Saturday, August 11, 2012

Time to reevaluate?

I've been thinking about the way I play poker tournaments. By that, I mean local tournaments. The best regular tournament is the 4 p.m. tournament at the Horseshoe on Saturdays. you get 12K in chips, the levels are 30-minutes and the blinds don't zoom up at the speed of light.

When I play in WSOP Circuit Events or WPT Satellite Events, playing tight is clearly right. Players who over-do bluffing and making moves are making a big mistake. In the local tournaments, however, I'm beginning to think it's right to loosen up.

I played today and was card dead. After nearly three hours of play, I had won exactly one pot: Q J while in the big blind versus the small blind. I bet the jack-high flop and he called. I bet when a low card came on fourth street, and bet again when a queen (giving me top two pair) came on the river.

When the blinds were 600/300/75, a loose cannon raised to 3500 from early position. He had previously made one of these overbets and later shown K 8 when called by a short stack. I had 9250 chips left and peeked at my hole cards to see J J staring back at me. I didn't see the point of calling (and perhaps enticing someone else to call), so I moved all in.

The button studied for a bit, then he announced all in. The original bettor surprised me by also calling and turning over A K. The problem, however, was that the button showed A A. I didn't improve and was out.

This deal shows the problem with being a cautious player. I never build up enough chips (early on) to withstand a cooler or a bad beat.


  1. The question is -- can you play that style and still wiin?

  2. Are you letting short term results question your style of play?? You know what to do, you know how it needs to be done, just do it and don't question yourself. Tight is right and TAG style is the long term winner, but you already know that. Get rid of these self doubts immediately. They are counter producvtive.

  3. Heater > cooler > heater > cooler
    Wash - rinse - repeat
    You had a hell of a run. The cards seemed "normal" and maybe they were. So when it goes to hell, it must be you?

    Are you not building stacks because you are doing it wrong or is it because you are getting crappy cards?

    There are tournaments that match ones sweet spot. You understand the true dynamic. I can recall two really strong ones and a number of almost ones. Your game meshes and you know where to change gears.

    That stud tournament I used to write about on UB was the last. I won even above what a solid player should. At times, if the other guys cards played face up, I wouldn't have played much better. But, I'd have days/periods where I could make the first break without being in trouble. What you don't do when streaks go cold is out think yourself.

    Bricks and mortar cycle worse. Not enough hands/chances. Internet time flies. The bad spots don't seem as bad. You haven't really played the amount of hands you need for over thinking things.

    You have the right mojo in Tunica. I have repeatedly said that. People mostly didn't understand and thought what I was saying was a puff job. It wasn't. You mesh with that tournament. Believe!

  4. I know exactly how you feel, Mojo. In fact, my husband and I were talking about the exact same thing after my river suckout exit last night in that tourney. In the few tournaments I've played, I've had some deep runs and one small cash, but I'm always on a shortstack. I never have the chips to take a suckout and recover. I really feel I need to work on opening up a bit more early on and be more aggressive in my post flop play. The problem is, there's a fine line between aggressive and spewy in these things and I think to balance this, you have to have great reading abilities (which I think you do, I'm still working on mine). But you said you were card dead last night and it's hard to get very aggressive with a stream of crap cards, so not much you could do there.

    I'm going to experiment some with my next trny, no drastic changes, just open up a little and see what happens. It's frustrating to run deep and not cash!

    BTW, you may already know this, but they are changing the Sat. trny up a bit starting this week to a re-entry, which I don't care for. 13,000 chips, 20 min levels for the first 6 levels with re-entry, 30 min after. Meh, I'm just not a fan of re-entry trnys.

    With Re-Entry
    No-Limit Hold’em Tournaments 3 PM
    $12,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool
    $125 Buy-In + $25 Entry Fee + $10

  5. Jus, if I can call you by your first name, I love rebuys. I just don't plan to rebuy. I used to kill in a guarantee that I started playing for the overlay. At one table I watch a poor player rebuy so many times he need 3rd to break even. BTW, that guarantee never ended up with overlay by the house. The bad play provided that.

    I mentioned above that there were two tournament I owned. This was the other one. It was so +EV! Places paid are normally computed at the start but the payout jump.

  6. I'll be gone for the next two tournaments. If you don't intend to re-enter, then it's to your advantage to play in these tournaments. There's extra money in the prize pool, and the ones who enter again are more likely to be fish.

  7. Mojo, sounds like you should try playing more small ball early in the tournaments. Limp or make small raises more frequently while the blinds are low and control the pots, so you are not going to get coolered in the early-goings. If you end up losing some chips, you'll have time to come back, and from lasting so long so frequently, you probably have a pretty solid short-stack game, if you need to use it.

  8. Well, I'll give the re-enter a shot..we'll see how it goes.

  9. And that's why you're a good player - as successful as you are in tournaments, and you're constantly evalulating what you can do to improve...

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