Saturday, January 08, 2005

Don't CalI it a Comeback

I was all set to blog today about my negative running: the bad beats, running into monsters, frigid decks.

But I won't.

For one, variance is a fact of life. After the tremendous two weeks I had prior to this one, I knew it couldn't last. Sure, it's frustrating, but it's a fact of the poker player's life. And it's when things aren't going well that you really have to hitch up your shorts and concentrate on playing your best. In fact, despite the beatings I've been taking on the SnGs, I've managed to mitigate the losses with some good results in the limit ring games. Such that my bankroll has only taken a relatively small hit when compared to the run of the last two weeks.

For two, I just ran over a table. Absolutely crushed it. Everything I touched turned to gold. Quite a contrast to last night's bloodbath (It was literally a bloodbath. I got a bloody nose at one point). I was up pretty late and went to bed with a brutal suckout lodged in my head. Note to fish: Keep playing K10o to my 5x pre-flop raises, when I'm holding AA. I'll get it eventually.

Anyway, onto today. I doubled up early when flopping top two pair and calling an all-in. Thanks. Then I got AQo one from the button. I limped (Level 2) and four saw the flop. And oh what a flop: K J 10, rainbow. A 100 bet from MP and I smooth call. The SB comes over the top for 400. MP calls and I put 'em both all-in. Really, it could not have played any better. SB was on a bluff-draw--holding Qx, and MP had AK. I now had T3500 at Level 2.

Every hand I got for the next two orbits, every raise I made pre-flop, was respected. Didn't have to play one of 'em. Then, we rolled into a predictable pattern. The player to my right kept raising my BB if he was first in. EVERY time. I couldn't get anything to defend, though I contemplated coming over the top a couple times. I could spare the chips if called. But I resisted. Helping that discipline was the fact that I kept raising the BB to my left and winning those chips back.

Late on, I' still the overwhelming chip leader and I get The Hammer in the BB. I'm telling myself I'm coming over the top of the SB raise no matter what. Alas, his raise was all-in (slightly less than half my chips) and I wussed. But I get A8o in the SB and prepare to raise the BB...again. When the following chat appears:

Seat 4: ok
Seat 4: i,m ready
Seat 4: raise it
Seat 4: you do every time

So, apparently, I've perturbed him. I don't exactly know what to make of his challenge. False bravado or he's finally got a hand to defend. We're four-handed and he's the short stack. The challenge does give me pause, but my lead is so huge, I can handle a hit and I might even be ahead.

I wasn't.

I put him all in and he had A9o. But I catch the 8 and finish him off. Hooray! I get to suck people out, too. Quite a change of pace.

Emboldened, I call an all-in in the BB a short time later with A3o. The SB, the perennial raiser, shows A6o. I catch the wheel on the river to put him out.


Now it's just me, with T7880 and what you might call a small stack. He doubles up once, but is finished a hand later.

Our long national nightmare is over! A full week between SnG wins. And the win puts me down a negligible amount for the week. There's a lesson here. I'm too dumb to fully grasp it, but it has something to do with just continuing to play your best, no matter what the results. If you're a good player--and I'm certainly not yolking myself with that title--if you play well, it'll turn. Something about less focus on bankroll and results vs. honest evaluation of play, too. I really need to work on handling the emotional swings. I spend way too much time in the fetal position after a suckout. And way too much time in self-congratulation after a win (this post being Exhibit A).

Okay, everybody calm down.

I'm gonna play the $5/$1-multi today on Party, because...well...I like playing for four hours for the change to win $25. And I like running through a hail of gunfire in the first hour of ridiculous bets.


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