Saturday, March 10, 2007

Long night's journey into the night

I've come to like the donkish $3 rebuys on Stars but have not done too well in my last handful of attempts. I had aces cracked twice last week shortly after the add-on period while sitting on averaged-sized stacks.

Sign up for the 8 p.m. version and get no help or luck during the first hour. By the break, I've got $21 invested in the thing but only 2,500 in chips. I reluctantly add-on, ready to make another early exit. Not feeling it, kids.

But I start chipping up steadily, bluffing with position and then doubling up with queens vs. A-K to double up. Experience kicks in. Maybe I do know how to play this game.

The bubble bursts at the same time I'm felting a guy from the button with A-Q. (2,665 runners, 504 get paid). That hand gets me to 64K. Alrighty then. The table immediately dissasembles.

Second hand at the new table, a big stack with around 130K minraises from UTG+1 and I min-reraise him with pocket queens. He surprises me by immediately pushing all-in. Shite. Maybe I'm wrong, but it smells likes aces or kings. I fold. But that's cool. I've got 57K after that hand.

Find aces for the first time from LP with a limper in front of of me. I raise 4x the BB (blinds at 1K/2K/100). Limper and blinds fold.

Raise from LP with A-K. Cutoff with around 25K calls. Flop comes A-10-X. Chips go in the middle. He's got A-10 and turns a 10 for the boat. Back down to 33K. Below average with 350-plus left. Fuck. What's a donkey to do? Rebuild his stack, I guess.

Blinds soon rise to 1500/3000/150 and reduce my stack to 27K. I'm entering the push and pray zone. I eagerly await my cards, hoping to find something that will give me a fighting chance for a much-needed double-up.

Blinds about to hit me at 2K/4K/200, I push from EP with pocket 5s. A-K and A-Q call. Board brings no big cards and I get healthy in a hurry with 86K. Woot! Back above average.

Check-raise a weak bet from BB and am up to 95K, then get to 110K on a semi-bluff in a blinds battle.

Rush-o-rama time: Raise 3x BB from LP with A-J. Guy to my immediate left insta-calls. Flop comes 2 spades. I lead, he calls. The turn is a beautiful spade. I check, he checks; The river is a harmless king. I bet 24K, he calls -- with big slick. I'm up to 170K -- a top 20 stack -- with just over 200 left;

Fold pocket 7s to an all-in for one-third of my stack. Blinds are at 3k/6k/300. I steal them with with A-10 suited. Fold pocket 6s UTG+1 a few hands later.

Steal from button at place bubble w/ 6c-10c. Fold the hammer (sigh).

The break comes. We're 4 hours, 22 minutes into this thing. I have 160K. Average is 124K with 141 players left.

I had had an intermediate goal of making it to at least 162nd, which would almost double my investment. The Stars 20 percent structure puts all the real money at the top and the only way to make anything is to final table this sumbitch. Blinds will be at 4K/8K/400 after the break and I'll be on the button.

Fold K-Q UTG. I hate that freakin' hand. The blinds get into a pissing match. Probably a good thing I folded.

Call a min-raise from LP short stack in BB with J-7. The flop comes A-J-x. I put him in for his last 19K. He has aces and I'm down to 121K. Got to rebuild some more. M is around 8.

Limp from UTG+1 with 6s and the blinds come in. They check the K-K-7 flop. I bet, they fold.

Steal blinds from button with pocket queens. I have gotten some cards tonight

Blinds up to 6K/12K/600 with 96 players left

Fold BB with 6-3 to button raise. Considered a repop but wussed out. Can't afford to let him steal again. Fold SB to a raise and am down to 113K.

Fold 5-2 to min-raise from BB. Flop comes 5-2-6. Shite. Down to 98K.

Push Kc-Jc from SB. The BB and a big-stacked min-raiser fold. I'm at 139K and the average is 227K.

Fold small aces twice during the ensuing orbit.

Get A-K and pop a 3xBB raiser all-in. He folds. Back to 195K;

Get my first walk of the tournament.

Complete from SB with 6-8; 4 players see a flop of 6-8-x with two clubs. I push, satisfied to take it down without further action. Ac-3c calls all-in. He gets his club on the river and I'm back down to 130K. Fuck. I win there I'm up to 320K. Perhaps I misplayed that hand; A nice-sized bet might have set me up to win it on the blank turn. Maybe not.

First table change in almost 2 hours. I'm put directly behind the button. A small break. Chip leader has 1.4 million. Nice. 65 left. I'm in 54th.

Blinded down to 99K, I've returned to push and pray mode. I get Big Slick UTG and push. A shortie with around 50K calls with 9-10. Slick holds up I'm back to 163K before the blinds, which I fold holding 6-3 and 4-2.

Blinds at 10K/20K/1K; a small bit of breathing room; I can fold the next set of blinds if dealt junk. But I'm very much looking to push anything halfway decent. My agg factor is 8.33. That's good, right?

I indeed fold the blinds, including SB with Q-J after a raise and push in front of me. Pusher shows pocket kings. GF, me. Back to 99K.

I find A-K at in MP. There's a raise in front of me and I push. Another slightly larger stack also pushes. Raiser calls and the cards are tabled. Pusher's got A-K, the original raiser ... aces. Fuck me. I'm out in 46th place for a payday of $53.46 after 5 hours and 21 minutes of work.