2.13.2006

Don't Make Any Plans

Back at Commerce after a couple days' rest. I expect the field today will probably be a little weaker than in the last few events, as the $540 buyin can't be that attractive to those pros who often post more than that in the blind. Structure is a little faster (40 minute levels, T2000 to start) but I've done fairly well with that.

Luck permitting I'll be here for the next nine days or so; back tomorrow if I make the money today, then Wednesday for the 1K supers, then Thursday onward for the main event (dare to dream!). Today should be a good warmup for the supers as I expect they'll have a similar structure.

I've been thinking back to how I went out in the last couple of events and trying to figure where I went wrong.

I went out of the $1500 on an admirably boneheaded play, of course - in retrospect he pretty much has to have a good pair to call the reraise there. With AK he's either going to jam or fold, because otherwise he's putting in more than a quarter of his stack to see a flop out of position and not absolutely certain where he is even if he flops top pair. Coulda used some deep game-theory think on that one. Once he sets me in I still think I have to call, as so many of my chips are in that even the three-outer is worth chasing, and I think he's going to be capable of making that move with TT or JJ. Lesson learned, anyway - the price of one mistake in a NL tourney can be very, very high.

The $2500 was a series of smaller errors. The hand that hurt the most was QQ vs. AA. The loose player on my right had opened for T400, I'd reraised to 1200, the short stack in the one seat went all-in for T1600 more, so I was getting a tiny bit better than 2-to-1 on my call. Yes, he did put in a third raise, but his stack was short enough and he was an active enough player that I put him on AA-TT or AK. He'd put his stack in very aggressively so maybe I gave a little more weight to AK than I should have.

The very next hand I got AKo, raised it, got two callers and whiffed the flop, folded to action when I realized I had zero fold equity even if I tried a bluff.

The hand I went out on... I dunno. Button limped, small blind completed, I checked. Yeah, I blew all my chips on a draw, but it was a big draw and I had reason to believe I had as many as 17 outs twice if I was called. (89T flop with two hearts; I had KhQh.) My flop checkraise was a massive overbet but I don't really care if I get the action or the pot at that point; taking the pot bumps my M up by 4 and winning gives me a much-needed double, and I want to get those chips in on the flop when I stand a pretty reasonable chance of being a favorite anyway. The button was very aggressive and would auto-bet when checked to. Unfortunately the button had QJ for the nuts on the flop. From the way he winced when I turned up my hand I'm ready to mark it as a good play that just didn't work out. I could tell the table was getting ready to play sheriff to my shortstack raises, having gone all-in four times without a caller, and I could have well gotten my money in later with a lot less than 40% or so of equity.

On the other hand I went broke in an unraised pot. But I think check-calling that flop is out of the question and any raise on my part commits me. If I'd led the flop and he'd raised I probably would have shoved as well; the only way I think I can possibly get away from the hand is if I lead small and he smooth-calls on the flop, then I check and he makes a big enough turn bet to wreck my drawing odds, but given my stack and the possibility that a king or queen makes my hand good as well I think I have to press the fuck-it button and call anyway.

That's enough of a post-mortem for me. Time to stop thinking about the ghosts of hands past and worry about the future instead.

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