Life Shouldn't Be A Fuckin' Grind

I will never be a poker pro, but my lifetime poker ledger is positive and I think that's something to be proud of.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

2 1/2 Hours I will never get back

I've just about finished volume 1 of Harrington on Hold'em (an excellent read btw), and I've been on a run cashing in like 5 or 6 straigth FullTilt SnG's, so I decided to take a crack at the 1 am $5.50 MTT on FTP. 383 people played and the top prize was over almost $500, a great return for 5 bucks. However, only 36 people would cash and lowest payout was like $8, making it hardly worth your time to try to sneak into the money. I decided I was going to try to play my best and my goal would be to make the final table. I played well early on, doubling up with AT vs. A7, after I pre-flop raised in position and was called by the big blind. I believe all the money got in on the turn. I then picked off another short stack when I limped with 44, called a late position min raise and flopped my set, I checked and the raiser pushed his last 800 in, overbetting the pot; there's no way I'm not calling with a set and he turns over AQ drawing virtually dead and I'm up to about 4000, putting me in the top 15 in chips in the first half hour.

Unfortunately, I really couldn't get much going after that, I played solid tight poker, but didn't get a lot of cards. I stole blinds when I could and picked up a few pots here and there, keeping myself around even and climbing bit by bit, but not really fast enough. I had one other hand, which had a huge effect on my tournament. With blinds of 60/120, I had a stack of 3990 and picked AKo in 4th position, the guy on my right raised to 300 and I raised the pot, making it 1080 to go; 2 people folded and the button went all-in for another 130, the original raiser folded and I called. He turned over AJ and I'm in a dominant position to pick up almost 1700 more chips. Unfortunately, the flop came down 3T3, the turn was a 4, but the river brought another T and a split pot. Had I won that whole pot I may have been able to play a little more aggressively going forward. Unfortunately, I didn't see many good hands and after that, but still managed to steal the blinds from time to time and keep my stack moving up a little and at least keep even with the blinds.

Then, with 48 players left and blinds of 300/600 with a 75 ante my stack had been whittled down to 4690 well below average. I picked up KQ in the big blind and stubbed my toe a little bit. The two people in early position called the 600, then MP1 with a pretty deep stack raised to 1800, I figured he may be trying to steal the money already out there and as long as he didn't have AA, KK, QQ, AK or AQ, I wouldn't be in terrible shape against him, the pot was already laying me 2-1 on the money I had left in stack and I decided to try to make a move and pushed. The two limpers folded, but the raiser called me with 66 which held up and my tournament was done. My play was probably somewhat motivated by frustration, because I felt that I may have been playing a little too tight. I had folded an AQ to a raise a few hands before and watched the flop bring two Queens, a hand which probably could have double me up and put me in position to make a decent run. I'm not sure whether or not I made the right play, but I wonder if I'm being a little results oriented because I busted so close to the bubble, with a stack that I probably could have nursed into the money. I realize that had a King or Queen hit the board and I won the coinflip I'd probably have considered it a pretty good play, but since I lost I leave myself wondering if I would have been better off folding and looking for a better spot. The math works out pretty favorably for me though. There was already 4500 in the pot when it got to me and I had 4015 left, if I assume that the original raiser is definitely going to call, I'm getting correct pot odds as long as he doesn't have one of the five hands that has me slaughtered. I'm getting 1.82-1, giving me better odds than I need against all but the five hands that have me slaughtered.

Still though, I think that folding may have been better, the blinds were definitely getting high in relation to my stack, I did have a little left to hang around with. In the end, I think the biggest issue might be my goal. If I'm playing with scared money, just trying to hang on and cash, I should fold, if I'm trying to go deep into the money, the push here gives me a great chance to do so, in a spot where I can probably get my money in in a fairly favorable spot. Since cashing for 8 bucks was not what I got into the tournament to do and would have very little affect on my bankroll, I think that pushing here in an attempt to give myself a stack that I can work with was probably the best play. The math on the hand ended up working out. Maybe I'll post the hand on FCP and see what they think.


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