Thursday, July 9, 2009

3 Hands to Sum Up the Week

So far July has been no better than June. Today I did actually post a (small) winner. Yesterday, however, I played 5 hours in the Oaks 30/60 game and blew through 2 racks. This 3 hand sequence typifies the things that have been happening to me. Since I've been running bad, I've been making an effort to tighten up a bit, mainly to avoid difficult situations and make my life a little easier. It's possible (probable) that in doing so I've been giving up a little bit of expected value, but in the name of reducing life tilt this is totally worth it. Also, I'm looking for spots where I do in fact play too loose, as those are leaks that I can seal up for free.

Under the gun I am dealt Ace Four of clubs. This is usually a limp for me, but Pete has been counseling me on tightening up my early position hand ranges, so I toss the hand into the muck. I proceed to turn the stone nuts, and the pot gets to showdown two ways, with two pair beating one pair. Should I limp Ace Four of clubs under the gun at a loose and passive 10 handed 30/60 game? Honestly, probably not. But I usually do, and this time I didn't, and it cost me a large pot.

The very next hand I am dealt 43 off in the big blind and get a free flop of:


5 players remain, and the first 3 of us check. The next player bets, the last player folds, and the small blind calls. Time out.....there are 7 small bets in the pot, and I have 5 outs to improve to 2 pair or better. If my implied odds are positive, this is a call. If they are zero or negative, this is a fold. Usually I chuck in a call here, as the price is about right, it's easy to play if I hit, and sometimes I even get to see a free river if the turn checks through (this last part is hugely valuable and often overlooked). With one player left to act, however, I opt to fold. He could raise, which really blows up my plans. Also, someone could have me drawing all but dead already with 76, and A2 is not out of the question should a 3 fall off. Of course the next card off the deck is a 3 and the pot gets dragged by one pair. Not really a huge deal, but still $400 or so that I often drag goes elsewhere all in the name of tight play.

The very next hand I am in the small blind and two players limp. It is fine to call with any two cards here, but I decided yesterday that I'd fold the crappiest of my hands, even though in this situation I only have to throw one chip into the pot, when 11 others are already out there, all to see the entire flop (this is of course assuming the big blind doesn't raise). Anyway, I have Jack Four off and muck it. I promptly flop two pair and the pot is eventually dragged by...a lesser two pair. This pot would have been pretty big, actually.

Nothing devastating here....actually, I only lost $50 and got through my blinds. But my efforts to tighten up cost me something like a rack of chips in less than 5 minutes, and I really couldn't shake the feeling that I'd loused up my whole day in the name of saving like 2 small bets.


Keith said...

Results oriented! Just play your game and play with confidence.

jesse8888 said...

Yeah I know it's horrible to think this way. But when things go badly, I'm finding your grip on "the right way" loosens.

Anonymous said...

Any two cards can, and sometimes do, win, but you have to play the odds and put your chips in the pot when you have better odds of winning than your opponents.

I remember the time I had 93o in the BB and folded to a raise. Flop was 9 9 9. I still fold 93o to a raise in the BB.

Alan Bostick said...

What the other people say, "results-oriented, yadda yadda...." But you really should throw that extra chip in the small blind with any two.

jesse8888 said...

Well yeah what bothered me about this sequence of events the most is that I think my folds may actually have been incorrect. I usually DO limp A4 suited up front for a well thought out reason (that may or may not be correct). And I usually do peel that flop with bottom pair no kicker because being worried about 76 really is kind of mubsy but when you run bad the monsters under the bed just get bigger and bigger. And yes, I SHOULD toss in 1 chip regardless of my cards in the small blind, but when my confidence is that low and I'm afraid of fouling up the hand post flop I sometimes don't.