Posted in: game

Old Dog, sbobet New Tricks


I played in PokerStars’ World Championship of Online sbobet Event #5 yesterday. It was a $200 NL Hold ‘Em rebuy tourney. Both GRob and I received free entries thanks to Nolan Dallas and the fine folks over at PokerStar. They know how to treat bloggers right! And I’m not just saying that because Otis is cashing a HUGE paycheck right now!!!!

2146 people entered and after the rebuys and add ons, the prize pool easily cracked a cool million. GRob finished in 940th when his AT lost to QT when a Q hit the flop. I was knocked out a little while later in 799th when my AJ ran into AK.

Those numbers don’t really tell, the story, however. I was extremely happy with my play despite the disappointing finish. Amazingly, I can be taught… someone tell Felicia!

Back in that first December WPBT event, I was practically blinded off sitting between Max Pescatori and Felicia. I was scared, intimidated, unsure of myself. I was a wimp. I couldn’t have been more of a rock if I had rolled off a mountainside.

But that was my game. I played tight. I didn’t think I had it in me to play any other way. And frankly, with online poker rooms populated by idiots, tight was profitable. I had fun and made money doing it. ABC poker helped me cash in countless SNG’s.

However, I lacked the creativity necessary to compete in multi-table tournaments. While my style often helped me accumulate chips early, better players took advantage of me, and I lacked the necessary skill to change gears. And frankly, things like the “gap concept” and “continuation betting” were just not part of my game.

But you finished 2nd in the WPBT Aladdin Classic!!!!

It was a fluke. I took advantage of a poor blind structure, played more aggressively than I might have otherwise, and caught just enough cards when it mattered. Remember my consecutive blind flushes? Not quite the stuff of Harrington and Chan.

So yesterday was tournament time. It would be the largest tournament I’ve ever been a part of. And I would miss the entire first hour.

Here’s where I extend a huge thanks to Heather. I had hoped to get out of work in time to be online. I was due a break for working 17 straight days at the time. I don’t get overtime… so I thought I’d sneak out early. It didn’t work out so well. It’s kinda hard to leave the station sometimes.

So GRob jumped on the girly-chatty thing and told me Heather was willing to play for me until I got home. I got her my info and crossed my fingers. I knew she’d play better than I would have, but I was hoping she got some cards. There was no way I was going to rebuy, so I needed to get to the first break with enough chips to make an add on worth it.

Heather did more than enough, getting me there with a solid 4060T, just below average stack. She probably could have done even more, but she got moved to a table with a guy who played about a dozen consecutive hands all in. I hate rebuys.

And It Begins…

Heather stuck around with some words of advice and encouragement throughout. I was also happy to see well wishes from Otis, GRob, Pauly and Iggy, among others.

I was about 175T below average when the second hour started. The rebuys and add ons were over, so I didn’t have to worry too much about crazy all ins. That meant I could play my game.

It didn’t take me long to establish my tight image, and with some continuation bet encouragement from Heather, I was accumulating chips.

An early key hand was the dreaded Hilton Sisters. I bet my standard 3xBB and got two callers. The flop came down K-9-3 rainbow. Ugh. I hate overcards. The first player checked and I threw out a bet about 2/3 of the pot, I think 500T. The player behind me called. The river was another undercard and I lead out with 1500T, and got called.

Now I was worried. When the river was another undercard, I wanted desperately to check, but that would have invited a bet that would force me to fold, whether he had the king or not. Or course, my 1500T bet at the river was its own sign of weakness, but I simply got called, not raised, and my pocket Q’s beat A9s. It was a big boost to my stack.

Thankfully, I was moved shortly after that play because I think the way I played the hand gave my opponents too much information. And, frankly, there were some pretty good players at the table. At my new table, I was surrounded by a bunch of medium stacks, and considerably less skill.

Here’s where I started playing the kind of poker I’ve never really played before. Sitting in the BB with K6s, it’s folded to the SB who makes a good sized raise. I come right back over the top with a re-raise and he lays it down. I can’t remember the last time I protected my blind.

A few hands later, I’m on the button when the glorious HAMMER falls my way. It’s folded around to me giving me the opportunity to raise it up and take it down. Otis told me when I showed that Mrs. Otis eclaimed, “Hammer!”

The next break rolls around and I’m to 12060T. It was a strong hour for me and I’m suddenly a few thousand chips above average.