Monday, September 11, 2006

Some people have asked me

Some people have asked why I haven't been playing cards as much. Why I haven't been blogging as much. Well they kinda run hand in hand. I have not had a winning session in I don't even remember how long. I don't think I am playing bad, but I must be. I have to be doing something wrong here, but I can not spot it. I have watched big stacks slip away. I have watched myself claw back into tournaments with small stacks. I have peddled away. I've done it all, same result. I want to take a few minutes to chronicle my last couple sessions just to clear my head of them. I know I really have only made one big mistake in these sessions (well probably two). I spot my mistakes. Usually its too late when I spot them, but I still spot them. I learn from these mistakes, at least I try. Here we go

3 weeks ago
$100+$30 local tournament, about 86 people.

We are just after the first break and I have a decent chip stack. By decent, I mean slightly more then average. We are probably down to about 50 or so people. The guy to my left has kept his stack alive by bluffing big at small pots. I have only seen him show down a couple big hands, and he played those slowly. Classic mistake. Overplaying weak hands, underplaying big hands. I have raised two hands in a row with AKs, QQ. I am on the button now and get dealt A4s. It has folded around to me. I attempt to limp, but like an amateur idiot I throw out $400 when the blinds are $100/$200. I think I said call before I put the money in the pot but I quickly notice my mistake and let it go. I don't want to get in a argument with anyone over $200 chips. I think the table sees my mistake and will probably call the $400 as if it was just the $200. The small blind calls and the big blind folds.
I deal out 2310 rainbow.
The small blind moves all in.
I was shocked at first at this overbet, but then I remembered how he has been playing. The pot was $1000, he just moved in for $8000. I have 12000. I can not possibly make this call, but yet I find myself thinking about it. I mean this guy has been playing like this all night right? He is probably bluffing. If he isn't bluffing, I have outs right? I know I have 4 outs, but probably 7 outs (if he doesn't have the ace). Still cant make the call. What do I do? I make the call. I trusted my read.
"I don't have anything but a bluff catcher.... but I think your bluffing"
I said that directly to him and looked at him. There he sat, crossing his arms with a "either call or shutup" look on his face. He looked intimidating. Quick quiz, what does that usually mean? His style, his demeanor, it all said "I am bluffing but you don't have the balls to call an overbet like that with nothing" Little does he know. The tight image I have shown most of the tournament isn't my style as we start to get deeper. I play looser taking advantage of my reads and (usually) chip position (whether big or small). I call, and about kick myself for doing it. He flips over A10 off. Why didn't I see that? (sidenote: this inspired my humble yourself post). What hand is he going to call the min-raise but want to end right there? A10.

Ok, time to pick your jaw off the floor and move on with the story. I was injured but not killed. I had about 4000 chips and the blinds where 100/200. Two hands later (the last hand before break) I (almost) double up with K10 when I hit two pair on the flop. I am sitting at like 7000 going into the break and blinds are about to go to 150/300 with a $25 ante. I have an M of over 10, so as long as I play tight I can build my stack back where I need to be. I also have to play tight. I cant throw my chips around to build my stack up because 2 hands before I made that stupid call three new players joined my table. All they know of me is that I called an all in bet with nothing but ace high, weak kicked and a gutshot. I have to use that to my advatange. Get a big hand and double up when they think I am playing "any two cards".

I sit around folding, folding, folding. My stack dwinldes a bit. I get into a position where I feel I can limp into a pot, or move all in, but nothing between. I have made a few calls (KQs,AQs to a raise,10Js on the button) but haven't been able to do anything with them. Meanwhile the blinds are at 200/400 with a 50 ante. I have like 5000 left, so my M is a little over 4. I get dealt 55 and decide I don't want to push with this hand, but I want to play it. Why? I have no reason. That was as good as hand as any to move my chips in the pot preflop with only 2 players left looking for a race. So I make the limp. The flop comes a pretty harmless 34J rainbow. I like this flop, but I have a problem. The guy who was in the big blind put a 1200 bet out. The pot was 1600. I have been watching this guy a lot (as I had been watching the other guy previously) and I felt weakness. I thought he probably has KQ,K10,A4, something small like that. I really couldnt afford to be wrong here, but the question was could I afford to fold? If I fold I have about 4600 left. Basically the same position I was before this flop. The pot is 2800, and I have two moves. I cant call, because I am giving him another card for free if he doesn't yet have me beat, while committing myself to go to the end with my hand. I finally move all in. I know its not the best play here, but it is probably not a horrible play. He quickly calls ( I almost expected him to call with a lot of hands). Shows down KJ, and despite hitting a 6 for an OESD on the turn, I don't improve.

I feel pretty bad about this tournament. Actually, I feel really bad about this one. I haven't cashed in a local tournament in a long time (busting on the bubble twice), but I haven't played this bad in a local tournament in a long time either.

I give it a week to recoup, and saddle up for the next one the following Saturday.
Same place, same buyin, less people. This time about 40 show up. This is what I need to get myself back in the black. I need a small tournament like this where I can outplay a lot of the people and make an easy 600-1800. Short story, I get knocked out before the first break. I get a pretty easy table, but forget one thing... you need cards to play poker.

I play pretty tight early on in this tournament, not really showing a lot of hands down. Meanwhile there is a guy three seats to my left just adding and adding onto his stack. He is a bad player. Calling with anything. Calling raises with 7Qoff. You know the kind. I keep my eye on him and hope to double up once or twice threw him. My stack dwindles down to about 4k (started with 7) when I am dealt 89d. I limp in from mid position. The big stack is in the big blind. It folds to him and he checks.

Flop comes 5c6h7h. Holly shit, I cant believe the situation I am in. I am going to double up here. No doubt in my mind. I check the flop to him (knowing he is going to bet, even if he has 2 hearts he is betting here, so I am not giving him a free card after I push my chips in the pot). Sure as the sky is blue, he puts out $1200. I count out 1200, look at the rest of my stack look back the 1200, look at my stack again and then say All In. He quickly calls and shows down Akoff. I say, I got the nuts and resist collecting my chips before the next two cards fall. They fall harmlessly and I collect my prize. Thing is, that didn't phase this guy. He continues his horrid play. Which is great for me. I can sit around a bit more and get into another good situation to put my chips in against him. The next rotation comes with me collecting the blinds when I raise with AK, and KK without being called, and folding the other junk I had. I then wake up in first position with AA. I through out a raise of 3xBB. The guy to my left reraises me to about 6xBB. It folds back to me. I look at him and say All In. I start to count out my chips after I announced my all in, and he utters, it doesn't matter I am calling, we can figure it out later. Well, now I know what he is going to turn over. Sure enough, he flips up AA. Neither of us get kicked in the junk and we split up the blinds. Probably 3-4 hands later I am sitting with AKs. It was raised to my left by my early victim. Once he announces raise, Im thinking about pushing. The problem is, the lady to his left calls. She is a good solid player who I have played with a lot. I know that she knows that he is a bad player. This is my big mistake of the tournament, that actually ends up saving me my chips stack. I should have pushed. If I push she gets out of the way. I know she is limping here hoping to outplay him after the flop. She is in perfect position to do that. I ignore this detail and smooth call his raise. It is just the three of us to the flop.

8s10sAh

Hmm, interesting flop. Mr. Loosey bets outs. I expected that. What I didn't expect was the lady to his left to move all in. She didn't have much, but enough to hurt me. I count out my chips and think a bit. She has a little less then half my stack. He has about 5 times my stack. I think about just calling her raise, which I quickly eliminate. If I am in this hand it is to the end. I either push all my chips in and hope he calls or I fold. She has two pair. I know she has to pair. In fact I think she has A10. He is going to call my push 95% of the time with weaker hands than me. If I push, and he calls I can make chips off of him and still loose to her. Its a fancy idea, but I think it might work. I announce all in. The only problem here is after thinking for a while Mr Loosey decides to fold. Uh oh. I look at her and say, you got two pair huh? She nods and flips over 810. Well, Im not in as bad of position as I thought I would be, but I am in pretty deep. She wins the hand and I loose a bit of my stack.

I tighten up for a little while, until I get KQs on the button. Mr. Loosey limps, as does another guy to my left. I limp as does the SB, and the BB checks.

Flop comes
34Q.
Check,Check,Check,Check.
I do the only thing I really can and push all in for about 2k. The pot is at like $3200 and offering me a great situation on top pair second best kicker. The blinds fold and Mr Loosey quickly calls. I almost expected that, and I actually want him to call here (figuring him for A4, or worse). What I don't expect is the guy to my left to call also. It took about 1/3rd of his chips to make that call, and I am a bit concerned here.
Turn comes J. I don't like this card, but I don't hate it either. They both check, so I am feeling a little better about my situation. The river comes 2. This card has to be harmless. Mr Loosey makes a small bet and my stomach starts to turn. The guy to my left moves all in and I think, I guess I am out. Mr Loosey quickly calls and shows off his 56 for a rivered straight. Ouch. The guy to my left shows off Q2 for his rivered two pair. Ouch. I flip up my KQ and say nice game guys as I collect my stuff and make my way to the snack bar. I was ahead the entire hand. I didn't think I was ahead after getting two calls. Both of them came from behind (although it only took one) to beat me on the river.

I don't feel as bad about this tournament as I did the one past. My mistake was pushing all in with AK. Oh, I forgot to mention, Mr Loosey folded a flush draw in that situation (a bad fold mathematically) and would have hit not one, but two spades on the next two cards. So my mistake actually save me money. If I pushed preflop with AK he calls with KQs, and she folds her 810. I don't loose to her two pair, but to his flush. If I just call her all in bet, he probably calls and I loose to his flush but she gets knocked out also. So the only right move there is to fold. Its a tough laydown, but I guess one I need to make. BTW, I am happy that I protected her there because I feel she could probably take all of his chips if she sat at his table long enough.

So that brings me to tonight. I will keep this one short. I am playing in a 6 player SnG. A cheap $10 tournament hoping to build up my roll a bit. I get dealt 68 in the SB. 2 players call before me, so I limp for an extra $20. The BB checks and the pot is $160. The flop comes 8h6d10d. I check my two pair in first position awaiting a bet from the horrible player to my right. Sure enough, I get check-check-small bet. I make a big raise to eliminate any draws and see if I can get all in with the guy to my right. Fold-Fold-Reraise. Thats interesting but I push all in figuring to be ahead. Sure enough I am ahead. He flips over a HORRIBLY played AA. He is dead to the Jack, Jack that hit on the river and turn.

Ouch.

That hand brings me to this post.

Hope you all enjoyed and got this far.

2 Comments:

At 5:53 AM, Blogger Klopzi said...

Keep in mind that playing well and making money in tournament play are two separate issues. To make it ITM, not only do you need to play well, but you need to catch a number of lucky breaks (or avoid tough breaks) a number of times.

Other than that, I don't mind the push with AK, but I also feel that you should have pushed with 55. Trying to see flops when you're short-stacked is suicide - you need that fold equity!

Keep at it - here's hoping things turn around soon.

 
At 6:31 AM, Blogger Nick Christy said...

klopzi,

I know I should have pushed with 55. I think I was taken out of my play at that point. I had the break to recoup, but it just didnt do it. I knew I had a weak image at the table at that point and thought that if I pushed I was getting called with a lot of hands. I didnt want that with a weaker hand like 55. What I really wasnt taking into account was my image didnt matter with my chip stack. Most of the hands that would call if I have a tight image beat me. The hands that are now calling because of my loose image are at best a race. Some small pairs that beat me might have folded if I had a tight image and called with my loose image, but not enough to take this into consideration. We all go on tilt in our own ways. Mine is that I overthink. I try to play perfect, when we all know that is impossible (despite what phil h. will say). I start to feel rushed, despite being in a position where I can fold hands like 55. You are 100% right in that I either push or fold there, and because of my position and what has happenend so far its an easy push.

 

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