Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Well, it was bound to happen. After starting with $5 after the WPBT Vegas trip, I had a nice little run trying to build the online bankroll up from the ground. It was not meant to be. Spent my last $5 today on a 2-table SnG.
Went out on a bad hand on my part - a bit of a donkey dump, if you will. I'm holding JJ on the button preflop. Action folds around to me, and I raise to 480. I don't want much action, and if I get some, I want to be heads-up. The BB calls.
The BB was the chip leader and a helluva table bully. He was raising people out of pots and putting people all in with such stellar holdings as J7 suited and Q3 offsuit. Then he'd taunt the table with comments like, "C'mon donkeys - can't you beat Queen high?" I'd gotten him to successfully leave me alone with this play: I've got ATo on the button. It's folded to me, and I limp. SB folds, BB min-raises. Flop comes J-7-3 rainbow. He min-bets, I raise the pot size. He calls. Turn comes a 2. I'm thinking at this point that every junk hand he's pushed with has at least had one face card in it, so I've got him on Face-x. I don't think that board has hit him. I bet out 1/2 the pot, and he min-raises me. I call. Turn comes a Queen, and I don't like it too much, but I'm not flinching. He checks the river. My turn to act. Do I take my free card and save myself the chips, in case that crappy board hit him? Hell no. The only way I'm going to win this pot is to bet at it, and I'm not playing this game to be safe. I want to win it. I bet the pot on the river, which may as well have been all in, as it only left me with a couple hundred chips.
Table bully thinks for a while and folds, and I then advertised my bluff and showed my Ace high. I was close - I nearly had the best hand. He was playing K-2o and had the pair of two's. (He mucked, but Full Tilt lets you see mucked hands if they went to showdown using the "last hand" button). The bully didn't pick on me anymore after that....
... which should have tipped me off during my exit hand, but I wasn't thinking. It was another case of "I'm going to win by sheer force of will." So I've got my Jacks in the hole, and I've been called for 8x the big blind by the table bully. Flop comes A-K-Q, all diamonds. I have no diamond. Bully leads out and bets the pot on the flop, which was almost half my stack. I should have taken this as a sign; he had turned into Mr. Passive against me after the Ace-Ten hand, and typically his bullying was done with minimum bets. I knew that, but chose to push anyway. I raised all-in for a little more than double his bet, and of course he called. I knew he had me beat. Sure enough, he was playing A9o (though no diamonds), and I didn't catch my Jack or Ten to fill my hand. Out I went in 8th place out of 18.
I wish I could see what happens in my brain during these donkey dumps. They're spontaneous bursts of action that go completely against any rational thought. I'm usually quite good at laying down monster hands that I know are beat, though lately I've been calling off way too many chips with such hands. I think somehow my brain has confused the process of opening up my starting hand selection a bit with being loose post-flop. That is definitely NOT what I am going for. I always thought that one of my strengths is my post-flop play, but now that I think about it, it's not the hardest thing in the world to play well post-flop when you only START with premium hands. It is much harder to play well post-flop when you've got all manner of marginal holdings. It takes much more discipline, I think, because often times you'll catch pieces of the board that are, at face value, not likely to be the best hand, though may be based on your opponents' holdings. Playing more hands seems to require much more skill at reading your opponents and accurately narrowing down the range of possible hands that the particular opponent could be playing in that situation.
This of course is unrelated to my stupid donkey dump in this tournament, but seems to be something I need to spend some time thinking about in the context of how quickly I make some of my action decisions online. In live games I don't seem to have this problem of acting too quickly or acting without thinking, but online I do. I've heard of some people who will take their hand off the mouse in between plays to ensure that they don't get trigger happy with the mouse and jump the gun without giving the move proper consideration. A good idea, but I'd rather just train my brain to have that sort of discipline. It can be tough. I keep thinking of the scene in ESPN's Tilt where the internet poker junkie gave away the strength of his hand by tapping the table with his mouse finger whenever he had a strong hand. "Raise raise raise!" LOL. I think of that scene quite a bit - particularly when I go mad with these donkey dumps.
In other news... it looks like Randy and I won't make it out to Trump Indiana this Friday with Baz and Maigrey. Life just seems to get in the way sometimes. Very soon though - I promise! Go check out Maigrey's site - she tells a great story of bluffing the big boys out of a big pot. You go girl! Who's wearing the tiara now, beyotches!
I found the most wicked picture of a penguin for my Blackberry desktop wallpaper. I'm having way too much fun with this thing. For anyone in the market for a cell phone PDA, this Blackberry 7520 is just sick. I broke down and ordered the TeleNav GPS program today (after getting quite the runaround from Nextel - the joys of being an early adopter of new technology. Half the people I talked to insisted that Blackberries don't have GPS, and I had to insist repeatedly that they're right - EXCEPT for this new Blackberry, which is the first one to boast GPS!) Ayayay. I am so frequently an early adopter of technology that I accept these frustrations as par for the course. I'm way loving the Blackberry though. No problems with it. Love love love.
Just like I'll love my new iPod once Best Buy gets them back in stock so I can use the two gift cards I have sitting around here...
Back to poker. (Sorry, jumpy trains of thought today). Since the inevitable online poker reload is upon me, I was having a thought. Maybe I won't reload Full Tilt right now. Maybe I will reload into Party Poker instead. Why, considering I love the FTP software so much? A couple reasons. First, I miss running into fellow bloggers online. Second, I miss being able to use PokerTracker to analyze my play. I have sprung quite a few leaks in my online game over the past couple months, and I'm most certain that it is not coincidence that I've played solely on FTP without access to hand histories or Poker Tracker during that time. So, I'm thinking my reload might have to be into Party. I've got to get my online game back on track and plug these holes. Maybe by the time I go back to Full Tilt, they'll have hand histories in place. One can dream, right?