Lucky Straights

The ramblings and mumblings of a wannabe poker pro

An early finish when AK off, beats my own AK off!

My first Sit-N-Go of the day and I’m playing my part, watching the game, (well between reading a post by Gobbs on Annie Duke’s PPA testimony) and making notes on the action and such, when I find AK, and hit TPTK only to be beat on the river by the same hand.

Here’s the fatal blow with my take on it, and a few hands showing my re-build and eventual elimination afterwards.

So I’m UTG with AK and raise to 4xBB. For a moment I was tempted to raise more as the table had shown itself to be a little loose, but being so early felt a 4xBB raise was sufficient. I hit TPTK on the flop, but there are two cards to a flush on the board so I raise the pot to deter any flush chasers whilst still leaving plenty behind if a flush card comes on the turn and I am forced to drop it.

I am quickly re-raised the minimum, and my thoughts move from villain holding a flush draw to an high ace, and I re-raise all-in, he calls and turns over AK off suite, but with a club. I hope to avoid a club on the turn, but don’t get my wish and runner, runner club completes is flush to decimate my stack.

on a higher table perhaps I should have played it slower, as AKs was free rolling against me, but at these levels I think its right to not dwell on that, as he is highly likely to play AQ, AJ the same, and many micro limit players are capable of re-raising with KQs on the flop here.

Soon after that blow I find pocket 3’s and check from the BB, aware I could have pushed here, but elected to take a peek at the flop first. I get a bit of lucky and flop a set, so push all-in, I get one caller who called with A high and I double up.

With only eight times the big blind and holding A8 I elect to push all-in here without much thought, I’m called by QJ and double up again.

Same story, I couldn’t hold back here with A9s so push all-in, this time everyone folds and I take the blinds.

Here I’m dealt 52 off suite, not a hand to get excited about, but I’m allowed in for free from the BB. The only debate I see about the hand is on the turn where I make an open ended straight draw, I contemplated pushing all-in here, but decided against as anyone who hit was highly likely to call me anyway, and felt I could still do damage with what chips I had left in case I missed.

Normally even being short stacked I would happily drop K9 off suite, but here the blinds where up in 2 minutes, and by that time most of these players will call my push with a very wide range of hands, added to that the table folded around to me it seemed like the right time to make a move and push all-in. Not my day though, both blinds call and the same villain who almost felted me with AK deals the final blow with his pocket aces and I’m out in 7th.

January 22, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Decision

I’ve just completed another NL Sit-N-Go tournament on Poker Stars, where I came to a big decision, thankfully I’ve read about similar situations before and made the right call, and I was relieved I did come the showdown.

It was 4 handed, the short stack had just over $500 in chips, I was the second short stack with just over $700 in chips, the chip leader had over $8,000 and the second had close to $3,000. The blinds where $75/$150 and where just about to go up again.

I’m holding JJ, my best hand for ages and I’m very aware that I’m soon to be blinded off and are considering going all-in, I know the chip leader will call who has been calling with the likes of K6 off suite and it was my best chance to double up. Then facing a raise from the chip-lead the short stack moves all-in and the second in chips makes the call.

This puts me to a big decision, maybe my biggest yet, I can either enter the pot with what at this time is a great hand and possibly win a large pot, giving me a real chance at second place, or I can fold and leave the big guns to take on the short stack and hope he comes of worse. Thankfully I chose to lay it down.

After another raise the second in chips folds, leaving it heads-up, both players hold aces with the short stack dominating A8 with AK. Both hit an ace on the flop but an 8 on the turn finishes the deal and I move into the money very relieved at my decision.

Soon after the blinds are up and I’m all in and get knocked out, but at this point there was very little I could do, I only had around $400 and the closest to me had over $2,000.

I think I played well and my full table game against lesser talented players has improved a little, but I’m annoyed that these things are more of a game of luck then skill, certainly for first place. Most of my opponents play too loose and hold out for hopeless draws and otherwise play very weak, but at least one is bound to get lucky and build a huge stack, this as been the case in all of these games I’ve taken part in so far, which puts me in a hard position later on, where I’m often the short stack, having picked my spots correctly early rather then gone out and got lucky.

Still I’m happy to finish in the money again.

October 16, 2007 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Battle

I’ve just got off another heads-up tournament on Poker Stars and it was my toughest yet by far, not through excellent play on my opponents part or poor play on my part, but down to hugely crappy flops for me. Within the first 3 hands my opponent got the NUTS twice! countless full houses followed, I was beginning to loose all hope and even opened up my blog to write about how lucky he was… but I kept my cool, didn’t go on tilt and I always kept as much pressure on has I could, even when I was down to only a little over 300 chips.

My hardwork paid off as I took the lead and eventually the win, but it was a huge battle for me. This is the first heads-up tournament where I’ve been the short stack almost all the way until the end.

I’ve played ten of these and won seven of them and it as improved my post-flop game when heads up to a visible amount. This game as added to my confidence about being able to play the short stack too, as I’m not often in that situation for very long, ether I’m the chip leader generally or I go short and get knocked out early so I don’t get much opportunity for practice in this area.

I am also now pleased to say after this win I am now back ahead of my original buy-in amount on Poker Stars, it is a very good day! Think I’ll call it a night tonight now, and not push my luck by playing anymore tonight, not heads-up tourney’s anyway, they take a lot out of me, but you know what I’m like so I might hit the tables once or twice, I just still want to be ahead come tomorrow.

October 15, 2007 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment