Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wednesday Night Recap

I ended up playing quite a bit of poker last night and, despite all the bad beats & bad plays, I somehow finished up about $50. I'm bored at work again so I guess I'll recap my poker night.

Daily Double A

I've played this 3 nights in a row now. It seems to be a bit tighter tournament then most of the token-friendly MTTs. I made it past the first break but not much further. At one point, I had AK 3 times within 5 hands but couldn't get anything out of them:

1st AK: Raised UTG, everyone folds.

2nd AK: Smooth call an EP raise with AKs, fold to c-bet on J99 flop without my suits.

3rd AK: Raised from CO, BB smooth calls then leads out on 789 rainbow flop.

End up going out when CO limp-calls my button push for 10X BB with A7 sooted. Unfortunately for me that was better than my A4 sooted and IGHN.

$10 Turbo KO

The $10 KO's aren't quite as reckless as the $3 variety but they're still donkfests nonetheless. Went out early when I smooth called with AK in the SB. Check-pushed an A54 flop fully expecting the initial raiser, a reckless bigstack, to call. He makes the call with 87 for a flush draw + belly buster & nails the 6s on the river.

$10 SNG

I did myself in on this one when I called a BB overbet after smooth calling an MP raise with 55. It seemed like a squeeze play with a big ace, and combined with the allure of presto & my current state of the awfuckits, I called hoping for the race. Instead he shows not one but two aces and IGHN.

Somewhere in here may or may not have been another $6 PLO game that I may or may not have won, I honestly don't remember.

$10 SNG

Took a big stack in this one after doubling through the other big stack with 88 vs KQ on a 89K board, Somehow I couldn't put the other person away and finished second in this one.

The Mookie

Ugh. Talk about disappointing. With KK twice within the first 2-3 levels you figure it's going to be a good night. Errt, WRONG!

1st KK. Smooth called a CO raise from Corron10 on the button. Didn't feel like reraising just yet as I was pretty sure the blinds were folding and didn't want to give away the strength of my hand so soon. Flop is a glorious AAK. Corron leads out, and I figure a smooth call would look too obvious, so I reraised slightly. His call tells me he probably has an ace but I don't know what his kicker is like. Turn is a T. I figure he's probably not folding any ace, and AT is definitely a possibility, so we both check. River sucks balls - another T. We check again and his A8 is good. Stupid dealer. At least for once in my life, playing a hand weakly helped me.

2nd KK. I'm not messing around this time. TripJax raised in CO and I reraise. My reraise wasn't as big as I should have made it, totally giving him odds to call with just about any hand he raised with. Flop comes a somewhat scary QT8 with two diamonds. I bet our & TJax check-raises me. I would really hate to see QT here because I didn't raise enough preflop but I figure something like KJ or AXd seems a bit more likely & decided to take my chances. I push, he's committed and he shows AJ with just one diamond. Probably the best I could hope for considering the reraise. Alas, the turn comes an A and IGHN. At least Trip made decent use of my chips coming in 3rd.

The Dookie

Made a somewhat huge laydown when PokahDave pots it to 280 in EP, DubsPoke flat calls, and I repop in the BB with KK99 DS. PokahDave reraises, making it completely obvious he has AAxx, and for some reason DubsPoke calls. Pot odds are giving me something around 4.5:1 but I totally know I'm behind so I have to fold. PokahDave shows AAxx, DubsPoke shows KK9x, basically drawing dead. The A33 flop seals the deal and crisis is adverted.

I get shortstacked and have to push with AQxx after a Mookie limp. He calls showing JJ42 DS (really?) and proceeds to flop an A high flush. But I runner-runner his ass with an A & a Q for a boat.

The big hand of the game for me was against Schaubs, who was chipleader for much of the final table. He raises from the button and I have AAT8 rainbow in the SB. I hate reraising AAxx without at least one suit but I felt like I had to take a chance. I push, he reluctantly calls with something like AQxx and my pair miraculously holds up. I take a huge chip lead but proceed to give away very shortly.

Down to the money spots, a shortstack Schaubs goes all in for less than the BB. I call with some sooted garbage. The flop comes 99x and I have a 9. Mookie & I check the turn, a K of spades. He then leads out with a bet. The side pot really isn't that big, so I figure him for a 9. Although I'm worried about my kicker it's hard to fold this. River is something, he bets again, I call, and he shows KK for a turned boat. It didn't cripple me but it gave Mookie about a 3:2 chiplead. We finally got it in on some random hand preflop which gave me a pair but gave Mookie overcards, straight & flush draws, one of which connected on the river.

General Thoughts

My MTT game is way off right now. I haven't played a single DDa with a confident mindset. My aggression timing is way off, and it seems like I'm struggling to play anything beyond ABC poker. I was talking to Alan for a bit last night, and he asked why I wasn't stealingrestealing at the blind levels last night. I hadn't thought to start restealing yet because the blinds were only 80160 - we weren't even in the ante levels yet. Should I have been stealing at that point?

I also lost a lot of chips because I tried to induce a fold against someone mostly because he played the hand different than I would. Folds to me in the SB, my stack is about 30-32BB at this point at least, maybe a bit more. Raise with AQo, BB calls. Flop comes KJx no suits. I c-bet, he calls. Turn is a blank. I bet, he pushes, I'm committed, and he shows KQ. I can't catch any of my 7 outs and I lose more than half my stack. The A4 vs A7 KO hand immediately follows.

So what did I do wrong?

1. I assumed that his smooth call in the BB was a blind defense against a stealing SB.

2. I assumed that the KJx flop probably didn't hit him very strong either.

3. I assumed that his smooth call may have been middle pair or a draw calling a c-bet

4. I assumed that the blank on the turn didn't help his hand

5. I assumed that I could push him off of the hand.

Originally, I didn't like how he played the hand, but looking back on it, I think it's completely fine. If he's way ahead, a reraise probably forces me out. If he's way behind, he has to fold because calling a flop bet with his stack size with the intent to fold to further aggrssion is just bad poker, and there's only a couple of hands he's way behind. Even though I would have been in raise or fold mode with his stack size, I shouldn't assume that someone will play the same way.

This is probably one of my biggest weaknesses in MTT play. I lose a lot of chips or even bust out completely by trying to induce a fold through sheer aggression. Because I'm unlikely to call off a lot of chips against an aggressor without either A) defining my hand at some point or B) being very confident I'm ahead (ie. flopped set), I assume that others will do the same, and they will either fold or reraise me at some point instead of just calling down my bets. This happens even more often when I haven't played a hand in a while and I'm showing aggression again from position. I'm happy to be getting back into MTTs again, but until I plug this leak, I'm not going to make it very far.

The other part I'm not feeling confident about right now is playing the tough hands. On the TT hand from the DDa, was my play really that good?

1. I smooth call an UTG+2 raise for about 3.5xBB in the early levels of MTT. Obviously folding here at this stage is dumb, but what about reraising? I chose not too because I would have to fold to a re-reraise here, right? Especially with the CO through BB still to act. So smooth call OK.

2. Flop is KJ9 two clubs with a gutshot & the Tc. UTG2 bets pot, I think it was 255. Looking back, I HATE my smooth call here. I'm only ahead of AQ or a pair less than 99. Clubs may not be an out either. Any queen except the Qc is probably still an out because AT is unlikely. The flop is pretty scary in general unless he has a set or AXc. Given all that I think folding is right. I think reraising is a better argument than calling because the flop is so coordinated, it could induce a fold. Calling just sucks.

3. Turn is another club. This time he overbets pot, 900 something into a 765 pot. This seemed really out of place & made me reconsider the hand solely due to his bet size. It seemed like he was trying to bet me off the pot - if a flush is now possible, either he's spewing chips while way behind or inducing a fold while way ahead. Even though there's very few hands I'm beating right now, and I have no fold equity, I went to battle with my TT and somehow was up against one of the few hands I could be - Ace high with the nut flush draw. I'd like to credit this to my instincts or my read that something wasn't right, but really, wasn't this just a donkey play that ended up being in my favor?

The truth is that I'm a very tight player. I've adapted to this style of play through years of playing micro-stakes SNGs, where the players have a hard time looking past their own two cards. ABC poker is what works, and there's very little need for any advanced poker moves. I won't assess the $10 SNGs and MTTs as full of expert play, but there is a slightly noticeable difference in the caliber of player in these games. And I'm starting to feel that my "tight is right" philosophy needs some adapting. I can't just keep waiting for cards, folding to pressure when I could be behind, but readjusting my play to fit that still seems like a work in progress.

Sorry about the essay today. If you've made it this far, you must be more bored than I am. But thanks.


At March 28, 2008 at 10:11 AM, Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Yes, I'm bored. :)

I hate the way you played both of your hands. Early in the tourney, if you don't hit TT big, toss it after the flop. There are two overcards. What are you hoping for? Calling is bad and so is raising. Early in an MTT, not many people let go of top pair. The MTTs are too filled with donkeys. Just play straightforward ABC poker unless you know a guy can lay a hand down. Without any knowledge just muck those TT. That's garbage.

Blind v blind. Raise with AQ is fine. Board comes KJx, that's like the worst flop for you. There's not much that the blind calls that doesn't hit that flop some way. You cbet and he calls, you should shut down and get ready to check fold. Betting on the turn was about the dumbest thing you coulda done. Your thought was that since it's heads up, he might not have much of a hand when he called the flop. Well, his thought could be that since he has top pair and it's heads up, it must be good. In other words, you are both discounting each other's hand. In that instance, you're gonna have to have a hand. Not ace high. To me, that's just terrible spewage.

And stop paying extra $1 rake if you're not playing DDb! You're wasting money!

At March 28, 2008 at 11:30 AM, Blogger lightning36 said...

I try to not give too much credit to others in the large donkfests. I've found that folding twenty hands in a row and then raising doesn't even seem to hit the radar for some of these players.

At March 28, 2008 at 2:30 PM, Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Yeah, I have to say man, the one thing that jumped out at me right away from this post was your reference to playing one Daily Double, but not the other.!? Alan's right, that this is effectively giving away that extra $1 rake! This buck goes to the jackpot prize pool, which you're not even involving yourself in. (Now, with that being said, I do recommend playing the daily doubles, as the double cash bonus has proved the tourneys to be profitable options for me. But you have to play BOTH! Not just one.) Not to give you too much of a hard time over it though man, as what's $1 in comparison to your apparently increasing bankroll anyway?!

Nice post man. Enjoyed the insights into the general level of your game. I would maybe just advise that you not be in too big of a hurry to stray from your "ABC game." While every decent MTT score definitely involves higher level play to take place, I reserve all of my "move making" attempts to the very late tournament stages. (For example, I usually don't even begin actively stealing & restealing prior to the existence of antes, myself.)

On another topic... with the return home of the oh-so-popular Dr. Chako, methinks we should consider planning another blogger home game sometime. Just a thought.


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