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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Pundit – Jeremy ‘Chipsteela’ Menard - Bout time for a break

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A blog of sorts, a story to be told, the true depth of poker is about to unfold:

It’s been a pretty quiet few weeks on the online poker front for me. I have been experiencing lots of mediocre scores that have just blurred together, and it’s starting to get frustrating, It sucks when it all comes down to winning that key race that would be the difference between a top 3 finish and a mediocre 7th place finish which is really more of a slap in the face than anything else. Anyways I’m staying positive and I’ve got some good news, mostly non-poker related.

First off, I have a sick brag post.  I thought it was finally time I treated myself with the money I’ve been making in the poker business, so I went out and bought a new car. I’ve been talking about getting a car for quite some time, actually since around the WSOP last year. I’m kind of a procrastinator, and I think a lot of my friends just assumed I’d be driving the same beat up piece of shit until the wheels fell off. That was actually the plan, but one day I got inspired when I saw a car similar to the one I’d been looking for at a decent price. I’m admittedly a life nit, so I can’t pass up a good deal.

Alright so the car isn’t brand new, but with only 7000 miles on it and the fact that it’s a 2004 that’s pretty close.  It a dark gray Acura TSX, nothing too crazy, but it does have all the premium features including a navi system. The best part is the 6 speed manual transmission, which is great because I honestly don’t think I could go back to driving an automatic and you can’t really find luxury cars with manual transmissions too easily these days, which is bullshit in my opinion. I was surprised how easy it is to take care of all the financing, and though it woulda been so baller to pull up to the dealership with a briefcase full of hundos and buy that baby with cash, I opted for the more traditional route. Besides, it’s about time I start building some credit.

So I guess it’s onto some poker. This past year I’ve had some pretty terrible luck in satellites. Just too give one example, I’m pretty sure I spent over 10k just trying to win my seat to the WSOP Main Event this year and it never happened.  This time of year it’s all about winning a seat to the PCA, a PokerStars sponsored tournament held in the Bahamas . To obtain this package I started off playing the step satellites, which is the most terribleidea on the face of the planet. I’m sure it’s good for the low limit players who can win their seat for $10 or less essentially, but I’d rather jump into a pool of piranhas with a meat bathing suit on then grind out a day of those. I did manage to win a package to this event a few weeks ago in a $650 qualifier, which is like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders since I was planning on going to the event regardless. Nothing feels better after a rough Sunday then having the chip lead in one of these satellites right around the bubble and just owning everyone that is trying to squeeze into getting a seat. There’s definitely something therapeutic about it. There was one interesting hand that came up right around the bubble that led to discussion amongst me and some friends.

The hand took place with 19 players left in the satellite, and I believe 14 players got a seat. At this time I was the chip leader with 180k in front of me, and my table was playing incredibly tight. This is pretty common for this stage in a satellite that pays multiple seats, and I was taking advantage of every opportunity I got to either steal blinds or reraise players with medium sized stacks who I knew wouldn’t want to get involved in a large confrontation this close to the bubble.

The hand took place against The D__ry, a very well known player who I respect and I tried not to get involved in too many hands with. The blinds were 3k-6k with a 750 ante, and The D__ry had approximately 85k and was sitting on the button.  It folds around to him on the button and he moves all in.

I would expect him to make this move with a decently wide range of holdings since he is a competent thinking player that realizes that since we are this close to the bubble, and he only has to get the two players in the blinds to fold in order to add around 15k to his stack, this move obviously has positive expected value. He also knows that both of us players in the blinds would have to have a monster to call since it was almost half my stack and I believe he had the player in the big blind covered.

The situation gets hairy when I am dealt A-Ko, in the small blind. This seems like a tough decision that would lean toward a call, however there are many factors in play here. Remember my table is playing so tight and I’m easily accumulating chips without having to gamble, also realize that with my stack I could basically sit out and still win the seat, however if I do decide to call, and I lose, then I’m left with a stack that I can’t really use to exploit the table and instead I would be fighting for survival. Though it would be nice to gain those extra chips especially since I’m way ahead of the range he’s shoving with there, there’s really little benefit in taking the risk aside from eliminating a very good player.

With all these factors in place I think that makes this an easy fold and I would go as far as saying calling here is completely unnecessary and reckless. After folding I went on to continue to abuse my table, and easily won my seat. I’ve gotta tell you with how much I’d been struggling with satellites this year, this win felt almost as good as taking down a Sunday major, sad I know.

Well it’s about time for me to take a vacation. I’m happy to say you won’t see me on the online felt for the next week; instead I’ll be shredding it up in Breckenridge, Colorado with my girlfriend. I’ve never been snowboarding out west, so I’m pretty stoked. Hopefully I’ll be back in a week with all body parts intact, until then good luck at the tables.

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