Saturday, March 31, 2007

2007 - Poker leagues

I bought a condo in late 2006, so I no longer have the extra space to hold larger tournaments like I did when I had the room to rent while I was at the apartments. Because of this I haven’t held an “Oak Shores” tournament in a while, but a couple people have gotten a couple of different poker leagues running and I’ve been able to participate in those. Playing live poker is so much more fun than online poker. I enjoy both, but for different reasons. I tend to enjoy the live games in the league because of the socializing aspect that comes along with it. I still enjoy winning in those, but it’s not the primary reason I play those.

Anyway, in the early part of 2007, Bob ran his Nwatch Poker League (NPL). It was the second season of the NPL. The season runs for 8 weeks, and is followed by a championship week. The champions from the 8 prior weeks don’t have to pay for the championship week. Due to conflicts with traveling for work, I was only able to play in 5 of the 8 weeks, but I was able to snag a win and two third place finishes in the 5 weeks I played. My friend Adam won 4 of the events from that season!! Each week had somewhere between 15-20 players, so for one person to win half of the events was truly remarkable.

Another league started up in early 2007. This one is called the Cream City Poker League (CCPL). The format is similar. There are 8 tournaments followed by a championship. The championship will only have ten players and is not open to all. You either need to win your seat by winning a prior event or accumulate enough points to get in. Two people will earn seats through points. Points are earned based on your finishing position in a tournament. If there is someone who wins multiple events, then a “play-in” tournament would fill the remaining seats. I did host one of the CCPL events, and I played in all of the events, but I failed to win any of the events, and I didn’t earn enough points to get a seat. I was extremely disappointed in my results in the first season of the CCPL as I only cashed a handful of times.

I did have one hand that I wanted to discuss here though, and it goes to show how “playing the player, not the cards” can really come in to play in a poker game. This hand was early in a tournament. I was dealt T8offsuit and was in the small blind (SB). Several people limped, or just called, and when it got to me I decided to raise in an effort to steal everyone’s limp bets. Limping is typically a sign of weakness at a poker table. One of the people who had limped early in the betting was my co-worker and friend Adam. Now, he and I discuss poker all the time. We know how each other plays because of all that discussion. When the action got to Adam, he decided to reraise me. He did this because he knew that I could be raising with nothing because everyone limped. Obviously, he was correct in his initial read. Now everyone starts folding until it’s back to me, and Adam and I are the only two left in the hand. Now, I know that Adam also could be reraising with garbage because he thinks that I’m raising with garbage, so I decide to raise again, this time going all-in. Now, I’m praying he’ll fold because Ten-8 is an awful hand. Eventually, after much thought, he did fold. As it turns out he had Ace-Ten (AT). This play could not have been accomplished without knowing a lot about the other person’s play. Adam played it right and read me right initially, and I read the fact that his play was based off his read and not his cards correctly, too. It was a fun hand, and Adam and I spent some time discussing that hand once the tournament was over.

Next time, I’ll talk about some tournaments that occurred in 2007, including how the WSOP went, too.