Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Even Steven

Yesterday, I planned to live blog my misadventures as I took the whole day off, just to play poker. I eagerly awaited this day, dreaming of a hugely profitable day, maybe even enough to bump my bankroll into the $11 SNG range. I took a stab at another MTT and that elusive big score. In the end, I ended up breaking even, give or take a couple of dollars. I felt like Seinfeld in "The Opposite" episode. The one where George does the opposite and ends up scoring the job with the Yankees, while Elaine loses her job because her boss won't shake hands with the Japanese. Like Jerry, I was "even steven" yesterday. Although I shouldn't have been if I could get AK to hold up more often. I got AK all in on preflop at least 7 times, each time a huge favorite:

AK holds up: vs AJ (1), A8 (1)
AK loses: vs AJ (1), AQ (2), KT (1), QJ(1)

6 of the times, I had the person drawing to 3 outs (for the simplicity of argument, I'll ignore straight & flush possibilities). Nevertheless, of all the days to choose, this was the day that Variance decided to catch up with me. Against AJ, AQ, and KT, my opponent flopped a pair with their unshared card. QJ flopped a flush, leaving me drawing to a higher 4 flush. 7 times I got AK all in as a 64% favorite or better, yet it only held up 28.5% of the time today, including the crucial hand in the $17.5k. I can't complain though. Get the money in with the best hand and let the cards fall. But it is frustrating because I'm not just pushing & praying with AK. I'm getting it all in as a dominating hand, rather than coinflips, but it just doesn't hold up like it should. C'est la vie.

The solace I can take from this is, even on days where my dominating hands aren't holding up, I'm still breaking even rather than losing. When those hands do hold up it translates into victories and more cash, and I see my bankroll grow. When they don't, I'm still able to eek out enough cashes to keep me even. As pompous as this may sound, and although I probably don't the statistics to back it up, the truth is that any time I play one of these SNGs, I feel like I'm the best player at the table. Each & every time. There isn't a game that I've played recently where I even felt any competition, let alone that I was the 2nd or 3rd best player at the table. Truthfully, I probably do invest more time and concentration than others do at these levels, so I don't think it's that outrageous of a statement for me to make. So I'm confident that, as long as I continue to play as I am doing, and stray from letting variance affect my play, I'll be back on the upstreak again in no time.

A couple more comments to round out the post:

Much like the SNGs, I'm finding myself much more confident at the tables during MTTs as well. Yesterday in the $17.5k, there wasn't a point where I felt out of my element. Again, I was confident in myself that I was the best player at the table, but unfortunately, I didn't have the cards to play with. Like I mentioned yesterday, I went almost 3 hours of play with a total of 5 pocket pairs, the highest one being JJ. I got AK or AQ about 5 times, and I was able to double up or take out an opponent with those hands on 3 occasions, so perhaps that makes up for it. I only put my stack at risk on the following hands:

KJo: called a min raise in the BB and flopped trips. Got it all in on the river when the min-raiser couldn't fold his horrendously played AA.
AQo: reraised the big stack from MP and pushed a 7 high flop. He called with 55 but a Q came on the river.
AKo: lost to AQ. You heard that story earlier.

Because of the lack of playable hands, I had to rely on steals & resteals to stay alive. Mostly resteals, as the table was very aggressive and there was almost always a raise before it got to me. The big stack, the one I doubled through with AQ, played his stack well, raising almost every time it folded to him. I knew that, more often than not, he was stealing, and on at least two occasions I played back and induced a fold. However, I had to be cautious, because he kept his bets the same size, and a couple times he showed down hands like TT & KK. In addition, the blinds were getting to a point that any resteal raise was essentially a push, and there's only so many times I can risk my tournament life trying to induce a fold with J9 sooted.

So what does this mean? It means I'm feeling much better about MTTs. I don't have the success to show for it, but I consider myself to be an MTT player. I don't have the proper skills for a cash game, and I feel the same way that Hoy does about SNGs. They're profitable, but grinding it out on SNGs can be a drag. I find myself starting to get bored with the $5 SNGs, and playing the $17.5k yesterday only reinforced my love for MTTs. FTP has a DS $24k that I'm going to try to play more often. It starts about 10 minutes before I get home from work, so it's a rush to make it, but if I enter in advance I can always just show up late. I'd prefer this over the $28k since that's not a DS. I'm comfortable with either one, but I'll take a DS game over a regular one any day.

Finally, for those that have been offering support during this challenge, I just want to say thanks. I appreciate the comments, the kind words, & the criticism. My blog isn't the most popular or even the most fun to read. I'm not savvy enough to make eloquent posts about MTT strategy, nor will you find a constant stream of posts about my successes. My blog isn't to boast about my skills or to blast other bloggers for their lack of. It's just for me. It's my way to clear my head of the numerous thoughts I have going on about poker. I'd probably still be blogging even if I didn't have any readers. But for the few of you that continue to stop by, I offer you the sincerest of gratitudes. Again, thank you.


At August 22, 2007 at 8:28 AM, Blogger jamyhawk said...

Keep working on those MTT's. I have not had any success with those lately. As a matter of fact, the only thing keeping my bankroll even is my cash game, rakeback and bonuses.
I will blow through 20 or more MTT's and SNG without cashing, but seem to take a profit at least 75% of the time I sit at a ring game.
Maybe I don't adjust well to online tournament style play (I do pretty well in live tournaments).
Keep blogging and stay patient.

At August 22, 2007 at 10:59 AM, Blogger RaisingCayne said...

The gratitude is nice, but it's my pleasure to read the blog. I enjoy the posts. Keep it up. Continued good luck with the bankroll management. You'll get that MTT score eventually. (I'm hopin' for mine this weekend, as I won a satellite to Full Tilt's Sunday $750k last night.)

At August 22, 2007 at 12:21 PM, Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I think writing style has a lot to do with it. When I first entered this blog world, I read your post and just from the comment on the banner (WSOP in 2010) to just the way you wrote, I always found it amusing and easy to read. Your blogs are one of the first stops I make when it's updated and I also like that you're writing more for yourself than for an audience. I enjoy it in a different way so keep it up.

At August 23, 2007 at 8:06 PM, Anonymous DoubleUpChump said...

you write. i read.


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