Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Respecting your opponents

I realized yesterday that I have been giving some players way too much credit lately. Well, this didn't quite happen yesterday but it has been coming around for the last couple of weeks. A lot of great players say that poker is not playing just your hand, it is playing your opponents hand as well. Trying to really figure out what not only they have, but how will they play it as well.

This has affected my play over the last month or so quite a bit. At first I was quite wary of those limping in from first position, especially mid to late in tourneys. It seemed every time I raised it up with Q Q or J J or A K, I found myself running into A A. So I started to fold those hands quite a bit. Of course, it wasn't an automatic fold decision. Other factors such as my stack size,their stack size, blinds, place in the tournament, etc. would be taken into consideration.

Then I started taking notes on plays they had already made. I noticed that maybe I was giving some people too much credit for the plays they were making. Yeah, I could run into the guy trying to limp on his A A UTG once in a while but too many times with was some joker playing something like A 6 off suit with a big stack that was would push to intimidate or buy the pot. Or is was a desperate short stack that was committed.

This has earned me a lot of pots and saving me many chips on other occasions. Early in a tournament I can lay down some goods hands as I get some info. I think that is why I have done pretty well, as I watch too many numbskulls failing to see that they are not only behind, but are drawing dead. It becomes one of my favorite parts of the game- watching morons bust out on really dumb plays.

So I played the $5 multi last night. Finished 24th, netting a whole 8 bones. I should start to look at my stats from these tournies because for 2 hours, I believe I may have won a total of 4 pots that I saw a flop on. And then I may have seen the flop on only 5 other hands that didn't involve the blinds. That is the kind of cards I got all night. My best hand was Q Q. Then 9 9, 8 8, 7 7. I did get A Q twice. Seriously, that was it. Nothing bigger than that.

How I managed to hit 24th perplexed me at first. But I stopped giving too many people too much credit for having real hands, especially in the mid rounds. I had K 7 get me back into the game when I pushed my last 800 in when a 7 hit the flop. Guy who limped with A K got mad as his chips came my way. Hey, if you raise it up on the button instead of slow playing it, I am out of there. I did get lucky once. On the same player too. I tripled up with 10 6 in the BB on a flop of 6 6 Q. SB bet out and I pushed all in. It was a sizable pot at the time. I figured the chances of all these limpers having the case 6 is rare. Plus, only a couple hands could beat me. Q Q (which would have been raised up) or A,K,Q, or J 6 would beat me. Only hand that made sense was A 6 and if someone limped on that, they deserve to lose. Well, everyone folded to the button who then pushed as well. He had me easily covered. He showed A 6. Turn was a 10 to fill the house and I jumped up into contention.

My Q Q got me over 13k but that would be it. I pushed with K Q in late position and 2 limpers. I thought I could take down the pot with the all in bet. But UTG had A A and I was done. Right away I thought I should have bided my time. If no one tries to limp, then it is a good play. But with the limpes, I should have known I was most likely behind already.

Oh well. Chalk another up to experience.

1 comment:

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