Online Poker... Lessons learned (2 of 4)

Continued from previous post...

In the Texas Hold em poker satellite, everybody tightened up as the bubbble came and I knew I was going to have to weather some shoves and maybe some flips to get the seat. Course, had I not sat on my hands I might at that point have entered the safe zone, instead I was on the edge like I was in a turbo Sit'n go.

Using that as a bad lesson for the MTT, I returned from the break and quickly got snapped off in two hands in a row, losing flips in both to get knocked out. The first hand, I isolated an opponent with a pocket pair (maybe 8s) and was getting about 4 to 1 on my money. Great spot to be 50/50 for only 1/7th of my chips. He hit both of his overs, which I usually enjoy because it's no different than hitting one, when the rivers coming because a set still wins it for me.

Usually, beats seem to have a sense of humor by teasing the player with needless bettering cards if you know what I mean. The river brought no set, and I fell a bit in my stack but I was still in 2nd. Now first in chips had just moved to my table and while I hadn't played with him I was tracking his chip counts earlier in the tournament and saw he accumulated them in pretty big chunks.

I got AQ and raised two limpers from the button. The chipleader than overshoved. I thought about his chip progress and realized he was likely picking off people by putting their stacks at risk and picking up a ton of chips in these situations. He also probably had a marginal hand. While not a surefire signal that he didn't have a monster, as it would be a good way to disguise it, I was pretty confident he was light and making a play.

I put him on a weaker ace or a smallish to middle pocket pair. I sat and thought, and saw I could fold and be in decent shape, but I wouldn't be able to cruise on the final table. At the same time, I would be now sitting to the right of a really big stack who liked to shove for the remainder of the tournament. I could give up the hand. However, I was a major favorite over AJ, A10, A9, and A8. Same with KQ. KJ, K10 I was also a favorite over. Then I was coin flipping with his almost all his other hands.

However, ICM probably would have told me the risk wasn't worth the reward. Course, one of the mentalities I respect the most in poker, is the Hoyt Corkins school of thought, when he’s the big stack he’s not hiding from the other big stack because he’s the only guy that can double him up and help him win the tournament. Hoyt doesn't hide from anybody at the table (even this girl pictured). Plus IBFIOICM told me to do it.

I think F it. F it. F it. Invariably, I find anytime in poker that I say F it, bad things happen. I was going to snap this overshover off, I decided. This hand was going to propel me to tournament victory as I would have a ton of chips. I hit call. He had 66. I bricked in five straight cards, and they went to the final table 9 handed. Instead of winning 300x I won 16x. Yay!

Okay, then I just had my satellite to finish off, though I contemplated extending the night and buying in to another massive MTT, bed was calling (despite the Blue Moon I had just opened). In the satellite, I found my senses and did just what I needed to to stick around and win the seat. Then I saw it would be starting noon the next day when it was just me and the one year old.


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