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In Patience

Poker, poker, poker. But first, let me touch a tad on the Governor Spitzer post from yesterday. I sincerely believe that arguing, in general, is a futile task when it comes to issues like Gov. Spitzer's actions, so I did not expect to change anyone over to my way of thinking. But I am also an open person, and I am willing to listen to the other side of the argument and give credit where credit is due.

The one argument that really hit home came from GrayCalx (do you have a site? If so, let me know and I'll link it). GrayCalx essentially argued that the problem lies in the fact that a public official could be blackmailed due to his illegal actions. All too true, GrayClax, and probably the only way that Gov. Spitzer's conduct would affect his role as Governor (with the exception of the media frenzy, which is really what I am railing against).

But this used to be a poker blog a day and a half ago, so let's get back to the poker. I had a decent night at the online tables last night, even if it didn't feel so great. I busted in a couple of SNGs out of the money, including one I played with GCox over at Stars (just like old times, bud). I busted out of a 600 FPP SNG that awards a $26 token to first place. I was even able to bum $11 off of GCox in order to play the Mookie. Halfway through, when I busted with AK v QQ, I was secretly a little pleased. I apparently have very shortterm memory, because I knew (KNEW) that the tourney runs a bit later than I would like, but I still couldn't help myself but to play. At least when I busted, it meant a normal bed time.

So, with all of those losses, why am I so happy? Well, I placed 3rd in an $12 turbo 180 person SNG on Stars, and while $223 profit isn't quite the $500+ awarded for first place, I played well and had a positive result. If there is any positive encouragement to my online game, it is in MTTs lately. Along with the cash in the 180-person SNG, I cashed in a Bodog guarantee tourney twice in two weeks, and I generally feel that my MTT game (specifically 200 or so player MTTs) is my strongest game right now. Its all very temporary, I am sure, as I tend to go streaky with a game before it dies down and I switch to something else. But for the time being, these multitable tournaments are the bright spot in my poker day.

While playing and chatting with G, we got to talking briefly about my recent stagnation at poker. I knew that I developed (or redeveloped) some leaks from my best game, but I hadn't quite taken the time to identify the leak. Then it just lept at me, largely because I caught myself stealing in the SNG with GCox when I just didn't need to. "Patience. That's my leak." I said to G in the chat box. And its true. The biggest leak to my game is not some of my sometimes counterintuitive thought processes. Its my lack of patience. Its the reason why I keep finding myself in bad situations...I'm putting myself there! This also coincides with my current best game, 200-person MTTs. Simply put, I find myself able to be more patient when I know that I only get "one life" in these tournaments. I also feel confident that I can fold until I get premium hands. For some reason, though, I've been pushing the action elsewhere.

Recognizing the problem is the first step, so at least I've gotten that far. I've already come to believe that "a Power greater than ourselves" (i.e., variance) can restore me to the right path, too, so Step 2 is done! Now 10 more to go!

But back to the poker. I saved two hands last night, one in which I once again made a fold where some might endorse a different play, and another where I made a call where others might suggest a fold.

I was playing a three-table 6-max SNG, with 1605 chips at Stars and blinds of 50/100. I was the "shortstack" of the table, and had been playing tight with bursts of aggression. We were shorthanded at 4 players when the following happened:

On the button, I am dealt KK. It folds to me and I raise to 300. The SB folds and the BB, Reese with 2825, calls.

The flop comes down A85, rainbow. Reese bets out 500. The pot is 650 before his bet. I wanted to call here, but I just couldn't. He was representing the Ace, and while he may just be doing it because he is hoping that I do not have the Ace, I just couldn't pull the trigger. I folded. Correct? Incorrect? I just believed that it was more likely that he called 200 more with Ax or even 55 or 88 than that he called it with some other underpair or KJ or any two and then decided to bluff at the Ace-high flop. Let's assume that he didn't hit the Ace. Wouldn't he be too scared that I did hit it?

The other hand took place at the Mookie. I really wasn't paying as much attention as I should've, since I was down to the final three in my FT 600 FPP SNG and then down to the final table at my Stars 180 SNG during the earlier portion of the Mook. However, I did see one hand, where pokerdad13 (blog?) busted Hoyazo with pokerdad's A4 to Hoy's A9. I didn't see the action play out, but the board was A49X4. That alone conjured up a variety of scenarios (was pokerdad in the blind and just got lucky when his two pair, which looked good, rivered his fullhouse, OR did pokerdad play A4 preflop after some action?). Upon further review, pokerdad also had played over 50% of the hands he had played at my table, according to PokerTracker/AceHUD. There was only a very small number of hands, less than 30, but that was a lot of info. If nothing else, it suggested that in the very short term, our man, pokerdad, was playing loose poker. Combine that with the hand against Hoy, and its safe to say that pokerdad is probably making plays with marginal hands.

The blinds were still 30/60 and I was down to 1275 from my starting stack of 1500. On the button, I was dealt AQo. The action folded to me and I raised to 180. TiltAway (blogger?) called in the SB with 1140 chips, and pokerdad13 pushed all-in from the BB with 1930. That's when I saw the PokerTracker stats and remembered the Hoy hand. After waiting for the 15 second warning, I called. He showed KQo, and my hand held up.

That hand reminded me of the other part of patience. It isn't enough to wait for good hands. You also need to examine your players in anticipation of those situations, or else the patience will be wasted (or at least, you won't be as effective when the good hands come around). Sure, this is basic stuff, but it is easy to forget the basics when you spend more time on doing than on thinking.

Good stuff, I tell ya. I feel better about my recent downswing, I hope to play more MTTs, and I love my poker!

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:01 PM,


At 4:12 PM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Hand 1: I think generally you have to fold here, absent any reads. I think one of the early steps to becoming a non-donkey is being ready, willing and able to lay down the KK when you raise, get called and then an Ace flops and you get bet into. It always hurts, but it hurts more to call and lose to Ace-rag. Good play.

Hand 2 -- if you had those stats and that hand history in front of you to review, I would say the call with AQ is not so bad. It's never probably a great hand to call an allin reraise with, but generally speaking you have to go with your reads and your instincts, and in this case you had objective reason to call so I can live with it. This also wasnt the very beginning of a super-stack tournament with 100 BBs and such, which helps make the AQ a better call here as well.

At 5:30 PM, Blogger Littleacornman said...

Nice work in the $12 turbo Stars turbo.You were at my first table and I did say hello.Got moved and crashed out shortly afterwards.( zagga on Stars)

At 11:11 PM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

There's no way I'd call that bet in the first hand unless the guy was known as a serial bluffer. Even then, I'd have to know for sure he was bluffing in order to make the call and be really happy about it. Pick a better spot to stack him.

For the second hand, if you have a read and you're willing to gamble, then go for it. The only thing that would make me pause is TiltAway. When you consider pushing here, take note that TiltAway might come along for the ride. If you're comfortable with that idea, jam away. If not, consider things a bit more before getting all your chips in the middle with AQo.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger GrayCalx said...

Thanks HoP. Nope no site anymore, I gave it up once I realized only my wife and mom were reading it. Enjoy reading your site though, especially your posts about your live games.


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