Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mistakes on that big hand in the big tourney

I've had 24 hours to reflect, and can see a number of specific mistakes I made in the hand where I made the big laydown to the bluff the guy was kind enough to show me.

1) Reaction Time. This was a big tell on my part. I play much more internet tourneys than I do live, so I need to practice this more. As Harrington says, if you have to, count to ten before making your action, but don't be so quick to move. My pre-flop raise, flop reraise and turn check were nearly instantaneous, and this certainly telegraphed my intentions.

2) Reflection time. Also as Harrington says, I've put in quite a bit of money and time into the tourney, the least I could have done is taken more than a minute to figure out my best moves on the turn and river. There were some clues that I didn't take into account.

3) Missed Clue #1 - Stack size. This guy had a huge stack. Did he get it by consistently winning big hands, or was he agressive in nature? Given the two hands I'd seen, he was clearly agressive in nature, so there was a reasonable chance he was pushing a bluff.

4) Missed Clue #2 - Stack size again. I'm a medium size stack, which is the stack that is most easily bluffed. Another reason for him to consider pulling a bluff.

5) Missed Clue #3 - My table image. I had the notebook going (I was taking notes on scrap paper anyhow.) To any thinking player, this implies that I'm probably not a calling station, so one more reason to consider a bluff.

I knew I wasn't ready for the WSOP, and apparently I'm not quite ready for a 500$ tourney either. The first table made me think I was doing well, but then I came across somebody playing at the level that I wish to play at, and it's clear I'm not there yet. I will most likely wait a year before playing any more tourneys at that stake, unless I continue crushing the lower stakes tourneys. Ponzi scheme.