« Kevin Ngo

Poker Session #4 - My First Tourney Bust, Cash Game Redemption

31 Jan 2014

I went out with my visiting coworker from MN this Friday night to play some poker at the Encore. With $50, we both signed up for the 100-man $10000 tourney. After several hours we both busted, him right on the bubble and me around the 40-player mark. Though like any other donk, I made my way to the $1/$2 cash games at midnight after busting. I had an awesome time with the loose and free-flowing table talk at late night cash game. There I took back $290. Although I suffered my first ever live tournament bust (after 5 cashes in a row including 3 high-money finishes), the run-good continues from Poker Session #3.

$6000 Guaranteed - Bust at 40th

After the Mozilla Marketplace work week in Portland, we finally go out for some cards. A short-haired guy about my age sat down directly to my right, just having stood from a cash game. Let’s call him Z. The table is crickets, but Z tries to up the conversation. He seems pretty chill so I end up talking to him a bit. Well, maybe a lot. We got pretty friendly. I got into a hand with him soon after.

UTG+2: x
MP2: x
CO: x
BTN: x
SB: x
BB: x
UTG: $10000.00
Hero (UTG+1): $15000.00

Pre Flop: ($150.00) Hero is UTG+1 with As Kd
UTG raises to $300, Hero raises to $900, 7 folds, UTG calls $900

Flop: ($1950.00) 7s 5s 2s (2 players)
UTG checks, Hero bets $1200, UTG raises to $3200, Hero calls $3200

Turn: ($8350.00) Ts (2 players)
UTG bets $4000, Hero calls $4000

River: ($16350.00) Kc (2 players)
UTG checks, Hero checks

UTG shows 7c7h
Hero shows AdKs
Hero wins $16350.00.

Early in the tournament. No reads. Z raises UTG, and I’m dealt AxKs. I 3bet, everyone folds and Z calls. The board comes 7xx, all spades. Z check-raises me 2.5x. It’s scary, but I have a draw to the second nut flush and two overs so I call. The turn comes a spade, completing the flush. Z bets the turn, pot-committing himself. I tank. I thought Z could have AQ+ with a spade, maybe AA with a spade though unlikely. We check down the river and he shows 77 for a set. I actually didn’t put him on that for calling a 3bet out of position and betting the four-flush board. I think I could shove the turn, but we’re both still friendly afterwards.

More hands pass. I steal a bit, value bit top pair some, etc. Keeping an above average stack through two breaks. Then I run into a difficult hand.

UTG: x
UTG+1: x
UTG+2: x
Hero (MP1): $40000.00
MP2: x
CO: x
BTN: A lot of chips
SB: x
BB: x

Pre Flop: ($3400.00) Hero is MP1 with 5s 5c
Hero raises to $4500, 2 folds, BTN calls $4500, 2 folds

Flop: ($12400.00) Ts 7s 2c (2 players)
Hero bets $7000, BTN calls $7000

Turn: ($26400.00) Ah (2 players)
Hero $10000, BTN calls $10000

River: ($46400.00) 5d (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN all-in, Hero folds

BTN is an Asian TAG in a hoodie. Let’s call him Panda. I just saw Panda call a 3bet out out position with 77 and double up with slowplayed flopped quads. I had just stolen 3 pots in a row with good holdings. Panda defends the button. The flop is decent to cbet so I bet just over half pot. Panda floats. Here was a mistake, I didn’t think too much about what he had. The turn comes an Ah, a perfect barrel card, so I double-barrel with half my stack. He calls. Whoops.

After preflop, I guess he could have {78s+, AT+, KQ+, 66-TT}. When he calls the flop, his range is {89, AT+, 77-TT} where he would float with two overs and an Ace. My mistake was barreling the turn. Although it’s a scare card, he continues with almost all range {89, AT+, 77, TT}.

So after this hand, I lose half my stack, and pretty much get killed by the blinds and antes. Final showdown running my AQ into AK pre. And after 5-6 hours, my first ever tournament bust after running good for 5 tourneys in a row. Oh well, you can’t win them all. My coworker witnessed my bust and had a really good stack behind him, although busting one place out of the money. Not wanting to go home yet at midnight with nothing to do, I signed up for the cash games.

Cash Game - +$290

Lately, I’ve been playing tourneys, but I used to be an online cash player. Now in Portland, it isn’t technically a cash game, those would actually be illegal since gambling laws dictate one must not bet more than $1 in any event. All clubs get around this by having a “tournament” called a “shootout”. In traditional shootouts, players play until one man is left standing. Players buy (or “rent”) tournament chips which have no inherit cash value. They give the shootout a time limit (2 hours), and at the end they do an equity chop, everyone walking away with what they have on the table. There are unlimited rebuys and players can sit at any time, but just not leave. tl;dr it’s a cash game.

Encore runs $1/$2 cash games so I bought in for a full $200. I sit, again, directly to the left of Z, giving me position on him. Which is pretty good, I have some reads on him. We start chatting a lot again. The game starts.

I take down the first two pots with some isolating + cbetting with good hands. Then I pick up a healthy pot.

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is UTG+1 with As Ac
UTG calls. Hero raises to $6, MP1 calls, CO folds, BTN calls, SB folds, BB folds, UTG calls

Flop: ($36.00) Td Jh Kh (5 players)
UTG checks. Hero bets $15, MP1 calls. BTN calls. BB folds. UTG folds.

Turn: ($81.00) 7s (3 players)
Hero bets $50, MP1 raises $112 (all in), BTN folds, Hero calls

Hero shows As Ac
MP1 shows Qd 9s

River: ($325.00) 8c (2 players)

Hero wins $325.00

I pick up AA so I make a 3x raise. Unfortunately, I pick up the whole table along for the ride. The flop is scary. Lots of people could call with two high cards, but I figure I’m decent to be good and there’s some draws on the board I want to avoid. I cbet and get a couple callers. The turn is a blank, but I bet out, planning to fold to a raise. Then someone raises all in for only a bit more than a min-raise. I look at the board and with all the draws out there, I couldn’t fold. Plus I had a gutshot. I call. He says I got it and flips over an open-ended straight draw. My pair holds to collect a big pot. Hey, why waste hours playing a tournament when I can just win one big cash game hand?

Z and I are talking the whole session. Turns out he went to Oregon State University at the same time as I did. We were even in the same physics class at one point. He talks a bit about the Corvallis home games which sound fun. Well, he gets a bit drunk. The table gets a bit loose and rowdy. A guy was angle-shooting by motioning to be folding out-of-turn, and the dealer (a blonde girl, let’s call her Kay) tried to warn him, but the guy was too drunk to comply. The floor was eventually called. He stayed, but he drunkenly tilted off three stacks (one to me earlier with the aces). That led to good table conversation about drunken jerks.

The dealer talks about her love life a bit, “casually” dating multiple people, how one of her dates told her he wanted to suck on her earlobes or something. She was blushing a bit as the table erupted with laughter and jokes. She was a nice and funny dealer allowing the table to prod at her a little.

I stack another guy with my KK vs 99 all in preflop for about $70.

Everyone drinks Fireball double shots. People get tipsy. Z is glowing red and wobbling. I saw him spill a bit of beer earlier because he forgot he was just given a full glass of beer. His friend joked he always spills his full beers. So I’m always physically motioning backing off whenever he reaches for his beer. Unlike the earlier drunken jerk, he was a drunken friendly. Dealer thought it was cute. He kind of reminded me of Tracey from Firefly.

His friend sat at one point to Z’s right. My coworker had given me a read on him that he was weak, easy to bluff. Well, Z’s friend and I get into an interesting hand.

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is BTN with Js Jc
UTG straddles $4. 2 folds. MP raises $16, CO folds, Hero calls $16, 3 folds

Flop: ($39.00) Td 5c 2s (2 players)
MP bets $25. Hero raises $50, UTG folds.

Hero wins $89

I actually consider my folding my Jacks preflop after the big raise, but I found out there was a straddle (blind raise) which possibly meant Z’s friend was just attacking the straddle. So after some tanking and saying “ugh why do you have to do this to me, I really want to call with this”, I decide to call. Heads-up to the flop. Z’s friend bets, and I’m a bit nervous. I min-raise for some “information” and as a bluff since my coworker gave me a read that he was weak. I actually announce “raise, minimum”. He tanks for a bit, putting me on a set due to the way I acted preflop seeming like I had a small pocket pair. He folds. I give him some friendly info I had an overpair, as did he (probably QQ).

Z is doing pretty well with $550 in front by bluffing a guy across the table (Z told me he would and Z shows me all his cards afterwards), and then soon afterwards valuetowning the same guy. I suggest to him that we shouldn’t tangle due to our large stacks, and he jokes that “yeah, it’s an unwritten rule, you raise big and I respect. I raise big and you, you know, respect it too”. Which sounded an awful lots like collusion through soft-playing! But I’ll take it.

I go on auto-fold for like 45 minutes until the shootout ends to lock down my earnings. I opt-out of the Five Dolla Holla ($5 table lottery) and tip the dealer. I end up with $495 in front for $295 in profit for the cash game.

Session Conclusion: