Monday, January 19, 2009


My national nightmare ended around 1 o'clock this morning when I found myself cashing in a $2.20 triple draw tournament on Stars. My small stack disappeared a few hands later, leaving me with a $2.82 profit.

That miniscule cash did, howeer, end a streak of 21 online tournaments where I failed to make the money. The most miserable example came in the $32K Guaranteed Sunday on Tilt.

With 600-plus players remaining, my 12K stack was well above average when I found pocket aces in the small blind. A player in MP made one of those odd-amount raises, prompting me to reraise an equally odd amount. Heads-up, the flop came 10-9-6, which looked pretty damn good for aces. Or did it?

I made a pot-sized bet of around 2,300 and my opponent put another 5K on top. Sumbitch. Does he have 10s? That's what it felt like. It certainly made sense.

Having made that solid read, I pushed all-in hoping he had jacks, queens or kings. I quickly discovered how smart and how stupid I was in one fell swoop. Of course he had pocket 10s. And, of course, I had blown a chance to cash in a tournament with decent-sized payouts.

There was a time when I would become a super nit when I knew conservative play would likely lead to a cash. That doesn't happen anymore. The bottom payouts are meaningless to me now. In search of a stack that will carry me to the final table, I've stayed aggressive, and there were four or five times during the streak where I busted within sight of the money. I want a stack that will carry me to the final table. But that's not going to happen either if I can't trust my strong reads and lay down hands, even aces, when I believe that I'm behind.


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