Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

A lot of things have been going on in my mind since the banning at the Belle. I guess I expected to be sad, to be hurt. I kept waiting for that "stage" of healing to come. It never did (and a week is more than enough for me to get to that stage, as everything with me generally happens very rapidly).

Instead, I feel almost relieved. It isn't fun being a 24/7 watchdog. I hated having to do the job for the dealers, the floorman (LOL, just saying that makes me laugh, since he never did ANYTHING, much less actually "watch" the floor), even the players. Why did I always have to tell them to return the button to the right player? Why was it my responsibility to tell them that Mrs. X was palming chips again? Why did I have to remind Little Gene for the 100th time to watch the booze with his diabetes?

I didn't have to do these things. They weren't my responsibility. No one was paying me to work at the Belle. But I felt duty-bound to do the right (ethical) thing, in every situation.

So there is no hurt. I just simply don't care. This is NOT to say that I'm not moving forward with Mandalay Bay Resorts. I am going to print out every bit of correspondence I have had since day one and send it to them. I have not been lax this last week. I have spread the word far and wide about my unfair treatment. Like days of old, a woman reports sexual harassment, the woman is punished. I was cast out of the cardroom the day I dared say "boo" to a man about inappropriate behavior. What's new?

Some bit of news that I have kept to myself, until now, was that I was going to be coached by Barry Tanenbaum. I was willing to pay the $100 per hour to promote my play. I had it all worked out, we were going to be in Vegas during the WPT and he had openings. So now I'm lost. Yes, I know that I want to continue poker, but to what extent. More on this later...

Since the banning, I have played in some tourneys online. On Thursday, I played in "King of the Zoo," which is an online tournament for people who post on 2+2, and more specifically the Internet Gaming forum, aka the Zoo. This KOTZ tourney happened to be Stud, my favorite poker game. I made it to the final table, out of about 50 participants. I was out at 8th. One bad beat by the chip lead, and then a hand I had to go all the way with, out of desperation. I had two jacks to start, but another player was in the lead from the beginning with two kings.

Playing that tournament made me remember how much I truly love Stud. It was easy to get all wrapped up in the HE hype. HE is where the money is, where the tourneys are. HE is spread all over Laughlin, whereas Stud is dead. But I can't ignore my feelings, and Stud has always been where my heart is at.

Sunday brought our weekly PJK tourney. I did well at a shorthanded table. We had eight seated, but four of the eight were sitting out! So we were four handed. I stole lots of blinds, yet just managed to tread water for a long time, since the blinds came around so fast due to four of the eight sitting out.

Once we got to the final table, I was in good shape with about 6k. Then, when we were down to seven, Jason made a raise with JJ. The raise amount smelled of the type that doesn't want a flop.

I had QQ, and felt that I had the best hand. Jason and I have played against each other so many times in the past that I figured he would know I had him dominated if I went over the top. So I did. And he didn't figure it out, so he called. He got a jack, and IGHN.

The PJK tourneys are going to become a big success, I just know it. Iggy and I both have great plans for the future. Of course, Iggy isn't even participating yet, so go figure, but he does have fantastic ideas for us.

Unfortunately, the "guest celeb" per week might have to be postponed until after the series. Too many celebs are interested in playing satellites, followed by series events. What gives? Like the series is more important than us??? LOL :)

On Monday, I started playing in some Stud 8 tourneys at Planet. They have them running 24/7. I have never seen so many multitable Stud 8 events at one site. Naturally, they don't draw a huge crowd, like some of the biggest sites, but they are very available, and the competition isn't too tough.

I bubbled on the first one. I think there were about 45 players. The second one brought me to the final table, but not in the money that time, either. The third one was last night. There were 47 players.

I was very short during most of the tourney. Planet has some lightening fast structure during the middle portion of the tournament. Sound familiar? I can handle that, I had to play turbo-tourneys for eight months at the Belle. Especially that second hour. The antes rise every 12 minutes. They go from a $2 ante to a $75 ante within 90 minutes. No, there are no rebuys, so there is no way to add chips to the table. This is a killer. Not even the chip lead is very secure by the time the antes hit 75/125/150/200. It is astronomical and adds a crapshoot element to the tourney. But there is still some skill involved because many players keep playing horrible drawing hands (one high card, two low. Three high cards, three straight, flush, etc). So when I have to make moves, which is fairly often, I am assured that I am almost always leading at third.

Sometimes I just have to close my eyes, grit my teeth, and keep my pointer over the bet/raise button, pushing, pushing, and hoping. This usually pays off.

When we were down to two tables yesterday, I finally got some awesome hands that stood up. I went from the shortest stack, at about 600, to having a solid, medium stack by the time we reached the final table.

A lot of people in these tourneys don't like to lay down a hand. Especially if they are the bring in, they don't like to lay it down on third to a raise. This is a huge, huge mistake in Stud. It's a mistake in any poker game, but in Stud they are just asking to be eliminated. I am the opposite. I will lay down my bring-in with pleasure. When I'm in though, be prepared to pay through the nose if you want to tangle with me. I take no prisoners, checking is not part of my repetoire (except the rare check-raise).

So I survived. I eliminated a few players at the final table, but mostly I let the innocents kill each other off with horrible starting hands.

I picked my battles, and eventually got head's up. Sure, I was a 3:1 dog, but I'm good at playing HU, and I can make a comeback.

We fought it out for about an hour! It just didn't go anywhere. He was too passive, I was too aggressive. He laid down too many hands when he could have had me, then he slowplayed hands to suck me in and I played so aggressively that I didn't know I was beat. So we went back and forth. I caught up with him, eventually, but I couldn't maintain the lead. He was just so passive that he kept checking monsters to me, letting me bet his hands for him. And when I did have something great, he would fold. So we see-sawed back and forth forever. Not even the ever rising antes and limits could eliminate one of us (it does slow down towards the end of the tourney, it is the middle that is the killer). I wondered if it would ever end, then proposed a chop. He was in the lead once again, but seemed as impatient to get it over with as I was. He also seemed to fear me, although that is hard to tell on the Internet unless someone just says it outright.

So we chopped first and second evenly.

Today I played in another Stud 8 tourney at Planet. This time I wasn't in any real danger of being eliminated early/mid tourney. I usually had the best hand from start to finish when I did make a move. I was never the chip lead, but I was secure and patient.

When we got to the final table this time, no one had a huge advantage, like Tuesday. Instead of one player having 400 and another having 15,000, no one had much over 4000, and no one was less than 1000. So that changed the dynamics a bit. I couldn't sit around, I had to go for the gusto.

The payout was very top heavy, just the way I like it. 50% to the winner, only the top 3 places pay. I wasn't going for third.

I quickly eliminated 8th and 7th. This final table was the most passive I've seen. Maybe because it was the afternoon crowd, as opposed to the evening crowd. They were very hesitant to tangle. I kept getting last position against a shortstacked bring-in. No one would stick their neck out to eliminate the shortstack, so I was constantly having to put them all in. I did it successfully a couple of times, and doubled them up a couple of times. In every case, they had too few chips for me NOT to call with any three cards. I quickly became the chip lead.

The guy to my right started out as the lead, but he was way too passive, and played three times the hands I played. So he killed himself in both respects, and kept losing the lead. Most of the time I had it.

Right before the break, at 90 minutes in, the passive guy to my left called my raise. I had a three low, A3/5, I believe. He just kept calling me. I had my low on 5th, 7543A, and caught a pair of fives. He never bet, I had no idea what he had, since his board showed a ragged bunch of cards that could be going either way. On the river he caught a five also, making him outdraw my made low with 6543A and a pair of jacks to beat my high.

I came back from the break as the chip dog. I believe there were six of us left. I wasn't discouraged. Stud doesn't seem to do that to me as much as HE. I think I know why this is, but I'll save that for another post :)

At any rate, I just started raising like mad. Sometimes I stole, sometimes I was called down, but I always made the best hand, or at least split it even, and with antes this big (200 by now, I believe), half a pot was nothing to sneeze at.

I kept plugging away. I treaded water from 5000-6000 for a long time. The antes were so huge, and most of the people were trying so hard not to be the bubble. So I stole lots of pots, but we were never seeing a river. I was the only one taking constant chances.

I finally got involved in one big hand that gave me the lead, and then I was off and running again. I picked on the small stacks so much that they were finally forced to make moves, and by that time it was too late. Everyone was being called, because the short stacks just didn't have enough to even make a substantial raise. So they were elminated quickly, and we were finally down to 3, in the money!

I was extremely fortunate when the best player out of the two left with me was the first to be eliminated. Naturally, I would rather play with the weak, passive guy. I can't remember who took out #3, but it was probably Mr. Passive, because he played so many hands. He had eliminated so many players, that he took back the chip lead and now had me covered 4:1.

I knew I could take him, though. He was way too timid. Sure, he was gonna slowplay me here and there, get some of my chips, but I was going to steadily be pounding on him.

Sure enough, I pulled up to even in no time at all. I took lots of chances, and got very lucky, but he would take NO chances, and fold everytime I bet and my board looked scary. Most of the time I had nothing, but I bet like I had what my board showed, and he believed me! So many times he would call ALL the way to the river, just to fold to one more bet! It was amazing, I had the perfect opponent.

A few times he trapped me with his super-passive slowplays (not raising with something like A7/A), but he could never quite get me out, because in between those plays, I kept stealing every hand.

The turning point came when he tried to slowplay kings. I had 87/6 and bet it like I had something the whole way. I ended up with a low, and three eights. He had two pair. Now I had a nice lead, and my style of play kept grinding him down.

The last hand of the tourney happened like this:

Date: 4/7/2004 6:08:00 PM

Players Hole Cards Up Cards Round1 Round2 Round3 Round4 Round5 Total Bet Win/Loss
azshorty 04 31 11
14 18 23 20 200,3000 1500 404.1,A 5104.1 -5104.1
FeliciaLee 47 24 10
21 45 27 49 200,1500,1500 1500 404.1 5104.1 5104.1

And boom, the tournament was over. Booooya!