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I appreciate your critique

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  • I appreciate your critique

    Your comments on this post in general and the hands I describe are appreciated. I am convinced that I am a much better cash game player than a tournament player. I just don’t know why. I struggle to keep at 60% in PSO and inevitably make the Monster Mistake that knocks me out of the tournament.

    But when it comes to cash games, I just keep winning and winning. I can only play $2-$5 spread limit in Colorado (60 miles from my front door), which is a waste of time, so basically I play $10-20 at Sandia in Albuquerque (180 miles) and Binion’s in Las Vegas (8 damn hour drive). I get to play $10-$20 maybe once a month for an entire weekend usually. I have found the $2-$5 game at the reservation is tough to beat because of the looseness of the game, but I still show a profit up there. However, I always give the profit back in those small $20-$50 buy in tournaments that are just horse races in disguise. I am a pretty tight cash game player. BUT, the $10-$20 ring games have been very profitable in the last year in terms of BB profit/hour for me.

    Plus the $5-$10 and the NL cash games at Paradise are a piece of cheese if you have patience.

    In October of this year, I played in a 10-20 game with Lou Krieger and Nolan Dalla at the Horseshoe (also played 4-8 earlier in the day with Mr. Krieger). The game was uneventful that afternoon and I played so damn tight that my ass was screwed to the chair. I was lucky to take $110 out of that game in 3 hours. After Mr. Krieger and Mr. Dalla left the game, I loosened up with the other regulars and a couple of nitwit tourists like myself. BUT….I discovered that every time I raised, they all laid their hand down or wouldn’t fight with a post flop bet that I fired. Then a comment from Mr. “Froggy” (The dude with the lucky frog on the Discovery Channel WSOP telecasts) made me think. He said, “As tight as you play, the deck is damn sure hitting you in the face!!”. Hell, I was raising with A-10, K-Q, 7-7 in middle and late position, etc. It dawned on me I have to loosen up. So I mucked rags for another 20 minutes or so and then raised UTG with 7-5 suited for the hell of it. Everyone including the BB and the SB their hand down again!. I’m thinking …”what the heck?” Then a few hands later, with 3 limpers, I popped it with 3-2 s from the cutoff and 2 of the limpers called…the flop comes Kd 8h 6s. The first limper bet, 2nd folded and I raised. Damn if he didn’t his hand down.

    So, I went back to Binion’s in early December determined to play looser and more aggressive. It worked well. In 17 hours of $10-$20, I took a little over $505.00 out of the games for the October weekend and thought I would push a little more next trip. Please comment on the following scenarios/questions. The two hands I describe are out of the ordinary for me to try this crap.

     I was in the SB with Th Td. There were 2 early limpers and I raised from the SB…the BB and both limpers called. The flop came Jh 8d 7s. There must have been $80 in the pot. I bet, the BB called, the 1st limper raised and the 2nd limper folded. I reraised and made it 3 bets. Damn if they didn’t both lay it down. My question…Was that idiotic? If the early limper had AJ, KJ or QJ, did he really believe I had the other 2 Jacks?…or that I would have made it 3 bets with 10-9 ? Surely not! Oh well….I guess he put me on JJ or better. I explained my play to a friend in Albuquerque who is an excellent good player and he thought I did the exact and obviously correct play. WHAT????...Hell, I thought it was a maniac move.

     About an hour later, I was in middle position with As 3s. An early player limped as I did…the cut off and small blind limped. I guess there was $50 in the pot. The flop is Kd 4s 5s, giving me a gutshot straight flush draw. The SB bet, the BB raised and I reraised. They all laid their hands down and I imagine the look on my face of disbelief was hilarious as I scooped the pot. I had a huge draw…. nut flush, straight flush and an Ace overcard. I thought I might get a free card on the turn and if I did, I would take it due to the strong betting early. I should have stayed that evening and kept playing in that $10-$20 game, but NOOOOO…I want to go play tournaments, because I want to be a “Tournament Player”!…Sheez!

    (I have to admit…both times it felt good to be able to pull off a nitwit move and get away with it) In a PSO tournament, someone would have re popped me in either situation and then I would go all in and then typed..”nh…later”

     So…I ended up dumping about $200 in small tournaments at the Orleans and Sam’s Town in NL tournaments over 2 evenings!. I sat there and played tight and then got blasted out on my ass with big pairs (QQ or better) each time. PLUS…the humiliating thing was getting knocked out of a NL at Sam’s Town with A-A by a Transvestite. And I didn’t even think “It” was a very good player at all! It called my all in moderately short stacked raise with 7-7 and hit the set. “It” was short stacked too, so no big deal. I guess it was just the humiliation of getting knocked out by a 50 year old transvestite with tight leather pants and a Wonder Bra.

     That weekend in early December…I earned just over $740 in ring games (about 21 hours as I recall) and I pissed off almost $200 in tournaments. I would have been MUCH better off investing that $200 in lap dances at The Olympic Garden or making Hardway Bets on the crap table (Both of those activities are a lot more fun anyway).

    So, if you have played with me at PSO, Why the heck am I such a lousy tournament player?….Then again, I wouldn’t blame you if you keep quiet….there are never enough fish to go around. It would probably be in your best interest to have my dead play money in these make believe tournaments.

    A side note…1. My buddies tell me I am no fun in Las Vegas anymore because I don’t play craps as much as I used to and I can’t get stumbling drunk like I used to because I have to stay sober to play poker with those old farts. In October on our regular trek to Olympic Garden and Cheetas, I refused numerous offers of lap dances from 21 year old topless dancers and my reply to them was, "“I worked too damn hard today for my profit today and I don't want to blow it"” My buddies laughed their ass of at first, then just looked at me like I was insane.

    2. My wife tells our friends that I sit in that boring and quiet poker room for hours upon end “eyeballing the other people at the table”. I realize she thinks it is a lot more fun to sit at the bar in the Golden Nugget, get drunk on White Russians, flirt with the bartender and lose $20 bills at mach speed on the video poker machines, but we’ll just continue to disagree on that I guess.

    I finished 98th in the Big One II last week by just playing tight and what I thought was very aggressive, but I never got above $30,000 and I never threatened anybody. (I know, I know…one tournament does not make a “career”). STILL...I was disappointed because I FELT like I was playing pretty well.

    I have even thought of becoming a “David Sklansky Move In Specialist”!

    So…ultimately, my question is…..Before I invest the $149.95 again (which would potentially cover approximately 5 lap dances at Olympic Garden)…Am I wasting my time or can a person like me truly learn to be a good tournament player? I CAN’T be that bad a player, because I always cash in a profit at the cage after my weekend trips and my opponents in the cash games can’t all be fish.

    Thanks in advance for your comments.

  • #2
    I thought I was reading about MY life when I was reading this..cause you reminded me so much of how I play. I am also struggling to stay around 60% even tho I KNOW I am a better player than those stats reflect. ( Before you guys start steering me to the PSO Detail...I KNOW please..).

    Before you start scrolling down for words of wisdom, be forewarned, there isn't much :wink:

    Your live game play sounds much like mine. Sometimes, you play pretty tight and score small-decent wins. You take some big chances and they often pay off. You seem to be in games where you are comfortable with the limits.

    I chuckled to myself when you said you had raised with 7-5 UTG and everyone folded ( this was after you had folded rags for 20 minutes) and later, you raised with 2-3 offsuit, and the flop came K-8-6...and someone bet and you raised, and everyone folded. Did it occur to you that THEY played well those times, not you? The first time, with the 7-5, the other players would have to assume you had a monster hand to raise UTG after folding and folding for some time. With the 2-3 offsuit, you raise pre flop and a King comes on the flop and you raise. They obviously put you on a K with good kicker. If I recall, you were in a 10-20 game. A game where I find that often times, a raise is respected. There is no rule against bluffing!

    The hands you spoke of at the end, the TT in the small blind: With your pre-flop raise in the blind, and a flop of J-8-7, it is certainly not beyond reason for the others to put you on a big pair, bigger than the J that was on the board. So, in that instance, you played that flop perfectly. Of course, it could have ended up with a different outcome...but you were in control of that hand, and you won it.

    Later,your play with the A-3 spades was spectacular. You three bet a draw on the flop and you had garnered enough respect at that table for them to all lay down hands that at the moment probably had your hand beaten. However, you had two cards to come, and a monster. I like the way you played it!!

    I probably have not helped you at all. I just know that the $149 you spend here at PSO is just such a drop in the bucket in the course of a year...please stay. I feel my tourney play is improving, and even tho I may never make the final table of the WSOP, hell, I hardly ever make the final table at PSO ...even with those things...I still feel my game OVER ALL is improving. And I think you will find yours is, too. Just be patient.

    The next time I have the priviledge of being at the table with you, I will sure watch and help any way I can.

    In the meantime, trust your instincts...and keep up the good work. Sounds like you are working hard on your live game, and there is no law against that!


    • #3


      • #4 much as it pains me to ask ( I do have kids older than you.. :wink: ) I would appreciate your players notes on me, and any other help you want to offer.



        • #5
          As to your ring game play, you established a tight aggressive image and used that to drag a few pots where you didn't have the best cards. Damn Goot Poker :!:

          In reviewing you statistics in PSO Detail it appears that may need to adjust your shallow money game. Play more of the low priced NLHE events (with $1000 starting chips) as the money gets shallow faster in those. I find these to be a great way to get my game back on track when I get too loose (very often). Also play the NLHE sats.

          Pick out the less aggressive players and smaller stacks and focus on them instead of the big stacks. Avoid the big stack except when you have premium hands. You must put your opponents to a decision that will either take all of their chips or cripple them. In shallow money play you are generally committed to getting all of your chips in whenever you decide to enter a pot.

          When making a shallow money play, whenever the bet you chose to make does not leave you enough to make a near pot sized bet on the next round, move all-in. Shallow money is almost always a raise or fold situation. Limping is generally wrong unless you are trapping an aggressive big stack with your AA or KK.

          Read the forums and ask questions. Cya at the table.


          • #6
            good advice Joe

            good shallow play is often not given the importance I think it deserves, you spend hours getting to the money........then in minutes, you get a small slice or a very big slice of the cake.

            Without naming names, there are some players here who always can dominate the business end of a tourny, if they get there, there are others that don't know what to do when they have it in front of them on a plate

            Just my thoughts