Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Always a bridesmaid

I entered 2 three table tournaments last night on Party Poker. The first one I was bounced out in the 4th hand. I had 3 fours, another player had 3 threes, and the winning player had the flush. The thought crossed my mind to fold and be patient, but I couldn't resist trying to win all those chips. There was an article in Card Player recently about a guy who just couldn't stand the thought of folding and finding out he was bluffed. It was a deep seated fear. I am definitely not that bad but I understand where he is coming from.

The second tournament I came in 2nd place for the second time. I am know convinced that in order to win these things, you definitely need 4 or 5 lucky breaks. My favorite was when I was in the small blind. It was folded to the button who put in a standard raise. My gut told me he was just trying to steal and I had A7 suited so my hand had some possibilities plus I wanted to send a message not to go after my blinds. I raised all in and I had him covered by about 1000.

I guess he thought I was bluffing so he calls for the rest of his chips and turns over Q10 of diamonds. So I was right, but he was too dumb to fold. Now the flop comes Q-10-8. The turn is a Jack and the river is a King to give me the straight. I made a couple of these moves against the short stacks and got lucky.

I am getting much better at strategizing on who I want to play pots with. The obvious rules are stay away from the big stacks and pick on the small stacks. However I will notice when the big stacks seem to be just waiting for good hands and biding their time until the get into the money. Then I am not afraid to go after their blinds. I am also careful that when I raise a small stack in the blinds that I better have a decent hand, because he could just raise the rest of his stack all in.

I was an average size stack by the final table. I don't remember really eliminating anyone but just playing good cards and picking up some occasional blinds. When it got down to 4, I had about 5000, another player had 5000, the short stack had 1000, and the chip leader had 19,000. It seemed pretty obvious that the best strategy would be to pick on the short stack. However the other 5000 stack got tangled up with the big stack and lost all his chips.

Finally I eliminated the small stack and I was heads up but with a very short stack. Amazingly I managed to crawl my way into the game. I was raising all of my small blinds. My cards were crappy but it didn't matter because it seemed the big stack was just going to wait for the nuts. I finally got up to about 11,000 to 19,000 and then I doubled up. Now I had the chip lead. Well my opponet changed gears and started the all in mode. I couldn't call with anything and we eventually got to about even. Finally I had A7 suited and I just raised the blind and he just called. The flop was A K 8 rainbow. I bet about 1/3 of the pot hoping he would call. He did. The flop was a 5. Now I check hoping he will go all in. Sure enough he does and I call. He turns over K-5. Ouch! No help on the river and I only have enough for the blind on the next hand. 2 hands later it's over. Oh well $225 is a nice nights work.

I wonder if there's a decent guide for heads up poker?

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