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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Pundit - Jeremy “Chipsteela” Menard - F FTOPS

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

So it’s been a little while since my last article, and so far the month of February has been depressing to say the least. It’s funny how I go into every FTOPS (Full Tilt Online Poker Series) feeling optimistic with the hopes of finally winning the coveted gold jersey avatar that is awarded to the winner of each event, and so far have always just ended up pissed off at poker as my dreams are shattered each time around.

It doesn’t help that Full Tilt basically runs an FTOPS series almost every 2 weeks it seems like nowadays. What is Howard Lederer trying to do, destroy our bankrolls or something? So far I have only made one final table in these events, funny thing is it was in the half pot limit hold em/ half pot limit Omaha event, and it was my first time ever playing this event. I hardly ever play Omaha to be honest, but I enjoy the action, and I find it’s a little easier to win those all in pre flop confrontations with four cards instead of two.

So far the only thing FTOPS has succeeded in doing is making me bitter as I get to watch all my friends get huge 6 figure scores, oh yeah congrats to Gboro780, Bigdogpckt5s, Jordankickz and Roothlus for their scores by the way, you bastards, while I just end up railing them and wondering what I’m doing wrong.  That’s the end of my rant for the time being.

It hasn’t been all bad though, I did manage to win a decent sized tournament since my last entry. I have found that lately I have been doing much better in 6-max tournament fields, which might have something to do with the fact that I’ve been playing a lot more 6-max cash games recently at the $3-$6 level. This experience allowed me to take down the $100, 1 rebuy, 1 add-on, 6-max tournament held on Full Tilt on Sunday a couple weeks back.

The biggest thing I’ve been working on has been my post flop play, which I feel had been lacking, and I’d say that it showed in this tournament. In most situations throughout this tournament I relied heavily on my reads, which allowed me to pick off several big bluffs, one which gave me the chip lead with two tables left. It wasn’t long after that that I was at the final table, unfortunately a well known full tilt pro by the name of Vivek ”Psyduck” Rajkumar had amassed a monster stack on the final table bubble and he was directly on my left. Vivek and I took turns busting players from the final table as fast as we could and less than 20 minutes into the final table we were heads up with incredibly deep stacks.

I definitely would say that he was the player I least wanted to play heads up, but I was running good and despite his 2-1 chip lead on me I thought I still had a chance to pull it off. A few hands in he asks me if I want to even chop which I responded sure to since he has such an advantage with his chip stack, but it turns out he meant chop by chip counts which is a completely different thing. I respectfully declined.
I doubled up pretty early into the match when I flopped top two pair against his pair and flush draw combo draw, somehow I held. Then we got into a really interesting hand which went down the way it did because of the dynamics of the match so far. We were both playing very aggressively, and so when I woke up with A-Jo on the button I had no intentions of folding no matter how much pressure he put on me. So I opened on the button to 2.5x the blinds and just like clockwork he puts in a decent sized reraise, this is exactly what I expected. With the strength of my hand, and the fact that I know my opponent is capable of flying off the handle with all kinds of hands I have crushed here, I really wanted to get all of our chips in pre here.

I put in another raise to around 2.5x his 3-bet trying to induce him to put in that last raise for all his chips since I designed my to raise to leave him with a decent amount of fold equity. He time banked down and even asked in the chat if I was folding if he shoved, to which I responded “lol” because I thought it was pretty obvious I wasn’t. Regardless, seconds later all his chips are in the middle, and we both were about 80bbs deep at this time. I called just as fast, and wouldn’t you know he shows up w the A-2o. Game over, right? Not exactly, you see as I said before he is a red pro for Full Tilt so his run good powers are much stronger than that of any normal man.
The board runs out 4-4-K-K-2 and we chop the pot up. SIghhhhduck! We play for about another hour and are at basically a stalemate. The topic of chopping comes up again, though this time it actually is for an even chop. Since we had been playing for so long, and my brain had basically turned to mush from playing all day Sunday anyways I finally decided I was tired and ready to be done with the match. So we chop and the next hand we both go all in regardless of our cards to see who actually will “win” the tournament. My 9-2o ends up rivering a straight against his K-3s and victory is mine, well in a sense anyways.

It’s nice to have that reminder that I can actually win a decent tournament still, especially with the amount of 9th-6th place finishes I’ve had in important tournaments these past few weeks.  With all the bad beats I’ve seen, all I can say is it’s a good thing Best Buy offers a service plan and extended warranties on their laptops. Anyways, it’s back to the grind for now. Look for my next entry sooner than later. Peace

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