Monday, September 1, 2008

The $456 T-Shirt, Part 2

Before we continue our story- I posted my JJ hand on the 2+2 forums, and the overwhelming opinion there (along with the disappointingly-all-too-frequent berating of the beginning player making a bad play) was that I should have pushed preflop. I'm assuming that the original raiser with KK would have called and I would have went busto anyway, but this isn't 100% for sure because he ended up folding to my shove on the flop, probably thinking that there was some small chance I had AA, I suppose. Maybe my shove preflop would have taken down a $70 and changed the outcome of the entire weekend. Maybe.

Ok, then - when we last left off, I was lying awake all Thursday night figuring out what I was going to do. I was under-bankrolled with $200 in my pocket and at least 15 hours of poker to play on Friday. My confidence was low and I would probably be exhausted by 7pm. Sounds like a recipe for a winning poker session, no?

Unfortunately, I simply wasn't able to throw money at this problem. I didn't really have the means to yank $800 out of my bank account (4 more buyins) and keep playing. Of course, what this means is that I really didn't have the money for this trip in the first place. Well, lesson learned - but I still needed a plan for Friday that didn't include watching 12 hours of poker from the rail.

Here's what I came up with. I was going to sit down with my full $200 (a normal buy-in) at the $1-2 and play my best game, money be damned. If I busted out early, I would take another $200 out of my bank account and switch to playing $2-$4 limit hold'em. Obviously this isn't ideal, as limit poker isn't really my area of expertise, but then again neither is live $1-$2 ring no-limit play.

And busto I went, of course. This time it took 3 hours instead of 2, and this time it was a suckout instead of my donkey play, but the result was the same. I got KK in late position. A relative newcomer to the table - but someone who clearly liked action and was splashing around many pots, raised it up from middle position. I reraised, and he put me all in. I said "I call" with almost a defeated sound to my voice - thinking I knew what was coming next. He then turned over 33, looked at my cowboys, and shook his head. Seeing my 4-1 advantage made me feel a little better, but only a little.

The flop came safe for me, but the turn was his magical 3 and my laughably small bankroll was gone, just before noon on Friday. We were scheduled to leave Saturday morning.

I took a nice break at this point - took a walk around the facility, watched a few other games from the rail, sat at the bar and had some water/coffee. I was not at all steamed about the suckout itself - I knew that this was part of the game and was bound to happen, around 1 in 5 times for these two hands, in fact. I was angry at myself for my lack of preparedness, for my inexperience. I had truly brought a knife to a gunfight here, and was paying the price in fear-based play at the tables, and literally losing sleep over it.

Tony ended his morning session and we had a decent meal. Tony was up a couple hundred in both of his sessions so far, and getting angry about things like not extracting enough value for his monster hands, or bad players leaving the table too early. He was on a nice little run and of course wanted to tell me about every hand and every read he had and all the mini-stories that come from the table. I, of course, wasn't in much mood to talk poker, but I listened intently and remained engaged, hoping maybe I would learn something.

When we continue our story, we'll talk limit hold'em...

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