Letter to my backers...

Hello all,

First off, I want to thank everybody that has supported me by buying a piece of my package for the Million Dollar Heater.   We still have the bulk of tournaments to play so I'm excited about our chances.  Bullet number one didn't go so well but still got a loaded gun.  .

The first day of my Million Dollar Heater was more like the five hour cooler.  I splashed around early and saw my chip stack vacillate between 8k and 12k.  I made some big early hands, but it was too early for anybody to really pay me off.  I liked my table draw at first.  I had the talented Larry Williamson on my right, he's  a super nice guy and reads the site, and can play.  Fortunately, I was on his left so advantage me.  Then Greek Michael from Harrahs sat down two more to my right.

He's a wide open player and is savvy enough to get out of the way when he's behind. Still he makes things a lot more difficult, because hand ranges widen so much.  Others adapt to him and open up and things can get messy quickly.  Don't like him at my table because of the confusion he creates but if he has to be there, again, glad to be in position.

Before the antes started I felt very comfortable.  There were tables that were better but at least at mine I had position.  Probably I splashed around too much early because once the extra money entered the pot, I had two players I decided were conservative and tight, that started to three bet me.  I kept laying down but began to question whether or not they were simply adjusting to what they deemed my style of play.  

Then one of them busted so I expected things to ease but the formidable David Nicholson sat down.  I asked him if it was fair that he's currently beating me at Words With Friends (think I'm a scrabble fish but I'm new to the game) and now he was going to take my chips too.  He replied he was fine with that scenario.

Immediately, it folded around to me on the button and I looked at 67 suited.  I usually tighten up my range on the button, against better players like David in the blinds, because I feel the button steal is so common I'm inviting them to play back at me, and I need a hand for that.  I decided this was a versatile hand to get played back and to be able to escape if necessary.  He called my bet.  Flop came 962.  He checked.  I bet, he called.

Turn was another 9.  He checked, I checked too.  Not that the 9 changes anything but another bet might be more persuasive to him.  However, if I were him and called the flop, I'm not going to fold when another 9 hits.  And it's not that gave him credit for a 9, but I don't think he's calling out of position with nothing and basically all I can beat is a float.  In that vein of thought, I was preparing to call his river bet.   River was an Ace and while it's a good bluff card when he checked to me, I had to revaluate.  I know he knows that's a good card to pop back at me.  Why wouldn't he?  He's got a hand that probably beats me and has showdown value so he wants to check call.  Or he's gotten a big hand and thinks I might bluff at the ace.  Anyway, I'm not looking to play big pots with skilled players early especially with third pair so I checked.  He had A6.  Think the paired 9s slowed him down but I don't see him folding the river to anything but a stupid bet by me and even then he might call because it's stupid.

He ran a little worse than me and got knocked out before me.  I was glad to see it because I always like to see good players on my left walking away from the table.  After a long period of being card dead-ish.  I had a bad level and punted about 4k away missing flops and calling off.  In one hand a guy shoved on the river and disguised his hand by not betting off flush and straight draws. 

Flop came KJJ two clubs in a multi-way pot.  He checked it to the river than shoved sitting on AJ.  I discounted a solitary King or a jack because of all the draws he didn't chase away and called him light.  More likely he missed his draws there, I think, or I'm paying off a monster like quads or KJ.  AJ I did not expect.  Thought his range was more polarized than it was I guess.  I also leaned toward him leading out on the turn with say KJ with multiple people in the pot to get some value from it, so ultimately I decided quads or nothing and quads were unlikely.  Bad read?  I   

Then, they broke my tables and I immediately sat down with a table full of young guys.  Before I could get a hand,  I watched them all being very active.  The extra 2k I dumped in that final hand would have been handy as pots were expensive in my new digs.  I finally got a hand, in middle position in an unopened pot.  Having not played anything for two rounds I figured I'd get some respect and led out with 66.

I got called on the button and by the big stack in the big blind.  Flop came 822.  Big blind checked.  I bet, button called.  Button was a woman who looked a little bit like Natasha Hensdrige but with kind of a crazy look to her.  I accorded her two overs and almost continued with a bet on the turn but it put three clubs out there.  She doubled checked her cards and I thought she's looking for a big club.  I couldn't decide if she had one or not.  Better to check it down.  River was another club.  Good bluff spot but she seemed comfortable.  I checked and she slowly showed King 8 off-suit no club.  I grimaced, because I thought I was good when she didn't bet.  Should have known not to trust the chick from Species, too much alien in her.

I later shoved AQ and a big stack woke up to kings.  I missed.

I gave the package two extra shots.  I decided to play the nightly and the $125 the next day.  I didn't track it by twitter because I decided it would count as one of the wildcards if I cashed.  If I missed it wouldn't.  I missed, so neither counts.  

Nightly didn't last long.  I began as an alternate.  When I got to the table late, with blinds already up there, a short stack shoved, several people called, a big stack isolated.  I called with a lot of extra money in the pot holding AK suited.  Short stack AA, big stack 55.  Ugh so much for my outs.  He amused me by telling the table he didn't care what she had he was only after my money.  Right.  He shoved before I was in the pot.  Granted, things changed after I went all in, but he was already revising history less than a minute after it happened.  What he was after was hopefully a coinflip with the short stack with all the extra money in the pot.  He didn't want a call from a bigger stack at all, until he saw what we held.

The next day I found myself on one of the few tough tables in a $125 buy-in $100 reentries.  Maurice Hawkins two to my left.  Fun.  Then two to my right in a grip of passive older men was a player from Atlanta that knew what he was doing.  Every time there was a pot to be stolen with weakness shown he'd beat me to it (usually on the button).  I never had the hand to 4 bet him with that I was willing for him to call and me play out of position.  One time I picked up I think a betting tell on a good player at the table and I was itching to repop him and the guy from Atlanta, maybe making the same read, again beat me into the pot.   

Maurice Hawkins (info on him and more here) was a fun player to play with.  Pretty early on he incited one of the older players in a "You ydon't know who I am,"  "No, You don't know who I am," kind of thing.  I liked that most of the people at the table was on edge and off their games.  Only problem, like I said I was handcuffed, and couldn't exploit them.

Just like the $350 I splashed around early, but I was able to chip up enough to not use the re-buy (which could be used as an add-on).  Then after the rebuy period ended and Maurice and the player next to him (one of his buddies who I rated pretty good) started three betting me fairly frequently.  I tightened up my range and waited.
My chips started to disappear and I got short. 

I doubled up through Hawkins' buddy in another hand which again had some revisionist thinking involved.  I opened with AQ suited, he three bet me.  I couldn't decide to shove or not but I decided that I would call and shove if I hit or try to induce if I hit real good.  Didn't have to jam there.

Flop came two of my suit 8 high.  Two overs and a flush draw, I'm favored against most hands, I'm looking to get it in.  I check confident he's c-betting almost everything he has.   He bets, I shove, he calls.  He has 810 off suit.  Maybe they were three betting me light all day, he certainly was in this case.  Turn was a ten which took away my overs.  River gave me my only all-in win (either as the big stack or short stack) of the weekend.  I hit a heart.

After that, he kept bringing up the river heart as if he suffered a really bad beat.  Which is kind of ignoring the fact he got it in as a dog (albeit a small one where were essentially flipping).   Yes, on the turn he improved to 81% but again the money got in on the flop, the turn on its own is kind of irrelevant.

I grinded all the way back to almost a comfortable stack and then the following hand happened.  UTG limped.  Folded to me in the small blind.  As it did, I saw the Big blind a very tight player steal a look at his chips.  I know he's going to raise.  I look at 55.  I hadn't made a set all weekend and was overdue, plus I knew he likely couldn't get away from his hand if I hit it, and I could double up.  I decided I was going to call, and then call his raise.  I was hoping UTG would call too. 

Action went raise, call, call.  Blammo!  Five on the flop.   I check, he bets, I shove and he snap calls triumphantly showing Aces.  I show my fives.  Turn Ace ball. 
Crippled, I make it a couple more rounds until it's folded to me in the small.  I spy King-Nine suited and jam.  Big Blind wakes up to A4 and snap calls.  He missed, but so did I.
Hawkins, who has spent some time on TV was a fun player to play with.  He didn't win many arguments but he liked making them and stoking the fire.  I couldn't tell if he was arbitrarily messing with people but here are two debates he was on the wrong side of.  He told people that the rule at showdown on the river the player closet to the button has to show.  The table entirely rejected that with me saying that was only true if the river went check check.  If there was aggression on the river the player doing it had to show.  He called the floor and the floor confirmed he was right.  Ughh?  What?

Floor walked away and everybody at the table was confused including me.  Then we had some other questions like if there was a bet on the river and the guy not closet to the button bet, but didn't show could we ask to see his hand.  The same floor came back to explain the other issues to us, telling us condescendingly that he could tell we were confused and he clarify things for us.

He immediately reversed what he said earlier and "clarified" exactly the opposite of what he initially said was true.   If it's check check guy closet to button shows.  If there is a bet, of course the bettor shows first.    Thanks for clearing that up for us sir, and thanks for saying exactly the opposite the first time.

Later, we were debating NFL qbs and Hawkins told me Joe Montana was a system quarterback.  I said he thrived in KC too.  Maurice informed me, he didn't cement his legacy there and played like five years for the Chiefs leaving the 49ers at 28 or so.  He was a huge Montana fan so I should trust him.

That's not the way I remembered things, and I trust google better and looked that up.  He played 13 or so years for the Niners.  When he went to the Chiefs all he did was go to the Pro Bowl, win two come from behind playoff games and take them to the AFC Championship, I'd say he did pretty good in his second Act in the NFL.  He only played two injury filled years there but he was old and broken down and still successful.

By the way, that's one of the sports criticisms I hate the most.  A system quarterback.  They also lumped Tom Brady in that category.  Really, the system got him all those wins?  What system is that, the one where he has one or two serviceable receivers and running backs and still wins.  The same system employed by other teams and other quarterbacks without the same results. 

I know Montana had a great, great receiver, and some really good other receivers and offensive players but not every Niner quarterback since him and Young thrived in that system.  If a system was so easy for Brady or Montana everybody would be using it and everybody would be winning.  For a time, everybody did use the West Coast offense and guess what nobody had the success of Montana. 

Anyway, sorry for that turn of thought.  Rambling now.

For my backers, we only have one tournament fired and the rest to go.  I'll play tomorrow and Saturday, if necessary.  Tweets resume around noon tomorrow.  Again, thanks for the support.  We are due .  We'll get 'em.      



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