Friday, July 15, 2005

oh woe is... hey, wait a minute!

I reluctantly jumped back on the horse last night. I had vowed to take the night off, but had my plans cancelled and then sat down to watch TV. I caught the ESPN replay of the world series with the Greg R. narration. Worth the price of admission. The quote that got me was, “there is still a lot of luck in poker. You can make all the right decisions and play the hand right, and still lose the hand. The more correct decisions you make though, the better your chances overall”. Or something close to that. I decided that I was a bright person that in certain situation would start to play by desire instead of by smart decision making. I would try to WISH myself chips. I know I can get past this. I am the little train that could bet.

I got myself into a $1 tournament with 1000 players. $1500 in chips to start. Within 2 hands, someone was at $4900. Within one rotation (9 hands), 70 players were out. I decided right there to get it out of my system and was going to go all in on the first draw in encountered. I got a caller (of course) and missed it.

Now that I had gotten that out of my system, I sat down to a single table SnG . I did not focus on any particular strategy, just concentration and focus. Everyone starts with $1500 in chips. I watched and waited. I got dealt a good hand in KQ and raised from position. I couple of limpers called and saw a King high flop. When they checked, I bet out. One folded and the other called. With get this, 22. First of all, how do you call a preflop raise from out of position with 22? Then, how do you continue the hand after the flop, out of position, to a better with a K on the board?! Well, I made 2 pair and he RIVERED the 2 for a set. I was truly shocked and lost half my stack.

Then I had another window open and when I went back to the table, I must have clicked exactly where the fold button was. I folded AA preflop. That is one way not to get Aces cracked!

A player goes broke to the loose player on my right and I am not going out first!

Then, I waited again and got KQo. I raised and got one caller. The flop is KQ5 and he makes a bet. I raise right there in case he has AK or a draw. Either way, I want his money in now. He re-raises me all-in and all I need to fear is 55. I call He turns 55. I have 80 chips left. 80. I wait two hands and go all in with a decent hand. FOUR limpers call the extra ten and then the player on my right raises all in to isolate. THIS IS A BIG MISTAKE IN MY OPINION. He is only going to pick up 300 chips and he is already the chip leader (but a loose one). Second, he does it with A6o which is ridiculous. And three, he MIMIMIZES the chance of eliminating me in a SnG. Plus, he creates all this dead money that now helps only me if out outdraw him. And I do. Not surprising. With just and Ace he is only a 3 to 2 favorite.

I now have 300+ chips and get to fold my 83o blind. I once again get KQ and go all in and get called by the other short stack, Mr. 22. He flips over ATs. Fair enough. But I WIN the race and now have 700 chips. When he goes out on the next hand, I am STILL the short stack 7 handed, but have a chance.

I start folding a lot and suddenly everyone just loses it. I am in the BB and a MP raises to 2xBB. The next player reraises to 4xBB. The next player re-re-raises to 10xBB and the guy on my right (Mr. loose) goes all-in. I like this move if he has a big hand, and its stupid if he doesn’t. I fold so I can watch the fireworks. ALL THREE CALL?!!??! How can this BAD of a play even happen? The first guy? Then the second guy after 2 all ins? Then the THRID guy based on what? Hopes and dreams? The guy on my right with the original all-in shows KK and the rest show hands that I would have folded BEFORE the all-in. Ax suited, ATo, 44. Insane. I watch not a single player improve and KK takes it.

I am now a 5 handed table. I am still the short stack and Mr loose has $10k. But the other 2 players are now afraid to get involved in big hands. I avoid any hands where the big stack plays, and out play the others after the flop. One guy (the bird) was taking long with every decision. I suspected multi-table play and would pick off his calls with re-raises. But since he was tight, he did not go out next. Then I notice that the second place guy has stopped playing completely. He was Post and Folded. Fast forward a few hands and I have ground the bird and the other player out of it with my post flop play and the Post and Fold guy just took third.

I then avoid the big stack until Mr. Post is gone. I am now head up and a dog of $10k to $2k. But he has no idea what to do now. He can’t be a LAG heads up and he is way ahead. He seems lost. He would only play decent cards and hit flops. I started raising every hand. I bet every flop. He folded a lot. Sure he took down a big hand, but that only confirmed that he was doing the right thing. I would fold any major confrontation, even if I thought he was bluffing, because he was giving up too much equity in his other folds. I worked my way up to equal stacks. Then I continued to wait. I coiled up like a viper. I knew he was quick to fold, so I needed to hit a draw to break him. Now that the stacks were equal, I felt I could manipulate him into letting me draw when the situation came up. Finally I had 78 and the flop was K67. I hoped he had a K or he would fold to any bet. But I could not check as the alarms would go off. So I bet like I did every hand. He Called!! He had the K!!! The turn is a blank, but I bet knowing that if I did, he would just call. And he did! The river was the 5 and now it was just a question of selling it. I checked as if I was giving up. He bet a token $200. I raised it up to $1k. He should have folded here without question, but he had taken the bait and he just was not good enough to even see it. He went all in and it was over.

I went from 80 chips to the winner at the most FISH-TASTIC table I had ever been at. Pocket 22s to the river as a caller? Not knocking out the short stacks? Doubling up players with marginal cards? 4 all-ins on a single hand with only one premium holding?

Surprisingly, despite the completely unrealistic charade I just participated in, it actually did give me a much needed boost. I need to concentrate… concentrate… Maybe what Paul Phillips said about ADD medication has some truth to it (it helps you play better). Me, I am not going to go that way. I need to find some sort of OCD ritual to help. I am thinking about Captain Cain and his two steel stress balls. I discovered that I had 3 chips in my left hand and was just grinding them together. Over and over. Music seems to help also as it calms the brain and helps it think in mathematical terms.

Oh, I am signed up for the Charlie tournament. You should be too!
WPBT "Charlie" Tournament
6PM EST Sunday July 17th
PokerStars... Check under the Private Tournamnet Tab
$20 - every penny goes to charity
1st prize is ZERO dollars. You're not playing for the cash, but rather the prestige. Don't forget to bring extra hammers!

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