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The Disciplined Degenerate

A spot where I try to make sense of a game that rarely makes any sense
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Think I might need a couple days away from the tables after how bi-polar my results have been this weekend. Will I take a day away from the tables? Probably not...LOL

After all, as I've said in the past, poker is a lot less stressful for me than it used to as I play it merely for recreation and relaxation as opposed to playing to build a bankroll or become the next superstar.

I was so excited for the Big Bang main event and was looking to play well leading up to the event and so I played a couple of SNG's before the tournament. One of them was an NL event as you would expect, but the other was a quick FL 36-man SNG. Why I chose that? I don't have an answer, but what I do know is that I took down that 36-man just an hour before the tournament started, so I was feeling good.

Flash forward an hour to the Big Bang main event and it really couldn't have gone any worse. Everytime I raised, I got three-bet. Not great for someone as loose and aggressive as myself. And then I finally pick up Q-Q in the BB.

Blinds 15-30 and my stack sitting at 1100 or so

Late position raises to 100

I 3-bet to 325 (knowing full well that I probably should just ship it because of my stack size in this spot, but I got greedy trying to extract more chips pre-flop)

Of course, the flop comes down:

K-x-x (no connectors/very dry board)

Now I'm stuck with a K-high board to a late-position raiser who just called my three-bet...and he checks...

I have 875 left with a K-high board and a pot that has 665 in it. What would you do in my spot?

I just went ahead and pushed all-in. I thought about just betting small and leaving myself a buffer to fold, but really? Am I seriously going to fold if I bet 400 and he check-raises over the top? What's the point? I'm crippled if I fold and I really just have to rely on the mathematics that say he's less likely to have a K, even though I had a gut feeling that he had the K and just didn't want to trust myself.

Of course he shows K-10 off. (ugh!) Maybe it's something as simple as someone just messing around because it is still after all a freeroll, but I just don't see how calling there makes a lot of sense. And no, I know what you're asking already...the opponent stack size was not enormous by any stretch.

A few hands later, I try for the double-up with 8-8...run into A-K and the board drops down...

A-A-x-K-K

Can you lose a coin flip by any wider margin of victory? Well, technically yes since the X could have been an A or K and he destroys my puny 8's with quad A's or K's, but give me a break. One of those cards was good enough...LOL 

Fast forward to today and I managed to cash well in a couple of 2.20 turbo tournaments, one of them being a Turbo and Zoom event. If I had infinite amount of time to play, I would settle for longer blind levels in a heartbeat because I feel like I have a much better ability to play post-flop vs. pre-flop.

But I live in a reality where I have a full-time job, a great girlfriend that I like spending time with and a social life that I want to keep active, so for my poker fix, I have to rely mainly on turbo tournaments. Turbo tournaments under the Zoom format are a big bonus!

In the first 2.20, I manage to finish 185/2106. It was one of those tournaments where I'm always hovering around the bubble position, even leading up to the bubble. I never worry about bubbling tournaments now because of the fact that I'm playing more for fun than for bankroll. When I was much more serious, I admittedly was more intimidated by the bubble and was always making sure that I cashed first and then went for a tournament win.

Now I'm always thinking first-place or bust. Which doesn't necessarily mean that I'm just shoving every flush draw, straight draw, top-pair or pocket pair. However, I'm not concerned about pushing all-in with only a handful left before the bubble. Which is what I had to do and survived a coin-flip to get myself in the money before exiting.

In the second 2.20, I managed to finish even better in the Zoom Turbo tournament by finishing 42/1952. I've always felt like the Zoom format is a blessing in disguise for me because of the fact that I can just fold a junk hand instantly instead of having time to think about a possible way to win the hand with junk and having it go south.

All I have to do is look at the hand, assess if it's junk and then move on if I want nothing to do with it. Seems to get me in a lot less trouble and the tournament runs even faster! I really should give Zoom NL a try someday.

So right from the start, I was getting great hands and getting paid off with them. Within the first 15 minutes, I was in the Top 10 in chips and just picking people off right, left and centre. Poker can be such an easy game sometimes. Pick up K's, put in a raise, have someone not believe you by going all-in, you call, and they show 3's. LOL

One thing that you might notice as a tournament player is that the more chips you have relative to the table, the easier it is for other chips to become magnetized to your stack. The reason I say that is that more of your raises get through because no one wants to mess with you. Also, more opponents will just merely not believe that you have a premium hand when in fact you are holding gin and are ready to crush them.

So I rode my Top 10-20 chip stack all the way to about the final 200-300 players where I finally started to slow down with the premium hands and also started to see stacks that were closer to mine.

No hands in Zoom plus antes means that things get very expensive very fast if you keep clicking on that "instant fold" button. (Another cool little bit of strategy that is unique to the Zoom tournaments...how quick do you click that button?)

Finally went in with A-6 with under 10BB and got called by a similar short stack with 9's. Too bad.

I don't want to even talk about with my struggles with Spin and Go poker just to complete the Neymar challenge task...I'll just shake my head at that and call it a night.

Good luck at the tables!

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