BBT4 starts SUNDAY and due to the large grand prize and smaller fields, its one of the best series in all of low-budget poker.
Last year, I finished a disappointing 21st, causing me to go back-to-school on my long-ball game. Lower field sizes benefit disciplined long-ball players, and sometime halfway through BBT3, I disintegrated and despite qualifying for 2 WSOP seat satellites where the field was only 50, I failed to well in either.
When the BBT4 was announced, I was very excited. I played the RIVERCHASERS event last night (will be part of BBT4 starting in a week) and the field has grown up a bit. I saw Lee Childs there and played at the same table as Rizen.
It was this higher level of competition that afforded me a "moment" to realize that my game has grown since last years collapse.
THE HAND: I raise from EP with AQ and get a quick CALL from the player on my left. The rest fold. At this point, I am about 8th in chips, the guy on my left around there also.
NOTE: I was re-reading my Rizen's book lately and a few hands ago knocked him out when I woke up with AK in the BB (he was short stacked by now). So, one of the things that always impressed me was the way he continually narrowed opponents ranges and understood when "my opponents range just got there".
Ok, back to the hand. Instead of my normal c-bet, I make a probe-check. (This is a FPS where you check instead of c-betting if you suspect that your opponent will see this as dangerous and check behind with anything but a pocket pair.) When he checks behind, I can narrow his range to AJ, KQ and similar hands. Maybe even AQ. I rule out AK because of the pre-flop call. The turn is an Ace and I bet 2/3 the pot and he calls. Ok, his probable holding is AJ. The river is... a J. ANY other card and I bet out here. But now "he just got there" and I have to get fancy again and check. I do this so he thinks I will only call a value bet. I dont want to go broke here, but I think I need to call because he has a great chance of bluffing the river here if he has nothing. but he bets more than I would like. I make the crying call and he has AJ. BUT I saved 1/2 my stack because I understood what was happening.
Not a dozen hands later, this same player will come from behind again. I bet with AQ, he re-raises me and I shove. He calls with KQ. The flop has both an Ace and a King, but the turn is a King and IGHN.
I cant tell you how disappointing a night this was, but I "made the right decisions" and have to take some solace in that.
I am bringing the A game starting with the BLOGGER BIG GAME on sunday...
(I contacted FT and asked to move HA! to Thursdays, in effect switching with Riverchasers.)