Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Live By The Sword,....Yeah You Know The Rest

Imagine my surprise and delight when everyone's favorite Degenerate mentioned my blog at the very top of his latest post. Gee, someone does read this. :D Along with giving me a shoutout he's posted a follow up to his Sit-N-Go strategy post. I've touted it before and I'll do so again. Go read that post if you want a solid foundation for starting out with single table tournaments.

Speaking of single table tournaments, last night I played in two of them and managed first and third place finishes. I then moved to a multi table tourney and started out very well. I handled the second session better than I usually do and maintained a big stack. I was even as high as second in chip count for a while but most of the time I hung around the top ten. I dropped a very large portion of my chips when I was dealt JJ in late position. I raised it up and the BB was my my only caller. The flop came with two A's and the BB let me have the lead. I bet into him twice and and he called me both times. When the river came I knew he wasn't going to lay down and he showed me his pocket A with a very crappy 6 kicker which was offsuit. I must be telegraphing something in my play because the player to my immediate left said "jj's" in the chat window right after the hand. I didn't respond but he had me cold. I must have shown weakness in my betting on the flop. I don't remember exactly how much I bet but I remember being worried about an A. I'm going to need to be concious of this in the future.

The tournament had 95 entrants and the top nine positions were paying. I managed to just about build myself back to average after the earlier JJ debacle when I was dealt AQo in the cutoff. Two limpers to me and I raise 3x the BB to 1200. The BB and early limper fold, the last limper takes quite a while to decide and then calls. With his hesitation I put him on a weak A or perhaps paint. The flop came 2s,3h,5c. The limper checks and I bet out 1000. I've got the gutshot straight now so if I've put my opponent on the right hand at worst I will split this. I probably should have actually bet more as the pot was 3400 but I was looking for a call. As expected I get my call. The turn brings my A and I've made my top pair. Limper checks and I don't want to prolong this any further. I figure it's time to put the nail in the coffin and I bet 2500. I'm expecting a call if he's hit his weak A, if he has the paint he will fold. To my surprise he raises all in for 1520 more. It is at this point when the sense of dread finally hits me. All that flashes in my mind is he had the weak A and hit his small pair on the flop. I only have 550 left and with no choice other than to toss it in I call. When the cards are flipped over I find that I completely missread his hand. He actually held pocket 4's and the A gave him the straight. I think his preflop call was bad being out of position and staring into a big raise behind him. On the flop though he was perfect as even if I made my hand I was going to lose.

I went out 45th and managed to piss away a big stack in two hands. They weren't consecutive hands thank goodness but it still sucked.

A few thoughts about the final hand:
I think the preflop call with 44 was bad because the call was for about 1/4 of his chip stack. Just about everything other than a 4 on the flop hurts you and if your willing to risk that much just go all in. The blinds were getting big and unless I'm holding a big pair or big slick against him I'm going to fold and he'll have the pot.

My bet on the turn was a bad one. Not because I lost the hand but because I only left myself 550 in chips afterwards. I was pot committed with the bet so I should have just moved all in.

I need to work on sensing small pocket pairs. I have a tendency to put players on overcards when in this type of situation and as the hand properly illustrates that inability is getting me killed.

Enough of the armchair quarterbacking. No poker for me tonight so I'll see you all on Thursday.