Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Step 3...

Well I decided today was the day to use my ticket. I regged for the normal speed with 10 minute blinds, not turbo. I OPRed the guys at my table. One was a 99.8% OPR genius for the last 3 years with 150K profit for 2009. One other was profitable, all the others were horrible. I never got a playable hand all game and found myself very short stacked on the bubble. I was on the verge of being blinded out when a middle stack shoved with JJ. The bb woke up with QQ and won the hand letting me crawl into 5th for a new Step 3 ticket. I finally got a hand AKs, got two callers and lost to QJ.

At the same time I was also playing in the Daily 30K. Within the first 5 minutes I called a minraise holding J9s and flopped two pair. We ended up all in with him chasing a flush. I doubled. Two hands later I get AKs on the button. I called an utg minraise again and flopped AJ10. I check raised and got called. The next card was low and I moved all in. He called with KK. Yes, he caught his 1 outer on the river to reduce me to 1500 chips. I then proceeded to fold for an hour.

Finally, with an M of 6 and a Q of about 0.3 I made a 3x raise from early position. Another shorty who had me covered moved all in and one of the chip leaders with 30K stack called. I knew I was in trouble, but decided to call. Shorty had AQs and chipleader had QQ. I flopped a J for a set and was looking good. The turn was a 10 and, no surprize, the river was a K giving the AQ shorty a straight...

Anyway, I regged for the next Step 3 normal speed. Things went better this time... The guy to my right at the start also played in the first step3. I'll post my thoughts on the game tomorrow, but let me just say that having a smart aggressive chip leader to my left made play late in the game difficult.

Here is the game
Step 3 $75 +7 buyin

Roland's comments on the game

I obviously played this rather cautiously. I was forced to become even more passive due to my position. I was squeezed between two dagerous players. Dei overnuts to my right was in the previous Step3 game. He is very aggressive often raising oop pf, raising on the flop or turn and surprizingly often firing a second barrel on one of the final streets. Worse, the only times he had to show his cards he had a solid hand. I wanted to avoid confronting him. The later stage chip leader was to my left.

H31 utg min-raise with QQ. That was asking for trouble. Nice flop for me though :) Once I doubled I was playing to conserve chips.

H52 Happy to see Dei overnuts go.

H53 First sign of life from rjgrolsch. Keep an eye on him from now on. Bubble play starts.

H76 Any thoughts on this one?

H107 Bubble finally bursts, but I’m got one of the smallest stacks. rjgrolsch with a hammer lock on the table starts getting aggressive.

H115 Glad the limpers let me see the flop for free.

H129 Any thoughts? I didn’t want to play post flop with this hand and chose to play it safe (weak).

H138 Oh yeah, this nice flop helped secure my Step 4 ticket.

H140 Any thoughts? Normally this is an easy call (or all in to isolate the shorty). Playing the hand greatly increases the chance of knocking out the shorty. However, if he wins the hand I’m suddenly in bad shape.

All in all a pretty boring 140 hands to watch, but I am thrilled with the outcome!


  1. I forgot to mention that I played the first Step on my stationary PC without success. I switched to my laptop and turned on the Discovery Channel for the second and more successful game.

    Perhaps I'm getting superstitious....

  2. Nicely done with pretty bad cards, Roland, congrats!

    H45 I like how you played this hand with a small pair in the BB against a SB limp.

    H48 "Tight is right" but given the stack sizes, limping behind for 50 with J9s in the CO looks like a good investment to me (and the flop is proof the poker gods agree, lol!).

    H76 I liked your small ball open raises to 2.5x the BB midway and late in this tourney but not from the SB, especially against an aggressive BB. Given the pot odds, he's almost sure to call and now you're playing a bigger pot OOP against a player you have to respect. I would either limp or raise to 3-4xBB. Clear fold to the reraise.

    H129, H140 Folding these seems fine to me.

  3. Nice game Roland! I was railbirding from "final 7". I was curiois about the hands you folded at "bubble time". All-in-all a solid performance and probably a good fold in HH 76. Rjgrolsch can be put on a number of hands. Even if you are ahead, you showed strength by folding to such a wet board and made an investment towards him for later hands as he respected you. N1!
    Lol at minraise QQ in HH31. I would have shoved even KK and AA with such a small stack. I like the fold in HH140.

  4. Forgot to mention that I'm with Benko on HH 48, the excellent suited gapper in late pos. HH 58 I might have called here, but that's easy to say after seeing the board, lol.

  5. Thanks for your comments MrSmith and Benko,

    I agree I missed a few opportunities. Typically, I don't play semi-connected cards. Here though I was pretty card dead and should have played the few opportunites that popped up such as H48.

    Futhermore Benko, you said "H76 I liked your small ball open raises to 2.5x the BB midway and late in this tourney but not from the SB, especially against an aggressive BB. Given the pot odds, he's almost sure to call and now you're playing a bigger pot OOP against a player you have to respect. I would either limp or raise to 3-4xBB."

    Interesting that you noticed this. I noticed it too. This type of situation has occurred several times in big MTTs where stacks often get deep. Part of my plan for playing the Sunday... is to adjust me preflop raise size back up to 4x. The small ball 2.5 or 3x works fine in the short stacked turbos, but Harrington's 4x seems better suited for the deep stack tourneys.

    I might post the final hand on 2+2. Gut feeling points in one direction, but the math in another.