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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Playing the Freerolls

In my last post I mentioned that I had gathered information that helped to justify my continued participation in my current hobby/obsession that is poker. This evidence comes in the form of two freerolls I played over the weekend, and I faired pretty well.

The first Freeroll I played in was a Poker Stars 3:00 AM Freeroll this past Sunday. There were a total of 4493 players, and I hung in there to secure a 44th place finish, only about 34 places out of the "money" which was a buy in for future tournament (Omaha). Not to bad of a finish if I do say so myself.

I started off kind of slow and lost about a third of my chips when my Hiltons (Queens) were beaten by someone who sucked out a king on the river to pair up. A few hands later however my AKo held up and I tripled my stack from 950 to 2870. I doubled up again a bit later when an opponent went all in with A8o preflop and I called him with Jacks. I even managed to double up yet again when my QJ held up against two players playing hands they really shouldn't have. I busted out both players at once giving me a significant chip lead for the table. I was at 12600 and the closest player had 4065. That was pretty sweet.

I continued to play fairly conservatively, however I managed to pull a pretty spectacular suck out when I made a King high flush when both the turn and river came down spades. Then in the 1000/2000 blind level my Hiltons once again help up and I more than doubled from 19485 to 54470, a 34985 chip increase! A couple of hands later I won an additional 11026 chops when both my hole cards paired off on the flop.

Probably the best hand of the tournament, from an entertainment point of view, came in the 1500/3000 level. I was dealt a 9sQh in the big blind. Two players called so I check to see the flop for free. The flop came down Ts 6s Ks, now I'm on a straight draw, and a flush draw. I check to see what the other two players do, one of them checks and the other goes all in for about 20k, I raise as well to go all in to scare away any potential chasers. Sure enough the other player folds, and it's down to just the two of us. The cards show and he has a pair of 6's and with the one on the board from the flop he's got a set. The turn comes down with a 2s making my King high flush, now all I have to do is worry about a 10 or a King falling to pair the board and give him a full house. The river comes down with the Kh. He had the hand after the flop, I sucked out a lead with a flush on the turn and he re-sucked me out with a full house to win the hand. Ouch.

I finally busted out in the 2000/4000 level when I went all in with AKo and the board paired an 8 in my opponents hands (Q8o) and missed me completely. All in all I placed 44th out of 4487 which puts me in the top 1% of the players that competed. I can live with that.

My second Freeroll was my first Freeroll tournament at Full Tilt Poker, which actually pays small dollar amounts for many of their Freeroll tournaments. The one I played in offered $5.00 for first place, $3.00 for second place and paid $2.00 for places 3-18. They limit the playing field to 900 players which filled up in less than 1 minute from the opening registration time.

Since this was my first time on Full Tilt in quite a while, I forgot to turn on my hand histories so I don't have a very detailed account of how I did there. Out of 900 players, I ended up placing somewhere in the 130's or 140's range. Had I won my last hand I probably could have lasted into the double digits place and maybe even into the money, who knows.

My last hand I was dealt pocket aces, sweet. I played it somewhat slow to try to entice the preflop callers (of which there were a fair few). The flop came down at K-x-x and I went all in. I think two or three people called called, both the turn and the river were garbage and I put my opponent on AK for a pair of Kings. Unfortunately what he really had were Pocket Kings which flopped a set and beat my bullets and ejected me from the tournament. It was late anyway (1:30 AM start time, and I played for a good 2 hours) and I needed to get some sleep anyway.