Poker in Goa

August 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

Hi Guys,

I haven’t been blogging for a long time, becuase I am on a little break from poker. I have played hardly anything over the last 30 days, and my last tournament in Goa was as far back as IPS July, and unfortunately I couldn’t make it for the PGT either. However I view this as a silence before the storm, as I am going to grind a lot in Goa during the September-January period, when tourists are going to be in Goa, and I am going to be there to take care of the tourists on the poker tables. Well, its a sin to let tourists keep their money on the poker tables right ? The last quarter of the year, is always an exciting time for live poker, and I am looking forward to it.

An interesting development these days is that the number of tournaments in Goa are getting consolidated now, with August having just one tournament – IPS and most other tournament operators taking a little bit of a break except for PokerGuru tour of course, which continues to draw in the numbers. The rake-free model of PGT along with the guarantees are taking it ahead. However, I must add that with consolidation on the cards, almost any tournament in Goa will be worth attending in the future, if they provide value. I think there is enough appetite for 2 tournaments/month, and with things like the entire final table getting paid for 50+ entries these days, I think there is good value now and we should see numbers returning to Goa again.

However, the goa government is intent to put a spanner into the development of poker by firstly banning locals in Goa, and then trying to dissuade the casino industry in Goa. The govt seems to be keen on killing the goose that lays golden eggs. The Goa casino industry is generating a lot of revenue for them which includes direct as well as indirect taxes. It’s so easy for the tourists to just go to Nepal/Sri Lanka/Macau and give Goa a miss. Also, every city has its own share of underground clubs these days. I think it is high time Goa allows card games in land based casinos, if the government is so serious about saving the river Mandovi, then let them do it on land. I don’t see any logical argument, for which they have to allow live card gambling on the river and not on land. I know people who come to the casinos, they do not even visit the beaches, all they do is to be in the casino and go back. if you want to take them away from contributing taxes to the economy, then you are shooting yourself in the foot. Neither does the govt understand that Poker is a skill game, and there are people making a living out of it in Goa.

However, its a fast changing scenario, and nobody knows now, how the situation will evolve, in the coming months. I just hope that better sense prevails. Thankfully, India is a democratic country and I hear that this is already getting challenged in courts. Remember that as a Goan, I am proud of Goa, and I feel as a mature state, which was the first to allow casinos in India, in the first place, better sense will prevail soon! I am doing a bit of campaigning about this with some of the local forums and political workers and getting them see the disasters of this.

Well, that’s it from me for now, and until next time, Hope you all run good!


The APT week

May 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

Firstly congratulations to Intervention, Prabhat, Siddharth for their successes at the APT. It was real great going especially by Siddharth when he finished 2nd at the APT side event. It was nice to catch up with the others like Olli, and Vinay and share thoughts with them during the week.

Regarding my own run this week, I finished 35th in the main event, and in the 20s range in the 2 hyper turbo side events that I played. However, I was in positive this week, due to a big cash game session on Saturday, and also because of the fact that I got into the main event through a satellite.

In the main event, I finished Day 1A with 17.6K chips, one of the shortest stacks. I was card dead and position dead most of the time, and didnt get much action when I had big hands. I survived the later end of the day, when I open folded AKss preflop to Ben Abrahams, who showed KK. Everyone was shocked when

I open folded that, but sometimes, you just have to trust your reading abilities. From my history with the player, I knew I was beat, I knew I was not even flipping, when he 4-bet me with exactly half his stack, and given the way he was playing against me.

However, I came to play aggressively on Day 2, and had soon chipped up to 36K, within an hour, mostly without showdown, as I used my previous day’s tight image to my advantage, until I get to move to a new table and this hand happens, which was my last hand.

I am in cutoff, with like 35K behind, blinds are 600/1200, I flat Apoorva’s 2.5x raise from UTG+3, with Qc Jc, intervention, flats from SB. The flop is 10c 4h 7c. Intervention leads out 1/3rd pot, Apoorva flats, and it comes to me. I weigh my options, I can either flat here.. but I know Intervention is bluffing/c-betting, I think Apoorva has maybe 88, 99 or 2 over cards.. or a 10, in the worst case.. I thought this was a good opportunity for me to either take down the pot there, or I still have a flush draw with 2 over cards, giving me good equity. I really wanted to go up in chips, and play for the 1st place, and not just wait for min cash. Hence yes, I shoved, intervention insta folded, but Apoorva tank called with JJ, saying “I just cant fold this hand”.

I dont know why he flatted jacks on a 10 high board, because, any turn over card could basically destroy his hand. Unfortunately, I didn’t hit my queen nor my flush draw and that was it. Well, I could have played it differently, but I just felt that I had to take my chances there, you need to win these races sometimes, if you want to win a tourney. However, in hindsight, maybe I should have taken into account, that Apoorva covered me by 2x, and that he was a high stakes player. Usually its not my style to jam it in, I prefer more postflop play. I talked to intervention and he said it was pretty standard play by me and I got unlucky, so well, that was the end of my main event adventure.

Nothing really great to mention about the hyper turbos, which was a shove fest towards the end, as expected.

After this I went and played cash. Sat down with about 15K, got it up to 37ish when I hit my set with 77, and in a few hand i get aces UTG +2, I raised to 1K, got 5 callers. The small blind, who is an aggro trournament player, makes it 8K. I immediately asked him, if he was happy with the money in the pot (which was about 14K at that point), and he says No, I want more.. I knew I had to isolate him, so I try to convince him that I have Ace king/ 2 over cards, and i decided to shove the 36K I had in front of me, in a 14K pot, and he make a call saying “lets gamble”. Nothing great on the flop, turn or river, he turns over 55 and my Aces hold. Usually I wouldnt play Aces that way in a cash game strongly preflop, as in a deep stacked game, any 2 cards are good preflop, due to huge implied odds and aces is just a pair, after all, but I knew I had this player, and and that he was calling. I enjoy deep stacked cash games. In a deep stacked game for instance, its so much harder for you to put people on cards. Garbage hands like 56off, or J 8 off.. you wouldn’t even think of playing in the tourney, but I would play it in a deep stacked cash game, even if i know you have aces. In fact I d be happy, if you show me preflop, that you have a big hand like aces. Because I get so much implied odds if I hit, and becuase I know, you would never put me on those hands. Also I m working more on my table talk and reading abilities, as these are crucial weapons in live cash games.

I am enjoying the cash game action in Goa these days, and hope to come back for more cash games this month, especially since there are no tournaments apart from the Casino Royale Cup. I almost stopped playing cash games at live home games, because hey, I know the rake is low in home games, but how many beginners come to play in home games, how many tourists, how many drunk fishes ? I think its more +EV, to play cash games in Goa, rather than play with the pros and grinders in low rake home games. Not to mention that so many rules are flouted in home games – folding out of turn, talking despite not being heads up, problems of credit, well just too many to mention. However, the casinos would do well to reduce the high rake. There could be exceptions at times, of course.

Note that I have nothing against the home game organisers, there was a time when I was a home games organiser too. They are trying to do a good thing by offering Poker to local players, who do not have the inclination to travel all the way to Goa/Sikkim/abroad and just want to play. Remember, every night, every one needs a game!!! It’s just your personal preference, as to where you want to play.

Regarding the future, I intend to take a short break from poker and start grinding online tournaments later this week, and hope to talk more to intervention and others, on tournament play. There is way too much to learn and In the words of AC/DC, “It’s a long way to the top, if you want to rock n roll”.

That’s it from me for now, and do enjoy yourself in Goa before going home if you get a chance. Goa has much to offer apart from Poker, and remember that there is life beyond poker.

Until next time, hope y’ all run good!


PokerGuru Mentorship Program and last week

May 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

Hi, my name is Ashutosh, and most of the goa tournament and cash game regulars already know me, so wouldn’t want to waste much time with the pleasantries 🙂

I am very excited to be a part of the PokerGuru mentorship program, a chance to learn tournament poker from guys who have won millions online and live cumulatively. I will be blogging pretty actively for the next few months, and looking forward to learn from everyone here.

Last week was pretty average and break even for me tournament wise. I was in Goa for India Poker Series and played 3 tournaments. On the first day, I split the 2nd prize in the mega satellite. In the 10K event, I was running okay until my last hand which was when I was 20 BBs deep and was as follows – Cutoff limps with Q5ss, I check my BB with J7. The flop is J 7 5, rainbow, with 9K behind, i check, Big blind bets 3K, I checkraise him to 6K,he calls. The turn is a K, I go all in for my last 4K, he calls, but the river is a brutal 5, he makes his trips, and that was the end of me.

In the 20K main event, I didnt get a double up in the initial stages, although my stack was pretty constant, I was constantly getting blinded out, as I was card dead and someone always got better cards, when I had hands. Ultimately, I shoved 22 from cutoff, which ran into Big blind’s AQ and that was it. I finished 13th in both the events.

It was fun being part of the PokerGuru mentorship sessions, and I am really enjoying being part of the discussions. I have always wanted to do better online on PokerStars, and I am going to try to build a good Bankroll online in the next 1-2 months.

Well, that’s it for me for now. Until next time, Take her easy!!

Live Games and a bit of Online grind

May 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

Hi guys,

I am really enjoying blogging as a part of the PGT Mentorship program and talking to intervention has opened up some new vistas of thinking which I could not even think of before, and I am looking forward to the next few weeks of the program.

On the online side, I was pretty break even last week. *I did have a deep run in the *big 5.5 but a few other subsequent non cashes put me back into black. I didn’t do any volume *though, just *Played maybe like 5-6 tourneys, so its*Nothing great to talk about. I am thinking of focusing on the tournaments with 15 minute blind levels in the $20 to $50 buyin range once I recommence online grinding, the week after apt. I am also thinking of getting my hand history reviewed by intervention when he has the time.

On the live front, the week was slightly better for me. On the first day, *I played pretty awful in the UPC 10k satellite, which I bubbled before a deal was made, and didn’t play too well*in the subsequent UPC 10k event either. I was looking good to cash out in the UPC 10k event,’since I had more than doubled *up early on.*The reason for double up was that I had managed*To get on the nerves of a player. On one of the hands, the table limped, I raised from small blind with rags, everyone except the villain folded who was utg plus 2. He was 4k behind and there was close to 1.5k in the pot. The flop was 8 4 4. I knew my image for small blind raise was strong so I put him a decision for half of his chips, and he insta *shoved on which I insta mucked. He showed an 8 n the unfortunate flop didn’t help me. However I did a lot of table talk , and a couple of hands later I pick*Up aces, I 3 bet the same player
N he got it in bad*With king queen off, preflop.

However I played *the last hand bad. I was card dead for 3 rounds so decide to take a stab with jack 5 off. Raised from late position with antes, small blind flatted. On the flop of Ac 4c 5h, action was checked to me, I bet slightly more than *half the pot and got called. The Turn was Qc. Action went check check, and the river was 2c, giving*Me the second nut flush. The player who was playing really bad till this point, bet 1k in a pot of 7k I was 9k*Behind n so was she. I raised her to 3 and she shoved. I should have folded then which I did not and she had the nut flush. It was hard for her to bluff in this spot, but i had to call 6k in a pot of 19, which meant i had to be right once in 3 times, to make it a profitable call in the long run, but I should have folded following my instincts. Played cash *After that and *was break even on cash games on the first day.

The second day was good for me as along with a good cash session, I also managed to win a seat in the apt main event mega satellite. I am really looking forward to the apt main event this time, as I could not play it the last time. Also I am focusing on live cash games too this week. I do not want to ignore cash games as they are very important especially to generate buyins for tournaments. Given, the variance in tournaments, you can go long streaks without cashing *out, despite playing good. However the challenge is to get into the cash game frame of mind, which is really very different from the tournament frame of mind. Despite trying our best, we are sometimes subconsciously in the tourney frame of mind after a cash game n vice versa, so need to focus extra when playing them back to back.

Well, that’s it from me for now and hope to run good at the apt main event. I suggest everyone reading this *to think about playing the main event as it easily has the biggest prize pool in*India so far for a 50k buyin event, with the first prize likely to be in the 25 Lakhs range.

Cheers for now and may the flop be with you!

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