poker sportsbetting

End of season ITH League freerolls, Mafia and NBA follow-up

First of all, I wanted to talk about the ITH League season-ending freerolls.  These were great events with great prizes and great opposition.  I’ve had such a great time playing with my fellow ITHers and talking trash with them.  It seems to me that it gave me an experience akin to that of the professional tourney circuit players — I got to play a lot of the same people over and over.  Many of the ITH players are very, very good and it has been fun to learn how to adapt to each of them.  I’ve also had to figure out who had what style of play and how best to counteract that.  It has been an experience altogether unlike most online MTT play, where a significant number of the players are donkeys and I rarely see the same one twice.  There are some ITH’ers that give me fits every time they are at my table and I’ve patterned my play on things they taught me.  I’ve had a number of unhappy comments when I’m moved to a new table, so I think I’ve accomplished my goal of being someone that nobody is happy to see at their table.

I blew up in a completely disasterous start in the minor WSOP event freeroll.  I called a blind steal with 64s in the BB, along with ebo in the SB.  I check-raised a 64x flop and ebo called.  The turn was 5 and ebo bet out.  I called, because he is perfectly capable of representing the straight when he doesn’t have it.  I figured if he had it, he’d bet the river again and I’d have to let it go if I didn’t improve.  If he was making a move, he’d check the river to me.  I also thought that since I had the initiative, he might have check-raised the turn if he had a straight.  We’ve banged heads a lot of times and he had to figure I would bet there.  The river was a bullseye for me, coming a 4 and giving me 4s full of 6s.  To my astonishment, he pushed the river.  I said to myself if it was boat over boat, I was just going to have to go home and called.  I was going home.  I was the first out!

To make matters worse, SuitedPair was the second out.  She raised JJ preflop and got a pair of callers.  When the flop came J55, she was happy as can be with the nut full house.  There was a little action on the flop and the turn, but the river went bet, raise by Suited, push by DTheater.  DTheater is also quite aggressive, but he had to have a boat in order to play the river that way.  However, Suited had the nut boat so she wasn’t going anywhere.  It turns out that the nut boat is not the nuts and DTheater turned over quads.  We were 1-2, although not at the end of the leaderboard we were hoping to be at.

I played a whole lot better in the WSOP ME qualifier.  I started slowly, taking some flops but having to get away from most of them.  I drifted down in chips a bit, before I ran into a terrible stretch of hands.  I got rivered by a four outer, then a three outer, then a two outer and all the sudden I was the short stack.  I just had a few hundred chips left when the average stack was almost 3,000.  About this time Matthew dropped by to taunt me.  He pointed out that I’ve donked off my chips before, so I should be good at playing a short stack by now.  He had a point.  I do think I play the short stack pretty well, although it makes me anxious.  I found good situations to push and win good sized pots, many of them without a flop.  Both times I had to showdown I had big hands.  I battled my way back up off of life support, up near average and then all the way to among the chip leaders.  I believe I was playing some really good poker.  I was restealing from the right people and calling down with medium strength hands at the right time
and cruising along well.  Of course, with my style I was up and down a bit, but things were going well.  I made it to three tables with a heathly stack and was near the lead when it made it to two tables.  I was in healthy position when we made the final table, somewhere around the middle of the pack.  We lost a few people and were down to 6 or 7 when I took my last bad beat.  I hate bad beat stories and don’t usually tell them, but this was for a $12,000 WSOP seat, so I’m going to indulge myself.  A very active UTG player made a standad raise, which with his range could be probably top 15% of the hands or so.  Maybe AT+/44+/two face cards — he’s definately not a JJ+/AK guy in that spot.  A short stack pushes in for not much more than the original raise and I find KK in the SB.  Of course, I push, thinking I’ll probably end up heads up or maybe against an underpair or two.  UTG doesn’t think for long and calls me.  He has me covered by a bit.  UTG turns over AJ and the shorty had A7 or some such.  I’m very pleased to have them down to two outs between them (I’m about 75% to win) and am already imaginging myself back amongst the leaders.  The flop comes all babies and I’m now like 87% to win.  Of course, the Ace spikes on the turn.  It leaves me with a cruel hope because it is the third heart and I’m the only one holding a heart, so I have 9 heart outs and 2 king outs, so I’ve still got better than a 25% chance to get saved by the river.  Unfortunately, no saving card is coming for me and I join the rest of ITH on the rail.

Toronexti, who is a really nice guy, goes on to win the whole thing.  On top of that, he wound up cashing in 6th in the Stars million later that night.  That was worth 25k to him and his adhoc group of backers (arranged before the event in IRC), so he had a 37k day.  Not bad work if you can get it!

To add insult to injury, I was having a really great time playing in the ITH version of the mafia game where I was the Detective.  At literally the exact same time I busted out in the WSOP freeroll, I got the PM letting me know that I was now dead.  This is the worst possible result for the town because I had pretty much completely unravelled the mystery but hadn’t been able to explain what I knew because I was still playing the game and trying to uncover the remaining mafia players.  If the doctor got killed and I knew I had only one day to live, I could have explained everything to town and improved our chances to win a lot.  Now I have to watch from the sidelines like everyone else.

I did lay off my free bet on Miami by taking Dallas straight up.  I still think taking Dallas to win in 5 or 6 would have been a better bet, but I went with the straight up bet — locking in a small win.  I’m glad because otherwise I’d be sweating the next two games.  The way the NBA plays out, I’m pretty sure Dallas won’t sweep because Miami will make a strong effort at home if they get down 3-0 and Dallas won’t really be in that game, but you never know.

By Nsidestrate

I'm a hard-core limit ring game poker player who is becoming a degenerate sports bettor. I'm sure it will all make more sense if you read on.