Friday, September 16, 2005

Head's Up Play Sept 15, 2005

I joined a buddy at his home for two heads-up tournaments, both of which were designed to go for about an hour, starting with a tiny blind with soft upticks, but getting into serious blinds about 45 minutes into game play. Between nice cards, the occasional blind stab, and esp-like pre-flop folding, I was able to take both tourneys. An enjoyable evening which I hope to repeat as we are able.

In the space of 2 hours of heads up hands (2 decks, so constant play) I must have seen at least 3 flushes and 3 straights, and at least 4 or 5 two pair offerings. I did not have to show a few of these hands, but I was able to milk at least one additional bet off of several of my made hands. Opponents Aces were also cracked as the decisive hand of the second game. He had made a 2BB raise (total 3 bb) and I called with KQs, and at that point in the blind structure, 20% of our total chips were in that pot. I caught perfectly on a flop of K-Q-x, and I managed to milk it for another 20% of the total chips, which was a major swing. At that point, opponent needed a solid hand quickly or would face blinding out. At that moment I picked up AKs, put him all in, and he called with KJ and failed to suck out.

If I were to critique my opponents play, I would venture that I saw a few differences in our playing styles.
1) I don't remember him folding the SB much at all. As the blinds rose, I was folding easily a third of my small blinds, and avoiding a world of hurt. Maybe he did fold SB as much as me, but it doesn't seem that way in my selective memory.
2) I think I was a little more agressive with bottom pair. While it occasionally came back to hurt me, it also made it tougher to tell whether I was betting bottom pair or something much better, such as trips, straights or flushes. On a few occasions, he called me down and won with middle pair, but on a few more occasions he called me down when I had top pair or better.
3) His pre-flop raises were less frequent than mine, which indicates that either I was getting better cards, or else he was still measuring his cards by a full table standards. You'd never raise A5s on a full table, but that's a decent raise in heads up play, I'd like to think.

These may have been enough to make the difference, especially when I started catching good cards.