Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Poker Night

After last week playing in the tournament and coming in 13th and then playing in the live game and just not doing well at all I wanted to have a good showing tonight. I have been doing some reading on tournament strategy and I wanted to try some of it on the preflop and see how it will work.

I draw my seat and I am sitting in seat six. I don't usually sit in the middle of the table. I usually get the ends or by the dealer. This was an unusual place for me. I could really watch the table and see all the players well. In my mind I went over the strategy I wanted to play tonight. Fold and when I get to the position I need then start playing. Well, that didn't last very long. I think when you read these books by the pros they are giving you strategy to play with the pros. It doesn't work that way with amateurs. When you have players that play hands that do not make sense then it is hard for you to make a play on them and have it hold up. I know you want them to make a hard decision but then you end up making it hard on yourself trying to make a decision to make them make a decision.

I played a few hands tonight that I did win with. I was actually building my chips throughout the tournament. One hand that did hurt me was the hand where I got AK and I ended up with two callers and one of them was all in. When the cards were turned over one of the players had AQ and the all in had A10. The river gave the all in a 10 high straight. He ended up tripling up and my stack was hurt.

I did start to build my chip count again. I played the right cards at the right time tonight and I actually felt good about my chances at the final table if I could get there. I did make the final table tonight and like I said before anything can happen when you get there.

Well, it did happen. There was someone always moving in on the blinds and raising and making the blinds make decisions whether to play or give up the chips. I was in the BB and I had A10 and again one of the guys was going after my blind. I took a stand and called him. The flop came K6K. The player looked at me and asked me if I could beat what he was showing me. He showed me a 6 which made 2 pair for him. I only had 4 chips left and I didn't get any of the flop. What should I do? Go all-in and play my two over cards? Well, I did the worse thing and folded the hand. I couldn't believe I made that decision. The very next hand I was the SB and there went more of my chips in the pot. I had 86 suited and so I went all-in and when the flop, turn, and river finished I almost had the straight. I was out of the tournament in 9th place out of 24 players.

I have to learn from this and next time I am confronted with this decision I will need to play it differently. Two over cards with alot of outs. I let his aggression get me. Maybe it was the fact he didn't want me to call and he showed me to put pressure on me. Maybe he had the K for the full house. That A10 was a better hand and whether it would have won or not shouldn't have made a difference in how I played the hand.

I have to come away from this knowing that 9th place is not a bad showing. Two weeks in a row now I have come close or now have made the final table. I need to be aggressive when I get there. I have to have the chips to exert some pressure on the other shorter stacks and get the stack to grow. I have done it in the past and I know I can do it again. One thing I did do was played my game and I ended up not following the book. Why am I reading a book?

As in anything you do if you want it bad enough you will go get it. Lessons? Mentor? You have to find what it is and go get the instruction you need. I would do better by playing more often. Seeing more hands. Then you have the time factor. Oh well, it is just a game.

Golf and Poker. What a combination to get involved with.

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