Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bloggers & Burnt Weeny Sandwiches

I was one of the 1,337 runners vying for those Xboxes, iPods, and other folderol in this afternoon’s World Blogger Championship of Online Poker. I lasted nearly four hours, ultimately limping into 137th place (a bit shy of any prizes). Better than any reasonable person would have predicted for yr humble servant.

I picked up some cards, played a fair game, but didn’t really pull off anything out-of-the-ordinary to make it that far. Ended up short-stacked, making a desperate push with JsTs. Got called by big slick, didn’t improve, and the day swiftly ended with a whimper.

Frank Zappa provided my soundtrack this afternoon, so here are few highlights grouped by LP.

Hands #1-#41: Hot Rats (1969)

Frank Zappa, 'Hot Rats' (1969)Have to say I wasn’t completely sure how to act with 10,000 chips and 25/50 blinds. Didn’t have much of an idea here other than I knew there was little reason to get too crazy early on with 200 friggin’ big blinds. Did witness a couple of guys at my first table nevertheless doing just that, pushing all-in with K4-suited and the like before “Peaches en Regalia” had even finished. I was getting such lousy cards it was easy for me to stay out the way. Ended up folding most of these 41 hands, other than taking the occasional free flop from the blinds. Didn’t get dealt a single pocket pair here. The only “premium”-type hand I saw was AJ-suited in the big blind, which I bungled a bit to lose about a thousand chips. When “It Must Be a Camel” ended, I was sitting at 8,200.

Hands #42-#84: Burnt Weeny Sandwich (1970)

Frank Zappa, 'Burnt Weeny Sandwich' (1970)Finally got some pocket pairs here -- deuces, twice. Both times in the big blind. (Not funny, I thought.) I stole the blinds once from the cutoff with A5-suited. I was down to 7,700 when I finally picked up a nice hand to play -- AdAc. With the blinds 150/300, an early position player (who had me covered) raised to 900 and I reraised to 2,200. The EP player called, then when the flop came Ks9dTs he instantly pushed all-in. I didn’t like the look of it, but couldn’t let my rockets go, so I called. He had 8d7s for an open-ended straight draw. A spade on the turn gave him a bunch more outs, but none of them hit and I was up to 16,050 in chips.

Had another nice hand soon after that involved me picking off an attempted blind steal from a short-stacked player on the button. He had a little over 5,000 when he open-raised to my small blind. I reraised, the BB folded, he pushed, and I called with my AcTh. He had 9s4s, and while a four flopped so did an ace. By the time “Valerie” was fading out, I had cracked the 20,000-chip mark.

Hands #85-#146: Weasels Ripped My Flesh (1970)

Frank Zappa, 'Weasels Ripped My Flesh' (1970)Got switched to my third different table early on here. After a couple of minor skirmishes, I picked up aces yet again and ended up all-in preflop against QQ. My rockets survived, and I was up to 32K. I took it easy until Hand No. 119 when I made a pretty sketchy play with AsKc from the BB. I had 30,550 when the hand began. Blinds were 400/800. A player with 9,700 or so had raised to 2,400 from early position, then was reraised all-in by a player with about 11,700. It folded around to me and I went ahead and called it, figuring I stood to triple (nearly) my investment if I took it down. Unsurprisingly, one of my opponents also had big slick -- suited, in fact -- while the other had a pair of eights. The other AK-player ended up making his flush, and I was down to 18,740.

I chipped back up over 20,000, then just as “My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama” comes on I get dealt a pair of queens in the cutoff. With the blinds still 400/800, I raise to 3,000 and the player on the button instantly pushes in his entire stack of 20,000. I’d seen him push all-in several times already, so thought it quite probable he didn’t have much here. Aces or kings seemed unlikely. Big slick was possible, making it a coin flip to call. Most important, though -- as I had demonstrated more than once already today -- is the fact that I ain’t good enough to fold a big hand preflop. So I called, and he showed Ac8h. A few seconds later and I’m up to 41,540, about 130th or so out of the 400-plus remaining players.

Hands #147-#193: Chunga’s Revenge (1970)

Frank Zappa, 'Chunga's Revenge' (1970)Cool album. Boring stretch of hands. I did a lot of folding and when “Sharleena” ended I was pretty much where I began, still holding steady with about 41,000 in chips. This meant that with 320 or so players remaining, I was sitting on an average stack.

Hands #194-#240: Fillmore East: June 1971 (1971)

Frank Zappa, 'Fillmore East, June 1971' (1971)Getting into that period of Zappa/Mothers albums that doesn’t necessarily work very well as a poker soundtrack. I had me a system going here, though, and so pushed through.

By now the blinds and antes were starting to become significant, and stealing had become the preferred modus operandi of most players. I managed a few thefts of my own here, though I was mostly conservative, not really trying anything much with subpar hands. I believe the worst hand I stole with was 9h8h. I benefitted a bit because the player to my right had gone AWOL, meaning I didn’t have to contend with much blind-vs.-blind goofiness. Had kind of a dumb play where I completed from the SB with T7-offsuit, then tried to steal the pot on the turn only to get raised off the hand. That knocked me back to 36,000 or so.

Hands #241-#262: Just Another Band from L.A. (1972)

Frank Zappa, 'Just Another Band from LA' (1972)Not my favorite Zappa album, but I was taking them chronologically and so had to cue this one up. Side one is that long “Billy the Mountain” suite that I have to admit I’ve never really gotten into. Compounding the situation, the AWOL guy gets moved from my table, only to be replaced by a highly-aggressive player with 170,000 chips and a Marilyn Manson pic for his avatar. As my M starts to slip under 10, he starts preraising about 50% of the hands. I push once with AK, only to split with another big slick player. Finally had to let it ride with JT-suited and was sent to the rail about half-way through “Call Any Vegetable.”

Not so bad, I guess, although clearly I found myself lacking the needed skills to make things happen there at the end without catching cards. Don’t believe I played with anyone I know -- if I did, I was unaware -- although I did notice a number of familiar names among those registered. Hope everyone had fun!

Meanwhile, it’s back to the land of cash games for me, I think.



Blogger gadzooks64 said...

Well done sir.

I went out in the high 400s.

My soundtrack was "Kids running amok" by Zooks97 and Zooks99 with help from The Neighborhood Kids, and "Disappearing Husband" by The Other Half.

Maybe next year.

BTW, Khanwoman took down an iPod.

10/15/2007 9:47 AM  
Blogger Spunksock said...

You did alot better than me...I fell in 745th place to quad tens LOL!
Stars has always hated me.

10/15/2007 12:36 PM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Getting AA twice & QQ (and getting paid all three times) helped a lot.

Whoohoo Khan!

10/15/2007 7:24 PM  
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10/17/2007 3:27 AM  

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