Letter to the Package Holders Continued
I paused again. In this case, I had decided I was going to play a big early pot and if I got sucked out on, so be it. I felt confident he just had a king and it was unlikely he held two spades in his hand. No straight draw out there that made sense. I raised. He called fairly quickly.
On the turn, a third spade hit the board and he checked. Again, I deliberated a while before acting. I was worried a fourth spade might hit the river, giving me the nut flush but giving him a reason to get away from the hand. So, I overbet the turn and put it all in. My intention was for it to smell a little fishy, I guess it did because after a while he called me and doubled me up.
I didn't look back. I hero called a woman with second pair 109 on an Ace high board. Strong read by me, and fuel to encourage the other players to not mix it up with me. I slowly built my stack by utilizing that image, position and betting. Our table did not break until the redraw for the final three tables and I pretty much did anything I wanted. One dip in the day came when I opened three times in two or three orbits and ran into hands. Every time I got reraised, twice I folded and when I showed my hand or talked about it, my opponents showed me aces. The other time, I pushed back and a short stack instacalled with Queens.
Anyway, as I approached the money Gene made the cash in his tournament. He also looked ready for business on the day and was steadily chipping up. Finally, the possibility of a really big day for the package.
When we finally did break my table I went from one of the big stacks to an immediate shortie. It felt like, all the chips in the tournament were at my new table and I was behind everybody else. One of the perks of not breaking a table is playing your same opponents all day and reinforcing the perception of you, you want them to have. The negative is the chips seem to stagnate, especially at a tight table like the one I was on, and you can only make so much money.
The new table had a guy on a suicide mission who acted two before me, and literally a pot never got to me that was unopened. So now, my range of hands got narrower. Despite, his fatalism, I won a couple of all-ins without getting called and listened to them discuss how tight I was. Sweet, license to steal and chip up.
My image was so good, I folded pocket Jacks from the big blind to one bet. He showed Aces (good fold). In that spot, I'm supposed to reshove every time but I just felt beat and gave it up. I got into trouble earlier in the week when I did what I was supposed to, even though I just felt beat (I was). This time I listened to my feelings. I did the exact same thing from the SB a couple of rounds later with AQ and the guy claimed AK.
I've been fine tuning a short-stack strategy for the bubble that I'd like to explore the numbers behind. Wish I had a computer simulation to approximate this, but I think I'd rather shove any two random cards (with a tight image that I maintain) then call off anything but AA, KK, and QQ. And by call off, I also include a reshove where enough of my opponent's stack is in the middle I have no fold equity.
If my opponents are ceding me pots I think I'm better off making them make decisions. I win more often (though win less because most aren't true doubles) when they fold a high percentage of the time. The low percentage they call I can still win. Granted when they call I'm usually a big underdog than a small favorite.
Anybody a math whiz?
So, finally I make the money. I'm now short and they redraw tables again. Somehow I get almost all players I haven't played with who have no idea how I play. We lose two players fairly quickly and then as so frustratingly happens I see short stack after short stack double and survive.
Finally, I'm in the big blind with AK. I'm down to ten big blinds (just under 50k). I see a lady in early position make a terrible bet and I get the feeling this moment is going to be my Waterloo. She bets a scaredish 25k. I know she's weak and making a terrible play to steal the blinds.
For those that are new to the game, pay attention to the minimum size bet that will induce folds and bet it. Don't overbet thinking you'll thin the field better. Good players will recognize that for what it is and play back at you. In essence the exact opposite of your intention will occur. Also, if you bet small it's easier to get away when a good hand comes over the top. When you do have a good hand, you have room to bloat the pot subtlety too. You induce a reraise and have room for one or two of your own.
Anyway, it felt like a weak ace and my AK crushes that. I ship it, and she doesn't even want to call the rest. Another rule of thumb I have is if a shorter stack is in the big blind, I never put chips into the pot unless I'm willing to play for his stack (or if he's a supernit and I expect a fold). The fact she over bet A3 and then was stuck to a pot because of my stack size illustrates what a big blunder she was making.
Had she bet the minimum, I come over the top she folds. Instead she's in bad shape and has to call. She gets there, makes a flush (double ugh) and I exit the tournament with a min cash.