Thursday, July 10, 2008

bad run continues

Hasn't been pretty for about 2 weeks now. Every 5th tourney or so I place second or third, but I haven't had a win in a (relative) long time, and my July so far is about $90 in the hole. I've moved back down to the $20 tourneys, not based on bankroll, but more on confidence.

Lots of situations are contributing to my downswing. The first is making poor plays. Example - near the bubble - I raise it up with A9o, and a tight player (stats something like 13/7) shoves over me. I call. Why did I call there? His stats say he's going to 3 bet with something better than A9o, and his stats were correct- AKo. Buh-bye.

In one tournament, I got all my money in with the worse hand twice and sucked out both times, hitting 3 outers. I nailed the same guy on both hands, too (I even apologised after the second one). The suckouts were enough to get me to third place, at which point I got my money in bad a third time and got knocked out. Sure, I finished in the money, but didn't feel good about the way I did it.

Another recent problem I've had is loose-aggressive guys sitting to my right. When someone's raising it up like crazy, playing at a 40/30/8 clip, I'm finding it hard to take a stand against them. The "by the book" play of course is to rarely/ever cold-call a raise, but this becomes pretty tough when there's a raise on the table almost every time it's your turn to play.

It's much easier to take a stand against a maniac in a cash game where you can play sheriff and go broke a couple times and just reload. In a short SNG tourney, you really have to pick your spots or you'll find yourself on the rail. In more than one recent tourney a guy like this on my right has just paralyzed me - I check my stats after 50 hands and they're some super-tight 7/3 or somesuch. This ultra-tightness causes more problems in your game- other players will notice your tightness (either directly or through HUD stats) and start raising it up on you even more - it becomes a feeding frenzy on the guy who folds every time. Plus, on the few hands where you might get to open with a raise, everyone takes off because they look at your stats and figure you're waiting for aces.

I picked up Daniel Negraneu's new book and his "small ball" stuff is very interesting to me - some of his tactics might help me in spots like this. I'm going to work on really widening my range in late position, even if it means calling an aggro nut with an offsuit connector or even junk every now and then, just to put the message in his head that he can't roll over me. I believe there's also some stuff in "The Poker Tournament Formula" that I need to review to help me counter these aggro guys.

If anyone out there is reading this thing, I'll take any other suggestions as well.

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