Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Improving in the BBT5

We're five games into the BBT5, and I'm showing a profit, but still without a ToC seat.

I've steadily improved as the series has progressed, both in terms of horseshoe powers and actual poker. I've rarely played a hand I couldn't justify (yes, even KO'ing Riggs with 89o.) I still need to up the aggression at key times, and need the odd "bounce" to go my way, but I like where I'm heading.

Sunday say me cash in 18th place, for a $36 profit. Last night's Poker From The Rail (which, when shortened to PftR reads like "poofter"... sorry, it had to be said, but does not reflect on Reverend Al, who is still da man) game saw me KO'd in 8th.

Last night was a case of lost races, bad position, and good decisions that had poor results.

AQ lost a couple races, including my final one. J9s on the button with a short stack isn't great, but enough to make me pause for thought. Until someone goes in before me. Of course, I would have won the hand and tripled up, but I can always console myself with good decisions, right? Right?

When I hit a few runs of cards, I got mostly blinds, or boards that crushed me. QQ looks great until you're up against an all-in and the chipleader. A9 won that hand, but I was smart enough to get out of the way before it cost me more than the cost of the flop. JJ went down to AA for a solid chunk of my stack, and I never really recovered from that one.

But my biggest problem was the guy to my left. Hoy, the eventual winner of last night's match, was there for the last half of the game. This wasn't such a big deal when our stacks were the same size. It became a problem as he built up a mountain of chips.

Hoy may lead you to believe he played only quality hands. In reality, he used his chipstack wisely. He made a few calls with suited connectors, A-rag, and other hands that he would have folded if the bets he was calling were any sort of threat to his stack. But they were catching. He also applied pressure at any sign of weakness. I can think of at least twice where he bet to put me all-in on the river and I was POSITIVE he was weak, but I was still weaker, so I had to let it go. Nor could I be sure I could have pushed him off whatever he had if I'd gone all-in before him. 9k vs 50k isn't really a contest in that case.

This position kept me from being too aggressive, and from being able to tell any sort of story that could get me a fold. Without cards, you have to rely on selective aggression and convincing your opponents you have them beat. Especially when you've got just enough chips to have some fold equity.

But a final table and back-to-back cashes ain't so bad. Here's hoping I keep the streak going. I'm not sure I'll make The Mookie this week, so I'll have to drag out that momentum a bit longer.


Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I was dealt pocket Aces 63 times last night.

Astin said...

That explains where they went. I think you were in my seat.

Dawn Summers said...

HAHAHA You had your own share of AA, Astin! I saw! And evidently that's kinda your thing as someone referred to them as pocket Astins.