Friday, May 11, 2007

MTT Homegame: Part 3

Same one I've been going to for 2 months now.

-$100 buy-in
-18-20 people
-1500 in chips and 15-30 blinds to start


Mostly new people at my table, only knew one guy, the pre-flop action was fast and furious early on = no limping for me, at least not as much as I'd like.

I didn't play a hand for a while early on. It had some to do with all of the new players, but more to do with the cold run of cards - which is okay, it happens.

With the blinds at 20-40 and about 1400 in chips, the following hand occurred:
(first hand of the tournament that I had played, boy was it foreshadowing)

Guy in early position limped in, a couple folds, a guy in middle position limps in, couple folds to me in the CO with Kh2h (Not a good hand at all, but I was fairly sure the button, who was a rock, was folding behind me so I'd have position the whole hand at the very least), he did fold, SB limped in, and BB checked.

5 players see a flop of:
Ac - Kc - Ks
(Pot: 200)

SB checked, BB checked, Early position limper bets 200, middle position player folds, I just flat call the 200 (for a couple reasons**), SB folds, BB folds.

[** - He's obviously betting a decent amount (the pot) to protect a good hand, how good? I don't know. He could be betting A-J thinking its the best hand trying to protect it from a flush draw. Or he could have limped with a hand like K-Ts or K-9s and I'm crushed. If I make the popular information raise to find out where I'm at, it would cost about 600 to do that (call his 200 + a 400 or so raise). Instead, if I just flat call his 200 on the flop, I'll probably be faced with a 400 bet on the turn, which I'll probably have to flat call. Now, I'd be at the river for a total cost of... 600. If I made the information raise to 600 on the flop, I'd still be all the way back there. Instead I've made all the way to the river for the same amount. How did I achieve this? I KEPT THE POT SMALL! Pot control is such an important part of NLHE, and too many people forget that... if you ask me, that is the number one mistake amateurs make. Its right up there with over-valuing hands.]

(Pot: 600)

Early position player shoves all in for over 1,100. (Bad, bad poker. Betting 1,100+ to win 600. "Trying to protect my hand" is not an excuse for that bet. You can protect your hand by betting the pot - 600. But lets not forget, I'm not playing with pros here...)

I can't call this bet. His bet screams, "I have a marginal King, you have a flush draw, get the hell out, I'm happy with taking down the pot right now!" I thought for a minute, but I wasn't calling. I mucked, next hand... He told me he had a King and he seemed sincerely honest about it, but who knows.

So now my blood's pumping! I'm not steaming, but I'm certainly awake now. Everyone folds to me in the hijack (2 from the button), and I make 120 to go with the Ks-Ts. Everyone folds to the BB who calls the 80 more.

2 Players to a flop of:
Kh - 4c - 2h
(Pot: 260)

BB checks, I bet 160, He moves in for 1,190... [rolling eyes] (again, what a joke. I make it 160, he makes it 1k more... BAD poker, just bad equity. Risking like 1,190 for a 400 pot. A reasonable raise would have been like 300 more to 460 total... /end rant)

Long story short, I have a gut feeling he is making a play against me since he just saw me make a BIG lay down the hand before, but there's noway I can call off my tournament with top pair ten kicker after I've been check-raised all in by what appears to be a solid-tight player. I muck, next hand...

After those 2 hits I was down to about 900 of my original 1500. Which is GREAT, considering the two hands that just occurred... more so the first one.

Going into this hand the blinds were 25-50, so with 900 and change I'm getting near the 'blood red danger zone'. Everyone folds around to the guy from the 'K-2 Hand' who limps in for 50, folds around to me in the SB and I complete the 25 with 8c-7c, BB min-raises 50 more, we both call.

3 Players going to a flop of:
8d - 8h - 4h
(Pot: 300)

BINGO! Right? I'm gonna get right back in this thing, right?

I check (I wasn't too worried about the hearts, you can't shit you pants over every possible draw... just because there's a draw doesn't mean your opponent has it.)
BB bets 300, middle position guy shoves all in and immediately looks back at his cards... then looks back at the top one only for the 2nd time in 2 seconds... [rolling eyes, jaw dropping]
WOW! Are you serious? I'm not worried about the BB, I'm sure he's just making a continuation bet with air, and even if he does have a hand its probably an over pair (which I'm crushing). Its the same guy that's got my head spinning. How could he NOT have an 8 after coming over the top like that and then doing all that looking back and shit??? Could I possibly open fold (fold w/o putting any money in the pot, which I haven't, I checked and all this shit happened behind me) 8-7 on an 8-8-4 flop??? I think I have to. I feel like 90% sure he has an 8... and like 10% sure he has 4's full... LOL. I think forever and muck it. The BB folds and All-In McGee shows Q-8 off.

That's right, he limped from middle position with Q-8 off, then called a raise, and then cost himself a huge pot by just shoving in (if he flat calls the BB's 300, I'm shoving in over the top).

I felt like jumping up and screaming, "I can dodge bullets, baby!" But I controlled myself. That open fold left me with around 800. I tried to fight my way back carefully with no chips and no cards, but ultimately busted when I shoved Ah-Jh into 5-5 and lost the coin flip.

It was my first poor showing in that tournament. Out of the 3 visits, I've got a 1st, 2nd, and a goose egg... not bad.

Its hard to win tournaments when you have to keep making BIG lay downs, and I sure made my share of those. Any top pro will tell you that, and that goes for the deep stack tournaments that they play in, let alone some SNG that starts the players with 50 x BB. I was destined to do poorly this time around, if any other player there would have had my seat they would have been felted 3 times in the first 3 levels... BIG lay downs look cool when you watch people make them, but no one enjoys making them personally...

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