Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Got a chunk back

When you get knocked off the horse, you just need to get back on and ride again. I fired up Pokerroom last night hoping to get two SnGs in before 8. Even though the second one was slow as hell, I did get both squeaked in before getting some work done. Came in 1st and 3rd. Not a bad way to get the old roll up.

The thing that got me though was I played an extremely patient game, and think I played my cards well. Especially in the first game. I didn't play a hand, except for the blinds, for 2 orbits. I was getting nothing. But I did keep an eye on what the others were doing. I can't tell you enough how you should pay attention to the play of others when you get crap cards. In this case, there were 2 players that wanted to play every hand. They were catching cards and were winning, even though their play was actually pretty bad. They had some very lame bets, only min betting on when their opponent was obviously on a draw. They would overbet with second or third pair and suck out on the river.

Just watching them told me that I could take my time, be patient and hope to get the full value of just a couple good hands. This was even more powerful because other players weren't following such a thought process. We were down to 5 players and the blinds were only 25/50. I am one of the short stacks with about 1100. The other shorty had about 900 with the big stacks of at least 3100, but the top dope only over 4000. Blinds are small so I have quite a bit of time to make something happen.

It also doesn't hurt when the big stacks go to war. I chipped up back to 2000 and was treading water when the biggest stack went to war with number two. That is the good thing about SnGs at Pokerroom. The majority of the people do not have the common sense to lay low with a big stack unless they have a dominating hand (an error I have made many a time). The big stack ended up dumping the majority of his chips when he called an all in bet with two pair losing to the straight. Now the big boy was lower than I was. I took out the smallest stack with 10 10 to his A 3 and before I knew it, there were only 3 people left. I was outchipped by over a 2 to 1 margin by both players. Blinds were still relatively cheap though in the 100/200 level. I could go a round or two if I had abysmal cards but would have to defend any blind that hit me. I catch A K and push to their folds from the button. That helps. Then from the big blind, I see a free flop with Q 6. Flop comes K 10 6. I bet out 400 and get called. I know that if the next card helps me, I have to push, or I am in trouble. Turn is a Q and I push. He calls with K J and I double up. I am now back into their neighborhood and feeling confident as I feel they simply aren't that good.

A couple hands later, I get A A in the big blind. I have been somewhat aggressive and raising hands to steal whatever I can, so it wasn't surprising that the small blind tried to do the same and pushed all in with Q 10. He got no help and it was just two of us now. Thought I was sitting well at 5800, my opponent was still higher at 9200.

I get into the head's up mode mentality and do battle. I start to chip up a bit until I get knocked back to 4000. But a couple hands of playing aggressively, gets me back in the game again. My opponent is playing either totally weak or strong. My guess is that he is playing his strong hands too strong and the weak hands totally weak (helluva deduction there Sherlock!). What he doesn't realize is that it is a huge tell. But I still need to figure out what he considers strong. I get the idea when he pushes all in from the small blind. I have A 10 and call. He shows J 9. Huh? No help and I now am in the lead.

That is the info I needed. I stay away from his pushes and raise up when I have any two cards. He is folding and going down. He pushes again when I have A 4. I can afford to double him up so I call to see he has A 3. Done. Game over!

Similarly, the second table went the same way. One guy who was at the table I just finished was playing. I knew what to expect from him as he was one of the clowns who had a huge lead but got busted out. This game took forever as 3 people disappeared for great lengths and two others took every single second to make a decision. Patient play paid off again and I got 3rd place money. Plan to try again tonight. If I get the same results, the whole blurry Saturday night massacre will be wiped away.

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