Monday, July 16, 2012

A Del Park Cash

My plan was to abstain from poker this weekend.  The Tigers were in Baltimore, and the plan was to catch the games Saturday and Sunday.  My prized fantasy possession - Justin Verlander -- was throwing Sunday, and I had to show fantasy support.  Alas, as the weekend approached, the weather looked ominous.  Not a great weekend for bases.  At least that's what I told myself.

So, Friday afternoon, I decided to play some poker.  I had yet to overcome the poor cash sessions from the Chuck; so, I decided to spend the weekend playing tournaments at Del Park.  I got up in time for the 10:00 deepstack turbo Friday night.  $20,000 in chips, 15 minute levels, and usually lots of fun.  I chipped up nicely the first 2 hours.  But then, my tournament Achilles heel stuck.  Impatience.  I made an ill-timed play for a pot with A high, which cost me about half my chips.  A couple of missed flops with big aces.  Then I decided to end the misery with an open shove for my last $9,000 with A9 off.  Got called by AQ and it was over.

On the drive back to the hotel, I swore I would play with patience the following day during the noon megastack.  And I did.

The noon $150 buy-in got you $15,000 in chips, and 20 minute levels.  173 runners, with 17 paid.  I busted 13th.  The tournament started out on a down note as I drew an absolutely awful table.  At least four loud-mouth regulars.  They played uber agro, and talked non-stop; mainly criticizing everyone else's play.  It got old, fast.  Of course, as is often the case, they each, one by one, busted early, complaining about their shitty luck as they left the table.  See ya!

A couple of notable hands:

(1)  HAND ONE:

Hand one took place relatively early on.  Blinds were probably somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 / $800.  I was sitting on about $40,000.  Guy next to me open shoves $7,000.  I look down at AQ off and consider raising to isolate.  Instead, I flat from early position.  Probably not the best idea.  Two more callers:  the guy in MP (decent regular) has me covered.  Guy to his left (agro) has about $35,000. 

Flop comes down Ah7c7h.  Pot is about $30,000.  Action is on me.  I shove for $33,000.  Get snap called in both spots.  WOW.  Big pot!

Open shover flips 97 . . . Nice flop!  No one cares.  It's all about the side pot.

MP flips . . . AQ . . . Agro shows KJ heart draw.  Turn and river dodge the heart, and MP and I chop.

As the chips are being divided, I hear him say something about playing the hand horribly.  Not sure if he said I played it horribly, or HE played it horrible.  I thought about it fo a few minutes.  Perhaps I should have tried to isolate.  But, with AQ, I did not necessarily want to build a HUGE pot in that spot.  As for the flop shove . . .  They pot is $30,000.  Two hearts are on the board.  a $10,000 bet seemed too small, and a $20,000 bet leaves me $10,000 behind.  I figured I'd shove and pray. Anyway, it worked out OK.

(2)  HAND TWO:

I'm shortstacked heading into level 12.  Down to $40,000 and still about 17 from the money.  Blinds are $500/$2,000/$4,000.  I need to make a move, quick!  I look down at JJ on the button.  Guy opens for $25,000.  Middle position shoves.  I figure I'm behind the shover.   I also figure the original raiser is going to call if i shove.  Also, I haven't had a hand in an hour, and I'd rather gamble on a triple up that be blinded out.  I shove. 

Open raiser has TT amd MP has AA.  I'm out of my seat, ready to walk, when the J hits the river.   Just like that, I'm over $110,000, and have some chips to play with.

And, play with them I did . . . Ten minutes later, I get caught with my hand in the cookie jar.  I limp $10,000 in middle position with AT off (questionable play...).  It folds to the small blind, who completes, and BB checks his option.  Flop is 8 high rags.  Small blind bets $10,000.  I min raise to $20,000.   He three bets to $50,000.  I muck, he shows A8.   Oops.   Just like that, I'm stack-challenged again...

A few minutes later, we near the bubble, and I'm barely holding on.  Around $50,000 in chips with blinds are $1000/$4,000/$8,000.  I get KK utg and open shove.  Folds around and i take $21,000 chips, which buys me some time.

Bubble pops.  We're in the money.


With 13 left, and Blinds at $2,000/$6,000/$12,000, I look down at JJ . . . again.  I have $70,000.  Decent player with big stack open raises to $30,000 in middle position.  If the bubble had not popped, i may actually fold my jacks.  But, i'm guaranteed money.  And first place is A LOT of money.  A double up and I can play some poker again and make a deep run.  I shove.  Guy calls and tables KQ.... I'm ahead... Until the K hits the turn... Donzo.

After dinner, I played the 10:00 pm deepstack turbo again.  But, I found it hard to play $100/$200 blinds after playing $2,000/$6,000/$12,000 where every hand is critical.   I pissed off $10,000 chips the first three levels before winning them back.  I started level 5, after the break, with $23,000 in chips.  And then lost $23,000 of my chips with AK . . . I three bet . . . dude shoves . . . chick shoves  . . . I'm tired and decide, "fuck it," and shove.  My AK against his AA and her KK.  Um.  Not a good spot.   No tournament streak.

 Sunday, after breakfast, I made the drive to The Yard.  It was hot.  One of those days where it's almost too hot to drink beer.  Yes, it was THAT hot.   I decided there is only one way to see Verlander live for the first time -- behind the net:

My number one fantasy prize possession and likely "keeper" did not disappoint.  8 innings, 3 hits, 8 K's.  Watching the break on his curve from this perspective was insane.  A 4-0 Detroit win and 23.9 fantasy points.  Not a bad day . . .



  1. "Sorry, but I would like to see Verlander get creamed in every start the rest of this season" sayith the loyal White Sox fan ...

    Good to see the poker gods showed some mercy on you (JJ>AA). Please feel free to drop my name the next time they are around. A visit from them couldn't hurt ...

  2. Chris Sale will likely make my keeper list as well next season... I just hope his arm doesn't fall off!

  3. You know patience is your leak, so fix it... Budget your time as if you plan to be around for the end of the tournament and don't push mediocre hands in bad spots... ;)

  4. True. A relatively easy leak to fix. Although, frankly, patience is prolly one of SEVERAL leaks, considering I sort of suck at poker in general . . .

  5. Congrats on the cash. It's an achievement because I know you haven't done well at DP, generally speaking. I'm surprised you didn't stay around for the cash games, which I've found to be very easy...

  6. Thanks P.M.. I'm heading back to vegas at the end of the month, and am tying to protect my bankroll from another cash game-induced downturn in the meantime!!!

  7. GL at the Vegas tables... I'm hating life that I can't find reason to bring my family there, but as soon as the flights are cheap enough or there's some other sort of incentive, I'm there in a flash. It's been years since I've been out there.