Saturday, January 26, 2008

The road ends...

After the Tuesday freeroll tournament which I finished 402nd out of 403, I played in The Metro 75 where the winner gets staked by Nick Galan. I tried to play the way I used to. I'd folded cards that didn't deserve to be played and I raised with cards that are worth raising with. Still I busted out pretty early. But this time I paid very close attention to what's happening around me and I've realized several points worth talking about.

Contrary to what is ideal, people play a lot of hands during tournaments. It's pretty hard to put a person on a hand when they play every other hand. There were several instances when there were 6-7 people who would see the flop. I've seen 2 people battle it out with more than half their stacks in the pot holding A7 and 54. Mind you that it was early in the tournament and neither of them were considered short stacked. I mean, why would you ever limp in with A7 and why in hell would you ever consider calling the blinds with 54?! These kinds of plays belong in the cash table and not in a tournament.

I considered myself to be a decent tournament player. Though this was before I played too many cash games and it impaired my judgment. One shouldn't play the same way in both and expect to win.

Now I'm at a crossroads. I've been playing terribly lately and I need to get back on track. I'll need to bring my bankroll up again and this is going to be hard. I need to play smart. (I've written about this before but I need to keep telling myself this for the lessons to sink in.)

I will start by winning my first Metro 75. I give myself 3 months. By April 30, I should've won my shirt.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Still on the road...

I got home 6ish in the evening and since I don't have an internet connection (don't ask), I headed to Seattle's Best. There I so my friend Mr. Lou Pacia. He was in a meeting and when he saw me, he decided he's going to play as well. So we were there ready to play the freeroll with only 5 minutes remaining before it started. Then Lou thought that we should play at The Metro instead. So we rushed to The Metro and we arrived only 10-15minutes late for the tournament. I busted out pretty early and the rest of the night was pretty uneventful.

I again arrived at home around the same time. So I headed to Starbucks this time. There I played and it's a great feeling to be playing a good game surrounded by people who don't care about what you're doing. But I busted out with 60+ players left.

I played the Pokerstars freeroll at The Metro. It busted out real early and I played my friends account instead because he couldn't make it in time. I finished 36th place out of 380+ using his account.

Tuesday (today)
I'm currently in the The Metro waiting for the Pokerstars freeroll to start. In about 15minutes, I'll be all serious and shit. Then I'm going to head home with hopefully a seat.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Road to The Metro Main Event

Since The 3,000,000 Guaranteed Metro Main Event has been moved to January, I've been trying to get a seat. For this week, I've been playing everyday.

I played the Pokerstars freeroll at home. There were around 122 players and I placed 17th.

I played the Pokerstars freeroll at Joey's place. There were around 211 players but I forgot what place I finished in.

I almost didn't play the Pokerstars freeroll because I was at The Metro but didn't bring my laptop. It just so happened that Paul had a laptop with him but he didn't plan on playing so I borrowed his. I don't know how many players there were and I don't know what place I finished in.
On the same day, I played the Metro 75. There were 78 players because DirtyIceCream was going to stake the winner for the Metro Main Event. I busted out while there were still 4 tables. Although it's important to point out that my play while I was still in my first table was great. That first table was great. The players knew how to play properly. The downside was that because only 2 people who busted out, there wasn't a lot of chips going around and when our table collapsed, our chip stacks couldn't compete with those from the other tables.

I played the Pokerstars freeroll at The Metro. There were 260+ and I finished 151st. I blame this on Lou who was hovering around me while I was playing because he busted out early (haha).
On the same day, I played the Php 500 buy-in Metro Main Event Satellite. I busted out on the 2nd deal. I was UTG with QQ. I raised to a total of 200. (Blinds was at 25/50 and I had a fresh stack of 3000). Next 2 people to act called my 200. 3rd person raised to 1400. Next 3 people folded. Button thought about it but folded. SB and BB folded. It was my turn. Re-raiser probably has a great hand AA or KK or hopefully but less likely QQ or JJ. Button probably has big cards, good enough to call a small bet but not to call a re-raise. I don't know what the 2 callers after me had but if they weren't good enough to raise my 200 bet, they're probably going to fold after a re-raise. It was only up to me and the re-raiser. If I called, I wouldn't be able to make a move after the flop with only 1600 left. If I folded I would've lost a very small amount compared to the blinds and the stack. As Mike McDermott said, "The move was folding; I couldn't lose what I don't put in the middle."
But then again, there's that slight chance that he might fold if I bet and even if he called, I can still hit a set. Besides, there were a little less than 60 players and I didn't feel I had the strength to outlast them all. So I raised all-in and as expected, my QQ was up against KK. And that ends that tournament.

Friday (today)
I got off work at 530pm and I won't be able to get home in time because it's a Friday, rush hour and I'm in Makati so I looked for an internet shop. So I played the Pokerstars freeroll again. There were 287 players and I finished 270th.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Remember Lucky You with Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore? The man seated at seat #3 I think was this old guy with a toy on the table. It was of a tiger with the head nodding which reminds you of those trinkets cab drivers put on their dashboards.

A lot of poker players have their own toys they bring in to the table to serve as card protectors. Most popular are commemorative coins or chips which several players protect their cards with. I've seen Del with his, well I don't know what the little gold thing is exactly. I first used a small toy of Superman flying, then I used a lighter to cover my cards. At the time I couldn't play if I didn't have the Superman toy or the lighter with me. I would even opt to go home and not play at all just because I don't have it.

Then there's some superstition about the chip stacks. Some like the lines on the sides to be in line. Some like all the stacks to be even.

Then there are the cards. Those favorite cards you couldn't quite resist playing. I would play with J9s or J9o even with a raise. I've heard some would always play 32 or whatever random hands they'd won with once and never forgot.

Then there are some mannerisms people do either out of habit but often because it somehow makes them feel lucky. John knocks on the button everytime it's on him. I actually feel that when the cards are dealt and they're on top of each other, it's a good hand; if the dealt cards do not touch, they're probably rags.

Then there are superstitions about dealers. I would most likely call with a draw if Sonny is dealing rather than, say, Dainty. A lot of people have their preferred dealer, mine is Sonny.

But I'd like to share my experience yesterday. I was smoking outside of our building when I felt something drop on my shoulder. It felt like a drop of rain but the sky was very clear. I looked up and there was this bird right above my shoulder. I had bird crap on my shoulder. Now it's never a good feeling to have crap on your shoulder even if it is just from a little bird. However, they say that it's lucky to have a bird crap on your shoulder. If a little bird can give good luck, imagine what an ostrich can do.

So the day went by uneventfully until we were in a bar having a couple of beers. I felt my hand itch terribly. Elders say that when the palm is itchy, money is be yours. I figured, I have bird crap on my shoulder, my palm is itchy, and I'm in Metrowalk. So I went to the ATM, withdrew 1 buy-in for the 25/50, then headed to The Metro.

I had to wait for a seat to open for the 25/50, when it did, I sat down and played. I basically played my normal game. And went to win twice what I bought in for. I never had bad beats, nor were there any hands with hard decisions. Everything went smoothly.

My point is this, I've seen people really on luck to win. And although there really is no harm in believing, there's so much to be lost when the view narrows because of a superstition. Believe all you want but never make it decide for you.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

What a way to start the year...

Last night I joined The Metro's Metro 75 tournament. I arrived in 4th level and I still had around 9000 stack (90% of original stack). I figured it wasn't so bad and I'd still get to play with 30x blinds. Problem was that everybody was playing their game and I was there trying to find mine and trying to read the mood of the table and stuff. After around 15 hands, the table collapsed and I had to move to a different table with a whole new set of players.

I never had a chance. Everything went on like I wasn't there. It came to a point when the average stack was around 15000 and I had like 3000 with blinds at 400/800. I never got my groove. Lesson learned.

Lesson 5: Never join a trounament too late.

I even busted out on a bluff. (Now that's just bad poker) Now I realize that by posting this I lose all hope of having someone stake me for bigger tournaments, but in my defense, in all the time that I've joined tournaments, this is the very first time I've arrived late. I'm sure everyone who knows me can attest to that.


Then I decided to make up for the buy-in on the cash tables. There wasn't any 25/50 seats open so I bought in on the 10/20 table instead. I already know what's going to happen there and I really shouldn't have bothered. After 2 buy ins I called it quits and went home and wasted my time watching the lava lamp I got for Christmas instead.


The night only cost me Php 4,200 which is small for the usual stakes I play but it really got me down. I never played as bad before and now I'm practically a fish. I vow never to let it happen again and good luck to anyone who happens to be at my table the next time I play.