I haven’t been playing a lot of poker lately, mostly because I don’t really ever find the time to set aside a couple of hours (at least) where I can free myself from distraction. The worst thing that I can do when playing a tournament online is to not set aside enough time to do it, or to not sufficiently take away other distractions and leave myself not really paying attention. While not having enough time leads to having to bow out -usually right about when the tournament reaches the money-, playing distracted often leads to some bad plays late in an attempt to make up for not winning the small pots early.
When I jumped onto Pokerstars on Monday, I saw that the weekly MATH tournament was just about to start. At the time I decided to sign up for it, there were only 15 people already entered. I figured that with the aggressive play in these blogger tournaments, it would probably only take an hour or an hour and a half for this one to end. I was wrong. So with other obligations later which could force me to exit early, I decided to give it a shot anyway (Monday is one of only two nights that I am at home with my wife, which is the biggest reason that I don’t enter this one more regularly.).
I managed to play pretty well for the first hour, with the exception of making a pretty questionable call with an A-9o that went on to 4-flush a win. In that instance I really thought he wasn’t holding an ace, but since we both checked it on the river, I think it is fair to assume that neither of us was all that sure of our hands. I got a big double up early when I was holding an A-Q and smooth called a 3x raise pf. When the flop hit AQx, the other guy bet the pot, I min-raised it and he pushed with AK. Hard to put me on AQ there since I had limped, but (IIRC) I was UTG and not too happy with AQo at a full table. When I called the pf raise, I did so knowing that unless I flopped two pair, trips, or a straight I was going to fold it. My stack got padded a bit more when someone pushed UTG (who wasn’t really a short stack) and I happened to have pocket aces, and they actually held up!
After the first hour, there were still ten people left. One of them was gone on the first hand after the break. I made another bad decision preflop shortly after that. I was holding an A-Jo and raised into an open pot from position. When the big blind re-raised it, I was putting him on a re-steal so I called it. Had I been paying a bit more attention, I would have noticed that calling it there was the wrong thing to do. His raise was enough that it pot commited me, I should have either raised or folded. So when the flop came out with three rags I had to push, and he, in turn, had too many chips in the pot not to call. He had AQ but lost to a rivered (I think) jack. While I don’t normally like to play AJo in big pots, the only thing that I don’t like about my play on that hand was smooth calling the re-raise; I had read his raise as a re-steal, I needed to re-raise him there to try to push him out. He probably had enough invested in it that he would have called it anyway, and knowing that he was holding AQ, I don’t think he would have layed it down anyway, but I didn’t give him the option of laying it down pf if he was holding a garbage hand. I’m probably lucky that he wasn’t in it on a re-steal, I could just see my call of the pf raise giving his 37o a chance to hit two pair on the flop.
When it was down to five of us, the play got tight. There were entire orbits without seeing a flop, as everyone folded to whoever raised the pot first. At some point, the chips were nearly evenly distributed, with everyone seemingly waiting for someone else to make a mistake rather than to risk their chips to make a move. It took a tptk vs. flopped set to get us down to 4. Now officially on the bubble, I certainly didn’t want to be the one to make a mistake. I stole the blinds a bunch of times (as did everyone left), and even got to show the hammer on a steal. The next time I looked at the lobby, it was nearly two hours since the start of it. Dinner had long since grown cold, and the wife just stopped by to tell me that she was going to bed. I was pushing with any two cards until I busted now, which wouldn’t take long. The first hand after that, I pushed a qjo into a pot that had already been raised and found myself against aces. Making it the second consecutive time that I have bubbled the MATH (that being the last two times I have played, not the last two calendar weeks). Which is a bit frustrating. I played well, and I really think that if I didn’t have to leave so abruptly I could probably have held on for another dozen hands, and I was only a double up from second place… Yeah, I need to quit playing this one unless I can set aside a bit more time for it.
As for any other poker over the last week or so, well, I just happen to have screenshots of the other three games that I played:
And I forgot to take a screenshot of the leaderboard at the end of this last one, which was another two table sng, so I only have this one:
I’m not playing in huge stakes tournamnets here, but any time I can play in three sngs and win two, finishing second in the third, I’ll take it. Also, if you looked at the pictures, they date from February 1st through last night. These are not selective pictures of only my wins, I have only entered four events (including the MATH) over that span of time. Isn’t it the way of things that now that I can actually put myself in position to actually take down events when I enter, I simply can’t set aside the time to do so…
Oh, and that $1.36 that I started playing stud with a couple of months ago, that is a little over $185 now.