Final table practice and a nasty bust

Final table practice and a nasty bust

For my July 4th I went to brunch in South Park and played in two tournaments.

South Park (not the TV show) has a nice park and is a quiet street with lots of parking. It reminded my wife and me of Notting Hill in London, except with thugs hanging out because you don’t have to pay for a key to the park. The kids loved the playground and so did I. They have some monkey bars there that look like they belong at Fort Benning, not only are they 8 ft. off the ground they are installed at an angle for extra difficulty. The 6 year old gymnast took them with stride so the “men” had to do it as well. Anyway, fun for the whole family.

After brunch I came home and decided to do some final table practice by entering a single table tournament on ParadisePoker. This week I read TJ Cloutier’s book Championship No Limit and Pot Limit Hold’em. He has a few interesting thoughts about suited cards (he doesn’t think they are much) and generally encourages you to determine the play style of everyone you play with. I’m not sure I learned a lot from his book, but there are some good anecdotes and it definitely gives you another play style you can use to mix it up. He also warns people about the aggressive play style that has erupted onto the scene by the younger players, personally my take away from that was to use an aggressive play style. The online tournament went really well. After a few hands, I got a monster, and knocked someone out with the wheel. That tripled me up and I never looked back. I spent the rest of the time bullying the short stacks and making nice flops when my bluffs were called. I’m not sure if it was my play or theirs, but it appeared they had no chance against me. When the tourney only costs $6 to enter though, you can’t really expect much. It took about 45 minutes to play that tourney and I won $25 with first place.

The tournament at Lucky Chances didn’t go so well. Artichoke Joes didn’t run their no-limit tournament tonight on-account-a the Fourth of July, so it looked like LC was the only game in town. Interestingly, they also run 1–2 and 3–6 no-limit games that I haven’t seen before. Might be interesting, although I think pot-limit might have a bit more finesse. I rebought right away since there was only one to be had and the chips were cheaper than the starting chips. Everyone I saw eventually did the same, so it looks like the right play to me. I started out fairly aggressively because the table felt tight but I wasn’t flopping anything to speak of. My chips went up and down and by the second break I was about even at $2500. The chip leader had about double that, perhaps a bit more. I continued to flail around for about half-an-hour, eventually getting down to around $1500 in chips. It was time to make a move, and I hadn’t gotten a good hand in awhile, so I tried to just steal the blinds. I had 7h Th and it was folded around to me, I raised a big blind and everyone folded but one guy. He was our tables chip leader, so I should have been a little more careful in retrospect. The flop came 4d 5s 7c. I had top pair with an overcard and felt that it was good enough, especially since I was pretty sure that he had nothing. I went all in, he thought for a bit, and then called. He exposes 8c jd. Well, I had him pegged for nothing, and he had nothing. I definitely had the best of it, but he had two overcards and a gut shot. The turn was an 8 and I didn’t improve from there so I went out. Here are the statistics, I think it was a good play considering the odds:

/Users/sam:> pokenum 7h th - 8c jd -- 4d 5s 7c Holdem Hi: 990 enumerated boards containing 5s 7c 4d cards     win   %win      lose  %lose       tie   %tie        EV Th 7h     613  61.92       365  36.87        12   1.21     0.625 8c Jd     365  36.87       613  61.92        12   1.21     0.375

It was a learning experience. Sometimes the cards don’t come, but you just play your best. If I had it to do over again I’d probably play it the same way. If I had more chips, I would have never been in that pot in the first place.