Well, It’s Supposed to Build Character

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005, 10:49 pm

My play has been pretty ehhh lately, and I remembered something I read from DoubleAs that said, approximately, if you’re not pushing yourself your game won’t improve. That’s what I took from it, anyway. I haven’t played for stakes large enough to really command my full attention, and I think that’s led to sloppy, lazy, smelly play on my part.

So I kicked it up a notch. Still piddling, but enough that a win would be a nice score for me. I just got booted from a 2-table SNG and played about the best I possibly could under the circs. In the first 100 hands my best holding was pocket fours. And I had to muck those preflop. There were two maniacs at the table who had horseshoes so far up their asses it probably felt like they were sucking pennies. First hand one guy calls an all-in on a king-high board with AJ. He beats KQ when he turns an ace. The other guy knocks out three players after calling big preflop raises with total garbage. I sat there thinking, “Why can’t I be the one they donate to?”

In the end I knocked them both out, but at the final table when they’d gone short. I managed to steal just enough to survive when I finally landed a hand (queens) and got called by A-10. Then I pushed with AK and got called by the two big chip leaders. One had AK, the other had KJ. AK held up and the chip leader, who saw me go all in, and the guy in second call, was justifiably crippled. I took him out next hand and we were in the money.

Once there, I planned on shifting gears and going for the win. This is the biggest weakness in my tourney game (which yinz will find out in Vegas), I can’t accumulate a big stack. I cash a high percentage of the time, but I usually stagger to the finish line. Contrast this to last night, when I played a SNG during the Steeler debacle and, when I was called to play some mean-spirited ping pong, my friend Frank took over and doubled up three times so that when he got in the money he had a nice stack. I don’t know the circumstances of the hands he won (and I was the reason we lost, as I decided to push our shortstack in with only an open-end straight draw) but it was a rare occasion for me, having chips (for a time) near the bubble.

I really had to struggle to make the money tonight. I did have a couple nice hands, including an all-in check-raise that scared the chip leader away when I held zip. And once in the money, I was dealt Presto and went all-in. Got called by AJ, flop came king high, and then a ten, and then a queen. Ooogh. I win that hand I’m the chip leader and I think I go on to win the thing. But I don’t win and I’m out in 4th. And it hurt, baby.

Number one thing I need to work on is accumulating chips. Tight play against maniacs is at times required, but I’m sure I’m passing up chances to push the action when I have the advantage. And that’s bad poker. Tight is right, not always. Maybe I need to start drinkin’ more.

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One Response to “Well, It’s Supposed to Build Character”

  1. Pokerwolf Says:

    Yo, Gene.

    How often do you change gears during the tournament? Do you always play tight until the final table?

    And how often do you limp? When you have a bunch of doofuses who limp into a pot when you’re in late position, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t call with almost any two cards. You don’t have to do it often, but it never hurts to take a shot once in awhile.

    Don’t forget: If people think you’re a rock who doesn’t come in very often, then raising with just about anything should make them nervous. If they pay attention to that sort of thing. Also, if you’re at a tight table, especially one that’s passive, it never hurts to loosen your hand requirements a touch and roll the dice once in a while.

    I may be stating stuff that you already know, so if I am just ignore me. But, it never hurts to have a reminder once in a while either.

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