Friday, September 08, 2006

Gold Strike and Stuff

To my loyal readers (I can think of at least one)

Sorry for the lack of stuff. I've continued to play a lot on-line, but that live tourney really shook my confidence, and I'm trying to rebuild my shattered ego. Maybe I'm not the worldwide poker champion. Yet.

I final tabled twice in the Pokertards 4.40 180s, which is where most of my on-line attention is going these days. One time I final tabled and got a call that my daughter missed her bus, and I had to blind out to seventh place in the 20 minutes I was away. I was bummed, but it happens. The other time I got agressive at the wrong time and made 8th or so. I find that I'm still too eager to make a big laydown in tournament play, even in some LO8 tourneys I played recently.

I also need to work a lot at taking a few deep breaths when I'm in a hand, and to count to 5 before I make any decision at all, even when the decision is crystal clear.

Last night I played a long 1/2 NLHE session at Gold Strike Tunica. I honestly think I played some bad, ABC-ish poker, and it was my good fortune to be at a weak table, and to catch some decent cards. I collected off of Aces twice (didn't need to show them down either time, buying it once on the flop after a big reraise preflop, and once on the river with a frequent bluffer and caller who liked to call and then bet into any weak-looking check.) I collected off of flopped trips twice, once beating a flopped higher two pair, and another time beating something the guy chose not to show. I got stacked early on by a player who cheap-limped 63o, and I've got 45o on the 367 rainbow flop. He makes an overbet, which I cold call, and the turn counterfeits my 4, which I misinterpret as completing an open-ended straight draw that would be higher than mine, so we both check it down. (Dumbass. Take your time.) The river is another 6, which I check, and he makes an overbet to the pot. I take a minute and think that I'm only behind 58 for the straight, and I don't give the boats due consideration. (Dumbass. Take your time.) I hadn't been at the table long, but I did notice over time that the guy only made big river bets with the nuts.

I still need a lot of work on people reading. I can get into some people's heads on their betting patters, but I really have a hard time picking out physical tells. Perhaps I should focus on one aspect of physical tells per session and exclusively look for that tell, rather than trying to paint such a broad canvas of perception.

I got a cheap room at 12:30 AM at the Gold Strike (25$ after 5 hours of card play) and took a 3 hour nap, came back fresh at 4:30. The table was full of players who liked to charge 12$ to see a flop, and any time I got limpers, I was raised, and I never found any over-the-top cards, and don't have confidence enough in my hand reading to go into these big pots with weak starters. Yet another area to work on.

Overall, it was a nice winning session (2.5 buy-in), the first decent take home I'd seen since I came back from my 10 days away from poker.

In short, I've clearly hit the next level of play, where I start to realize how much stuff I've actually got to work on in order to even resemble a decent player.