Poker Pro MJ Bernstein's Blog
I want to thank everyone for their interesting email responses on the hand analysis I did in my "A good win and WCFB" blog. One person in particular raised a fairly obvious but important point with regard to my flopping top-pair on a 10 high board. Here's the response quote: "...You flopped top-pair, that's huge heads up. What more do you need to think about?"
For those of you who haven't logged many hours of heads-up play, you should know that this reader is absolutely right. Flopping top-pair in a heads-up situation is huge. So much so, that if you find yourself in this position, I would suggest just going all the way with the hand. There are very few situations where you are going to fold here.
As for me, and my blog's lengthy analysis of that hand, the only thing I can say is that my mind can complicate things. Although both the reader and I will normally arrive at the same conclusion, my mind tends to go through a problem line by line before arriving at a solution (even if it is blatant). All told, the analysis probably wasn't one of my more eloquent rants, but at least it gave you some insight into how I process information. Aren't you lucky? ;). God, it's just easier writing about Muppets!
I played the $340 buy-in at the Borgata this past Saturday. I actually surprised a number of people there, the staff in particular, by showing up this early in January. It's definitely rare that I come the first week of a tournament series, let alone days before it even begins. I'm glad I did though because I got to see Darcey Borden who is one of Borgata's tournament directors. Darcey is due to give birth any time now and it was possibly the last time I would see her before she does. The ongoing joke this past year was that many people, patrons and staff alike, have laid claim to this kid. Of course, her little girl to be is probably her husbands but we will know for sure very soon :). Anyone ever see Me, Myself and Irene? We could be in for one hell of a surprise...
Anyway, playing this event ended up being a great test for me as to how focused I am right now. As hard as I am on myself, I have to say I passed with flying colors. Nothing really came easy for me in terms of starting hands and flops, but I made a lot of timely raises and solid lay-downs which allowed me to at least maintain a slightly below average stack for most of the tournament. I think there were around 80+ runners to begin, with 10 spots being paid. With 15 people to go, I managed to avoid two race situations and maintained my chips until we were on the bubble. This, however, is where I got robbed!
The blinds were $1500-$3000 with a $500 antee. The action was folded around to me in the small blind and I held A 10 . The big blind was the big stack at the table but his playing style worked well for me- He was willing to open a pot with just about any two cards but when it came to calling a large bet or all-in, he was much more discriminating. Hence, he wasn't calling my all-in with just "live" cards. He would have wanted to have the best hand going to the flop. Knowing this, I pushed in for about 25,000 total, looking to take the blinds and antees. The big stack looked down at his cards and ended up snap calling me with A 9 . Who can blame him, though. I would have too. The flop came out 6 7 2 . The turn was a 5 . The river was 8 , making his straight (wow that rhymes) and I was everyone's hero. YAY....I wanted to stay and celebrate with them but I had to leave, as I felt a pressing need to go up to my room and hang myself with the clothes line in my shower.
Kidding aside, I was really happy with the way I played. If I can maintain this level of concentration in whatever I events I decide to play this month, I am going to be tough to beat.
Ok, so it's like one in the morning now and it is really passed my promised curfew. The Open begins today and I am registered for the first heat at 11. There were already over 200 people registered earlier today, so 500-700 entrants for Day 1A of this $400 buy-in DEEP STACK is not out of the question. Let the games begin.
See you at the tables,