Friday, March 27, 2009

a nonpost of sorts

Tonight was the monthly neighborhood $50 buyin tourney, but there isn't much to report. I ended up out around the middle of the pack.

I made some small mistakes early on. In the first, I was the big blind with Q8 suited. The board came eight high and I bet out. Both the button limper and the small blind called the bet. The turn put an overcard on the board and I checked, and it checked around. The river put a flush on the board and paired a deuce, and the small blind lead out for a small bet. I figured between the deuce (in a limped pot), the overcard, or the flush, this bet wasn't worth calling, so I bailed. The small blind turned over a pair of threes to go with his deuces, the button called the bet and turned over pocket sixes. I had folded the best hand.

Note to self - two players to my left will call with middle and bottom pair.

Second mistake was against the same two players, again in a limped pot. This time the board ended up TT442. Again the small blind made a small bet (1/3 pot). Since he took a shot before with bottom pair, I thought he might be taking a shot again. I had king high and called the small bet, as did the button. They both had aces and chopped up my call.

Neither of these mistakes were very big in and of themselves. Possibly bigger mistakes were playing pocket deuces and threes in the middle stages, when my stack wasn't really healthy enough to do so. It's so hard to fold those pairs, though, especially when you're pretty sure you'll get a limped, cheap pot. I played both and missed, and chopped a few more blinds out of my stack.

I did manage to win a few pots based on reading the players. We had a nice older gentleman at our table that was obviously not an experienced player - he even said as much. He was playing most every hand and almost never folding. Pair, gutshot, whatever - he was in until the end.

I played a free KJ from the big blind and hit my jack. I bet and he called all the way down, showing me a pocket pair of fives at the end. After showing the fives, he started scooping the chips in the pot towards himself. (!) After checking the board one more time for a five (which wasn't there), I politely showed him my pair of jacks that bested his fives. He apologetically returned the chips to me.

I was praying for another hand against him, but it didn't come. One of the internet players got into a big hand against him - betting (seemingly for value) all the way to the river, and the old gentleman followed form and called every time. Then, on the river, he said "hell, I'm ready to get out of here, I'll go all in". Even though it wasn't double the river bet, the internet guy laughed and folded, saying "I've got nothing, I was just bluffing the whole time".

Note: Internet player 2 to my left likes to bluff, even against biggest calling station in the room. Might have trouble with opponent reading. Candidate for checkraise.

The nice gentleman put his last chips into play between two other players who were banging on each other and obviously had big hands. Once again, he exclaimed "I'm ready to go home, I'm all in" - this after an opening raise, his call, then a big reraise, and a big call by the initial raiser. He had Ace-rag and it didn't hold up against Kings and Ace-King. He got his wish and got to go home. I got a few of his chips but not nearly enough.

My last hand at this table - I got big slick in the small blind and it folded to me. The player to my left was just moved to this table, and I knew his game - he loved suited cards (even junk), and might give me some action if I raised. I made it 300 and he called. Now all I had to do was hit my Ace or King - which, amazingly, I did. The board was as dry as can be (A92), but there was no need to check this player. I had to hope he hit the Ace or nine and would call me down. Sadly, he missed his hand because he folded to my "continuation" (actually value) bet. An Ace in his hand and I would have doubled up against this player, but it was not to be.

This extra 300 gave me just enough chips to stay out of the red zone. Our table broke and I was moved to a table with at least 3 good players, one on each side of me. Great. I didn't get a playable hand for a round or two and ended up with with about 12 Big blinds. My crushing hand was AQ from under the gun. I had too much to shove, so I made a standard raise and prayed someone would come over the top so I could race a middle pair. Instead, though, I got three callers on my raise. Great again.

The big blind, a good player to my left, says to me "I was going to shove myself, but with so many callers, I think I'll see a flop". And what a nice flop for AQ - too - King, Ten, Ten - a total whiff. The big blind then announces "well, I hit the flop, I'm all in". I fold. A KJ calls him and he shows AT, tripling his stack. The fourth caller also announced that he had AQ (so that's where my outs were).

Wonder if I would have just shoved preflop if the KJ and AT go away.

I still had just enough chips, 6BB, after the blinds passed me, to take a bite out of people. My first shove of the night was with J8s on the button. The small blind calls almost instantly, shows AQ, hits his Ace, and buh-bye to me, just like that. Sigh.

A few dribbles of chips in the middle stages, but overall decent play. I did notice that my focus on other player's hands and betting patterns was very sharp tonight - I wasn't getting distracted by action at other tables or other conversations. I was able to put several people on very tight ranges and was correct (though not usually with me in the hand).

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