Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Poker :: WCP, PlatinumVIP and OlympicLive

Lots of poker last weekend :) Firstly, there was WorldCup of Poker national satelites. Couple of friends moved in my place for those two days and we had some good time busting one after another out of these events. As you can see we all played in one room, and most interestingly, 3 of us were at the same starting table in the first satelite, so obviously some mega collusion was going on =) One hand was particularly fun, where one of friends held QJhearts, I held ace of hearts + some rag in BB, and then turn gave my friend straight flush, and river gave me ace high flush. So we talked for a while how should we play it out since I was first to bet. I led out my A high flush (board not paired) for 60 (blinds 15/30), then my friend with straight flush raised to 120, and I called it - awesome trick, and most funny was that the table didnt react bad on the showdown - it was only "Wow nhs" in chatbox, but nothing about such an obvious soft playing :) That shows overall level of these tourneys - 85% players were from micro limits or even freerollers, so maybe there's nothing to wonder about :) All in all, we didnt manage to plow through the field to the final table thus didnt get to national final. My better atempt was ~40th smth out of ~125 starters.

Oy! Collusion!!!

Continuing with online poker - or the oh-so-boring cash games - I finally finished grinding the PlatinumVIP which I wanted only to order 600pc clay chipset. At the end I demonstrated extremely bad poker and donked off quite big portion of my bankroll :) My new bankroll target might be cursed - 3 times I was less than 2 buyins short of it, and all three times dropped to more than 10 buyins away :) I was in same situation ~8 months ago when I tried to hit 2k bankroll to start playing "safe" NL100 - which really isnt "safe" as I understand it now :) When got bored from cash I signed for one afternoon tourney - $10 rebuy. Ended up buying in for $100 total (bad luck in rebuy period, although managed to get to 11k chips at the end afterall), and went quite deep. Busted in 23th place out of ~650, and was extremely dissapointed with my late tourney stage play... I did let Q high bluff get away at the showdown (I held 4high with missed straight draws;) , called a button shove with 79s in BB for 40% of my stack - what the hell I was thinking Im not sure even now, and then finally busted by shoving solid big stack UTG raise with KQs - I still had 8 BB and think might have found a better spot for putting all my chips in... Ended up vs QQ and lost. First few places paid quite nice (5.5k for first), and 23th was only enough to cover my buyin and a few beers after the tourney :)

Ace-rag players ;)

And since there is a break in sports season, on Saturday night we all (guys from the photos) moved to Reval Olympic for that cheapass $8 rebuy to practice some live poker. The only bad thing was that my head was hurting like hell from the lack of sleep and lack of food so I kinda waited for this tourney to finish better sooner than later. But despite these pathetic whines we moved to the Olympic, and yet again we all 4 drew the same starting table. Other guys at the table was already known ROCK (after action shows down only AA, KK or set, nothing worse) which is easy to exploit, then three older guys, one of which named "Maradona" for some unknown reason, and another dude who just came back from WSOP and was just relaxing and having fun at the table, constantly siting out, playing slot machines, and asking waitresses for free coffee (all tournament players get free coffee, drinks, and sweets:) In the first levels all the game was revolving around these older dudes, with me being card dead and donking one allin KJo vs ATo allin pre. After rebuying I kept being card dead, and just before rebuy period ended I won a big pot with a Q9o bluff vs AKs on the river and thus was slightly up. Later doubled up trough WSOP guy with AKs vs TJo on KTrag flop, won few other pots, and then we were down to two tables. Seeing few shorties at that table I kept raising LP and took few blinds uncontested. Then split allin vs shortie with AQo vs 78s, board went 769-8-5 :) With 12 players left and average M of 8 I was up and down calling a button shove and losing KTo vs ATs; then reshoving from BB MP raiser and sucking out ATo vs QQ (KTT-x-x). Later won nice pot by limping UTG 99 and getting BB to put in few bets on worse flopped pair. Too bad my luck ran out with 5ppl left, when I called Maradona's (SB) openshove for all his chips (we had nearly same stacks) - I felt he was tilty after losing commanding chip lead and I instacalled from BB with ATo, happened to be against JTo, and board ran Q7T-8-9... So I busted 5th with 5places paid for a small profit and 2 out of 2 cash record for my live tourneys :) Respect goes to "dariusn" who rejected prize split with 3 players left and managed to take it down without having had any HU experience :) Tourney summary for our "team" - 4 entrants, 4 to final table, 2 cashes, 1 winner :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sports :: Ugly truth on the track

So finally after 4 days of no sport I went to do some fast running at the local stadium. My plan was to do 2 x 2km, but later decided to switch to 1 km + 2km + 1km. After warmup started doing it and the results were 3:38, 7:37, 3:26... Quite terrible :) Of course felt quite stiff and not fresh enough, but I dont think I could run 2km faster than 7min right now. Keeping in mind other elite orienteering guys do it in 6:10 EASY (with some running under 5:45), no wonder there is such a difference in results. Upside of this - there's still a lot of space for improvement :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Poker :: Cash madness

Next day after the Olympic live tourney played some NL200, and that was some very good quality poker. Went up for nearly 1k in 2.5 hours playing poker and not cards, and was just few bucks short of my target bankroll watermark. In the evening tried to play some higher levels (NL600) and promptly lost big pots with straight vs straightflush, pair of 33 + spot on read vs rivered flush, then QQ on the button called SB reraise, flop J62 two clubs and repushed SB cont bet, got called and lost race vs AK clubs, then got called in two occasions by KQo on Q high flop where I was sure that hand cant call, and lost my mega draws both times. Was shocked also when my UTG raise got reraised from LP and my third BIG raise was reshoved allin by 99.... Just horrible in my opinion ;) So all in all in higher limits I lost 2k, and now will have to work back up at my usual 'hunting grouds' :) Bankroll still extremely healthy for NL200/400 mix :)
Lesson learned for the session is that I call far too many EP/MP raises preflop with suited connectors/gapers being MP - I definetily should try to call these only from LP, and with more than 1 player in the pot, or to reraise right away preflop - calling MP simply doesnt work at these new limits. Another leak - calling LP raises with low pockets from the blinds. 3 overs flop all the time and I just cant stand pot sized cont bet. Trying to get initiative (reraise preflop or checkraise on the flop) might work here, or maybe it would be easier to just fold it. Also, getting into races on the flop doesnt work out for me well either and just add up to variance. I noticed I can make much more consistent profit just by playing the hands till river/showdown. To push pre or on the flop - any monkey is able to do that, and we're not here to gamble, are we :)
Also, plan to start playing some heads up SnGoes since I feel that is pretty weak part of my game. Yesterday played two micro $5 sng to see how it goes, 2 wins 1 lost, but these were against really weak players. Plan is to get to +20 wins balance before I move to the next level. These HU matches will be just for improving the skill and not the money, at least untill I dont reach $100 level or so.
Next weekend should be pretty fun - on 5day planning to do live poker home session (read - bbq, beer, playing outside in the terrace... yammie:) at my place, including evening online satelite to the WCP for Lithuania team. So some of the friends will bring their notebooks and it'll be some kind of good old LAN party ;) And on Saturday morning there is another satelite (if we fail first one) and on the Sat night - another $8 rebuy live at Olympic Reval Casino :) Gogo pkr.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Poker :: Live at Reval Olympic

Last Saturday went to play my first live tournament in brick-and-mortar. It was right after one day trip into the forests with virtually no food (completely burned the BBQ), little sleep and some beer, so I wasnt sure if I wont fall asleep while playing...
Tourney started 7pm, it was the cheap $8 rebuy with 40ppl registered - best place to start learning live. First two orbits or so I felt very bad, moving in my chair, hands shaking, got cold from the conditioning inside the building etc, but after the dealer changed from burly guy to Escada scented girl, and some table talk on my side got going, calmed down finally and was able to start playing :)
Tourney structure - standart rebuy, starting chips 1000, 30min levels, addon after 1.5 hour for 2000 chips, starting blinds 10/20, going up quite smooth, didnt notice big jumps.
First few orbits I just folded trash hands, checked couple of flops with 55, QTs and missed. First bigger pot was at 20/40, when I got A7s LP and limped after 2 limpers. Flop 345 rainbow, I got checked to and raised 200. BB repushed allin. I called my openended straight draw and was up against A5o. Turn 7, river paint, and I doubled up to ~4000.
In final rebuy period level got 88 LP, limped after 3 more limpers (one of them chipleader and good loose player with cashes in Baltic championships etc, another completely drunk trashtalker, so there were some implied odds;) Flop T85 two clubs. Chip leader led out for 450, got two callers, so I just pushed allin. After some thinking chip leader called, limpers folded, and I was up against T3 clubs. Non club turn, river non club 3 and I was up to ~12k.
In next 2 orbits picked ~4-5 pots and with 18k or so was tied chipleader at the table. Then they split first table and two big stack guys were moved to my left, one of them pretty strong player who wouldnt let me steal blinds easy so I gave up and waited for cards. Cant remember playing anything for a big pot till the final table at all (average stack was 25k, mine ~15k), where I drawed best place possible - seat 1 with all 3 big stacks on my right, and all shorter stacks on my left. It was very weak tight table, with 2 good players, 2 uber tight players, and 1 very bad player who happened to be chipleader. I played the FT really really bad though - forgot that I was here to win, and tried to get into the money (6places) so waited for cards that I didnt need at all to take ALL the chips... Big stack player was doubling up one player after another so soon everyone on my left got more chips than me. Then I doubled up also with AA vs QQ allin pre. When we left 6players, and I had 7BB, I made two big mistakes - folded A5o UTG (limp pot was won by bad player with A4o for A high and playing kicker), and then folded 78 after 3 limpers ahead of me on the button - push or at least call here. Flop was 678 and two pair would have trippled me up... Blinds rose to 2k/4k and I sat only on 13k stack, so pushed in first occasion possible JTo and lost to BB who called me blind with 47o.
Summary - nice to have cashed in first live tourney ever, although when there were only 12 players left (two tables 6 each) I started playing so poorly I cant imagine - when needed to switch gears up, just went into turbo fold mode... Next time I wont be that intimidated, so either I go out early or get to the top 3 :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sports :: Autumn masterplan

This is the list of competitions I plan to take part in on the second half of the season. Bolded are the "important" ones.

Jul20LTU championship in mountain running (8km) (definetily not my fav:)
Aug10-12 Visaginas 3x4 (4courses, 2 of which sprints)
Aug15-19Bohemia 5days CZE
Sep1LTU sprint championship
Sep2LTU Clubs' Cup (only important if I run for the first team)
Sep8Vilnius marathon (will run half-marathon most likely)
Sep16"Zalgiris" Cup (middle)
Sep22LTU marathon championship (orienteering)
Sep30Alytus Cup (middle)
Oct6-7Svento Cup (long and middle)
Oct13-14LTU Cup (long and middle)
Oct20LTU night orienteering championship

Added to that are the usual Tuesday/Thursday evening series that will resume from summer break early August and will go through to early October.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Poker :: Luck is gone to hawaii

Last night had a tough one :) First losing session in July, and first time when I was sixtabling. First hour was horrible, couldnt get anything going. Ran AA into QQ big fireworks preflop and Q high flop - down a buyin, then lost another buyin flush over higher flush, KK on T high flop lost to AT for another buyin, AA vs 33 somehow managed to save some chips on raggy flop (including a trey), so I was going down quite fast. Then I saw AA on the button on one table with two limpers ahead, and KK in the big blind on another table, and then my internet connectivity went down :) All in all 1.25 buyin down.
Then an hour later got internet back, and promptly lost another 2 buyins by playing good hands too fast and paying off completed draws too often. Meanwhile added two NL400 tables which I payed more attention to and battled some of the chips back. Made few laydowns, interesting one was this:

Me (MP) : [AJc], raise 4BB
Player1 (LP) : call
Player2 (BB) : call
FLOP : 533 two clubs
BB : check
Me : bet 8BB
LP : raise to 16BB
BB : call
Me : call (thought of reraising, but minireraise and a BB call stinked)
TURN : K clubs
BB : check
Me : check (maybe bad again, but imho its either im far ahead or already dead at this point, and if im ahead, they're drawing to four outs max each - two treys and two cards to fill their pocket pairs, for those less observant on fullhouses ;)
LP : raise 2/3 pot
BB : reraise allin
Me : fold - pot is huge but also the probability of fullhouse; not too hard laydown in cashgame - I invested only 20BB so far and to call another 80BB even for possible ~300BB pot isn't profitable in the long run.

In the showdown LP AA lost vs K3s. BB special and slowplaying AA pre ftw :)
Subtotal for the night is 1.5buyins down which isnt too bad knowing I was 3.5 buyins down at one point. "Only if" my big favs would've held up, it could've easily been best session so far. But all these "almost" count only in hand-granades as someone wisely said :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Fun :: Sleepy weekend

On weekend I visited my village where I spent most of my childhood holidays. It has some strange aura and whenever you get closer than 3miles to the village, overwhelming feeling of weakness takes over and you can fall asleep wherever you are. So I slept about 4 times first day and one big time the second day. Felt quite refreshed after though, much better weekend than 4 1.5h long sessions of poker on Saturday and then whole day of poker on Sunday ;)
That is the house amongst those bushes. Back when I was 10y old, I was mastered enough to get up to the top of the roof bare handed / footed. Good thing though didnt fell down on my head. Or maybe I just dont remember.

This is the sauna and my first business plan. I was gonna to cut all the concrete with a saw, disassemble the sauna, sell the bricks and get rich! My grandaddy kicked my ass when noticed what I was doing. Marks of my activity are still visible 15y later :)

Local palace. Here lived some rich dude who pwned all nearby villages. During soviet regime whole thing (10+ buildings) was transformed into warehouses and completely trashed. Now only this building is somewhat renovated, others are still looking terrible. Too bad, ~200y ago here used to be huge french (Marie-Antoinette) type of park with exotic plants, animals and probably big fun going around :) This one resembles me of baobab :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sports :: Diary and upcoming WCP

Started my training log on attackpoint.org to keep whole training process more under control. Yesterday after 1h training felt really fresh so will try to squeeze in some training today after job and before evening downtown activities :) Tomorrow leaving for 'yearly' family visit to granma, hope will not forget to bring camera with me and make some shots of my village. Its 200km north in distance and about 150 years back in time :)
On July 27th and 28th PokerStars holds national qualifiers to Lithuanian team for World Cup of Poker. Looks like I will able to attend at least one, and hopefully both tournaments. Would be great to get to the final (18man tourney for the two places in the national team). Anyway our team will get asskicked by polish (as in recent football mach between Vetra and Legia) or braliukas latverians in the next stage...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sports :: Poker :: Not

My PC power supply went dead. It was having problems for few months now. Now that piece of **** gave out last breath apparently. Will buy and install Zalman on weekend so no poker till then. There's no time for poker anyway, very busy at job so when come back home I just want to go to bed asap. Not too good, my youth sooo goes to waste. When hasnt it actually :)
As for poker, beginning July was full of it. In few days got more FPPs than in month before so some break is good. Moved to NL200 for good already, doing great there. Did some NL400 also, up couple of buyins at this level, but not feeling too comfortable yet (i.e. cant repush allin easily with 79s on the button vs BB reraise:) You virtually cant make ppl fold at NL400 without puting yourself pot comitted...
Yesterday after two rest days pushed myself to go out for some running. Did 50mins, feeled like eternity. HR didnt go more than 150 and the pace was pretty reasonable, so not too bad probably. Slept for 10hours after that and still couldnt get up for job in time...
Lost my mobile phone few days ago, so all my contacts and gals' numbers are gone. May be a change for good and a brand new start :)
Going to les transformateurs ze movie today. We decided that everyone has to bring at least one plastic silly toy so should be pretty fun.
Takas2007. SunnyFunny 2nd day and WetWetWet 4th day

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sports :: When your best is good enough... almost

Takas day 2. Weather is perfect - sunny and hot, lovely open forest, 5,8km course. I'm a bit angry about yesterdays race so start off fast, first few controls are simple, I hit them. Midcourse I overtake few runners who started earlier, and one starts following me which annoyed me so much that I tried to speed up even more and in 3 controls I ran away from him. Final few controls and im at the finish without any big mistakes. Third time (36:17) for the day and I move up to the 10th in standings.

Takas day 3. Sprint day in a Chernobyl type of town. 3,4km course, terrain is purely urban. Yet again I made no serious mistakes apart of having trouble reading the map while running few times and had to stop to double check. Time 17:45, 4th for the day, and only russian torpedoes were ahead of me. These guys are pretty sick at running... In totals I stay in 10th position, but closed the gap by 2mins.

Takas day 4. Long course day. Rainy, cool weather, terrain mid runnability but not too bad, no swamps, no big climb. 8,4km course. I have several guys starting before and after me (2min start interval) who are close in standings so I know I cant allow them to get me so I take few first controls by choosing safe, longer routes, but trying to run fast. Mid course there is 2.5km long extremely boring leg which I tried to run straight but lost 2mins, most likely I started to get tired. On next couple of controls I took with two guys who started ahead of me so I knew it cant be too bad and started pushing the end, which had some really interesting and technical short legs. No big mistakes there, and my time 1:03:44 was 4th again, and again only russian dudes were ahead of me :) Moving up to 7th place in standings.

Takas day 5. 6.9km course. It is raining non stop for 15hours already and its still raining hard... Chasing start day. This means leader starts first, and everyone else starts depending on time difference during first 4 days. So whoever crosses the finish line first, that takes higher final place. I started 7th, 22:31 behind leader, second place is far ahead also, and I'm 7mins behind third and 3,5mins behind 4th. After me first guy was 4mins behind, so no worries about him. Knowing that I just stormed from the start and got the visual on 6th place already at the first control. Not really looking at the map I just run faster, and punched 3rd control already right next to him. On 4th control we make a small mistake, but got 5th place guy, who made big mistake, so we are running threesome. On 5th control (~2km into the course) we get 4th place guy. I start studying last few controls knowing there might be run-in battle. We all run together and mid course make big 3 min mistake in green ("thick") forest when missed open marsh. It turned out the marsh became 20m wide knee deep river with water rushing fast downhill... Should be pretty funny sight - 4 completely soaked and dirty guys rushing through endless swamps and bushes with rain pouring hard all over them... Lovely :) With 1.5km left at the spectator control one guy tries to get away by pushing into the hill, I stick to him, but two other guys break a little and are 30secs behind already. With 3 controls to go I punch the control first, but make big 30sec mistake to the 2nd last control missreading the map slightly, and other guy breaks away. I finished second of our pack. Then we found out that one russian mispunched and got disqualified, and that we overtook 3rd place starter somewhere in the course, so finally it turned out we 4 raced for 2nd place. So all in all I took 3rd. And despite I had damn good chance for second, its really nice to have moved up all the way from 19th to the medals :)

Now there is 1month summer break between competitions, so I will have time for some rest, to heal up small ankle sprains, and hopefully will train somewhat to keep the shape I'm starting to get :)

Newest addition to my pyre of honor

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sports :: Takas2007 first day

Today I started my another big competition for the season - Takas2007 5day event. Just terrible... Probably the worst race this season for me. The course was very short - 4,6km with 16 controls. Terrain was tricky, bad runability and visibility, marshes, swamps, small hills and depressions, and in parts almost impassable at all. For me starting early in the field it was quite tough to get past those raspberry fields without any beaten tracks yet. That was not the case though. Physically I felt pretty good, but made 5min+ of mistakes on second and third control which are decissive in such a short course. Wasted couple of minutes on the second part of the course too.
Sucks to have lost a chance for top 6 already on the first day :) Now I need to run flawless for the next 4 days and hope my opponents will get disqualified / totaly lost / etc etc to move up in standings. After first day 19th out of 45 finished, 13mins behind the leader... The goal I'd be happy with would be to get to top10.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Poker :: Sing when you are winning

During a rest day between two multiday sports events I decided to do some NL200 and then took my third shot at the 5pm $8 rebuy tournament.
NL200 was going great with me donking one buyin with AA vs flopped set but later taking down huge pot with 99 on 9TJ two club board and having two opponents allin on the flop - called the rest of my stack knowing I will be drawing for the board to pair, and it did bring another T on the river and my nines full beat two made straights.
$8 rebuy with 867 players started at the same time and after donking one stack with T8s allin pre then doubling up with AK allin pre I finished rebuy period with mediocre 8k in chips and buying in for 3 rebuys and addon total. Somehow I managed to not get involved in pots with crap hands, then won a key 3way allin with 77 vs AQs vs K3s (tried to squeeze shortstack and bigstack), kept average stack all the way to and through the bubble, and entered final table as 7th out of 9 stack but still with M of 20. Final table was very live so I just sit back and very timely got two pockets to double up twice - 88 vs 33 button raise allin pre then AA vs 22 allin pre. Then went card dead and to turbo fold mode (M of 40 so no rush) and watched one dude to bust 4 other guys all with worse hand when the money went in, then finally busting another strong player with 44 (no spade) vs TT (spade) on a three spade flop board by turning one outer. So we left 3 players and made a deal to chop the prize money and after 6 hour 50 min marathon I went to sleep with aching head, few k richer, and my poker dream coming one small step closer :)
All of these as 1 dollar notes :)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sports :: Bronze in Kapa2007

Last weekend marked my first international win after comeback to orienteering. Well, almost international, since competition was held in Latvia just across the border, on a baltic sea dunes type of terrain which is somewhat familiar and suits me pretty good. Its mostly open forests with great runability, semi big climb, and I can take advantage of my long legs to the fullest and also dont get stuck in a bush :)
I ran yet another 'pussy' (a.k.a. 'not elite') group - men 21 long course. Competition was held in 3day format with separate start each day and time was then added up. In my group there were 85 competitors and after each day time difference between the top10 was very small, so there was some psycho pressure while running final day. Non stop rain that started on Saturday (2nd day) evening and didnt end till Sunday (3rd day) just before my start added to that. Maybe it was a bit easier for me because I started last from all the field on 3rd day so there were some tracks in the forest leading to the controls, however, there were almost no other runners in the forest so finding controls and keeping up the pace was all on my own.

Final results and my weee-third place :)

1. Arūnas Saunorius (LTU)52:25 (3)50:28 (2)51:13 (2)154:06
2. Ēriks Lebedoks (LAT)52:48 (4)52:15 (5)50:42 (1)155:45+01:39
3. Andrius Simenas (LTU)52:55 (5)53:07 (7)52:50 (8)158:52+04:46
4. Martin Sundström (SWE)51:59 (2)55:39 (14)54:12 (16)161:50+07:44
5. Olof Borell (SWE)53:43 (8)54:40 (12)53:28 (11)161:51+07:45
6. Reinis Putniņš (LAT)53:05 (6)56:22 (16)52:26 (6)161:53+07:47

Each day I made 2-3 mins of mistakes so if I ran perfect race I did have a shot for the first. However I'm more than happy with my performance and stability during all 3 days. Came back home on Sunday, and on Tuesday another 5day event starts - biggest Lithuanian event Takas2007 ("path2007":) for which 650 competitors are registered, and I will run men 21 short course to recover from this one.