Sunday, March 19, 2006

Poker's oldest profession

I've spent the last couple of days bonus whoring, first on the much improved Party Poker and then on Paradise. Bonuses for both are easy to reach. The fact that I've been winning has made the effort enjoyable.

You have to play 100 raked hands for every $10 of bonus money on Party. And it can be any size rake, including the nickels and dimes they skim from the $25 NL game. Stick three or four of those up on the screen and bonus requirements are reached quickly. (I really do like Party's table-size reduction feature. Finally makes multi-tabling on a laptop doable.) Paradise is 100 raked hands of at least 25 cents for every $10. Playing $1/2 limit, it's not difficult to achieve.

Signed up for Paradise because of a $30 blogger tournament for a $1,500 WSOP buy-in tonight. All is not well with Paradise. They fail to offer instant hand histories, which means no simultaneous Poker Tracker info on my opponents unless you want to load hand histories via e-mail. I'd rather take my money out after clearing the bonus.

After some $1/2 limit this afternoon, I saw a $30 tournament about to start on Paradise and registered. It wasn't until we were seated that I realized I'd signed up for a 5-max tournament. Too late to unregister and, besides, it almost felt like a freeroll. Plus, I've played far more hands online at short-handed tables than at full tables.

I worked my way up to 5,400 about 20 minutes into the thing after hitting two big hands and hung around for a while. I got comfortably into the money with just under 10K in chips (301 entrants/40 paid). Then went on a mini-rush, doubling up with pocket jacks and winning a big pot with 9-8 suited by making a pair of nines on the flop and betting my opponent off the hand despite a scary jack and king on the board. Stole a little and got it up to a high-water mark of 40K, around fifth place with 20 players left.

A series of raises/continuation bets went nowhere, reducing me to 30K, and lost another 10K calling a short stack's all in with Ad-Qd. She had K-9o. River-river hearts to hit the one in in her hand for a flush. I lasted about five more minutes and finished 13th. I called off my final 10K on an open-ender. Blinds were about to hit 1000/2000/100, I had 5K in the pot and I figured it was a good time to gamble. Wrong, sir.

Played well, overall, but I feel I missed out on an opportunity to go deep. Disappointing.

I am looking forward to tonight's tournament. A tough field full of proven players that should prove, at the very least, educational.


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