Monday, July 03, 2006

Mistakes Abound

I made two big blunders over the weekend that I am willing to share. The others, I will keep to myself.

Final Table-5K guaranteed True Poker (top 200 cash game players for month of June given entry)

With six players left, I am a middle stack with two others. We have one monster stack and two with about half the chips of the mid-stacks. I have not had to show a bluff in the tournament and have gotten this far by showing down big hands. The table is tight but for the big stack who is giving a lot of action to the small stacks (a mistake to talk about later). With the blinds at 500/1000, I raise from UTG with KQc 3x the BB. It folded around to one of the small stacks in the BB who called. The flop came middling cards with no clubs and the BB bets out 2000 into a T6500 pot. I make a mistake and call. My plan was to hit a K or Q or a scare card on the turn/river and bet him out. I was also leery of a flopped set with the small bet on the flop. A better play would have been to raise there, representing an over PP. If I get re-raised there, I can lay it down.

A blank fell on the turn and he checked. I made another mistake by checking behind. I should have gone ahead and put out a ½ pot-sized bet there as it would have put him to a decision for all his chips. The payouts jumped significantly with each elimination and he would have had enough to fold and still be in the game. My check gave a free card (ominous foreshadowing).

The river was a 3. He checked and I put out a 1/2 pot-sized bet and I swear I could hear him thinking about my hand. Phil Gordon has a nice section on bluffing in his Little Green Book. One of the factors he speaks of is showing appropriate strength throughout the hand. By just calling the flop bet, checking the turn, and then making a bet on the river 3, a card that should have in no way improved my hand, I telegraphed that I had over cards to the board. He did think for a while though before calling and turning over 34 for his rivered bottom pair. Nice call there. A bet on the turn would have won it.

In the Full Tilt 24 + 2, I made an even dumber mistake. Early in the second hour with an above-average stack, I raise 3x with ATs in late position and get a call from the button. The flop came 3T8 and I bet ½ the pot. The button immediately raises the minimum and I just call. I wrote last year about frustrating those who raise for free cards for straight and flush draws by re-raising. Forgetting my own advice, I just called behind. The turn came a complete blank and I checked with the intention of check-raising. Of course, he checked behind, foiling my dumb plan. The river looked like a blank to me. I checked under the theory that I was either way ahead or way behind and a bet from me would only get called by a better hand. He fired a ¾ sized bet into the pot and I was in a quandary. It looked like a bluff into his busted straight draw and the amount seemed about right to put maximum pressure on me without him having to commit his whole stack. Because I am so smart about sniffing out bluffs, I called with confidence and was dismayed to see him flip over J2c and that he had hit runner-runner clubs for his flush. A re-raise on the flop would have won that hand as well as a rational bet on the turn would have.

Leaks, leaks, leaks. Somebody pick up some spackle in Vegas and send it to me.

7 comments:

Mr. Parx said...

This post was helpful to me. Thanks. I haven't read your blog regularly, but I will try to keep up.

Best,

Mr. Parx

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