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The All-in Drama

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  • The All-in Drama

    In this heads up adventure, there's one thing I need to work one. Well, actually two.

    Most important thing is to not get over-aggressive. At these microstakes, I find I get my best results when playing a pretty TAG style game. I'll loosen up when the opponent allows it, but the hard part is to know when to stop getting any looser.

    The problem with that playing style for me is the same as the second overall problem though. It only works as long as the opponents don't get excessively lucky at the right time. Usually, I tend to either build an advantage pretty quickly, or a small deficit which I can turn around. The problem arises when I get the opponent all-in. Pretty much most of the time, I have the best of it. But today was another shining example of my main frustration at this game. I have A8, he has A6. Flop shows a 6. The shorty 3-bet shoves when I have A10, and I call. He shows K4 off and turns a 4. I shove as a shorty with the J10 and get called by a 3,5, and he rivers a flush. It happens, I know. I just wish it would stop happening when most of the chips are in the pot, leaving me extremely short. It's annoying...

    The upside of the story: I have somewhat learned how to relax after taking several beats ina row. Today's session was short: only 4 played. After I scored a nice win in the first one, 5 major suckouts caused me to lose the other three. Time to ride my bike. Just put on the iPod, go out and ride in the sun for awhile, and the negative feelings slowly fade away.
    However, looking back it's always easy to say you get way too unlucky far too often. But I wonder how much of it is true. After all, what gets to me most is the bad suckouts when I have the other guy all-in. And not when they're on a 6 BB stack or so, no, I mean the all-in pots with 2/3 of the total chips in the middle, he shows a worse hand, sometimes even utter crap, and sucks out. The hardest part about it is that the mantra "you get the bad beats and you deal em" doesn't apply, as these specific hands I wouldn't be going all-in with for that amount of chips.

    Then again, sometimes good play gets rewarded in the end. And just to show you there's no need to give up, here's the one tourney I played today. one was enough...

    It lasted 316 hands. Which I think is a long time. The Hand History file is over twice as big as just about every other one I have. And yet the opponent was very easy to play: He'd see a whole lot of flops, but after the flop he nitted up. And so playing him was easy. Just bet the flop and shut it down if he calls, unless of course you have a good hand. In position, if he checks the flop, just bet it. The few times he raised the flop it was an easy laydown. The only downside of a player like this is you won't get into a big pot until both players have a good hand. And so we're almost always destined for cooler-town.

    Well, I slowly built up a 2-1 chiplead. The I get AQ on the button/Big Blind. He makes a minraise, I raise it up, he calls. Flop comes K84, 2 diamonds, and we both check. Turn is an Ace, so i bet, he calls. River is another ace, and I put him all-in. Now honestly I didn't see the 10,6 of diamonds coming. Not a hand I expected him to call a raise with. In retrospect, one could say I got very unlucky that the river gave me a set, and him the flush. Would he have folded the flop? I doubt it since he didn't fold the turn. It happens, but it sucks. I had him down over 2-1, and now I was down 2-1.

    But, it didn't take me a whole lot of time to get back to that 2-1 chiplead. And so we play the next big hand, 1790-1210 in my favor. I have pocket 8 in the small blind, make a raise, he shoves and I call. Easy call in my mind. He's bound to have something, but I might very well have him beat, and if I lose I'm fairly confident I can fight back. And I was right, he flips over A,K off. Flop's good, turn's a King. Double sigh. And so I'm down 2420-580. Two suckouts in a row...

    Three hands later we're back to even after my A,K is enough to double up as he called my shove with A,4. Best hand holds up, that's a first in the all-in circus. Two hands later, he's down to 320 as he open-shoves with pocket 4. Again, my call with pocket 5 may be questionable, but I figured he didn't necessarily have to have a pair. And fortunately for me, my pair held up. Last hand my A,Q off beat his A,3 off.

    So looking back, this SnG definitely shows my feeling is right: We were all-in 5 times, I was ahead all 5 of them, and I lost two of em. Two bad beats received, no bad beats given. Still, this is one SnG, and barely a decent sample size. And that is the moral of the story here. Short term memory is tricky, and it might serve well to start taking notes on exactly what happens in an all-in situation. Who was all-in, who had the best hand, and who won it. Previous times I did it for 9-man SnGs, it showed I definitely was unlucky, winning only about 55% of the times I was best, and only winning 30% of the times I was worst. But does that say how lucky you are, or how good or bad you are at getting the money in the middle? It'll be interesting to see how my stats develop in these Heads Up SnGs...
    The Road to Fame and Fortune - Keeping track of my poker semi-career
    Keep up to date: @Ov3rsight


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