Friday, December 19, 2008

World Blogger Championship of Online Poker NLHE - 12-16-08

The ultimate victory in competition is derived from the inner satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best and that you have gotten the most out of what you had to give. – Howard Cosell

Although my tournament game is certainly not on par with my cash game, I rushed home to sign up. I got that done and began to discharge some of my usual familial responsibilities. The idea of me playing poker early in the evening while the boys were still active was already not sitting well with my wife and the tourney had not even begun. In jest, I assured her a sizable cut of the potential winnings if I were to be so fortunate. She was unmoved by my generosity.
When the tournament finally began, I have to admit I was sort of excited.
I was dealt A-A utg in the first half hour but got no action. I had to fold 9-9, 10-10, and some other medium and/or small pairs due to the aggressive player seated behind me, Klagyi from Isaszeg. I was in seat 7 and he in seat 8. Seats 9, 1, and 2 were all sitting out so their blinds were constantly under attack and Klagyi, being in prime position, would often re-raise any raiser. Finally, I get involved in a big hand with Klagyi and another player while I hold A-8s on a board of J-9-x with one spade. The turn is the 10s giving me the nut flush draw and a non-nut str8t draw if a Q hits on the river. I bet and get re-raised all in – of course I have to call due to how much I already have in the pot. The river brings the Ks giving me the nuts and I triple through the table. Not much later, I get J-J (twice) in EP but get no action either time.

First Break! I check the tournament lobby for notables and see RakeWell among the top 50 or so. I am approximately 73 (of hundreds).

Following the first break, I get K-K, utg of course, and get no action. A new maniac gets moved to my table and he is supernova elite named Alphafoil from Valencia. The three players in the 9, 1, and 2 seats are still sitting out! So, Alpha, Klagyi, WMZeus, and I are constantly battling for their dead blinds and antes. 90+ minutes into the tourney, the sitters are finally eliminated. I am at T 6,620 and the average is T 5,156. I kept getting A-rag offsuit in EP and having to fold to late position raisers. Klagyi finally self destructs giving his chips to WMZeus from West Monroe. So far, I have played 15 of 179 hands and I am at 83 of 217 players remaining. Then, the first trouble hand occurs for me. I am dealt A-10s in EP and I foolishly decide to play it. After missing the Q high flop completely, I make a pot sized continuation bet only to be re-raised all in from Alphafoil. I had to fold since I probably had only three outs for my tournament life. That blunder cost me roughly half my chips and now, I am one of the short stacks at the table.

Second Break! I check the lobby and see the Memphis Mojo is doing well. He would go on to make the final table. Congrats to the Mojo!

Interestingly enough, I am still at the table I started at (#67).
I am down to T 3,500. Within a few rounds, I am dealt 7-7. I re-raise all in pre-flop hoping to take down the pot or at least isolate against one opponent. I get my wish. Only WMZeus calls and shows his K-K. I end up losing to set over set when my 7-7-7 goes down to his K-K-K and I am out in 120th place.

While I was disappointed not to make the final 72, I had a good time.
I have to give it to PokerStars, I loved the tournament structure and I saw some good solid poker from the other players at my table. It was nothing like the usual all in shove fest of other freerolls I have played in. All in all, a good experience and one I will participate in again.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

End the Oppression Against Online Poker!

Liberty, according to my metaphysics, is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power. – John Adams

The infamous happenings that have affected we US players under the heavy handed outgoing administration, such as the sneaky passage of the UIGEA, appear to be nearing an end. As a US player, I have felt insulted. I can lawfully choose to travel a long distance at significant cost and inconvenience to play poker at a casino but I am hindered from playing online in the comfort of my own home. The doors open to me where I can enjoy a nice no limit table have been halved or worse. But what is being done? I hope President elect Obama is going to take a more reasonable position on online gaming and poker online in the US, but we will have to wait and see what will actually be done to restore our liberty. With executive support, I feel confident US Representative B. Frank (D - MA), Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, and a more moderate congress will not disappoint the online poker community. I can almost see the chips stacking up! I miss the informality of playing in an online poker tournament on a new site. I long for the freedom to choose from all the available gaming sites out there rather than the few still open to US players. We spoke with our votes and now we are ready for the change that was promised to be delivered.
Here’s an early New Year’s wish that our Congressional Leadership hears the voice of freedom loving Americans and respects our votes and our desires to enjoy online poker and gaming free from obstructions or oppression.