Friday, June 17, 2005

My Name is Ozymandius, King of Kings

Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair

Upon further reflection, a nudge from Human Head and the fact that thinking about Wednesday night no longer gives me chest pains, I've decided to lay my stupidity bare for all. In addition, I do think there is a noteworthy lesson or six after all.

There are two main issues:

1. Why was I in the hand at all
2. Why did I play it the way I did

The first is the inexcusable part. I had 116K in chips, second overall. With only 14 players between me and a seat, I was damn near a mortal lock. First through 22nd got the same result. There was no need to chip up. If memory serves, those sitting near what would eventually become the bubble were in the 45K-50K chip range, with blinds at 2000/4000, 400 ante. I only had to fold. I'd been doing just that for a half-hour already.

Let's not linger on that part too long. It's pretty simple. I'm an idiot.

In keeping with my idiot status, I open-raise 4x from the CO with Big Slick of Hearts. The BB flat calls. Okay, I think. A speculative call there, blind defense, whatever. I think I'm probably ahead.

Flop comes K74 rainbow and BB bets out 12K. Small bet into a 35K pot, methinks. A feeler. I double it.

Now, some of you may be shaking your heads already. I don't blame you. I see it now. I so totally didn't at the time. Even when...

He re-raises me to 36K.

Under normal circumstances, it would all become clear. He's got a monster. He flat-called and made the teaser bet because he wanted action.

My problem here (and not for the first time) is failing to change my initial read mid-hand. His re-raise told me all I needed to know, fit perfectly with the previous pieces of the puzzle. I just needed to stop and think. Step back for a second and put it all together.

I didn't do that. I plowed ahead with nary a pause, putting him--and his Aces--all-in.

As I said yesterday, it was pure hubris. All night I'd been running over people. I could do no wrong. I was invincible.

A pretty simple read in retrospect. I had it wrong from the start which caused me to dump about a third of my stack, but could have saved myself another 40K--and likely my tournament--had I allowed myself to think it through.

No, I shouldn't have been there in the first place. Once there, however, I made it infinitely worse due to a total lack of concentration.

The lessons? Take your pick:

Always be alert. Always ponder all the possibilities. Always assess all the information your opponent gives you. Never be afraid to alter your read. Take your time. Don't become so full of yourself that it inhibits you from doing all of the above.

And know how to locate the fold button.


At 4:32 PM, Blogger Human Head said...

In the latter stages of this type of tourney where 1-whatever is the same result, I ALWAYS fold AK.

Why? I know something that you forgot for a minute....

Online poker is RIGGED! :)

You may want to consult with BG on this subject as well since he just got finished interviewing a big-time poker god.


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