Nothing to do on NYE, so decided to resume playing, and immediately regretted my decision.
Played two MTT tonight. It’s more like self flagellation at this point.
The first game, I played a straight draw perfectly and about doubled up. A little scary with 88 on the board, which could have ended up giving someone who had made a set with something else a possible full house
Then immediately turned around and played A-rag into a straight draw that was beat by a better straight draw. I saw it too late to avoid losing a big pot, but early enough to not go out on the hand.
A few hands later, I got dealt 44 and donated my chips to the table. I couldn’t wait to do it. I hoped my tiny stack would intimidate the table into letting me have the blinds, but in early position that doesn’t happen very often. Unless I’m holding AA. AndI wasn’t. Of course BOTH of my callers had AK, and paired both of them. Like they needed to. And chopped the pot.
So much for that game.
A 6-handed MTT was starting up in just a few minutes, and no one had signed up for it, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I played better here, but very inconsistently. As soon as I’d win a good hand, I’d feel like I could play looser, and would immediately make a dumb move and lose most of my gains. I bounced up and down between 11000 and 8000 chips for a few orbits, until the blinds became too big and my luck ran out, then I quickly made mistakes I couldn’t recover from. If I’d just played sure hands and didn’t try to bluff or chase draws, I would have been much better in this one.
Some examples of my good/bad play:
First, I come out getting good cards, and take a few decent pots down right away:
In the BB with A5o, flopping an Ace, betting up a pot, winning the showdown from a player chasing baby flush and Wheel straight draws and missing. I tried to buy the pot and after firing two barrels on the flop and turn wasn’t getting a fold, so I was worried that I was beat on the river, and didn’t bet for value. A lucky win with a junky hand.
A few hands later, I get A9o and limp in to see a cheap flop, and hit trip-9s, A kicker. I’m golden here, barring quads or a full boat, but the player ahead of me bets first to buy the pot. I raise, and he shoves. I call, he has T9, and I out-kick him to win the hand. Perfectly played here, and if you want to question limping with A9 in middle-late position here, go ahead, but don’t argue with the results.
Another few hands later, I flop bottom pair and beat a straight and flush draw. I also miss a straight draw, but end up with 2 pair, the bigger pair on the board. My opponent only ends up with the pair on the board.
This is really not a good hand, and not a good play for me, but I lucked out.
This is what I meant a few months ago when I posted my thread “does good play make turn you into a bad player?” Back then, I wasn’t good enough to distinguish between good results and good play, and would take a very lucky run with my bad play and learn the worst habits from it, then go on a bad streak.
I’m about to do that in very quick micro-loops for the rest of this MTT, as you’ll see. Right now, I’m up to 11K and right at the top of the leaderboard, feeling very happy about myself, and now overconfident.
Next hand, I get KTo in the Cutoff position, limip in, and hit the Ten on the flop. The rest of the flop is pretty dry, but one player ahead bets pretty big at the flop, and makes me suspect he may have either TT or a pair higher than Tens, so I don’t feel secure with top pair here, and I fold. Good thing too, because he’s got AA, and wins a lot of chips from one of the other players at the table. So, my instincts are still good here, questionable limping strategy notwithstanding.
AA had limped in too, from the BB, and while it worked here, he probably could have done even better if he’d raised preflop to 2BB. Almost nobody who limps fails to call a 2BB bet at these tables, and it would have made his bet sizing on later streets bigger.
The very next hand, I get K9o, and almost the same thing happens, but this time I raise the better ahead of me, he calls, and we take it to the river and I see he has my early top pair beat with runner-runner two pair, and I lose a chunk of my stack. It’s not very much, but I’m a little mad here. He called my pot-sized bet on the flop with a nothing hand – an inside straight draw holding two over cards. And then lucked into his top card on the Turn, and his bottom card on the river. But, OK, fine. I probably should have played this the same as I had just played the exact hand before, and folded. Or just mucked and not bothered playing K9o from the Hijack, or if I was going to play it, not limp it. What kind of bet would I have needed to continue with from the flop to get this player to fold?
Two hands later, the tables rebalance, and I have to sit one out in the SB.
At my new table, I am dealt a great hand: 99, and land the set on the flop. This time I raise them up, and get two callers, I almost get screwed out of this one, playing it a little slow – The flop is 579-rainbow, a possible straight could be about to ruin my day here, and I just min bet it. I’m actually doing this to build the pot, and have missed the danger of someone possibly holding 86. But then, how likely is it that someone would call a 4BB raise holding 86? Pretty likely, actually, the way some people play here. So when the turn brings an 8, I get scared and bet the pot, and fortunately my opponent folds. If he has a 6, I’m beat here, and he evidently didn’t. My other fear would be that my hand “improves” to a straight with a 6 on the River, giving us a chop, or if he has a Ten, he wins the whole thing. But luck holds out and I don’t get hurt by my bad play here, instead I get to take in almost 5000 chips. Was this the right move? It worked out, but man was it risky. I wouldn’t want to run that hand that way again. Next time I buy the pot on the flop, and if I get called, I probably go quietly on the turn and lay it down.
Next hand, I get 72s, and sit it out, but it’s a big hand because the player ahead of me knocks out the player two seats a head of me AAQ over AAT, and now he’s got the tournament lead, and I’m suddenly a way back in 2nd place. This changes the table dynamics somewhat, as I am now less able to bully the rest of the table as long as he’s in the hand. It’s good to be right behind him, though; if he’s in a hand I’m thinking about playing, I can think twice about it, and stay out of his way unless I have something real big.
I get a brief string of junk hands which I fold for a while. I’m in no hurry. I got all day. About 4 hands later, I get TT, and play it well. Raise it up 4BB, the big stack calls, the flop is 57Jrainbow, he checks, I buy the pot and take it down.
Next hand, I get JTo, and decide to play it, and limp in. But the flop comes up with an Ace, the BB buys it, and that’s over quick. Should I have played here? I don’t know. I lost a 1BB bet to do it, and I could have opted not to. Hitting a straight here would have been very nice, and for the chance at that, I think the 1BB bet was reasonable to see the flop, given that I have a big stack and can afford to take a small risk now for a potential big hand.
The danger is in thinking that way all the time, and playing too many marginal hands.
Next up, I’m in the BB, and get 53, flop is 6T4-rainbow, and I have an OESD. I bet it, hoping to just take the pot on a pretty dry looking board. One player in the hand to beat, and he raises double the pot, and I’m not prepared to call that much to see if I can hit a 2 or a 7, so I have to lay it down and give up about 1500 chips. Which is definitely better than calling here and losing to a pair of Tens after the straight draw fails to deliver, which it will 6 times out of 10. I have to wonder what made him so confident though – he doesn’t show, so he could have had TT, or top two pair. Or maybe he just figured the BB is bluffing this hand, and it was safe to call.
Next hand, I get A9 in the SB, and decide to call and limp in, but I miss the flop and the last to act min-bets and I fold. I did so well earlier with A9, but the situation was completely different. I don’t know that it was worth playing it again here, but again, just 180 chips at risk when I have one of the top stacks, so it doesn’t worry me.
I sit out the next hand, folding 97o, and watch 33 knock out AK, 3s full of Tens. 33 raised preflop, AK 3-bet shoved, 33 called and took him out, hitting the full boat as soon as the flop came down. It was brutal:
How do you make that kind of call with just pocket 3s? Now there’s one less player at the table, and one more big stack. The very next hand, our gutsy player with 33 loses a huge pot to the player next to him when he plays J2s against KJs, and loses about a third of his chips. Poor play here on his part to play J2 from the SB. He tries to bet the pot, is raised, and responds by shoving his stack all-in, and gets called. JK has him dominated, and to add insult to injury, he hits the King on the river for two pair. Now all 4 players at this table have good-sized stacks, ranging from 8000-20000 chips.
Next, I’m in BB and limp A7o. The flop brings me an Ace, I buy the pot. Happy. I show it just so they know I wasn’t bluffing with the BB.
A few hands later, I fold A2s, just to prove that I can learn to fold Aces: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/458064387
After that, in SB I am dealt 67, and flop a full house, 77s full of 6s. I slow play it, letting my opponent feeler bet into me, and almost lose it when I see the Turn and River show up with two Kings. Now if he has any King, I’m done, he’ll have KKK77 or KKKK, and my sure thing flopped boat will have me dead. So I can’t bet for value, and he’s only betting small, so I just take down 2500 chips from the Big Stack. I was so sure I was going to be able to take more value here, and then the turn and river made that a non-starter. Dang. This is less bad play than it is bad luck. I still won, but not nearly the pot size that i was hoping I could have gotten.
Next hand I get dealt 55 in the SB, and raise just to 2BB, bet the flop and get one fold, one call. Min bet the turn as a feeler, and get called again, min bet the river, and am beat, JJ77A over 7755Q. A really huge pot, and I should have known better to play 55 like this, but keep in mind earlier I’d seen 33 take out AK, so that was in the back of my mind somewhere… Of course I didn’t play the hand that way, and I don’t think I could have. But all I’ve done was given the Big Stack more chips than I just took from him with my flopped boat, about a quarter of my stack, poof. What I should have done there was saw the flop, checked it, and then folded as soon as he bet as long I wasn’t sitting on a set of 5’s. Instead I thought I could bluff and take the hand, and then had to stay in to the end when that failed, and bleed off more min-bets hoping it would keep my opponent from coming back over me with something I couldn’t call, and maybe I’d see a 3rd 5. Nope.
I go back to folding junk for a while. Folding junk is a nearly unbeatable strategy that I keep getting away from because it’s not “glamorous” or “fun” and I keep getting tempted by the “off chance” that I could hit something with any two cards, like I did with 76 a couple hands ago. But I like folding. I really do. I get so deep into tournaments when I fold a lot. It’s so much more profitable in the long run than limping and bluffing. I need to keep reminding myself.
But, see, this is when it happens. I fold 97o, and the flop comes 9A7. I coulda had someone sitting on an Ace with two pair, here. Maybe. But better than 9 times out of ten I wouldn’t flop two pair. So that’s a really dumb way to think. Still, when you see that you missed your 1-in-20 chance of flopping two pair, you feel it. You know that feeling? Ignore it!
I go back to folding. The table is only 4-handed, and I’m now the small stack. Then the 3rd stack hits Queens full of 8s and takes a big chunk out of the Big Stack.
I keep on folding, and for a string I get a bunch of Jack-rag-suited hands, and it feels like the RNG is telling me I should play Jack-rag-suited for flush potential, but I know better than that, and I just ignore it.
Then the tables re-balance again, and suddenly we’re 6-up again. Finally some fresh blood at the table. Only, I’m it. My stack has bled down now to just under 6000 chips, down from around 12000 at peak, and I’m barely hanging on. The one other player at the table with less chips than I have is sitting behind me. He’s got about half what I have, and that means he’s a danger to shove at this blind level if he’s got anything worth raising. This is what I’m thinking. So I worry now about raising behind him.
I get K2o, and raise, hoping everyone will fold. But guess what, he calls. The flop comes, Qh3hJd, and I try to bluff the pot, but he’s got Ah6d, and about half his stack in already, and nothing left to play with if he lays down, so naturally he shoves. I’m darn near committed too, on a bluff, and I need a miracle if I am going to win this, but I can’t afford not to, so I call, and lose about 5000 chips, and now he and I have switched positions. My run is just about done.
A4o, I shove it all in, one of the big stacks calls and he’s got… AA. Crap. Well at least I paired my 4 on the River. And I’m out 11th, in a tiny MTT where the bubble was at 4th place. No chips for me.
Happy New Year
I’m back on my break again. See you next year.