I haven't played much poker over the last week. When I did, I had some success, some failure, and some really bad suckouts. I did get together with some friends for the CPO Poker Showdown (CPOPS) on Friday night. Though I would take a chip lead early, I would give it all all back and not cash.
Playing bad players shouldn't be that hard. So why is it at times? Sitting down at the table on Friday, I knew I was easily the best player. There were only 6 in, but I was only one who had any real experience and understood what levels to bet. There was other that concerned me but not too much. I could avoid him when necessary. Two others were more of the "I watch the WPT and this looks fun" mentality while another plays Badger Poker regularly and is pretty much a LAG.
I chipped up early in mid position when every limped in. I called along with them with 8 9 suited. When CP raised it up by 40 (blinds 5/10), I decided I would call mainly because the LAG behind me would certainly call if not the other limper. Well, the limper folded, I called and the LAG folded as well. I think my pot odds went right out the window there. But the flop hit me- 9 9 2. Jackpot! I checked and called the bet. The turn was meaningless. I check raised here and then bet the river. CP wasn't too happy about my set of 9s and started in on how I could call there.
With an early chip lead, I then started to bully the table where opportunities presented themselves. I was able to take down some small pots by betting in position. I also bluffed the LAG out of nice sized pot.
Unfortunately for me, when I went for the deathblow on CP, he got lucky on the wrong play. I was in the big blind, when everyone seemed to limp in ahead of me. I look down and see A Q. I count up the pot and then look at CP's stack. He has about 350 or so left. I bet out just above the pot, with the intent of forcing everyone to fold so I can take it down right there. I was also pretty confident I had the best hand. CP not only called but tossed in his last chips. Everyone folded and I tossed in the call. He didn't want to show his hand right away. That was fine with me. Board ended up being K high, but I did pair my queen. He turns over K J to double up. I was kinda pissed off but kept it in. No Hellmuthian blow up. It was a terrible call on his part. He had to realize he was behind and needed to get lucky. Pushing with it to show strength is one thing, calling with a feeble hand is another.
But the hand that would really hurt me was to come a bit later. Two players went out on some really bad play. One calling down an all in bet with a pocket pair of 5s and 4 overcards on the board, while the other didn't fill his straight or flush. I got sucked out on a horrid play. In the big blind, I had 6 7 and was able to check it. Flop came 8 9 10. Sweet! Fearing a J would be in play, I bet the pot. I get one caller. Turn is a Q. Now I feel I am beat. When the guy quickly turns to me and says check, I am 95% sure he has the J. I feel good on picking up the tell, but just am not happy about the turn. I check as well. River is an A. He bets out 200. Now I have to think. The pot has about 800 in there and I am getting 4 to 1. However, I am pretty sure I am beat. If I win, I have a commanding lead. But I am pretty damn sure he has the J, maybe even K J.
This is where I make the mistake. I should have folded. I had the read, I saw the tell, and he bet out on the river. But I called. And lost when he showed J 6. He called on a double belly buster.
Now I was pretty much crippled. Blind were up to 50/100 and I had about 300 left. I tried to some cheap flops from the blinds but didn't catch anything. I finally pushed with K 4 and made two pair but was beaten by K J again.
The only good side was walking away feeling I played better than everyone. But I wanted the cash too. Sometimes you go fishing at a pond with big fish and still never catch one.
So last night, I played a couple of the Maui Jackpot SnGs on Noble Poker. They have bumped the jackpot up to $18,500 if you win 6 straight. I won my first one last night but dumped in the 2nd. I realized why I dumped right away. I was playing too many games at once. With the SnGs, I realize I need to pay attention and be patient. I was neither in the second game.
I actually wish they would bump up the price on the Maui to 10 bucks. The morons that are playing these could pay me more when I win. I watched 5 people go all in on the first orbit, with 2 getting knocked out. Of course, the cocky guy who took the early chip lead went out in 3rd. He was terrible but lucky. Others were chasing him and playing stupid.
So I plan to stop playing ring games for a while and focusing on the Jackpot games. Tournament play is more my style to begin with and have done well in SnGs. With 18k hanging in front of me, I don't see why I don't have a good chance to take it down.