Monday, October 23, 2006

The Big Game

Filed Under: Poker

Last night's Big Game brought one of the holes in my game out into the glaring spotlight. To begin the event I felt like I had missed the pregame meeting where they stated, "Everyone must play back at lifesagrind. Doesn't matter what you have, make sure you push him off his hand."

I got to a slow and very short start to the game but then managed to double up when Joe Speaker slow played (and misplayed I believe) pocket Queens when I had pocket Jacks. I then went on a bit of a tear and managed to plant myself firmly in the top ten in chips till the bitter end.

The final hand is a lesson in what not to do:

Seat 1: iam23skidoo (1,040)
Seat 2: Iakaris (2,800)
Seat 4: csquard (7,835)
Seat 5: TripJax (6,165)
Seat 6: Mike_Maloney (7,265)
Seat 7: GCox25 (2,815)
Seat 8: lifesagrind (6,340)
Seat 9: peacecorn (3,020)
iam23skidoo posts the small blind of 100
Iakaris posts the big blind of 200
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to lifesagrind [8c 6c]
csquard folds
TripJax folds
Mike_Maloney raises to 600
GCox25 folds
lifesagrind calls 600 - This call was made only because I felt I was going to be heads up against a deep stack. I will often make this play if we both have deep stacks and I feel I can push the player off his hand on later streets. I also have the added benefit of getting a disguised hand if I hit the flop hard.
peacecorn folds
iam23skidoo folds
Iakaris folds
*** FLOP *** [4s 9s 5h]
Mike_Maloney bets 1,500
lifesagrind calls 1,500 - This is my first mistake. This is not a bad flop for my hand. I have the gutshot, and going to the flop I was under the impression that my opponent was playing a big A. His pot size bet threw me off. I was expecting a bet, but pot sized seemed rather large without an overpair in this situation. I will generally raise here to throw my opponent off and setup the take away on the turn. Instead I decided to take a wait and see approach to the turn.
*** TURN *** [4s 9s 5h] [8d]
Mike_Maloney has 15 seconds left to act
Mike_Maloney bets 2,500
lifesagrind raises to 4,240, and is all in - And the fatal mistake. This was not a pot size bet by my opponent but the bet was big enough, and the pot was large enough, that their is really no way to take this pot now with just the power of my chips. I should have folded and waited for another opportunity but I convinced myself that my initial read about a big A was correct and now that I had paired my card, I felt I had the best hand.
Mike_Maloney calls 1,740
lifesagrind shows [8c 6c]
Mike_Maloney shows [Ac 9h]
*** RIVER *** [4s 9s 5h 8d] [4h]
lifesagrind shows two pair, Eights and Fours
Mike_Maloney shows two pair, Nines and Fours
Mike_Maloney wins the pot (12,980) with two pair, Nines and Fours
lifesagrind stands up - No help for me on the river and I'm gone.

Obviously my read on what Mike had was incorrect. I didn't think his early position raising standards included A9 offsuit (it was still a little early to just be stealing blinds). My mistake was not in playing the hand but by varying the way I played the hand without taking remaining stack sizes into account. Mike delayed his call of my all in so I was correct in that he could lay it down, the cost just wasn't high enough. Also I didn't play this hand to take it down by making a pair. I played this hand for the straight and flush possibilities and the deception of two pair. Changing my entire motivation for thinking my hand was good was an additional mistake, and ultimately a costly one.

There you have it, just a few things to think about and remember the next time you plan on setting up a player.