Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Everyone has been on the brutal side of some bad beats. For once I was on the delivering side last night. One was bad, the other was simply bad play.

I played two SnGs last night. One was ugly where I unfortunately got into the WTF mentality after some stupid play. It started with one guy trying to put the whole table on tilt. For the first 4 hands, he raised the bet to either 150 or 200. Each time, everyone folded without seeing a flop.

On the fourth hand, he raised to 300 and got a player to push all in. He showed A A and wallopped J J. This player jumped out to a big lead when he did the same thing to another player. He succeeded in setting the tone of the table as other players followed suit and would raise pre-flop a minimum of 5-7 bets each time. I tried to stay out of the fray for a while but couldn't. I caught A Q and A K a couple of times but totally missed the flop. I was puking chips with some decent hands. I went down quickly when they started stealing my blinds.

I was able to double up with A 8 suited when I caught a break. Against 6 6, the board paired up twice to have my A kicker become a winner. But a hand later, I just raised with 7 7 instead of pushing. Flop came Q high and I pushed. My opponent had K Q and took me out. I don't think it would have mattered if I had pushed preflop or not. He was probably going to call no matter what.

The second table was easy. I more than doubled up 3 hands in when I was dealt 10 10 on the button. It seemed like the whole table was limping in so I cranked the bet to 250. I had 3 callers. Didn't really care for that. Of course, any high card on the flop would put me in trouble. Flop was beautiful for me. 9 5 2. Strange thing was the mid position bet it out. 250. I wondered if he had a high pair that he was slow playing. Or did he play a small pocket pair. I just called this bet. The other two folded. Turn was a 7. MP bet out 350. He had about 1700 chips left. I wanted to take this pot down right here and raised it up to 1350. That should put him in a spot to totally commit right now. Either way, I was in to the end as it would be only 350 more to see it and I would still be way above average in the chip count.

I was a bit baffled when he just called. I would consider that a spot where you either fold or re-raise. Why do you just call? That means you are looking for help. Either way, it did work to confuse me. Especially when a 3 hit the river and he pushed his last 350 in. Huh? Hell, if he had the set, good for him. I was going to pay him off. I didn't think he did and was positive the river could not have helped him. He showed K 9 for a pair of 9s. Dumped over 2000 to me on a pair of 9s. Sweet.

From there I cruised along. When blinds got meaningful in the 75/150 level, I had over 5500 in chips. Second was around 2400. I then worked to bully the table. It worked well until I got cold decked for about 10 hands. Good thing that no one was playing loose as they simply took each other blinds. Flops became rare. I was sick of seeing 8 3 off or 9 2. Any K would do or any connector. I wanted to get in and take some one out.

With 5 left, I got my chance. UTG limped in for 200. I called with K 9 suited. Button folded as did the small blind. BB checked. Flop came 7 9 J. UTG bet out just 200. I went along as I thought there was a chance that my second pair could be good. My shot at the flush was a long shot as it would have to come runner runner. BB folded and we saw the river. K. My call paid off. Especially when he pushed all in. I was going to call his last 1500 no matter what. I was positive I had the best hand, but was going to take a bit of time to think about what he had. I ruled out K K right away. A K? K Q? K J? That last one was the only one that concerned me. Possible. Very possible. I was surprised when he showed A A. No river rocket for him and he was done.

I don't understand why he tried to slow play aces in that position. I mean, I know he wanted a bigger pot and all but, he wasn't in a position to back away. I would say his bet on the flop was pretty bad. There is 700 in the pot. I would bet half there, but I guess his bet shows he is looking for a caller and should set off an alarm. But he let me draw out and his aces were cracked.

We were down to four. On the very next hand, I raised it up to 600 UTG. The BB went all in. It cost me only 600 more here so I called with my A 8 diamonds. He showed A K. Flop came A high. Turn was my 8. River was nothing.

In back to back hands I had taken out AA and AK. Brutal.

With the 3 of us left getting the prize pool, I had a commanding lead. Over 11000 to their mid 15-1800 stacks. I disposed of one when my BB of 5 3 became a straight on the river.

Heads up took a bit longer as the beats came against me. Twice he was all in with the inferior hand but caught a card on the turn or river. Suddenly he went from 1400 to over 5000 and it was a game.

I am not the best heads up player, but I feel I have improved greatly. You can get a feeling for how others play heads up by their aggression. In this case, my opponent had none. I could raise anything and he would fold unless he had a hand. No chips would come from his side of the table unless he had a pair minimum. It took a bit more time but I won.

Best part was that my bankroll boosted to 300 bucks. Yeah, I ain't big time at all. Just having fun.

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