Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Back on the horse

So with three principals sick the week before opening, our director decided to give us all the night off to rest, recuperate and work on lines.

So I played poker. Duh.

There's a small tournament that runs on Tuesday nights that I've had some success in in the past, so I gave it another shot last night. While it is a little frustrating to play for 4 hours, finish in the money and still lose $30, it was nice to play a session and not feel bad about really any of my play for a change.

The structure goes something like this - $60 gets you $4,000 in chips. $10 tip to the dealer gets you another $2,000 in chips and there is one optional $60 rebuy or add-on (but you don't get to do both). So there's about $10,000 in chips for the folks that immediately take their rebuy, or $6K for the rest of us. Blinds are 20 min levels for the first hour (also the rebuy period) and start at 25/50. After that they go up every 15 minutes.

A little fast? I agree, but not my game, I just live in it. So last night we had 16 runners, and I was sitting around the middle of the pack at the break. Didn't take long to get down to the final table, and that's when I was actually able to play a little. I kept my M floating around 11-14 for most of the night, stealing when I could and taking advantage of mistakes when I saw them. Without any real notable hands other than my Kings holding up, the bubble had burst and I was in the money.

We were all pretty evenly stacked, but still only had Ms of about 8, so for the next 30 minutes or so the preflop all-in was all it took to pick up the blinds (no antes in this game). Then an interesting hand happened where I was able to exploit the mistake of a young guy at the table. One of the other players, who also is one of the guys that runs the game, had just gotten done teaching the kid (I called him Maverick because of his aviator shades) about keeping his higher denomination chips out in front of him, and I'd just busted him about candy-striping his stacks, trying to teach him to keep his stacks clean so people can see what he's got going on, chip-wise. He's UTG and I'm the button 4-handed.

Blinds are 1,000/2,000 and Maverick throws out a 5,000 chip then once it slides to a stop says "that's a raise." Well, of course a single oversized chip without an announcement is not a raise, it's a call. So he's forced to limp. I look down at my 5s6s and limp right along, although I likely would have called the raise in that situation, given that it was a hand that turns into a monster if it hits and is easy to get away from if it doesn't. Of course I hit the flop hard, with 5d9d6c on the board, and he folds to my bet. He asks, and I tell him that no, I'm not in that hand if he makes a legal raise. A lie, but it is a poker table, so it's not like I'm under oath.

I would like opinions on how I went out. Blinds are 2,000/4,000 and I've got about T24,000. One card is exposed during the deal, so the burn card is the Qs. James, an aggressive player who is wont to steal, pushes all in from the button into my big blind. This could be any big Ace, and pocket pair, or even any two suited connectors higher than an 8 judging by the way he's played previously. He's the only one left in the tournament with a real concept of M and late-stage play, so the range of hands I put him on was pretty wide.

I look down at AdQh, and think about that Queen laying face up in the center of the table. Then I think about all the hands he could have that I'm ahead of (about 60% of his range) and all the hands he could have that I'm behind (about 40% of his range) and how many of that 40% I could catch up to and/or pass if I hit my Ace or one fo the two remaining Queens (about 80% of the 40%). I call.

He flips up his dueces, I don't improve, he hits a set on the turn and IGHN. The flop gave me four more outs to the straight, negating the dead Queen out, but that's pretty irrelevant. What do you think of the way I played this? I think I'm too short and it's too late to do anything but push with Ace-paint, because if I win, I'm chipleader, and if I lose, I get to go to bed. That did actually factor into my decision a little because I knew that at best I had about 30 minutes of optimal play left in the tank, so it was now or never for many reasons.


biggestron said...

Here is what I* think.

1) don't start a tourney you can't finish (so saying you are tired is not good strategy!)

2) I think I'd fold. If you are hoping for a coin-flip with a Q exposed, you don't have one. If you are hoping for a dominating Ace, you aren't so dominating.

I'd wait for a better spot to push (which, if you decide to play that hand was the right thing to do).

*all opinions are those of a weak-tight donkey

Pokerwolf said...

I think I'm too short and it's too late to do anything but push with Ace-paint,

Ding! Winner!

Your M is somewhere around 2. You need chips. Game, set match. Your read on the guy only makes me push my chips in faster.