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So It Begins

So It Begins

I logged on to my computer last night to do some online banking - paying bills, not playing poker - and was surprised to see GCox online. I had not planned to play any poker, even though the challenge started last night, because I had not heard from anyone about planning a game. In fact, GCox had mentioned he was having internet problems and might not be able to be online till Friday. With DNasty still out of commission, and Jordan MIA, I didn't have my hopes up. So I was pleasantly surprised when G instant messaged me to let me know he was up and running. I asked if there was the potential for a game and he said most def. I had a few things to do, but mentioned I'd be back later. The games would soon begin.

GCox vs. TripJax
Around 8:30 I was able to get back online and not long after the Heads-Up Challenge was officially underway with GCox and myself playing the first match. And what a match it would prove to be. Early on I took a pretty strong lead and had visions of finishing up the match quickly. Right around that time DoubleAs dropped by to say hello. At that point, I knew there would be more games occurring. As for our 1st match, GCox didn't like the idea of going out early and made a strong run. I overplayed top pair weak kicker and G made me pay. We ended up going back and forth for a while and I was the lowstack under 700 numerous times. I managed to also make a comeback and took a near 2 to 1 chiplead (I think) when the following hand came up. I had A-7 offsooot and strongplayed it putting G all-in for his final chips. I want to say he had somewhere between 700 and 1000. He called and I think turned over A 10 offsooot. The flop brought 3 diamonds and I held a diamond. At this point I was willing a 7 to hit the turn or river. I just had a feeling it was coming. Neither the turn or river brought a 7, however, the river was a diamond giving me a 4 to the flush win.

Not a win to write home about for me, but it happens. It was a tough beat to put on G, but I knew eventually the cards were going to have to play the game out for us because we had battled hard up to that point. I can't recall the last time I played a heads-up match that long. It could have been 20 minutes or an hour, but it definitely felt like closer to an hour to me! When I pushed with my Ace hand I knew no matter what I would still have chips at the end of the hand. If I lose, we basically exchange chips and keep on rolling like we had been. I think it was an excellent match to start the challenge and I'm glad G and I got to play it.

I must say, I was extremely impressed with the way G played the match. He pushed me off hands I would normally be able to take down. He controlled the play and never let me feel like I had full control. Sure we folded our hands plenty, but he managed to put me off my game which has not happened to me often. He had me second guessing myself which I try to avoid. There was a point in the match where I felt like it could go forever. Eventually, however, the blinds did their job and increased enough to force us to play our hands fast and hard. Color me impressed with G's play, no doubt.

WillWonka vs. TripJax
Will proved to be another tough match indeed. We played another relatively long match with similar up and down chip counts in the early going, much like my game against G. I liked Will's style of play and his betting. I didn't feel off my game during his match, but I think my confidence was up after winning the earlier match. On the very first hand I had the top straight and there were two Aces on the board. I was hoping Will had one Ace and his set would fall into my straight trap. However, I was also worried he had A K and had a dominating full house. He had neither and I took down a relatively small pot to start the match. The pivotal hand in our match was when I had, I think, J Q with J K X on the flop. The betting was such that I felt I could stay in the hand and see it through. Once the betting was over I was happy to see my J's held up and Will did not hold the K. At that point I had over 2000 in chips and again felt pretty good, but knew I still needed to seal the deal. With Will low on chips I limped with pocket 10's hoping to induce an all in with any marginal hand - something like K 10 or or Ace Little. It's what I would do if I was low stacked and it's exactly what ended up happening. Will raised me enough to committ himself and I pushed enough to put him all-in. He had Ace Little and I ended up taking that match down. Another good match played out that just ended up going my way.

With the way the first two matches had gone, I was beginning to get worried that all my heads-up matches were gonna be long battles. These bloggers are some damn good players and it was starting to show. But the match that most intrigued me was about to happen.

DoubleAs vs. TripJax
Not long after the match with Will, DoubleAs and I decided we might as well play out our game. Now I must give a little background on my thoughts of DoubleAs before I go forward. He is one of my favorite bloggers out there and I think I've learned just as much about the game from him as any other blogger. That's why he's probably one of my top 5 blogs to read. I respect his play and his writings and I was extremely happy to hear that he was going to join us in the Heads-Up Challenge. At the same time, I was also a tiny bit intimidated. That didn't last long as I knew we're all just a bunch of guys out to have fun and play some poker, but still I was anticipating our game. I didn't realize it would happen on the first night and end so quickly.

Right off the bat DoubleAs was raising my big blind. I expected nothing less. On the first hand I had high suited connectors, but the flop didn't improve me so I was out. Not long after - maybe 5 or 6 hands into the match, we got into a nice game of betting. The amounts were just enough to keep both of us in, but enough to make for a strong hand in the end. Double had been betting his Ace with an Ace on the flop. I had been betting my King with a King on the flop. The river brought a very pretty King and when Double pushed all-in I made the call that proved to be the match. I ended up taking the hand down with my trip Kings. He only had about 100 left after that hand and I put him all-in with Ace Little and took down the match.

Somewhere along the way DoubleAs complimented me on my betting style and that really was a good feeling. One of the main things I had worried about when planning to play him was betting incorrectly. Making the wrong decisions at the wrong time. It felt good to have him note that and I appreciate it. As for the pivotal hand in our match. I think he either knew he was a lock on the hand with Aces and Kings or he felt we were probably splitting the hand and hoped he could push me off the hand. I don't think he put me on the Kings so that ended up being the deciding factor. If that King doesn't come on the river and he strong bets me, I'm out of the hand. However, I get the feeling he would have either gone all-in or medium size bet me to induce an ill fated call on my part. Either way, it's just one hand and and one quick match, thus not indicative of the complete gammot of our games.

Obviously I'm happy with my results so far and I hope to continue the good trend. Three matches down and four to go for the first round. Watch out, DNasty, Jordan, SteelerJosh, and Mourn!

Here are the current results as of last night.

posted by TripJax @ 2:38 PM,

27 Comments:

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