Sunday, April 17, 2005

back in the saddle

I played in a soft game last night. A tournament "downriver" with about 30 people. I was older than anyone else there, which can be depressing. Still, I soldiered on. The problem, especailly lately, is getting some chips to wield as weapons. I would win a pot here and there, but I am having some problems with the start of a tournament. I *THINK* that maybe at the start of tourneys I should stick to the "playable hands" EXCLUDING A-little suited.

Maybe some advice here on full table play at the start of a tournament anyone?

After I did get some chips in front of me, I felt like a boxer. I jabbed and jabbed them to death. I laid down some hand where I may have had the best hand, and I lost a couple of big clashes for big pots, but I was taking so many small pots, that I jabbed them to death. Not to mention that they played VERY predictably. Me? I raised from the SB with 72o. I get a call from the UTG who had limped. I put him on a pocket pair. The flop is 626. Not bad, eh? So I fire out again and he raises. Well, this guy did nothing tricky all night and now I am sure he had the pocket pair. But when I mucked, I did it face it. One guy said, "You raised with that, didn't you?" trying his best to remember. "Yup, I sure did." Then were never able to put me on a hand after that. Long live the hammer. I went on to win it all.

In a "bonus" SnG afterwards, I was very tuned in to how each player played. I could almost see there cards. I trapped a guy playing A-little on an ace flop. I checked the flop, where as he assumed I did not have the Ace. He bet and I re-raised. He looked at me and called, still refusing to believe I had an Ace (I had A-T). One the turn I could see he still had just and Ace (as I did) and put him all in. HE CALLS WITH ACE 5. So, with 3 outs to beat me, the river is a 5. Dissappointed? A little. But very happy that I read the hand perfectly. Plus, the SnG only paid first place, so I felt is was justified getting my chips in there.

A small note here. I am a believer now that it's easier to read a pattern than a face. Much respect to Cairo (although whenever he is on TV, he looks like he is way outmatched.) but I just don't see many of the tells he teaches to look for. What I see are more behavior patterns with people and their chips. Very few people stack, grab and bet their chips the same way each hand. Especially after the flop where they are not usually as confident in their holdings. I am not going to ignore faces and body language, but I put more credence in how they bet their chips.

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