Saturday, January 23, 2010

Live Tourney Report - Jan 23: Part 2: my good fold that lost me the tourney

My early play of Ace-King in this tourney (see part 1) jarred into my memory two reminders concerning tourney play.

1) stay aggressive. CALLING is for deep stack cash games. Put your opponents to decisions for their tourney life.

2) Weak bets (or no bets) from opponents usually mean weak hands. I was immediately reminded of my pocket queens from this same tourney back in August, where my small bets (probing for a big hand) actually allowed a small hand to hit a flop hard and then draw out on me. Which brings me back to point #1: stay aggressive.

The poker gods decided to test if I had learned my lesson with ace king - it was dealt to me four more times on this night. The first time, I was the big blind and 5 people limped into me. Five. I decided that was plenty enough chips to win with the biggest "drawing hand" and shoved all in. Nobody looked me up.

The second time, I open raised big slick and got a caller in the blind. The flop missed me but most likely missed him as well, and my c-bet took it down. Although the c-bet was perilously close to committing me to a checkraise, I followed my two rules and decided I needed those chips out there, and went and got them.

Most of the rest of the middle levels were according to Hoyle - I raised up some good hands and got no resistance. I stole one set of blinds with king-six. Soon came the hand of the night.

One limper to me in the small blind, I look at pocket tens. I have built up some chips now, and a shove is an overbet with this hand. Add to this the fact that my recent aggression is likely to cause someone to be looking me up soon, or even trapping. I decide to make a normal 3x raise over the limper and fold to a shove behind. Maybe this smaller bet even looks strong to him - they always seem to look strong to me). One of the blinds calls the raise, as does the limper.

A good news/bad news flop - Ace-Jack-Ten, all different suits. I have hit my set, but the all broadway board leaves lots out there to draw to, or to have me beaten. I can easily see one of these players sitting on king-queen (strong enough to call a raise, not enough to reraise or play for stacks). I also still have visions of the dancing, limped monster pocket aces in my head. I take an extra second to choose a course of action, and decide I'm going to checkraise all in. Three hands beat you right now, and plenty of other hands will commit and play for stacks here (all the one pairs with gutshot, and two pairs). Stay aggressive. Maximum pressure. If they're ahead, you've got outs to outdraw them.

I check. Strangely enough, both players check behind me, and we get a free turn card.

The turn brings more bad news - a queen, and here is the transcript of what I hear next:

(queen is dealt)
(half-second pause)
small blind: "I'm all in"
(.00000001 second pause)
limper: "call".

Greeeeeaat. A four card broadway straight is on the board, and two players have instantaneously committed their stacks to it. My set of tens doesn't look so hot anymore. I announce fold but hang onto my cards. They both flip over - the small blind has king-queen (had the straight from the getgo), and the limper took a shot with king-seven suited and hit the gutshot for free. Nice fold by me.

I turn over my tens, exclaiming "this looked good early but went to hell real fast". The dealer asked "do you want to rabbit hunt the river"?, to which someone out of the hand replies "there are two people still in the hand, we still have to deal out the river", even though they were on a 100% chop. They had already started lining up the stacks to chop it up, in fact.

I didn't want to see the river, but had to. And what a river it was - the case ten. My quad tens would have knocked two players out on a wicked 10-out suckout, and put me in the driver's seat for the tourney. Or, if either of these players bet, the guy with K7 folds, I play for stacks with the nut straight, and suckout on him.

I was quite pleased about how I took the news. I was happy I had made the correct read and the correct fold, despite the impending suckout. I still don't have any anger about it - over the long haul making good decisions will win much more than making bad ones and getting lucky.

Shortly after this hand, Anthony announced there were 10 left, and we were about to combine for the final table. And I had just lost some chips and had more work to do.

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