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Monday, May 24, 2004

Grubby's Hand of the Week #6

I was so hoping to report some good news, but it seems your fearless grubster has run into the bubble again and has continued the losing streak right where it was left. And if I thought the previous times were enough to spiral me down into tiltmania, this one was... well, an unsettling reminder.

It started with a good feeling. Rested up appropriately, I felt I was ready to tackle poker again (a week ahead of my projected return, ahem) and sat down to work off some bonuses.

In the midst of doing so, I spotted a tournament with an incredible overlay. Four guaranteed seats to next month's World Heads-up Championship in Barcelona, Spain. The flight to and fro, accommodations for the week, and spending money. And no matter how many people entered, they were giving away four packages. Four.

Do I have any business playing heads-up (do I have any business playing at all?), much less be able to take a week off of unpaid leave in the middle of a soul-sapping project for the government that's been consuming every waking poker hour? I actually love and think I do well at heads-up play, the rare times I'm able to get to that point in a tournament. And I thought I could convince my office to grant me a pardon.

My passport was expired, but I fast checked with the State Department and found I could expedite the renewal within two weeks. With a hefty fee, of course -- the suits will hustle their butts when you pay out said butt.

One minute before the tournament started (a no-limit tourney; you'd think they'd prep you by offering a heads-up tourney), I looked at the lobby. The players were all good -- it's usually the same players that I've played before, as we've all played these overlay-stuffed tourneys in the past. They're known to be good players, too, and not ones to mess around with.

I hesitated at the "register" button. There was no substitution if you couldn't make it, passport or not. Was I throwing money away?

I smacked the button. Even if I had no shot, the overlay was too good.

My $100+10 sucked into the poker machina, and over three hours later I found myself at the final table as chip leader.

A few bad hands later and I snuck into the final five with a dwindling chipstack -- the shortest at the table by half.

Remember that places 1-4 get the prize package. First is the same as fourth. Fifth on down gets nothing.

I'd been fighting my way up the ladder since those few bad hands toppled my chip leader title to shortest stack. My flops seen were 16 percent, I raised only with good hands. I stole where I could.

The four people remaining were not playing very well. They should have implicitly decided to call me and then check it down, furthering their chances of drawing out on me. I really should not have lasted that long.

I was struggling, to be sure, but my final hurrah was raising QJs, the best hand I'd seen in a long time. If I didn't go with this one, I would have been swooped up with the blinds.

Chip leader called me. Flop gave Q83o. I was first to bet and pushed. He hesitated for a long time, and then called. He had 83o for the flopped two pair, and I had no further help. Figures that he'd wake up and decide to call me down on that hand.

As soon as I was knocked out I went numb. I felt as if there'd been a death in the family. A cold and clammy sweat washed over me as my shirt stuck to my back. All I could do was sit and stare at the remaining four offering their congratulations that they're going to Spain.

I called a couple people to whine about my bad fortune. Even interrupted grubette eating sushi in a noisy restaurant.

Then I calmed down.

There are more important things going on in life and the world.

In the long run, poker is just a game. An expensive game, but a game nonetheless. All I would've won was a seat into another even more expensive game.

But I'll go ahead and renew my passport.

There's always the tournament in Austria.

Or Paris.



No winner for Hand of the Week #5, so $5 is added for #6.

MP1 had K 6, called a preflop raise with this and called down each bet to the river. Such determination! Perhaps he thought SB and I were bluffing the whole way and wanted to keep us honest. It's plays like these that make it a mistake to check the river, even if you just hold top pair, top kicker. More often than not, someone will call down your value bet. And if they raise instead? An easy toss: they have at least two pair (probably catching on the river). I know, it's tough to lay down top pair at that point, but at low limits people rarely bluff a river check-raise (or a turn check-raise, for that matter). If they do, they're either on tilt or a sneaky player. And if the latter, move tables!

Grubby's Hand of the Week #6
for Monday, May 24, 2004

Prize: $25

The first person to correctly guess my opponent's hand before noon on Thursday wins. Suits do not matter. One guess per person, please. Winner will be declared here at some point before the next Hand of the Week. If there's no winner, the prize will roll over to next week plus $5.

If you're signed up to Empire Poker or Absolute Poker through me (use those links to sign up), the prize is doubled for you.

You can leave a comment as Anonymous without registering through Blogger, but do include your name so I know whose guess is whose.

If you don't include contact info and you're the winner, email me after the quiz is over.

Good luck and good skills,

Party Poker 1/2 Hold'em (6 max, 6 handed) converter

Preflop: grubby is BB with A A
UTG raises, MP folds, CO calls, Button folds, SB folds, grubby 3-bets, UTG calls, CO calls.

Flop: (9.50 SB) 2 9 J (3 players)
grubby bets, UTG raises, CO 3-bets, grubby caps, UTG calls, CO calls.

Turn: (10.75 BB) 7 (3 players)
grubby checks, UTG bets, CO calls, grubby raises, UTG 3-bets, CO calls, grubby calls.

River: (19.75 BB) T (3 players)
grubby checks, UTG bets, CO calls, grubby calls.

Final Pot: 22.75 BB
Main Pot: 22.75 BB, between CO, grubby and UTG.

Note that this is 1/2 6max, and not my typical 5/10 6max. If you're looking to work off a bonus fast at Party, practically every hand is raked at 1/2 6max.

Aside from the level of aggression, the main difference between shorthanded 1/2 and 5/10 is that you cannot bluff in 1/2 -- the stakes are small enough that people will call you down for one more $2 bet.

A wide variety of hands that I could've been dead to and each street that appeared weakened my AA. With two people still in and betting before me, should I have folded the river? If it were 5/10 or 10/20 shorthanded, I probably would have.

What did UTG have? (The prize is doubled if you correctly guess CO's hand as well.)


Commented by Blogger Ash:

UTG had TT
CO had AK

3:07 PM 
Commented by Blogger LordGeznikor:

I was going to be in that tournament, too. Really, I was. But I had rented a movie, and was watching it, and when the movie ended, it was exactly 10:00. Ten minutes after registration closed for the tournament.

Now, in all likelihood missing the tournament saved me $110, but if I'm exactly as good as the others in the tournament I should have earned about $75 in equity for my $110 investment, so I probably should have played anyway.

The Austria tourney went very badly, too; I finished 33d out of 43 after the same guy called my semi-steals with inferior hands three times and beat me every time. At least HE isn't going to Austria, either.

3:36 PM 
Commented by Blogger XakyrieG:

UTG had AK
CO had KJ

4:12 PM 
Commented by Blogger NemoD:

CO had QJ
UTG had TT.

yeah i too was tempted to play in those tourneys, but hopefully i'll win my seat through the freeroll on multipoker. nothing feels better than beating those swedes, with their fjords and ikeas.

4:24 PM 
Commented by Blogger Iceyburnz:

UTG had pocket queens.
CO had KJ.

4:29 PM 
Commented by Anonymous Anonymous:

UTG had 9h-8h
CO had 2-2

4:37 PM 
Commented by Anonymous Anonymous:

9-8 and 2-2 were my guess

4:37 PM 
Commented by Blogger Stephen:

UTG had pocket Jacks
CO had AJ

6:02 PM 
Commented by Blogger BadBlood:

I'm saying UTG had KK, and CO had J9 suited.

6:19 PM 
Commented by Anonymous Anonymous:

UTG - 99

10:57 PM 
Commented by Anonymous Anonymous:

utg: AQs (hearts?)
co: JJ


10:51 AM 
Commented by Anonymous Anonymous:

UTG had K,Q and cutoff had 8,7 Habsfanca11

11:32 AM 
Commented by Blogger ToddCommish:

UTG has the other two aces. CO has KJ.

12:02 PM 
Commented by Anonymous Anonymous:

UTG had JJ, CO had J9

2:40 PM 
Commented by Anonymous Anonymous:

The Penguin says

CO had 99
UTG had J [anet] J [ackson]

8:22 AM 

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