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A Poker Life.

Posted by Rohit Bhalla on 2011-11-17 at 12:00 AM

[B][SIZE=”4″]1.1 New Beginings[/SIZE][/B]

APT Asian Series Goa was the first international tournament to be held in India and Team PokerGuru came out all ready and prepared to create some serious noise. It was by far the most successful tournament series for the team. We owned 4 tiltles in all, with Samohhh going on a real heater taking down back to back titles in the 15k Greed event and the 50k main event for combined payday of 27L! Intervention chopped the high rollers event (250k buy-in) as well with Phil Sanders for another 9.5L. All in all a hugely profitable series for PokerGuru. The next stop is going to be APPT Macau from the 20-27th November with six of us going to participate in most of the events. You can follow the team’s progress through regular updates in Pro blogs over the duration of the event.

For me personally, the recent Goa trip was kind of a mixed bag. It started with the 20k Aces Unlimited main event which I registered for right after landing up in Goa. It attracted a field of about 70 and I managed to finish 4th for 1.2L. I have discussed some of the interesting hands below, however there can be some minor discrepancies as I wrote them down from memory. Going forward I’ll be taking notes of any major hands during an event.

Blinds: 50/100
Effective Stacks: 15k
UTG limps. I make it 400 at UTG+1 with AQ off. Folds around to UTG who re-raises to 1050. I make it 2250 and he calls. Flop comes 8 high rainbow, UTG checks and I bet 2650. He calls. Turn is an offsuit K and both checks. River comes a J, UTG checks and I bet 5300. UTG calls and shows pocket tens.

Definite mistake to check that turn card. Like the preflop play but need to keep the story consistent till the turn at least. If called, re-evaluate on the river but plan on giving up on most river cards.

Managed to double through with my short stack holding aces against Farukh soon after and build up my stack from thereon. I was the average stack going into the final table but was completely card dead during most of it. I was able to chip up gradually by staying aggressive and 3-betting light to chip leaders’ button opens. There was one interesting hand which happened blind vs blind but I can’t recall the level or effective stacks.

6 handed, folded to me on the small blind and I raise 2.5x with pocket nines. BB who was a big stacks calls pretty fast. Flop comes Q86 rainbow. I check and BB bets half pot. I call and turn comes a 7. I check and BB bets half pot again. I re-raise to 2.5x his bet. BB thinks a while and folds. He later said he folded QJ.

On my final hand at the table, I spewed off a 20BB stack by reshoving with J6ss in the BB to a UTG open by huge chip leader with four left, and 2 short stacks still there. He called with AJss and I was knoked out. As Intervention would say, that’s a major ICM blunder! In my defense, there was a really juicy PLO 500/500 game going at the same time and I found it difficult to keep my focus on the final table. Plus the long journey during the day took its toll at the final table and I quitely made my way to the cash table. My time there didn’t turn out to be much better as I lost a 4L flip in my first round where my flush and straight outs came to nothing against opponents’ flopped set. From thereon it was all downhill for me as I lost pot after pot to this recreational player at the table. One hand I had 3-bet out of the blinds with aces doubly suited and got called in 2 spots incl. the rec player. Flopped nut flush draw, gutshot and my over pair against his top set. He proposed to run it twice after all-in, but since I’d decided to run it once everytime of course I managed to miss and lost the 9L pot. I did manage to recover from being 8.5L down at one point after the marathon session ended after 36 hrs of play.

Rest of the week was spent playing mostly cash games in CR and I booked small profits in most of them. I got to play one really good 1k/2k 5L buy-in game and did pretty well in that despite being mostly flop dead on a really fishy table. One hand I limp UTG with A10 off. Another limp and as was his habit the rec player makes it 11k to go. One call on the button by an aggressive big stack. I re-raise to 55k and got called by both of them. Flop comes 10 high with a flush draw. I bet 80k and get called on both spots. Turn is an offsuit low card and I jam for the remaining 2.5L. The rec folds the the big stack calls with 58ss for a pair and flush draw. He misses and I scooped the 9L pot. From there I managed to chip up slowly to book a handsome 9L profit for the session.

APT was kind of disappointing for me I guess. I just played 2 events. Got knocked out 6th (total 8 entries) in the 250k high-rollers, when my aces ran into Phil’s flopped set of Jacks after 40% stack was committed pre-flop. That pot was for 50% of chips in play and could have possibly turned the tide either way. I really liked the slow deep structure of the 50k main event and felt I was playing at the top of my game to finish in the money. A couple of notable hands:

Blinds: 400-800
Effective stacks: 28,000
Folds to me in MP with Q10ss. I raise to 1900 and get called on my immediate left MP2 (tightish safe player) and SB (Chinese female, fairly active). Flop comes Q high with two diamonds. SB checks after intending to bet. I bet 3650 and MP2 thinks and makes it 7850. SB flats pretty quick. I think and announce all-in. MP2 thinks for a long time, looks agitated but folds. SB calls with A10 diamonds. She misses and I more than double up.

MP2 showed KQ while folding. This was the last 2 hands for the day before a redraw for seats on day 2, and it seemed that most of the players really wanted to make it to Day 2 without risking their stacks in the last few hands. Of course MP2 was caught in a tight spot after SB flats the re-raise, and I used that information to my advantage.

During the final 2 tables I got involved in an interesting hand with the then chip leader Sameer Rattonsey. Right after the break I pick up Jacks UTG and raise it up to 16k with blinds at 3k/6k. Sameer flats in hijack and rest of the table folds. Flop comes QJ4 rainbow. I check and he bets 21k. I call. Turn is a 9. I lead 30k and he calls. River comes a brick 2 and I bet 40k with 80k behind. Surprisingly he flats again and turns over top set of queens. I don’t mind the smooth call preflop, but cant agree much with the play postflop. I was left with 13bb stack and busted soon after losing a flip with KQ off against pocket fours.

Looking forward to playing the APPT with the whole team in Macau starting this weekend. Hopefully there will be plenty of deep finishes to talk about the next time I get a chance to update this blog. Until then, please leave your comments and feedback here and anything else you had like to see included in this section.

Closing tip: As a rule of thumb you need to make 10x the raise size from the total pot when set mining, 20x with SCs and 30x with gapped SCs.

Rohit Bhalla

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Rohit Bhalla

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