Sunday, April 17, 2005

Well... I spent a good 5 hours or so today playing on the 50NL tables at Full Tilt. In all that time, I ended up down a buy-in and a half. Not what I was hoping for, but not the end of the world. I had a few big hands hold up for decent pots - no monster pots though (ie. double-ups), and I had quite a string of second-best hands. I can't think of any that I'd have played any differently though. Just one of those days.

One example of a typical hand tonight: I held A5 hearts in the big blind. Folded around, small blind called, and I raised 3xBB. He calls. Flop came 755 with a heart. SB checks - I bet the pot - small blind calls. Turn comes another heart. SB min-bets, I raise the pot amount, small blind waits a bit and calls. River comes another heart to make my nut flush. SB checks - I bet the pot once more, small blind re-raises all in 4 bucks more. I call. Turns out he had 75 offsuit and flopped the boat. Interesting call preflop, considering we'd been at the same table for hours and I was only around 18% VP$IP (ie. tight as hell), but he was a very aggressive player, so... what can ya do. The check-raise on the river was curious, but I had him well covered and wasn't laying down the nut flush, so there really wasn't any getting away from it.

As my stacks dwindled ever so slowly, I started closing down the cash game tables and opted to play a $20+2 multi-table tourney. With 208 registrants, I ended up going out 14th for a prize of $41.50. At least I made back some of my ring game losses.

Just out of curiousity... here's the play I went out on. I'm chalking it up to a race with no luck on my side, but I'd love to hear some opinions on it. Too risky? Foolish? Good play? Unlucky race?

I'm in the big blind with A4o. Blinds are 400/800, ante 100. I have just under T6,000 in my stack after posting the big blind and ante. My stack is 14th out of 14 left in the tourney - next highest has a couple thousand more than me. It is folded around to the button, who has successfully bought 4 of the last 6 pots (stack around 13k - about average at our table, and definitely nowhere near chip leader). Button raises to 2,000. So, there's 2,100 in the pot pre-flop (blinds and antes), plus this 2,000, making 4,100 total. I have to call another 1,200 to play. I'm getting almost 3.5:1 on my money. But, if I'm going to call, I might as well move all in. Calling this would pretty much pot commit me, and if this is just a blind-steal attempt, I may take the pot right there - and that pot, just with antes and blinds and the button's bet, would just itself almost double me up! I knew I'd have to get lucky, but felt my Ace might be good.

I push all in, and the button thinks about it a bit before calling. He calls, and turns over JT offsuit. I'm happy as can be, until a ten hits the turn, and I don't improve. Oh, well. I figured I was a slight favorite pre-flop, which was true, and I figured I'd need some luck to win it, which was true - and didn't happen.

I suppose I could have folded my big blind, waited through my small blind, and watched another orbit go past, hoping for a better spot to pick. But, I don't think my push with the ace was bad. I'd folded 3 rounds of blinds to various raises, and there's nothing I hate more than being blinded to death. Ya have to win some races in tournaments in order to do well, and this race just didn't hit for me.

Comments appreciated on the A4 push. Would you have done the same thing, or waited? If you'd have waited, what sort of hand are you looking for to push with?

Another day of poker in the books.

Time for bed!


  1. High Plains Drifter said...
    Isn't it a tournament axiom that you should try to exploit small advantages? (especially when shortstacked?)

    You made a good read with your A4. You made a push against which your opponent could possibly fold. You got called by a slightly weaker hand, and got bounced. Yes it is a bit risky, but you're looking at losing your small blind if you get dealt trash, and sitting on the button with slightly more than 5k. You'll have to push before the big blind hits you again.

    I say "good play", especially if there's no difference in payout between 14th and 13th.
    Chris Hanel said...
    You definitely made the right move there. You read him correctly and you got your money in when you were the best hand. If you were going to double up, that was the time to do it.
    Human Head said...
    Since you decided to play the hand, pushing was easily the correct move. It was either that or fold, and if the guy had been buying that many pots, I prolly would have pushed as well.
    Poker Nerd said...
    Time for a stop-and-go. Call preflop and push on the flop no matter what. Trust me, you'll like it.

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