Friday, February 18, 2005

Never giving up

Beside that one hand SnG I played, I played a number of other tourneys last night. All with minimal success. I came in 2nd in one SnG out of 3 SnGs and one multi. For the most part, I didn't really catch any cards, nor was in a position to make any plays. I think I have played enough to realize that hey, this will happen, but it still sucks.

I started the night by playing a $20 SnG at Pokerroom. Aggressive as usual for the first couple of rounds. Opening bets were usually at 125 and someone would bully the table early. I don't believe I played a hand for the first 20. Wasn't even in a position to defend my blinds. But if you are going to get cold decked, early is always the best time to have it happen. It gives you so much time to read the table and see how the flow is going.

When I did get some cards to play, I was able to take down some pots but they were small. The highest I ever got was to 2000. Came in 5th when I had to push in the blinds with K 10.

I need to develop a better strategy for the $20 table. I can usually do pretty well at the $10 but the $20 gives me trouble. I probably should spend some more time at the 10 and build up the roll a bit more so I can then play 4 or 5 20s in a row. I know the aggression at the 20 is not a factor as I am willing to mix it up with them. It may be something as simple as patience.

After the defeat at Pokerroom, I headed over to PokerStars to check on the USA tournament they sent me an email on. For just 50 of their frequent player points, you can play in a freeroll against just people in your state and then move to a country level for a chance to go to a EPT even in London. I notice that the registration starts at 12:30 in the morning. WTF? The tourney is at 12:30 Saturday morning. So go and set my alarm to wake up just so I can register. I figure that this tourney should be easy. Drunken poker is my forte!!!

I play a ring NL game for a bit doing ok until I get a little too aggressive. Misread my opponents and tried to bluff a flush. I got out when they BOTH re-raised me. Ouch. About that time I noticed that PokerStars also had a $10 multi starting in 40 minutes. There were already 300 people in. Nice. That is what I was looking for over at Pokerroom.

When the 10 multi started there were over 1000 entered. First paid over $2100. Nice dream as I barely lasted 45 minutes. I got down early on chips when my two pair ran into the slow played baby flush. I still didn't get any real cards to play and folded quite a bit. I kept my chip stack relatively even but wasn't making it grow. I went out on a weak hand. Q 10 off. It looked so good. There was one raise in front and and pushed from the big blind. I read this player to have A high tops and was looking for him to lay down to the guy who was barely playing. He too his time before calling with A 10 suited. I knew I was done. A 10 always beats me.

The problem I had with that play was that I would rather push on a much stronger hand. I felt my read was right and would have won with any pair. But any pair sure wasn't coming my way.

So of course being cold decked the majority of the night I went and played a $10 SnG on Stars. Nice to see that things don't change. Cards still didn't come my way and I was sitting around 700-800 the majority of the time. Blinds were relatively low though. We lost 3 players right away. There were 4 big stacks and two small stacks. Funny, they just couldn't get rid of us. We were able to steal our fair share of pots. By the time the other small stack was finally taken out, two of the bigger stacks had come down quite a bit. If I could double up, I was easily back into this game.

I was able to do just that sending my 3 3 to battle with A Q suited. One double. I then ran top pair top kicker for another nice pot and suddenly I am in third. One of the formally big stacks gets knocked out after I weaken him. Before I knew it I was in second. Still down to the leader by 2500 but surprised by the charge I had made.

I ended up in 2nd place which I found to be a moral victory. It cleaned up the majority of what I lost on PokerStars that night which isn't bad. But it shows that when you aren't catching cards, you need to be patient and find the right spots to be aggressive when you have little. You cannot wait for A A or K K. That K 8 can look like A A with the right bet at the right time. You need to play to win, not just survive. That is the difference between being a winner and a donor.

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