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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Pundit - Jeremy “Chipsteela” Menard- A new laptop and finally a win!

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The month of February was not very kind to this online grinder, that is until the very end of the month. It started off with lots of final table appearances, but sadly no real lucrative cashes worth mentioning.  It’s funny how people outside of poker are always saying things to me like why are you complaining when you’re making all this money, but what they don’t know is that with all the buy-ins I cough up those small scores aren’t exactly gonna pay the bills. I needed a decent win to maintain my sanity by the end of the month, and finally it came.

Before that happened, I had to say goodbye to a good friend of mine, my Sony Vaio which had been my first official poker laptop. It finally decided to die on me conveniently right after I took a ridiculous bad beat at a final table to come in 9th. It was probably a smart idea for it to play dead, because if not it was going to end up smashed against the wall after the day that I had had.

For some reason after that I decided to get a new Gateway gaming laptop. I had read lots of great reviews about it and it seemed to be a great deal for the price despite the fact that I had always heard these computers were subpar. I was also looking for a machine with the highest screen resolution possible to allow for optimal multitabling, and the salesperson in the store assured me that it did have the 1900:1200 resolution that I was looking for. I even checked to make sure that this was actually the case on the display model at the store.
I was sold, and then I get home only to find that the screen resolution only went up to 1440:900, which is nowhere close to what I was looking for. What the fuck is goin’ on? Can you say false advertising?  I decided I would still give it a shot, but something about the laptop was just irking me. It could have been the cooling fan turning on every five minutes and emitting an annoying humming noise, or the orange backlit media buttons staring me in my face when I looked down at the keyboard, but after a week I decided I would just have to eat the restocking fee because it had to go.

I found a pretty sick deal on a HP laptop online, which actually has an 18.4” screen with the highest resolution possible and a blueray player as a bonus. Since FTOPs was still going on I kept the Gateway to play on until the new laptop arrived, then when I went to return it I actually convinced the guys at Best Buy to remove the restocking fee because of the “false advertising”, so I got a full refund. Basically I rented the laptop for a month without having to pay anything, so it ended up being a pretty sick deal.

As soon as I got the new laptop set up, my month started turning around. I managed to get heads up in two tournaments on Full Tilt in two days, unfortunately losing a coin flip to get second in both of them. These two losses left me steaming, because like Ricky Bobby says, “If u ain’t first, you’re last,” and I definitely felt like I was last after those two finishes.
I decided the next time I got heads up there was no way I would lose. So on Wednesday that week I got deep again in a tournament on Full Tilt, this time it was the nightly 65k with a 27k prize for first. I had around an average stack with 27 players remaining, and then I just hit a rush that sent me to the final table as chip leader. I don’t care what anyone tells you, in order to win tournaments you have to win races and I won my fair share of them in route to the final table.

Before I knew it we were on the final table bubble and I had a pretty sizable chip lead. So we are five handed, and I’m raising nearly every hand when this hand comes up. The only other player at the table who has anywhere near the amount of chips that I have opens in middle position, and I have A-Ko so I put in a reasonably sized reraise with no plan to fold my hand since we are short handed. It folds back around to him and he time banks then puts in another raise which actually left me with some fold equity.

I had already decided I wasn’t folding, since I was playing very aggressive and this player could definitely be thinking along the lines that I was just trying to take advantage of him because of our stack sizes and the fact that we are on the final table bubble. I put him to the test and moved in, and he instacalls with K-K. At this moment I’m thinking wow I must have been cursed at birth, how can I be so unlucky. This thinking changes when that beautiful A that I have seen so many hit against me in similar situations pops up on the flop. Finally the poker gods are smiling on me.

That pot gives me a massive chip lead going to the final table. It feels good to be in “God mode,” but as soon as I get to the final table that all changes. I immediately snap off a short stacked good player w A-K when he shoves in his short stack w A-3, but the 3 on the flop is enough to give him the pot.  

A few hands later I lose a race to another good player, USCPhildo, when I open w J-Qs and he moves in with no fold equity and T-T. I flop a flush draw with two overs, and yet still can’t get the job done. This is already getting ugly as both the players I’m most worried about now have some chips to play with.
I try not to let this phase me, and continue to play pots with the weaker players at the table to get my stack back up. When we are six- handed I open utg with A-Qo and a player who had been moving in on me frequently shoves in again, and on top of that the good player who had doubled up against me before shoves in his stack over the top.

At this point I’m getting around 2.5:1 odds to make the call, and though I’m not really worried about the initial all in, the other player could easily have me dominated in this spot. I decide to call anyways with those attractive odds, and I immediately laugh out loud at the 2-4o the first player shows up with, and am not surprised that the other play has the A-Ko. I manage to win that pot when I spike a Q on the turn, that’s what I call justice.

This gives me a commanding stack going into 4 handed play, and I’m happy to be up against several weak European players. Then I get A-K in a spot blind vs blind and get all my chips in against my opponents A-Jo, and wouldn’t u know it, he flops the nuts. Okay whatever, I continue to fight on and manage to make it to heads up close to even in chips with my opponent. He proves to be a poor heads up player, and I win around 25 of the first 30 pots. But as soon as he gets short stacked we get into a race, and he wins to double up.

Why would they want to make it easy for me?

So I whittle him down again raising nearly every hand, and winning almost every pot that does go to a flop. He’s short again, I get the A-Ts and end up calling his all in when he has 8-8. Do you think I win there? Of course not!

Okay so third time is a charm, right? I win several more pots, it doesn’t even seem like he’s really putting up a fight at all. Finally I get all in w 7-7 against his A-5o and hold! Game over finally.

A feeling of accomplishment comes over me, then I remember I’m still in the $300 250k guaranteed tournament on PokerStars. I had the opportunity to make my night even better with the 52k that was going to first in that tournament.
With 15 people remaining in that tournament I’m dealt K-K and have a feeling that someone is going to reraise me when I open, and sure enough USCPhildo puts in a reraise and I time bank to make it look like I could have a weaker hand and was just getting tired of being reraised. Then I move in and he calls with T-T. This is my opportunity to double up and be a force in this tourney, but Stars is a cruel bitch of a poker site and gives him the 7-8-9 flop just to make it interesting. I can’t look at the screen anymore, but I already know that dirty 6 is coming, and sure enough… GG.

Thus was the end to my bittersweet night, which has really left me questioning why I even continue to play on PokerStars with how terrible I run on the site. Whatever though I got my win. Now It’s time to deplete more of my bankroll as PokerStars introduces their spring tournament series cleverly named SCOOP. They probably gave it this name because it aims to scoop up the bankroll of all the high stakes regulars on the site, with tournaments such as a 3k 1 rebuy 1 add on, and a 10k main event, all and all the series could cost around 95k if you decide to play all the high stakes events. Good thing they offer both low stakes and mid stakes options as well. Maybe it will finally be my turn.
I’ll keep you updated though as the series runs from April 2-12. Wish me luck!

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