Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

March Tournament Summary

I fully intended to get a few practice Sit-n-Goes in online this past week in preparation for our March tournament, but somehow I managed not to. In hindsight, perhaps that wasn't the best move, as if tonight's results are any indication I certainly could have used the practice.

Game 1

Game 1 had 24 participants, eight people at three tables. I tried to see a lot of cheap flops in the early rounds because I often feel like I play to tight at the beginning and never have a decent stack towards the middle stages. That plan didn't work out so well, as I continually missed the flop completely, and had any attempts at stealing a pot called three ways, or raised.

We were only a few blind levels deep and I was already frustrated by my lack of cards when I got wired sevens on the button. It folded to me and I raised 3xBB. Surprisingly Aaron called out of the small blind. He's been known to call by bets just out of principle, but more often that not I think he looks to stay out of my way unless he has a premium hand. The flop was 5 8 J, nothing that I would imagine helped him, so when he check called my half pot bet I figured he had pocket pair, of some sort. I was debating about whether I should push on the turn in hopes of pushing him off his hand, but his bet made up my mind for me and I folded. He told me later he had pocket tens.

That left me as one of the low stacks, but not in absolutely horrible shape. I really wish we started these tournaments with more chips so that I could afford to lose a few hands early on without feeling crippled, but the games probably take long enough as it is, so there isn't much I can do.

A few more orbits of card deadedness (yes that's a word) and look down at KT under the gun. I don't want to play the hand, but if I don't the blinds are going to claim a third of my remaining chips in the next two hands, and I won't be able to push any one off a hand after that. So I go all-in, hoping I still have enough to scare any decent hands off. Jason almost folds, then calls with AJo. I don't improve, and I'm done for that tourney.

Side Game

One of the good things about getting knocked out early in the first game is that you are able to get into the side game. Unfortunately things didn't go much better for me there.

Six of us played, and the table was fairly passive. A lot of family pots and limping preflop, which was ok with me because my cards weren't great and I was able to win some hands that I would have folded to a preflop raise.

When we got down to four players I started going on a run. I had strong aces three or four hands in a row, and my raises won me the blinds each time. They were fairly high at that point so I was more than happy to keep winning them. Then I got cowboys under the gun and raise again. The guy to my left pushes all in. He has me covered by a little. The small blind calls. I put the guy to my left on aces, and the small blind could honestly have anything based on his style of play. I was hoping they both had Ax and I called. The guy to my left did have aces, and the other guy had tens. Of coarse he picked up a third ten on the flop and I was out of that game too. Not that it mattered since the guy with aces would have beaten me anyways.

Game 2

We had three tables of seven players to start the second tourney. My table consisted of 5 people at what used to be our weekly game when we first started playing years ago. When three of those people are at the same table, I'd consider it a tough table. Not what I was looking for.

This one was short and sweet. And by sweet I mean brutally pain full. Like someone just walked up to you out of nowhere and kicks you as hard as they can right in the balls, then walks away. Not that I'm still tilting or anything.

There was one important hand as far as I'm concerned, and this was it. We're at blind level 3 T$15/T$30. I'm in the BB. We started with $T600. I have about that much left, maybe a little more. I haven't been involved in many big pots to this point. I'll go through the hand once, just with the facts, then I'll review with my thoughts at the time. I'm curious you think you could have made it out of this hand with chips.

I have bullets. UTG+1 raises to 60. It folds to me and I call. Flop is king high rainbow. I think it was KJ7. I bet 90, he calls. Turn is a 8. I bet 200. He pushes all in. He has be barely covered. I call. He has pocket kings. The river doesn't help and I'm the first one eliminated from game 2.

Now lets replay that with my thoughts, and let me know what you would do differently.

Preflop: I only call because I didn't want to scare him off. I don't like reraising out of the blinds and out of position. Had someone else called then I would have raised to try to knock one of them out or even take the pot right there.

Flop: When he calls my bet I put him on either AK or KK. I'm trying to convince myself that he has AK and he's going to pay me off, but I have this sick feeling that he has the kings.

Turn: When he pushes all in I'm 95% sure he has Kings. There is also a straight possibility, but there's no way he raises preflop with 9T and then calls my bet on a gutshot. I could see him pushing with AK, but I could also see him getting scared and slowing down when I keep betting. I call knowing full well that I'm beat, but on the off chance that he was overvaluing his top pair, and it cost me.

So do you get away from that hand at all? There are a number of places where I could have done things differently. Preflop I could have raised. I don't think that would have changed the outcome thought because there's I don't see him folding there. Maybe it would have gone further to convincing me he had Kings which would have allowed me to fold on the flop, but I doubt it. I was pretty sure he had kings and called his all in anyway.

Once he flops top set there is no way I can push him off the hand, so can I get away from it? I probably should have folded after he pushed all in. I made the right read, I just bet against what it was telling me. I think the difference between a good player and someone who gets knocked out first in that situation is the ability to make a tough laydown even when they started with the best possible hand.

I don't know. I'm not usually great at making reads but tonight I made two great (if perhaps obvious) reads, one in the side game when I predicted aces and one in game 2 when I predicted kings, and in both cases I went against the reads and busted because of it. Frustrating.

The Aftermath
If I wasn't in a poor enough mood after my craptacular performance tonight the following happens:

I had left my poker chips at our host's house last time since I got knocked out and didn't feel like staying until the end. Since we weren't using my chips tonight, I got to take them home. As I get inside my house and turn to lock the door, the lock on the nice wooden chip case that I have, breaks open spilling 500 chips all over my stairway and shattering the handle of the top tray for the case. Let's just say I might have taken that a little better if I hadn't just finished playing some of my worst poker ever.


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