Thursday, August 12, 2004

Adventures in Paradise

I had a few bad days on Party last week, basically Friday-Saturday. Just one of those frustrating runs when nothing goes right, when you catch cards and get outdrawn, or catch nothing, or catch something, just not quite enough. I played down my bankroll to about $200 and finally said fuck it and cashed out. I've been doing that lately, as I'm a little low in fundage in general with the wedding looming, so I don't want to actually lose any money splashing around with poker silliness.

But I'm also addicted to poker, so in short order I signed up with Paradise, deciding to do the sign-up/bonmus whore route for a bit with assorted online casinos. I know, I know... But I told myself I was being smart and just taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses, that I'd play like a rock at the .50/1 tables, get the bonus, then cash out the initial deposit and play with the bonus + other winnings.


Things went pretty much on schedule, and I hovered anywhere from +$25 to +$100 for the last week, cashing out the last of the bonus last night. Then I decided to play a little $10 NL. While I was playing in an Omaha tournament. While I was playing in a $30 NL multi-table tournament.

So now the bankroll sits at $140. I'm kicking myself a bit, as I don't like facing up to compulsive behavior on my part, but what the hell, it's called gambling for a reason. Playing Omaha was a bad decision, as I'm still new to that game, and it was a re-buy and add-on tournament, which only allowed me to multiply my stupidity. To be fair, the Omaha tournaments suck in a lot of horrible fish like myself, so someday, when I get more skillz, I can see myself playing a lot more of those.

The $10 NL was just ridiculous. Suckouts and bad beats galore. I got stubborn and kept playing, trying to get my stacks back. It just got worse and worse.

The $30 multi-table was frustrating, but not horribly so. I got a sick run of cards early, (AA three times, QQ twice, all in Level 1-Level 2), but couldn't get much action with them, as the table was super tight. Except for one pretty big hand, where I had A A against Ad Qd. I raised 3BB pre-flop UTG, was re-raised by UTG+1, called by MP, at which point I re-raised 8BB, UTG+1 called, MP folded. Flop was something like 7 10 4, with two diamonds. I pushed all-in and the other guy immediately called. My hand held up and I had something like T5500.

Then I splashed around in pots I had no business in, lost a set of 10s to a river straight, and played myself down to T3000 or so. The hand o' doom occured soon after, when I was in the BB with 6 4 o. Blinds were 100/200, action folded around to the SB, who limped in. We each had roughly equal stacks, but he had me slightly covered. Flop came 6 Q 4 rainbow. I perk up. Checked to me, I bet 400. SB calls. Turn is 9. Check to me, I bet 400, SB calls. River is a 3. SB bets 1000 or so. I think for about half a second, then shove all-in. SB calls and shows a 9 4, giving him top two pair. I sit there for a second and then turn off the computer, licking my wounds.

Looking back, I think I pretty much butchered that hand. I put him on a Q low kicker pretty early in the hand and just didn't allow myself to consider anything else. If I'm going to play that hand at all, I think I have to bet harder on the flop. If I'm going to play it like I did, I just have to call the 1000 bet on the river. Going all-in really does nothing for me, as if he's bluffing he just folds there anyway. The only possible benefit from the all-in is if he has only a pair of Qs and thinks that can win it.

The real problem, though, is that I simply need to be smarter about committing myself relatively early in tournaments to hands like these. I could have simply checked that hand down and folded if he bet, and lost nothing more than a normal BB with a junk hand. My two pair were far from dominating. I wasn't short stacked. Stubbornly staying with the hand and insisting on seeing his bet on the river as a steal attempt is what killed me. That's a common thread in my tournament play, as far as timing. I need to work on getting away from strong, yet far from dominating hands, early on in tournaments. It's always better to leave a little money on the table instead of leaving all your chips on the table, sitting in front of some other muppet.

So yeah. I'm just going to let the chips fall and play out the rest of the money I have in my Paradise account. I'll prolly stick to the $1/2 tables for awhile and try to build up a bit of a bankroll. I enjoy tourneys more but the variance is a little much for my wee bankroll right now.

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