Sunday, April 16, 2006

Focus, Daniel-san, Focus

Went out 17th or so in the Fullt Tilt LHE Bracelet Race last night. Kind of frustrating, as I was top 10 in chips nearly the whole way, and had a nice healthy stack with twenty or so left, crusiing along, when my tired monkey brain betrayed me in the following hand:

Blinds were something like 400/800 and I had 9,000 or so on the button. UTG+1 had 6K or so, and BB had 5K. UTG+1 seemed to be pretty good and knew what they were doing. BB was pretty much an idiot and run his stack way up and down throughout the evening, playing marginal hands way too fast.

UTG+1 open-raises and it folds to me on the button. I 3-bet with AKh, BB calls, and UTG+1 calls. Flop is A Q 3, rainbow.

BB bets, UTG+1 raises, and I 3-bet. UTG+1 is pretty aware and could be raising with lots of hands here to try to isolate BB, as well as to get a read on just how big an A I might have. I don't have any reason to think my hand isn't the best here so bombs away.

BB caps and UTG+1 calls. Hmm. Me no likee that so much, I think, as I call. BB is capable of playing any A that way but UTG+1 is coming along for the ride, too. I'd have thought that QQ-AA would have put more bets in pre-flop, but AQ is a real possibility, especially for UTG+1, as BB would have raised that up pre-flop, too.

Turn is a 9. BB bets, UTG+1 raises. Which brings us to the point where a tired ScurvyDog should have taken a little more time to think things through. Yes, indeed, that's a nice fat pot, and I do indeed have TPTK, but I have to fold here. If I do, I have a healthy, average stack and live to fight another day.

The problem is BB, and the fact that he could have A2 here and will merrily raise/cap all day, to the bitter end. If I knew it'd just be two more bets to see the river and try to improve (and fold if I don't, as UTG+1 is definitely ahead of me on the turn), then I should call. But I don't know that. If anything, I know that BB will probably 3-bet here, and it'll not be just the two bets to call, but 1-2 additional bets coming back to me on the turn after I make the first cold-call.

Despite all that, I call. BB thankfully just calls. The river is a 8. BB checks, UTG+1 bets. I make a frustrated crying call here, letting the size of the pot convince me that my call/fold unimproved plan is silly, and of course BB check-raises. UTG+1 3-bets and I finally have the much belated good sense to fold. BB caps and UTG+1 calls.

BB rolls over A8 and UTG+1 has QQ. My much depeleted, suddenly short stack goes home ten minutes or so later.

I've played much worse hands, granted, but there was no reason to set 3 BBs (which was basically a quarter of my stack entering the hand) on fire there on the turn/river, when I knew better. Especially at that late of a stage of the game, after playing good poker for 2+ hours.

Need to remind myself that LHE MTTs don't play too much differently than NL MTTs, at the very late stages, as you're often commiting the bulk of your stack to a hand if you take it to the river with lots of action when the blinds get big towards the end.

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