Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blue streak

Finally monied in an online multi-table tourney this morning/afternoon, finishing 21st in a 958-person $5.50 on Stars. For those of you keeping score at home, it breaks an 0-for-18 MTT moneyless streak. Yet, in Woody Allen-esque fashion, I'm not all that happy about it. Twenty-first is fine. And I think I played my B+ game. (My voyage into the semi-deep got started during the first hour when I cracked limped aces with the mighty 6-5 sooooted on my BB.)

Stars' 20% payout for the event and the puny buy-in meant minimal profits. That's fine. It's not about the money, right now. It's about making final tables. It's about top 3 finishes. Accomplish that, and the money takes care of itself.

Part of my angst is derived, once again, from a couple of classic wimp-outs that fly in the face of my alleged newfound aggression. At 25K and blinds 1,000/2,000/100, I folded A-Jo UTG, fearing what the hyper-aggressive big stack might do. I would have won handily. Earlier, I folded pocket 4s from EP to a 3,200-chip min-raise. He got a caller, a 4 flopped and the river queen would have given me a boat against his flush. Those were two hands that would have chipped me up nicely, and there's abso-fucking-lutely no reason why I shouldn't have played them.

Got knocked out with slick unsuited. With blinds at 2,000/4,000/150 and me sitting on 35K, my high-water mark, I raise to 12K and the chip leader calls. I push my remaining 22K on a ragged flop and he calls with queens. No cavalry arrives to save me and I'm done.

I know the mantra on slick: "You've got to win with it, you've got to beat it." I've been making decisions on a case-by-case basis with that hand when I fail to hit a pair or a respectable draw on the flop. Up against big or bigger stacks and first to act, I've been frequently checking, hoping to see a free/cheap turn. It's worked successfully. Against smallish stacks, I always push. Today, I pushed with a less-than-pot-sized bet and it didn't work out. No problem.

That aside, I'm not going to claim seats at final tables until I learn to make the correct decision each and every time. It's the only way I'll ever pull me and my game up to that next level.


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