VentureAce - Professional Poker Player

March Poker News

March 20th, 2007

It's has been a long time since I updated the site because of lenghty hiatus from online poker. Last month I basically lived at the Aviation Club de France in Paris and played poker non-stop. Literally, I had a couple of 30+ hour sessions, one where I had the flu and fell asleep at the table. The games ranged from incredible at times to absolute nit-fests. I played mostly €5-10 NLH and dealers choice, suprisingly I felt I had a bigger edge at dealers choice even though I'd never played games like Courchevel or Aviation before.

Highlights - I finished 5th out of 150 players in the €500 tournament, collecting €4,200. 1st place paid €22,000 but I went in to the final table with shortest stack and hung on to see the chip leader KO a couple of players.

In the 2000 Paris Open of Poker main event, I lost a big pot early by not being disciplined and folding pockets Jacks on an 8 high board. 5000 starting stacks. I raised the 25-50 blinds to 200 in the cut-off after UTG limped. Small blind and limper called. Flop produced 447, and SB led out for 300 chips. I called, planning to jam a raise on the turn and make appear like I was floating the flop (pretty bad tournament play but I'd been playing cash games week and hadn't adjusted). Turn came an 8, and put a straight out there, guy bets out 400. This man was old, experienced and gave off zero tells. Change of plan, flat called again to reaccess the river. The river blanked, and the man bet out 1,100. Hmmm, I only beat A7, 99, TT... but 3-barrels on flop, turn and river!?! I made a very bad, crying call. He flipped over A4 and scooped the pot. In hindsight, raise the turn to take control of the action and check river would have been a better line.

The opening table was surprisingly solid for a Paris tournament. With no blaringly obvious weak spots the going was tough and I didn't adapt well at all. My stack dropped to about 1,600. Blinds were 100/200, active early position Scandi raised UTG, his range was massive having showed down a whole host of small pairs and suited connectors. I pushed in with AT (best hand of the day behind Jacks) he insta-called with Queens. On this trip I sucked out more than ever before, clipping the Ace on the river. He took the beat well.

Shortly afterwards I picked up Jacks on the button and bumped it up to 600, only for the ultra-tight BB to push all-in. I would have been willing to flip a coin but really felt he had an overpair and laid it down.

I moved to a new table, the complete opposite to the previous, it felt more like a craps table than a poker tournament. People were gambling like crazy, raised pots with 4-5 players seeing the flop. Honestly, it was nuts. There was 1 shockingly bad rookie, a bald-headed Dutch guy, he was cold-calling reraises in the big blind with hands such as 62 of clubs and hitting the flop every time.

I treaded water for a while and just watched the fireworks, waiting for a hand that never came. I raised KQ in early position and called the Dutch guys all-in bet having commited nearly a third of my stack pre-flop. He had AT. Blank flop, blank turn, bang, hit the river again, Queen. Amazing how many times I rivered people on this trip.

Few orbits later, blinds were 200/400 with 50 ante. I raised to 1,200 in MP with KJo with about 3,000 chips behind. Bald Dutch guy flat called, big blind called also. Flop came J52 with 2 diamonds. Checked to me, I pushed. Dutch guy contemplated and then called... Great, QJ, JT, mid-pair? Ummm, not quite, Ace 3 of spades for the gut-shot and overcard! He didn't have the correct odds but a monster stack and a sick gambling mood. I didn't mind, I wanted the double up. The river, 4, giving him the straight was met by a few gasps by the young guys observing the game.

The way I see it, I sucked out twice and could have been KO'd much earlier. No fuss, a hand shake (of course secretly hoping he'd finish in the money and I'd get my revenge in cash games later).

The crucial hand was definitely the early Jacks hand. I became so disadvantaged by having a short stack, that I couldn't play against the bad players on the new table. The whole first table was a struggle, I needed to adapt and adopt a new strategy against a solid tournament table. More aggression in future.

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