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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 7: Turning $74 into $7000 --Online Poker Table Banter

Two funny situations happened in a 45-man sng tournament that I placed 3rd in today. In the first situation, we were down to the last 13 people in the tournament and we were playing 6-handed. Because there were only 6 people at the table and each of us holding an average stack of 4000 chips with the blinds at 300/600 ante 50, we were all on the brink of blinding out if we continued to fold and wait for a good hand. As a result of seeing how passive everyone were being, hoping to fold their way to the final table, I started going all in every opportunity I felt I had. I didn't do this every hand, but after 5 orbits, I more than doubled my stack from 3200 chips to 8200. Did I have the goods every hand? Of course not! Well maybe I did because I usually had a high card, low kicker whenever I raised, but sometimes I had nothing more than position. However, I knew these folks weren't in a position to call off 75% of their chips or more. In some cases they were facing their tournament life had they called.

Finally someone called me when I had 2 4 suited. I was on the dealer button, so I went all in again because the blinds had risen to 400/800 ante 75 and although I had 8125 chips, I only had 10x the big blind and it would only take a few blinds to pass me in order for me to be down half my chip stack. I figured that unless the blinds had good hands, they wouldn't call me because in most instances this is the case. Any good tournament player worth his acclaim will agree with me. Of course, the small blind proved me wrong and made a dumb call with 6175 in chips.

Now I wasn't very happy when he flipped up K 10 off suit not because he had me beat with high cards. It was because he called such a huge bet with such a marginal hand which either showed that he had no respect for my poker play or that he was a bad poker player altogether and he was now about to cripple my stack to the point where I would have been on the brink of elimination. My anger quickly turned to joy when the flop read 2c 2d 4d and I flopped three of a kind twos to luck out and dominate his weak ass K 10 hand. After he was eliminated the guy made a remark "I'm not going to say anything about that play." I'm thinking to myself, "well, you're the dumb ass for calling with crap." Its a strong move to shove all in preflop with crap because you can either win the hand by getting the person to fold or by winning outright with the best hand. If you call an all-in bet, you can only win if you have the best hand. Any poker player will tell you that you can't determine whether or not you are holding the best hand preflop when you have K 10 offsuit. The only information that he had on me is that I had raised 6 out of the last 10 hands. Frankly, that's not enough to say "oh, I have the best hand holding K 10."

Now another hand occurred a few hands earlier where this dude who was severely short stacked with 1800 chips shoves all-in with J 6 suited. The other player on the button who had 4100 chips calls with a pair of sevens. Now I do know professionals who say that's the correct call. I'm not one of them. So the flop comes K J 2, and the J 6 suited guy went from being an underdog to a winner. After the hand, the 7 7 loser went on to call the guy a stupid donkey for playing stupid. I beg to differ. Sure under normal circumstances such as when the blinds are low in a tournament or in a cash game pushing with J 6 is really fucking stupid, but in this scenario where the blinds were crippling him and he was on the brink of being blinded out of the tournament this was brilliant even if he loses because he gave himself a chance to win. Had he folded, the next two hands he would have had to pay the small and big blinds and would have been down to 800 chips. Even if he doubles up in those circumstancs, he's only going to be up to 2000 chips at most. Now getting back to the guy holding a pair of sevens. Many professionals would say that he was smart for calling off 60% of his chip stack with 7 7. I'm not one of them simply because small pairs are susceptible to high cards outflopping them. The guy who went all in could have had two overcards to his sevens in the best case scenario. Heck, even crap like 8 9 would have two overcards and 6 outs to make a winning hand. Although he had a made hand, I would have folded unless I had 8000 chips. In that case, I can afford to take a gamble with a small made hand, because even if I lose, I'm not crippled and I still have enough chips to make someone fold when its not clear that I have the best hand.

Anyway, I had a so-so day at the tables, I still made a $37.62 profit in 3 1/2 hours. I'm going to play after I finish typing this blog and hopefully the second blog for this same day will reflect a profit.

My bankroll is $157.64