Friday, November 16, 2007

This Hellmuth moment...

Brought to you by, "Suck-out". "Suck-out", the hair tonic for card players.

Last night I did something I have not done in a loooong time. I punched my keyboard. I had a true Hellmuthian rant in the privacy of my own home.

Let me set the stage. There are 2 images you have at any given time. Your reputational image (which could be based on knowledge of you, or just how you have played until recently) and your current table image, which is usually based on the last hour of play. If you are observant of your own play, you can set up plays. (Phil does this all the time, but it also causes alot of his rants.)

In the Mookie, I had been winning pots, but they were small since I was making almost POT sized bets on TP to protect my hands. Then, those small profits were eaten up seeing missed flops. 30 minutes in, I have added a mear 10% to my stack, despite having a decent run of cards. So, I settle down and start to plot.

I flop a TP vs. XXX. He had pre-flop raised and I had just called from OOP (out of position). I bet POT and he folds. A few rotations later, I limp with an Ace (table for folding) again OOP and flop the Ace. I check and let him bet almost pot and come over the top. He folds. My image with him is very aggressive and he has to suspect I am pulling something here.

I get heads up with XXX a THIRD time and I know I am in his head. I intend to limp from EP with 88, KNOWING that the pot will get re-raised and I will call. I am doing this on purpose to maximize the players seeing the flop (since the table is tight). But XXX raises to almost 3xBB from EP, and I end up just calling. The table folds.

The flop is 89Q (rainbow).

Now, I know that XXX is not raising from EP with JT, so at worst I am up against AJ, AT or AK here. Hopefully AQ. Either way, I am a BIG favorite now... But since there were no other players in the hand, I need to try and get his stack in there.

He bets out about 1/2 the pot, and I raise it 1.5x his bet. I picked this number to look like a over-the-top re-steal play. If I am right about how he is observing my play, he will think I am pushing him around.

IT WORKS! He pushes all-in and I call to see the AT. He figured he had a solid over (wrong) and a gut-shot (needs a Jack).

When the turn comes a Jack, I lose it. I set this play up for 30 minutes, execute perfectly, and now have a short stack to show for it.

But here is where I need to chastize myself. Despite still having 2/3 of my stacking stack size left, I tilt badly. I eventually get AQ and despite a raise to 3x followed by a raise to 3x of that before it gets to me (a sure sign to fold), I push. I get called by KK and dont hit my 5-1 Ace.

That was a bad play and I only have myself to blame.

ADDENDUM: XXX went on to WIN the MTT. ouch.

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