Tuesday, April 1, 2008

MATH Recap - A Perfect Example of How to Play a Hand COMPLETELY WRONG

As usual, a violation of one of the basic poker concepts saw me exit the MATH tourney in ridiculous fashion.

I had been playing a soild TAG style and built up a nice chip stack to around 17th in the tourney (~4600 chips from a starting 3k stack). I've been feeling my game turn around and was playing very solid. I had the respect of my table and was chipping up nicely during the first hour.

And then it happens. I violate a basic concept of tournament poker and get punished for it appropriately.

Here's how it went down:

It is folded around to me in the SB with Kh3h. I decide to mix up my play a bit. Rather than make a standard FOLD in the SB or perhaps a limp (they are SOOOOOTED after all), I decide to raise.

And not your standard raise. I decide to MIN raise. Yep. You read that right, MIN RAISED.

Flop comes TERRIBLE. 9-10-Js. I decide to check-raise like I got a KQ. Check raise gets flat-called by BB. Turn comes 9s. I then decide to stay aggressive. Get cold-called. River brings a Qs. Giving me the King high straight. I raise to about 1.7k. BB pushes all in and has my last ~650 chips covered. Obviously committed, I call.

BB hand: Q9 for the Full House.

I deserved every bit of the kick in the a$$ on my way out the tourney. Talk about playing like a complete and utter moron. I think I managed for the first time in a long time to play every street completely wrong. Let's review it and see what we learn:

Preflop - Minraise from the BB is going to get called 90% of the time. Make that 99% of the time in blogger tourneys. Terrible terrible weak play... A 3x to 3.5x raise could have worked. But are the BB 100 chips really worth the risk with Kh3h? An empatic NO is the correct answer.

Flop - Check-raise a drawy board with only a gutshot draw to less than the nut straight (although the nut straight is AK which I do not put in his range). Problem One with CheckRaise: giving your opponent a free card if they check behind. Problem Two: 9-10-J are all cards they have in their range. Only hand that would play a check raise after a min bet is a TPTK type hand or nut straight of KQ (after a MIN raise preflop, my range is identified as VERY VERY wide with most of it falling in the crap category. AJ, KQ, etc all raise more preflop from SB).

Turn - Continue aggression? IDIOT! Now your TPTK is definitely beat or facing some major major heat. Your nut straight representation now faces a very strong possibility of being beaten by a Full House. Also, now there are two spades out there giving a potential backdoor flush draw some life as well. Flat call makes it obvios BB has either a made straight, a straight draw with a pair, a potential set, as well as a potential Full House by this point. and oh yeah, may also ahve a flush draw with a pair as well. In other words, YOU ARE WAY behind Dubs! Why do you insist on donating chips at this point!?

River - Dubs, seriously, do you think your fancy smancy suckout to the King high straight is worth continued strength at this point? You've already shown strength and gotten bitch-slapped not once but TWICE. How about we let the BB have a shot at it if you are so confident in the King high straight and check raise him instead! Perhaps you could let him show how strong he wants to play his hand. you know he has SOMETHING after all. If he decides to push, you can get away knowing BB has Face-9 or perhaps even the backdoor flush that had paired the original board.

Summary: By playing a hand I never should have played in the first place and then playing it in horrific fashion, I donated $24 to the greater good of someone else's bankroll.

I think what I'm more pissed about than anything else is that I knew everything I've just written WHILE I PLAYED THE HAND! I just continued to ignore myself the entire way.

A similiar scenario happened last Wednesday with the mookie (q-9 SOOOOOOOTED) two hands after I jumped to #1 in chips early in the tournament. Then about 45 minutes later in the .15/.30 deepstack blogger cash game when I gave 2 buy-ins to fellow bloggers in similiar fashion where I thought a suckout that benefited me and that the villian could definitely not see coming, got beat by the made full house or flush (the scenario where the river makes your hand but makes someone else's even better).

So it's a major but fixable leak in my game. Expect to see me cashing in the Mook on Wednesday when I have my head on straight and eliminate these stupid stupid mistakes.

See you at the virtual felt,


(sorry for the lack of posts, travelled to Iowa this past week visiting family and whatnot)

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