Friday, February 11, 2005

Sat down for a little sit-n-go action tonight. Actually, it started with a seat at a $.50/1.00 limit table, but that wasn't going so well. Table was just cold cold cold for me. If I saw a K, it was kicked with a 2. Had many 8-3 type hands. (They weren't even suited!) I had been thinking maybe I'd stick around and be patient, when it hit me:

Patient? Why? My cards are cold here. GET UP AND MOVE!!

So I left the table. I decided to try my luck at a baby SnG, $5+1. My general rule of thumb in these is to sit tight in the first 2 rounds. Usually, a few people are knocked out by that time, and I can start playing (assuming the cards are coming my way).

Tonight, it was early in the game, and I was seeing more useless cards fly by me, when I came upon pocket 10's. The Roman. I'm in the big blind (15) with 770 chips in front of me. Two off the button calls, one-off raises to 30, button calls, SB folds, and I raise it up to 100. I like my 10's, and I'm not smelling "higher pocket pair." I want to eliminate as many limpers as possible and maybe race against someone with a couple overs. Heck, maybe I'll take the pot right here - I pushed it up to over 7x the BB. Anyone calling had better have a hand!

The original raiser bumps it to 215 all-in, and button calls. I'm getting almost 5:1 on my money for the additional 115 I'd have to call. I could be beat - but I also could be holding the best hand right now, and my gut told me I was. So I went with the gut and called.

Flop comes 3-4-3 rainbow. I don't remember what the heck I was thinking here, but UTG I checked. It checked around. Turn comes a J. All four suits onboard. I bet out 450, about 2/3 the size of the pot, and exactly the amount my other opponent had left in front of him. Put him to a decision, right?

Little did I know, that J had just made top pair for both of my opponents. Of course, the button calls. Both players had QJ.

River: a glorious 10, giving me the full house, tens over 3's. Knocked both opponents out.

Evaluating my odds here post-game:

Pre-flop I was a 65% favorite to win vs. two players holding QJ.
Post-flop, my chances increased to 83%.
On the turn, I'm down to less than a 5% shot at winning the hand.

Then came my miracle two-outer on the river!

For as many times as we take bad beats, sometimes you just gotta smile and say, I deserved that miracle, thank you very much!

I actually caught a couple more lucky rivers in the tourney to make it into the money, but caught more dead cards there for a 3rd place finish.

My stats for this game:

VP$IP: 23.44%
Pre-flop raise: 6.25%
Post-flop aggression: 4.50
Went to SD: 38%
Won $ at SD: 63%

If there's anything I need to work on, it is pre-flop aggression. This is my recurring theme. I have to pound into my brain that raising pre-flop can not only win the blinds right there, but also eliminates the limpers who may catch and bust out my hand. If I trust my post-flop play, I have to be willing to put my neck out a little more pre-flop, and rely on my skills to fold the hand post-flop if it misses me. I have to trust that I can lay down the hand with money invested.

Honestly, I think I can - I have gotten quite good at laying down even good hands when the flop misses me and the pot isn't giving me odds to draw. Maybe too good - I probably lay down hands a tiny bit too easily. So - if I know that I can lay it down, why not push a little harder pre-flop and see what happens?

Every time I say this in my blog, I swear to myself that next time, I will try. I will be more aggressive pre-flop. Considering my VP$IP is typically so low (I range from 20-25% in most cases, though sometimes find myself around the 18% mark), the hands I'm playing should be monsters, right? At least favorites, pre-flop. So WHY NOT RAISE THEM?

If it's good enough to play, it's good enough to raise, right?

I must stop chickening out with the pre-flop raises!!!

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