Tuesday, August 14, 2007

2 + 7 + aggression - pansiness + timely cards = MATH Win

The best play I made all night was going to the bathroom. About halfway through the first level in the MATH, I reached a break in another MTT where I was at the final table. Figuring I was sacrificing very little by auto-folding some hands in early position, I took off up the stairs. When I returned, I collected all my accessories before sitting down and looking at the screen. I was in the small blind and Bayne had raised from the cutoff. The button had not acted yet. I, of course, had AA staring at me along with the big, blue “I’m Back” button. I fumbled the mouse as I tried to click the right, bottom corner of the screen and got there just as the Button acted and I was auto-folded. If I would have made it back in time, I am sure my AA would have been cracked and I would have been crippled.

Anybody else feel that way sometimes?

Last week in the MATH, I had AA twice and both times it was cracked by small PP. In my recap, I made no mention of this fact. Why? When it comes down to it, the hands had no real effect on my tournament. Sure, I lost a bunch of chips both times, but I had a bunch to lose fortunately. Even when I was cracked the second time, I was close to an average stack and very much alive. The hands I did reference had a much larger impact as they were hands for my tournament life. Lose one of them and I was out. I can’t allow myself to get into “what if” when I don’t double up on a dominating hand. I tell every Cubs fan that Steve Bartman didn’t lose that game for the Cubs. They still had opportunities in the field and at bat to get the job done. The game is not over until the last out, the clock runs out, or you are out of chips. Until then, you’ve got no time to bitch. There is still a job to do. Getting big hands beat is a part of life. I strive to see the big picture in the hope it will allow me to remain a productive player for many years. Reacting calmly to bad beats is one way I try to keep my head straight.

Conversely. I don’t get too hyped up when I hit a runner, runner four card flush to knock out KK or similar hand. I tip my hat to the variance gods and move on. I actually used to feel bad when I laid a particularly vicious beat on someone, but not anymore. We all get lucky sometimes.

Last night, I doubled with AA early and built my stack to a top three position that held most of the tournament. Four handed, I tried to get aggressive but Alan kept me at bay on my right with his raising. Once he was out, I started raising almost every hand. I somehow got into a situation where I was the loosest player at the table. That just doesn’t happen for me often. I doubled up Swimmom95 twice with cards that were good pre-flop (AJ v. Q9 and AQ v. A8) and was down to 8k with over 70k on the table. I continued to raise as much as I could though and eventually got heads up with IslandBum. I haven’t looked at the history, but it seems as though we played forever. We played so long, there were no rail birds at the end. They were either in bed or watching a more exciting game somewhere else. We handed the chips back and forth for a while before we finally got in with two clubs each on a two club board. Fortunately, my big one was a King and I picked up my first real MATH win (discounting a 4 way chop somewhere along the line). I’ve been running pretty well in MTTs lately with some deep runs in big events. It is nice to get a win though.

These things are more important than poker.

A life lesson in courage


They should have let Joe Speaker write this one.


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