I’ve been in Melbourne for the Victorian Championship since Monday night and played a couple of the side events so far. The first event I played was the NLH/PLO $240/100 rebuy, I was expecting quite a big field but I think it’s fair to say that the field size was a fairly disappointing less than 50.

These events are definitely fun to play, but increasing the blinds every time you switch games needs to be looked at. The PLO levels play so much bigger than the NLH levels, that the NLH levels are a bit pointless. Anyway, I finished out of the money in 15th.

Playing Poker With The ‘Durrrr Killer’

Then yesterday I made a deepish run in the 1k 6max NLH. It was a pretty tough table with recent WSOP champ and Durrrr killer, Simon Watt, as well as some other pretty competent Aussies.

The event drew a pretty solid 125 runners and I ended up in about 30th after losing a big flip of QQ to AK. I felt like I played pretty well after getting into a couple unlucky spots early on where I could’ve easily lost my stack if I wanted to take some higher variance lines.

The one hand where I think I could happily go bust was against Simon. At 75/150 (effective stacks 13k), he raised the button to 400 and I called from the BB with KJo. The flop came J95r, and I checked to him, he bet 600 and I called. The turn was a K for a full rainbow and I checked again. He bet 1200 and I called again.  At that point, I felt he was quite weak and raising would take him off the hand. My plan was to lead with a weakish donk type bet on the end to hopefully get him to call with something marginal. The river obliged with a 3 and I bet out for 2500. He then made it 6000 and I called.

Learning From My Mistakes

It’s not a line that I’d take very much in online poker, but I’ve picked up a lot of chips this year in live poker by getting bluff-raised on the end in these sort of spots. I like the play and don’t like it. It’s good because to most good young players it looks really weak, and you can easily get marginal value with a call or from the old bluff-raise if your opponent doesn’t believe it.

It’s bad though because if you’re not confident in your read it becomes a guessing game, but if you commit to your read of thinking the other guy/gal is weak then I still like it. As it happened this time, Simon had 99 for a flopped set and I dropped a good chunk of my stack.

After that there weren’t too many other spots, just an aggressive 6 handed game. Funnily enough, it’s the sort of game which I think I enjoy playing in the most. Plenty of opportunities to be active and reasons to get involved with sub-optimal hands.

Also, in most of these live fields I generally feel that just playing hands for value is the best approach. But against other good players you can get more creative than usual. The problem then is that the game’s are tougher, but every once in a while it’s good to play some thinking poker.

This morning I had a photo shoot for some Aussie Millions 2011 ad material so I’m going to relax for the rest of the day and try and get in the right frame of mind for the next week – Vic Champs high roller on Friday and the main event Saturday then the WPT London on Tuesday, if there aren’t any flight delays.

TK

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