Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One of these days I'll win a race again

Went to Malahide last night, originally thinking it was their 270 Monthly game but actually their 110 weekly game. Fun tournament as ever in a very nice atmosphere and the best cappucino in Ireland made by the most beautiful hostess. I never got going and barely won a pot, drifting back into the pushfest after the break. Treaded water for a while with some pushes that got through, then a guy limping about 80% of hands limped again from MP, I decided ATs on the button was miles ahead of his range (almost 2 to 1 according to PokerStove) and shipped. I knew I had little or no fold equity as I'd already seen the guy call in a similar spot with KJo and Q3 sooted: most of the positive EV from this shove came from his willingness to call that light. Unfortunately he actually had something of a hand in this case: pocket 6's, but with my stack and urgent need for chips, I was quite happy to take a race at that point with the blinds providing overlay. Until I lost it anyway.

Rob and Cat both made the FT. Cat had a big stack but got unlucky, but still cashed in 5th, while Rob nursed a miniscule stack brilliantly to win outright. He made a couple of world class calls along the way, one with A9 in the SB after the BB reshipped with, it turned out, A8, and one headsup with fifth pair crap kicker. His performance underlined an idea that I've often had: that the edge of the better players increases almost exponentially the deeper you get into a tournament, so if you believe yourself to be one of those better players, you should do everything you can to survive to that point where others games start to crumble, even with a small stack (at least as long as the structure allows: you also need to know when to change gears).

Meanwhile, I was having a remarkably uneventful 3 hours at the cash table. I can't seem to get up for live cash at all, I just sit there intensely bored wishing I was in a tournament somewhere, but at least I seem to be getting better at it. I won precisely 4 hands and yet managed to finish over 2 buyins up despite getting only 2 decent hands worth playing. First hand I was playing junk (T8o) in late position because there was a drunk at the table paying people off and bluffing too much and I hit gin with TT2 and he went wild with K2. Next hand I flopped a baby flush playing 73s in the blinds and took the pot down with a check raise after a bet and a call. Third hand I won was multiway with a button raiser. Rags flopped, it's checked to him and he duly c-bets, everyone else folds and I decide my table image is good enough for a check raise bluff, and it is. Fourth hand: I pot it with QQ and am not to happy to have 4 callers, until the flop comes QTx. Checked round and I make a weakish less than half pot bet, and the last guy after a very long dwell calls. Turn's a brick and I bet a little less than half pot again and after an even longer dwell he folds AK. My night could have been even more profitable if I'd won the fifth big hand I was in when I got it all in on the turn only to be one outered on the river.

Still, a profitable night is a profitable night.

Played the online sat to Wexford on Bruce tonight with no joy. Started ok but with blinds rising I decided to make a move from the SB with A9 after the cutoff (who seemed very poor) limped for the umpteenth time. Again, A9 miles ahead of his limping range and with a shortie in BB wasn't too worried about him. As it was, he clearly woke up with a monster because he flatted for over half his stack, then the other guy shoved. I still think my A9 is probably good against him, he never has a hand after the initial limp, and in any case I'm getting over 3 to 1 on the call. BB has QQ, original limper has KQo which I'm obviously loving, until he hits a K to scoop. That effectively crippled me and I never recovered. Was wavering between playing this or Cavan the same weekend: I guess this tips the scales towards Cavan.

Oh well, sin e poker, a leanbh.



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