May 16, 2009
So I played in a couple of live tournaments this week because the WSOP circuit is here in New Orleans. One thing I really like about live poker is the slow pace of things and the opportunity to really observe every hand closely. I find it helps force me to think through situations more fully and consequently, I often try to learn new games by playing them live first, when possible.
I ended up bubbling in a 6-handed NLHE tournament and then spending five hours folding preflop in a PLO/8 tournament as I ran about as aceless as one can possibly run in that game. Both tournaments were â€œfrustratingâ€ in that luck broke against me (though I also got very lucky in the 6-handed event not to get knocked out early), but I think I had â€œright viewâ€ about them (see Tommy Angeloâ€™s video series if you donâ€™t know what I am talking about) and was able to walk away satisfied that I had played about the best I could. Even though I have certainly tilted and played less than my A game, I feel one of my strengths in poker is carrying a â€œright viewâ€ perspective with me to the poker table the vast majority of the time.
Not really many interesting PLO/8 spots, but here were a couple of hands that came up. Second hand of the event and thereâ€™s a min-raise, pot-raise and re-pot raise when I sweat A23Tr in the BB. I folded and the re-potter eventually showed AA23. Two hands later, I overlimp on the button with A228r. Flop comes KJ2r and thereâ€™s a bet and raise in front of me, so I quickly fold. Flop gets 3bet and then 4bet. Turn is a K and it goes check / bet / call, putting the players all-in. Of course itâ€™s JJxx vs KKxx. I only had aces once the whole time, and it was AAJ9 with 3 clubs UTG, so I limped, called a small raise, and check/folded on a J83r flop. Not really sure what I should have done there, really crappy spot, but I donâ€™t know a better way to play it. When I was shortstacked (about 10 BBs), I picked up A269r UTG and folded; Iâ€™m pretty sure that is probably standard, but at the time the hand looked enticing compared to what I had been seeing. Results oriented, but the pot ended up being a huge pot between AKQ2 and KJJT that was chopped after both parties put in tons of chips with (1) just a low draw and (2) a weak high (just the overpair jacks) and no chance at low. The field was incredibly soft and clueless about the fundamental principle of split pot poker (play to scoop!), but it didnâ€™t matter for me because I never had anything with scoop potential. What I am most happy about it is that during this run of junky hands, I watched every hand play out, tried to get reads on what my opponents were thinking (which was quite challenging, since some of them seemed to think KKQ7ss and AKJ9r were better hands than A642ds), and eventually planning how I wanted to play my shortstack in the most effective manner.