KK with 42d over a year ago. Who calls a preflop raise with 42d? But then I remember that I cracked AA with 97o on Wednesday and I let it go.

But one hand from The Mookie is still bugging me. I'm still pretty sure I made the right laydown but it'll sometimes eat at me if I'm not sure. I talked about the hand in my last entry - my AJo against Cracknaces. The hand played out as such:

me: preflop raise to 350 in EP with AJo
Cna: called on button

Flop: Ax7h5h
me: bet about half pot
Cna: call

Turn: 6h
me: check
Cna: check

River: 5x
me: check
Cna: 1600
me: fold

Did I make the right play by folding? I've thought about this for some time now and I'm pretty sure I did. Furthermore, I'd venture to say he had pocket 7s. Here's why:

AK: wouldn't he have reraised on the flop?
AQ - AT: would he really have bet out 1600 on the river with AQ (yeah, I know I was playing it weak after the flop, but still)?
A7 or A6: discounted; I doubt he would call my preflop raise with A7 or A6, despite position.
66: discounted after the call on the flop
Flush: still a possibility, but it seems like an awful large bet for that board 55: a possibility, but given the odds of quads, doubtful
Bluff: A possibilty. Was he floating? If so, wouldn't it make sense to bet the turn when the 6h hits?
89: discounted, doesn't seem like the kind of player to call an EP raise and then a bet on the flop with just a gutshot.

That leaves me with 77. Fair call preflop. Flops a set, just calls to set up a turn check raise. Possible scare card hits so the turn is check. The river fills him up so he puts in a healthy bet. It looks like a steal attempt, but really it's a bet designed to be called by someone who made a flush or can't get rid of top pair on a board like that. I don't know if I'm right, but that all makes sense, right? I'd feel a lot better about my play if I could do all that analysis a lot faster, like when the hand is happening. ___________________________________________________________________________________

Finally, I got some more comments up in this bitch. Goes to show what some pimpage on Mookie's page will do.

I got this idea to start a blog after reading various others, but I never really had the intention of forcing myself into part of the pokerblog community. There's a lot of bloggers out there that seem like cool cats, but it's a pretty close knit group, and like any close knit group, it's always hard to crack that circle. I've got no interest in cracking circles or trying to fit in or anything like that, but I will admit (as gay as it may sound) that it was pretty cool to see other bloggers, including those I read pretty regularly, stopping by my page to leave a comment. ___________________________________________________________________________________

Talking with my girlfriend last night, I mentioned how it seems like I have no problem spitting out blog entries on my other blog, but when it comes to this blog about poker, my writing style become boring and bland. I'm not sure why that is, but I've got a couple of ideas:

1. I basically have no audience, and therefore, no one to really impress
2. While I understand how to play poker (although I sometimes forget when I'm actually playing, or so it seems), I have a hard time trying to articulate myself when it comes time to write about poker.
3. I am intimidated by some other poker bloggers and either their gift for prose or their rate of success. Ok, maybe "intimidated" isn't the right word, but there's been many times where I'm in the middle of a post and I think "who even cares about what I have to say about winning a single table SnG?"
4. I still haven't gotten in the practice of saving my hand histories yet, so I basically have to rely on my memory of the game, which even at it's best is often incomplete. So my blogs are generic and stale because I can't remember enough details of the game to make it sound remotely interesting. __________________________________________________________________________________

Now that Neteller is out of the picture, a good portion of bloggers are freaking out about what this means. I'm sure it means that a lot less people will be playing, but I don't think it's the end. Call me a donk, but I really don't see what the big deal is about using an eCheck service like I did Wednesday night on Full Tilt. Of course, there's the possibility of these companies going under as well. I guess I'd be more concerned if I had more than a 2-digit bankroll.

I don't really know what's going to happen, but at this point, I sort of feel lucky that I'm more emotionally invested than anything else. I've got less than $50 at risk right now, but what's really at risk is an opportunity to improve my skills and to play poker more often than I can live. I'm very serious about putting myself in a position to compete in the WSOP, and not being able to play online will be a serious blow to accomplishing my goal.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Night Of Firsts

Tonight, not only did I play for the first time on Full Tilt, but I also played my first blogger tournament, The Mookie.

I started off relatively well (read: lucky). Unfortunately, I didn't save my hand history so I don't remember details.

I played tight to start, but I wasn't getting any cards, so I decided to start opening it up a bit. My first table was playing tight as well, so I stayed around the starting stack of 1500 for the first orbit or two.

The first big hand I encountered, it was folded to me on the button. With 97o, I raise it up 3x to 120. The BB reraises to 200, and I figure he's got to have a big hand, but I'm not going to fold for 80 more chips. But unless I flop a big hand, I'm done with the hand.

Fortunately, the flop comes 9K7. The only hand I'd put myself behind is KK, so I lead for 160 and the other guy just calls. Turn is a 7. If I'm up against KK, I'm screwed, so I check it, and he checks it as well. The river is a blank, and I check it again. He leads out for 350, and at this point, for some reason I don't put him on KK anymore. I reraise to 840 - if I get reraised, I'm done. He calls, and AA gets cracked once again.

I push Joe Speaker off of (supposedly) the hammer with AK, then I steal the blinds the next hand with my own hammer. The monsters are coming at me left and right.

Until the last break I hovered within the top 5 of chips. I was originally a little nervous about playing a blogger event, but once I realized I was holding my own, all that anxiety subsided. It was only a $11 event, but the last thing I wanted to do was end up as just another donkey (title plug) in a blogger event.

And yet, after the break, I decide to do just that. I raise from EP with AJo and get once caller, cracknaces. I've read his blog before so I'm pretty aware of his skill level. The flop comes A75 with two hearts. I lead out for about half the pot and he calls. The turn is 6h, we both check it. The river is a 5, and I'm behind any number of hands - a flush, trips, even AQ. I check it again and he leads out for 1600. It's close to a pot size bet, enough to make me think it's a bluff attempt. Is he using the 6h as a scare card? It's a good bet, enough to make me fold.

A couple hands later I limp in with AKo with the intent of check raising any raisers. I get my raise, but we both end up with AKo.

Finally, I open from EP w\A9 off. One caller, and the flop comes A3c5c. I lead out for 800 and he reraises to 2200. I've got him covered but not by much. I go back and forth between calling and folding but for some reason I decide he's on a flush draw and go all in. Why I came up with that read, I dunno, but I was well behind AK and IGH the next hand.

I went from being in the top 5, playing well and making good reads to donking off my chips within a couple of hands. Basically, I got impatient and started playing horribly. I'm still not completely sure I made a good laydown with my AJ, but that wasn't my biggest undoing anyways, the A9o hand was.

All in all it was a good time and a good introduction to the blogger games. I look forward to playing more and donking it up less.