Wednesday, May 21, 2008

One hand at a time

As the music from "One Day At A Time," you know, the comedy with the single mother, plumber with the porn-star mustache who probably would be sued for sexual harassment today and wild daughters, I'm thinking about two hands I played yesterday.
Both of them poorly.

#1 - In the Bodog tournament series, which has gone about as poorly as I could have hoped, I'm dealt A-K sooted. I"m fourth to act. The third to act, a guy that's been hounding me all night and doesn't strike me as a very good player, raises 3xs the big blind.
I have nearly 10,000 chips. He's probably the only guy who has more chips than me in the whole tournament (I know I'm at least third or fourth). There are 16 left. The points and the cash (at least the $11 in tournament dollars) is near. I could coast to both if I wanted. The blinds are 200/400 with a small ante.
When he raises, I think about it for a bit, and I shove.
He quickly calls me with K-K. I do not suck out, despite getting a flush and straight draw on the turn, because that never fucking happens and I go home.
Later, my suspicions were true, because he was, in a word, terrible. He had a monster stack at that point and yet managed to bleed all his chips before the top 5 and that juicy $109 in tournament dollars. He just woke up with a monster.
Still, he raised in early position, he was the chip leader, and I didn't have much to gain by putting my whole tournament on the line.

#2 - I'm playing a cash game, .25/.50, and I'm dealt K-K in middle position. A guy UTG who has a nearly full stack raises to $2. Everyone folds to me and I re-raise to $6. Everyone folds.
He thinks for a second and re-raises me to $13.
He has A-A. Every single time someone does that at that level, a small re-raise, he has A-A. Usually a re-pop pre-flop at these levels almost always mean a huge pair or, at worst, A-K. Maybe A-Q or less if he's a shorty. And a small re-pop pre-flop (I just like to say that now) means Aces. Always.
So I call to set mine. It's not that much more.
The flop comes all low cards. He pushes. I call.
He shows A-A. I do not suck out because that never fucking happens, and I lose a big pot.

Yes, both of these hands were coolers. But they were also dumb plays by me.
In both these hands, I let emotions rule the way I played them. And this is what I mean by taking it one hand at a time.

In the first hand, I knew the guy wasn't very good, and I was quite sick of him raising my big blind with his small blind every single time it got to me. I didn't call in those situations because I didn't think 8-2os were hands worth defending. I also knew that if I waited, I'd get an opportunity to burn him. I suppose a re-steal at times would have been warranted, but it's harder to do that with weak players because they will call you with something like K-9 and think they're golden.
But when any player raises you in early position, and he has you covered, and your M is awesome, that's not the time to take a huge stand and put all your chips on the line. Instead of examining that one hand for what it was, I was tired of him and I thought he was terrible, so I pushed.
Emotions, not good play, ruled my game.

In the second hand, instead of listening to myself, I simply couldn't believe that the guy had Aces over my Kings AGAIN. See, in the last two weeks, despite a decent run at the cash tables, I've run K-K into A-A four times. Four times. It has, as you can imagine, cost me a bunch of money. I haven't always been stacked, but I have more than I should have been.
I refused to listen to reason and instead just said the odds and justice or whatever would not give me K-K against A-A again.
Emotions, not good reasoning, ruled my play.

I was so pissed, I put myself to the test. I went back to the cash tables after a short break. I was determined to fight the tilt bubbling inside me.
And I won $30 back and then hit up Razz and even finished up $20 there as well.

I took my hands one individual hand at a time there. I ignored past history and just listened to what each hand was telling me.
Maybe the hard lesson Tuesday will eventually pay off.


lightning36 said...

Actually, I was also surprised when you pushed with A-10 in the Bodonkey.

You brought up a good point -- what to do when someone keeps raising and you feel the need to take a stand. Seems like I get burned when I do more often when not.

pokerpeaker said...

Lightning, I didn't push with that hand, I called an all in after I raised, and I called because I was getting something like 2.7-1 on my money and I put him on a mid-sized pocket pair. I would have 5K in chips if I lost, so I called. It was a marginal call, I realize, but I'm trying to take more chances in tournaments to get chips. Whether or not that was the right move is questionable as well.

lightning36 said...

I have noticed that you have raised your level of aggression later in tournaments. It seems to get you a decent sized stack.