Lately I’m breaking even at the tables, week over week. Most of my losses are coming after I have my opponent down to their last few buy-ins. I win half to two thirds of their chips, then go cold or get coolered or rivered trying to put them away, they come back, I wear them back down to their last quarter-stack, they inexplicably come back again, eventually the blinds creep up to where every pot is significant, and I can’t win a hand again, and they end up getting lucky and winning.
How do you put away an opponent who is down to the “danger zone” where any raise is likely to get a jam, and if they win a coin-flip (which is a 100% event for them against me, somehow) they will be back to nearly even-stacked?
If I raise them, they jam pre-, and I either have to ditch the hand, or take a chance and lose, then grind them down again.
If I don’t raise them, we limp to a flop, and I just miss flop after flop after flop, and they bet pot after pot after pot, and grind their way back up 2BB at a time for like 4-5 hands in a row; I’ll finally catch some cards I can reasonably raise with, and they’ll fold, then go back to stealing pots from me 4-5 times in a row, concede their SB on my next raise, and repeat, until they’ve grinded their way to breakeven again.
You’d likely say “Raise them” when they bet pot on every flop when I check, but that just puts them all-in, a free double-up every time they actually have something, another coin flip if we both have nothing, and only rarely are they folding. Aggression only seems to serve to amplify my bad luck and to close my stronger holdings for minimal pots won.
Once we’re back to breakeven, I can win hands again, and usually get my opponent down to their last couple hundred chips, at which point I can’t buy another win, they come back again.
It seems like I play great up to a point, but end up with a big hole in my game where I just can’t put my opponents away, leading me to lose many more games than I ought to be when I have a 3:1 stack advantage or better.