Monday, March 19, 2007

Still Pissed off..

Still kind of annoyed with yesterday.. oh well.. I actually did finish 50th in the 14K guarenteed. I probably could have done better in that also.. however my mid-game needs work. It is a fine line between being aggressive and a strong player and just calling chips off.

On the one hand you MUST steal sufficient amounts of chips during the duration of an MTT or you will lose. The trick comes in knowing where to do it and against whom and when. I find for myself sometimes I take it too far. It gets hard towards the end of a tourney because of the size of the blinds. One mis-step and you could find your nice 30+ BB stack reduced to 15-20+ and be scrambling to catchup. What do you do when EVERYONE realizes that they need to steal and every orbit has at least one raise? When do you playback and when do you let things go and how hard do you playback against an opponent. It is all a very interesting dance.

The other thing I have been experimenting with and possibly getting better at is playing tough on flops. I have had mixed results in this but playing a ton of HU with people has taught me that too many people bluff too hard at pots. The trick is to stand tough but not become a calling station or an idiot. I think some of the finer edges are what make a big difference in MTTs. For instance.. in the 14K contest the other day one of my biggest pots was an all in call with second pair. I felt SURE I was being bluffed even though my mind was screaming fold. I made the 8K call which was about 75% of my chips and was able to use those to keep me in the top 50 for most of the game. In another instance I pushed my entire stack in on the turn against what I felt sure was a flush draw again with second pair. The guy actually did call me and turned over his draw. I was able to double up.

Sometimes this backfires. In the Big Game against better players I made four such plays. Two times I was correct. Once to finish off MiamiDon for the last scraps of chips he had left.. and one to banish Hoy back to the pit of hell he comes from. Each of these calls were with weak holdings for a decent amount of chips albeit not my entire stack. Two other times I did the same thing thinking I was ahead. Once at the beginning of the Big Game against MiamiDon. He turned out to be holding TPTK but Full Tilt came through and I sucked out a 3rd pair on the river. I had around 15 outs but it was probably not worth my entire stack.

The second bad choice was pushing Gnome with second pair and an OESD. In a way I think this was more tilt related than anything. I made an above average laydown the hand before with an overpair against a flopped set. I am not sure Gnome should have called off 1/4th his stack with a small pair but he did and caught. Gnome plays a super aggressive pre-flop game and we were going at it alot. I let that get to me as well as the hand before and imploded in spectacular fashion. At least he won.

I think pushing the small edges is very important in MTTs as well as staying strong through a hand.. it needs to be coupled with increasingly good reading of the opponents you are playing against and the ability to distinguish between a good read and just being annoyed by an aggressive player. In addition you are going to make some really stupid plays this way at times and you just need to accept them as the price of doing business.


Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

#1 I don't think your call against me in the Big Game was a bad call at all. You could have laid it down, sure, but you had a read and went with it (and it was correct). That was one of the worst plays you'll ever see me make in a blogger tournament, and I got burned for it as I deserved to. I was too busy chasing back the chips I had lost during my 35 minute absence to play good poker at all in that thing. Dumb move by me to sign up when I wasn't going to be there at the beginning, and then doubly dumb to play stoopid aggropoker trying to get my stack back. Well played there.

And as far as your first point about the "interesting dance" that is knowing when to steal, when to call other stealers and when to reraise other preflop raisers as the Ms get lower and lower in tournaments. I think you've hit on exactly the aspect of tournament play that makes these things so hard and requires so much skill to win. And it's exactly this aspect that I thought made it so funny when all the cash game donks trumpeted on my blog a couple of weeks back about how tournaments are monkeypoker and cash games are skillfests. As a matter of practical fact, there is a whole level of skills involved and required to succeed in mtt's that is simply not present whatsoever in cash games, and it's an incredibly hard skill to master, if that's even possible at all.

Nice post, good job for a short while last night. Glad I could contribute. To Gnome's stack (indirectly).

8:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Dude.

You're starting to make sense.

9:27 PM


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