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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Pundit - Jeremy “Chipsteela” Menard- Lots Goin’ On

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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 little while since my last entry, and I don’t even know where to start with all the stuff that’s happened since then. I take that back, I’ll start off by saying that I just proposed to my girlfriend Courtney who I have been together with for quite awhile now, and believe it or not she said yes. I guess I’m finally starting to grow up, and we are both very excited for what the future has in store for us. She is an incredible girl and I truly feel blessed that I get to spend the rest of my life with her. For all those romantics out there who want to know how I did it, I’ll just say that it involved a fondue restaurant, a plate with “Will you marry me?” written on it in chocolate, and of course a nice sized diamond ring. I was sure I couldn’t go wrong with that combination, after all what girl doesn’t like chocolate and diamonds? As far as the actual wedding goes, we have no specific plans as of yet, but I’d imagine it will go something like her saying, “Don’t you think this ________ will be perfect?” and me just smiling and nodding my head. I look forward to it.
Aside from that great news, poker has also been going a lot better than when I left off. I managed to go on a tear of sorts, and made a little bit of money in the process. It all started with a deep finish in one of the new tournaments that Full Tilt has added to their Sunday line up, the $150 rebuy tournament. I managed to build my stack up huge during the rebuy hour, and continued to chip up nicely by flopping well and making some unorthodox plays that people wouldn’t expect from me given my “tight” reputation. You see, the trend in online poker is moving toward a lot more preflop play where, three, four, and five bets with marginal holdings is not just the norm, it’s almost necessary given the ridiculously aggressive level that poker has come to in the higher buy in tournaments.
The key to these plays is timing, and picking the right opponents to use them against. In the past I have found myself getting burned a lot making such plays, but that doesn’t mean I’m just going to remove them from my repertoire even if it means I’m getting it in with 7-2o against A-A sometimes. It’s almost gotten to the point where deep in tournaments poker is like a game of chicken, where players trade raises back and forth preflop until eventually someone gives up when they can’t take anymore heat. I played one of these hands during the tournament and the fact that it actually worked has given me more confidence to continue to make these moves if it seems like a good opportunity.

In the hand that I’m referring to there were 27 players remaining in the tournament and I had around 200k in chips with the blinds at the 1500-3000 blind level. The villain is the chip leader of the tournament with 420k in chips, and is a player I know to be incredibly aggressive and I also know perceives me as being more conservative and I planned on using this against him. I also know that deep in tournaments he opens a lot from under the gun in order to steal the blinds, meaning that he could basically have any two cards because he knows that when a player opens with a raise from this position its usually a signal of strength.  Is it getting confusing yet?

Anyways, this hand he does exactly what I expect and opens for a raise from under the gun again, I am on the button and I decide I’m going to reraise regardless of what cards I get dealt. I pick up the beautiful T-8o and continue with the game plan, putting in a raise to 23,450.

This is where the hand really gets confusing. You see though the villain does perceive me as a tight player, he also knows that I am capable of making a move here from time to time especially since this is like the 8th time in a row he’s opened with a raise from this exact same position. So I wasn’t surprised at all when he put in another reraise making it 42,000 to go. I had already decided that I wasn’t going to go away very easily, and though a small 4-bet like that from most players would be used as a trap a lot of the time with a monster hand, against this particular opponent I really felt that it was his attempt to risk as little chips as possible to find out if I really had a hand. As soon as the action got back to me I waited about 5 seconds, took a deep breath, then moved the rest of my chips. I know what you’re thinking, this move is suicide, but given the table dynamics and my history with this player I really thought it would work. He actually folded rather quickly, and I gained the confidence needed to continue making similar plays deeper in this tournament, resulting in a 5th place finish after some bad luck at the final table.

 I told you guys last time that I was on the prowl for another triple crown, and I was so fuckin’ close to making that happen again. Last Monday I managed to win not one but two tournaments in one day, both on different sites. All together those winnings added up to around 13k, but I wasn’t going to stop there. That Wednesday I was actually having a really bad day, and took a lot of beats that knocked me out of most of the tournaments I was playing in brutal fashion. However, I was actually running pretty well in one tournament which just happened to be the 1k that Ultimate Bet runs every Wednesday night.

All that I had to do was take this one down and I’d have another triple crown. I was 2nd in chips by a lot and felt that I had a great shot at winning this one with four people at the final table, when the unthinkable happened. One of the shorter stacked players opened for a raise from the button, and the player in the small blind moved in pretty quickly right after. I had both these players covered by a decent amount, but with the J-4s in front of me I was thinking of nothing other than folding. I was also talking to a friend on AIM during this time and when I pressed enter to send him a message somehow I managed to  ship my chips all in on accident. I don’t remember ever experiencing a misclick of this grandeur before, but when I failed to catch up to the all in players 9-9 I started to feel the pain. I did manage to mount a comeback, but I lost a monster race w A-Q against the 8-8 of the chip leader and I was out in 4th regardless. Sighs all around. I did at least receive a lovely parting gift of 15k for my troubles, so I couldn’t be too upset.

Next week I’m finally going to make my way out to Vegas for some small tournament series called the WSOP that I hear is going on out there. I look to take home one bracelet at the bare minimum. My next entry should be filled with great Vegas stories in my quest for a bracelet, so make sure and check back soon to hear all about it.

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