So I bricked another one of the small deep stack tournaments in my package.  I chipped up pretty quickly and despite playing at the best table I've played at so far managed to bulldoze my way to a chip stack with no cards.  I played pretty snug until I felt like I had established an image.  In late position I opened (don't remember the holding) and I ended up triple barreling a guy on a board that got wetter and wetter.  He found a fold and I wondered what he had on the turn that he couldn't call the river.

Later, I kind of fell into a hand that I felt pretty proud of... a guy in  late position to my left had been punishing the limpers, I didn't limp all day but I thought I might be able to create some free money, when predictably the UTG dude limped again.  So did UTG+1.  I was in mid position with Qd9d.  It didn't matter what I had per se, but I felt like that hand fared all right postflop if the plan I was fostering with awry.  So I limped.

As I hoped, the guy on the button put out a raise 4x the button's bet.  Just as predictably the best player at the table in the bb, jumped in with a call.  The two limpers followed suit.  Time for a back raise.  I thought the button was good enough to recognize this as strength, same with the big blind.  I think amateur players just focus on the fact I initially limped from mid position and don't give the raise any credit.  Better players recognize I could be making a sophisticated move with a hand.  I done just this with big pairs when the table dynamic allowed it.

When the first two folded, I was fairly sure I'd get through.  The first limper folded but the second limper was having none of that.  He called.  Big pot.  I was cbetting any flop.  It came Jack high.  He checked and he folded almost before my chips hit the center of the table.

So, I continued to chip up and then hit a couple of hands.

The best player at the table and I were chipleaders, until they moved a kid from England to our table with a ton of chips.  Nonetheless I felt we somewhat dodging one another.  Then this happened.  He opened from early position.   I looked at 99s and decided just to call.

Bam!  9 ball on the flop.  He checks to me.  I bet out as there are two spades and the board is a little bit co-ordinated.  He raises.  Been through this drill before.  Check-raising the draw.  Alright, I overship and he calls.  He has a pair and a flush draw.  We are about 70% to win.  Turn is dry.  River is the spade.

Sucks... without showdown I had doubled my starting stack.  My first real big hand and I was walking for the exit.

Now on to the mistakes.

Twice I felt I didn't listen to my gut.

I played a big hand in a tournament later that day when I opened with Jacks, a fairly solid player three bet me.  I called and flop came King high.  He led into me and did two tells (one bet sizing the other vocal) that let me know he didn't love the board.  I should have raised him there.  I immediately narrowed his range to just a few hands like QQ, 1010 or AQ maybe 99.

Instead of rasining I called with the idea I'd reevaluate on later streets.  A king on the turn slowed us down.  Now, it was a little harder for me to represent a King in my hand.  We both checked.  When he did, I knew I was going to bet the river to dictate how much more I'd have to put in the pot.  I led out and he called with QQ.

My mistakes in that hand were allowing myself to play a biggish pot with JJ against a capable and tight player.  Could easily fold there (that table unlike the deep stack earlier) was the easiest I played all week so plenty of other spots to get chips.  Next it wasn't listening to my gut and going for it on the flop with a raise.  Lastly the river blocking bet.  I shove there or bet large and I don't think he can call.

Now, his hand was transparent to me, but I'm not so sure my hand was face up to him.  I think I could easily have AK and check the turn to him, so hard for him to call off on the river, I think.  High risk but better to go for it than not.

Another time I didn't listen to my gut and push back I was also punished.  In a blind v. blind hand from a tournament two days ago I had 107 and flopped a 7.  Also was a 53--two hearts on the board.  I bet he called.  Turn was a third heart but was a 2.  I checked for pot control and he insta bet (strong is weak) and I knew he didn't hit his flush.  Also wasn't worried about A4.  Actually because he didn't bet pre as he did with any ace I wasn't worried about an Ace.

So I call.  The river is a four.  I check and then he bets out with strength (no verbal weakness either) and I study the board.  Only thing that beat me was a six.  How could he go from weak on the turn to strong on the river.   I call instead of folding.  I know I'm beat but I can't resist seeing why.  He shows 96.  He flopped a double gutter.

Ugh.  Listen to your gut, and don't call to see. Trust you are right and let it go.

Alright Millionaire Maker is just a couple of hours away.  I can't wait to play long levels (despite the short starting stack) and really focus.  Have some friends who made some deep runs, one is one of twelve with a shot at a bracelet today, go Blake B!  


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