Sunday, January 15, 2006

No Such Luck

Well, I didn't win on Friday, if that's what you were wondering.

I busted out early, 17th of 26 entrants. It was my own fault - I raised in EP with AJ suited, got one caller on the button. The flop came A-A-8 or so. I made a continuation bet, he called again. By now both our stacks were hurting; the turn was a rag, I checked, he pushed his remaining, and I called. He had the A-Q and it held up. What was I thinking? Did I really think he had A-10 or worse? I gotta stop doing that.

On the positive side, the younger guy who beat me, who I believe goes by the handle "Genki", went on to win the thing. I am reminded of that bit from "High Fidelity", where Rob finds out that his first girlfriend went on to marry and live happily ever after with the guy she dumped him for.

You get it? That's fate. That's got nothing to do with me, that is beyond my control, beyond my fault...

After 10 or so people busted, they started up the second chance tournament; this time was Omaha Hi-Lo. The Everest Cup games are free, but the other tournaments have entry fees - this one was 1200 yen (a bit over $10). I balked at paying $10 to join a tourney for a game I have mostly only played at $.01/$.02 stakes online. Stupid. I should have given it a spin and saw how it went. I've done well enough at those micro-micro-stakes online games, but I was concerned that the JPPA players would actually know how to play the game, instead of everyone limping in to see the flop and then starting to bet big if it actually hit them.

Instead I gravitated to the live game table, where a 500 yen (about $5) buyin gets you a rack of 100 chips for whatever game they choose that week, this time 2/4 NL Holdem. These games tend to start out with everyone playing tightly, then get looser and crazier as everyone relaxes and realizes it's play money. Towards the end of the evening the minimum raise becomes one stack of 20, and those chips are flying back and forth. Players can rebuy at any time, 500yen for another 100 chips, so after an hour or two there's quite a bit in play. At the end of the evening, every 200 chips you have gets you a coupon good for 1000yen towards later tournament fees.

I rebought once, so invested 1000yen into the game, but got lucky with a couple of all-ins in the last two hands and finished above two racks and got my money back in the form of a coupon. Not too bad.

Yesterday I was still kicking myself about not giving the Omaha hi-lo game a try, so I sat down for a $5 Omaha hi-lo SNG, which would have been about the same as the game I skipped on Friday night. Except I failed to notice that the SNG was limit Omaha Hi-lo.

I'd never played an Omaha SNG before, and never played limit Omaha before, but I took third place and won $10. Nice. Most of the lessons from Holdem worked well in Omaha. I folded crap-looking hands instead of calling, as most were doing. I raised good-looking potential hands to build the pot. When I got a big stack, I bullied small stacks with raises that would put all their chips at risk, depleting them and getting them knocked out more quickly. I even successfully check-raised a few times with the nuts, and everyone called. It felt good.

I really shoulda played that Omaha tourney on Friday. Damn.

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