A Quick Bust

Current Bankroll: $0 - 600K Play Chips

Took another shot at "The Ferguson" $1 tourney on Full Tilt tonight, but busted out quite quickly. Folded almost every hand for the first half hour until I finally picked up queens in late position. One raiser in front and it folded around to me so naturally I reraised it. It folded back around to the original raiser who raised me up again so I pushed over the top all-in. These are the kind of hands you wait for in these over-aggressive low-buy-in tourneys and I was quite confident I had a big enough advantage to put my tourney life on the line.

I was quite happy to see him flip over 66, but my happiness was short-lived when he completed quads on the flop and I was drawing dead. Out in 1028 of 1637 in just under a half-hour of play.

Oh well, I waited for my chance and then got myself into the perfect situation and it just didn't pay off. But that's poker for you. I'll just have to keep taking a stab at this one and eventually it's bound to pay off.

I've definitely been having some trouble putting in the hours at the play chip tables since coming back so I'm going to have to push myself to grind it out just a bit longer. I certainly can't wait to finally move up in limits though so that I can play some real poker. But I imagine this tournament will have some good poker once it gets down to the money so I just have to get a chance to see that happen.

Started off with some ups and downs as the donks made for some crazy play early on, but I managed to survive it and settle in for some decent poker after about half the field was out and I was back at about my starting stack with the blinds only doubled.

50 minutes into the game sitting at 239 of 572 after I picked up a nice double-up plus some with AKo on the button when a guy in front of me pushed all-in and I got another caller after I came over the top all-in. Don't like this all-in poker, but hopefully now that I'm not sitting at the bottom I can avoid it for a bit.

Took a hit ten minutes later when I thought I caught a guy bluffing in position on a crap flop that was checked to him, but he had the top pair and suddenly I'm down to 404 of 477 and barely over the 10BB threshold going into the break. Looks like I'll need another all-in save to get back into things, but I'll see if I can pull a genuine hand or two before resorting to that.

First hand after break I pick up AQs in the small blind and with the blinds up I'm now below the 10BB threshold. One raise in front and otherwise folded to me so I decide to push all-in. BB folds and raiser flips over JJ which hold up and I'm out in 475th place.

Not sure I played it perfectly and with that big misread in the middle when I was sitting pretty well in chips hurt pretty bad, but it still felt good just to be back at the tables.

Despite the crazy ups and downs of this tournament I have to admit I like the fast play and with the almost 16% cash-in rate I think it probably provides me with the best bang for my buck at this level. I'll definitely be playing more of these when they show up...

A Long Month

Current Bankroll: $2 - 600K Play Chips

It's been a very long month with finals at school and then preparing for the holidays. I'm just now hitting the tables for the first time in almost 4 weeks, and it feels like it's been forever. I just fired up a $1 "Chris Ferguson" tournament at Full Tilt Poker but sitting down a bit already at 723 of 834. 1357 started and top 216 cash so we'll see if I can hang on.

Hopefully I'll have plenty of time for poker now that winter break has started and Christmas is over.

I Got Hammered!

Wow, I was just playing in one of Full Tilt's $100 Freerolls and had worked my way into the top 300, sitting at just over 20xBB when I looked down at QJo in late position and one limper in front of me. Blinds were 200/400 with a 50 chip ante so I raised it up to 2000. One caller.

Flop comes down 257 rainbow and he checks to me. I figure there is no way he hit that flop after calling a 2000 chip raise preflop so I raise the pot nearly putting myself all-in. He immediately comes over the top forcing me all-in. At this point I realized I've screwed up pretty bad since any ace or king will be ahead of me, but I'm pretty much screwed if I fold so I decide to take a chance at hitting something on the next two cards. I call.

He flips over 72o, the Hammer, for two pair and I realize I'm drawing dead. I don't know what he was thinking calling a 5xBB raise with the hammer, but it sure paid off nicely for him. I can't imagine that kind of play will pay off in the long run though. I guess he was planning on taking a chance at bluffing me off the pot if I missed, but he has to consider that I might have a pocket pair and there just aren't enough flops that allow you to bluff someone off of their high pocket pairs.

I definitely made a big mistake in that hand, but it still hurts to see someone making an idiotic play against you and getting lucky. But you can't focus on that because it will always happen. I will certainly learn from this mistake and try to slow down a bit when bluffing missed flops in the future.

Speaking of the hammer, I might as well give you an update on my Hammer Challenge. I finally took a couple of large losses so my ROI has dropped to 1.78 overall, but that still ranks it at 8th in my hand tracking ranks.

As always, you can keep track of my progress at PokerGeni.us

I took another shot at the $1 Turbo MTT over at Full Tilt tonight, this time with 998 entrants and cash going to the top 90 finishers.

Plan was to start out a bit slower than last night and really wait for some good hands to push. Even though it's a turbo tourney and you have to take some chances, I wanted to see if I could wait a bit longer than I did last night to start risking things.

5PM - 998 Players, first hand. Called the first hand with A8s, but folded to a raise pre-flop. I think I'll have avoid these drawing hands early on in tournaments since it seems a much higher percentage of the early hands get raised preflop and these hands rely on a cheap entry to the flop.

5:08PM - 838 Players, JJ on the button. 1 caller, so I call. Flop comes down 865 with two diamonds. Guy in front raises the pot, I reraise, he calls. 4 of diamonds on the turn puts up a straight and flush on the board and he raises the pot. Don't want to risk my tournament life just yet, so I fold.

5:10PM - 806 Players, very next hand, JJ again and I call. K66 rainbow flop, all check. 4 on the turn and SS bets half pot, BB calls and I decide to raise it up anticipating a weak K. SS calls and BB pushes all in, so I have to give him credit for the 6 and fold. SS calls and turns over K3o and the BB turns of 26o. Good fold, but pretty stupid raise considering I was up against the SS and BB I should have given them much more credit for the possibility of at least one of them having a 6. Even without a 6, it's probably unlikely that they will be folding a king, even with a weak kicker given the fast pace of this tournament, so a bluff there is completely unnecessary and suicidal. Definitely a big mistake and now I'm down to 580 in chips, blinds are at 25/50 so it's push or fold from here on out.

5:14PM - 736 Players, QTs in BB. Was getting ready to push but a guy pushes all in for 2,300 in front of me and I have to give him credit for a high pocket pair so I fold. Down to 505 after the blinds and the blinds move up to 30/60 so it's looking pretty bleak.

5:19PM - 676 Players, pocket 55s and two all-ins in front of me, but it was the same guy as before and he had pushed all in with mediocre hands 4 times since the last time I was considering calling. 4 overcards between the two of them, but my 55s hold up and I'm back up to 1605.

5:20PM - 652 players. Same guy pushes all in and I've got 77s so I take another shot at it, it seems this is how this game is going to be, but I lose and am back down to 845.

5:21PM - 638 players. Back to push or fold mode and get ATo on the next hand so I push all in and go up against AKs and he flops a flush knocking me out in 633rd place.

Damn, this tournament was much more of a donkfest than last night, and probably mostly due to the one crazy player at my table pushing all-in with any decent hand. I'm still not sure if I should have tried to stay out of it, but given my low stack and the speed at which the blinds were going up I didn't have much of a choice. Perhaps after doubling up I could have waited for a better opportunity to take another shot, but then again how much do I really want to just play push-or-fold poker? I think I'll be skipping this tournament from now on. It sounded like a good shot at moving my bankroll up, but it is worse than the 2700 player freerolls in that everyone is just pushing all-in preflop and not playing any real poker. I don't think that is the best learning experience for me so I'm going to stick to non-turbo tournaments from now on.