Monday, September 11, 2006

Give Me Something To Believe In

Louis: Where are we?
Lestat: Where do you think, my idiot friend? We're in a nice, filthy cemetery. Does this make you happy? Is this fitting, proper enough?
Louis: We belong in hell.
Lestat: And what if there is no hell, or they don't want us there? Ever think of that?
"Interview with the Vampire"

I think I am done with my whinging for now. Would it be improper to consider myself an unlucky poker player? How many people would say that? I know a lot of loosing players always say there were "just unlucky", but I seem to find that even when I am winning I am considering myself unlucky at crucial times.

I guess we just have the ability to block out those times when we are lucky, as they whisk by and we commit them to some vain accomplishment like skill or intuition, or heaven forbid, "pot odds". Those pass us by with nary a care, yet when the fortunes are reversed we curse the skies and ask what we have done to deserve some perverse occurrences. All without the restriction of guilt or an effective memory.

I am a poor offender when it comes to the whinging post, as any long time reader will attest to, but I assure you half of what I say is in jest only. But I have some more examples to show how I am trying to correct this fault of mine which will hopefully satisfy more of the mental component that I should possess to make myself a better player.

Nice and late in a tournament, we are down to the final 3 tables out of 180 when I am in the unfortunate position of being in the bottom 2 or 3 chips. We are just outside of the money positions, but as is my motto I do not try to just make the money positions but try to finish top 4 for some real return – and at the micro levels I play at, just making past the bubble is only a $5 return so hardly worth it.

So I am short stacked and have KQc in late position. There is no-one else in the pot as yet so I raise it up 4BB, which is about half my stack anyway. I figure I am more likely to win with a push on the flop if he misses that with an all-in right here anyway. I get one caller from the small blind. The flop is all rags 7 high, so I do my final push and the small blind calls rather quickly. He flips over AA and I'm in need of running outs. I get a King and a Queen in succession, and my AA opponent is out next hand just before the bubble. I am however now sitting in 3 rd as the bubble bursts, in a very good position to get deep into the final table.

A short while later, I have my turn with AA when one short stack raises me on the BB. I push it all-in and after a short time he calls with QJo. The flop is all unders, and then he hits running jacks to have me down back to a below where I was before.

Now both hands are just about identical, and the mathematical advantage of AA vs KQc and AA vs QJo is not really all that significant to be bothered. In fact, since all the money went in on the flop in my suckout as apposed to pre-flop in the later account perhaps I was even further behind mathematically. But I did not whinge or moan about how a short stack could call me all in with QJo. I probably would have done the same in his position, since 10th paid the same as 15th , and you need chips if you want the real money finish.

The next hand I have TT and push it all in. I get two callers in A9o and KK, and the Kings hold. Not that I can complain with the result of that hand, but it was a little unlucky having the tens run into his kings. But such is life I guess. I finished in 15 th for a very small collect.

While I may moan about my losses here, I don't do it at the table unlike my victim in the first AA incident above. What have you go to gain from it? The poker rooms won't allow you to hand back the tournament chips, just build a bridge and get over it.

I did have the honour of cracking aces again later in another SNG. I was the big blind and my victim was in the SB. It was just the two of us in the pot, down to the final bubble. He made a min-raise from the SB and I called with 79o. The flop was 356, leaving me with a double gut-shot straight. Opponent made a minimum bet, so I called it. The turn was a 7, so now I have a pair to go with my straight draw. Finally, my opponent makes a decent sized bet of T1000, about 75% of the pot. I decided to make the call, as I was sure he had a big over pair now and I knew where I was in the hand and could fold if my hand doesn't improve here. This was a loose call, but perhaps the implied odds of what I can pull in should my hand improve might make this call ok in some peoples minds. Whatever, I made the call regardless. The river was a 9, giving me two pair but also putting a 3 card flush on the board. He bet out a third time, only T450 this time and even though I was fairly certain I was ahead, I just called again in case he had AKd. Obviously he didn't, but I think he was pretty shocked with what I called with.

Now the whinging came, but this also illustrates another point I made earlier, these players are not as good as I give them credit for sometimes. He started to berate me for the play, and even tried to sound intelligent about it.

"How could you make that call?"
"Loosely" I responded.
"You had 7% you donkey".

Now this is where I got offended. Not at the donkey part, I think every player in the world has been called that at some time and much worse at others. But 7%? My maths is pretty decent, and I knew I was better than 7%. I will print my response here verbatim, and then check the actual of the maths after this.

"7%?? I had 8 outs for the straight, 3 for two pair and 2 for trips. That's about 25%"

"You only had the straight draw on the turn, jackass."

"Check again, I had the straight draw on the flop" Where you bet like a pussy and let me stay in it. Ok, so I only said the first bit, but that is sure what I was thinking (along with Minimum Raises Make the Baby Jebus Cry).

"Ok. But you called 1000 on the turn"

"I said it was loose."

Not two seconds later, he actually said sorry. Sure, I know it wasn't sincere, but he had to press those five little keys to do it and the minute amount of exercise that action pertains to was enough justification for me. Turns out I was pretty close at about 22% on the turn, whish is 3x what he gave me after the fact.

That and the fact I ended up winning that SNG.

I went ok in another MTT, outlasting nearly 1000 players to finish still outside the bubble. My downfall was loosing most of my stack with AKd to 66 and A8o. Not much I could do, I was getting low and needed to win a coin flip and didn't. Earlier I had also managed to win a Omaha Hi/Lo SNG which was kinda fun, as soon as I got my head around the game again. After winning a hand where I had my opponent drawing dead heads up, I managed to snag a one-outer on the very next hand when he couldn't complete the small blind and was forced all-in. I had A44x to his A4KK and hit the final 4 on the river. That was unnecessary, but funny to watch.

In the live game on Friday night, I ended up jus tin front but it was a very frustrating night. I never had decent cards to do anything and found myself folded a lot more than I would like, but thems the brakes. I did have one interesting hand where two players were considering to call my all-in when all I had was A8o on a board of 7TT. They both thought about it for ages, which made me think they had a better ace at least and I don't want any calls. First player folded, and then second player called with J9. Talk about no respect! That call crippled him too. The other player had KJ – so if the shoe were on the other foot, I think both of them was an easy fold. Anyways, as it turned out I was semi-bluffing with the best hand and would have won it even if both of them called. Very weird hand.

I have some other projects that I alluded to in an earlier post, and they have made some important steps in the past few days. Hopefully something solid will come form this.

1 comment:

TripJax said...

"these players are not as good as I give them credit for sometimes."

So true...