Friday, December 19, 2003

Never Give Up. Never Surrender!

Today I would categorize as a "rough day" in the world of poker.. Well, okay, my poker world I suppose. That being said, I managed to still scratch out a positive rate.

$10-$1 Sit and Go -- finished 6th -$11

I had decent chip position midway though the tourney, but everyone was playing scared and I was getting garbage to attack with. I'll need to review this tourney. It seems to me that I was a little shy about making moves against a table full of obvious wimps, but the problem is when one of those wimps wakes up with any kind of hand. Eventually there were 7 of us left and the blinds went up to 100/200. I hung on until I got Big Slick in the small blind. It's folded to me and I raise all in. Big Blind calls me up and the board comes 6s, 3d, 7h, 5d, 8d. BB turns over a pair of 5's and I go away. Not a bad play on my part at that point. Just got caught out.

$10-$1 Sit and Go -- finished 7th -$11

This one just plain sucked. The table was playing ultra-aggressive, so I knew that if I bet a hand, I pretty much was going to have to commit to it. Anyway, the real damage was done when the blinds were at 25/50. I'm in the big blind and have a Js8h. I get 2 callers and I check. Flop comes down 3s, Jc, Ts. I hit top pair. I bet out T50 and Late position folds. Cut off calls and the turn comes 4h. The board is a mess, so I feel my top pair is good. I bet out T75 and CO smooth calls it. Hmmmm... River is a 8d, for a board of 3s, Jc, Ts, 4h, 8d. Garbage board. I make a strong bet of T100 thinking he's on the flush draw gone bad, and I've caught a second pair. He comes back with a raise to T200. Now I'm really scratching my head. The only thing I can think of is that he's watched me sort of limp along at the pot and is assuming I'm on a broken flush draw and am trying to bluff him out. I call the raise and turn over my two pair.

He turns over Qs9s for the rivered straight. Ouch. My stack now is T285 and I'm in trouble. I eventually get blinded down to 160 and the BB, which at this point is T100, comes along and knocks be in for over half my chips. I look down at 9sAc and check to two callers. Flop comes 4d, 5c, Qh. It gets checked to the cutoff who bets 100. I figure I'm committed at this point and push all in. Late position comes along for the ride... Turn is a Js and the river comes a 2h. No help for the Klingon and I go away in 7th.

Now my confidence is getting pretty ratty. I've notched a wholly unimpressive 6.5 position average so far. I start thinking, then decided, screw it. If I'm going to be busting out in 7th place anyway, I might as well go down fighting...

$10-$1 Sit and Go -- finished 1st +$39

Ooooh. Okay. Not much to say about this one, honestly. Just sort of buckled down and played some solid poker. Made some pretty tough laydowns here, but it helped to have a couple of calling stations pay me all the way to the river with... Well, I dunno what they had, but it didn't beat top pair.

When it got down to the 3 of us, I was at around T1500 and staring down a couple of T3500 stacks. A combination of some decent cards and a couple of players who were willing to fold to pretty much any sign of aggression put me in a dominating position heads up and it was just a matter of picking off the last guy.

$10-$1 Sit and Go -- finished 4th -$11

Another one of those where I got to the end, and they basically camped out while I wasted away in the blinds.

$10-$1 Sit and Go -- finished 3rd +$9

Again.. Not much to say here.. I basically didn't get much in the way of cards.. No real bad beats, or anything. Just inadequate chip stack to do battle with the monsters in 1st and 2nd and the blinds were up to around 250/500 when I finally got pretty much blinded in. I think it was pretty much a case of the other two waiting me out.

I've discovered something. You might notice that when I finish in the money, I either finish in 3rd or 1st. I've discovered that I'm a decent heads-up player. If I can get heads up with any sort of workable chip stack, I do very well.

My biggest problem that I see is, when I get down to 4 players, a lot of the time I'm the short stack. Now most of this isn't my fault, but rather players that get lucky and take out some all-in bozos with gutsy calls. My philosophy of "slow and steady wins the race" finds me taking home a lot of 3rd and 4ths. Though I do get more 3rds the 4ths at this point, it's still frustrating to be in the end stages of the game without a big enough stack to play the sort of "jab and fade" poker that I like to play at that point. It sort of turns into a "wait for a passable hand and hope I get it before I get blinded away" game. When that somewhat passable hand comes along, it's pretty much "all-in". This happens too often when I'm in 4th position and I find three dominant chip stacks simply waiting for me to blind away. Sometimes I'll get lucky and double up.. Only to find that doubling up a T400 stack still puts me WAAAAAY behind. I effectively have to double up at least 3 times to get the other three to decide that I ain't going away any time soon and they'll start playing at each other. It's like clockwork. I can't BS, because I can guarantee at least one caller to my all-in. It's pretty much all in and pray.

And if there's one thing I absolutely hate, it's letting the dealer decide my fate.

In any event, I did manage to scratch out a $15 profit from today. It looked pretty grim at first, though.


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