Friday, July 21, 2006

the agony of defeat (or, today's $2000 NL)

Today's tournament was the story of bad bluffs and second-best hands.

I went up and down early until my first big pot.

Still at 25/25 blinds I limped in Ac4c in early position (I usually raise if I play at all, but I'd raised two pots in a row and didn't want to be blown off a hand I actually wanted to play). All folded, the blinds checked, and the flop came J high and all clubs. Small blind bet out 75 and I called. Turn was a low red card; he bet 200 and I called. River was a red 8 (no board pair; I have the nuts) and he bet 250. I raised him 600 leaving 400 behind. I know it looks weird and/or suspicious but my general feeling was that a 600 raise gets called when a push doesn't, because he didn't really have the chips to look me up for 400 more if I was bluffing. He called pretty quickly and I was up to 2800.

Won a small pot when I called a weak player's EP raise with 64o and flopped bottom two in a three-way pot. He made a nearly pot-sized continuation bet; I raised and he folded.

I had a tough time because the player directly to my left was also good; pretty loose and aggressive like me. I bluffed off some chips to him when I opened A3 in the cutoff to 75. The flop came T73 and I check/called 100. The turn was the 8 of hearts, putting two hearts on the board. I checked and he bet 200; I nearly folded but decided with the ace of hearts in my hand I could bluff a flush and a number of other scare cards. So I called, and fired 350 on the K river. He called immediately with T8.

I got aces twice in the first level and didn't win anything significant.

I win my second large pot with 64 offsuit: It's 25/50 blinds now and two people limp in. I decide that I want to play the hand and take control of the pot so I raise to 225. Both limpers call.
The flop is 754 with two spades (I have none). The first caller bets out 225. The second folds; I decide I'm going to tie myself to this pot and make a big raise to try to take it down. I make it 1000 leaving 1100 behind. The guy thinks for a minute, seems to have a genuinely tough decision, then finally calls. (I thought this was an obvious push or fold.)
The turn is a red queen. He checks and I throw in the last 1100. He folds much faster than I thought he would. Umm, thanks.
I have 3800 now, and run to the bathroom since I'm hitting my early position hands and I can't wait. Then the wheels fall off.

First hand back: three limpers to my big blind and I check T8o. The flop is Q96 giving me a double gutshot. I check and it checks to the button who bets 100. I could try to pick up the pot now but my draw is well disguised, so I call. One other caller.
Turn is the 6c. I check, the caller now fires 250. Button folds. I don't think he's full already so I count my eight outs as good; I'm getting better than 3 to 1 to call and I think he has a legitimate hand so my implied odds will be even better. He has about 1300 behind; I decide if I hit that I'll fire a big river bet to appear to be bluffing.
The river is the 7c filling my straight. I throw 1100 into the pot. He sighs and says "You make a full house? I guess I have to pay you off" and calls. I get ready to scoop the pot from trip sixes but he turns over AcTc.
I didn't even consider that.

Not long afterward EP limps, guy to his left raises 200. He's been doing that a lot so I decide to repop him with anything decent. Guy on my right calls the 200. Perfect squeeze spot. I look at A7 and raise to 750. Now EP limper goes all in for 350 more; whatever, he doesn't have much of a hand. But the original raiser shoves, the caller folds (99), and I fold. Limper turns over QTs and the raiser has KK.

I'm down to 1500 or so. I get TT and raise to 175. Two calls behind. Ax 4s 5s flop, I bet 325, the first caller shoves and I throw away my hand rather disgustedly.

Limper in front and I limp 53cc in LP. Same aggro guy on my left makes it 200. First limper calls and so even though I'm short I decide my odds are decent and I'm throwing it in with any reasonable piece of the board (AK3 all hearts would not be a reasonable piece). Flop comes 753 all spades. I open shove the rest in when the action gets to me. The raiser calls fairly quickly. He turns over KK with the K of spades and turns a fourth spade.

That's it. Nothing special, nothing exciting, just another day of tournament poker where the breaks don't go your way.


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