Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Goals For Tonight: Ditto

After a long break from cash games, the 0.5/1 NLHE cash game is tonight.

While I could write up a bunch of goals, realistically all my goals from last time still apply.  So I'll just use these goals for tonight.

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When you win a tournament, you never have regrets. When you lose a tournament, all you have is regrets.

For last Friday's tournament, I had the chiplead for a lot of the time three-handed, but ended up in third. I tried to put pressure on them, but guy to my left called a lot of raises and I lost a substantial portion of my stack making clumsy bluffs into him. He also raised his button a ton (showing an ace 6-7 times in a row!) and I was never able to three-bet him. In hind-sight, he was pretty tight when it came to calling all-ins, so I should have re-stole from him when I had him 2:1 in chips to slow him down.

Ultimately, my demise came after I doubled up the shorty a few times in a dominated position when my pre-flop raise was too large to fold to his push.  I guess, in that situation, I shouldn't be raising, be he was folding so many of his hands that I couldn't forego hands like A2o.

Honestly, I could have chopped at multiple points and come out with more money than I ultimately did.  The host (already busted) was gently encouraging us to chop a few times but I gave him resistance.  On the other hand, though, I also could have taken the whole thing down with a good hand or two.  And the guy to my left did a great job of stealing and playing hands against me in position.  He was the ultimate winner.

Besides, to get to the money (three got paid) I got very lucky at least twice when I got caught stealing but hit some lucky cards.  In the middle play (6-7 handed), I was an extreme short stack but pushed aggressively and hit my hands when I needed to.  Needless to say, I tilted a few guys when I knocked them out with 76s.

My lesson for the day: do not play hands out of position in short-handed play.  Instead of calling the blind, re-steal liberally.

* * * * *

Thinking a bit more about my goals, I think I have one primary goal: do not play scared poker.  This means raising good hands, going for the semi-bluff when I think it is warranted, etc.

I hope that playing tournaments has increased my aggressiveness, but we'll see.  It is easy to say to be aggressive now, but when I'm at the table with $150 in front of me, it becomes less easy.

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