Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Played in two $10 consecutive SnGs last night, came in third both times, profitable but unfulfilled.  My attention was split between the games and “Last Comic Standing”, so my note-taking was lax at best.  I have about 20-30 tournament logs from Empire/Party and I’m considering getting Poker Tracker to see if there are any usable trends in my play (and/or frequent losers in the tournaments).  I specify “usable trends” because some random statistical anomaly like AKo wins more than AKs for the few thousand hands I have isn’t really usable.  I haven’t tried Poker Tracker before and I’m not even sure about the capabilities.  I’ll probably download the trial version and fiddle with it a bit before ponying up the $60.

I do a lot of my blogging at work and somehow, I think they would frown on a download from a site called  It’s probably bad enough that I read and write poker blogs from my desk, but downloading poker software…?  That’s where I draw the line.

In tourney #1, with three players left (and cashing guaranteed) and blinds at 150/300, I was third (4100, 2100, 1800 chips) and in BB with KJo.  We had pretty well stabilized chip position by systematically stealing each others blinds, and I thought this was a good chance to crack back.  After the second place player raised to 1000, I pushed all-in, expecting either a complete bluff (immediate fold) or an Ax hand (I’d be a 4-3 dog, but it would be a tough call if x < ten).  Turns out he called with QJo.  I pumped my fist for roughly a second until a Q appeared on the flop.  My K never appeared and I was out.  It was the right time and place, just not the right flop.

However, in reading over the hands, I realize that I missed some pretty clear opportunities to build my stack early in the SnG.  Early in every tournament, the table has a few people who learned at the Norman Chad School of HoldEm:  all aces and pairs are playable, all aces are unfoldable, and most other face cards are OK too.  I’ve seen players bust out in the first 15 hands by going all-in with A6s preflop or KK with Axx on the board.  And I’m missing out on taking some of the dead money playing tight in the beginning.  I’m getting to the final five almost every time, but with often with a chip disadvantage because of my failure to pillage the stacks of the Chad believers.  Rather than playing tight and coasting to the top five, I might need to consider wielding a big stick during the opening rounds and trying to get to the top three with a clear lead.

In tourney #2, I got to the final three with a BIG chip disadvantage (5000, 2100, 900).  With blinds at 200/400, I pushed all-in with QJs, was called by big stack with K8o, and went out when the board whiffed both of us.  The weird thing is that I never got above 2040 chips the entire SnG, and hung on for third.  That speaks more to the quality of the competition than my own ability.  One or two guys typically dominate the early play by betting aggressively, almost violently, and I’ve been content to bide my time and let them whittle the field.  Once it gets down to the last five or six, I get more aggressive and bold.  Unfortunately, I’m usually doing it with one of the lower stacks, and I have to rely on decent cards to make it.  With most of the ten-seaters, I’m confident I can profit from the games IF the cards are equitable.  When you’re shortstacked though, you can’t necessarily afford to wait for the card pendulum to swing back into the positive zone.  I need to check the correlation between my early chip totals (ie. doubling up early vs. hanging around passively) and my win % and EV.

Maybe Poker Tracker can help me there… 


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