Monday, February 26, 2007

Off The Rails

Kerrrunch. Yes, that was the sound of my NLHE profit express coming to grief in a manner not dissimilar to a Virgin Pendolino passing over some Network Rail maintained points.

Three days and five buy-ins down is hardly a catastrophe of Blue Scouse proportions, but it's still feckin annoying.

Just as well I play well within my bankroll.

Oddly enough, there's not really much of note about how the cash was lost. Only one real hand of doom, and a couple where I got big pairs in early position, got outflopped by legitimate calling hands, and suffered due to my positional disadvantage.

I might go back to NLHE tonight, or I might take a few days off and try some Stud-8 or the like. I'll see how the mood takes me.

Another consideration is the Tribeca network will be in a state of flux for the next few weeks as the skins migrate over to iPoker, so traffic could be well down.

I don't want to dwell too long on the past, so I'll exit now with the hand of doom. I'm not sure if my decision making here is good, bad, or indifferent. More info on the villain would have been useful.

In early position I find myself with

As first into the pot I open for a small raise and get called by the guy immediately to my left. He hasn't been at the table long, but it's already apparent he plays a LOT of hands - maybe 50% in total. Let's call him Sir Limpalot. The button also calls.

The flop is

Looks pretty good to me, so I bet $6 into a $10 pot. Sir Limpalot raises to $30 and the button, unsurprisingly, folds.

Hmmmm. I'm playing about $200 at this point - yes, I'd been winning - and Sir Limpalot has about $100 left behind, so if I call to see the turn it's going to be damn hard to fold if I miss and get paid if I hit.

This is one of those situations where I'd rather Tribeca had a Stars-type timebank.

My immediate reaction was it's push or fold time. The difficult decision is which.

As I went through the range of hands he could have, my thinking kept returning to the thought the raise just felt a bit too strong.

Flopped straight seemed unlikely.
A set or two pair felt plausible but would he have raised so much?
Perhaps he'd flopped top pair with something like 87 and wanted to find out where he was. Similarly it could be something like TT or 99 putting me on AK/AQ.
There was even a lesser possibility it was a lower flush draw semi-bluffing.

Having gone through the range, I knew I had a least nine outs, and maybe as many as fifteen, if my two overs were good. Equally I felt any hand like 99/TT/JJ would find it difficult to call a push, since I'd already established I had a good hand pre-flop.

So, with a fair chance of taking a decent pot there, and outs if I was behind, I pushed.

He called with 33 for flopped bottom set, and the case 3 on the turn put my nine outs firmly in their place. Bollocks!

Not a great way to prepare for the Monday morning return to the grindstone.

I'm not sure if my logic is flawed here. I'd not seen him play a pot that way in the limited time we'd been on the same table, so maybe I should have erred on the side of caution and written off $9 as a lost investment, rather than smashing $130 into the middle.

It certainly shows once again the value of position, which is a lesson which bears repeating.

If I go back to the NLHE, I think I'll tighten up my game for a few sessions at least. One of the problems of playing against a group who are on the whole pretty poor is that my thinking can get a bit lazy, since I just assume I'm going to win.

It's fair to say the last few days have erased that complacency from my thought processes. Time for some analysis and self improvement!

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