Self-doubt has been creeping in lately. Creeping, hell, it has moved into my sunroom, feeding the goldfish, and reading my antique erotica. In an attempt to “be a good player” in the blogger events, I have dumped chips with some pretty crappy hands by making moves with hands that aren’t even hip enough to do the robot. Scared to be pegged as weak-tight or even TAG, I have been trying to mix up my game with some pretty unspectacular results. The problem is, is that I was a pretty good player in these events before I got all self-conscious about my image. Also, it is a pretty basic truth that is small MTT events, tight is right. In massive MTTs, I have been playing much more aggressively than usual in an attempt to get a big stack early or bust out trying. The results there have been generally good with some deep runs but no big cashes. A positive for me though, is that I don’t get that familiar feeling of helplessness as I sit and wait for the big PP that never comes, eventually getting blinded away to nothing around the bubble and having to push and pray with marginal full table holdings. (marginal being an euphemism for “please see my push as strength and not as the act of a desperate man with two suited but unconnected cards.”)
In the smaller MTTs though, it is proper to wait and fold until you get into good spots. You do not have to get lucky nearly as much to place in a small event as you do in a massive. Now, I don’t lay down everything but big PP, but I do restrict my calling range to hyper-tight proportions early. I do try to raise every hand with which I am the opener and I do call some raises with the usual suspects (small pp, 76s, and the like). I know I am not fooling anyone who has played with me at all, even though I am sure Hoy was a little surprised last week in the free roll when he called a raise from the BB while I was in the SB, called a flop bet, and checked it down from there with me, only to reveal we both had 56. I would love to double through with those type of cards against AA or KK. Sometimes it happens and you know the rest of that sentence.
In the Big Game, I played super-tight throughout with a 10% “saw the flop” statistic. I made some big raises late that were respected and made some calls that worked out well. As I said, you only have to get lucky a few times to do well in a small tournament. On two notable hands, I was a dog and sucked out to stay alive. Against Don, I pushed with K5s and he called with AJs. I didn’t mind that spot as I was below average with about 7 left and I need to double up to have any shot at the title. I am almost 2/3 there with the cards that were revealed and of course, there was good fold equity in that spot pre-flop. I got lucky with a 5 and doubled through a big stack. The big hand for me was getting a miracle Q against Hoy’s AK. He raised from UTG and I pushed from the SB. Of course, it turned out to be an awful play when the cards were flipped but I hit the Q and doubled again against the new big stack. Ten-handed and with a decent stack, I fold the AQ there. I think we were 4 handed though and I was short but not short enough that my bet put no pressure on Hoy if he had anything but what he had.
In the final three, I did make a lay down to Hoy’s raise that turned out to be supported by 72s. If I would have called, I am sure he would have hit the flush and I would have third place money. (not really, just trying to make myself feel better for making the “smart’ play). On the last hand, I raised with KT and Hoy re-raised. I had pre-determined my reaction in the event he raised which was an all-in. I had 1/3 of my stack in and felt I was going to be getting the right number there. I also was looking to show the willingness to push as I didn’t want to fold and have him go into hyper-aggressive mode against a pansy. He actually had KQ though and I was screwed. A ten on the flop probably made him kick the cat, but he finished off with a straight for the win. Nice job.
Play the MATH. It’s American. Someone let a
I owe someone a bounty for the free-roll. The player I thought knocked me out wasn’t even in the tournament. If you know who you are, e me your shirt size and address. You had QQ and I had J9s.