Ponder this quote posted recently on Poker Grump's blog (btw - if you're not reading this blog daily you are making a -EV move):
"Clear thinking begins when we make explicit the assumptions we were not aware we were making."
Essentially it relates to that "gut feeling" we get when trying to make a decision. Here's an example from early in the Mookie on Wednesday evening. I'll try to post the HandReplayer copy when I get home. Long story short:
It's in the first couple orbits of the Mookie. From what I remember somebody limps in front of me. I come along from MP with 5h7h. Classic example of a small suited gapper that flops very well and can destroy a lot of one pair hands like AJo etc. Believe the button limps as well and the BB checks his option.
Flop comes 5-6-6. I've hit bottom pair. Now what do I do. Check it through. Turn brings an 8 I believe and the BB opens for a small raise. Felt weird so I called. River is another rag. BB makes a decent sized bet at it. Again something just didn't feel right about the play. Granted he is BB so he could have essentially anything. But it just didn't feel right. I called and won the pot with my pair of 5s. BB had 10-2o. Complete air.
Someone then made a comment about the last time a bluff worked in a blogger game was in 2002.
Was my play correct? I don't necessarily think so but something told me I was ahead so I made the call and, indeed, I was ahead. It was that gut feeling that I've been ignoring so much.
I was watching Lucko go deep in yet another tourney last night (believe it was the 35k $5r guarantee on PokerStars). The bubble had already burst and Lucko was at the top of the leaderboard but on what I consider an interesting table. Immediately to his left was the 3rd or 4th in chips with the rest of the table ranging from the 50k-250k mark (Lucko and the other player had at least 1 mil chips). Anyways, Lucko made his standard raise and the BB pushed all-in for 150-200kish I believe. Lucko made the call with A9o. BB flipped up I believe Jh9h and didn't improve. That type of intuition and knowledge of table dynamics is what I need to learn.
You learn that by studying and experience.
I have a long road ahead of me. But with my gut and my desire, I will succeed.
PS: $266 (only 1 table for a half-hour last night for a couple bucks profit)
FT: $68 (I suck at early stages of MTTs. But I love playing them so will keep at it. I just don't seem to be able to build a stack early. There's got to be a reason guys like Lucko are so consistent. I just have to find out how. Any suggestions are much appreciated.)