Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Meltdown post mortem - I'm ok, but AK ain't working right now

A 5 buyin downswing in 500 hands can hurt. Last night, while lying in bed waiting for sleep, I worked through it. Several coolers/bad beats, of course, not worried about those. Making some mistakes as I incorporate some new aggression into my game. That's going to happen also - but I need to fix those things as soon as I can.

My biggest bugaboo right now is big freaking slick. I can't win with ace-king right now, which is one of the specific areas of my game I'm working on. My last coaching session suggested that he just 3bets and 4bets with ace-king until he's all in. His 3bet percentage with AK was 91%! (mine was 45% at the time).

2 AK hands last night got me all worked up. A middle position guy raised, and there were four callers to me. FOUR CALLERS. I'm sitting there with ace-king, the ultimate semibluff hand, deciding what to do. Three distinct thoughts popped into my head in that second:

1) "I just 3bet/4bet AK until I get it in"- from my last coaching session
2) AK needs fold equity to be a profitable hand
3) Postflop, AK needs to see all 5 cards to realize its full equity.

These three thoughts floated through my head, and my play with 5 players already in the pot seemed clear (at least at the time).

I shoved.

Massive pot overbet. Why not? The initial raiser was not a rock - he would fold most of the time. How good could the callers hands be? Twelve big blinds of dead money out there, plus the initial raiser, and the blinds. If I miscalculated and get called by the initial raiser (who would probably be correct to call with JJ/QQ because of the dead money), then we flip for a stack + extra. Seemed like the right play to me.

I was happy when the initial raiser folded, but then the first caller did something odd - he shoved over my shove. Was he trapping with aces? Seemed impossible, why would someone in such early position flat call with aces and risk a multiway pot? Everyone folded and the mystery was revealed - he made his odd play with...

pocket fours.

Most bizarre. Awful, even. The cards ran out and I did not improve, I lost my flip. I also flipped my lid, a bit - typing into the chat WTF was that??!?. He explained his reasoning - he figured I was on a big ace, and some of the callers would have folded my outs, so he figured he was ahead. I replied "I couldn't overbet shove with jacks or tens?" to which he replied "true". He had no answer for that one. I made a note next to the player "overplays small pairs?" and moved on.

Later at the table, this same player open raised, and then a fairly new player 3bet him. This was his second 3bet in a short time, but I didn't know enough to know if he was an aggro-donk or not. I was sitting in the blinds with AK again, both clubs. Of course, the same advice buzzed through my head, but so did losing a race to four-freaking-four. The pair-overplayer guy was still in the hand behind me, too - and he was a pretty tight player, and raising from an early position. This time, I took the opposite action - I folded. I felt one or both of these players had a tight range, and I was just flipping a coin for a stack again, at best. My read turned out to be correct - the two players got all in with jacks and queens. It was hard not to be results-oriented when a king fell on the river which would have tripled me up, and washed away my losing night in one hand.

So I'm working on AK - getting more aggressive with it. It should be working - anyone with enough stats on me would see that I'm not a crazy 3better - reraises should be getting respect from those paying attention. And those not paying attention are more likely to call reraises with AQ and KQ, so it should be helping me there, too. But right now it's not. Down 4 buy-ins with AK in my hand this month.

Variance blows.

No comments: