Yesterday, I endured another bad run with big cards and had to keep pushing money into the pot because I knew it was the right thing to do. Still, that at times requires almost as much guts as a bluff when you are running so bad. Courage was important yesterday and I actually lacked it in a critical place, very odd because I talked myself out of making a move when I knew it would work.

Still, it wasn't all bad. I ran much better in the sit n gos yesterday. 1 win. 1 chop. 1 second (money back) and 1 third and 1 fourth. The game I came in third I had aces twice. Yes. I won with them both time... the blinds. The 4 of 5 is so misleading because I think all my wins are blinds or preflop folds. All the ones I lose are the suicide bombers that cripple my stack or knock me out. The game I came in fourth, KK knocked me out, yeah guy chased his open ender-(had an overcard to the board too but a bad call because he was priced out and would have had plenty of chips... still with so many people looking at those things as crapshoots have to expect they'll gamble with a chase).

The cash is still killing me. Last night I raise to 20 preflop from the button hoping to take the 7 limpers with KQ suited. The big blind calls me, leaving him with one black chip ($100). I have a feeling he's going to throw it in on me. He just saw me make a move on a guy (more on that later) and is kind of an unharnessed agressive player. Flop comes out Q44. I fire 40. He tosses in the chip all in. I stew, I want to be sure my read is right especially after I got exactly the type of flop I was looking for.

Of the range of hands he could call a 20 raise with AQ makes sense, arguably pocket 44s too but not so much. AAs makes a little bit of sense but I don't credit him with being savvy enough to play them that way. He's looking worried as I stew. Yep, he's making the move. So, I make the obvious call. Donkey is making a move with A10. Yeah... Well, you know the script.

A couple of hands earlier, this guy had just sat down and gotten the complete wrong image of me. He saw me mix it up with this conservative latin guy to my left. Latin dude is a little bit pissed after losing a hand in front of his friend who just walked up. I think he's tilting a bit. I got 23 of hearts in middle position, I see him readying a raise, so I fire a pre-emptive raise to disguise my hand and to c-bet if the flop is high or nail him when it comes low. I've played strictly quality starting hands for two hours in front of him, and am getting the type of respect with auto-folds when I play a hand that I feel I'm ready to make some moves.

So, I bet. He hesistates and calls. Maybe he is on tilt and now is going to chase. Glad he didn't reraise, so I think he's got a farily decent hand and one I can probably make a move on, but not a great hand.

Flop comes 10 high. I check. He bets 15. I call. Turn is another 10. 10 didn't make much sense for him, seeing another one is good news. I check. He bets 15 (weakish) again (with a total I'm fishing toss to the pot). I check-raise putting 60 on top. He stews and calls. I think he's tilting and making a save face call.

River is a brick. My bluff is ready. I go through the range of hands he could have, and I have to credit him with something. Two overs or a mid pair make sense. I line up the chips and try to figure out what's enough to get him off the hand but doesn't look like I'm buying the pot... THEN my hand starts shaking (what??? lack of sleep, a little bit of beer as late night food at the wild sit 'n gos and/or nerves). I fumble my chips. I flashback to that huge bluff I made with Eddie in town where my voice cracked and I thought I doomed myself. The dude is eyeballing me hard. I think I've just dropped the ball. I finally lose my courage like a kitten in a factory. I decide to check. He checks and turns over pocket jacks, I muck angrily he would have pitched that hand, and he says, "You bet I fold. You did get me too get scared of that 10."

Gave my opponent too much credit. Should have fired even with the fumble because I can still win the hand and if I lose I can at least parlay showing 23 into getting action. Can't stop there even if I think I've blown it. Just stupid on my part.

Why 23 you ask? I read a little bit of Harrington on Cash games at Barnes and Noble, yeah, their sofas are comfortable and it's around the corner so it's kind of my personal library, and he mentioned Bill Chen's mathmatical analysis in poker theory, that you should bluff when you have absolutely nothing, not when you have a middle pair or a draw (well that's a semi-bluff at times and a little bit different). The reason being there is value in those middle pairs and marginal holdings. You can still win some money from them by say check calling if your opponent is weak. You push them as in a bluff and you only get action from hands that beat you and folds and no return from the hands you can beat (also eliminate the value of the check call when your opponent is c-betting with air). When you bluff with nothing, you are creating value from a hand that is worthless. 23 on a board like that is worthless, except you can create a story that makes it look like say A10 or a set.

Well, it's one thing to read it and another thing to enact it. Well, at least I can blame myself for losing cash and not whine about bad beats and donkeys. This time at least I was the doughnut, all dough and no nuts.


Goondingy said…
It's all good. I posted something new.

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