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The Road to Fame and Fortune

/Jan/2012

A chip and a chair

By: Ov3rsight @ 14:55 (EST) / 438 / Comment ( 0 )

In poker, we all know two things: some hands you're going to win, and some hands you're going to lose. Sometimes when you lose, it's with a hand that by all accounts should have won. The pocket Aces against the 3,8 offsuit, The pocket Queens against the QJ. It happens. Over the long run, if you play well, you'll be dealing out bad beats like that about as much as they are dealt to you.

Sometimes, you get several of these beats in a row. And that's where danger lurks. Annoyed, you start loosening up. You start playing hands you shouldn't have, you thus start losing more pots, and it seems like the poker gods struck a deal with the dealer to keep making you loose.

Guess what - it's not true :)

When you've lost a number of chips, a considerable part of your stack, you need to be patient. How often do you see someone lose half his stack or more to a suckout on the river, and the next hand immediately donk all in? It happens, especially playing the lower stakes. Usually when these people are called, they show hands they should never have played to begin with.

Patience is the key. Now waiting for the better hands does mean you lose chips to the blinds and antes, maybe even get far below your comfort zone, or to a stack that doesn't play very well because it has absolutely no fold equity at all. And you'll bust out. It happens. Most profitable players (far as I know) finish in the money a lot less than 50% of the time. 30%-40% is more realistic. So you still bust out without cashing a lot more than you actually do finish in the money. It's part of the game.

Earlier today, I played a big pot, and screwed up. For some reason I decided to attempt to steal the blinds from early position with a 5,6 suited. Not a great play, but every now and then it works. But when you get called, you should probably let it go on the flop unless you flop a monster. Flop was a complete blank for me, and I made a c-bet. I got called. I then bet the turn too, and the river. The three barrel bluff works sometimes. But not when the opponent flops top set.... So I was down to 232 chips, a whopping 2.3 BBs, with 15 players left in the tournament. No fold equity whatsoever. Far from the money, as only 5 get paid. At that point I'd pretty much given up on this  tournament. Instead of going all-in the very next hand (9,6 off),  I exercised a wee bit of patience. In the BB, I checked it down, got lucky, and tripled up. Through careful, consitent play playing mostly just the better range hands, I ended up winning the tournament.

Patience works. Not always, but when you're a short stack, you need to wait for the better hands that at least give you somethying resembling a decent chance to win it. In that case - the 6,7 off (my lucky hand here) is better than the Q,10 suited. If you get called, the odds of your Q or 10 being dominated by a better kicker is far larger, so your chances of having two live cards are best with the 6,7 off. Still, many people advocate not to put it in with hands like 6,7 off. Neither do I - it's a horrible hand. But heck - I was inj the BB, 100 of my 232 chips were already in the middle, and I flop a 7 with one overcard.

Yup, every now and then, patience works out just fine....

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