Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Blind Play

Hey, y'all, I'll admit it; I'm a bad blogger. Sorry! I'm even a bad blog reader...I need to catch up with everyone and will try to get to that today since I have a day off from work. :)

2014 has not kicked off with the poker rungood I had hoped for. I've played four tournaments and have yet to cash. I did make a deep run in one of them, but I was hit with three river suckouts late and that was that. So, yesterday, I was going over the hands I've played, looking for a pattern or something, just trying to see what I could've done differently if anything. I posted the following pic on twitter (@jusdealem) and got some good feedback and discussion from 2 other local players. (One has a private account, so you probably can't see his comments if you go looking.) I appreciate their input.

I don't take notes at the table, even though I said I was going to start doing that this year, so I don't have exact stack sizes or what the blinds & antes were on some of those hands. I do have very good hand recall, though. I still remember hands, flops and who bet what from hands I played 6 years ago, ha! But I do need to start noting stacks & blinds in the future to get the most info from the hands.

But as you can see, I am having a helluva time from the blinds. In 3 of the 4 trnys I've played this year, I have busted from either the small blind or the big blind every time. I thought that was kinda odd and deserved some reflection. After going over them though, I think most were just coolers. Yes, I could've 3 bet the AT hand (that was actually a hand from last year that has already been discussed & dissected to death by me and others. Interestingly enough, that was the one that got the most discussion on twitter, as well. But I am over that hand, not sure why I even included it, really. So, let's move on...)

The only thing I know that I could've done differently was the Q2 vs J2 hand. I think I had about 15bbs to start the hand. It was at the end of level 9, so it was 600/1200/200 9 handed. UTG+1 limped in, he had about 20bbs. He was a loose player who liked to limp/call a lot trying to take it away later. He was at my first table and he had tried a donk-lead-river-bluff on me that I hero called with top pair for a nice pot. The sb was a typical, tight-ish older man with about 30bbs.

So, UTG+1 limped, the small blind completed and I checked from the big blind. Looking back, this would've been a perfect squeeze-shove spot for me. I think, not really sure about the UTG+1 player, because he did not like to fold pre, even with a short stack, but I think it's likely, due to our stack sizes and our history, he would've tank folded. But, even if he had've called, Q high is likely pretty good against his limping range there. I don't think he's limping with any Ax, Kx or pocket pairs. I think he is 100% raising those from what I had seen him play. As for the small blind, I am absolutely certain that he would've folded his J2. Instead, I flop trips and he flops a boat on 22J. Meh. But because I was not paying attention, I missed a great spot to shove and I was out. Lesson learned: I should always be paying attention and looking for good steal spots. Always. Especially when short stacked. Focus, focus, focus. Ugh.

So, there's that. I may have said this before, but poker tournaments, while they do require some luck, are almost more about not putting yourself in a position to get 'unlucky'. I think you have the ability through good play to avoid some coolers and I feel this one was definitely avoidable.

Also, note to self: chip up more early to withstand the inevitable cooler or 2. Oh, and run good. :)