Running on Ice at the IP Poker Series

Whether or not you are playing a Texas Hold'em onlineonline turbo poker tournament or playing in a live one like the freeroll the IP offered it’s a bit like running on an ice covered lake when spring hits. Once mis-step and it’s all over. Sometimes you can hear it cracking, sometimes it gets thin, sometimes it breaks behind you but is safe before you. And you can’t stop sprinting. There is no time to catch your breath or to jog it out, it’s full throttle all the way.

You stop sprinting and putting those chips in the middle you are done. You have to catch cards and your hands have to both hold up and catch up. So I was glad to see a good live player like Bert won one of the seats, because you gotta wonder in some of those events if some luckbox will just card catch all day. I got little to no sleep, playing late into the night/morning at the Hard Rock’s cash games. Just the proper way to prepare for a poker tournament, play a cash game all night, which is completely different from a tournament, and get as little sleep as possible.

I fluctuated between profit and loss all night. I couldn’t get over a $200 profit even though I had to go three buy-ins deep over the course of the night. Too many soft spots to not rebuild quickly but then I kept getting my hand jammed into places it shouldn’t be. I ended up just about even. Time well spent (heavy sarcasm).

I remember a guy just sat down and he check-raised me on the flop. I’d played a huge pot with him before in Biloxi and got him off a huge hand with air by applying all kinds of pressure. I popped him back. He stewed forever and then said the words I didn’t want to hear. All-in. The weird thing was I repopping with air all night and only in that hand was I nervous.

He even studied me for a while before acting as though he got a read on me. Which made me want to muck even less. Eventually, I had too but I was aching to know what kind of hand he made a move on me with. Then I watched him fold for three hours and questioned how dumb I was to make a move on that guy, and how lucky I must have gotten the last time I did it. It also was an ominous precursor to the way things would go on Sunday.

So eventually my friend from Baton Rouge and I left the Hard Rock at daylight and went back for about two and half hours of sleep. The freeroll was a blur and though I ran on ice fueled by coffee I didn’t run well enough to notice the 5k chip obstacle before me.

The Super Satellite later that day played like it was on thicker ice, or at least the temperature hadn’t risen to balmy spring like heights so there was some action. And the rebuys in that felt more like safety nets then fuel to burn off. I found myself on BJ McBrayer’s table and made a note to avoid him when possible. Course I kept getting hands on his big blind so oh well.

The other players were decent. One guy I made a final table with who I respected but felt he played a little too passively. In fact, I felt most of my table played a little too passively and I wanted at any point to just start exploiting them like I do when I’m in a zone in a cash game, but they were an odd mix of random decision making matrixes. What an unwieldy sentence, especially that second half, I'll explain it better in my next post....


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