Friday, March 21, 2008

Limiting one's strategy

Last night I donked out by the 1st break in a tourney at Lottery Larry's house. I was already getting short stacked and was on the cut off position (the seat right before the button) with no one in the pot yet. It didn't matter what cards I had as I needed to pick up the blinds and this was a rare pot that had no one entering in from early position. (I had 10 8 off suit) I went all in and prayed no one would wake up with a real hand and just then the host himself starting counting out his chips. It looked like he might call but was worried that he wouldn't be left with alot of chips if he lost as he was counting the stack that he would have left if he called. I held out hope that he would fold.

Well, my read was completely erroneous and he was counting his remaining chips so he could announce his all in re-raise. I figured I was pretty much cooked after that announcement, but it turned out to be a good thing for me as he pushed out the big blind who showed pocket 9's as he folded.

Lottery Larry tabled his pocket 4's.

I was elated to have 2 overs and an near coin flip situation to double up and stay alive. I queried as to why he went ape with the pocket fours and he seemed to have a superstition about "the power of 4". I guess he's either a Charmed fan (and got it wrong- it's the power of 3) or has unusual positive expected value with pocket 4's. Usually, I say that superstition is bad luck, but the flop was unkind to me as was the turn and river and I was sent to the rail before the night was still young.

This was becoming a regular situation for me this year and I don't know if I've been unlucky or just playing poorly. I'll have to reassess my play when I have more time and try to recall situations and see if I acted too early with my pushes.

Shortly after my exit I played in a side cash limit game that was a rotation between Hold 'em and Omaha. Omaha is a cruel mistress when played as limit. As hard as it is to push out people drawing in no-limit or pot-limit, it's a damned near miracle to chase anyone out when you have the stone cold nuts on the flop and vulnerable to the flush or full house.

The one hand that almost had me as a tilt monkey the rest of the night I had KdKhTdAh. I was double suited, paired up and on the button in great position, so I raised. Of course, everyone called including the blinds. The flop came Qs Jc 9h. I had the nut King high straight. It was bet, so I raised and everyone called! The turn was still safe but started to get dangerous as an 8s peeled off. It was checked to me so I had to bet and of course everyone called. I guess I should feel fortunate that I was getting a big pot for such a strong hand, but I just knew that the river was going to kill me with so many people still in the hand. Another jack hit the table.


It was bet and I really had no choice but to donate and call. Of course I lost to the full house held by a James Caan look-alike. At least he didn't go all Sonny on me and have me whacked.

Considering I have not played limit in a long time, I did make a nice recovery. Maybe I was just getting lucky but I felt like I was making some nice bets and check raises at the correct times and maximizing my profits. I was ahead when I should have left and started to get some cold cards when I stayed a bit too long. I did just about break even for the game. The silver lining was that I donked off some chips to Larry's wife, so both my host and hostess benefited from my appearance. I hope they repay the favor if they come to my cash game in April.

1 comment:

Chris said...

wish i could've gone

i think i will do well in these tourneys