Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Back in the saddle again… I won my first SnG in almost a month last night. No fancy plays, no super-slick slowplays, no check-raises on the turn, just good old-fashioned tight-aggressive play. Sometimes we get so caught up in watching Negreanu or Hansen making slick plays and raising from the button with 76s, we forget that solid, basic play is +EV against the vast majority of the online poker playing universe.

Out of 81 hands, I showed down SIX and was 5-1 on those hands. The only hand I lost was when I called an all-in as the chip leader with four players left with the incredibly powerful K3s. Chips were 4000 for me, and around 1200-1400 for the other three. With blinds at 200/400, the worst player left went all-in from SB and I called from BB. I had a couple of thoughts regarding this play:

1. He had gone all-in multiple times before with total garbage like T7s and 87s and had survived, so I wasn’t actually expecting more than one face card. Turns out he had AJo.
2. I had just doubled up through him, deposing him from the chip lead (built up by his preflop all-ins getting lucky flops). I suspected a blind steal and possible tilt. And get this, he ended up all-in 19 times!?!?! Gee, when I see someone who is all in over 20% of the time, I’m guessing that his hand selection might be a little loose.
3. I knew he was, um, NOT a strong player, meaning that I wanted to take his chips before the other guys could. As it was, the chips I handed him helped him make it to the final two with a 5800-2200 chip lead over me after he snapped off the other two players [with J7 vs 33, and J2 vs Q6]

This brings up an interesting and frequently frustrating fact about low level SnGs. There are always “all-in cowboys” that luuuuuuvvvv to push all-in. Of course, in a normal universe, they will lose to SOMEONE ELSE eight out of nine times, meaning that someone else will have an early 2-1 chip lead over everyone almost 90% of the time. Case in point: by hand 10, two players had busted out, meaning two guys had significant chip leads. Of course, on hand 11, I doubled up through one of the leaders with KK when he called my all-in turn bet on a Jack-high board with Ax. I busted the same guy four hands later (chip lead to out in five hands…. Not good) when he pushed on the turn with AQo against my TT and another Jack-high board.

In looking over the hand history, I’m stunned by my almost total lack of “plays”. To borrow a bridge term, it was almost double-dummy. I raised with the best hand or draw, laid down the worst, called with good pot odds, but NONE of it was sleight of hand. OK, maybe one hand during the head-to-head, but that’s it. With blinds at 250/500, I bet an OESD with 75o and J64 flop. He raised me and I called (implied odds = win, so it was an easy call). When the turn came up another Jack, I represented the trips with a big bet, and he laid down his hand (likely Ax, based on his play). That hand gave me a 4-1 chip lead and I never looked back.

Lesson learned: Good play is good enough, at least at Party. All that fancy shit needs to wait until the blogger tournaments, when people are actually paying attention.


At 10:45 AM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

People pay attention during blogger tourneys?


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