Gulf Coast Poker Championship and Lessons Learned part six

Continued from previous posts... (If you want to read from the start go to the first heading without the part two or three or four or...)

Of course the girl kind of lorded it over him, asking him if she shoved if he was pot commited with 80% of his stack in there. Anybody that knows Poker Texas Hold em knew she was mocking him a little bit because she was chip giddy and this continued for way too long without there being a point to it. I kind of hate that when players become bullies literally because of their stack size when they play poker tournaments.

She’d never banter that way against a stack that could hurt her (or at least she didn’t do it the entire time I was railing John) but in this situation where she had given up on the hand she had to kind of stick it to him. Saving face? For what?

Just fold. Or call and muck your garbage hand as you’ve put yourself in a spot where the pot is laying you 12 to 1, or raise him all in and lose the extra bet with your garbage because you still have a chance to knock some one out and get closer to the money. If you can just play the board you might still be obligated to call here, who cares look at the chip stack.

Lessons I learned from railing John (that sounds bad ignore the obvious please).

1. I got some bad table draws as late in the tournament he still had a lot of knuckleheads at his table. Not everybody is as good as the players I contended with which as comforting because I was starting to think everybody showing up at these things could play a little bit.

2. He reminded me that, as the blinds escalate it’s never over. Anybody is just a few hands away from contention (or expulsion). Don’t play hands that match up terribly with what will call you just because you are on life support. Dan Harrington will tell you to, but I’ve made more comebacks before learning Harrington’s hardfast rules in regard to M, then I have since. Granted you gamble and get back to dangerous a lot quicker with Harrington if you hit, but at the same time you are giving up on the next hand you could be dealt. A MTT is not a sit ‘n go.

It depends on the tournament, your bankroll, and a myriad of factors, but sometimes the best strategy is simply to do what will win you the tournament on that day. If that means not shoving with 87 suited in an unopened pot with under 10 big blinds, then don’t shove. Now, they are also a lot of things that I thought John showed his inexperience on. He made some extremely astute and thin value bets because he knew exactly where he was in the hand in some cases, but he also ignored weakness and checked down a couple of pots he could have taken with a bet in other ones.

3. Small bets are okay. It’s not necessarily a sign of weakness or a tell of strength. If you aren’t worried about a draw pick up some bets you’d lose by betting conventionally. Case in point, I used to employ this trick that I’ve completely forgotten about. Say I flopped or turned a huge hand. A lot of times I might put a little feeler bet out there.

Judging by the opponents reaction to it I might be able to overshove on the river and confuse him into a call if he’s got some strength. In one tournament I had AQ. Flop was AAx. Turn was a Q.

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