Gigli - that was my name last night in the Bodog Blogger Tournament. For the first time in my career, I was the first player to the rail in a bloggerment, and I must say, it feels like utter crap. I'm feeling a bit like Pokerpeaker, after whiffing for the third time in three tries in this series (though without the benefit of his great early year run into tons of $Ts).
Funny thing is, the guy who crippled me had the one hand I tried to attribute to him, but couldn't. To set things up, it's early. Damn early. Maybe 10 hands in? I'm dealt AQo either UTG or in 2nd position. I raise 3x the BB, which seems standard, and I'm called by one player on my left. Flop comes QJT rainbow, and I'm feeling good. Top pair top kicker, gutshot Broadway, and pretty sure player behind didn't have AK. Still, I bet, probably something like 1/2 to 2/3 of pot. Aaaaand, he raises.
Did he flop a set here? It's early; I can fold the hand at a somewhat smallish loss and move on. No, he didn't flop a set. Did he flop Broadway? I dunno, I sort of doubt it, as I think he would have reraised preflop, but I could be wrong. Does he have KK or AA? Again, rather unlikely here. But it's a bloggerment, he could have the Hammer, so I call.
Turn comes the lovely Queen. I've got top set, Broadway draw, and certainly a number of outs to a boat. But still, I don't like his flop raise, and I'd really hate to check/fold here, so I bet. I bet big. 2/3 of my remaining stack. And he gooes all in. Sick! No way...he didn't have JJ or TT, did he? If he had the overpair, he's burnt toast, drawing to two outs at most. If he has Broadway, I still have outs - and I have him covered by like 200. I call, he shows JJ (dammit), and I miss my river boat draw. I was behind the whole time. Not sure how I could have played it differently, but eager for guidance.
Anyway, that leaves me with 250, and one orbit later, I pick up AA under the gun. I can't go all in here, I need the chips. I can't call, because I don't want six players seeing the flop, so I bet 3x the big blind. And NOBODY called. Wow. It's as if my cards were dealt face up. Smokkee could only laugh, and I don't blame him.
So the tourney series is only three weeks old, but already, I feel as if there's no way I'm going to finish in the Top 18 for the final tourney. There's already over 30 players with points, and I'm not one of them. However, the $T overlay in this thing is so sweet, I'm obviously going to continue with it.
As for the Skillz Series, I had to fold a big hand early for 25% of my chips, and could never ever get anything going. I semi slowplayed flopped trip kings, and ultimately had to fold on a very ugly board with many straight and flush possibilities, to a large bet that had me covered. Every hand I had with real potential, usually went tits up by the turn. I went out something like 30th, but PLO8 can be an uncaring bitch like that, sometimes.
Which brings me to this...last night was a really fucking weird night of poker. I crashed both bloggerments, got river three-outed a few tables from the money in the Bodog $10k, missed cashes in both PLO tournies I played, and yet managed to break even for the night (except in the sleep departement; I'm fucking exhausted this morning). I did manage cashes in a Stars $4/180, and in the Bodog $3k, but just barely, but in the Full Tilt $1 rebuy, I took a short stack and crashed the final table for a 6th place finish (77 < AKo), turning $4 (two rebuys and add-on) into about $66. I really would have liked a deeper run, but 1/3 of the final table was playing so lagtardy and calling every raise, that I wasn't going to be able to wait for a bigger hand.
This is pretty much the 2nd consecutive session where I had entirely crappy finishes in the vast majority of my events, but cashed deep enough in one to cancel out my losses. Given Peaker's post today, describing the sensation seems appropo, because "The Middle Suck" certainly fits. I can't seem to get off the breakeven, and I'm definitely running in the middle.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly complaining. Running in the middle certainly beats one of the alternatives by a long shot. But much like eating a dry burger without cheese or ketchup, it's just not that fulfilling, and I'm left with more questions about my play. Sometimes, when you completely bollocks up a move, not only are the results obvious (you're broke), you can often identify where you went wrong. But when you're running in the middle, the task becomes seemingly far more difficult. In this case, I have actually managed to make more final tables in the last week or two than I have in a good while. But is that disguising bad play with good luck? Is it simply variance that my deepest runs lately are all in the $1-5 tournies, instead of the $10 tournies? Can the difference in play quality truly be that extreme going from a $5 to a $11? Somehow, I doubt it.
All of these will be questions I attempt to answer over the next couple of days, whilst trying to catch up on my sleep and watching total lunar eclipses with the Good Doctor Mondo, and going to Cowboy Curse shows, instead of playing poker.
Speaking of tits up, I'd like to welcome another Virginia bar poker refugee to the blogger community. Please extend a pint to Evy and her Top Pair, as she starts slinging chips in all the old familiar places.