Thursday, January 12, 2006

Poorly Played Hand

Darwin Mayflower: I'll kill your friends, your family, and the bitch you took to the prom!
Hudson Hawk: Betty Jo Byarsky? I can get you an address on that, if you want.
”Hudson Hawk”

This hand played out in a live game the other night – even though I said I had to cancel, I found a way around it to get to the game. Well, I’ll get to the hand later. I finished 6th out of 16th in this tournament and was disappointed with that. I just didn’t have a good run of cards and made I think only one mistake for the entire tournament but it cost me chips.

We started with about 9K worth, and when we got to the final table of 8 I had about that much with blinds at 200/400. I was the second short stack, but still enough wiggle room here. But then, because we were at the final table, the blinds were raised to 500/1000. Wow, I just went from having 22.5 big bets to having 9. My demise comes when on the big blind I get 22, my only pair for the night. Call, call, call, call, call to me. That means there is 6K in this pot already and I have 8K left. I either wait to see a flop and hope to hit a two or push here and hope to take it out. I pushed, and I feel comfortable with the decision. All the limpers was no surprise, it happened on nearly every hand.

Everyone folds to the button – who was the short stack but went all in pre flop the previous hand with 44 and hit runner-runner quads, so they are now above me. He thinks for a bit and then folds to the large stack in the small blind who was the one who doubled up the button. The small blind thinks for a bit and says “I have to get lucky some time” and calls with KQo. Considering the blind size and his stack size, I don’t mind his calling here but his reasoning wasn’t sitting well for me. Thankfully, the button tells us that he had the exact same hand – KQo – as the small blind. Good news for me, except another queen pops up on the flop and there is no more help for me.

Ok, now that is out of the way here is the one hand I made a mistake on that cost me. Let’s see what everyone else would have done on the river before you read the results.

I am dealt AJs UTG, and I make a raise because pre flop raises are rare and I want them to be scared of me. Also, I know they will see a flop with any two cards and I have to make them pay for their mistake.

The flop is a gorgeous KQT, but with two diamonds. I put out a smallish bet, 600 into a about a 900 pot. I get two callers which is ok, because I want to get a big stack early here and I can’t scare them off to early. Also, if the flush comes I can get out cheaply.

The turn is an off suit 8, and I decide that I should bet here. If I bet again, flush chasers are going to call anyway, even if I go all-in. While I should push here with what is the nuts at the moment, I really don’t want to suffer a bad beat here and be out in 15th or something. I don’t think I bet enough though, as I put out another 1000 chips into a 2700 pot. Not that they were looking at pot odds anyways.

The river brings the four of diamonds, completing the flush. Since I am first to act, I make it 2000 to go to see where I am at. One player comes back over the top for 5000 more, and I have about 6100 left so it is basically an all in call from me.

Would you hold them or fold them?

Here is some thinking time before I give you my answer and the result.

Maybe just play some Muzak in your head or something.

Ok, reviewing the hand, I am the only one who has lead the action all the way. On the final card, he finally springs to life. I feel like he has been chasing all the way, and with no pair on the board and no other obvious straight draws coming out, the only thing he could have drawn to was the flush. It is still early in the night and I decided to hang on to my chips and fold my flopped straight.

He flips over two pair, T8o, very proudly.

Even for hours later, and now still, when I run through the hand in my head I think I made the correct decision on the river. He played the hand exactly like a flush draw, and I dropped my straight to live to fight another day. What did annoy me though was he did the same thing – a massive bet of 2/3rds his stack – on the very first hand when he had two pair. I made a mental note of it, but it did not register when this hand was in play.

So in summary, pre flop was ok, post flop and turn could have been better. The bet on the river I am ok with, and even though it was the wrong decision in this case I still think the fold was an ok move considering the betting action.

I still had 6000 chips and plenty of time to build a stack, but unfortunately the cards never came and I was lucky to get up to 9000 before the tables joined. From then, I needed an excellent hand or to win a coin flip to survive, and neither came. Such is life.

Currently, my online game is struggling from “depleted bank roll” syndrome. As regular readers are aware I made a withdrawal late last year for 99% of it, and then found $5 lying in an old account. I got that up to $20 at Noble, and then decided I should concentrate on their $2 jackpot SNG’s. Win 4 in a row for $2K, sounds good to me.

I have finished forth (out of 12) in so many of them, it wasn’t funny. At least forth got their money back. I was not however getting above that mark. When it got down to the money I would be 2nd or 3rd, and the short stack would double up three times before I would get a bad beat or go all in when I was dominated (AK vs AQ and the like). I even tried a heads up pot limit Omaha SNG – I lasted about 6 hands. What can I say? I hit my jack high flush, he hit his queen high. He just seemed to hit every single flop. On one hand I had four pairs, but the board cards were all diamonds and the river didn’t help me get over his 38d in the hole. On the final hand I had 99xx and see a flop of KJ9 rainbow. I have bugger all left and push it all in. He calls and shows KKJJ. Just not my night I guess.

With my final $2.40, I enter the last jackpot SNG that I can afford. I manage to hit a few hands, and what do you know I have a handy chip lead inside the first orbit. A few players get moved around, and then with 77 I see a T73 flop. I check, and a player with just a few less chips than me goes all in. I have to call, and he has AK and doubles me up.

When we get to the final six, I am in first place with 3400 chips, second is 2800. On one hand I have A4h, and see a flop with two hearts. There is no action and I gladly take a free card. Same again on the turn, and I am still happy to see it through to the river. The river brings a third heart, and with no pair and the straight flush counterfeited by my 4, I have the stone cold nuts. Second place puts out a minimum bet, and I decided to do one of my favourite things in these tiny tournaments – I go for a massive overbet and go all in. It’s probably not too bad anyway, as a made flush here with the nuts-1 or -2 might call. Anyway, 2nd place thinks about it and calls with the turned straight. Wow, do I have some chips now!

I manage to double up both of the short stacks with good hands. I have T9 and the flop is 99J. I have to call the short stacks all in, and they have Q9. That kind of thing. Long story short, I end up finishing second leaving my entire online bank roll at $6.

Bu the good news is, thanks to a recent sponsorship deal, I will be getting $50 a month to kick into the online world. And boy, I can’t wait for that to get going! I’m sick of this low limit crap!

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