Drawing of the Three
I hate limping in the NL SnGs. Just hate it. One reason is the hyper-aggressiveness one finds at these table. You can virtually count on a big raise from late position or the blinds if you get a lot of limpers. Second, and most important from my current perspective, is that I just don't feel comfortable playing limping hands. If I can't raise with it pre-flop, I'd prefer to leave it alone. I get myself into trouble with these hands (suited connectors, Axs, Kxs, J10o). I know this is a hole in my game. At this stage of my development, I'm caught between trying to build bankroll and experimenting with different play. I feel these are sometimes competing interests. Yet, if I want to reach my goal of building bankroll and moving up limits, I'm going to NEED those other arrows in my quiver.
My tight style is providing a solid ROI, but there's the gnawing and certain feeling I could enhance my wins with more varied play. And I have made some small strides in that area. I'm more prone to steal, throw out the occassional bald-faced bluff. Those plays, however, are directly derived from--and benefit from--my tight style. It seems to me I'm doing well because I'm a better player than those I'm against. Which isn't really self-complimentary considering the players at Party Poker. But when I start to step up, that likely won't be the case.
So, time to take some chances.
Anyway, back to limping. I just don't do it very often. I did it twice last night at Level 1 of a $20 single-table. Both times, the player to my left threw in a huge raise. Too early to tell if he was a maniac, but he took down some chips with those plays. A short time later, he did it again. And showed. Crap. 107o or something like that. I don't get that. Trying to create a loose table image? I didn't think so. Hubris? Self-congratulation? I thought that was more likely at the time. And I ducked down in my little hidey-hole just waiting to spring something on him.
But before I could get the chance, I took another bad beat. I'm starting to feel like Tina Turner. Pocket Qs. Big pre-flop raise. Called by BB. No overcards on the flop, but two clubs and I bet 200. BB, who checked, calls. Qd on the turn gives me a set and I put BB all-in. He calls with 12 outs. Club flush draw and gunshot straight. He hits the latter on the turn and I'm crippled to T400.
I crawl back into my hidey hole.
It takes another orbit and then some, but I get the rockets. Down to T330, one from the button, I limp (c'mon hyper-aggressive guy, c'mon). God Bless him. Raises to 225, Mr. Gunshot Straight calls and I go all-in. Both call. I win. Back in the game.
Not two hands later, Mr. Hyper-Aggressive is at it again. I minimum raise with KJ of diamonds, he upps it to 200. One caller before me. I call. Flop is Qc10d6h giving me an open-ended straight and backdoor flush draw. I check. Mr. Hyper-Aggressive bets 800, putting me all-in. Immediately, I knew--KNEW!--he had nothing. Too big a bet. Still, my hand isn't in the greatest shape. I take my full measure of time and call. He flips J5 of hearts. No improvement and I've doubled up and crippled Mr. Hyper Aggressive. I was pumped.
Ended up knocking out Mr. Gunshot Straight on the bubble (payback, baby). Sadly finished second. The eventual winner was another aggressive type, with an odious personality to match. No, I don't know him, but considering he typed in a racial slur after every pot he won, I think I'm safe in assuming he's not the type you want your daughter to date. Anyway, I had him down and out. I flopped two pair and called his all-in. He had bottom pair and an Ace and one of the latter spiked on the river (at which point he typed in a racial slur). That pretty much crippled me and I held on for second.
Soon to come: Playing more drawing hands.
Time to add another link. As before, reading my blog gets you special consideration. So thanks to darice for stopping by and commenting. Medical school AND poker. He can apparently caluclate pot odds and remove your spleen at the same time. Check him out.